Can we thrive on $20,000/year?

The Nomad Diary. Photography and writing from an American vagabond.

Not too long ago, I thought that saving 10% of my income for retirement was a reasonable goal to aim for.  Despite what many “experts” may have said, it isn’t, unless you are ok with working until the age of 70.  I’m not, so I’ve got to set the bar a bit higher.  How high, you ask?  High enough to be financially independent, retirement-ready, by the age of 47 (20 years from now).

To meet this goal I’ll need to save 50% or more of my annual income from here on (see this brilliant post for a breakdown of the simple math).  I’ll likely lose 2 years of income to graduate school in my late twenties, so the real savings will take place between the ages of 30 and 46.  Given that I can probably expect to make around $40-60,000/yr during this period, I’ll be looking to limit my expenses…

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