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Even millennials can retire early. Here’s how

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Conventional wisdom–and the threshold for social security benefits–tells us that retiring before your sixties isn’t within reach for most people. Even setting aside a fraction of your paycheck can be a luxury: About 20% of American workers do not save any of their income, and only 16% of them manage to save more than 15% of their annual income. Between student loans and wage stagnation, many millennials are skeptical that they can even retire by their sixties, let alone earlier.

But if the prospect of an earlier retirement is alluring, there’s hope for you yet if you’re willing to make some lifestyle changes. In recent years, some Americans, many of whom are millennials, have flocked to the FIRE movement–an acronym for “financial independence, retire early.” For some extreme devotees, that has meant retiring as early as their mid-thirties, but for others, it can mean calling it quits in their forties or fifties. If you’re a millennial whose current projected retirement age is seventy-something, early retirement for you could be at a comfortable 62, as social security benefits kick in. Whatever your target, there are a number of things you do–or double down on–if you covet an early retirement.

Early retirement in 2019 may not be your grandparents’ version of retirement. Those who retire early don’t necessarily do so with the intent of never working again. Some want to focus their energies on a passion project or more fulfilling work, but do so without worrying about finances; others may simply want more control over their schedule and the flexibility to spend more time with their family. In fact, a number of early retirees have monetized their financial journey through blogs or book deals.

Figure out what you might seek in early retirement, whether it’s a reprieve from your draining day job or a life outside of an urban area. If you’ll still work in some capacity, the additional cashflow can make an early retirement less daunting. “It’s not that you plan on retiring at age 40 and not doing anything that will earn you income for the rest of your life,” says Nick Holeman, a financial planning expert at........

© Fast Company