# 106 (2013) Mr Money Mustache And The Early Retirement Plan You Will Never Realise
I recently read ‘How Mr Money Mustache Retired At 30 And How You Can Too‘. I read, eager, pen and paper in hand, expecting some revelatory plan for making my money work for me just that little bit harder, but honestly I haven’t been impressed.
The fact that him and his wife started out on a combined earning of $80,000 (about £48,000) rising to a whopping $125,000 each (£77,000) by the time they ‘retired’ leaves little need for explanation as to how they managed to give up work so early on. They just cut a few corners and saved what was left – up to £4500 a month as it so happens, into savings accounts.
And it strikes me that their scrimp and scrape methods sound more like luxury living to me. Their £30 a week food shop might sound like hard work but there are plenty of people living on less than that a month and just ‘getting on with it’.
And far from being jealous or admirable I wonder why on earth I would want to retire at 30 in the first place. Why would I want to spend more than half my working life living to my own schedule, with no deadlines, no barriers, no drive. They claimed that they wanted to both be full time parents, but I find myself asking what kind of standard that sets for your children when they don’t see you going out to work 5 days a week. Am I missing something here?
It sounds ideallic. But they haven’t had to rough it at all, and if I’m honest, their aim was to retire at 30, not to save money because they had to save money.
Mr Money Mustache will freely admit that their high salaries were an aide to them achieving their aim and if anything it’s meant their ‘budgeting’ tactics were a breeze by comparison. They weren’t turning off their heating to save money or selling their car and investing in a bicycle although they admitted to sometimes cycling to work.
They still traveled, had two cars and didn’t have to downsize their house and he’s keen to remind us that even now they still travel for 3 months of the year and eat luxurious organic food. Their annual household spend is now about $25,000, around £15,000.
Asked how they managed the ‘social awkwardness’ of not wanting to do things with friends, they said they didn’t have to give it up. Instead they’d not upgrade the car, light a fire instead of putting on the heating and drink wine at home instead of going out for drinks. Well if that’s living on a budget I’m clearly not seeing the same America that’s just closed ranks. That much is obvious.
And the more I read this article the more I wondered how on earth his blog about finance and lifestyle was doing so well. Does this man not live in the real world? Someone should give him a real budget and let him work his magic with that.
As for retiring at 30? I wouldn’t want it. I’m running my own business and whilst it isn’t making me pots of money yet, I’m enjoying it, and if you’re loving your work, maybe that’s all the retirement you need.