NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Are you making enough early in your career to consider retiring in your 30s? Don't.
A few weeks ago, Forbes shared the story of Jeremy and Winnie, a Seattle couple who downsized their living expenses and increased their investments to retire in their 30s. It's a story of savvy investment and romantic notions of what retirement can look like, but it's one being told two years into what could be a 60-year retirement or more. Not surprisingly, regardless of investment strategy, most financial advisors can't get behind this plan.
Michael Wall is the president and founder of Retire Well in Altoona, Pa., and Palm Beach, Fla. His firm requires a minimum investment of $1 million and deals regularly with pro athletes and their spouses who are retiring from high-earning careers during their 30s or early 40s. Though some of his clients face a lot of physical wear and tear in their primary careers of choice, he says sitting on millions and letting those wounds heal doesn't make for much of a life.
“My thought on that is being 30 or 40 or whatever and pulling the plug and retiring — kind of putting your brain on autopilot — I don't advise that,” he says. “You're in a situation where you're adding no value to anyone: You're going out looking for the next vacation and next thrill. Maybe you retire from a job, but you don't retire from life.”
With high-income earners, the question isn't whether they can retire young, but whether they should. Benjamin Sullivan, a certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group, of Scarsdale, N.Y., notes that if the value of your assets, market returns, your other income and your living expenses add up to a comfortable figure, a financial adviser can help you figure out how long all of that will last through retirement in a variety of scenarios.