A man has urged people to build up their savings as soon as possible after he managed to retire at 47.
David Cox, 54, has been retired since 2006, along with his wife Sally, 49, after he left his job in the finance sector.
The couple pay their way with passive income from their investments, in rental properties and low-cost ETFs (exchange-traded funds).
Mr Cox came across ETFs once he had retired and they allow him to invest in thousands of different companies, spreading the risk in case one of the companies goes under.
He built up his savings, particularly in his late 30s and early 40s and urged people to save up as soon as possible if they want to retire early.
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He told The Sun: “Automate the amount you want to save each month and pay yourself first by transferring this to your savings or investment account as soon as you receive your salary.”
He also encouraged people to set aside any extra money they get, such as from a bonus at work, to go towards their retirement funds.
Another key tactic that allowed Mr Cox to retire early was keeping account of all his living costs.
The retiree always kept track of his money with a spreadsheet to check his finances and compare them to the month before.
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He also managed to reduce his costs by changing the family’s TV and mobile phone package and finding better car insurance deals.
The couple spend around £55,000 a year on their living costs. They have the option to reduce this to £35,000 and they would still have extra money to eat out and go on holiday.
They get their income from their investments and they also have £50,000 in Premium Bonds.
Mr Cox now spends his time cycling, running, going away on trips as well as doing household tasks.
He said: “I’m choosing [retiring] earlier because I want to have my retirement when I’m young and fit enough to do more things.”
He now spends his days cycling, running, planning trips, learning French and having coffee with friends – as well as tasks like supermarket shopping and ironing, which means they don’t need doing at the weekends.
The national retirement age is set to rise from 66 to 67 between 2026 and 2028 and, though retiring in our 40s might be a pipe dream for many of us, quitting work a few years early is not an unrealistic goal.
“Perhaps it’s reasonable to imagine being active and fit until 75. This gives eight years of active retirement.
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