12 People Who Retired Young (and How They Did It)

If you think you have to win the lottery or inherit a windfall to retire early, think again. Plenty of people manage to achieve financial independence at a young age through hard work, a high savings rate, frugal living, smart investing or a combination of savvy retirement strategies.

In fact, the 13 people profiled here retired well before their 60s. Several actually retired before they turned 40. Each took his or her own path, but there are similarities in the ways they all reached financial independence.

Read their stories to find out what it takes to retire early.

Pauline Paquin

©Pauline Paquin

Pauline Paquin

Imagine being able to retire before age 30. Most people are just starting out in their careers at that point, but Pauline Paquin left the 9-to-5 working life when she was just 29.

“What helped me achieve financial independence early is I got an early start in life,” said Paquin, the founder of the blog Reach Financial Independence. She had several jobs as a teen, kept hustling through college and graduated with $25,000 in savings that helped her buy her first rental property with cash.

“I realized early on that money buys freedom, and every time I would save $50, I would tell myself that’s a day I don’t need to work in the future,” she said. Now, Paquin has three rental properties that provide enough income to support her low-cost early retirement lifestyle in Guatemala.

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