How to Retire Early by 40

You can retire early by 40 or 45 if you take these FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) steps now.

A couple enjoys a campfire on the beach.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This is part two of an ongoing series throughout this year focused on how to retire early and the FIRE movement. The introduction to the series is How to Retire Early in Six Steps.  Part three is How to Retire Early by 50. Part four is Retire Early for Adventure: Go Travel and Volunteer.

Many people want to retire early by 40 — or even younger. A recent conversation with an eight-year-old reshaped my perspective on modern views of work. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he didn’t choose typical professions like a doctor or a police officer. Instead, he simply said, “Retired.”

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

Jacob Schroeder

Jacob Schroeder is a financial writer covering topics related to personal finance and retirement. Over the course of a decade in the financial services industry, he has written materials to educate people on saving, investing and life in retirement. With the love of telling a good story, his work has appeared in publications including Yahoo Finance, Wealth Management magazine, The Detroit News and, as a short-story writer, various literary journals. He is also the creator of the finance newsletter The Root of All (, exploring how money shapes the world around us. Drawing from research and personal experiences, he relates lessons that readers can apply to make more informed financial decisions and live happier lives.