How a 29-year-old retires from a six-figure career

Madison DuPaix had a goal of leaving the workforce by age 29. She has been saving since the tender age of 16, and has been planning her exit from corporate America for years. With two very small children, she's going to spend more quality time with them, but won't feel a financial pinch thanks to smart planning.

Did you ever think retiring at age 29 was even possible? I suppose most of us don't think it can happen for us. But Madison's site offers lots of information on how she and her husband were able to make this happen. She's not fully retiring. She'll be doing some professional blogging, but because of smart planning, she doesn't need to pull in six figures from it.

You can learn how Madison did this on her site, but here are a few of the highlights. Although Madison had a job with a six-figure compensation package, she figured that 2/3 of her earnings were going to pay for childcare and taxes. In her "retirement," she'll be slashing 60% off childcare costs. She was also putting a lot of her earnings into savings in preparation for her retirement. Madison estimates about 15% of her and her husband's salaries were going into retirement savings. She no longer has to worry about that chunk of money.

Madison will still be working as a professional blogger, and plans to make about $23,000 a year doing that. She's also got the aforementioned retirement savings that she will be drawing from. Madison has a variety of savings and investments, and is making the most of the tax laws as she draws out some of that money for living expenses.

The best part about Madison's plan is that she seems to have "cushions" all over the place. She doesn't necessarily need the blogging income. She is withdrawing less from her savings than she safely could under her long-term plan. And she's got the opportunity to return to her job after a one year leave-of-absence. Having a contingency plan like that is great, and the cushions in the savings and income areas are fantastic as well.

Although Madison will still be working some, what she's created for herself and her family is a whole lot of flexibility. If there is an illness or other need to quit working completely, her financial plan would allow her to do that without putting any stress on the family's budget. I like Madison's style. You better believe this is a blog I will continue reading. We can all learn a lot from someone who has been successful in aggressively saving and creating financial flexibility.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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