Can you retire early on a lower income?


By Mark Seed, My Own Advisor

Special to the Financial Independence Hub

It’s not easy, it will likely take more work, but you can retire early on a lower income.
Following a few early retirement case studies posted and linked to on my site in recent months, I got a few great email replies from readers. I’ve captured a couple of their comments below verbatim:
“Mark, let’s be honest. Not every 30-something has a 6-figure job like your Kingston engineer here.”
“Mark, can you link to that post on your site where the 60-year-old wants to retire on a lower income? That seems far more representative for many Canadians.”
…and you know what, these readers are right.
A lot of people like the idea of early retirement but facing facts, few folks have the means to pull it off.
You can only comparison-shop so much. You might not have the time to take on side-hustles. You tried to save as early as possible, as often as possible, but life got in the way.
I’ve argued people really don’t need any more financial advice. There are 80,000 books saying the same things.
But people do appreciate good coaching when they see it and feel it. People tend to appreciate the lessons learned shared by others – to tailor their own path. They genuinely want to be better over time.
At least my readership feels that way … which is very inspirational …
So, for today’s post, I thought I would act on one reader’s email to me in particular and highlight how she can still retire, maybe not earlier than most, but retire all the same without some of the financial stressors she is feeling today.

How to retire on a lower income – case study

Read on for information below from a reader I’ll call “Kat” for privacy reasons, and where I’ve changed some of the information to be tailored for our case study:

Hi Mark,

First off, love, love, love your blog and look forward to reading your weekend roundups every Saturday. 
You mentioned that you will be featuring a case study of a millennial couple soon and wondered if you are in the need of any more case studies?
I feel my situation is dire and I would love to hear your feedback (I know you can’t give direct advice) on what I could do better for me…
Quick background – I’m 43, separated, 2 kids (one is 19 and in university now, the other is 14). I work full-time making less than $45,000 per year. I’ve had financial issues in the past. I have around $30,000 invested, in mostly my RRSP. I am way behind at my age (for retirement planning). I don’t have a lot of disposable income, so I’m trying to put aside $300/month now.

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