July 8, 2019

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

© Elizabeth Willard Thames

Elizabeth Willard Thames

After working for 10 years in the nonprofit sector as a fundraiser and communications manager, Elizabeth Willard Thames retired at age 32. She and her husband, Nate, left their careers in Cambridge, Mass., and moved to 66 wooded acres in Vermont. Urban Boston has a lot higher living expenses than rural Vermont.

“For my husband and me, the key thing that helped us reach financial independence was having a clear goal for why we wanted to pursue a different lifestyle,” said Thames, author of “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence through Simple Living” and founder of the Frugalwoods blog.

“Articulating that we wanted to move to a homestead in the woods of Vermont and have greater control over our time motivated us to save money at a very high rate and embrace a simpler approach to living,” she said. “Knowing that we were working toward this more fulfilling lifestyle allowed us to let go of the desire to spend money and freed us up to focus only on our highest and best priorities.”

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