PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Wouldn’t it be nice to sleep in? To not go to work and maybe just spend your days on your own schedule?
That’s the goal of one Valley family, well on their way to retiring early.
JT and Tamzen Olmstead have been married 9 years. For most of that time, they’ve been saving money. A lot of money. They’re doing this with the goal of retiring earlier than most people thought was possible.
JT is 30 years old and has already scaled back to part-time work. He plans to fully retire before he turns 35.
“Freedom. 100% that’s our goal,” said JT. “We spend money on the things that we think are important to us and we try not to spend at all on the things that we think are not important to us.”
Here’s how this family of 6 is able to do this. The Olmsteads saved at least half of every paycheck for the last 7 years and invested that money in index funds.
In the last year, they’ve added in some real estate investments. In five years, they can fully retire because they can live off those investments.
It’s a combination of the magic of compound interest with investing and frugal living. The Olmsteads try to spend wisely. They only buy used cars. They travel using mostly credit card points and airline points.
"I mostly get, 'More power to you. Good job, but that's not for me,'" says Tamzen when asked how friends and family have reacted to their lifestyle.
She admits she was skeptical at first, but now she sees it working and is excited.
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The Olmsteads are not alone. The FIRE movement is growing. FIRE stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. A new movie called "Playing with FIRE" showcases why the movement is catching on. JT and Tamzen even have a cameo in the film.
The couple says they love to share the message of financial independence.
"People say, 'I wish I could do that,'" said JT. "That's where it's awesome to tell them that you really can.
"Let me tell you more about how simple this can be," he added. "Not necessarily easy, but simple."
To find a showing of "Playing with FIRE" near you, visit: bit.ly/329avX0
If you're interested in learning more about FIRE, you can check out the Choose FI Phoenix Facebook group: facebook.com/groups/ChooseFIPhoenix/
Or this popular article by blogger "Mr. Money Mustache:" bit.ly/2twXjO2