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.

[WATCH: How a Phoenix-area couple are saving to retire by age 35]

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.

[READ MORE: Good Morning Arizona stories]

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:

If you're interested in learning more about FIRE, you can check out the Choose FI Phoenix Facebook group:

Or this popular article by blogger "Mr. Money Mustache:"


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(13) comments


Their entire plan is contingent of a good stock market. Sounds like a stupid plan.


IMO, this is a good movement. I did something similar years ago. I never dropped out completely due to healthcare needs. I still work but now it is on my terms and not someone else's. Congrads


It's a movement? must not have been successful if you work to have health insurance. How's it feel to know you're a failure?


I’m not sure why, but these two annoy the cr@p out of me.

JF Conlon

Same look on their faces as people who just found JEEEEbus (& want to tell you all about it)??


Few have the self-control to do this. More power to them. Hopefully they can find happiness in volunteering after they retire. There's lots of need.


Having a lot of income certainly helps.....but self control is needed WITH the income, to retire this early. I do agree that volunteering after retirement is a great idea.


Wow, a few haters I see. More power to anybody that can save/invest/retire early.


F.I.R.E. - Forget Intelligence Research and Education. Perfect for the Millennial mantra.


Perfectly stated


It will all be good till they both get fat from not doing anything or she wakes up and sees the used car salesman scum that her husband is... And in reality hes probably already gettin down with a side piece.... Good job retire at 35 and I hope you are dead at 40...


F.ucking Millenials.


Low fee index funds are a great way to invest and you can take go wrong with real estate over a long investment horizon. However, with that said, the historical return of the market after the near collapse of the financial markets in 2009 means that the returns they enjoyed are no longer obtainable. The SP500 would have to be approaching 6000 to match what they were able to earn. Kudos to them for taking advantage of a historical situation, but don’t think this is repeatable over the next decade.

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