How much do you really have to work to get rich and retire early?

One of the most frequent questions I get from friends and family is, “How much, and how hard, did you have to work to get rich and retire early?” I won’t sugarcoat this. The simple answer is, a lot. And very hard.

However, the truth is a little more nuanced than that. On the one hand, you will need to work more and harder than you ever did at your day job. On the other hand, you will be far more motivated and passionate about your own business than you ever were about working for someone else or for a corporation.

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How much money do I really need to retire early?

One of the most frequent questions I get from friends and family is, “How did you decide on your number?” In other words, how much money do you really need to retire early? The vast majority of personal finance experts will give the same answer: “It depends.”

I agree with that answer but disagree with their rationale. Also, since I hate non-answers such as “it depends,” I’ll say about $1 million multiplied by the number of people in your household. In other words, get somewhat rich. More on that later.

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If I can do it, so can you: How I turned a $1,000 business started in my one bedroom apartment to a $7 million business in 10 years

Why it’s so hard to leave the rat race

The year was 2002, just a year after the infamous dot-com crash. I was nearing 30 years of age. I was toiling away at my desk job, going through the motions, and more than mildly discontent.

It was an okay job, the money was decent, and I was making a dent in my student loans, but another 30-plus years of the grinding, soul-sucking rat-race was a bleak and depressing prospect. And, even if I sucked it up and endured it for three to four more decades, a comfortable retirement would be far from certain.

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Somewhat retired at 45: How I went from zero to $7 million

At age 45, I recently hit my “number.” I’m now officially somewhat retired. I’m 100% debt-free with a net worth of over $7 million. While I still choose to work part-time to help run the business I started 15 years ago, I now live life on my own terms. I have plenty of free time to enjoy with my family, and I travel for fun frequently. But it wasn’t always this way.

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