5 Lessons From People Who Retired at 40

2. They spend less, but are just as happy.

Young retirees spend well below their means. While it may not be surprising that big savers manage to retire early, it’s worth noting that many early retirees don’t view spending less money as a sacrifice at all. In fact, many have developed a mindset that is perfectly content (even proud) of minimizing their consumption.

“Whenever we consider buying stuff, we’re usually fixated on price, but what we’re really after is how much joy this new thing will bring us,” explains J. Money from BudgetsAreSexy.com. “I’m just as happy drinking beer at home as I am at a bar . . . I’m just as happy eating pb&j as I am hitting a new restaurant.

“Does that mean I don’t still eat out or buy new clothes or drink tasty beers for 10 times the price?” J. Money continues. “Heck no — I love doing those things, too! However, when comparing ‘happiness levels’ only, they’re not that far apart. If at all. So, I do more of the free/cheap stuff and continue having a sweet quality of life.”

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