5 tips from a woman on track to retire at 40

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Beck Bamberger
Image Credit: BeckBamberger.com
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Beck Bamberger is a savings success story.

The 32-year-old CEO of her own multi-million dollar public relations firm saves an obscene amount of her salary (60% minimum) and plans to retire in eight years.

She recently sat down with USA Today to share some of the secrets of her success.

Read more: New tool determines if you’re getting paid enough

Want to retire early? Follow this advice

Focus on experiences, not material items

Like a lot of millennials, Bamberger is more into amassing experiences than things.

“I’m obsessed with experience,” she writes on her website BeckBamberger.com. “You can buy stuff, you can collect things, but what tells your story and fills your life is a collective of experiences.”

Drive an old “beater”

Though she could easily afford a fancy car as a status symbol, Bamberger doesn’t see the point.

“I don’t need a Tesla. I love my car,” she says.

Her ride of choice? A 1999 Corvette with 100,000 miles on the odometer.

Save until it hurts

Most financial planners will tell you to save between 10% and 15% of your income for retirement. If you’re really ambitious, they might advise you save 20% to 25% if you can swing it.

But Bamberger manages to save between 60% and 70% of her income. That kind of max saving will allow her to achieve her goal of retiring at 40.

Of course, not everyone can be such an extreme saver. Maybe you can only save a few dollars a month. The reality is you still need to plan for retirement.

Here are some good target rates of savings you should aim for over a working lifetime:

Savings rate early retirement chart
Daniel Sparks/Motley Fool based on info from MrMoneyMustache.com

Shop savvy — always

“I still shop at Marshall’s,” Bamberger says. “I was constantly reminded [by my parents] that you’re looking for savings no matter what level of success you attain.”

Own real estate and don’t “trade up”

Bamberger owns four pieces of real estate: Her home, her office space and two other properties.

Not everyone wants to or can afford to own multiple properties. Maybe you always plan to be an owner-occupant in your primary residence. Then here’s one bit of advice you should consider: Stay in your starter home forever.

We’ll give the final word in this article to Justin McCurry. He’s another inspiring saver who we’ve profiled on Clark.com in the past.

McCurry didn’t have a wealthy family member who gave him a big inheritance, nor did he win the lottery. What he did do was take an early retirement at age 33 when he was facing a layoff as an engineer.

And that was only possible because he and his wife managed to save $1.4 million while raising three children on a combined household income of less than $150,000 annually.

Here’s one of their secrets: Justin and his wife have never “traded up” in terms of housing. They’re still in the same 30-year-old fixer-upper that they started out in and that’s where they’re raising their kids.

“We bought the house thinking it would be a starter home. Ten years later, and after ample fix ups, we are still here,” McCurry says. ‘Now it is a permanent home, since it meets our needs well. It still needs work, but what house doesn’t?”

Read more: 5 lessons from a man who became a millionaire in 10 years

This teen saves big and invests wisely

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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