Early Retirement: Could You Do It?

(CBS) — Leaving behind a six-figure corporate consulting job, Carl Seidman sold his West Loop condo and traveled the world.

“It was a very uplifting experience,” he tells CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker.

Seidman is part of a growing trend of Millennials redefining early retirement.

“Sometimes I was working upwards of 70, 80 hours a week,” he says. “I said this isn’t really the life I want.”

How did he do it? By saving 20 percent or more of his salary — over and above his 401k – and by basically living a frugal life.

Office manager Ebony Horton, 31, has done something similar.

“I try to live a minimalist lifestyle,” she tells Tucker during a tour of her digs.

Horton plans to retire at 35. Don’t bet against her. She recently paid off $220,000 in student loans in just three years. She did it on by using her and her husband’s combined income of $98,000.  She also doesn’t spend money on things like getting her nails done.

She earned extra money by renting out a Joliet condo her parents gave her for a wedding gift. She and her husband then moved in with family. Horton also saves cash by walking to work, four miles away.

It’s not easy. Financial planner Ty Lim shows to retire at 30 and support yourself until age 95, you’d have to save $1 million to get a mere $30,000 a year to live on.

While Seidman is enjoying retirement, he and his wife just had twins, so he started a private consulting firm and works occasionally to save for the family’s future. He doubts he’ll go back to corporate America.

Early retirement is a lofty goal but financial experts say reality checks such as a major illness or a losing a job can drain your assets and delay your early-retirement plans.

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