But as everyday people have shown us, retiring early is more than possible.
What would it take for you to retire by 50?
Personal finance site NerdWallet created a chart to help answer that question. It shows the percentage of your pre-tax income you'd need to set aside to have $1 million — the oft-cited amount needed to retire comfortably — saved by the time you're 50.
Of course, you may need more or less than $1 million depending on how you want your lifestyle to look like in your golden years. For more of a personalized savings target, check out NerdWallet's retirement calculator.
The chart below assumes you're starting at age 22 with zero dollars invested. It also assumes a 6 percent average annual investment return and various annual salaries.
Keep in mind that the chart does not factor in inflation or salary increases.