The typical American retires in their early 60s. Justin McCurry, a father of three based in Raleigh, North Carolina, quit his engineering job in 2013 and retired at age 33. His wife, Kaisorn, joined him in early retirement in 2016 at age 38.
"Neither of us ever reached a six figure salary, with my salary topping out at $69,000 and [Kaisorn's] at $74,000," Justin writes on his blog, Root of Good, which explains how he saved more than $1 million in 10 years to retire early.
"No winning lottery tickets or inheritances, either," he says. "Just steady saving and investing in our low cost index fund portfolio year after year."
Their journey to early retirement began in 2004, when Justin graduated from law school and landed a job at an engineering consulting firm. Kaisorn was still in law school, meaning their combined annual income was Justin's $48,000 salary. They had a good bit in savings already: Between the two of them, they had accumulated $49,000 from investments during college and grad school.
Over the next decade, thanks to incremental raises and careful saving and investing, their portfolio grew to more than $1.3 million, enough to support their modest lifestyle in retirement.