Charlotte Foster

Retirement Life

How a financially-savvy 29-year-old plans to retire at age 35

How a financially-savvy 29-year-old plans to retire at age 35

Michelle Ives, a 29-year-old mother of one, believes she has discovered the secret to an early and stress-free retirement. 

The Central Coast native is planning to retire from running her own copywriting business when she turns 35 in just six short years.

By then, her family will have an impressive investment portfolio worth over $2million. 

She plans to leave her job and live off between $70,000 and $100,000 a year from the money her family will make in investing. 

When Michelle started her first job at age 14, she said the idea of working into her 70s made her feel “very trapped”.

But when she turned 21 and started working full time as a journalist, she got serious about following a strict financial plan. 

“Everyone followed this linear path to retirement where they work, work, work and do the nine-to-five or just have a job and then they get to 60 to 65 and retire and then potentially have a few golden years to make use of the nest egg that they have built, and that’s if they even have one,” she told

“But it never made sense to me … and I didn’t feel like it was the only path to financial freedom. I was excited to work but why should I have to do that every day until I’m in my sixties or seventies and not even able bodied enough to enjoy it?”

Michelle follows a financial movement called FIRE (financial independence and retiring early), which began in the US.

The saving-savvy mum said the movement is primarily about saving the majority of your income and living off what’s left over. 

“We save around 70 to 80 per cent of our income, as the theory behind FIRE is you need to either take existing income and need to peel it back as much as you possibly can and create disposable income and start saving and investing that.”

“Or create additional income streams, so get a raise or get a better job or have a side hustle or side business,” she said.

“It brings forward the retirement age by decades than people can otherwise realistically do. For some people it’s 40 and for some people, 30 is increasingly becoming the age they can retire.”

Michelle documents her early retirement plans on her blog and directs many people to financial resources to share her dream of an early retirement. 

Image credits: Shutterstock/Facebook: That Girl on Fire