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如何在30岁时实现财务自由,早早退休?

更新时间:2018-9-5 20:01:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How to Retire in Your 30s With $1 Million in the Bank
如何在30岁时实现财务自由,早早退休?

Carl Jensen experienced what he calls “the awakening” sometime around 2012.

2012年左右,卡尔·詹森(Carl Jensen)经历了他所说的“觉醒”。

He was a software engineer in a suburb of Denver, writing code for a medical device. The job was high-pressure: He had to document every step for the Food and Drug Administration, and a coding error could lead to harm or death for patients.

他当时是丹佛郊区的一个软件工程师,为一个医疗设备写代码。这份工作压力很大。按照美国食品与药品管理局(Food and Drug Administration)的要求,他必须记录下每一个步骤。代码上的一个错误,就会对病人造成损害或导致他们死亡。

Jensen was making about $110,000 a year and had benefits, but the stress hardly seemed worth it. He couldn’t unwind with his family after work; he spent days huddled over the toilet. He lost 10 pounds.

当时詹森一年能赚约11万美元,有福利待遇,但这些与工作带来的压力相比似乎不怎么值得。下班后,他不能和家人一起放松;他会整天蜷缩着坐在马桶上。他体重掉了10磅。

After one especially brutal workday, Jensen searched online: “How do I retire early?” and his eyes were opened. He talked to his wife and came up with a plan: They saved a sizable portion of their income over the next five years and drastically reduced expenses, until their net worth was around $1.2 million.

在一个尤其繁忙的工作日过后,詹森开始在网上搜索:“我如何能早早退休?”,结果让他大开眼界。他和妻子谈了谈,想出了一个计划:他们在接下来的五年从收入中存下一大笔钱,大幅削减开支,直到两人的净资产达到120万美元左右。

On Tuesday, March 10, 2017, Jensen called his boss and gave notice after 15 years at the company. He wasn’t quitting, exactly. He had retired. He was 43.

2017年3月10日是一个周二,在这天,詹森打给自己的老板,在公司工作15年后提出辞职。准确来说,他不是辞职,而是退休。那一年他43岁。

Although Jensen’s story may seem exceptional, a more modest version of the stockbroker who makes a killing on Wall Street and sails off to the Caribbean, he is part of a growing movement of young professionals who are intently focused on quitting their jobs forever.

尽管詹森的故事听起来很不寻常,但这里还有一个不那么极端的版本:一个在华尔街赚了大钱的股票经纪人拉起船帆去了加勒比。他是目前一股正在壮大的运动的一部分,在其中,年轻职场人士打定主意要全心全意地永远辞职。

Millennials have embraced this so-called FIRE movement — the acronym stands for financial independence, retire early — seeing it as a way out of soul-sucking, time-stealing work and an economy fueled by consumerism.

千禧一代已经拥抱了这个所谓的“FIRE”运动——financial independence, retire early(经济独立、早早退休)的首字母缩写。他们将这个运动视为逃离吸食灵魂、占据时间的工作和一个为消费主义所推动的经济的方式。

Followers of FIRE tend to be male and work in the tech industry, left-brained engineer-types who geek out on calculating compound interest over 40 years, or the return on investment on low-fee index funds versus real estate rentals.

“FIRE”的追随者一般是男性、从事科技行业、左脑思维的工程师类型,他们会计算未来40年的复利,或是低成本指数基金对房地产出租的投资回报率,这样的话题会让别人听不懂。

Indeed, much of the conversation around FIRE, on Reddit message boards or blogs like Mr. Money Mustache, revolves around hacking one’s finances: strategies for increasing your savings rate to the hallowed 70 percent, tips for cheap travel through airline rewards cards, ways to save nickels and dimes at the grocery store.

确实,在Reddit留言板或例如“钱胡子先生”(Mr Money Mustache)博客上,关于“FIRE”的讨论围绕着财务管理:将你的储蓄比例增加到神圣的70%的策略;通过用航空公司的回馈卡廉价出行;在杂货店省下几分几毫的方法。

Some practice “lean FIRE” (extreme frugality), others “fat FIRE” (maintaining a more typical standard of living while saving and investing), and still others “barista FIRE” (working part-time at Starbucks after retiring, for the company’s health insurance). To be “firing” is to slash one’s expenses to maximize saving while amassing income-generating investments sufficient to support oneself. To have “fired” is to have achieved that goal.

一些人的做法是“瘦FIRE”(极度节俭),一些人会实施“肥FIRE”(在维持一个较为常规的生活水准的同时,进行储蓄和投资),还有一些人的做法则是“咖啡师FIRE”(退休后在星巴克兼职,只是为了这家公司提供的医保)。“FIRE中”意味着减少开支,最大化节约,同时积聚能够创收的投资,这些投资足以支撑生活。“已FIRE”则意味着这个目标已经达成。

“A lot of people think you’re a new-age hippie,” said Jensen, who sold his four-bedroom, four-bathroom house, downsized to a more modest home and maxed-out retirement accounts while firing. “They can’t even wrap their minds around it.”

“许多人都认为你是个新时代的嬉皮士,”詹森表示。他卖掉了自己四卧四卫的房子,降级到了一个面积较小的住宅里,并且在迈向“FIRE”的过程中就把资金存满了自己的退休账户。“他们根本没法理解”。

In retirement, Jensen and his wife and two daughters plan to live on roughly $40,000 a year generated from investments. Because his wife works, they have yet to draw on those accounts. It’s a life rich on time but short on luxuries: Groceries are bought at Costco, car and home repairs are done by him.

退休期间,詹森和妻子、两个女儿计划每年靠着约4万美元的投资收益生活。由于他的妻子还在工作,他们还没有动用那些退休账户。退休生活时间充裕,但却不怎么奢侈:日用品购自好市多(Costco),汽车和家里的维修都是他自己来。

“People always assume there’s an external circumstance: ‘Oh, you must have received an inheritance,'” Jensen said. “We’ve just chosen to live far below our means. That itself is a radical idea.”

“人们总是以为外部环境发生了改变:‘噢,你肯定是继承了一笔遗产,’”詹森说。“我们只是选择比自己财政承受能力低的生活方式。这本身就是一个激进的想法。”

Equally radical is opting out of the workforce in your 30s or early 40s, a time of life when men and women are normally leaning into their careers or, less happily, enduring the daily grind to pay the bills until Social Security kicks in.

同样激进的,是在你30来岁或40岁出头就选择退出职场,这个岁数通常是男性和女性在人生中、在职场上前进的时候,或者不那么开心的,为了缴纳账单,忍受着每日的苦工,直到开始收到退休社保金。

Jason Long, a pharmacist in rural Tennessee who retired last year at the ripe old age of 38, said his father had a hard time understanding why Long couldn’t continue to work and collect his $150,000 salary.

杰森·朗(Jason Long)是一位住在田纳西州乡村的药剂师,他在去年以38岁的“高龄”退休。他说,他的父亲很难理解他为什么不能继续工作、领取15万美元的薪水。

But Long said he was deeply unhappy in his job, where over his career he witnessed drug costs skyrocketing, sick people battling health insurers and the over-prescription of opioids and the addiction crisis. His customers, angry, financially stretched, often lashed out at the person behind the counter.

但朗说,他做这份工作非常不开心。在他的职业生涯中,他目睹了药品价格飞涨、生病的人与医保公司斗争、过度的阿片类药物处方和成瘾危机。那些愤怒的、经济拮据的顾客经常对药品柜台后面的人发泄。

“There were days when I had 12- or 14-hour shifts where I didn’t use the restroom, where I didn’t eat, because so much work was piled up on me,” Long said.

“有的时候我一次要上12或14个小时的班。我不去洗手间,也不吃饭,因为我有成堆的工作要做,”朗说。

Like Jensen, he had been saving a sizable portion of his income over the past decade, and he and his wife had a paid-for house and an investment portfolio worth a little more than $1 million. Why stick around?

和詹森一样,在过去的十年里,他把相当一部分收入存起来。他和妻子有一套已付清的住房,并拥有价值略高于100万美元的投资组合。为什么还要继续下去?

“The reality is the numbers are there for me,” Long said. “To go to a job that’s making you miserable every day, it doesn’t make sense to pad the bank account at that point.”

“现实的情况是,我已经有那么多钱了,”朗说,“这时,去做一份每天都让你痛苦不堪的工作来充实银行账户是没有意义的。”

Quitting the rat race isn’t a new concept. From the Shakers of the 1700s to the back-to-the-land hippies of the 1960s and ‘70s, a strain of Americans has always embraced simple living. One of the bibles of the FIRE movement, “Your Money or Your Life,” which teaches readers to reduce their spending and value time (or “life energy”) over material gain, was published in 1992.

放弃对财富的激烈竞争并不是一个新概念。从18世纪的震教徒(Shaker)到60和70年代的嬉皮士,历史上有一连串的美国人信奉简朴的生活。《富足人生:要钱还是要命》(Your Money or Your Life)一书是“FIRE”运动的圣经之一,该书教导读者减少花销,珍惜时间(或“生命能量”),而不是物质财富。该书于1992年出版。

But Vicki Robin, who wrote that financial guide with Joe Dominguez, said the FIRE crowd is a different breed of dropout from those in the ‘90s. “Our aim was not just to have a whole bunch of people quit their jobs,” Robin said. “Our aim was to lower consumption to save the planet. We attracted longtime simple-living people, religious people, environmentalists.”

不过,与乔·多明戈兹(Joe Dominguez)合著这本财务指南的维姬·罗宾(Vicki Robin)说,“FIRE”的追随者与90年代的隐居者不同。“我们的目标不仅仅是让一群人辞掉工作,”罗宾说,“我们的目标是降低消耗,以拯救地球。我们吸引了长期生活简单的人,宗教人士,和环保人士。”

The FIRE adherents are, by contrast, “very numbers oriented, fascinated by the minutiae of taxes and accounting,” she said.

相比之下,FIRE的追随者“非常喜欢数字,对税收和会计的细枝末节很着迷”,她说。

They are also benefiting from a lengthy bull run in the stock market and, in some cases, the privilege of class, race, gender and background. It’s difficult to retire at 40 if you work a minimum-wage job, say, or have crushing student-loan debt, or did not have the same opportunities as others because you grew up poor in a crime-ridden neighborhood.

他们还受益于股市的一段长期牛市行情,在某些情况下也因为享有阶级、种族、性别和背景的特权。比如说,如果你从事的是一份拿最低工资的工作,或者你背负着沉重的学生贷款债务,或者因为你在一个犯罪猖獗的社区中长大,没有和其他人一样的机会,那你就很难在40岁时退休。

But if, as Robin said, FIRE adherents “don’t have the aspirational part” of earlier generations, why are they so determined to quit the workforce? Many millennials haven’t been working longer than a decade, if that.

但是,如果FIRE的追随者如罗宾所说,和前辈相比“没有那些远大的目标”,他们为什么会如此坚决地退出职场呢?如果实现这个目标,许多千禧一代的人参加工作的时间还没超过十年。

It’s about having agency, she said: “The worker in this economy has very little sense of control over their existence. People are expendable. You’re a young person and you look ahead and you say, ‘What’s there for me?'”

她说,这与能动性有关:“在这种经济环境下,工作者几乎没有能控制自己存在的感觉。人是耗材。你是个年轻人,你向前看,然后问自己,‘我能得到什么?’”

That accurately describes how Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung felt. The married couple from Toronto became minor celebrities (and the target of online haters) when they retired from their tech jobs in 2015 to travel the world full-time. They were in their early 30s at the time.

这准确地描述了克里斯蒂·沈(Kristy Shen)和布赖斯·梁(Bryce Leung)的感受。这对来自多伦多的夫妇于2015年从他们在科技行业的职位退休,开始把全部时间花在环游世界上,这种做法让他们成为了小小的名人(同时也成了网络仇恨者的目标)。那时他们刚30岁出头。

Shen’s wake-up moment came when she watched a fellow IT colleague collapse at his desk after clocking 14-hour days. For several years before that, she and Leung, following the path laid out by their parents, had tried to buy a house in Toronto’s ever-escalating real estate market.

让沈警醒的时刻是,她看到一位IT同事在连续工作了14个小时后瘫倒在他的办公桌边。在那之前的几年里,她和梁一直都在按照父母为他们制定的路线行事,试图在多伦多价格飞涨的房地产市场上买房子。

But, Shen said: “It didn’t matter how much you saved, it was a goal post that kept moving. And I was seeing people stressed out paying their mortgages.”

但是,沈说:“不管你省下来多少钱,买房子的目标一直很遥远,而且越来越远。我看到有人被偿还抵押贷款的压力压垮了。”

Although they had good educations and well-paying jobs in the booming tech sector, Shen and Leung faced the looming threats of outsourcing and artificial intelligence, and had no hope of a retirement pension, or even that their employers would exist in five years.

虽然他们受过良好的教育,在蓬勃发展的技术行业有高薪工作,但沈和梁也随时面临着外包和人工智能的威胁,他们完全不指望将来能拿到退休金,甚至对他们的雇主在五年后是否还存在都不抱希望。

At the same time, their jobs were all-consuming. Rather than chain themselves to a costly mortgage, and therefore to high-pressure jobs, the couple decided to pour their money into an investment portfolio and peace out.

与此同时,他们的工作需要全身心投入。这对夫妇没有把自己拴在大额抵押贷款上,从而也就没有把自己拴在高压工作岗位上,而是决定把钱用于一组投资,告别了他们的工作。

By ditching a big city, Shen and Leung exemplify another reason for the popularity of FIRE: the high price of urban life, especially in places like New York and Southern California. There are the insane housing prices, the high cost of child care, the temptations of so-called lifestyle creep.

沈和梁摆脱了大城市的生活,这种做法代表着FIRE流行的另一个原因:城市生活的成本很高,尤其是在纽约和南加州等地。疯狂的房价,昂贵的儿童保育费用,还有所谓的“生活方式升级”的诱惑。

“We were spending nearly $3,000 a month on rent, and that was considered a good deal,” said Scott Rieckens, 35, who, along with his wife, Taylor, 33, and their daughter until recently lived in Coronado, California, across the bay from San Diego. “We made something like $160,000 between the two of us, but we didn’t have a whole lot left over.”

“我们每月的房租将近3000美元,这还被认为是相当合算的,”35岁的斯科特·里肯斯(Scott Rieckens)说,他和33岁的妻子泰勒(Taylor)及他们的女儿直到最近还住在加州科罗纳多,与圣地亚哥隔海湾相望。“我们两人每年挣的钱大约是16万美元,但剩下的不多。”

After hearing a podcast interview with Mr. Money Mustache, aka Pete Adeney, whom The New Yorker called “the Frugal Guru” (he retired at 30), Scott Rieckens became fired up. He told his wife they should ditch their leased BMW and quit eating out so often. But even with those lifestyle cuts, they couldn’t increase their savings rate substantially unless they relocated to a cheaper community, a deleveraging tactic the FIRE crowd calls “arbitrage.”

在听了《纽约客》对“钱胡子先生”(真名皮特·阿登尼[Pete Adeney],《纽约客》称他为“节俭大师”,他30岁就退休了)的播客采访后,斯科特·里肯斯深受启发。他对妻子说,他们应该放弃他们租的宝马车,不再经常在外面吃饭。但即使在生活方式上做了这些缩减,他们也不能大幅度地提高自己的储蓄率,除非他们搬到一个更便宜的社区去,这种去杠杆化的策略被FIRE族称为“套利”。

The idea, Adeney said, is “to reap the high salary” of a place like Silicon Valley, “then take that nest egg out to any of the thousands of nice, affordable cities and towns we have in this country and begin a second stage of life on your own terms.”

阿登尼说,他们的想法是从硅谷这样的地方“获得高薪”,“然后把积累起来的钱带到这个国家成千上万的不错的、负担得起的市镇去,按照自己的意愿开始第二阶段的生活。”

Taylor Rieckens, who works in recruiting, was initially reluctant to give up her BMW and beachy life and the prestige that went with it, until she saw a retirement calculator that showed they could retire in 10 years if they adopted FIRE and moved, or when they were 90 if they continued their upscale lifestyle in Coronado.

泰勒·里肯斯的工作是为公司招募员工,起初她不愿意放弃自己的宝马车和海滩边上的生活,以及这种生活的气派,直到她看了一个退休计算器的结果,计算器显示,如果他们采用FIRE生活方式并搬走的话,他们可以在10年内退休;如果他们继续在科罗纳多享受高档生活方式的话,他们需要工作到90岁才能退休。

“I never paid attention to the finances. I thought it will all work out,” she said. “After I had a baby, I had stress around how I could spend more time with her. I was almost a slave to my job because of the way we were living.”

“我以前从不关心财务情况。我以为一切都会顺理成章,”她说。“生了孩子后,我在如何能把更多的时间花在孩子身上这个问题上面临很大的压力。因为我们的生活方式,我几乎被我工作所奴役。”

Last year, the couple left Southern California in search of a community that would give them more financial freedom, a journey Scott Rieckens, formerly a creative director for a creative agency, is chronicling in a documentary, “Playing With FIRE.”

去年,这对夫妇离开了南加州,去寻找一个能带给他们更多经济自由的社区。斯科特·里肯斯曾是一家创意公司的创意总监,他用纪录片《玩FIRE》(Playing With FIRE)记录了这个过程。

They ended up in Bend, Oregon, where there’s no state sales tax and they could afford to buy a house. Gas for their used Honda CRV with 186,000 miles (they got rid of the BMW and downsized to one vehicle) is a dollar-per-gallon cheaper than in San Diego, although Scott Rieckens often rides his bike around town.

他们最后选择了俄勒冈州的本德,俄勒冈州没有州销售税,他们也买得起那里的房子。他们买了一辆已经跑过18.6万英里的本田CRV旧车,放弃了宝马,家里只剩下一辆车,在当地给本田车加油,每加仑的汽油价格要比圣地亚哥便宜一美元,不过,斯科特·里肯斯经常在城里骑自行车。

“The whole retire-early thing is unimportant to me. It’s more about gaining control of your time,” he said. “If you dive into the definition of retirement, what you’re retiring from is mandatory labor. It’s not necessarily about piña coladas on the beach.”

“提前退休这种事对我来说并不重要。更重要的是控制你的时间。”他说。“如果你深入研究退休的定义,你会发现,你是在从强制劳动中退休。不一定要在海滩上喝菠萝汁朗姆酒才算。”

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