My five year plan, if successful, will allow me to retire on a reduced pension two years earlier than waiting for a full pension. That means "freedom 58" rather than "freedom 55" but since I didn't get into teaching until I was 36 I have to hang in there a little longer than most.
Taking a reduced pension means approximately $375 less per month. For me, it's not about the money, it's about realizing my goals sooner. Is it worth it to me to have two extra years of retirement instead of having an extra $375 a month? That sound you just heard was my resounding YES!
So to make that happen I have to plan. In five years I want to be debt-free and have approx. $125,000 in savings, not counting my home equity. Now, my blog isn't directed to those folks to whom $125,000 is spare change (although there are 373 fewer billionaires than there were a year ago...boo hoo...) but is instead aimed towards people like me, who have worked hard all their lives to make an honest living, who have lived on ONE income, who may be a single parent like me, and don't want to retire with nothing more than the old age supplement.
Yes, my numbers are modest but I believe in "living small". Forced to live frugally for most of my life, living on a reduced pension with savings to back me up and no debt to weigh me down sounds pretty manageable.
We'll see how it goes.....