Saving in 20s can help you retire early
Saving in 20s can help you retire early

Victoria Moreno
Bakersfield, Calif.
Family: Married, three children
Age: 50
Job before retirement: Deputy probation officer
How she retired early: Started saving in her 20s, has a pension plan and her husband's job at Chevron provides the family's health insurance.

I consider myself fortunate in that I was able to work part time during my children's early school years.

I had flexible hours that allowed me to drop my children off and pick them up after school. One day per week, I would substitute-teach. After eight years of part-time status, I returned to work full time. This decision was based on the need to plan for retirement. My goal was to retire at age 50 with a pension of at least 70% of my income. That was the minimum age I could retire and still get safety retirement as a law enforcement officer. Even if I didn't get 70%, I was ready to retire, but fortunately, I reached my goal.

The pension was determined by both my age and how many years of service I put in up to my retirement day, including full and part time. Since I worked eight years part time, I was credited for only four years. These eight years resulted in a 10% difference in my retirement income. However, the recitals, award assemblies, cupcake baking and play dates were well worth it.

Currently, college expenses are our main expense. The only other costs that we have incurred differently are medical. We now pay monthly insurance premiums, but we considered this before I retired. Since I am still young enough to work, I plan to substitute-teach. This will supplement our income and allow me to continue to do something I enjoy.

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