Sherlay, 33, retail manager

By Esther LeeLady Sitting On Bench

“I want to retire by the time I’m 40. I don’t mean one of those retirees that retires but then still has a side job. I want to enjoy life. I’ve always told myself, you need to retire way earlier than the average person. So me and a couple of my friends, we’re building up an investment portfolio. Every year, we get together and put in a lump sum. It’s like we’re starting our own company for the purpose of long-term retirement. It’s exciting. Every time I get paid, I automatically put $200 or $300 dollars to the side. That money does not belong to me—it’s for my future. It’s easier said than done because, you know, sale season is here and you just want to splurge. But I know I need to focus and think about 40 or 50 years down the line. So instead of buying Starbucks everyday, I’ve cut down. I’ve also started this thing at work with a co-worker because she just loves when I bring food, so I’m like ‘OK, well if I bring food I’ll charge you $5 a plate.’ Every little amount adds up. I just want to be able to live and do whatever I want, and for me to be able to do that within 20 or 30 years, I have to make the sacrifice. I have to do it now.”

Interviews have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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