Robert Berger asks: “Would you give up cable TV to retire early?” How about: to retire at all? Or to retire in comfort rather than austerity? Berger points out that retirement planning has 2 major image problems: first, the seeming impossibility of saving (really investing, not saving) “enough” as in $1 million. The second problem is the misperception that investing small amount each month actually could amount to a substantial sum for retirement. Berger provides an example: “If you invest that $80 a month in a low cost S&P 500 index fund that returns 8 percent annually, the amount grows to an eye-popping $638,000.” It's simply putting compound interest to work for you. Read the details and get motivated! http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/On-Retirement/2014/01/13/would-you-give-up-cable-tv-to-retire-early
While Berger makes a valid point, quite frankly, my perspective is influenced by former Wall Street Journal money guru Jonathan Clements who pointed out that giving up the daily latte or other small indulgences is NOT where we need to focus. Clements claims it is the biggest expenses such as housing and transportation that offer the greatest opportunity for saving money to invest for retirement. Far too many Americans are living in unaffordable homes and driving far too costly vehicles and that is where Clements claims they should focus on downsizing in order to ensure a secure future.