Tag Archives: Bob and Robin Charlton

How to Accomplish More (Dream Big Baby!)

Throughout the years, I’ve met lots of people who dream big. Here are some common dreams I hear:

  • I am wrapped up in a career I hate, I would just love to [job they would love to have]
  • I have a great idea for a product, I bet it will do really great
  • I would love to retire early and travel
  • It would be great to save a million dollars and only work on things I’m passionate about
  • If only I could become a scratch golfer [or similar sports-related goals]
  • I want to work for myself and plan out my own day

I’ve met lots of people who set these types of goals. Some make them happen and some don’t. Meet an interesting couple that made their dreams come true:

Dream Big: Bob and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton were in their late 20’s, in debt and working in jobs that no longer excited them. They had a dream to travel more. But how could they do it? They had an epiphany. They decided that if their dream was to come true, they had to put a plan in place to make it happen. Here’s how they did it:

  1. They dared to dream big: Retire within 15 years
  2. They set goals for accomplishing the dream
  3. Robin retooled her skills so that she could get a better paying job
  4. They attacked their debt and built an emergency fund
  5. They invested every extra cent into index fund investments
  6. They reduced their expenses and rented out part of their home to bring in additional income

Fast forward 15 years later, Bob and Robin retired at age 43. Now they travel to exotic locations– for many months at a time. They are still very frugal and live on 4% per year of their investments — a safe withdrawal rate that will last them the rest of their lives without the need to work again. Dream big, it pays off!

Bob wrote a book entitled “How to Retire Early” that tells their story in detail– it is very inspirational. If you want to see their travels, check out their website.

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Dreaming Big Without Committed Goals

I could mention another 5 or so people I’ve known over the years that have shared their dream with me and I’ve seen them convert that dream to reality. However, I could tell you about another 50 or so people who have shared their dream but never saw it through. Here’s why:

  • It must be a shared dream. If you’re married, your family must buy into it or it will not work.
  • Dreaming is not enough, you also need goals. You must have a plan for making it happen. You have to set “dream big” goals and create a list of tasks you do every day that supports that goal.
  • You have to analyze everything. Once you begin working on daily tasks that support your goal, you will find that some things work and some don’t. You must build in the time to analyze everything you do and adjust until you find the right formula for what works.
  • Conquering big dreams takes a lot of work.  If it were easy, everyone would do it. It’s very hard and time intensive to your reach your goals, so be prepared to sacrifice to achieve it.


I hope this post has inspired you to dream big and to figure out what goals you must put into place to make them a reality. If you’re working towards a “dream big” goal (or have already accomplished one), please share your story in the comments below.

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence, and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

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Ready for Life Style Freedom? Piggy back off other People’s Success

Readers of this blog probably know a bit about my story. I started a software business in 1998 and sold it in 2009 allowing me to retire early (at 50 years old). I now enjoy life style freedom. I can plan my day any way I wish. If I feel like playing golf, hiking, biking or taking a road trip somewhere, I just get up and go. I am now working on developing a mobile app because I enjoy the software business and I can work as much or little as I wish.

So do you have to own and sell a business to achieve life style freedom? No, I know people who had jobs with average salaries and saved their way to life style freedom. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

 Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Although he goes by the name Mr. Money Mustache, his real name is Pete and his last name he wants to keep anonymous. He retired at 30 years old on a nest egg of about $600,000 of which he saved by stuffing away about 75% of his paycheck into savings. He is now a multi-millionaire.

He started the Mr. Money Mustache website to share his financial prowess with others and offers a free discussion forum where like-minded people swap advice about money, investing and creating life style freedom. If you want to retire early, I highly recommend visiting this website.

Website: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com

Robert and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Robert (Bob) and Robin retired at 43 years old the old fashioned way, they saved their way to retirement. Although the couple averaged only about $89,000 in combined salaries per year, they amassed almost $1 million in savings over a 15 year period.

Bob recently wrote a book about early retirement called How to Retire Early (click here to see it) and it is one of the top-rated books in the Retirement section of Amazon. It takes you through a journey of exactly how they accomplished it. It is very transparent and incredibly motivating. We met Bob and Robin a few years ago after we retired. We share a love of travel and they document their travels on their personal website.

Website: http://www.wherewebe.com

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha owned a restaurant and decided to ditch the working grind at 38 years old. After accumulating savings in their dual career jobs and selling the restaurant, they had a net worth of about $500,000.

They have been retired now for over 25 years and their nest egg is larger than when they retired. They live on about $30,000 per year and travel the world most of the year. Their website offers financial advice and documents their world travels.

When we started planning our early retirement, I read Billy and Akaisha’s book called “The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement” and it offered motivation and pragmatic advice regarding retiring early. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend taking the time to do so.

Website: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com

How much does it take to Retire?

So how much is enough? First, try to reduce your monthly expenses as much as you can by following advice from the people above. Once you have that down, take your monthly expenses and make them yearly (multiply by 12) and then multiple that number by 25. For example, if your monthly expenses are $3000, your annual expenses are $36,000. Multiply that by 25 and it means you need $900,000 of investments to retire.

This is called the “safe withdrawal rate” or the “4% rule”. Click here for a really good article that explains the 4% rule in more detail.

Now, do you need all of that to quit a job you hate and take a cooler job that you enjoy? No. Let’s say you only have investments of $500,000 and your yearly expenses are $36,000. You can safely withdraw 4% of your $500,000 per year without ever running out of money, so that means you can withdraw $20,000 per year. So if you wanted to ditch your job and get a more fun job (maybe a part-time job) where you clear $16,000 per year, you could safely retire with the $500,000 in investments.

Are you nuts?

OK, I now hear you saying “Are you crazy? How can I (or we) save $900,000? I have almost no savings at this time!”. Bob and Robin Charlton also had no savings in 1992 and decided they wanted to change their life. So they embarked on a 15 year journey to save money and they retired with almost $1 million in the bank in just 15 years. Read the full story here.

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