Retire Before Preservation Age: Mind the Gap – Late Starter FIRE

preservation age

Thanks to Late Starter Fire for this week’s wealth building strategy: retire early before preservation age.

Each week, I have asked a finance blogger or podcaster to share their personal wealth building strategies. I am hoping these will be useful to compare lots of different strategies and perspectives to provide ideas and insight in your own investing journey.

A few very smart and forward thinking 20 something year olds start saving and investing for the long-term.

The majority of us had higher priorities at the time. It can be demoralising, finally getting round to retirement planning in our 40’s to realise we’ve missed out on so much compound interest.

But all is not lost, Late Starter Fire points out, if a 20 year old can save invest to reach financial independence in 10-15 year old, a 40, 50 or 60 year old can too. In fact, they are at least likely to have some sort of head start – Mandatory superannuation, a (partly) paid off home, or a better income.

Thanks for inspiring all the late starters, there’s still plenty of time if you get going now.

Name/ Online identity:



“9 to 5” profession: Health professional

Side Hustles:

Latestarterfire blog (trying to monetise)

What are your investing goals?

I want to retire at 55 which is a mere 6 years away.  I am investing to build my ‘bridge the gap’ fund to support me for 5 years before I can access my superannuation at preservation age, 60.

What is your investing time frame?  How far along are you?

I discovered FIRE at 47, so later than most FIREes. Luckily for me, at that stage I was already debt free in that I had paid off my mortgage. I started investing in my 20s – mainly participated in IPOs in the 90s and salary sacrificed into superannuation. BUT stupidly, I stopped when I bought my house, ostensibly so I can focus every cent on paying off the mortgage.

I started investing again in 2018.

I am further along than I realised, mainly thanks to investing in super in my early working years.

What the most powerful wealth building tool available to you?

My full time job is my main income stream. I’m trying to increase my income streams in 2021 by monetising my blog and doing surveys. I am very wary of being burnt out as I’d experienced it once already and have no desire to experience it again. And so guard my free time.

What wealth building habits are you utilising to reach your goals?

Spending less than I earn is my number one money habit to build wealth.

And I love automating savings – I make sure an amount is automatically deducted from my weekly wages into various sinking funds first.

Then once my investment account reaches $5000, I invest in ETFs or LICs outside my super

What is your strategy to achieve this?

I’ve worked on reducing my expenses to increase the gap between my income and expenses, in order to invest this gap.

I focused on reducing expenses first because it can be done immediately. I am a spender so being aware of what I spend my money on through tracking my spending has been eye opening for me. Knowing why I spend is also important.

How long have you been using this strategy?

Since 2018, when I discovered FIRE principles and read about savings rate, how to live frugally etc

Were there other strategies before?  If so, what made you pivot?

I salary sacrificed to make sure I contributed the maximum $25000 (including employer contributions) into super for the last 2 years but will now reduce that amount as I really need the extra amount to ramp up my investment in my shares portfolio outside of super – to build my ‘bridge the gap’ fund.

What makes your strategy suit your personal situation?

I can access super ‘soon’ – my preservation age is in another 11 years. I calculated that even without extra contributions ie just relying on my employer’s contribution from now on and (this is a BIG ‘and’) if the fund grows at a rate of 7.2% every year, my balance should double in 10 years. I would reach my target when I need to access it at 60.

To see all the wealth building strategies shared with Aussie doc freedom, check out the Ultimate Step by Step guide to Wealth building, with wealth building strategies.

Aussie Doc Freedom is not a financial adviser and does need offer any advise.  Information on this website is purely a description of my experiences and learning.  Please check with your independent financial adviser or accountant before making any changes.

2 thoughts on “Retire Before Preservation Age: Mind the Gap – Late Starter FIRE

  1. Thank you for asking me to participate in this series and featuring a late starter 🙂

    Super has been life saving for me & I thank my 20s self for caving into the nagging of a family friend who was selling AMP super. Even though I stopped contributing to this fund when I bought my house, it continued to grow. I calculated that all up, I would have contributed $20-25k then stopped for at least 16 years. When I looked at it again at 47, it had grown to $80k!

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