DR 007: How to Retire at Age 30 [with Mr. Money Mustache]

Imagine working hard for all of nine years. And then at the ripe old age of 30, you and your spouse retire to start a family. While it may sound like a fairy tale, that’s exactly what an engineer named Pete did.

Pete is better known as Mr. Money Mustache. We talk a bit about blogging. Pete has done a masterful job marketing his blog by doing one thing–writing content that people are hungry to read. He talks a bit about how he did it.

Then we turn the interview to the main topic–how he retired at age 30.

Listen to the Interview

Topics Covered in this Podcast

  • How Pete was able to graduate with a degree in engineering with absolutely no debt.
  • How he went from having a degree, a backpack and a bike, and then retired 9 years later
  • What he did to keep expenses down early in his career.
  • How he saved as much as 65% of his 5-figure salary.
  • How renovating his own home helped him retire early.
  • How rental income helped Pete save more money for retirement.
  • How saving 50% of your income will enable you to retire in 17 years.
  • How to “build your frugality muscles.”
  • How Pete invested his money for retirement and why he doesn’t invest in bonds.
  • What the rent-to-price ratio is and how to use it to evaluate a rental property investment.
  • The 25x rule of retirement spending from stock investments.
  • What the Rule of 752 is and how it can help you better understand the real cost of “small” expenses.

Resources Mentioned in this Podcast

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Published or Updated: November 2, 2015
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.


  1. mike masiello says:

    Could you send me info on the 2 rules mentioned in article? Rule of 752 and 25 X income during retirement. thx, Mike

    • Rob Berger says:

      Mike, here they are in a nutshell:

      Rule of 752: Multiple how much you spend each week on something (e.g., Starbucks coffee) by 752 and the result is how much you could have had after 10 years had you invested the money instead.

      Rule of 25x: Assuming you’ll live off of 4% of your nest egg each year, you need 25 times your annual expenses in savings to retire.

  2. Andy says:

    Great podcast and some awesome information. I still cannot believe he lives on $25,000 p/yr. As someone who also lives in the DC metro area, I probably spend 3 to 4 times that a year. And I consider myself pretty good with my money. Lots of lessons to learn!

  3. DNP says:

    Is there a way to find this podcast on one of the podcast apps or to download it and listen to it on my phone? I use doggcatcher, and I tried to click Download, but that just plays it in another tab

    • Rob Berger says:

      DNP, you can download it in iTunes. I’m working on other alternatives as well. As for the download link, if you right click the link and the hit save, it should work. Thanks.

  4. Renee says:

    hard of hearing, not able to read lips with i-pod. can you provide transcript? thank you

    • Rob Berger says:

      Renee, I’ll work on it and get the transcript posted as soon as I can.

  5. Ed Mills says:

    Greetings Rob,
    I enjoyed the interview with the ‘Stache. His message of frugal living, aggressive savings, and cost-effective investing is on the money. There is so much more to life than working for money. In an age of financial fatalism, he encourages people to take control of their financial lives…IT CAN BE DONE!

    Thanks for doing the interview and I look forward to reading your blog,

  6. Ryan says:

    Thanks Rob for the fantastic podcast. I enjoyed hearing Pete’s voice and putting a voice to the writing I read over on his blog. It was nice and long which was great compared to some of the other news coverage I’ve seen. There were a couple of parts that really stood out to me that I wish everyone would listen to.

    Currently on my way to ER (25 now), with a rental property, high savings and a hobby blog on the side.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Ryan, I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. Pete does have an amazing story. Good luck with your own early retirement adventure.

  7. Steve Golob says:

    Amazing podcast! I feel like Pete just pulled back the curtain and revealed the grand design! I am hooked! Thanks very much – great interview.

  8. James says:

    Thats great that you arent working, but how were you living?

  9. Greta podcast, I echo the comments above that it was nice to put a voice to the writer after reading MMM’s blog for so long. Great inspiration!

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