How I retired at 36, and spent 20 years sailing (FIRE, Minimalism, and when “Enough” is Enough)

Updated : Aug 30, 2019 in Articles

How I retired at 36, and spent 20 years sailing (FIRE, Minimalism, and when “Enough” is Enough)


  • Thanks everyone for watching. Please subscribe and click the bell icon to help me grow this series of videos and help people become better at financial independence and intentional living! I really appreciate it. -Clark

  • Wow everything you're saying is so on point. I wish I have would have saw your video in my twenties but I'm glad I saw it now so at least I can start a game plan on how I want to set up retirement

  • Sounds great. Bet you don't have a Wife & Kids. That changes a lot, can't keep your family on a boat.
    But if one wants to live single/alone, they can easily retire young and live on a boat.
    But you DONE WELL !!!

  • I enjoy living modestly. Living in Texas I spend less than $100 a month to run my AC any time I like. I don't see giving that up. Our next expense is communication including cell phone, TV, internet. I drive a paid for old pickup. Our nut is about $1200 but I have several friends that pay more than that just on house taxes. We are at $1.1M net worth that tripled in the last 4 years but I expect to stay in the race until actual $1M in retirement funds from current $1/3M in addition to the 27 paid for rental units. I guess I just want to say I have $1M in cash. We all have our goals. I don't expect to need it since we have no kids and debt free this month.

    I think I like working too much. I don't see myself "retiring" soon. My guess is I will be more busy if I "retired". I could definitely run my rental business remotely so I could retire at any time I suppose. Blessed. Future is bright.

    I see you reduce all taxes, insurance, mortgage, and repair cost to a minimum and are thrifty on the rest. The boat is cheap compared to a house since no taxes and no utilities. Nice. Your costs are minimum.

  • Wow. Eight years is a long time to obsess about your dream. OS2 is a real throw back.

    I have thought about without kids why I need more and more. All my friends are working so hard to eventually give a large chunk of money, more than a million, to kids who don't even need it. I also do not really desire a large house and new car. I could give a crap about it even though I could buy whatever I want. I really don't like wasting money.

  • Sorry, You do not look like some one who retired early , the lines of hardship and suffer are clearly visible on your face and your body language.

  • Horseshit. This is yet another SCAM video on youtube that plays on people's instinctual desire to live a better life. This moron did NOT retire early – he's STILL OBVIOUSLY WORKING, trying to con you people into buying his bullshit program, whatever it is. Don't fall for it. Unless you won the lottery or have wealth from your family already, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EARLY RETIREMENT. These cockamamie "guru" videos are the scourge of the internet and I wish they would be outlawed. DON'T FALL FOR THESE SCAM VIDEOS, PEOPLE!

  • I agree with the sentiment of saving by keeping yourself away from things. I live in 150 sqft in between 2 cattle pastures and a rice field. Any weekend at home is a huge saving. Every time I drive into the big schitty, I know it's going to cost me. $200 a trip is not uncommon – but usually it's a majority of essentials – food, car parts, subsistence supplies. Still, it feels good to be at home all weekend not spending a dime. Thanks for the great motivation to keep at it. I'm 29 and I can see the light at the end. Just not sure if I want to fly or sail.

  • not to be a downer but young retirees die faster than people who retire around 70s. Work hard to stay alive!

  • Most people eat their marshmellow before they even have it.

    My father had a moment of good luck and, following 30 years of hard work, was able to retire relatively young (compared to the national average). So I grew up in a pretty wealthy family. Certainly wealthier than anyone I knew. But my mother and father were both form very poor families and tried to raise us to be sensible with money.

    With me it stuck. Almost too well. My sister… not so much…

    She's in £40k of debt while I'm sitting on savings of over £50k and I own two houses. But I also live an extremely frugal life. That's what people don't seem to get. They try and encourage me to spend my money but I'm like; that type of attitude is exactly the reason they don't have the money I have.

    I've always wanted to live a more simple life than anyone I know. I'm not a hoarder of crap. I'm not a frivolous spender. I have no interest in acquiring "stuff" to show how wealthy I am. I don't really care if people see me and don't see money. Right now I have a hole in the toe of my only pair of running shoes.

    I would love to sail off into the sunset. Again and again.

    But sadly… I enjoy my job.

  • Great video! I’m in my mid 30’s. I had a stroke when I was a kid the medical is keeping me from getting a job, my medicine is price gouged. I have been watching sailing videos. I have learned some have home business on there boats. Handicap make home business too. My dad retired a few years ago. So I may be able to get a job soon. It’s very compacted. But this is a great video.

  • I learned making diy at like make your own, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, your own food. Can save the ocean and save you lot of money.

  • There is a saying " if it floats, flies or f__ks rent it, don't own it" (however, if your boat is your home you should own it)

  • Your probably very correct,just wish you would not have put your dig at Trump, that tells me you believe the mass media.

  • If I read all three thousand comments I would probably find the answer but can somebody tell me what kind of cars the author has. He said he would answer in the comments but I'm really interested in these kinds of things especially when they say never buy a used Mercedes and such because of the expenses. I'm also very curious about his wife's "really cool car ".

  • You are so inspirational and happiness radiates from you. Thank you so much for this video, it's one I will return to again and again.

  • Great video and I just shared it with my three girls (i.e. 19, 20 & 22). The concepts are terrific and presented very well. I'm in process of building an intentional life on 5 acres, building everything myself and having a blast! Smashed the shit out of an old house with an excavator and going to build a large wood shop and continue doing what I love. I'm inspired to rebuild an old sailboat as well and was concerned about getting seasick and learned that can be avoided so going to give that some thought. ThinkingI want a home base and extensive travel experiences so working to make a plan for that.

  • Skills : I start by fixing a old used computer for myself and install Linux on it. Because I don't have the money for Windows, back then.
    Today I work at a Top500 as a Admin / Devop – when I work 😉

  • Once you're retired, you won't have to choose a profession the pays well. You can choose a profession that will help people and make a positive impact. Until then… keep saving!

  • Inspiring video! I'm 46, no children, everything paid for, and funding my retirement account to the max. I would love to retire early. It's something I've been thinking about, for several years.

  • Retire….No. You just quit working and went on your merry way. Good luck when you get older. Hope you have a nest egg if you ever get ill.

  • Agree with everything except for the children part. Responsible people are the ones who SHOULD be having kids. Also, the planet is not overpopulating – that’s a myth. The planet will top out at about 9 billion and shortly after take a sharp decline. There is a great TED Talk on this.

  • Great video, and very encouraging. I am about to FIRE at 45 by living the life of not keeping up with the Jones as you describe here.

  • Trump owned companies that went BK. A lot different than personal BK. He was also bailed out by certain groups in the 80s for millions that coincidently he's doing favors for now that he's president.

  • Best luxury car for my money SAAB . Loads of parts . Can pick up one for under 5k with 150000 k on the clock . I’ve had a few . The I retired at 40 . Its good . I haven’t heard the enough thing . But I knew when was ready to finish work I’d had “ enough “ 13 years Airborne, 13 years construction. I didn’t want to get to 65 and be totally broken . Cheers Clark and Emily. Enjoying the channel.

  • I got debt free in my mid twenties. I worked a couple of regular jobs that payed okay and lived on about 20% of my income through special circumstances. I left secular work at 33 and worked full-time in ministry with a church. I had saved and invested in some mutual funds and individual stocks. this allowed me to move to Latin America to work in long-term misison work with a minimal of sponsorship. I purchased a home and used car in cash and we have been living within our means for the last 9 years her in LA. I believe that God gives us these same principles in the Bible. We should be wise with what has been placed in our care (including our money).

  • Nice. Grettings from Africa. Kenya.mombasa. Diani beach.. if you ever get to sail this sides of the world. Please get in touch. Thanks for your informative ideas.. all the best. ..

  • So glad I came across this video, new subbie here!
    I just don’t understand what FIRE is? Is that the community you mentioned about in one of the comments? Also where can I find out more about the community?
    Thanks so much for sharing Clark n Emily! 💝

  • This is such an awesome video!! I have been watching these types of videos for years, and this is put together really well! Thank you for sharing!

  • I think your comment about Trump is a little self righteous! It’s people like Trump that have put in the long hours and pushed and pushed to create and grow the large corporations that hired you and paid you very well. They also run the companies that have made you money through your investments. They have created the wave that you have been privileged to ride.

  • i am at my thirty nine now. i thought im already fucked-up thanks for the enlightenment, i will finish these goal residing in my hypothalamus. Thank you ever so much.

  • This is very refreshing to hear someone who’s done what i’ve done and i must say very very good
    advice to anybody starting out or looking for change in there life.

    Work towards goals, stay away from all forms of credit, don’t keep up with your piers and most of
    all don’t be greedy and know when to stop.

    My experience is the ones out to prove them selves being the biggest xxxx on the block are the most
    miserable and loose everything…

  • Thank you so much for sharing some very good advice which I completely agree with. 
    The only thing I would add as a 51 year old man is that I have found it to very important to spend at least some of my time helping others. There can be a weariness that comes with pleasure – you can only see so many beautiful sunsets/places/animals etc. Relaxing all the time can become tiring-at least that's been my experience. 
    I visited a good friend of mine who started an orphanage in his village in Uganda 19 years ago. During the two weeks I spent with him I could not believe the amount of time he invested in his work. When I asked him why he did it he said that "In The West, many people acquire a lot but are not happy – they end their lives full, full of knowledge, full of wealth and full of things, many of which could have enriched the lives of others. When I die I want to die empty."
    Now there's no way I could do what he does, but he really made me think about being intentional in helping others along my life journey.

  • The problem is, not everyone can make 60-100k+ from age 20-35 and bank it all. That's the common thread among all these retire early videos. "It's so easy you can do it too, all you have to do is start a successful business first!"

    You can live as frugal as you possibly can but it doesn't pay the bills.

  • This is a great advice, but I feel you have to be self confident before anything. Otherwise you will keep seeking other’s recognition, rather than focusing on your true desire.. Also children will change everything..

  • News flash : America is below replacement rate. You should not discourage people from having a large family as it is a personal choice. Just raise them right, including the fact money isn’t everything.

  • So True. It helps to be headstrong and not cave to advertising and not really care what others are doing. This sometimes means looking crazy or ridiculous. Sometimes learning to do things yourself cost more upfront but it's powerful when you can do things yourself and know others are paying for those services.. even when you can afford to pay. When you boil things down, we learn our budgets are full of luxuries that often only complicate our lives.

  • What about being as rich as Jesus. He could feed 5000 people in one sitting without any money. He could find gold coins in fishes mouths.

  • I have no debt.

    I have a house in the UK which pays me money each month. Mortgage paid.

    I save 60% of my wages each month.

    I'm married, but the wife has been abroad, working, for a few months, so only one mouth to feed. No kids.

    I'm saving for another property to buy to rent out. I should have enough to buy an apartment in 4 years, paying cash. Once that's done, I'll get my yacht.

  • Such a great video, really puts into perspective what life is worth in terms time, goals, stress, relationships and money. Inspirational stuff. I've just started this channel on plantbased lifestyle so some of you here may find the videos helpful. Best of luck everyone in hitting your goals.

  • Ahhh sailing, how I wish my spouse loved it.. I agree with all the things you speak about but not everyone has a huge income or opportunities to make huge money. It is a little hard to hear you talk because when you have money in the bank you have choices. When you do not have enough money to pay bills although you work hard and live as frugally as possible, it is depressing and life sucking. Also, I must bring this up, what about health insurance. When you live a healthy lifestyle but still have a disease that requires overpriced medication for life, what then? A starbucks coffee will not pay the $1,800 for a three months supply of only one drug. Your plan works, and I agree with much of what you preach, but only if you are healthy.

  • Hello Clark I am glad your delayed gratification strategy worked and you were able to amass sufficient wealth to retire and enjoy sailing the world, I hope you realize your blessing is from God because it could have gone very differently …… do you have any idea how many have practiced delayed gratification and wealth accumulation only to, either die before they ever get to enjoy the fruits of their efforts OR ELSE live, but have to spend their entire savings on expensive medical treatment(s) of one kind or another….. I do not know what the future holds for me and I have NOTHING put aside to look after me in old age but I TRUST GOD for my future ….. and regarding my past, I have had all the luxury of enjoying my youth to the fullest ….. no stress…. did all the hobbies and things I ever wanted to do….. so if it boils down to working hard now (and denying myself) in the hopes of enjoying a better future ….. or enjoying myself and doing whatever I want right now , and let the future take care of itself…. I will choose the best life RIGHT NOW….. because the present is all we actually have …. so as far as I am concerned delayed gratification is a gamble that I am not prepared to take at the expense of my best life right now….. sorry mate but I am glad that it worked out for you , I really am.

  • I figured out what I wanted to do in my early 30's. Retired? When you do what you love you never work another day in your life. Find that. I have a modest house on some acreage in west Texas and everything paid for. Got more than some, less than others. Have a spouse who shares my values. We have lived all over the US where I worked. We got to know a lot a people in different areas. But retired from work? Them "freedom chips" allow me to do what I want on MY terms.
    Thats freedom.

  • Great video Clark..your story is truly interesting..some while ago I thought about starting something like your path,although not on a boat,into the wood..Then I thought i was not ready yet so I decided to postpone the I feel i’m ready..I just want you to know that you’re an endless source of inspiration..I’ll do it.I wish you the best

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