So how could he retire as such an age? He did it by living off of $20,000 a year in passive income. If it's good enough for Ben it's good enough for me!
I came to this figure from reading Carl Van Doren's Pulitzer prize winning biography of Franklin. In the 1750's Franklin was receiving the above amount from a silent partner through his printing/publishing/newspapers business. He received 467 pounds back in the 1750's. Think of it as a dividend.
A person today could do the same thing with much greater ease and less risk. In order to bring in $20,000 a year, a person could own $800k worth of index funds currently paying 2.5%. On top of this, the way that the current tax laws are structured, after a year that person would receive all of that income tax free!
"...but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
Franklin was always an advocate of the frugal life, recognizing early on that most people did not gather much pleasure after their basic needs were met. He lived in a modest flat above his printing store. Wore clean, but plain clothes and did not have an abundance of them. Ate modestly and would some times fast or not eat meat. Books were were his greatest indulgence and gave many attempts at setting up libraries so that the expense could be shared among the community.
If you're looking for the original financial superhero. Look no further than Ben Franklin! He was a pioneer of the following:
1. Passive Income
2. Multiple Streams of Income
4. Financial Independence, Early Retirement (FIRE)