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Fred Ecks of Boulder, Colo. for AARP Bulletin.  Ecks retired in his early forties after reading a book that aims to help readers align their budgets with their unique ideologies through a series of monthly self-evalautions.  After working an office job in the tech industry, Ecks figured out how to finance his retirement on roughly $1200 per month.  Although this choice offers him little leeway to spend, he asserts that it has left him more time to live his own life.