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Have you thought about how to retire early? It's not just for lucky internet tycoons or CEOs with a golden parachute. Early retirement takes some careful planning and is probably possible for many who never thought they could retire quickly. The key is planning and knowing exactly what your needs are. As a first step, start keeping a record of every expenditure you make, down to the last cent. Be diligent about this, and eventually you will have a clearer picture of what your financial needs will be after you retire. Next, you need to make a plan to build the funds you need to support those needs. This will probably need a good financial planner. Shop carefully and ask around, and be prepared to seek and consider a second opinion.