There is also a crucial concept here for anyone thinking about some version of early retirement which is some sort of part time work.  As mentioned above the featured couple “also work when they want, on their own terms” and although that is quite vague they only need $2,083 per month plus another $400 or so for taxes depending on the actual makeup of their income (a combo of earned income, investment portfolio income and positive cash flow on rental properties).

Although no detail was provided in the MarketWatch article, someone who was this successful when they were younger could easily cobble together a few hundred dollars per month doing very little consulting work which does not sound like much but in the context of $2,083 is a difference maker.

Also, the Mr. Money Moustache blog itself has ads and so would appear to generate revenue. It started in 2011 and has had 4 million page views since inception according to MarketWatch. Although blog traffic can be uneven those numbers could easily generate several hundred dollars per month if not more.

If these numbers are close to accurate, and they are plausible, then their investments only need to provide half of their spending needs and considering part of their income is from rental properties the income needed from the index fund portfolio could be nominal.

This dynamic speaks to part time work’s ability to relieve part of the burden off of an investment portfolio. Assuming $600,000 and a 4% withdrawal rate, the featured couple could be taking $24,000 per year from the portfolio which is a generally accepted rule of thumb providing a reasonable chance for not running out of money. Obviously, if that same $600,000 only needs to generate $12,000 or even just $6,000, then the odds of not exhausting the portfolio will improve.

The concept of retirement will have to change for many Americans and things like spending habits and small revenue streams to relieve some of the portfolio’s burden will be part of the solution.

This article was written by AdvisorShares ETF Strategist Roger Nusbaum.