I was living in Toronto with my husband and we were both working stressful IT jobs. We were taking the normal life path of working, saving up to buy a house, and not even thinking about retirement. But then the housing prices kept going up, and my co-workers--who all had massive mortgages--were stressed out of their minds, like I was, and I finally got fed up. I didn't want to be trapped in a mortgage and work a stressful job until I died of a heart-attack at my desk. So instead, my husband and I researched online and read investment books to see if there's a way out. While reading books and blogs books, we discovered something called Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE), which is the notion that if you could build a portfolio that is 25 times your salary, you could withdrawal 4% from that portfolio each year to cover your expenses and become Financially Independent. Which means you no longer have to work for money. It was a no brainer. We invested the money we saved up for our "house fund" in low cost index funds instead, continued saving, and eventually grew that portfolio to $1 Million a few years later. At that point we no longer had to work because it was covering our expenses, so we retired at 31 to travel the world. We talk about our journey and run a free workshop to show people how to build a portfolio like ours on our blog.
If you wanted to follow a similar path to Kristy and Bryce, here is one path to have similar results in 10 years (or less!)
Future Amount: $1,000,000 | Additional yearly: $80,000 | Growth Rate: 6.0%
Value after 10 years: $1,117,731.43
The old rules our parents taught us: “buy a house, work until you’re 65 and retire” are no longer possible. Jobs aren’t stable, homes are unaffordable, and we can’t rely on a pension to retire at 65 any more. We need to write a new rule book. That’s where FIRE comes in.
When we were working toward FIRE, we only had our jobs (computer engineers) as our source of income.
We used spreadsheets to track our budget.
We see ourselves continue to travel the world, write books, blog, and help people achieve FIRE like we did.
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Track everything: spending, investments, etc. like your life depended on it
Invest early: the longer you are in the market, the more time your portfolio has to grow and compoundBoost your income: constantly improve your skills at work (don’t get complacent). Be so good they can’t possibly pass you up for promotions.
Depends on your personality. If you’re an optimizer like me, lowering your income would be faster and easier. If you’re a risk taker and hustler, put your effort toward growing your income. But ultimately, you need to be good enough at both. You don’t need to be the best at any one thing, but being good enough at multiple skills, like earning and saving, will propel you toward FIRE.
Root of Good
Root of Good talks about their journey to financial independence (at age 33!) and continues to expand on topics on how to retire faster and earlier.
A great collection of tools and posts about tracking your path to financial independence. Check out their podcast for great insights and guest as well.
The Simple Path to Wealth
J L Collins gives his take on how to live a free life and achieve financial independence. As a Boglehead, you know that his take on financial independence is sure to be a good one and a fun read.
The blog from the author of the Simple Path to Wealth. Check out their stock series as a bootcamp for getting started with investing.
Ashley from Budgets Made Easy
Learn about how Ashley from Budgets Made Easy paid off $45,000 of consumer debt while being a mom to three kids.
Marc from Vital Dollar
Learn how Marc from Vital Dollar builds content sites to bring in income and fast-track his path to FIRE.
Tara from Midwest Miser
See how Tara from Midwest Miser keeps her cost of living low in the Midwest and plans to retire in 9 years.