Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution

Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution achieved financial independence at 31. Learn how they did it and how to start your own path towards financial independence.

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What is your backstory and how did you first get interested in FIRE?

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

Why is FIRE important to you?

 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.

What other types of income do you have outside your main job? (housing investments, side hustle, etc.)

When we were working toward FIRE, we only had our jobs (computer engineers) as our source of income.

What tools, processes or services has helped you save or make more money to achieve FIRE faster?

We used spreadsheets to track our budget.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?

We see ourselves continue to travel the world, write books, blog, and help people achieve FIRE like we did. 

If you were just getting started in FIRE, what would be the first 3 steps you took to building your path towards financial independence?

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 compound

Boost your income: constantly improve your skills at work (don’t get complacent). Be so good they can’t possibly pass you up for promotions.

In your opinion, should people striving for FIRE focus on lowering their spending or increasing income?

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.

Any Frugal/FIRE friendly Hobbies?

Board games! My favorite is Settlers of Catan.

Are there any communities (in person or online) that you chat with about financial independence?

Chautauqua and FinCon. These are great financial retreats/conferences to meet other FI enthusiasts. I’ve been meeting friends all over the world as a result of Chautauqua. Anyone who goes to this retreat ends up with friends for life (especially ones who get you, which was rare in my working life).