“If you’re not crushing your goals, you’re just not working hard enough! Pull yourself up by your bootstraps! If I can do it, anyone can do it!”
We’ve all seen the blogs, Instagram posts, or Medium articles.
There’s no mention that the guy’s parents paid for him to go through an Ivy League college and covered his rent while working an unpaid internship to help land his six-figure-salary job.
I understand the frustration from many content creators in the Personal Finance and Financial Independence community that the vast majority of middle-class people squander their privilege by getting into debt or…
Retiring less than 18 months after discovering the concept of financial independence is pretty extreme. But that’s exactly what I did.
Since writing about my experience in Making of a Millionaire, a lot of people have contacted me to ask how I did it so quickly.
So, here are the exact 9 steps that took me to financial freedom in such a short time.
For the first couple of months after hearing that radio program, I took no steps…
On October 16, 2020, I sold my house and my business and quit full-time work forever.
I now have enough passive income to cover all my basic costs of living, such as housing and groceries, and have embarked upon a nomadic style of living.
Recently there seems to have become a race amongst 20-something FIRE devotees to see who can retire before hitting the big Three-O. But retiring at 38 is still pretty unusual, so I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned in the last few months.
My parents are archetypal Baby Boomers.
They worked in the…
I’m currently living in an Airbnb in northern Spain. I’m not sure where I’ll be in 2021. Hopefully lots of places.
My wife and I founded a business and bought a house but then sold both of them when we wanted more freedom. I’m now unemployed and homeless. And loving it. I’m spending my time learning, writing, hiking, running and improving my Spanish.
I retired at 38 for a life of slow, nomadic travel.
When I tell people this, their first question is, inevitably, “What the hell do you do all day?”
As a society, we’re so obsessed with being busy that describing a simpler existence sounds alien to most people. Prior to retiring, I would have thought the same.
Unambitious. Unfulfilling. Uninspiring.
As a result, I often feel I have to make it sound like I’m actually still “busy.”
“Oh, well, I’ve been writing a lot of articles and I’m working with a winery to increase their export sales.”
The higher your savings rate, the faster you’ll get out of debt or reach financial independence. It’s a mathematical fact.
A couple of years ago, I began to be intrigued by the idea of financial independence. I read dozens of blogs on the subject which all said the same thing: If you want to increase your savings rate, set a budget.
There was just one problem: I hate budgeting and always have done.
Like a crash diet, I can never stick to a budget. And I know I’m not alone.
That’s stupid. Why would anyone want to retire at 30? How does anyone even do that? — Me, March 2019
It’s fair to say I wasn’t an instant convert to the FIRE early retirement movement when Charlie Brown first told me about it.
She was relating a story she’d just heard on the radio about how a group of high-earning millennials were saving huge amounts of money and retiring in their early 30s.
The movement is called FIRE or Financial Independence/Retire Early, and like most people, I thought it was stupid.
Why would anyone want to live in total deprivation…
“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for one’s reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.” — John Maynard Keynes
When I read that quote in Burton Malkiel’s book “A Random Walk Down Wall Street,” a lightbulb came on in my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks.
I started to realize that all of society’s conventional wisdom about finance was there to keep me in my little box. To keep me failing the same way as everyone else.
When it comes to money, society does not have your best interests at heart.
Maybe it’s as transparent…
If you don’t get real about your net worth — what you own minus what you owe — you’ll never improve your financial situation.
It’s like looking at yourself in the mirror in January and thinking that the holiday season has made you look a bit “cuddlier.” You’ll only know for sure how many pounds you’ve gained once you step onto the scales.
Calculating your net worth is the financial equivalent of stripping down to your underwear, stepping onto the bathroom scale, sucking your belly in (even though you know it won’t actually make any difference), and taking a hesitant…
If you’re not exploiting geographical arbitrage, you could be missing out on the most powerful way to fast-track your financial freedom.
My exploitation of geographical arbitrage (AKA taking the money you earn in a strong economy and living somewhere with a lower cost of living) was one of the most important factors in achieving financial independence in just 18 months.
And I did it by moving just 1 mile.
This is something I like to call micro geographical arbitrage. It enabled me to spend just 2.9% …