As human beings, we tend to think of things as impossible unless someone else has done it first. If someone told you that you could reach financial independence in less than 10 years? What would you have thought?
For years, scientists told the world that a four-minute mile couldn’t be broken. For 9 years, the world record stood at 4 minutes and 1 second. In 1954, Roger Bannister ran a below-4 minute mile. Soon after, athletes began breaking the the 4-minute barrier on a normal basis and today, excellent high school runners breaking the barrier is routine.
The same goes with people getting the most out of a award. Throughout college, I’d meet Singaporean students who wanted to graduate in 3 years. They all happened to get 4 year scholarships from the Singaporean government. One person decided to graduate early in 3 years and then do his Masters in England (which is only one year) and soon this became normal amongst them. A free private prestigious college + masters degree? Sure, it was hard work, but now that you know if you do the hard work, it can be done, more people try to do it so it becomes regular.
Once one person in your social circle (or in this case, the internet circle) manages to accomplish an unheard of task, it becomes easier to imagine and plan for it. If someone else has done it, why can’t you?
This is why I follow net worth tracking blogs, and why you should too. That 4% SWR seems fantastical to most people who haven’t heard of FIRE, and stocks and bonds seem mystical and untrustworthy to some as well. If you see others confident in the system — others who are financially smart and know what they’re talking about, you can start to understand their though process and believe.
Favorite FIRE Bloggers who FIRED before 40
Justin retired at 33 with just over $1.3M in 2013. 4 years later, the family just cracked $2m! Thanks to a bull market and starting his own blog, Justin’s family net worth has grown nearly 50% since he’s retired! He tracks his expenses and blog income on a monthly basis. He also has adorable children and they frequently travel to cool places. He’s very analytical as well, his write-up on how social security is calculated is one of my favorites as a spreadsheet nerd.
Mr. Tako Retired at 38 in the PNW with a little over $2M. He has two sons who go on lots of fun trips. See this 6 part series on his trip to Japan. I went to Japan this year and it brings back some good memories. He’s also a great cook and has some blog posts about cooking fancy food for cheaper — ie. crab! Don’t miss out on the monthly blog and income report!
Mr. 1500 days retired at 43 and his blog has interesting perspectives on flipping houses and potential pitfalls. I think I’ll stick to rental properties, he’s a brave man. Maybe someday my DIY skills will be on his level (probably not). Though he doesn’t update his portfolio anymore, you can see his journey to FI financially. I like that he posts on the importance of attitude and discipline — I think he’d enjoy reading The Power of Habit or Grit. It’s also nice to see how people raise kids. His post on teaching kids financial habits is enlightening.
Those are my favorites, but there are so many more that I haven’t discovered!
Get informed and follow in their footsteps!
One of my favorite sayings is, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” There are so many nuggets of wisdom that other people have had simply because they have had different paths in life, or they’ve just had more experience than you.
They didn’t do outlandish things though. They did simple things like:
- Cutting down clothing consumption
- Biking to work and saving thousands of dollars and a hundred hours a year
- Meal prepping your food and saving money
If you’re a millennial like me (25), you have such an advantage right now. Blogs are free to read and you have all these success stories around you –the people above managed to retire at 33+ and told you what they did and the mistakes they made. Can you do better? I’d bet on it. Set up your financial future in these 5 simple free steps. Start small and get an emergency fund set up, get a free investment plan, and then get your non-taxable/taxable accounts set up.
There are more avenues to get into side hustles, the internet has made the world a flat playground (start your own blog or Insta/Youtube account for barely anything), and the scalability of non-physical businesses is incredible in this day and age. When you side hustle, you can add an extra $54k into your retirement accounts!
If you don’t read blogs that track net worth yet, be sure to check out some of the above. If you do, please let me know some of your favorites down below in the comment section!
Olivia worked in finance and wants you to learn the secrets of financial independence. She believes there are so many ways to monetize your life and make money doing the things you're already doing because so many companies offer free money.
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