How on earth is it possible for a couple in their 30s with a baby girl and average office jobs to retire? Here is our secret.
You know those financial advisors who tell you that you need to save up 25 times your annual budget to live of the interest alone? Pretty daunting, eh? Especially, if you find yourself in a job where you are not expressing your true potential.
So to speed up the process, we decided to try cutting our budget 10 times instead!
So here we are in our second hand clothes, wiping our butts with paper from Costco, and with roadkill for dinner. (Okay, the latter was a joke;)
Honestly, how would you live if you got to keep your salary, but didn’t have to go back to work?
For us the answer was easy. We would follow our passion for travel, indulge ourselves in inspiring projects, we would give, and most of all – We would be with our dear baby Freyja.
Our main asset is flexibility
The process of cutting expenses has been fun – and weird – at times.
You know, all those things that Aaron at work is skeptical about like Zero Waste, Veganism, Minimalism and full-time RV living – We tried all of that. What came out of it was a more flexible perspective on how we could live our lives, which is really our main asset in early retirement.
You see, we are not some math prodigies or financial geniuses, even though we’ve read like champs. After questioning everything in our lives, our talent lies in knowing what true happiness is to us – Spending our time together.
Taking charge of our lives
We sold our home, all our belongings (except the few that could fit in each of our suitcases) and are investing the money – A total of $370 000 – by combining the knowledge we have accumulated with the voice from our heart.
Reaching financial freedom is not only about saving, finding new ways of getting an income or investments and compounding interest. Reaching financial freedom is about educating yourself, exploring life, your life, and questioning the different aspects of it. And most importantly – Fully reconnect with your heart.
And by doing so, realize what we did – That being connected to our heart gives instant happiness. And then spending money becomes less important. Which again makes financial freedom way more within reach.
Trusting that life is all the way good
What is Financial freedom? Well, to us it is to have our expenses covered by the passive income from our investments. Or at least, that’s the plan.
See, this is not a bulletproof deal, like a government job with a steady salary, full medical insurance, retirement at 60, and a heart attack at 65.
If we were to wait for everything to be safe before we took the step, we wouldn’t end up taking it at all.
What would happen if everyone did what we have done?
It’s a recurring question that we get. And it’s a question that needs to be specified, as people tend to mix up the result, financial freedom, from what we’ve actually done, following our heart. And following your heart looks individually different from one person to another.
While we are inspired to live nomadic with a passive income and serve people along the way, our friend Alexander Medin spends his time teaching inmates to become yoga teachers in his Gangster Yoga Project. So the correct question is:
What would happen if everyone followed their heart?
And our true answer to that, is paradise.
So what have we learned?
A bunch of stuff obviously, but money wise?
Like financial advisor Suze Orman says;
You need to know what kind of life insurance you have.
You need to know how long you have left on your mortgage.
What interest rate is your student loan?
What funds are your retirement plan invested in?
You need to know about your car loans.
You need to know every single thing about your money.
Because power attracts money and powerlessness repels it.
Money will teach you more about yourself than anything else, as it is simply a fiscal manifestation of who you are. Money cannot do anything without you. You are the one who goes out and earn a paycheck. You are the one who get a paycheck and can decide if you are going to save it, spend it or invest it.
When you earn your money without having a clear purpose or any real goals, you will end up spending your hard work earnings on stuff you don’t need and then treating yourself for all the hard work you’ve done, not realizing that this action will keep you in the rat race.
The good news is, once you become aware of your unconscious patterns, they are pretty easy to turn around. You want friendly advice? At the beginning of every month or when you receive your salary, pay yourself first. Maybe you start with 10%, and then enhance to 30%, and then just go crazy and save 60% to 80% like we did. Now, that’s how you treat yourself and thank yourself for all the hard work you have done.
Once you let your money work for you, you will never go back to working for money.