Have you ever imagined packing it all in, ditching your boring 9-5 and saying goodbye to your congested morning commute?
Can you imagine leaving the corporate world, waving goodbye to routine and setting sail into the unknown?
Well, one couple has managed to make that dream a reality.
Every day is a holiday for Jeremy Jacobson and his Wife Winnie Tseng. The couple, who retired in their 30s, spend their lives travelling to exotic places like Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico and everywhere in between.
How did they make the move from corporate warriors to carefree travellers? Well, according to the couple it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Okay, we’re officially listening.
About 16 years ago, Jeremy and Winnie decided to get serious about their goals.
”Work was fun” explains Jeremy, ”but there were things we wanted to do that we enjoyed even more like travelling and starting a family.”
So, the couple made the bold decision to change their lifestyle to make their dream of retiring early a reality.
Exactly 10 years and one day later they submitted their resignations.
The question remains, how did they do it? Well, once the decision was made the couple set about reimagining their lives. They reduced their spending drastically.
”We ruthlessly cut spending on ‘the big 3’, housing, transportation, and food. We went from a 2,000 sq ft house to a 450 sq ft apartment, sold the car and walked and biked everywhere, and made all of our own food at home.” explains Jeremy.
So how much of their $135,000 yearly income did the couple manage to save?
”About 70%. The last 3 years we lived off dividend income and invested my whole paycheck.” he divulges.
Instead of saving their money in banks or investing in property the couple decided to put 100% of their cash in index funds.
It wasn’t always an easy road, however. The couple’s savings took a hit during the financial crisis (they lost $400k) and they also admit to making mistakes in their road to retirement like buying a house (they are now renters for life).
But eventually, they reached the point where they knew could retire comfortably. Jeremy explains that moment.
”Financially, (we knew) when we had 25x our target cost of living in index funds. Emotionally, when we were ready to do something else with 50-60 hours/week besides be in an office.”
Thanks to ten years of living well below their means, Jeremy and Winnie now enjoy a life without work commitments, alarm clocks or hectic morning commutes.
While their net worth is estimated to run into the millions, the couple live on just $4,000 a month.
Their lifestyle might seem unattainable to the average joe but the couple, who both came from low-income families and dealt with large student debts believe that anyone can copy their success.
”Aim to save 50% of your after-tax income or live off one salary and save the other. After 15 years or so, investment income will exceed expenses. (At 5% savings rate, it takes more than 60 years) Focus on the Big 3 – don’t succumb to lifestyle inflation and consumerism.” Advises Jeremy.
Since retiring, the couple has been to 29 different countries, set up their own travel blog (gocurrycracker.com) and even become parents for the first time. Will they ever settle down and rejoin the rat race? ”Not a chance” Jeremy confidently states.
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