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Lessons From A Couple That Retired By 40 – Making of a Millionaire – Medium

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a better question is “what actions can I take to maximize my chances of reaching financial independence?

“woman on bike reaching for man’s hand behind her also on bike” by Everton Vila on Unsplash

A Case Study In The Importance Of Talking About Money

Tanja Hestler, and her Husband Mark Bunge had high-stress jobs and political consultants. These were not the type of jobs that you punch out at 5:00 PM and “leave work at the office”. These are the type of jobs where you always had to be within earshot of your phone. They made a nice income when they retired at 38 and 41 they were both making six-figure salaries. As Tanja put it during an interview with BiggerPockets, “we weren’t making WallStreet six-figures, we were making normal people six-figures”. They were certainly in the top 10% of income earners, but they weren’t in the top 1%.

In addition to her career as a political consultant, Tanja had a side hustle teaching Yoga and spin classes. This allowed her to earn and save more money, but Tanja said that quitting her side hustle was actually one of the best career decisions she ever made. The problem with teaching Yoga as a side hustle is that it must be done at a particular time, in a particular place.

If the yoga class starts at 6:00 the instructor needs to be physically present in the yoga studio ready to teach at 6:00. If you have a side hustle like driving for Uber or Lyft you have complete flexibility of when you work. If you need to work overtime on your day job, no problem you simply don’t pick up an Uber shift that night. But if you have 20 people depending on you to show up to teach yoga, you may feel more obligated to there. Once she quit her side hustle, she was able to dedicate more focus to her day job and increased her income.

The lesson here, if you’re going down the side hustle road make sure it’s something that fits around your day job.

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Five Pillars of Financial Independence

One of the most common questions people have when they discover the Financial Independence, Retire Early AKA FIRE movement is “how long will it take to reach FIRE?” The only realistic answer to that question is “it depends”. It depends on:

  • Your income
  • your debt
  • your spending habits
  • your family situation
  • your health situation
  • your housing costs
  • most of all it depends on your willingness to accept the brutal facts of your current financial reality and the courage to take massive action towards Financial Independence.

To me, a better question is “what actions can I take to maximize my chances of reaching financial independence?

Brad and Jonathan from the awesome Podcast, Choose FI have outlined 10 “pillars of Financial Independence” in one of their episodes. Let’s dive into five of the “pillars” of financial independence. These are five areas of your life that you can take action on and begin moving towards financial independence.

Five Pillars of Financial Independence

  1. Investing in Low Cost Index Funds
  2. Lost cost housing
  3. Don’t buy new cars
  4. Reducing your grocery bill
  5. optimizing your taxes

For my take and tips on each of these five Pillars, Continue Reading

Welcome to the Making of a Millionaire daily rundown. Every Thursday I’ll bring snippets of F.I.R.E Starter stories. Case studies of people who have achieved Financial Independence, Retire Early (F.I.R.E) In addition to tips and critiques of the F.I.R.E movement. If you have a personal story about money you’d like to share, here’s how you can submit a story to Making of a Millionaire.

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