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Legit Strategies To Retire In Your 30S

Most of the articles about how to retire in your 30s are written by people who have actually done it. It is possible to retire in your 30s and still have a comfortable life. In this legit masterclass on early retirement, Justin from Root of Good shares the strategies he used to win the money game and retire at 33.

In episode #2 of the Financial Freedom podcast, we cover a wide array of topics including tax optimization, doing what you love, and how a family of 5 can live on $40,000 a year. One of the stories in my Financial Freedom book is about a man named Justin. He has inspired many to take control of their finances and create a better future.

Next level is what this is. This is taking things to a whole new level. Check it out.

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In This Article

How To Retire in Your 30s w/ Justin @RootofGood

Grant:  00:20

Hi everyone. I am really excited to have him on the show. He is here to show us how to build financial independence and achieve a life of freedom. So Justin is one of the 12 stories that’s featured in Financial Freedom and of any blogger that I followed probably is the guy that knows the most about tax optimization and really how to maximize all of the tools available to reach early retirement. He retired before the age of 35, so I’m really excited to have you on the show. It’s great to see that Justin has achieved such a milestone at such a young age.

Justin Root of Good
Justin from Root of Good with his family

Justin: 00:56

Grant, happy to be here. It’s great to meet you in person. I would like to thank you for having me on. It was great to be here and I look forward to our next conversation.

Grant: 00:58

So let’s go back to the beginning a little bit tell me when was that moment when you decided that you wanted to retire early?

Justin: 01:07

The whole idea of early retirement really crystallized in my mind, uh, about a year after I started working full time after college. I shifted from being frugal and saving money just to grow my own wealth to having a goal in mind, retiring early in my thirties. I realized that I need to change my approach and focus on investments instead of putting money in a savings account. I did not know when. I didn’t know what the future would bring. I knew I had a goal. I was determined to get there. I started saving with the idea of early retirement in mind. I opened a retirement account to help me reach my goal quicker, and now I contribute to it every month. Around 25 years old. Most people are entering adulthood and taking on more responsibilities.

When did you decide to retire early?

Grant: 01:39

Was it just a logical conclusion that you could perhaps retire early, or was there any books that were instrumental? I think the books I read on personal finance gave me the confidence to make a plan and stick with it, so they were certainly instrumental in my decision to retire early. What made you think it would be possible? I was completely surprised that it was possible.

Justin: 01:52

I’ve always read a lot of personal finance books. I think it is the best one that I have read that shows how to get there and how to invest in tax efficiency. Understanding the fundamental principles of tax efficiency is important in order to make successful investments. Um, I believe it’s called The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. It is a great book. It is an interesting read and I highly recommend it. Yeah. It is really simple. Anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. It is an entry level. It’s an ideal choice for those just starting out in the hobby. It is easy for someone who is new to this to understand. If you’re looking for more information, there are plenty of online guides. It helped me a lot, even though I knew some of the material, because I like that aspect of it. Anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of the subject should take this course.

Grant: 02:30

Go back to your 24. We can update your account and make sure you have the latest features. You have decided that you want to retire early. It’s time to plan and prepare for your early retirement. I was not sure if that would be in your thirties or your forties. I was unsure if I would ever be happy in my life. What are some of the steps that you have taken to make that possible? Setting small goals and breaking them down into manageable steps helped me reach my target. I made a dramatic change in my life when I started my financial freedom journey at the age of 24. I want to help other people find the financial freedom that I have. Was it a big shift for you or did you just start taking steps? I took small steps in implementing the changes after researching and reading about the topic better.

Justin: 02:59

I think I have always been good with money and frugal, so is this going to make me wealthier in the future? I can reap the rewards of investing in the small ship for a long time. I was already doing those things. It really takes a mind, a mindset shift, to switch from just spending money as you earn it, and not really thinking about it, where the money is going. Taking control of your finances is a great way to reduce stress. I realized that I am the steward of my own financial future as I started to focus more on those things. To ensure that my finances are in good standing and that I’m able to maintain a secure financial future, I have taken the necessary steps. I have to start thinking about this like a wealthy person would think about it and not just like a new college graduate who is not really worried about it. I need to make a plan for my finances.

Grant: 04:02

Americans spend 70% of their money on housing, transportation, and food. Americans spend less on vacations and entertainment than other countries. Is there a specific area in your expenses where you had to cut back more than others? I wanted to make sure I was living within my means. Was it balanced from the beginning? Common ground was found after the heated debate between the two sides.

Justin: 04:18

It was balanced because I think when it comes to food, transportation and housing are the big ones. I’m confident that I can maintain a balanced lifestyle despite the budget being managed well. It is one of those things that you start out with if you have a car or a house in college. It’s nice to see how far you’ve come as you upgrade your possessions over the years. We chose not to upgrade our lifestyle. We didn’t need to spend more money because we were already comfortable with our current lifestyle. We kept driving the Honda Civic. The Honda Civic was not as reliable as the Honda Accord was. We bought the house from college. We stayed there. There is a trade-off between future freedom and bigger house now. We decided to give up a bigger house in the present in order to have more freedom. We said it was okay. We told them that everything was okay. We are happy in the house. The house is filled with love, laughter, and memories that will last forever. It can be fixed a little bit. It should be good with a little work. We drive the cars that we own. The freedom of the open road is great. There is nothing wrong with them. They are normal and should be accepted as such. We focused on education and housing costs in order to keep those down, but it was more about not inflating our lifestyle more than trying to reduce what we were spending. We looked for ways to save money, such as shopping around for the best deals and being aware of our spending habits. We started from a good position in the beginning of not spending a lot of money on housing and cars. We were able to save money and keep our expenses low.

Grant: 05:28

Did you go through any struggles at that time?

Justin:   05:34

You always get the friends and coworkers poking at you saying, “Why don’t you get rid of your crappy old Honda civic and buy something from this century?” You could afford a nicer car. I don’t understand how you have all those kids in the back of the Honda civic. It is difficult to fit them all in a small space. There was always that, but it was good natured jokes from people at work and I just kind of laughed along with it. I mean not in terms of struggles. I look for ways to improve and become better. Even though we were saving half our income, we still managed to take some vacations and do some nice things. We were able to take advantage of our financial situation and make some great memories.

Impact of Cost of Living on Early Retirement

Grant: 06:19

You built your finances to support that lifestyle, so it sounds like you were honing in on what made you happy early on. I know you live in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is a pretty affordable place to live. Raleigh is a great place to live because of its affordability. Did that make it easier to reach financial independence at a young age? It helped me reach financial independence at a young age, and I believe it can help others as well. What factors do you think affect your ability to save and invest? Knowing where you live can affect your ability to save and invest.

Justin: 06:54

If you can make a decent income and pay very little for housing and taxes, the ratio of high paying jobs to housing costs will go down. This leads to higher quality of life and more financial security. A lot of people say that you can move to the big cities and make more money. If you don’t feel drawn to the hustle and bustle of a big city, there are plenty of opportunities in smaller towns that can provide an excellent quality of life. That is true. If you can figure out a way to save money on housing and other costs, then you can save money on living expenses. To ensure that your money is being used wisely, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of any financial decisions you make. Quality of life may be sacrificed for a slower paced nicer city.

When you became financially independent

Grant: 07:47

When you wrote back to me with more information about your life, I really enjoyed it. You were laid off and were looking at whether or not to go back to work, but you had already become financially independent. Is it possible to talk about what that realization was like? I felt like I had finally found my place in the world, as if all of the pieces of my life had suddenly come together.

Justin: 08:12

Yeah. It was weird because the boss walked in and said, “Here’s a letter, here’s your dismissal letter, pack your stuff.” I couldn’t believe what had just happened. The guy is going to escort you out of the building. He can make sure you reach your destination if you follow him. I panicked for about 20 or 30 minutes, because I just got let go from my job, what am I going to do? I had to take a step back, take a deep breath and focus on the future. I called my wife to let her know the bad news was bad. We have to make the best of it. I pulled up my spreadsheet, pulled up my planning document, and started tweaking the numbers. I think I retired totally unintentionally, I think we had planned on another two years of work, but just the one date that we had in mind just to say, this is. There was no better time to do it. The markets were good for a year or two before that. There was a sudden downturn in the stock market last month. I didn’t think about it in terms of, are we there yet? I didn’t think about the implications of such a long journey and what it would mean for us both. When should I refine the date that we had? I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this. I quit in August 2013 on the April of 2016 date. When I decided to quit, I was working for the same company for three years. Two and a half years early. This shows a great commitment to the project and is much earlier than anticipated. When you go through the numbers and say, “okay, here’s my expenses, here’s how much we have here,” it was just, you know. We can make an informed decision about our financial plan. You can make money, they can make money. New jobs can benefit the local economy. That was really the moment, right? It was such a pleasure to be with them. We put in a lot of hard work for 10 years focusing on our finances and investments. It felt amazing when we saw the fruits of our labor come to fruition. It paid off and we are insulated against a job loss. All the hard work is worth it because of financial security and peace of mind. It is no worry. It’s almost like it’s no problem at all. I started to feel better about getting let go after the first hour or two. This was an opportunity for me to focus on my own goals. I was not stressed out. I tried my best to stay calm. It’s not a big deal.

Grant: 10:06

What will the next three to six months look like? I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few months have in store. I went through a really intense period when I left the corporate world. I learned how to be present in the moment while reflecting on my experiences. I didn’t know what day of the week it was. I couldn’t distinguish one day from the next and felt like I had been living in a state of confusion. It took me six months to get over the fact that I had worked so hard for eight years. I need to take a break before I can move forward in my life. Did you have that type of cleanse? I’m interested in trying it out, but I haven’t tried it yet. What did the first six months look like after you stopped working?

Reprogramming yourself

Justin: 10:37

I was still stuck and it was interesting. I continued that into the first six months or so because I was in that mindset of work, work, work. It was difficult to find a balance between work and leisure, but I eventually succeeded. It took me about six months to dial it down, slow it down, and then say, “I don’t have to do anything today.” I’m still learning to take it easy, but I’m getting there. I don’t have to do anything today. It is just as beneficial to take a break to rest and relax as it is to be productive. There are no performance objectives. It is difficult to measure success without performance objectives. There isn’t an annual review. In order to give employees feedback, performance is evaluated throughout the year. I am in the next phase of my life. I’m looking forward to all the new experiences that come with it. If I want to do something fun, if I want to do something lazy, or if I want to do something challenging, now is the time to do that.

I don’t have to be busy just for the sake of being busy. It took but I can do what I want. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get here, but I can do whatever I want. It took me a while. I think it is a good term for a period of time where you can reprogram yourself from full time work to leisure time. The process will be worth the effort in the end. A new hobby or passion project took a bit of time in the first few months after I stopped working, but that was because of some fun, interesting stuff in there. I had the time and space to explore this new project and see where it could take me. I have dialed it back a bit over the years as I have gotten more comfortable doing very little productive stuff, but I was really gung ho into it and spent a lot of time.

How to pay zero taxes

Grant: 12:05

You and your family made over $100,000 in income, but you didn’t pay any taxes, that was one of the things, I remember reading it a little while ago, you and your family made over $100,000 in income, but you didn’t pay any taxes, that was one of A lot of my journey was more focused on income, income, income, and I have started to really appreciate it. I’m looking for ways to increase my wealth through smart investments and financial planning. The more I learn about tax optimization, the more I like it. Tax maximization can be a great way to save money and with the right guidance, can be easily mastered. Can you tell me about the strategies that helped you pay no tax that year? I took the time to research tax laws, deductions and credits that I was eligible for, and made sure to take advantage of every single one that applied to my situation.

Justin: 12:55

I focused a lot of time on understanding how the tax system works, how we used to have personal exemptions, and how the standard deduction works. I am able to help others understand the new tax code because I have a good grasp of it. What’s a tax credit versus a tax deduction what’s the refundable tax credit, how, how do these different traditional versus Roth IRAs, how does that impact your taxes? This conceptual understanding of the tax code and the moving parts and how things work is what you need to understand all of that stuff. I think getting educated about it, reading about it, not really diving into the depths of the IRS tax code, but just understanding the moving parts and how one thing impacts another. If we didn’t do anything, we would have made too much money to put into Traditional Iras. We decided to look into other options for retirement savings that fit our needs better.

I started looking at all the ways I could get deductions from my income. I was surprised to find out how much I could save. I was a state employee for a while, so I had access to a 457. My retirement would be financially secure if I contributed as much as I could each month to the 457. You can put as much as you want into each one of those if you max out your savings. If you’re 50 or older, you can make catch-up contributions to either plan. I was putting in 36,000 there. I don’t know if that’s the right amount. My wife was putting $18,000 in at her job, we also had the limits of that, so we could put money into Traditional Iras as well and get an event in an additional tax deduction from the maxing out the IRA contributions. We decided to use the extra money to invest in other ways that could offer us more potential for long-term growth. People say that I don’t make enough money to do all this. We saved $15,000 a year by making tax deductible retirement contributions and we were able to use that money to pay our taxes. It’s a great way to save for your retirement and future taxes, and also put some money back in your pocket.

We were able to keep $15,000 because we gave to the government. This has allowed us to invest in our future and ensure that our business continues to grow. That is a lot of money. That is more than most people save every year. It’s a good way to start building a financial foundation. Extra money that we are getting paid in exchange for saving for our own retirement is pretty powerful. Saving money can help us reach our retirement goals. Pretty powerful thing. You know, all those different techniques using those. There are a variety of ways in which these techniques can be used. When we are working, we get our taxes down to zero most years. We were able to save more money and invest in the future. We use the tax savings to charge our investments more. With the increased income from our investments, we can use the additional funds to expand our portfolio.

Grant: 15:40

When you retire, do you keep your expenses within a certain threshold to minimize the impact of taxes? Make sure you take advantage of all the options available to reduce taxes, because retirement can be a great opportunity to reexamine your budgeting. How do you keep those taxes down after you retire? It is possible to convert some of your retirement savings into a tax-free IRA in the future.

Justin: 15:58

Yeah, it’s interesting. We spend about $40,000 a year. It is a big deal that our house is paid off. It’s great to know that our mortgage is no longer a financial burden. We have low taxes in North Carolina. We spend $40,000 a year, but we still travel for two or three months every year overseas. Despite our large annual expenditure, we still manage to save a significant amount of money, which allows us to enjoy experiences such as traveling overseas. A lot of it is free or low cost. I’m a big advocate of travel hacking because I’m always looking for ways to travel without breaking the bank. We spend about $40,000 per year for a family of five taxes on a $40,000 per year income, which is basically nothing. Our family is able to save a lot of money. We are still paying very little in taxes. The decrease in public services and infrastructure investment has been caused by this. At some point the taxmen may get us when we’re 70, we start paying, we have required minimum distributions, and we’re paying, you know, pulling out $100,000 per year from Iras and 401(k)s. If we plan ahead, we can protect our future retirement income and make sure we enjoy the fruits of our hard work in the years to come.

We may end up paying a lot of taxes at some point, but the way I view it is if I am 70 and I have a lot of money, I will be paying a lot of taxes. I have made a lot of money in capital gains that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I might end up paying taxes in the future. I will definitely consult with a tax professional to make sure I understand my obligations. My goal was to save money, get wealthy, and live well on it. To achieve these goals, I need to make smart decisions with my money and stick to a budget. I feel like I am saving a lot of money on taxes while I am working and not paying a lot of taxes when I am older. This will allow you to have more money to enjoy your retirement and plan for a comfortable future. You may end up owing taxes if you have all this money in Traditional IRA, Traditional 401(k)s, but that is something I can manage later on as I see the balances grow. You may be able to take advantage of tax-advantaged accounts, such asRoth IRAs, to reduce your taxes. I can always take a proactive approach to limiting my tax liability. I can adjust my strategy when I am aware of changes to the tax code.

How to live on $40,000 a year with a family of 5

Grant: 17:54

How do you live on $40,000 a year with a family of five? I have to be very careful with my budget because I want to make the most of my money.

Justin: 18:01

Yeah. Our lifestyle would cost at least $100,000 per year if we had a mortgage and we had to commute to work. I am living a 40. I’m trying to make the most of it and find ways to be happy. I spend $40,000 but live $100,000. I want to make some changes in order to bring my spending in line with my income. Let me take a bit of a break. I need to take a few minutes to clear my head and listen to some calming music. Let’s unpack it. I’m not sure what you mean by that. We are paying very little taxes. It is important to be aware of how much you owe and make sure it is paid on time. Failing to do so could result in hefty penalties or even criminal charges. Most people are paying a lot of money.

The property tax is very low. We live in North Carolina. It’s a great place to live. Our small property tax bill is the result of the house being paid off. The family can save more money to reach their financial goals. Insurance is about $100 a month, but I do a little bit of do-it-yourself work, but I don’t do the big complicated stuff. I try to identify what needs to be done and then hire a professional to do it. It is relatively cheap to live in Raleigh a week and plumbing is not good at that. To offset the cost of hiring a professional for my plumbing needs, I can find affordable living in Raleigh. We have five people in our household and one car, so we got rid of one of the cars. Having only one car has been a bit of a challenge, but we are handling it well. I own a bike. While walking helps me stay fit and healthy, I use the bike to explore new places. There is public transportation in the South, but it exists here in Raleigh, as weird as that sounds. It’s a great way to get around the city without a car. Most people have to commute to work and have a work wardrobe lunch out at work, but we don’t have a lot of those costs so we live close to downtown. We don’t have those. There isn’t any other option. We get by easily with one car. When we can, we are able to save money and the environment. It’s a minivan. It was bought for road trips. It’s the perfect car companion because we load it up with snacks and drinks. We mostly use it for road trips. It’s a great way to see new places.

Our kids attend good schools in Raleigh. Our children have a great educational experience thanks to the teachers and administrators at the schools. That is a big money saver over $10,000 per year for private school. It’s a great way for parents to give their children a quality education without breaking the bank. Those are the big picture things. It’s important to remember the small details. We still take vacations. After a month in the Bahamas, we returned to this beautiful little oceanfront condo, which has a walk to the beach every day. It was an unforgettable experience. We did nothing for a month and then went to the beach and walked along the canal. We decided to come back every weekend for the rest of the summer because it was so relaxing and peaceful. We traveled around Europe for nine weeks last summer and we are going to be traveling around Asia for two months in the summer of 2019. We’re going to explore the culture and cuisine of several different countries in Asia. We can squeeze it into a $40,000 per year budget because we don’t have big expenses like a mortgage or a car payment. We prioritize the things that are important to us so that we can live within our budget.

Grant: 20:35

Do you think you won the game? It has been a long journey, but now you can see the end.

Justin:  20:37

It does. This is something that I believe in and I’m serious about it. I got a smile on my face and felt like I had my stuff together. It feels like I have won the game. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Investing to RetireEarly

Grant: 20:51

It is so amazing. I can’t believe it’s happening. I’m just listening to you and chatting with you. It’s been great talking to you. It is just incredible, it is like your blog is coming to life. I can’t wait to see what comes next, I’m excited to share my story with you. You have found a nice balance between how much you need to spend and how much you can spare. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to budgeting, so it’s important to find the balance that works best for you. You are really happy that the travel games are able to take you to all of these amazing places. You have built a really good system. I’m very proud of the progress we’ve made. Are you concerned about the future? I saw that you were talking about your investing strategy, given the fact that stocks are pretty expensive. It made me think that now might be a good time to invest in bonds or real estate. Can you tell me about how you are going to insulate yourself over the next 10 years? I want to save money and invest it in a way that will give me financial security in the future.

Justin: 21:38

Sure yeah. I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 08/09 recession crash because I was heavy into stocks and I understand the risk involved. I’ve learned a lot since then and have been more cautious with my investments to make sure I don’t suffer another financial loss. I went through it once and I think it will be the worst recession in my lifetime or at least for the next few decades. I’m hoping that we can work together to make sure that this recession doesn’t last. In a short period of time, the stock market can drop 50 percent. It’s important to stay informed of market trends and conditions so you’re prepared. I shifted my stock allocation to less than 100 percent. I started to invest more in bonds with the goal of reducing my risk. I backed it off a bit. I slowed down to make sure I wasn’t going too fast. I have about 90 percent stocks, 10 percent bonds, fixed income CDs, and money market cash. I plan to review my portfolio frequently to make sure I’m on track to reach my financial goals. We should be able to get through about five years without worrying about stock market fluctuations because of the 10 percent bond and fixed income allocation. If it drops suddenly. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. There is also the income from our portfolio. Over the past few years, we have been making smart investments that have allowed us to generate a steady stream of income.

In a recession, dividends are usually not as hard as the price of stocks are. As companies look to reward shareholders for their patience and loyalty, dividends may increase in a recession. It is possible for stocks to go down 25 or 50 percent and for dividends to go down 5, 10, or 20 percent. It is a lot less volatile because companies can still make money and still pay dividends. Stock prices go down when people are scared. Uncertainty and fear of the future have caused investors to become hesitant, leading to further decreases in stock prices. Between the fixed income investments that we have and those dividends, investments, dividends that we received from our investments, I think our cash flow should be fine for five, six, seven years. We need to make sure that we keep an eye on our investments. Five years ago, I started the blog, it has slowly built itself into an entity, it is monetized, and it produces an income. I’m proud of how far it’s come, but it’s been a labor of love.

I enjoy the revenue from that as well. It’s great to know that my hard work is paying off. I could always be a little bit harder at my online presence if I needed to make more money. If I need to supplement my income, I could look into side hustles. That is not my focus right now. I want to get some rest and relaxation. How can I spend more money and have more fun? I’m looking for ways to make my money work for me. Right now, that is my objective. I have to make sure I can reach it. If this is the year of the next great recession, how am I going to get through it, fixed income investments, living on dividends, and then the backup plan is to produce some? I’m excited to explore the possibilities, but I’m still not sure what that might be.

Grant: 24:26

I mean your portfolio if you can live on the dividends and the fixed income. It is possible to live off the dividends and fixed income generated by your portfolio with a bit of planning. I think you retired with a little more than a million dollars a given what the market has been doing, the past couple of years and just the path that you are on at your age, it seems like even in. You have the chance to build a nest egg that you can use to secure your future and that of your family. Is that true? I don’t know if that is true or not. If you can get a big enough nest egg when you’re young, you can live off like you do, you know, a relatively small percentage of the growth, that’s one of the points that I make in the book.

Justin: 25:28

I think so. I’m looking forward to it! We have had five great years of stock market returns, but we are watching it happen as we speak. The trend of high stock market returns may not be sustainable in the long run, so investors should keep a close eye on their investments. A very large gain in five years is what we got when we started with $1.2 million. It shows no signs of slowing down and has been a great investment. I don’t think it will go up 50 percent every five years. I think I can increase my earnings over time. We get average returns of four or five percent after inflation if we only spend two or three percent of the portfolio each year. The portfolio should be able to maintain its value for a long time. We are going to see two or three percent real growth in our portfolio value over the long term. A disciplined, long-term approach to investing is required to achieve this growth. You are looking at 20 to 25 years to double your portfolio if you get three percent above and three percent each year after you take out your spending.

By the time 60, they could be $4 million dollars. If investments are made wisely, this amount could increase even more. More money is better and we will figure out how to spend it or pass it on to someone else. Money can be used for good and should be shared with those in need. There are a lot of unknowns as you get older with your expenses, and you’re just physically not able to do as much as you get into your fifties, sixties, seventies. It’s important to plan for future expenses as we age.

I mow my own grass. I’m proud that I’m able to take care of my property. I will probably not be doing that when I am 70. Even though I’m in my twenties, I can’t imagine myself doing the same things I’m doing now. When I am 70, I may be living in a place where you just pay for everything and write a check every month. I can enjoy my retirement in an environment that is stress-free and secure. The cost of a luxury cruise may go up as we get older because we may not be as into backpacker travel when we are younger. We can explore the world in a way that suits us best when we’re in our 70s.

Long term care is another thing not really addressed in the early retirement community that much, but that’s one of those, you know, it might be nice to have an extra million or two if I need to go to an assisted living facility at some point in my later age when I get older. So those are all? I hope this information helped you. It is okay to let your portfolio get bigger because it could help down the road. I want to increase my spending. I’m going to prioritize my spending in order to maximize my savings. The portfolio goes up in value. I’m confident that my investments will pay off in the long run.

Grant: 28:07

What are some things you want to spend more on? I want to make sure I’m spending my money on things that add value to my life.

Justin: 28:12

I like to spend money on things that will be easier or better for my life. When it comes to spending money, I always make sure to think about whether it’s worth it. One of the things we can do when we travel is hire someone to drive us around for 100 bucks in Southeast Asia. Staying within your budget is a great way to make the most of your travel experience. We can just have a private driver and it is not that much more expensive, instead of worrying about buses and taxis. We can have a stress-free journey and arrive on time. Small, small, marginal changes that can be made can lead to a much more enjoyable experience and you have the money to do that. It’s amazing how much of a difference these small changes can make in your life when you have the means to make them happen. I can save $10 if I do this instead of thinking of it as a frugality mindset. It’s important not to focus on how much you can save, but on how much something brings to the table.

Best Early Retirement Advice

Grant:  29:02

A lot of people listen to this show because they are on the way to work this morning, or they just got done with work, or they are catching up and resting on a weekend, but maybe they feel stuck. They should keep pushing towards their goals, no matter what, as anything is possible with the right mindset and hard work. Your story is so inspiring. You have the courage to tell it, and I’m so proud of you. What pieces of advice would you give someone who was just hearing about financial independence for the first time? Start small and make a plan. Break down your goals into achievable steps and work towards them one at a time. How should they get on the right path? They should start by taking a hard look at their situation and setting realistic goals for themselves. They should also research resources that can help them achieve those goals and create a plan of action to get started.

Justin: 29:48

Yeah. It comes down to making a lot of small changes that will change your mindset about money and how you spend it. By taking small steps, you can build a solid financial foundation that will help you achieve your long-term goals. Doing something about it will make positive changes for your future. Making positive changes now will give you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to achieve your goals. You don’t. You don’t have to go from being a novice to an expert overnight because you don’t have to. Do your research and find solutions that work for you. Look at what you’re spending because it’s about small steps. Tracking your expenses and creating a budget will help you stay on track.

Track your expenses. If you want to stay organized and on top of your spending, you can use a budgeting app or spreadsheet. If nothing else, spreadsheet, piece of paper or online tools,

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