If I had to guess, I would say in terms of the
entire population, I'd probably be in the top 1% of most frugal people, maybe top 0.1%. Here's our couch. We got it free. We found this patio furniture for free on
Craigslist. I don't really like to buy anything. And in fact, it kind of makes me anxious. Every year or two, I'll get a new pair of running
shoes. Last time I bought running shoes is actually a
used pair. We've decided to invest in maybe cheaper hobbies
than most people. As eclectic as ever. How's it going, Mike? Board game Meetups led me
to meeting a few folks that I really enjoy spending time with, and so we get together
regularly to play board games. Chris:
Ooh, sick burn. Tanner:
Yeah. I don't really feel like we're missing out
We have everything we need and we're generally
really happy. My name is Tanner Firl. I'm 29 years old. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I plan to retire at the age of 35, and I've saved
$380,000 for retirement. Our house is in south Minneapolis, and I live
with my wife, my kid, and three cats. I've always been the primary income generator in
the household. My wife makes a little bit of money from hobbies
and she definitely saves us a lot of money by being the primary cook and homemaker. Lean Fire is a subset of people that would like
to reach FIRE, financial independence, earlier than most people in the movement. Generally, by saving money at a higher rate than
most people in the FIRE movement, I'd estimate we put about 50% or so of our
paycheck, maybe a little bit more towards savings. My personal brokerage account has $221,000 in it. My Roth IRA has $57,000. My health savings account has $26,000 in it and
my 401K has $75,000. A lot of people in the FIRE community have really
definitive FIRE numbers. For me, it's a little bit more flexible.
My lower bounds for retirement is $625,000
because I figure I need about $25,000 a year to live. So $25K sounds really low and it is for a lot of
people, depending on where you live and what your risk tolerance is, that might not be completely
possible. Your life changes over time and you never know
exactly what to expect. And so there's a fair amount of variability. Retiring, it's not about sitting on your couch
watching Netflix all day or going to the beach and getting a really nice suntan.
It's about getting to do whatever you want in
life. We were always very frugal. Growing up, I remember going to the bowling
alley. It was always a treat when we got a gum ball. Whenever we wanted something, we would have to
spend our own money to buy it or wait until our birthday or Christmas. That led to me and all my siblings having
newspaper routes where we deliver newspapers every day. We looked for other ways to make money as
well. My parents just gave me a loan directly. So when I graduated from college, I worked on
paying that off for a number of years. I believe the interest rate was 3%. It took me about five years to pay my parents
I could have done it faster had I wanted to, but
I figured that the difference would be better spent investing in index funds. I always put in as much as I could in order to
get the employer match on my 401K. Parallel to that, I was also investing in index
funds at the time. A little bit after I graduated from college and
started making kind of real money in a professional job, I took FIRE to an extreme that
I, I think generally it's safe to say is unhealthy. I would get very, very anxious about
saving as much money as humanly possible.
I get really, really anxious about making more
money so that I could retire as early as possible. I put things off in my life that I really wanted
to do in order to try and and retire even earlier . I would spend all of my free time trying to make
money. I had these ideas for side hustles and I was
doing those things not because I enjoyed them, but because I thought that I'd make a lot of money.
And when those things weren't panning out, it led
to a lot of frustration. I was putting off like having kids because I
wanted to make money. Thankfully, I have kind of done a complete 180 on
those issues and I don't have that sort of relationship anymore. I'm still very frugal and spending money still
does make me a little anxious, but it doesn't affect me so much.
And I've learned that it's okay if it takes me a
year or two longer, if that means that I can enjoy the present significantly more. Oh my goodness. We were able to pay basically our entire mortgage
and then some renting out the downstairs of the house on Airbnb. So that was really, I think, my first significant
side hustle . Downstairs, so this used to be the Airbnb space. So we had just a bed down here and at one point
we had a TV and a mini fridge and a toaster. I think as we've been together a little longer,
my wife is becoming more frugal. In general, I'm definitely the more frugal one in
the relationship. I don't have too many things that I buy on a
regular basis outside of just like food and the mortgage and utilities.
I know a lot of people spend a lot of money on
groceries, and we do to an extent as well, because I do like to eat healthy. That said, there's a lot of ways that you can eat
healthy and cheap at the same time. Instead of eating a bunch of meat, you can eat a
bunch of beans. Beans are super cheap. You can buy a huge bag of beans for a couple of
bucks that'll last two months. And the same thing with rice. We're fortunate that we live in Minnesota because
there's this awesome nonprofit called Ruby's Pantry. Hello, I'm here for pickup. I have two bundles. That takes a bunch of food that would otherwise go
to waste. It's things that can't be sold in the grocery
stores for whatever reason. You never know what you're going to get. But for 25 bucks a bundle, a bundle is about half
a carload, they just give you a ton of food. Thank you. Appreciate it. And then you drive off and you have probably half
your groceries for the month, if not more. A lot of the free things we find for kind of
where you'd expect, Craigslist, online marketplaces.
But we also have kind of garnered a
reputation with our friends and family as being frugal and thrifty. And so we do end up getting a lot of free things. You know, a family member, will see something
free on the side of the road and will think that we might like it. That's how we ended up getting
our running stroller that I use to run with my son. We got a bunch of hand-me-downs from my
sister who have had kids, and that's all the clothes that our son wears. My hobbies include running almost every day,
listening to podcasts, playing video games with my wife, going for walks with my family. I meditate daily, chat with my family on Zoom
once a week. I like to bake. Another one of my hobbies has always been board
games. I think a lot of things that bring people
fulfillment in life and happiness don't cost that much money. I think a lot of people look at the
FIRE movement and they think that a lot of these people are just not living their lives at
all because they are just so busy stashing away money.
I don't think that's a fair representation
because in life there's no short supply of experiences. Most experiences that will make you
happy are probably free or extremely cheap. Obviously, money can put a roof
over your head, put food on the table, but when you're saving money, you're essentially buying
freedom. So the best way that you can spend excess money
is ironically, by saving it to give you more time in your life back to you to spend however
I think FIRE is the concept that
retirement is not an age. A lot of us go through the world
thinking that when we turn 65, something magical is going to happen and you get
to retire. And that's not true because if you don't
have any money, you can't stop working when you're 65. And the flip side of
that, you don't need to wait until you're 65 either.
If you have enough
money, you can retire at 55 or 45 or 36 like I did. And so it's just kind of
turning this whole idea of traditional retirement age on its head. My name is Jeremy Schneider. I'm 41 years old. I live in San Diego
and I reached financial independence at 36. I grew up in southeast Michigan, outside
of Detroit. My parents were kind of middle class. I went to college at the University of
Michigan. I studied computer science. I was in college from 1998 to 2002 when
the dotcom boom was happening, and I would see these young people just
a few years older than me who were making millions with tech startups. And it inspired me to start young. And then as I was graduating from
Michigan, I turned down a job offer from Microsoft to start my own Internet
But I recorded my bank account the
moment the wire came through. I clicked
refresh and it jumped from $100,000 or so to over $2 million, which was pretty
surreal. And it was very abstract. I don't really know how much money that
was. The day after the company sold, I was
suddenly in integration mode with this very nice company that just gave me
millions of dollars. It was an especially busy time and so I
couldn't just like ditch and head to Fiji. I just saw that as like a finish
line that when I sold the company and made millions, I would just like be on
this beach. I was talking to the CEO of the company
that bought our company and I told him that vision. I was like, "All right,
I'm going to be on the beach." And he asked me, "What are you going to
do when you get back?" And what he meant was, you can't spend
your life on a beach, you know? I mean, you could, but that's kind of a
So I guess it dawned on me that I
couldn't just, like, spend the rest of my days sipping Mai Tais on the beach
because that would be really boring. I worked for the company that bought us
for two years, and then in April of 2017, I quit my job and officially was
retired or financially independent at the age of 36. And that was the year when I played
video games and traveled for a year. That first year of being unemployed or
retired or whatever you want to call it. It was just kind of like every day was
the weekend. I would always get asked like, "What do
you do all day if you're not at work?" And my answer would be like, "What do
you do on Saturdays?" It's amazing how quickly your time fills
up with meeting with friends or working out or working on projects or playing
games or traveling. And so I kept really busy and it was
really fun at first. But as the year dragged on, I found that
there's something missing in my life. There actually was a moment where I had
an epiphany where a year after I retired and played video games for a year, I
was on a vacation in Mexico and for a week I wasn't playing this game
Starcraft II, which I had become very addicted to.
And I realized what a
massive waste of time that was and how I basically just gave away a year of my
life to play this game. And so I decided that I didn't want to
do that anymore. And so I came back and before I played
another game, I uninstalled it cold turkey from my computer and haven't
played it ever since. Get it out of there. At the time, it
wasn't very calculated that I needed exactly $3 million. It was more of just a sense of over the
course of two years, the growth of my investments were outpacing my actual
W-2 income. Now, with the benefit of knowing about
the FIRE movement much more in depth, I know about the 4% rule, which says you
can live on about 4% of your investment portfolio. 4% of $3 million is
$120,000, which was like twice as much as I'd ever spent in a year. And so I think that I was easily FIRE at
$3 million. My net worth is about $4.4 million. $1.1 million is the value of my home you
see behind me. I was a lifelong renter until I was 38
I was actually living in my friend's
garage, which was converted to an apartment. I have a traditional IRA
with about $50,000 and a new 401(k) with my new company that's got about
$15,000. The other $3 million or so is all in a
taxable account just because it didn't fit in the tax advantaged accounts. I think my biggest expense is probably travel right now.
I'm just going on vacation. Restaurants, I think I spend about $800
a month. I don't have a mortgage. My home that
you see behind me is 100% paid for. I actually applied for a mortgage and
was denied because I didn't have a job. And so I just wrote a check and paid
cash. I don't buy things if I don't think I
need them. So, for example, if I look over to my
left, I see the keyboard on my computer, which I use every single day, which is
And so people walk into my house and
they see this like 1998 era keyboard and think it's ridiculous, but it's a great
keyboard and it works fine. And so why would I spend more money if I
don't need to? I live alone, don't have any roommates
or a wife just yet. Welcome to my home. I live here in sunny San Diego in this
two-bedroom condo. Come on, I'll show you around. This is my living room where I watch
CNBC Make It. This is my office. I sit here. I make Instagram posts,
TikTok reels. The kitchens over here. When I bought this house for $712,000,
everything was different. There was a gigantic wall that came
right down here. I knocked down the wall, remodeled the
kitchen from this big built-in table. It was about $100,000 in total for the
remodel. Guest bathroom. I actually did the tile work in that
bathroom myself. One of the few parts of the remodel. This is the master bedroom that includes
the peak view of Mission Bay in sunny San Diego way over there in the corner.
Over here is the master bathroom. When I bought the place, this was all
pink with a tub. And I put in a total new shower. Tile. One of these fancy lighted mirrors so I
can look at myself every morning. Do my daily affirmations. And that is the house tour. I'm going to bed. I started an Instagram account where my
plan was to share daily personal finance and money tips.
Every single day I would get the exact
same question, which is like, "How do I get started investing? What's a Roth IRA? What's an index fund? What investment do I buy?" And then after a year and a half, it was
mid 2020 and I was kind of bored during the pandemic. And I essentially started
a company by mistake by launching a paid product. I wanted to create just a
video course that walked through it that kind of was like a brain dump from my
brain to everyone who was asking these questions. So I decided to sell the
video course for $79. And the first week of launching this
course, we made like $110,000. And so I was like, "Oh, it took me four
years on my first company to make $110,000.
So this might actually be a real
business." I do a 25% profit share. So 25% of our profit is split among the
employees based on seniority. I have a friend, and about 10 years ago
we started a website called What's That
Charge? Which helps you identify mysterious
charges on your credit card statement. My buddy and I own it 50/50. And so it's been live for 10 years. I think we're going to make like $7,000
this month. I think that I've found peace with where
I'm at in life financially. I don't feel like I need more to be
happy. And so I'm not really chasing any big
financial goals. I'm still not totally immune to ideas of
like a bigger place or a vacation home or something like that. So that might
be nice if the company does well or my investments continue to grow. If I didn't have income from my current
job, I can live forever on my investments.
I'm living way below the
safe withdrawal rate from my portfolio short of some sort of economic
apocalypse in the future, which no one can predict. But I can live forever on
I never ever, ever envisioned living in an additional nation, and also
then I never had this idea of ever retiring early. Amon is the visionary as well as I am the calculated coordinator
to arrive. My primary motivation for FIRE was freedom to invest my
time ever before I saw fit. What we did was we made some intentional short-term
sacrifices to make sure that we could have a life time of liberty. You obtained ta clap. My name is Amon Browning as well as I'' m Christina Browning. We are from California as well as at the ages of thirty nine
as well as forty one, we retired very early and also we relocated below to Portugal.FIRE is an acronym, it stands for Financial Self-reliance, Retire Early.
Amon as well as I mosted likely to the very same university. Amusing enough, we actually began speaking in line waiting for the food as we ' re stacking food up on
our plate. Oh, you ' re seriously downplaying piling up. She'was in line simply like me loading her plate up high. We fulfilled when we were really starving, university student, essentially starving.And we were we were outrageous. That set the tone for
You assumed of the concept like I want to retire previously I ' m 40. Right? And you brought it to me and it was like
,'OK, let ' s identify how we can do this. I understand that I wouldn ' t be in this scenario if it wasn ' t for my history.
I expanded up inadequate. We were on food stamps.
I do remember that my mama was actually good at conserving. Currently. Before we quit our tasks, Christina and also I. worked for the federal government, Christina was an attorney and also she was making around.
seventy thousand dollars a year.And I was an urban organizer for the federal government. as well as I was making about ninety thousand dollars.
Right after Amom and also I graduated from college, we relocated.
That was the initial point I wanted to do as soon as I. came right into money since my family never ever owned a residence. As well as that wasn ' t the case for us. We were dumpster diving, getting a glass of wine cages, and.
After we did'points to make money as well as then additionally to. conserve cash, we additionally went an action additionally.
We started spending all of that money. We obtained to a factor where we were saving up to 70 percent. of the cash that we came in to make sure that we can be investing it.For instance, we made even more than four hundred thousand. bucks in benefit from buying property in the Bay Area. I see you. Having no background in property, having no money,. having no ability to spruce up properties, we were still able to do it because we had the ability to feed. off each other and also reach a service. Right.
That ' s what we ' ve always been able to do. That'' s exactly how we achieve economic independence. I ' ve had the ability to develop as well as I'' ve had the ability to expand. I think Amon actually assisted bring that to me and give.
I really satisfaction myself on being there for for my family members. I think that that'' s the most important thing that I.
do. And we were able to succeed.
Going into the office as well as informing people officially I. really felt truly effective since it
' s like, OK, we ' re, we'' re doing this. We'' re really doing this. I imply, I wasn'' t stopping the people.
us, they knew exactly what was happening. As well as we were strolling them with so that they could.
And also for me, I like that we'' re able to do that since
. Currently, we'' re only holding two properties, both in.
Portugal. One is our key residence as well as this investment.
home. Yet over the life of our trip, we have acquired and also.
marketed 6 residential properties. I'' ve always been so thankful for having Christina.
there with me to be able to help me concentrate and we wouldn'' t be here today if it wasn'' t for us. interacting to achieve every one of these dreams.I didn ' t
have a fear that we wouldn'' t reach it due to the fact that.
I really felt like, you recognize, what we were doing was so really extraordinary. We were spending our money in properly. We weren'' t inefficient. We weren'' t attempting to stay on top of.
She'' s the yin and the yang, however you want to place it. We actually enhance each various other. Worst instance situation, if we didn'' t reach FIRE, you understand,.
us. We utilized to reside in Spain and we traveled to Portugal.
quite a little bit when we were really tightening up our list of where we inevitably wished to wind up. We simply began considering all these various factors.
in Portugal, simply maintained turning up leading on the list. The begin of our day right here in Portugal. Currently that we'' re retired, it ' s so unwinded, it doesn ' t. feel like a thrill. We reach sit down and also have a healthy and balanced morning meal. We'' ll make pancakes or eggs or we'' ll make some organic.
fruit as well as yogurt and also granola and honey. As well as it'' s simply this moment where we obtain to really sit.
down with each other and be present with each other. As well as I love that we reach begin our.
As well as we put on ' t have to necessarily stress regarding an infant. You recognize, we weren ' t running from something.We constantly inform individuals we'' re running to something. As well as for us, attaining FIRE implied being able to spend.
I desire individuals to understand that there is a totally. You have such a fulfilling life when you get to FIRE.
I believe FIRE is the principle that
retired life is not an age. A great deal of us undergo the globe
believing that when we transform 65, something wonderful is going to occur and also you get
to retire. Which'' s not true because if'you don ' t. have any type of cash, you can ' t quit working when you ' re 65. And also the other hand of.
that, you don'' t need to wait up until you'' re 65 either. If you have enough.
As well as so it'' s just kind of. I'' m 41 years old. I live in San Diego.
and I got to economic freedom at 36. I grew up in southeast Michigan, outdoors.
of Detroit. My moms and dads were sort of middle course. I mosted likely to university at the University of.
Michigan. I studied computer technology. I remained in college from 1998 to 2002 when.
the dotcom boom was happening, and I would certainly see these young individuals just.
a couple of years older than me who were making millions with technology startups. And also it inspired me to start young. And also then as I was finishing from.
Michigan, I declined a job deal from Microsoft to start my very own Net.
company.But I videotaped my savings account the. moment the cable came through. I clicked.
rejuvenate and also it jumped from $100,000 approximately to over $2 million, which was quite.
unique. And also it was really abstract. I wear'' t really understand just how much money that.
was. The day after the firm offered, I was.
suddenly in integration setting with this really nice company that just offered me.
numerous dollars. It was a specifically busy time and also so I.
couldn'' t similar to ditch and also head to Fiji. I simply saw that as like a finish.
line that when I marketed the business as well as made millions, I would certainly much like get on.
this beach. I was talking to the CEO of the business.
that gotten our firm as well as I informed him that vision.I was like
, “” All right,.
I'' m mosting likely to be on the coastline.” And also he asked me, “” What are you going to.
And also what he suggested was, you can'' t spend. I think it dawned on me that I.
couldn'' t justSimply like, spend invest rest of my days sipping Drinking Tais on the beach.
because that would certainly be really monotonous. I benefited the company that acquired us.
for 2 years, and afterwards in April of 2017, I quit my work and also formally was.
retired or monetarily independent at the age of 36. And also that was the year when I played.
video clip games and also took a trip for a year. That initial year of being out of work or.
retired or whatever you intend to call it. It was just kind of like everyday was.
the weekend break. I would constantly obtain asked like, “” What do.
you do all the time if you'' re not at job?” As well as my response would be like, “” What do.
you do on Saturdays?”” It'' s impressive just how swiftly your time fills up.
up with meeting with close friends or functioning out or functioning on projects or having fun.
games or traveling.And so I kept actually active as well as it was. truly enjoyable at initial.
However as the year dragged out, I located that. there ' s something missing out on in my life. There in fact was a moment where I had. a surprise where a year after I retired and played video games for a year, I. got on a getaway in Mexico as well as for a week I wasn ' t playing this game. Starcraft II, which I had actually come to be extremely addicted to. And I realized what a. substantial wild-goose chase that was and exactly how I generally just distributed a year of my. life to play this game. And so I made a decision that I didn ' t desire to. do that any longer.
Therefore I returned and prior to I played. an additional game, I uninstalled it cool turkey from my computer system and also place ' t. played it ever before considering that.
Obtain it out of there. At the time, it.
wasn'' t really determined that I needed specifically $3 million.It was even more of just a sense of over the. course of two years, the growth of my financial investments were surpassing my real. W-2 earnings. Currently, with the advantage
of knowing about. the FIRE motion a lot more in deepness, I learn about the 4% guideline, which says you. can survive about 4% of your investment portfolio. 4% of $3 million is. $120,000, which was like twice as high as I'' d ever invested in a year. Therefore I assume that I was conveniently FIRE at.
$ 3 million. My web worth is concerning $4.4 million. $1.1 million is the worth of my house you.
see behind me. I was a lifelong tenant till I was 38.
years old. I was actually residing in my good friend'' s. garage, which was converted to an apartment.I have a conventional individual retirement account. with around$ 50,000 as well as a brand-new 401( k) with my new company that ' s got around.$ 15,000.
The various other $3 million or so is all in a.
taxable account just because it didn'' t fit in the tax tax obligation accounts. I'' m just going on vacation.
I put on'' t have a mortgage. I really used for a home mortgage and also.
was denied since I didn'' t have a job. And also so I just wrote a check and paid.
cash money. I don'' t buy things if I wear'' t assume I. require them. So, as an example, if I examine to my.
left, I see the key-board on my computer system, which I utilize every solitary day, which is.
from university. As well as so people walk into my house as well as.
they see this like 1998 period keyboard and think it'' s absurd, however it'' s a great.
I live alone, wear'' t have any type of flatmates. Or an other half just. Come on, I'' ll reveal you around.
CNBC Make It. This is my workplace. I sit here. I make Instagram messages,.
TikTok reels. The cooking areas over below. When I acquired this residence for $712,000,.
everything was various. There was a big wall that came.
right down here. I knocked down the wall, remodeled the.
kitchen from this huge integrated table. It was about $100,000 in total for the.
remodel. Guest restroom. I in fact did the tile operate in that.
bathroom myself. One of minority components of the remodel.This is the master room that consists of. the top view of Objective Bay in
sunny San Diego means over there in the edge. Over right here is the master shower room. When I bought the area, this was all. pink with a bathtub.
As well as I place in a complete new shower. Floor tile. One of these fancy lighted mirrors so I. can take a look at myself every early morning.
What ' s a Roth IRA? What ' s an index fund? And after that after a year and a half, it was.
As well as I essentially began. a company by chance by introducing a paid product.I intended to produce simply a. video training course that went through it that sort of resembled a brain dump from my. brain to every person that was asking these concerns. I determined to offer the.
video course for$ 79. And the very first week of releasing this.
training course, we made like $110,000. Therefore I resembled, “Oh, it took me 4. years on my very first company to make$ 110,000. So this could in fact be a genuine. service.” I do a 25% profit share.
25% of our earnings is divided amongst the. employees based on seniority.
I have a pal, as well as regarding one decade earlier. we began an internet site called What
' s That. Charge? Which aids you identify mystical. costs on your bank card statement. My buddy and also I possess it 50/50. Therefore it ' s been online for ten years. I believe we'' re going to duplicate $7,000.
this month. I assume that I'' ve found tranquility with where.
I'' m at in life monetarily. I don'' t seem like I need even more to be.
satisfied. And also so I'' m not truly going after any kind of huge.
financial goals.I ' m still not completely unsusceptible to concepts of.
like a bigger place or a villa or something like that. To make sure that may.
behave if the business does well or my investments continue to expand. If I didn'' t have earnings from my current.
job, I can live permanently on my financial investments. I'' m living way listed below the.
risk-free withdrawal price from my portfolio except some type of financial.
apocalypse in the future, which no one can forecast. Yet I can live permanently on.
my financial investments.
Oftentimes people tell me, “You know, I don't have any money, so I really don't know where to go. I don't know what to start, I got to wait to have a lot of money before I begin.” That is the biggest mistake you can make. So let's say you're a young millennial or even Z generation come along and you're saying, “I really want to be financially free but I don't have any money.” You don't need a lot of money.
You have the greatest gift on earth: time and compounding. When they asked Warren Buffett, “What made you a wealthy man?” He said, “Good genetics, time and compounding.” So what does that mean? If you could commit at 19 years old to just put $300 aside, forget the $1,000, yes, you can invest $1,000, but what you want is consistency. Let's say you put $300 a month aside. It might sound like a lot to start with, but you'll get used to it. You get it so it's automatic deposit, let's say it goes straight in the market. And the market over 100 years has gone up 10 percent over recent years, let's say 8 percent compounded. If you take the lower number, the 8 percent and you only go to twenty seven years old and you stop, you've put in roughly $38,000 into that. It'll grow to $million dollars. That's the power of compounding. You put a little in and you got a huge return because you had time. If your best friend comes in and says at twenty seven, when you stop investing, “I've never done this, I should do it.” And they put 300 dollars a month in every year 'til they're sixty five have less money because you have a little more time.
They'll have $million dollars. Still not bad. They only put $150,000 in over a lifetime and they got $million. Pretty good deal. That's what compounding means. You've got to get in the game. You've got to become an owner, not a consumer. That will change your life. .
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