Retiring Early and Moving Abroad...Cynthia’s Advice for Achieving Your Dream Life
Cynthia’s Advice for Achieving Your Dream Life
Save your money and invest it in income-producing assets that appreciate in value (like real estate or a business), rather than saving x% to reach some magic number decades from now. The Bowmans had built up a nest egg mostly comprising the property they purchased over the years. They now rent out their house, which was half paid off, a condominium, and a commercial warehouse they had used for stock. “Property is a big reason we are able to do this,” says Cynthia.
Make sure your expenses remain less than your income.
Independence is not about how much you make or how much you have. Someone with a passive income of $3,000 per month and monthly expenses of $2,500 has achieved financial independence that is not reliant upon a paycheck. Compare this with someone earning $9,000 each month, but taking on credit to spend $10,000 or more.
Focus on what you need.
People are often happy with less, just as the Bowmans are today. They arrived in Spain with one suitcase apiece to start their new life. “I regret that it took a move for us to simplify our life,” Cynthia says. “The stress of managing a cluttered house was not worth it.”
Write down a script of the life you would like to lead and do not worry about what the answer is.
Play with your imagination and explore the details of what it would look like—what you would do, where you would go and what your worldview would be.
Avoid debt at all costs and pay it down quickly. Doing what you wish when you wish requires that you don’t carry debt.
Take calculated risks. Ask many questions and seek advice.
“I want people to understand that I don’t believe you can get rich working your whole life,” Cynthia says. Follow your own path to find the personal wealth that will truly make you happy, just as the Bowmans are doing.
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Kate Holmes, CFP, is founder and CEO of Belmore Financial. She is a contributor to the free eBook The Definitive Guide to Becoming the Retiree Next Door (published by MoneyTips.com), which features Cynthia and Brad along with other retirees and semi-retirees on a journey to financial freedom. While most Americans worry that they won’t have enough money to retire, these successful retirees show that many fulfilling paths are possible.