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I Will Retire at 30!!!

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No need to beat around the bush any longer, I might as well make it official — I am going to retire from my career as a professional engineer at the age of 30. When I first started this blog, my original target was 37.5. For anyone who has kept up with the About Me section, you’ll see that this target date has been moved in on a somewhat regular basis.

Sadly, no, it’s not because I won the lottery (although I am playing in the latest round of powerball!). I also haven’t discovered a way to beat the market on a consistent basis. No, I’m not doing anything new or exciting. I’ve just been simply saving like a maniac (60 to 70%+) over the past two years, and investing all my earned income and re-investing all passive/semi-passive income into buying more assets.

At this moment in time, my passive/semi-passive income stream brings in about $1300/month. This does not factor in any contributions from retirement accounts (401k/Roth IRA). My original FI target was $1500/month. By the end of 2014, I am aiming to reach somewhere between $2000/month to $2500/month. This will be made possible by securing one additional property this year, and three additional properties next year.

By the end of 2014, I will be 30. Hopefully, I will have 7 properties by then. If everything goes to plan, I could potentially exit out before year’s end of 2014. However, I also want to build up a cash buffer (dividend stocks) to serve as an emergency-emergency fund. So, if I can grind it out for a little bit longer, realistically, my goal would be to check out for good in mid 2015. I’ll still only be 30. This would also allow me enough time to collect one last round of yearly bonuses (RSU’s, stock options, etc.). All bonuses vest in August 2015. Summer also seems like it would be an ideal time to throw in the towel and ride off into the sunset.

Yep, that’s the plan for now. Grind it out for two more years… then live the life I’ve always dreamed about. 🙂

Thanks for reading! I’ve enjoyed sharing this journey with everyone so much!

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • LeighNo Gravatar August 6, 2013, 10:44 pm

    You’re a year older than I thought you were! I think I’ll be close to able to retire by the end of the year in which I turn 30. We’ll see. That’s with today’s numbers and that’s still 5 years away.

    Can’t wait to see how things continue to unfold for you in the next couple of years!!

  • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 6, 2013, 10:54 pm

    Leigh,

    At the rate you’re going, I wouldn’t be surprised if you get there by 28 or so 😉

    5 years is actually quite a lot of time, and a lot of things can change. I’ve only been doing this for 2 years, and I’ve revised my target from 37.5 to 30. Also, a lot will have to do with the state of the economy. If we have another recession, I’ll feel more inclined to keep working so I can snatch up all the bargains (stocks and real estate).

    Honestly, if I can get there before 35, I’ll be absolutely thrilled. I started kind of late, so would be really surprised if I can get there by 30. This is something I never would have dreamed could have been possible just a few years ago.

    You’re doing amazing. Keep it up! You might just make it onto the Guinness World Records 😉

  • Dividend investing MartinNo Gravatar August 6, 2013, 11:06 pm

    FI, great goal, great plan and great achievements so far. I like your idea of creating a cash cushion in case. May I shoot an advice? You probably know it. Jesse Livermore always said, never take out of your investment portfolio more that 50% of your gains. Take 50% and reinvest the rest. I do not think you need necessarily reinvest 50% of everything you make, but put at least 10% back to make sure your investments will always grow in thick or thin times.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 8, 2013, 9:54 pm

      Martin,

      Thanks! Yep, I’m doing my best to re-invest all of my gains back into the investment portfolio. To date, I haven’t used any gains for anything other than to help fund the next downpayment for the next property.

      Once I reach the target of 7-10, I’ll probably start using the cash flow to start rapidly paying down the debt.

      Cheers!

  • Lisa @ Cents To SaveNo Gravatar August 7, 2013, 3:29 am

    That is wonderful!! What an awesome feeling to accomplish at such a young age!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 8, 2013, 9:55 pm

      Lisa,

      Thanks! The future looks bright, I’m hoping. I’m doing my best to reach my goals as early as possible.

      Hopefully I’ll be celebrating not too long from now 😉

      Best wishes!

  • PaulineNo Gravatar August 7, 2013, 6:25 am

    Awesome! I am sure your plan will turn out fine even sooner. I targeted 40 and left at 29 haha.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 8, 2013, 9:56 pm

      Pauline,

      Wow, 29, that’s very impressive. Like you, I’m into real estate and leverage, so hopefully the outcome turns out the same!

      Cheers!

  • MichelleNo Gravatar August 7, 2013, 7:36 am

    Looooooooooove this post 🙂 2 years is amazing!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 8, 2013, 9:57 pm

      Michelle,

      Thanks! Will do my best to make it a reality!

      Best wishes!

  • EvanNo Gravatar August 7, 2013, 12:34 pm

    Married? Kids?

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 8, 2013, 9:58 pm

      Evan,

      Not yet, but I don’t think that will impact my plans any. I’m going to follow through with this, and adapt later, if necessary.

      Cheers!

  • JC @ Passive-Income-PursuitNo Gravatar August 9, 2013, 6:10 am

    That’s a very ambitious goal and truly amazing to see the progress you’ve made in such a short time. I’m hoping to get one rental property next year to try and get started with some real estate investing because the cash flow can be very solid with the right properties.

    Oh and in case you’re wondering, I was not the lucky one to win the Powerball so I’ll just keep sticking to the grind.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 9, 2013, 12:03 pm

      JC,

      Thanks! I’ll admit the progress made in the last 2 years has been very surprising indeed. I never would have dreamed such results could even be possible. The crazy thing is I’m doing all this on the side, in addition to a full time job. What I mean is, I’m not exactly landing AMAZING deals. The deals I’m getting can be had by anyone. As is so often overstated, I wish I learned all this stuff in high school or college!

      I love your idea of getting a rental property. That’s a great way to diversify with the dividend stocks you currently hold. Very strong combo indeed.

      lol, my co-workers and I didn’t win either… oh well, better luck next time!

      Cheers!

  • ASNo Gravatar August 9, 2013, 10:45 am

    Hello,

    Truly amazing to see your journey and achievements so far. I am pretty sure you will achieve this target within time as well!

    I started reading your post regularly and I also want to start real estate investing. One question I have is do bank gets concerned once you start acquiring lots of real estate debt? Or in other words how to keep acquiring properties and mortgage loans without getting rejected by bank? I keep hearing from friends that it is very difficult to get a mortgage loan from bank. I will appreciate any input on this from your end.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 9, 2013, 12:10 pm

      AS,

      Thanks for the comment! That’s a very good question, so let’s see if I can answer it:

      In general, most big banks (Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, etc.) will lend you up to 4 conventional loans, no problem. What helps you qualify for a loan is a good credit score (720+) and high income. It can get tricky to secure additional loans if your debt to income ratio gets too high. This is why earning a high income helps. Also, it’s easier to qualify for more loans if you buy a lot of “cheap” properties, as opposed to more expensive ones. For instance, my last purchase was for $160k, so this doesn’t run up my debt too much.

      However, even with the debt to income limitation (around 40%+, lenders can start to worry), there are ways around that. If you own a rental property for 2+ years, you can count the gross rent towards your income. This basically nulls out your debt, and should help you qualify for more loans.

      Once you’ve tapped out the 4 conventional loans, the big banks may be more picky about lending you more. When that happens, you need to start looking for portfolio lenders. From my experience, YMMV, even the big banks have loosened up on lending and may be willing to loan you up to 10 loans. After 10, you probably need to start looking into private money to get more loans.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers!

  • IntegratorNo Gravatar August 17, 2013, 12:38 pm

    Nice work FIFighter!. I’ve got another 4 years before getting to our FI number. Kids tend to slow you down a little, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything 🙂 Ill still be happy to be independent by 40.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 25, 2013, 9:29 pm

      Integrator,

      Thanks! You’re well on your way as well! I enjoy following your journey on your blog. Getting there by 40 would be tremendous, and not something many people achieve.

      All the best!

  • The First Million is the HardestNo Gravatar August 19, 2013, 5:42 pm

    Nice work! Being able to leave your job by 30 would be an amazing accomplishment & it sounds like you have a great plan to get there.

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 25, 2013, 9:30 pm

      Jay,

      Thanks! I’m doing my best to reach that goal. I’m pretty burned out, so the sooner the better! Just gotta keep executing the plan.

      Hopefully interest rates don’t keep rising, as this puts a monkey wrench into my plans a little bit…

      Best wishes!

  • FI PilgrimNo Gravatar August 23, 2013, 12:24 pm

    Wow, just found your blog and you are my hero. Congrats on the early retirement!

    • FI FighterNo Gravatar August 25, 2013, 9:31 pm

      FI Pilgrim,

      haha, glad you like the blog!

      I’m not quite there yet… but thanks for the early “congrats” 😉

      Cheers!

  • Financial SamuraiNo Gravatar October 31, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Congrats man! Where do you live again to live off $2,000-$2,500/month? I think I gotta move out of SF!

    It’ll be interesting to see whether you will actually be able to walk away. It’s harder than you think. Don’t forget to engineer your layoff and not quit!

    Sam

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