We are a husband and wife team living in Oakland, California with our two 18-year old Siamese cats. We moved to San Francisco from New York City in 1996, and quickly fell in love with the Bay Area.
After working for many years in the Internet / Tech industry, we finally realized we had saved enough to retire. We officially retired from the corporate world in January 2015 and have never looked back.
When we’re not working on Retire By 45, we’re busy staying active, traveling around the world, and enjoying the wonderful weather and restaurants in our area.
Why Did We Retire in our Early 40s?
We actually hadn't planned on retiring when we did. As fate would have it, we were both laid off from our day jobs within a month of each other. We decided to take advantage of our newly found free time to travel.
We started with a trip to Europe, visiting Italy, France, and Spain. Then it was off to Central & South America through the Panama Canal. In between, we managed to sprinkle in a couple trips to Tahoe and back to New York to visit family.
Before we knew it, we were hooked on the freedom of our new lifestyle. We sleep better, our relationship is stronger, we're in better physical shape, and we're much less stressed out.
How Did We Accomplish It?
We both had decent jobs, although our salaries were modest for the Bay Area. We also didn't start investing for retirement until our late 20s and early 30s.
So how did we manage to pay off our mortgage and stop working in one of the nation's most expensive areas? It was a combination of things. We set up automated investments, invested in real estate and rental property, created additional sources of income, and kept our expenses very modest.
I've always loved numbers, strategy, and money. As a kid, I was into geeky things like chess, role-playing games, and comic books. While that didn't make me the most popular kid, I think those traits did help me to think strategically about finances.
Another hobby of mine is creating small side businesses. I talk about some of these experiences on this LinkedIn post. If you can generate additional income with a side business it'll really give you a leg up on retiring early.
I also enjoy helping others with anything that might improve their lives, especially around money. I look forward to sharing our strategies, successes, and lessons learned along our early retirement journey.
I was taught the value of money and investing at an early age. My parents did well financially but were always very frugal, and they passed this along to me.
Although Dylin chides me about being a bit of a hoarder, my frugality is a big reason we're able to keep our expenses down in retirement. I have all kinds of techniques to get stuff for free or next to nothing.
I'm also a big do-it-yourself person. I'd rather figure out how to do something on my own than pay someone else to do it for me. This has saved us tons of money over the years.
One of my other passions is cooking and sourcing delicious local ingredients. I keep our expenses down by preparing our own meals, and I keep us healthier at the same time!