Wednesday, November 25, 2015
How My Husband Quit His Job and Retired at Age 48
After writing the blog on how I created my own online business, I thought I should tell the story of how my husband quit his job and retired at age 48. My husband just recently left his job. This took a lot of planning and thinking ahead.
My husband and I always had the dream of working for ourselves rather than for "the man". This was something we worked toward from the beginning (we married at ages 18 and 19. Too young, I know!) We were very poor at the beginning and barely had enough money to put food on the table. I received WIC for both our children, which is a government program for Women, Infants and Children and we got a little food from that every month. I'm sure we could have qualified for food stamps but we wanted to make it on our own as much as possible and we never wanted to be charity cases.
We were attending a church at that time where the pastor was involved in rental properties. We learned about rental properties from him and bought our first house at ages 19 and 20. This was a repossessed house our pastor had found. It was perfect for us and I loved that little house. This was the beginning of being on the right financial track as we were gaining equity and not paying a landlord. We actually got into this house with no money down. The bank was selling to another bank and I think they wanted their books to look as good as possible. So, we were blessed to get this deal. We lived in this house for five years. We bought another house and used this little one as a rental. We lived very frugally and rarely spent money on frivolous things. We saved up a lot of money and had a nice nest egg. However, in time we made some bad financial decisions as sometimes people do. Sometimes, in spite of best efforts, there can be setbacks.
We had to reassess. We looked at people who were very successful and realized that they too had made bad investments sometimes but the people who were still successful were the ones who brushed off and moved forward. We realized we had to do the same thing.
During the previous years we had owned 5 rental properties. Because of circumstances, we sold them all. This was fortunate, however, because we sold most of them around 2005. There was a housing crash in 2008 and many, many people lots great sums of equity in their houses. If we were going to sell, we sold at the right time.
Still, we were back to the beginning financially and had to start over. This was hard. My husband got cancer. It was a hard fight emotionally, financially and physically. We both worked and I did what I always do with my income; I squirreled it away. Since I stayed at home when the kids were young, we were used to living on one income, no matter how tight. And it was tight.
With the money I squirreled away and money my husband saved up, we eventually began making more investments. In the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, he talks about passive income. Passive income is income you make from investments. It is money that you don't have to work for and don't get paid by the hour. This might be rental income, dividends or some other type of income that you get from using your mind rather than using your physical labor. This was our goal.
It took a number of years yet again to save money and make investments that would give us this passive income. My husband had a really good job and it was a very difficult decision to make for him to leave. However, we felt we were at the place where he could leave and we could still grow the business.
Another plus to this business plan, besides being able to retire from a day job, is the fact that it is a family business and you have something to pass on to your children. If you have a day job, you have nothing to pass on. You are not building equity. You can't pass an education on but you can pass a business on.
So, in building passive income there can be lots of ups and downs. It is not for the faint of heart. But it can give you great options and an exciting life. It can give you freedom.
It starts with saving pennies. This is why I am passionate about writing about savings. You can start with a small family getting WIC and end up with a retirement party at age 48. The first thing to do is begin to educate yourself. Begin paying down any debt. Save your pennies. There is the idea in our culture that if you are poor there is no way to climb up. It can be done but it takes diligence.
Right now, we are poised to grow. We have passive income and our needs are met. The sky is the limit! It depends on how hard we want to work.
So, Dream Big and Happy Savings!!