Guest post: Having my cake and eating it too

This is a guest post from Ryan from Planting Dollars. Ryan currently lives in Honolulu while saving 50% of his income.

I believe when people think of working towards an early retirement they consider it impossible to do the things they enjoy most. For me, those things are experiences. At a young age I’d like to see more of the world, meet interesting new people, and try a lot of new experiences (I’m a bit of an experience junkie). After graduating college and living with the parents for about a year I had to make a decision. Stay in my hometown and continue down my same path or follow a passion while working towards financial security. I chose passion.

For me this passion was scuba diving, in particular, with sharks. Therefore, it’s location specific and couldn’t be done back in Wisconsin. I took a gamble and bought a one way to Hawaii. Turned out that it was one of my better decisions. Because I can “have my cake and eat it too!”

I truly would like to have the ability to travel while working towards an early retirement, so I’m working hard to make it possible. I don’t mean travel as in take a week long cruise, I mean living in different places for a year or so at a time. I suppose my idea could be a hybrid between this site and the ideas of a very popular Mr. Ferris of the four hour workweek. Being mobile, yet socking away 50% or more of my income.

I don’t make a ton of money at this job, but I manage to save about 50% of everything I make which goes towards debt from college and investments, such as my Roth IRA. I don’t save because I want to buy “stuff” but rather want the freedom and piece of mind that comes with not being dependent on a job. I’d also like the ability to help others more later on in life.

I do realize that I have to take care of myself before I can help others so I don’t believe my actions are selfish. If I’m broke, stuck in a 9-5, or purchasing a ton of consumer goods, I’m unable to fulfill this purpose and thus am leading a much more shallow life.

How I plan on retiring early:

By simply living frugal, starting low risk businesses, and investing at least 50% of my income.

Currently I reside in Honolulu, and live below my means there. I’m living on a budget that could be done by someone working on minimum wage. To see how I do it, check out my article about how I live in Honolulu for less than $1,000 a month. This is a choice because I find that simple living is actually more relaxing, I can devote more time to my writing, fitness, or spending it with friends. I enjoy free activities, having more free time, and focusing on working on myself rather than watching episodes of “Lost.” I don’t even have a TV if I wanted to. I was also able to trade in my car back home for riding a bike here since the climate is always warm. It’s also made me feel a lot better because I’m constantly having to exercise.

What I’m not paying down in debt, I’m putting in my Roth IRA or the SIMPLE IRA at work. At 23 I have about $10k saved in retirement and owe about $25k from college ? .

I’m also investing in myself by learning about personal finance through my blog in which I hope I can share this mentality with others and gain a better grasp on investments. I do hold a finance degree and have real estate entrepreneurs as parents so I have a pretty good handle already, but you can never learn too much. I plan on growing this site by posting at least once a day and monetizing it. I also have a portfolio of a few other unrelated sites that bring in some income.

The key ingredient to my cake is to achieve a level of $50,000 a year income from my websites before I hit age 30. I believe this is very possible if I stick at it for 7 years. Therefore I can live a mobile lifestyle from my laptop while being able to retire early and following the principle of saving over 50% of my money.

Therefore, the basics of my timeline are:

  • Continue to work in Hawaii at my full time job and find additional work as a bartender (I’m currently searching).
  • Invest a ton of time learning web development and building a substantial web portfolio.
  • Live within my means by living on about $1,000 – $1,300 a month depending on income, but nowhere above the 50% mark.
  • Begin travel once I hit the $50k per year mark from websites so that I can continue to invest and hit my goal of $1 million before age 40.

Do you think this is possible? Any advice would be appreciated!

Copyright © 2007-2021
This feed is for personal, non-commercial use only.
The use of this feed on other websites breaches copyright. If you see this notice anywhere else than in your news reader, it makes the page you are viewing an infringement of the copyright. Some sites use random word substitution algorithms to obfuscate the origin. Find the original uncorrupted version of this post on (Digital Fingerprint: 47d7050e5790442c7fa8cab55461e9ce)

Originally posted 2009-12-25 11:01:14.