I have read many, many posts here, but this is my first post.
In 7 days from now, i will put in my last days w*rk.
RE was never my priority, but FI has been something I have been after since childhood.
I grew up in a single parent home. My Mom worked hard to keep myself and my sister clothed and fed. In the back of my mind, I feel I undertood this from a very young age and have been petrified to be in that position myself.
After school, with no secondary education, I set out to seek my fortune.
I started selling trinkets on sidewalks and at fleamarkets.
I soon met a "trinket wholesaler" who I befriended and was soon employed (at a salary of $0.00 per month).
He taught me all the ways NOT to do business, and by some strange twist of fate, we parted ways, leaving me with a tiny run down loss making shop.
To cut a long story short, the Chinese have arrived on mass, and 18 years later, my business is on it's knees once again.
In my 18 years of w*rk, I saved every penny I could. LBYM is my mantra. Although I do enjoy nice things.
I bought my first investment property in 1999.
It took me many years of putting all my extra pennies into that property, untill I could afford a second property.
At this stage business started to boom and I found myself buying 2 properties a year.
Thank the Lord I did that.
So where do I stand now?
My business is being donated to my brother, who has worked with me for the last 5 years.
I leave with around 20 properties. Paid for. Fully tennanted. Self managed. I pick my tennants myself and very carefully. My properties take up about 6 hours a month of my time and I enjoy those hours.
After years of mutual fund investing (yes I know
) I amazingly manged to liquidate my portfolio in 2008 for a very tidy profit. It all went into the mortgages.
I leave with around six months worth of expenses in the bank.
No shares, no stocks, no bonds, no debt.
My earnings after tax for the year ahead will be around double my current salary. I should be able to save at least 75% of that based on my current standard of living. This is after tax, medical, motor vehicle and all other expenses. I live in a great house in a good neighborhood. No mortgage.
My wife has stopped w*rking for the last 11 month to look after our precious baby daughter. She plans to start again in the next few months, because she loves her w*rk, not because we need the money.
The decision to leave my business has been very recent, and to be honest my emotions are a mix of excitement and fear (of what, I don't know
I'm looking forward to reducing my stress levels. I have w*rked like a maniac since day one.
I have not put any figures in as I am not American nor do I live in the USA.
This is the same reason I have no idea what a dryer sheet is, or why I would recycle them.
I have also never been COLA'd although I do enjoy the odd soda.
I just thought I would introduce myself and share my excitement, and surprise.
Peace and love.