I’m married with 5 kids. My wife is a stay-at-home mother, though she taught elementary school for a year before putting her career on ice for a couple decades until all the kids are in elementary school.
I spent 5 years getting an undergrad degree in engineering. I then spent 4 years at a Fortune 25 company doing grunt engineering work. I was surrounded by grey-haired people who had been doing the same thing for their entire careers. Convinced I would rather kill myself than rot in cubicle hell for the next 40 years, I plotted my exit. First, I tested the waters by temporarily leaving my well-paying job (I was making $90k/year when I left) to pursue a master’s degree while on educational leave. Emboldened by my positive experience outside of cubicle hell, I took the plunge into 5 more years of school. It was brutal, but miraculously our family survived.
Thus far, we’ve accumulated wealth the old-fashioned way with frugality. I haven’t tracked our net worth religiously to date, but here’s a rough timeline of our income & net worth.
- Mid twenties.
- Earned $15k/year in income working as teacher’s assistant + random summer jobs before graduating.
- Finished our undergrad degrees.
- At graduation, our net worth was $10k ($0 debt).
- Took first job paying $55k/year.
- Late twenties.
- Got several promotions and earned $90k/year before leaving on educational leave.
- Started & completed master’s degree.
- Net worth $100k ($0 debt).
- Early thirties.
- Took 5 years earning advanced degree, during which I earned $25k-$30k/year.
- Mid thirties.
- Completed twelfth year of college with net worth of $225k ($0 debt).
- Took job paying $200k/year.
- Bought first home for $400k with 20% down payment funded by Roth IRAs.
Our goal is to be financially independent in our mid-forties with ~$1.5M in net worth (producing $45k/year in income in perpetuity at a 3% withdrawal rate). Let’s see how this goes, huh? It’s not as impressive as some of my blogging counterparts (Mr. Money Mustache, etc) who retired at 30, but with five kids and 12 years of college under my belt, I didn’t necessarily take the fastest path towards financial independence.
I created this blog to document our journey and illustrate how dumb-simple the process is. Hopefully someone will get use out of it.
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