Tag Archives: bob and robin charlton

Meet some Financial gurus that know a bit about Life Style Freedom

First of all, I am not a financial guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I love personal finance and enjoy reading inspirational stories about how others have paved their way to financial independence.

Most people who retire early are seeking life style freedom. They want to be able to plan their day as they wish. If they feel like playing golf, hiking, biking or taking a road trip somewhere, they just get up and go. If they want to vacation for a month or more, they can do it. If they want to work full or part-time on a job that is fun for them, they just do it.

We achieved life style freedom by selling our software company in 2009 but not everyone has a business to sell.  So do you have to own and sell a business to achieve life style freedom? No, there are people that had jobs with average salaries that saved their way to life style freedom. Let me introduce you to a few of them.

Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Although he goes by the name Mr. Money Mustache, his real name is Pete and his last name he wants to keep anonymous. He retired at 30 years old on a nest egg of about $600,000 of which he saved by stuffing away about 75% of his paycheck into savings. He is now a multi-millionaire.

He started the Mr. Money Mustache website to share his financial prowess with others and offers a free discussion forum where like-minded people swap advice about money, investing and creating life style freedom. If you like personal finance, I highly recommend visiting this website.

Website: http://www.MrMoneyMustache.com 

Robert and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Robert (Bob) and Robin retired at 43 years old the old-fashioned way, they saved their way to retirement. Although the couple averaged only about $89,000 in combined salaries per year, they amassed almost $1 million in savings over a 15 year period.

Bob recently wrote a book about early retirement called How to Retire Early (click here to see it) and it is one of the top-rated books in the Retirement section of Amazon. It takes you through a journey of exactly how they accomplished it. It is very transparent and incredibly motivating. We met Bob and Robin a few years ago after we retired. We share a love of travel and they document their travels on their personal website.

Website: http://www.WhereWeBe.com 

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha owned a restaurant and decided to ditch the working grind at 38 years old. After accumulating savings in their dual career jobs and selling the restaurant, they had a net worth of about $500,000.

They have been retired now for over 25 years and their nest egg is larger than when they retired. They live on about $30,000 per year and travel the world most of the year.  Their website offers financial advice and documents their world travels.

When we started planning our early retirement, I read Billy and Akaisha’s book called “The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement” and it offered motivation and pragmatic advice regarding retiring early. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend taking the time to do so.

Website: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com

How much does it take to Retire?

So how much is enough? First, try to reduce your monthly expenses as much as you can by following advice from the people above. Once you have that down, take your monthly expenses and make them yearly (multiply by 12) and then multiple that number by 25. For example, if your monthly expenses are $3000, your annual expenses are $36,000. Multiply that by 25 and it means you need $900,000 of investments to retire.

This is called the “safe withdrawal rate” or the “4% rule”. Click here for a really good article that explains the 4% rule in more detail.

Now, do you need all of that to quit a job you hate and take a cooler job that you enjoy? No. Let’s say you only have investments of $500,000 and your yearly expenses are $36,000. You can safely withdraw 4% of your $500,000 per year without ever running out of money, so that means you can withdraw $20,000 per year. So if you wanted to ditch your job and get a more fun job (maybe a part-time job) where you clear $16,000 per year, you could safely retire with the $500,000 in investments.

Are you nuts?

OK, I now hear you saying “Are you crazy? How can I (or we) save $900,000? I have almost no savings at this time!”. Bob and Robin Charlton also had no savings in 1992 and decided they wanted to change their life. So they embarked on a 15 year journey to save money and they retired with almost $1 million in the bank in just 15 years. Read the full story here.

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Finding a Post-Retirement Muse

Eliminating Post-Retirement Boredom

In my March 8, 2013 blog, I talked about how I stumbled onto an idea when we stopped at a hotel and forgot my Hilton’s rewards card. As I was checking in, they asked me for my loyalty card number and I could not remember it. I thought man, if I could have that info on my phone I could easily retrieve it and not miss any loyalty points. That spawned an idea to create an app that could house all my loyalty cards, website passwords and any other personal information that is useful to have at my fingertips.

Well, I just finished the first version of this. It is called aMemoryJog because it literally jogs your memory if you forget passwords, account information (bank, credit card, loyalty, frequent flyer accounts), or anything else you have a hard time remembering. For me to be comfortable using it, I knew it had to be secure, so I implemented 256-bit AES encryption, the same level of encryption most banks use.

If you want to try it, point your browser to http://www.aMemoryJog.com and click the Free 30 Day Account button. This version works from your web browser, so you can use it from your PC, Mac, iPad or any other tablet. You can even use it from your smartphone but I will be creating a smartphone optimized version for the iPhone, Android and Windows phones in the near future — a version that will make using it on a smaller screen much easier.

If you are just curious how it works, watch the YouTube video: http://youtu.be/26flOLCj6uk.

Why Start Another Business?

You may be wondering why I would start another business after I just retired just over a year ago. In short, I wanted to stay mentally sharp, occupy my time between traveling and hobbies, and generating additional cash to further fund our retirement never hurts.

Have you ever read the book by Tim Ferriss called “The 4-Hour Workweek“? If not, you should pick it up, it is a great book. It talks about how to optimize your workload to gain maximum efficiency with the least amount of time spent doing it. He talks about creating a “muse” — a business that is so optimized that it requires minimal effort. So that is what this project is for me — my muse.

When I started thinking seriously about doing this, I jotted down the goals of my muse:

  • It must be inexpensive to start
  • It must have low overhead
  • It must be accessible anywhere in the world, because we like to travel
  • It must allow me to work and play as little or as much as I like (I have lots of hobbies and love to play)

A software business fit the bill perfectly.With a strong software architecture and programming background, I could do all the programming. With no need for a physical office, my overhead costs would be low. If it ever becomes too much work, I know I can easily outsource the programming and/or support.

Other Early Retirees With Muses

As we were working towards early retirement, we were inspired by a couple of early retirees. The first was Billy and Akaisha Kaderli (http://retireearlylifestyle.com/). They retired at the age of 38! After traveling extensively for a couple of years, they began to amass tons of travel knowledge. So they wrote a series of books to aid other early retirees and travelers. Their book The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement is a great read. So this is a labor of love for them and their muse.

Another example is Robert (Bob) and Robin Charlton. They retired at 43 years old. After a few years of retirement, they wrote a book called How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less. What a great book, and this is their muse.

What’s Next for Us?

We will spend the next few months visiting our boys at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado, spending Christmas, New Years, and most of January there. I plan to ski on some of my favorite Colorado mountains, spend lots of time with our boys, and mountain bike as much as possible. As inspiration strikes, I will begin working on the iPhone version of aMemoryJog with hopes of finishing that by early Spring.