Author Topic: Immigrant Success Stories  (Read 2821 times)

Adventine

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Immigrant Success Stories
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:06:33 AM »
I'm interested in your personal stories (whether about yourself, your family or other people you know) about migrating to a different country and becoming a "success" (however you want to define that word).

I suspect being Mustachian is an important part of succeeding as an immigrant, but I know it isn't always the case. Tell me your stories!

ketchup

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 10:28:55 AM »
My cousin moved to South Korea in 2009 (I should know how old he is... I'm pretty sure he was about 24 at the time). 

He had grown up in Michigan, went to college and got his Master's in civil engineering.  Then he worked for a year as a civil engineer and pretty much hated it.

He got a job in South Korea teaching English.  He loves his work there, he's really absorbed into the culture (he's fluent in Korean now), made a ton of friends, and he's been able to do a ton of traveling around Asia in his time off (including seven weeks of cycling 2300km of the Pamir Highway across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan).

I'd chalk it up as a success.

He's never told his parents that he plans on staying there indefinitely, but I'm pretty sure he does.  He comes back to visit about once a year.

Guizmo

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 10:34:26 AM »
Dad came to the US illegally as a teenager with only a 2nd grade education and experience working in farms. Worked hard, got lucky, saved and invested. He is now a citizen and is about to retire from his job and is also a multi-millionaire due to some good real estate investments. Oh, and he never got past a 2nd grade education.

Freedomin5

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 05:24:10 PM »
Parents grew up in the slums/government housing in the mid-60s in A developing country without running water. Well, the entire building had running water for four hours per day from a hose. If you missed the window of opportunity you were without water until the next day. Communal bathrooms where pre-teen/teenage uncles stood guard at the bathroom door while the girls showered quickly to prevent unsavoury characters from entering the showers and raping my aunts.

How did mom get out? She went to school and studied hard. Went to university. Got a good job working for a bank. In a word, education. Her university degree and experience working in an international company allowed her to get a job when my parents immigrated to Canada.

She also doesn't give a crap what others think.

Dad also grew up poor though not as poor as my mom, I think. He studied hard, got a scholarship to do his masters in Canada. Then, holding his highly valued "foreign" masters, he returned to his home country and rose in the corporate ranks. Again, education was what made the difference.

After immigrating to Canada, they were seen as being "just immigrants" stealing Canadian jobs. Dad was let go from his job - he had gone from being a regional director ("big boss") to being a lowly sales guy in Canada, and he was let go. So they started their own business, worked brutal hours, and made it successful. Never took out loans for cars, paid of mortgage asap, pad off credit cards each month, maximized their RRSPs, invested in property, and now are quite well-off.

Letj

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 06:45:17 AM »
I want to hear these badass stories. Posting to follow.

marty998

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 03:41:13 PM »
Child of immigrants. Mum and Dad arrived in Australia from the UK almost 30 years ago with not a lot.

Dad worked temp/contract jobs for 15 years in various tech companies as an electrical engineer, before getting a permanent job as a lab tech. Mum has worked the same part time pharmacy job for 28 years. Dad is retired, mum will retire in a couple of years.

They chose to "integrate", took initiative, did the right things - bought a house paid it off over god knows how many years. Times were tough early but they were too proud to take a dollar of welfare. They never earned big salaries but they were frugal as fuck and always good at forward planning. One year after graduating uni I was earning more than my dad ever did from working. He outstripped me though with his investments going up in value so much (which is when the passive income penny really started dropping for me).

They have a very comfortable retirement ahead of them now.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2017, 05:26:52 PM »
Child of immigrants. Mum and Dad arrived in Australia from the UK almost 30 years ago with not a lot.

Dad worked temp/contract jobs for 15 years in various tech companies as an electrical engineer, before getting a permanent job as a lab tech. Mum has worked the same part time pharmacy job for 28 years. Dad is retired, mum will retire in a couple of years.

They chose to "integrate", took initiative, did the right things - bought a house paid it off over god knows how many years. Times were tough early but they were too proud to take a dollar of welfare. They never earned big salaries but they were frugal as fuck and always good at forward planning. One year after graduating uni I was earning more than my dad ever did from working. He outstripped me though with his investments going up in value so much (which is when the passive income penny really started dropping for me).

They have a very comfortable retirement ahead of them now.

<3

FinanciallyIndependent

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2017, 08:52:06 PM »
Came over from India in 2003...started working in engineering after getting my MS degree....14 years later invested in stock market, real estate, bit coin and some side business....sitting fat between a million and two mill....

America is best country on the planet...it's great already...d

FIREby35

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2017, 07:59:39 AM »
My father-in-law was an undocumented Mexican immigrant in the mid 80's. He got his papers in the late 80's during the Reagan, "Amnesty" and is now a citizen. He worked ag jobs, then packing plants and, after 15 years in a particular factory, started his own Mexican grocery store in a tiny storefront. Think 150 square feet.

Fast forward to today and his grocery store is approximately 5,000 square feet, it generates a couple hundred grand a year in profit and has done so for more about a decade. He owns his store, his house, a horse ranch, a rental and 25 acres of farmland free and clear. It's a pretty badass story.

I just wish he wasn't such a dick to me! Father in law syndrome, I guess. But, I should say that after 14 years of knowing him is finally being nice to me. Gotta give credit where it is due.

A second cool story is my wife. They were still pretty poor while she was growing up because it is long before the grocery store became a success. Because of our immigration system my wife didn't get her papers from her Dad's petition to enter the US legally until she was 17. While her dad was doing all the above , she was growing up in Mexico with her grandparents. Eventually, she came to the US to study in community college. In her first, year she took all math and accounting classes because she could understand the numbers without having to know English! She learned English and finished a 156 credit hour Public Accounting degree in 4 years. She worked at a big 4 accounting firm for a few years before leaving due to the work life balance issues.

We got married 9 years ago. Now we own a small law firm that caters to immigrants and is doing really well. She does all the books, payroll, client trust account reconciliation, 401k administration, digital marketing management and more. We are 32, have three kids, own our home and have over a half a million in liquid investments. So, I think her immigrant story is pretty kick-ass as well.

rockstache

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2017, 01:15:48 PM »
PTF, these are awesome!

stashgrower

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 05:11:28 AM »
Great stories!! PTF.

godofcoffee

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 03:52:34 PM »
Super inspiring stories! Dumb question, though--what's PTF?

libertarian4321

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2017, 04:13:25 PM »
My wife is an immigrant to the USA (Chinese).  We both have good jobs, save, and invest and have become fairly wealthy because of it.  Her brother and sister are also both successful in their fields and doing very well financially.  They are all very hard workers- they probably work too hard.

margarita

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2017, 06:55:54 PM »
My husband immigrated with $450 and three little kids and his first wife with who became very ill within one year of arriving here.  His father died when he was three weeks old and grew up very poor.  He came here as a tradesman and worked his ass off and is now COO    He has "imposter syndrome" and when in fancy restaurants he says he thinks the staff will tap him on the shoulder and ask him to leave. 

Growing up poor hasn't exactly made him frugal as he tends to buy multiples because he can but it is usually consumables and he is getting better.  At first I was like "why did you buy 5 kinds of shampoo" but now I understand why.  Also if I show any interest at the store in an item he wants to buy it for me immediately.   

He has done so much in the company for the lowest paid employees and contractors   The cleaning company contract was redone to provide health benefits, raise, Christmas bonus etc.  At first he got pushback but now they realize there is so little staff turnover, less training time, etc. it is worth it from a financial aspect as well as human.  He will always fight fot the little guy.  He was featured in a business magazine!



AM43

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 09:49:59 AM »
My parents, me and my sister came over in 1990. I was 18 and my folks were in their early 40's.
Non of us could speak English or had any major degree.
My mom worked 2-3 jobs and my dad was mostly working low paying gigs.
Mom was very frugal, knew how to save money and loved investing.
Fast forward to 2017 and my parents are both retired with over 1 mill in assets, spend their winters in FL where they have their own ocean front place and commute back to Tri state area whenever they feel like it.
As for me, I've been investing in RE and stock market, able to FIRE today if I want to, but I like what I do and not in a hurry to call it a day. I feel extremely proud of my folks and their accomplishments, since they had it hardest.

marty998

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2017, 03:26:26 PM »
Super inspiring stories! Dumb question, though--what's PTF?

Posting to follow.

BTDretire

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2017, 03:30:03 PM »
My wife is an immigrant, she came to the US with her father, two brothers and a sister. Their father was wealthy in his country but escaped and arrived in the US with nothing. One brother and one sister  worked hard and built separate businesses and are wealthy by US standards. The other two have middleclass incomes.
 When my wife and I married, we had $632 including the wedding gifts. The first three months after we were married we had saved an additional $1,000. I had never had that much money and I decided to get seious about my spending. By the end of our first year we had saved $6,000 of our $18,000 gross income. We have continued a thrifty spend rate, and now are FI. But, she has no interest in retiring. She plans on at least 5 more years, she wants to get our daughter through dental school without any student loans. It's the Asian thing, the children come first. :-)
I'd like her to retire, we have enough to be retired and put the kids through college.
  I doubt I would have seen the savings light when I did, if not for her. I worked hard on the journey to FI, but without her I may not have started.
 

REAL WORLD EXPAT

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2017, 01:32:07 PM »
Arrived in the US from the in 2002, I was 29, with a suitcase and a load of student loans back home to get married to my US wife. First few years were financially tough but can say I don't think I ever worried about money or the lack of it. Done well career-wise as has the wife, saved no matter how little we had and not really seen any lifestyle creep in the last 12 years or so. Sitting pretty on $1.75M NW.

Exflyboy

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2017, 12:53:20 PM »
Mine is not as impressive as some posts above struggle wise..

I was an engineering grad in the UK.. Got a job with a fortune 500 company in 1985 in the UK. In 1996 I was headhunted for a job in the Corvallis Oregon (same company) and they paid for my Green Card.

Took a severance package in 2012 after being headhunted by another large company.. Literally they announced the severance package 2 days after I took the new job.. I still got the package.

Worked for 19 months then engineered my layoff.

Retired for the first time in Jan 2014 with about $1.3M plus paid off house

Worked a couple of pt contract gigs and finally quit just over a year ago and investments have grown to $2.366M plus house at say $400k.

Wife quit her teaching job in June this year.

Letj

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2017, 01:45:50 PM »
How did you manage to double your money in just 3 years?

Exflyboy

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Re: Immigrant Success Stories
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2017, 02:34:41 PM »
Investment returns plus I was still contributing almost everything I earned from the pt gigs. We also get about $20k from rent.

Its "possible" I may not have been counting the value of my pension from the UK in the $1.3M number.. Today thats worth about $430k. I assume as I can transfer that into a personal QROPs account I can count it as part of my networth... I.e if I ask they will cut me a check for that amount.

A bit of an apples and oranges comparison.