Author Topic: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind  (Read 6261 times)

KittyWrestler

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I was at my estate lawyer's office the other day drafting up a family trust fund. By looking at the numbers, he asked me, "How the hell you got a couple of millions of networth, not even counting your life insurance.. You are not even 40 yet... most of my clients are in their 60's....".

So i told him a trick that you can indeed live off very little if you are willing to give up.... STABILITY.

In my 20's, I picked up a job to be a full time road warrior and traveled from city to city. I moved all my junk into my parents garage and lived off travel reimbursement and no more than 20% of my salary. On weekends, I crashed in with my mom and dad so bless their hearts. I made a ton of money. By age 26,I was making over $80K and by age 28, I made over $100K .  Besides buying investment properties, creating side e-commerce business and stocking up on 401K, I also helped my parents to buy a house, paying down their debt, etc...

Granted, I was single and had the luxury of freedom to bust my ass and worked 70- 100 hours a week on average for about 10 years. The reward is substantial though.

I am still working. I tried to take a year off to do whatever I wanted when I was in my early 30's.. But the lack of schedule and social connection made me uncomfortable so I am still working in corporation. I love my job. Love my boss. Love my coworkers.. So I think I will stay that way for a while, generate some more income to pay off some large investment loans and make sure my parents are well taken care of.

Bottom line is, regardless how you get there, some big trade offs must be made, whether letting go most of the consumerism stuff or work until you've gone mad... Nothing comes easy..

I do my financial assessment sheet once a year (due to compliance reason with my banker). And these numbers remind me those bloody years I spent on the road, those restless nights that I spent reading about investments. So many great fun spring break opportunities or group travels I have given up... But knowing that my family (my wonderful hubby, my girls and my parents) will be taken care of even if I am gone tomorrow gives me great comfort.


gooki

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2012, 04:04:31 AM »
Nothing comes easy.

This is so true.

trammatic

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2012, 05:24:14 AM »
On a whole, we definitely pay a lot for security...  Huge life insurance policies, buying houses in premium neighborhoods, yadda yadda...

I guess everyone has to do what works.

KittyWrestler

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2012, 08:29:56 AM »
yeah, everyone's got their different way to make it work.. I truly believe regardless what path you take, as long as you are willing to make sacrifice, suck it up, put in the work, you will always see the light at the end of the tunnel. I lived through a bloody hell for 10 years, I don't even remember how many tears shed... but I don't regret it...

Devils Advocate

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 10:59:54 AM »
describe your "bloody hell" for us.  I'm interested.

DA

arebelspy

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 02:02:02 PM »
describe your "bloody hell" for us.  I'm interested.

DA

I'm guessing that's referring to the "worked 70- 100 hours a week on average for about 10 years" line from the OP.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

KittyWrestler

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 02:20:34 PM »
describe your "bloody hell" for us.  I'm interested.

DA

I'm guessing that's referring to the "worked 70- 100 hours a week on average for about 10 years" line from the OP.

Yep!arebelspy got it!! But if you want to dig it further, let me give you some examples
I had a project in Hartford, CT working for an insurance company. I flew out of my TN home every Sunday afternoon while most of ppl were getting ready to wrap up their weekend. I got into hotel late, but still had to prep work for the clients next day.. Monday through Thursday, I worked from 7:30am till 5:30pm. Oh wait, it's only half day.. I went out to get a dinner, came back in the office around 7pm and worked till midnight or 1am. Went back to the hotel and crashed.  Friday was a happy day cuz I could take off at 4pm to catch a flight back home... But when I got into the house, it was too late to say hi to my mom and dad cuz that damn flight in Chicago was delayed 5 hours again. It's 2am in the morning on Sat.. I should go to bed.. But wait, my own company had a 7am conference call to talk about this RFP proposal for the next client. might just watch some tv, get some snack, prep for that and sleep after the call was over... Said hi to my parents after my Sat morning work, and headed to my bed and slept and slept.. Sat came and go, Sunday came, Damn, I gotta pack again to get back to my client site in Hartford again!!!

Let's rinse and repeat week after week for 10 years! Oh not to mention when the client's network was down, we had to stay up 36 hours straight to fix it, I had to ask for bathroom break! Oh, and another project didn't even allow us to go home on weekends!! 2 wives threatened to divorce my team members cuz they never went home... So suck that up!

KittyWrestler

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2012, 02:49:43 PM »
describe your "bloody hell" for us.  I'm interested.

DA
Actually, my "bloody hell" was way longer than those working 10 years. I came to US at age 17, not knowing any English. My mom told me I had to go to college to learn English while getting a degree... Thanks to those foreign language classes and computer science and Math courses.. I survived. But a page of text book still took me 2 hours to understand initially. I had to looked it up in dictionary almost 50 times per page! As I built up my vocabulary, it started to get better. But putting a 5 min presentation together in a communication class still took 40 hours of my precious time cuz I didn't know how to write in English!!! Ahhhh!! I could have partied or drank, but didn't have the bloody time.
Junior year, my mom told me I needed to apply for Ivy League grad school and told me, "Pick some famous professors from Harvard, MIT, Upenn, Standford, Yale and Princeton, read their journals and publications, call them up asking for an interview and tell them you want to be their slaves to do research for them.." So I did.. There went my junior year. Senior year, I got 11 interviews and went to all these colleges mentioned above and got a full scholarship from one of them in their artificial intelligence lab. I slept 3 hours a day, worked rest of the hours and completed master of engineering program in only one year... Then, my 10 years of "bloody hell" mentioned above started...

But right now, I am reaping all rewards.. The brutal consulting environment trained me to build/design any software system at ease. I can pick up any new technology and figure out how to use it.. I work 40 hours a week now, have a great family... If I didn't bust my ass and learned so much during my younger years, I may not be able to enjoy today so much. It puts things into perspective.. And I know now that nothing is impossible. You willing to suck it up, live through hell for a few years, the good stuff will come your way..

jpo

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2012, 03:41:27 PM »
describe your "bloody hell" for us.  I'm interested.

DA
....
I would rather quit than do something like this with my life. The way I see it, my employer gets 40 hours a week and that's it.

Different strokes I guess. I might be more inclined to put in extra for a short time if I was single, dogless, and very well compensated for the extra.

Devils Advocate

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2012, 05:04:30 PM »
Sounds thoroughly unpleasant! Congrats on making it thru it.

DA

auri

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Re: Lived with 20% of my income in exchange for a peace of mind
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 12:07:21 AM »
Wow....

Well done is all I can say.