Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by Jason

Posted by Christen on May 19, 2007 at 11:26:31:

In our area, upstate NY, it’s pretty cheap we scoured and scoured, our first property was a 2 family in awful shape. We got it for 5K, it needed about 30k, we only had another 5k to do the work, we scraped saved, did all the labor ourselves, and only needed about 4k or 5k more. Every penny we had went into was a long 3-4 months, but after that each one got easier and easier. We kept our debt to income very low and were able to get a 10k personal loan to do the proeprty. It wasn’t long before private lenders took an interest in us, and we grew from there. If you don’t have credit, money, experience be prepared to replace it with sheer determination, hardwork, and have the ability to see past your current situation. Looking back the long noghts, weekends spent working, pinching pennies were some of the happiest times, because I wasn’t living in the now, I was thinking about how great it will be when my husband can quit his job, how great it will be never to have to worry about money and give our children what they need. I knew we had taken the first step and we would definitely get there it was just a matter of time.

Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by Jason

Posted by Jason on May 16, 2007 at 21:22:16:

Hello all. Just curious if any of you have been able to retire early through real estate. If so, how did you go about setting yourself up so well in such a short time? Im 20 and dream of retiring at 40, but am still looking at which route to take. Stockpile Rental properties on a 14/hr income? Is that even possible? What route have some of you taken?

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by lukeNC

Posted by lukeNC on May 18, 2007 at 19:44:01:

Well lets see, I started when I was 25, made a bundle by 27 lost it all at 28, and then gained alot of it back and then some at 30, i’ll be 31 next month.

I buy distressed debt at huge discounts, then attempt to collect at or near the full balance owed. I could be anywhere in my state on any day.

I’m still paying off my old mistakes which is mostly bad stupid debt. Goal is to be totally debt free. Even when I get that done, I dont want to quit.

I love doing what I do. I would never want to retire!

Re: I’m 26, I’m close - Posted by Christen

Posted by Christen on May 18, 2007 at 14:53:19:

My husband and i started when we were 20, buy and hold at first, we did well, we’d buy, renovate, rent and refi. Then discovered we HATED owning rental property, so we started flipping and have been FT for 4 yrs. now. We do as many deals as we like, and recently started looking at some commercial rentals to buy and hold, we realize we need assets and think maybe commercial, office buildings and such will fit us better, so we just got an offer accepted on one, and plan to buy 1 or 2 per yr. We should be able to just live off passive income by the time we are 32ish. So we’ll see, but we like what we do, and can do as little or as much as we want and that’s retired to me!

you betcha - Posted by mountaingirl

Posted by mountaingirl on May 17, 2007 at 18:59:37:

wow, it is fun to say like michaela I am retired in I can do more or less what I want when I want. the key was always living simply/frugally BELOW MY MEANS. once that meant not buying much needed new shoes until I had a job with a check coming in a week and used the last money I had for the shoes to show up for the job.

bought rentals with savings from my first out of college job at 22,ooo a year. years later, they are paid off and we have some passive income from that, a small payment on a second on a seven unit apt. bldng, and used the rest of the rental equity to start building new small homes on speculation in the colorado mountains.

now I pay more in taxes than I used to make, and work about two to four hours a day for three or four months a year. sit around twiddling my thumbs the rest of the time waiting for the next good vacant lot or RE deal.

oh, I am 44 and the first job was about 16 years ago. didn’t work much before that either.

Naa, working more than ever! - Posted by Wayne-NC

Posted by Wayne-NC on May 17, 2007 at 18:13:12:

80 hours a week! Two points to make though. First, I choose WHEN and secondly, that’s what I WANT to do. Besides, I like to travel, so I can also choose the “when” I want and that is when eveybody else can’t. I can save more right there than most people make in a year! Think about that.

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by KeK-MD

Posted by KeK-MD on May 17, 2007 at 10:24:04:

Check out of your local library “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas Stanley/William Danko. Wish I did at age 20, and took it to heart. With or without real estate, even working a “job” I’d be much closer to financial independance today, had I known.

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by dealmaker

Posted by dealmaker on May 17, 2007 at 08:01:12:

Where you will be in 5 years is exactly where you are today, but 5 years older, except for; (1)the people you meet, (2) the books you read and (3)the investments you make to make yourself more valuable.

When I was 20 I was a Airman First Class in the Air Force ($180/month, decided that wasn’t a good long-term plan so got my butt to the base Education Office. It took me until I was 28 to get a Bachelor Degree, which mainly taught me THAT I HAD A BACHELORS DEGREE. But that set me apart from job applicants that didn’t!

I read, on average 2-3 books a week, take a couple of college classes a year. But the one thing that helped my career the most was GETTING INVOLVED. In trade organizations, community activities etc.

Set goals. “I want to be a millionaire by age 30” is NOT a goal. That’s a WISH.

BTW, one of the things I learned (NOT in college) is NO DEBT. When I reached 10 rentals I started an AGGRESSIVE plan to pay them off. I started with the lowest balance and put every extra nickel onto that mortgage, when it was gone I moved up to the next lowest one. Haven’t had a mortgage since '96 or '97 and have bought about 20 houses for CASH, great negotiating.

Don’t p**s money away. I never had cable TV until I (fully) retired at 55. I had been partially retired since I was 50. Watch your pennies. Something that costs one dolar is not fifty cents cheaper than a similar item that costs $1.50, it’s ONE THIRD less!

Retire?? - Posted by No My Real name

Posted by No My Real name on May 17, 2007 at 06:56:34:

if retirement means that you cash in all of your real estate, and live off of passive income, then NO. I ain’t retired.

if retirement means that you were able to walk away from your day job, then YES. I am there.

but understand this: there is nothing passive about this biz. the difference is this: my old business was not an asset that I could ever sell. It paid me a lot of money so long as I kept working.

the new business is all about assets. and I work hard at it.


your situation. don’t know what your business is. hopefully, you are in some kind of biz where you can go out on your own at aome point. if it happens to be construction-related, so much the better. REI’s tend to be an independent breed, as are business owners. Get yourself self-employed as quickly as you can. that’s when your $14 an hour turns into $35 or $50 an hour.

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by camgere

Posted by camgere on May 17, 2007 at 01:03:41:

Retired at 48.
Previous employee income $100,000 a year, 25% Federal tax, 9.3% CA state tax, 6.5% Social Security tax, 2.2% Medicare tax. Now typically 0% tax (except for the years I exceed the $250,000 capital gains tax exemption for selling my former rentals which I have lived in for two years.)
Either way I live on about $3,000 a month. Employee 50 hour work weeks (overtime excempt, to keep the new annual boss happy so I don’t get hit with the semi-ammual layoffs), Now 2 hour work week to maintain buy and hold rentals. Nobody is ever sympathtic with my new heavy workload :slight_smile: That’s nearly the time I used to spend commuting!

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by michaela-CA

Posted by michaela-CA on May 16, 2007 at 22:12:03:


I think that depends on how exactly you define ‘retirement’.

I think of it as ‘being able to quit working for income and being able to spend your time with your hobby’.

Well, I’m doing that. I love to design. So, I quit my job when I was about 32 or 33 and I’ve lived off major rehab of victorian homes for the past 12/13 years. Only do one at a time. Maybe one a year. Have had some other great deals come along, but that was just to make some extra capital.I spend my time with something I love doing. Isn’t that what retirement is all about?


Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by Rich-CA

Posted by Rich-CA on May 16, 2007 at 22:04:58:

Eventually anything is possible. There are a lot of factors in retiring. One is to select a location where the cost of living is low enough to allow your income to last.

Buying property on $14/hr will only attract the “zero down” crowd. Personally I have yet to see a zero down deal that will work under normal buy and hold circumstances. These are better suited to fix and flip, construction and other shorter term buy and sell strategies. These strategies take a lot of work and people who do them are not exactly retired. They work plenty hard.

Rental properties will provide a reasonably stable income, but short of bargain purchases that you place into rental service, you do have to have some of your own money to put into the purchases. Again, depending on where you are, $14 can be a minimal wage (as it is here in the SF Bay Area) or it can be a living wage in a lower cost of living area.

I should note that I started my working career at minimum wage. When I reached 40, I could have retired - if we relocated to another, much less expensive area.

Re: I’m 26, I’m close - Posted by Jason

Posted by Jason on May 18, 2007 at 21:27:15:

Where did you find the money so young to start buying properties and doing flips? I dont have near the cash to think about doing that right now, even though id love to. Maybe im missing some options.

Re: Anybody retire early around here? - Posted by Brian_wa

Posted by Brian_wa on May 20, 2007 at 18:46:19:

Here’s how I did it.

Started learning real estate about 5 years ago. bought a couple of houses soon afterwards. Continued to study up until about 3.5 years ago and then became a full time investor. That was the beginning of 2004.

The first year, 2004, I didn’t do much. Flipped one deal and made 20k right away and then wasn’t able to do anything else until around late of that year when I bought another house subject-2.

Thing started rolling in March of 2005, after I sold that sub-2 for 30k in profit. From then until end of 2005, I bought about 9 more properties. Sold 2 and made about 50k in profit late 2005. I kept the rest and got a couple of HELOCS out of them.

In 2006, bought 15 houses. I fixed, flipped a few, and wholesaled a few along with selling a couple of the houses I bought in 2005. Also got 6 HELOCS in place. 4 in my name and 2 in my gf’s name. The total of all 6 HELOCS came to like 550k. Also was able to borrow about 200k from my gf’s family.

I try to not borrow private money because I didn’t want to pay too many points. I’d buy houses using conventional loans. Being a loan officer truly helped. Whenever I buy, if it’s in my name, I’d use 20% down using money from my gf’s line of credits. If it’s in her name, I’d use the money from my HELOCS as downpayment.

2007 is a little different. I didn’t want to own anymore properties until I get rid of a couple of the ones I accumulated in 2005 and 2006. So I started wholesaling these newly acquired properties. So far I got rid of 2 of them. One for 15k in profit and the other for 32k in profit. I’m waiting to close on 3 other ones as well for a good amount of profit on each.

So this year I’ve gotten about 7 deals and also working on 5 other good leads. I seriously need to get rid of at least 3 of the houses that I bought since 2005 but it’s hard after building good relationships with my tenants.

I do not want to flip all the deals that I found in 2007 because I just don’t want to pay so much uin taxes. Now I own about 16 houses with a good amount of equity in each.

Guess how old I am now. I just turned 30 in February.

Watching pennies is just too time consuming and traditional. It’s a nice idea but also just too conservative and restrictive. I don’t try to be extravagant but I’d buy whatever it takes to make my daily life better and more enjoyable. For instance, I hire people to do my landscaping, cleaning my house, cook for me and my gf. My time is too valuable to do these $10/hour activities.

I don’t watch my account everytime I go out there and buy something nice but I truly don’t find material possessions as something important. I don’t buy fancy, 2007 cars but do own a 2003 Lexus (bought it about 1.5 years ago) and still live in the 1200SF house that I bought as my first investment house ever.

I do like massages and have one every 2 weeks. It’s good for the body and the mind. For only $60 each time.

Mean while, I continue to find good deals and still study real estate like crazy each day. Now I’m focusing mainly on short sale because once I know this technique well, my “deal plate” will always be full of deals.

My gf doesn’t work. I think she’s way too spoiled. Oh well… Life is meant to be enjoyed you know.

So what’s the secret? Know the ins and outs of real estate investments. Go out there and get a lot of good deals on your plate and do it enough that you’re 100% confident you’ll be able to get as many deals as you can handle anytime you want to.

Am I lying about all this? Well, a couple of creonline members here know me personally…


probably the best post i’ve read - Posted by lukeNC

Posted by lukeNC on May 19, 2007 at 12:29:07:

This is some of the best advice ive ever seen.

I’m using that advice NOW…

Amen on Frugality - Posted by Jimmy

Posted by Jimmy on May 17, 2007 at 16:18:49:

Dealmaker nailed it. The Millionaire Next door was not written when I was 20, but I wish it had been. When I was 25-30 years old, I was pulling down a big salary in a big law firm, driving a 450SL, chasing multiple babes, dining at fancy restaurants, taking expensive ski trips, wearing custom-tailored suits…

I WAS A #&&**# IDIOT !!!

When I got fired at age 30, I had a new wife, a new Ford Explorer, a small amount of cash, and HUGE pile of debt.

That’s when I got religion. and I ain’t talkin’ 'bout church.

Frugality is one of the cornerstones of wealth-building. Some of us get that quicker than others. Some never get it.