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Three Reasons We Hit Early Retirement

Updated: May 7

Yesterday was a pretty big deal for our family. My husband turned in his badge and bid farewell to the daily grind, joining me in early retirement. [And yes, I maintain that I'm retired at (not from) Rising Femme Wealth].

There are so many exciting unknowns ahead of us, and I concede that we're quintessential "honeymooners" in this early retirement phase together. I promise status updates are coming, but for now, I'm reflecting on what made this possible for us. Yes, we've been investing heavily in real estate (and moderately elsewhere). But a lot of folks out there are big investors, making more than we ever made, and they're still deep in that daily grind. So what did we do that was so different? The answer isn't what you think. It's not numbers, or morning routines. There are some standouts that completely changed our course.

⚡️ We weren't afraid to take risks: When I bought my first home, I could barely qualify for the loan. I recruited a roommate and eventually starting earning more. My friends told me I was crazy for taking on such big risk and responsibility in my 20s, but I'm so glad I did it. Ryan and I made similar decisions later down the road when we started real estate investing in earnest. We used a HELOC on our primary home to cover down payments as we financed more and more rental properties when we were in our aggressive growth phase. We used our personal savings each month to pay down that HELOC, and it took a few years, but the decision rewarded us with amazing equity and eventual cash flow. It's not a decision any investor should make automatically. For us, it was a very calculated risk, and it felt it: we were highly leveraged. Would I have done that again? In a heartbeat.

🦃 We were willing to be a little different: We've had the opportunity to rent out an attached section of our house, as well as a piece of land in our yard (we're on 3 acres). This brought in income that paid our mortgage, which helped us save even more to pay down the HELOC from our aforementioned risk-taking. It was a lot of work, and our kids have only known a home where they are told to keep down their music and not stomp on the floors while we have airbnb guests. This was all a bit unconventional, but it got us where we wanted to be.

🚀 We took the leap: After taking a good, hard look at our monthly expenses, we realized something pretty profound - we didn't need a massive safety net to feel secure. We didn't get this right the first time. We had made the decision a couple of years into our rental business that we'd like to have our business income replace our W2 salaries, and then we would quit our jobs. But we surpassed that goal and kept grinding. We had kids now, and it felt like our future expenses were less predictable. Stakes were higher. Quitting didn't feel as safe. We kept leaning on the certainty of our jobs. But life is uncertain, and we're realizing that true stability comes from investing in ourselves, rather than relying on a steady paycheck.

Our kiddos dressed in my husband's company shwag as they sent him off on his last day of work.
Our kiddos dressed in my husband's company shwag as they sent him off on his last day of work.

If early retirement is a goal of yours, pair the numbers on your dashboard with these questions:

✨ How can you take more risks today to accelerate your growth?

💥 Can you push yourself to step further from your comfort zone to bring you closer to your freedom?

🌸 Are you being honest about what's keeping you from hitting your goals?

1 Comment

Congratulations Caitlin! You and your family should be very proud of this achievement - a lot of hard work went into it, now it's time to enjoy some of those fruits!

Thanks for sharing.

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