How to Legit Retire in Your 30’s

How To Retire in Your 30s

How to Legit Retire in Your 30’s

Grant Sabatier

Founder of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom. Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. He's passionate about helping others build wealth and is addicted to Personal Capital.

There are so many articles about how to retire in your 30’s, but very few of them are written by someone whose actually done it. In this legit masterclass on early retirement, Justin from Root of Good shares the strategies he used to win the money game and retire at 33.

On episode #2 of the Financial Freedom podcast we cover a wide array of topics including tax optimization, doing what you love, and how a family of 5 can live on $40,000 a year. Justin is one of the featured stories in my Financial Freedom book and one of my favorite money bloggers.

This is next level. Check it out.

 

 

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Show Notes

 

Free Tracking Tool: Personal Capital

Book: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

Post: How to Pay No Tax on a 6 Figure Income

Book: Financial Freedom: A Proven Path to All the Money You Will Ever Need

 

How To Retire in Your 30’s w/ Justin @RootofGood

 

Grant:  00:20

Hi everyone. I’m really excited today to have Justin from RootofGood.com on the Financial Freedom podcast. So Justin is one of the 12 stories that’s featured in Financial Freedom and of any blogger that I followed probably is the guy that knows the most about tax optimization and really how to maximize all of the tools available to reach early retirement. He retired before the age of 35 and hey Justin, really excited to have you on the podcast.

 

Justin Root of Good

Justin from Root of Good with his family

 

Justin: 00:56

Hey Grant, glad to be here. Thanks so much for having me on.

 

Grant: 00:58

So let’s go back to the beginning a little bit tell me when was that moment when you decided that you wanted to retire early?

 

Justin: 01:07

The whole idea of early retirement really crystallized in my mind, uh, about a year after I started working full time after college. And it was really just, I went, I shifted from being frugal and saving money just to grow my own wealth, to having a goal in mind, retiring early in my thirties in my forties. I didn’t know when. I just knew that was a goal I had. So I started saving specifically with the idea of early retirement in mind. Starting around age 24, 25.

When did you decide to retire early?

 

Grant: 01:39

Were there any books that were instrumental or was this just the, you know, was it just a sort of a logical conclusion that you could perhaps retire early? What, what gave you the impression that it would even be possible?

 

Justin: 01:52

I’ve always read a lot of personal finance books. Um, I think probably the best one that I’ve read that really sort of crystallized in my mind, uh, the path to get there and how to make it easy and how to invest in tax efficiency. Um, I believe it’s called The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing. It’s a great book. Yeah. And it’s, it’s just really simple. It’s very accessible and entry level. I mean, it’s easy enough for someone who’s new to all this to read and understand. So I really like that aspect of it and it, it, it helped me a lot even though I think I already knew some of the material that was in there.

 

Grant: 02:30

So let’s go back to your 24. You’ve made this decision, you know, that you want to retire early. I didn’t know whether that would be in your thirties, in your forties. What are some of those steps that you started taking, uh, in your life to, you know, make that possible? And the reason I’m asking because I started my financial freedom journey when I was 24 also and I made a really dramatic change in my life. Was it, was it a huge shift for you or what are some of the steps that you started taking?

 

Justin: 02:59

It really was not a huge ship and that that’s just because I think I’d always, I’d always been pretty good with money and being frugal and making those and thinking of things through the lens of is this going to make me wealthier in the future? And so I was already doing those kinds of things. But, but I think that if you’re not, you know, it really takes a mind, a mindset shift, to switch from just passively spending money as you earn it and, and not really thinking about it to intentionally focusing on what are you spending, where’s the money going, how much are you saving, were you investing the money, are you getting the best deal on your investments, are you doing all you can to maximize your tax efficiency? And those are all things that I really started to focus on a lot more as I realized that, you know, I’m the custodian of my own, wealth I’m the steward of my own financial future. So I have to start thinking about thinking about this like a wealthy person would think about it and not just like some new college graduate would earn money, spend money and not really worried about it.

 

Grant: 04:02

Uh, you know, obviously Americans spend, you know, that 70 percent of their money on housing, transportation and food. Was there one of those categories, or was there a particular area in your expenses where you had to cut back more than others? Or was it pretty balanced from the get go?

 

Justin: 04:18

It was pretty balanced and the reason I say that is just I think when it comes to food, I’m sorry, for transportation and housing, those are really the two big ones, transportation and housing and it’s. It’s one of those things that you start out with whatever car you had in college, you started with whatever house or property you buy right out of college, a starter home. And for us it was really the choice to not upgrade our lifestyle. So we kept driving the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord. The house, we bought fresh out of college. We stayed in that house. We started thinking, you know, is a trade off between future freedom versus bigger house now. And we said, no, it’s okay. We’re happy in the house that we’re in. We can just fix it up a little bit. We’re happy driving the cars that we own. There’s nothing wrong with them. So for us it was focusing on education and housing costs, keeping those down, but it was more of just not inflating our lifestyle more so than trying to shrink what we were spending. But, but we kind of started from a good position in the beginning of not spending a huge amount of money on housing and cars.

 

Grant: 05:28

Were there any struggles that you went through at that time?

 

Justin:   05:34

Not too challenging, you know, you always get the friends, coworkers a poking at you saying, dude, why don’t you get rid of your crappy old Honda civic and like, buy something from this, from this century. Um, you could really afford a lot nicer car. What’s up, you know, how, how are you having all those kids in the back  of the Honda civic, I don’t understand how this works. And so, I mean, there was always that, but it was pretty much good natured ribbing from, from people at work and I just kind of like, okay, you know, laugh along with it. But yeah, in terms of struggles, I mean not really. Um, I think we, we still managed to take some vacations and, and do some nice things, even while we were saving half our income or more, so I’m not, you know, not really leading the life of deprivation exactly.

 

Impact of Cost of Living on Early Retirement

 

Grant: 06:19

So it sounds like you’d really kind of honed in pretty early on what made you happy and just kind of the lifestyle that you enjoyed and then you know, you, you built your finances to support that. And so how do you think, you know, I know you live in Raleigh, North Carolina, a pretty affordable place to live. Did that definitely make it easier, do you think, to, to reach financial independence at a young age? How do you think, you know, location, you know, factors in, and impacts your ability to save and invest?

 

Justin: 06:54

I think it’s a big factor and it’s really, I think it’s the ratio of high paying jobs to housing costs so that the higher that ratio is, um, you know, if you can make a decent income and pay very little for housing and other costs, taxes, that sort of thing, uh, you’re, you’re, you’re able to save a lot more money. And so I think it’s, you know, a lot of people say, well, you can move to the big cities and make a lot more money. Um, and that’s, that’s true. As long as you can also figure out a way to economize on housing and other costs because if you’re, if you’re making more money but you’re spending even more than what you make extra to pay for your living expenses, then you’re not actually saving any, any more money. And you may be trading off quality of life for a slower paced nicer city to be in.

 

When you became financially independent

 

Grant: 07:47

So I really loved, uh, you know, when you, when you wrote back to me with the, you know, a little bit more about your life. I love that you got to this point, uh, were, were, you were laid off and then you were looking at whether or not you should go back to work, but you’d realized that you’d already become financially independent. Can you talk about what that felt like and what that realization was like?

 

Justin: 08:12

Yeah. It was sort of a weird feeling or emotion to have because, you know, it was very sudden boss walked in and said, hey, here’s a letter, here’s your dismissal letter, pack your stuff. This guy’s going to escort you out of the building. And so for about 20 or 30 minutes, you know, I was kind of in my mind panicking thinking, oh man, I just got let go from my job, what am I going to do a, I’m unemployed now. And so I drove home, sat down, called my wife and let her know the bad news is bad news. And uh, and then I pull up my spreadsheet, pulled up my, my planning document and started going through it and tweaking the numbers. And I was like, wow, I think I just retired totally unintentionally, you know, we had really we had planned on, I think another two years of working at that point to hit this somewhat arbitrary milestone, but just the one date that we had in mind just to say, this is it, you know, when we’re going to quit.  Um, but the markets had been good for a year or two before that. I just hadn’t put any thought into it in terms of like, are we there yet? Are we close enough, you know, when should I refine this date that we had. It was April of 2016 was the date and I ended up quitting in August 2013. So a two and a half years early. But, uh, but it was just, you know, when you go through the numbers and you say, okay, here’s my expenses, here’s how much we have here. You can income, they can produce. Um, were there, you know, so that, that was really that moment. It was like an epiphany of, okay, wow, all this hard work that we put in for 10 years of focusing on our finances and investments. It’s paid off, you know, we’re, we’re insulated against a job loss completely. Like it’s no worry. Um, so I mean within the first hour or two, I really started feeling like totally better about getting let go that morning. I just was not a big stressor. Not a big deal.

 

Grant: 10:06

So what are the next three to six months look like? You know, in my own life when I left the corporate world, I actually went through a really pretty intense detox period. It was like I was a, I didn’t know what day of the week it was. I was just, you know, I’d, I’d worked so intensely for eight years that it literally took me six months to kind of decompress. Um, did you have any of that type of detox? What did that first six, first three to six months look like after you no longer had to work again?

 

Reprogramming yourself

 

Justin: 10:37

Yeah, it was interesting because I was still stuck. Like you said, you know, you’re in that mindset of work, work, work, and so I was kind of, I kind of continued that into the first six months or so. It took about six months to a year before I could really dial it down, slow down, and then just say, you know what, I don’t have to do anything today. I don’t have to achieve anything today. There is no performance objectives. There’s no annual review. Uh, this, you know, I’m in the next phase of life now. This is the rest of my life, uh, I need if I want to do something fun or if I want to do something lazy or if I want to do something challenging, now is the time to do that.

And I think getting to that point of realizing like, you know, I, I don’t have to be busy just for the sake of busyness. I can do whatever I want, but it, it took. Yeah, it took me a while. And I think that that detox period, that’s a good term for it, of reprogramming yourself from full time work to full time leisure plus some fun stuff. Some fun, interesting stuff in there, so I started my blog right after I quit working and so that was that, that new hobby or passion project that had that took up a good bit of time in the first few months. I was really gung ho into it and spent a lot of time and then I, I kind of dialed it back some and, and have, have continued to dial it back quite a bit over the years as I get more comfortable doing very, very little productive stuff.

 

How to pay zero taxes

 

Grant: 12:05

I remember reading it was a little while ago, this blog post that you and your family, you know, you got to the point where one year, you know, I think you’ve made over $100,000 in income but you didn’t pay any taxes and that was one of the things that post was so mind boggling to me. I think I’ve always been someone I’m getting much better at tax optimization, but a lot of my journey was more just focused on income, income, income, and I’ve started to really appreciate. And the more that I’ve learned about tax optimization, the more I’ve really kind of fallen in love with it. Can you talk a little bit about how did you get so good at optimizing your taxes and some of those strategies that helped you pay literally no tax that year?

 

Justin: 12:55

Sure, I think it, I focused a lot of time on understanding how the moving parts of the tax system and just in terms of how are the standard deduction work, how does what we used to have personal exemptions, what, what does that mean? What’s a tax credit versus a tax deduction what’s the refundable tax credit, how, how do these different traditional versus Roth IRAs, how does that impact your taxes? Uh, understanding all of that stuff and synthesizing it into, you know, this, this conceptual understanding of, of the tax code and the moving parts and how things work. Uh, so I think getting educated about it, reading about it, not really diving into the depths of the IRS tax code, but just understanding the moving parts and how one thing impacts another. And so as I applied this to my own situation, um, we made, if we didn’t do anything, we would have made too much to put money into Traditional Iras.

So I started looking at all these ways I could get deductions from my income by contributing to my 401(k), traditional 401k. Uh, I was a state employee for a few years, so I had access to a 457. You can max out a 457, the $18,000 or so and uh, 401k so you can put $18,000 into each one of those. Um, so we were putting in, I was putting in 36,000 there. My wife was putting in $18,000 at her job, uh, we also had the limits of that probably didn’t come down enough where we could put money into Traditional Iras as well and get an event in an additional tax deduction from the maxing out the IRA contributions. And, and, and, uh, a big part, you know, people say, well, well yeah, I don’t make enough money to do all this. But when you look at how much you’re saving on taxes a, we saved about $15,000 per year by making all these tax deductible retirement contributions and that’s $15,000 that, you know, we, we were able to then use to save after taxes to save for paying those tax liabilities we might have in the future.

But the beauty of it is it’s $15,000 that we were able to keep versus giving to the government. And that’s a lot of money. I mean that’s more than most people save every year anyway. And this is just extra money that we’re getting paid in exchange for saving for our own retirement, which is pretty powerful. Pretty powerful thing. But that’s, you know, all those different techniques using those. We got our taxes down to essentially zero most years when we’re working. Um, and then we use the tax savings to turbo charge our investments even more.

 

Grant: 15:40

What does it look like now that, you know, once you actually retired, are you actively keeping your expenses within a certain threshold to minimize the impact of taxes? You know, what are the strategies kind of post retiring to keep those, those taxes down?

 

Justin: 15:58

Yeah, it’s interesting. We kind of naturally spend about $40,000 per year. Uh, our house is paid off, so that’s a big one. Our taxes are pretty low here in North Carolina. Um, so we spent about $40,000 per year, but we still do crazy stuff like a travel for two or three months every year overseas. A lot of that is travel hacking, so a lot of it is free or very low cost. But um, so we’re, we’re, we’re living pretty high, but we’re only spending about $40,000 per year for a family of five taxes on a $40,000 per year income are essentially nothing. Um, so, so we’re, you know, we’re still paying very, very little in the way of taxes. Right now I’m in my thirties still, at some point the tax men may get us when we’re 70, we start paying, we have required minimum distributions and we’re paying, you know, pulling out $100,000 per year from Iras and 401(k)s.

And so, I mean, we may still end up paying a lot of taxes at some point, but the way I view this is if I’m 70 and I’m so wealthy that I’m paying huge taxes on all these RMDS, um, I’ve won the game, you know, write the check to the tax man and get over it because I’m sitting on millions of millions of dollars. Um, so, so, you know, maybe maybe I end up paying taxes in the future. That’s okay because my objective was save money, get wealthy and live well on it. So I feel like saving a lot of money on taxes while working and then not paying a whole lot of taxes while you’re retired and your thirties, forties, and fifties and sixties. Um, and then at some point you may end up owing taxes if you do have all this money in Traditional IRA, Traditional 401(k)s, uh, but that’s also something I can manage later on as I see the balances grow. I can always take proactive and a proactive approach to limiting my future tax liability.

 

How to live on $40,000 a year with a family of 5

 

Grant: 17:54

Can you talk a little bit about how you live on $40,000 a year with a family of five?

 

Justin: 18:01

Yeah. Well I’ve kind of equated it to, if you’re working and you have a mortgage and you’re paying taxes and you’re commuting to work, um, our lifestyle would cost at least $100,000 per year. So I’m kind of living a 40. I’m spending $40,000 but living $100,000 lifestyle. Um, and let me decompress that a little bit. Let me unpack it. Taxes we’re paying essentially nothing very, very little. Most people are paying $100,000 income they’re paying $10,000.

Property tax is very low. We live in North Carolina. The house was paid off, so there’s no mortgage, no rent payments, just our small property tax bill. About $100 a month, uh, insurance is $50 a month on her house Maintenance, I do a little bit of diy stuff, but I really outsource the big complicated stuff. And plumbing, not good at that, but you know, it’s, it’s, it’s relatively cheap to live in Raleigh a week. We got rid of one of the cars, so we are, uh, we have five people in our household and have one car. I own a bike, I can walk. There’s, there’s buses nearby here in Raleigh, as weird as that sounds and having transportation, public transportation in the South, but it exists here. We live somewhat close to downtown so it’s not out in the suburbs, um, but, but it’s really is we don’t have a lot of those costs that, that most people have to commute to work and have a work wardrobe lunches out at work, other work expenses that are not reimbursed. We don’t have those. Um, so we get by very easily with one car. It’s a minivan. It’s actually bought it for road trips. So we mostly use it for road trips more than driving around driving around town.

Um, our kids are in public school, good schools here in Raleigh. Uh, so that’s obviously a big money saver versus $10,000 or more per year for private school. Uh, so I mean those are kind of the big picture things. We still take vacations. We just got back from a month in the Bahamas on this beautiful little ocean front, condo a walk out to the beach every day, very relaxing. We did almost nothing for a month or then go to the beach, walk up and down it a walk, walk along the canal down there. Um, last summer we went, we spent nine weeks in Europe traveling around and um, so far it looks like next summer of 2019 we’re going to be spending about two months a bumming around Asia. So, um, you know, we still get out and we’d do stuff, uh, but we’re able to squeeze it into a $40,000 per year budget because we don’t have big expenses like a mortgage or a car payment or a big tax bill.

 

Grant: 20:35

Do you feel like you’ve won the game?

 

Justin:  20:37

Yeah, I mean it really, it does. Like I just got a smile on my face a lot, feeling like I’ve got my stuff together pretty well. So, uh, yeah, it feels like I’ve won the game.

 

Investing to Retire Early

 

Grant: 20:51

Dude it’s so incredible. I mean, just listening to you and chatting with you. I’m a, it’s like your blog coming to life, but b, it’s just, it’s just incredible. Just how, uh, you know, you’ve, found this nice balance between how much you need to spend. You’re really happy you figured out the travel games are able to, you know, travel for, you know, to all of these amazing places. It really feels like you’ve built a really good system. Are you worried about anything for the future? I saw a tweet and you were talking about your investing strategy, given the fact that stocks are pretty, pretty pricey. Can you talk a little bit about how you are insulating yourself, over the next 10 years?

 

Justin: 21:38

Sure yeah. So, I’ve always been pretty heavy into stocks and I understand the risk involved and watched myself lose hundreds of thousands back in the 08/09 recession crash, whatever you want to call it. So I’ve gone through it once, I think that’s probably going to be about the worst recession that I see in my lifetime or at least for the next few decades. So I understand the stock market can drop 50 percent in a relatively short period of time. So in 2017 I shifted from an almost 100 percent stock allocation. I backed it off a little bit. So now I’m about 90 percent stocks, 10 percent bonds, fixed income CDs, money market cash, that sort of thing. Because we’re spending a relatively modest amount of money, that 10 percent bond and fixed income allocation should be plenty to get us through about five years without worrying about stock market fluctuations. If it drops very suddenly. And then there’s also the dividend income from our portfolio.

Dividends usually are not hit anywhere near as hard in a recession, as much as the price of stocks. So stocks may go down 25 or 50 percent, whereas dividends may go down 5, 10, 20 percent. Uh, it’s, it’s, it’s a lot less volatile because companies can still make money and can still afford to pay dividends. However, people are scared and stock prices go down. So, between the fixed income investments that we have and those dividends, investments, dividends that we received from our investments, I think our cashflow should be totally fine for five, six, seven years. And then on top of it, you know, I started the blog five years ago, it has slowly built itself into an entity, it’s monetized, it produces an income.

So I’m able to enjoy that, the revenue from that as well.  Um, which is something, you know, a plan B, Plan C, I could always a little bit harder at my online presence to produce more income if I needed to. Uh, that’s not really my focus at all right now. It’s more of how can I, how can I spend more money and enjoy things. That’s really my, my objective right now. But that’s, that’s sort of a backup plan, you know, if, if 2018, 2019, this is the year of the next great recession, um, how am I going to get through it, fixed income investments, living on dividends and then the backup plan is to produce some kind of fun income from, from something I’m interested in.

 

Grant: 24:26

It seems like, you know, if you’re able to live on those dividends and the fixed income, I mean your portfolio. I know you retired, with a little more than, I think it was like $1.2 or $1.3 million dollars a given what the market’s been doing, the, you know, the past couple of years and just the path that you’re on at your age, it seems like even in kind of the worst case scenario, you know, by the time you’re 50 or 60, your portfolio will have tripled or quadrupled in value given the fact that you’re living on such really a small percentage of your investment income. Is that something you think is true? I mean, a lot of people, this is one of the points that I make in the book is that, you know, if you can get a big enough nest egg when you’re young and you can live off like you do, you know, a relatively small percentage of the growth, the compounding impact over the next 20, 30 years, you know, you’re gonna have more money than you know, what to do with.

 

Justin: 25:28

Yeah, I think so. I mean, we, we’ve already, just in five years we’ve had five great years of stock market returns, but we’re watching it happen as we speak. Where, you know, we started with $1.2, $1.3 million, uh, it’s up to $1.8 or $1.9 million now and it’s, you know, a very large gain in, uh, in five years. I don’t expect it to happen, you know, to go up 50 percent every five years. But realistically, I mean, if we’re, if we’re only spending two or three percent of the portfolio each year and average returns, you know, we get average returns of four or five or six percent after inflation. Um, we’re going to see two or three percent real growth in our, in our portfolio value over the long term. And you know, looking at rule of 70, if you’re getting three percent above, if you’re getting three percent each year after you take out your spending, uh, you’re looking at 20, 25 years to double your portfolio in real terms.

Um, so, so are, you know, are almost $2 million may be $4 million dollars by the time 60. Uh, and, and, and, and, you know, that’s okay, more money is better and we’ll figure out how to spend it or, or pass it on somehow to somebody else that can be condensed into, uh, so. So yeah, and part of the thinking for me too is, um, there’s a lot of unknowns as you get older with your expenses, um, you’re, you’re just physically not able to do as much as you get into your fifties, sixties, seventies, who knows when, uh, so, so we’ll have to outsource more things.

I still mow my own grass. I probably won’t be doing that when I’m 70. I mean, I even have a yard when I’m 70, I may be living in some kind of place where, you know, you just outsource everything you pay, write a check every month, and you outsource everything. We may not be as much into backpacker traveling when we’re, uh, you know, when we’re 70, maybe more of a prop in our feet up on a luxury cruise, so the cost may go up as we get older because of changing ability and changing interest.

Long term care is another thing not really addressed in the early retirement community that much, but that’s one of those, you know, it might be nice to have an extra million or two if I need to go to an assisted living facility at some point in my later age when I get older. Um, so those are all. Those are all things that in the back of my mind, it’s okay to let your portfolio get bigger because it could certainly help down the road. But I’m also focused on ramping up my spending. Now as I see the portfolio goes up in value.

Grant: 28:07

What are some of those things you’re trying to spend more on?

 

Justin: 28:12

Like everything, like anytime I see something that’s a hey let’s spend money on this and it’ll be easier or enhance life stuff let’s spend money on that. So, you know, with traveling, that’s one of those things of like, you know, we can just hire somebody to drive us around for the day for 100 bucks in Southeast Asia. Let’s do that instead of worrying about buses and taxis and Uber, like we can just have a private driver and it’s not that much more expensive. Um, so just those kinds of things have, you know, small, small, marginal changes that can, can lead to a much more enjoyable experience and having the money to be able to do that. That’s, that’s really those kind of things that were starting to think more of that way instead of that frugality mindset of, yeah, but I can save $10 if I do this instead.

 

Best Early Retirement Advice

 

Grant:  29:02

A lot of listeners to this podcast, you know, they’re probably on the way to work this morning or they just got done with work or they’re, they’re catching up and resting on a weekend, but they probably, you know, feel stuck or maybe they feel stuck in their job or they just feel like they’re not making enough money or they’re not making enough money fast enough. And you know, your story is just so inspiring. What are a few pieces of advice you’d give to someone who’s, you know, just hearing about financial independence for the first time has just for the first time hearing you, you know realized that this could be possible for them, you know, what would you tell them? What are the first steps that they should take in order to get on the right path?

 

Justin: 29:48

Yeah. I think it comes down to making a whole lot of small incremental changes and its changes your mindset about money changes on how you’re spending money, what you’re focused on, how you’re investing money, the taxes. Thinking about all those different moving parts and doing something about it to make positive changes for your future. You don’t. You don’t have to because you don’t have to go from being a novice at this financial independent stuff to being an expert overnight. It’s really about small steps, so look at what you’re spending.

Start tracking your expenses. If nothing else, spreadsheet, piece of paper or online tools, Personal Capital, Mint, You Need A Budget, something. Somehow track what you’re spending, figure it out, look at it. Does it match with the values that you have or are you wasting money on stuff you don’t even care about.

Maybe you’re happy with what you’re spending and you don’t want to reduce it at all. Look at how you’re saving. Where are you investing? Are you getting your 401k match? Are you, are you putting money in an IRA or 401(k), saving on taxes and you got to hold yourself accountable.

So I think switching from this mindset of like personal finance is something that just happens as an afterthought. Just switching it to it’s a job. It’s no different than showing up to work and doing what you have to do at work to keep your job and get a promotion. You have to. You have to think about your, your own wealth management as if it was a job that you have for yourself. You’re responsible to yourself, so sit down with yourself and have a performance review once a year or every quarter if you need to, but make a list of what you need to do. Maybe take one item each month and start tackling it, but treat it. Treat it like it’s something you have to do instead of something that just kind of passively happens to you.

Because if you don’t life will just passively happen to you. And then you’ll be just like a lot of people that, you know, they end up 60 or 65 years old and they, they look at themselves and say, Oh wow, I really didn’t think about retirement at all. And, and you know, now it’s almost too late and I’m just part of the statistics of people that are 60 years old and have no retirement savings. So whatever age you’re at now, it’s not too late to start working on, it adds a whole lot easier to start when you’re in your twenties or thirties, even if you never save more than 20 percent of your income or 10 percent of your income. If you start doing that in your twenties, you’re probably still going to be able to retire in your sixties and, and it’s not a huge sacrifice after you look at all the tax savings from putting a little bit more into a 401(k) or IRA or even a small shift, a few percent here and there, can really pay off big time if you compound it for long enough.

 

Grant: 32:39

You’re absolutely right. Those small shifts can have such a huge impact, especially when you start them when you’re younger. Just the compounding impact over time. I actually figured out at one point that if I could save $2 more per day, I’d be able to buy a day more of freedom in the future. And that’s massive in terms of long term impact. So final question, Justin, what does financial freedom mean to you?

 

What does Financial Freedom mean to you?

 

Justin: 33:04

Freedom to do whatever you want to. So having enough money to be able to afford a lifestyle that is what you envisioned for yourself. You know, for me it’s a lot of having time to relax, read, enjoy, uh, enjoy life, engage in leisure activities, having the, the time and the financial ability to pay for travel. Those are all things that are important to me. I think everybody defines it a little bit differently and wants a little bit of something different out of life, but, but for me, that’s where it’s at. Financial Freedom is having that flexibility to do what you want.

 

Grant: 33:40

Hey Justin, thank you for taking the time to be on the podcast. Everyone definitely check out RootofGood.com, hands down, one of my top 10 favorite blogs out there. And Justin is a, a true teacher in every sense of the word. He’s very open, very transparent on the blog and you can learn a ton by following him. Hey Justin, thanks for taking the time to be on the podcast. This is a real pleasure.

 

Justin: 34:09

Thanks so much Grant. Thanks for having me. On here, it’s been a pleasure.

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Grant Sabatier
grant@millennialmoney.com

Founder of Millennial Money and Author of Financial Freedom. Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to over $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. He's passionate about helping others build wealth and is addicted to Personal Capital.

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