They RETIRED at 40!! The FIRE Movement (with Amon and Christina Browning): Episode 205

Amon and Christina Browning of Our Rich Journey: At the age of 39 and 41, Amon and Christina achieved financial independence and retired early (FIRE). They quit their federal government jobs, retired, and moved to Portugal with their two daughters (ages 11 and 12). In just over two years of starting their YouTube channel, their channel garnered more than 280,000 YouTube subscribers and over 13 million video views. Their goal is to spread the word about FIRE and to encourage others to join the FIRE journey!

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Takeaways

  • Financial independence can be achieved if you budget for it and make the right investments.
  • Good investments will help build your portfolio but if you’re making bad investments simultaneously you will not be able to make any headway.
  • Taking that next step to make that first investment can be scary, but it is part of the process. The first time your investment succeeds it not only fuels your F.I.R.E. but it also fuels the fire inside of you to keep going and keep building things up.
  • To calculate your F.I.R.E. number you take your cost of expenses from a year and multiply it by 25, and whatever that number is, that is your F.I.R.E. number and you can take 4% from your portfolio every year without your portfolio dwindling down.
  • Amon and Christina had a 2 million dollar number planning on retiring in the Bay Area, but then moved to Portugal. They had a high enough F.I.R.E. number to retire just about anywhere.
  • Investing more early on will lead to more money faster through compound interest among other things, rather than breaking it down evenly along the way.
  • Amon and Christina were reselling discounted items from IKEA on craigslist and Facebook marketplace such as granite countertops. They also made furniture out of recycled wooden pallets and sold them.
  • When you buy a certain car make, maybe it’s a “Jeep” you will start to see Jeeps all over the place. When you are always thinking about extra ways to make money, you will see extra side hustles all over the place.
  • Amon and Christina bought all of their homes in the off season, “in the winter months around the holidays” and in their first house they did a “Live and Flip.” Where they were able to live in the house and make improvements then sell it and buy two more properties.
  • Pursuing F.I.R.E. causes you to cut back on luxury and challenges you mentally to figure out what you need to do to get somewhere.
  • Happiness is not impacted by any type of material, it is all internal. It’s not the things that you have, it’s who you love, and that you are loved.
  • You have to start off with positivity, that doesn’t mean there won’t be set backs and some things won’t be hard, but the type of savings you are looking to achieve will not be possible without positivity.
  • Knowing your fees and taxes are all part of creating a plan and a budget, using the correct investing platforms can make a big difference in how much you are paying in fees.
  • Children want to be like their parents from a young age and it is great to explain these topics to our kids at whatever capacity that may be, at an early age. A lot of people are raised not to talk about money, but you want to do the opposite and demonstrate your relationship with money to your kids.
  • When you have variable income, in the higher months you shouldn’t be spending more just because you are making more. Those are the months where you take that extra money and build your emergency fund and then start investing more.
  • Market timing is almost impossible and definitely impossible consistently. F.I.R.E. is about letting your money work in the background and not worrying about the ups and down. It’s not about timing the market but time in the market.
  • If you’re looking for the ultimate diversifications it is a good idea to look at an index fund. Investing in individual stocks early on is difficult and stressful.

Highlights

  • (2:30) F.I.R.E- Financial Independence Retire Early.
  • (4:45) Taking action after or even while learning how to invest.
  • (6:40) Calculating your F.I.R.E. number.
  • (8:30) Fluctuation of the stock market and safe withdrawal amounts.
  • (10:11) The moment when Amon and Christina decided they wanted to retire early and figure out how to do it.
  • (12:40) The fire number for Amon and Christina living in the Bay Area at the time.
  • (15:02) Investing more early on to allow compound interest to start to do its work.
  • (17:14) Side hustles that Amon and Christina did to help save extra money to invest.
  • (20:20) Getting into the mind set where you are looking for opportunities to make extra money.
  • (22:45) Being able to live rent and mortgage free, allowing you to save more.
  • (24:30) Using real estate as an investment.
  • (26:00) Pursuing F.I.R.E. you need to not worry so much about brand names and material things.
  • (30:40) What brings you happiness? Where does it come from?
  • (33:01) Being positive while pursuing F.I.R.E.
  • (37:30) Amon and Christina’s course and what they teach investors early on.
  • (40:20) Using a tax advantage account to help grow your portfolio while thinking of taxes as a fee.
  • (44:23) Living outside of the US and figuring out how the tax breakdown works investing in the stock market.
  • (49:00) Life in Portugal and what their family misses about the US.
  • (52:20) Talking to their children about money and ways to invest.
  • (56:10) Understanding your core expenses and working with variable income.
  • (1:01:20) The volatility of the market during Coronavirus and timing the market.
  • (1:04:02) Investing: Index, ETF, Individual stocks recommendations.

Quotes

“Good investments are great, but if you’re also making bad investments that can really chip away at your F.I.R.E. journey.”

“Our story is also about taking action. A lot of people will do all of the reading and take all of the courses but neglect to take that next step.”

“We come up with crazy ideas all the time, we just find a way to yes.”

“Some people would say ‘Oh you guys were lucky,’ but we were just open to opportunities and ready to take action.”

“Short term sacrifice for long term gain.”

“Everyone needs to invest in a plan.”

Resources

Investing for Financial Independence Course

Connect with Amon and Christina:

Youtube Channel (Our Rich Journey): https://www.youtube.com/ourrichjourney

Website (Our Rich Journey): https://www.ourrichjourney.com/

 

Books Mentioned in the Episode:

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

The Intelligent Investor- Benjamin Graham

Warren Buffet’s Shareholder Letters

Watch Full Episode:


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