Welcome to the Millennial Revolution, a FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) site started by two computer engineers/children’s authors, FIRECracker & Wanderer, who retired at 31 to travel the world!
What’s this Site All About?
Okay, by a show of hands, who loves working a stressful, hateful job for 30-40 years, to pay off a massive mortgage, only to die of a heart-attack at your desk or be laid off without a pension? Anyone? Anyone?
Yeah, I thought so. That’s how we felt too. And since we lived in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, that was a real possibility. So instead of drowning in debt to buy a house, we rented and invested instead.
And guess what? Going against the status quo TOTALLY PAID OFF! By NOT buying a house and investing instead, we managed to build a 7-figure portfolio, which has allowed us to retire in our 30s and travel the world! BOO-YAH!
How We Got Here:
Wait what?! How is that even possible? I’m clearly lying through my teeth, right?
WRONG. And here’s your proof:
What Are We Up to?
So what are we up to these days? I mean, what exactly does a couple of retired 30 year-olds do with all that free time?
Soak in the hot springs of Iceland?
Drink until we can’t feel our faces at Oktoberfest in Germany?
Annoy the locals by singing the same line from “The Sound of Music” over and over again until they threaten to push us off a mountain in Switzerland?
Check, check, and check!
Ever since we became financially independent and gave the middle finger to our 9-to-5s, we’ve been working on projects that feed our souls rather than our wallets…like writing books, coding apps for a non-profit, and running this blog!
And we do all this while traveling the world on $40,000 CAD/year. Everyday is different, exciting, and full of adventure. If you’re passionate about travel and adventure, and want to follow along on our journey, read our travel series here:
Update: Since we retired, our portfolio has gone up! Here’s an update on how our current portfolio is doing, 3 years after retirement.
How Exactly Does this Work?
Now, the skeptical people in the crowd will probably want to know “What kind of witchcraft/sorcery is this? Tell me EXACTLY how this whole thing works”. And kudos to you for that healthy dose of skepticism. As an engineer, I’m a HUGE skeptic too. So allow me to explain:
If you build a portfolio big enough to safely withdraw 4% investment income each year to cover your living expenses, you are essentially “financially independent” and no longer need to work. This is called “The 4% Rule“.
How big is that portfolio? To figure it out, simply take your living expenses (eg $40K/year) and multiple that by 25 (because dividing by 4% is the same as multiplying by 25). So $40,000 X 25 = $1,000,000.
So if your expenses are $40K/year, once your portfolio reaches $1 million, you can retire and live off 4% of the investment income per year for the rest of your life.
But… if you’re flexible enough that you can live on less than $40K or if you’re planning to work part-time or a side gig after “retiring” from the 9 to 5, you can do it MUCH faster with way less:
- The Key to Early Retirement: Flexibility
- You’re Closer to Retirement than You Think
- How to Become Financially Independent by Travelling
You can even do it if, like me and other readers of the blog, you didn’t grow up rich, have lots of debt, or don’t have a 6-figure salary:
- How Growing Up Poor Made Me a Badass
- Big Earnings, Big Student Debt
- Can I Retire with 4 Kids and a Postal Worker’s Salary?
How You Can Do It Too:
One of the key components to our lifestyle is INVESTING. Because without investing, your portfolio would quickly be depleted by inflation, and there’s no way you could make it last 50-60 years.
But investing is scary for most people, because it’s a MINEFIELD of slick-haired, Gordon Gecko types, trying to steal your money. We met these very same people, trying to sell us shitty mutual funds with 2%+ MERs and ponzi-scheme-like investments, promising 20% returns back in 2008.
Now that we’ve been able to peel back the curtain on investing, we want to share what we learned with as many people as possible. Because financial education is a RIGHT, not a privilege. So we wrote a series of posts to show you exactly how it works:
- Part 1: Why People Lose Money in the Stock Market
- Part 2: How To Build a Portfolio
- Part 3: Asset Allocation: Slicing the Pie
- Part 4: Rebalancing: How to Buy Low and Sell High
- Dollar Cost Averaging: How To Invest Without Freaking Out
- Sequences of Returns Risk
- Black Swan Events
- How To Pay No Tax On Your Investments (Canadian Edition)
- Investment Fees Are The Worst
- Let The Government Fund Your Retirement (US and Canadian Edition)
Since we get reader requests for it on a daily basis, we’ve put together a step-by-step workshop to show you how investing works. Click here to get started.
*Phew* So that’s it! Now that you know what we’re all about, if you have any questions that we haven’t already answered, check out our FAQ page.
If you want us to help you by analyzing your situation, click here.
And if you haven’t gotten sick of me by this point and, inexplicably, want to binge read all the Millennial Revolution articles, click here.
FIRECracker & Wanderer