Pete Adeney, or Mr. Money Mustache as he’s more commonly known online, retired at the old age of 30 in order to start a family. Six years into this new life, he realized his peers were still not only stuck in their well-paying jobs, but barely able to meet their ever-increasing lifestyle inflation bills.
Thus, Pete formed the blog Mr. Money Mustache to teach fellow Americans how to live a slightly less ridiculous life than average, in order to amass an incredible surplus of money while they’re still able to put it to good use. The blog has since reached over 16 million people and become a study on life, happiness, and the joy of being able to focus on work that means something to you.
It's incredibly simple to save, invest and retire but too many people inflict misery upon themselves. A few examples from my former workplace follow.
Example #1: I know two people who started working there before I was born! I finished high school, got my degree, got the job, saved (hopefully) enough and then left. The two buffoons are still there!
Example #2: This woman was talking about her brand new SUV. She said that she didn't have to pay for it! I asked her to explain. You see, she was financing it over 8 years. She said that with the payments, gas, insurance, and maintenance, it would cost her roughly $1,700 per month. My jaw dropped.
That's $20,000 per year. $160,000 over 8 years for the convenience of an SUV. She drove it back and forth alone to work every day.
Example #3: A married guy was talking about his new house. I thought that he rented before. Nope. He was upgrading to a bigger house in a much better location. Wifey insisted. Of course, that meant a titanic mortgage.
- His savings every month? $0.
- Amortization period? 25 years.
- His age? 45.
- His investment portfolio value, in the future, at age 70? $0.
To make matters worse, he was unfairly treated like shit by the bosses at work. He couldn't really do much because then the all-important cash flow would be impacted. He has a stressful life.
Example #4: A married woman was talking about the crazy increase in real estate values in the Greater Toronto Area. She wanted to upgrade to a new, shiny, larger house but the prices were just too high. I mentioned doing the opposite: selling her house in the hot market and then renting an apartment and investing the large difference.
She said that she couldn't live without her house. "What specifically can't you live without?" I asked. She loved the patio in the backyard. She loved sitting there and having her drink to alleviate the stress of working.
The whole situation is painfully circular. She already has a sizeable house for which she has to pay mortgage...she must put many stressful hours at her job...to pay for the house in which she could relax!
Conclusion: Now, I do understand the attraction of having a house. I've lived in rented accommodations my entire life. I've lived in four different countries at dozens of addresses. It would be very nice to have my own house with a few tasteful Trump signs. However, I wouldn't sacrifice my financial freedom to do so.
If you make $500,000 annually and you buy a $1 million house, then it's not an issue but most Canadians, and my mentioned colleagues above, make around $50,000 a year and they're looking at properties that do cost close to a million dollars! That's 25 precious years of zero savings. When they turn 65, almost their entire wealth will be their house! You can't eat real estate.