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How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World with Millennial Revolution

The BiggerPockets Money Podcast
57 min read
How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World with Millennial Revolution

Kristy Shen grew up poor. Knowing her parents couldn’t help her financially, she gave up her dreams of being a writer, and went to school to make big bucks as a software developer. She even graduated on the five-year program with an internship to limit her student debt and increase her chances of getting a job after graduation.

That gamble paid off and she was rewarded with a high stress job requiring her to be on call 24 hours a day. After seeing that same job stress almost kill a co-worker, she re-evaluated her own health issues, decided this path was ridiculous, and set out to make a change.

Kristy and Bryce share their journey through saving up enough to leave their jobs, the actual quitting process (it’s not as easy as you think) and into one of the worst ‘first years of early retirement’ – an oil crisis that sent their portfolio plummeting.

Clever tricks including their Yield Shield and Cash Cushion got them through their tumultuous first year, and ultimately proved that this DOES work, and you CAN retire early to travel the world.

If you’re yearning for another option outside the traditional career path and wish you had the time and resources to see all of the faraway places on your list, tune into this episode—and get inspired.

Click here to listen on iTunes.

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Read the Transcript Here

Welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast show number 55 where we intervie Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution.

‘Because you kind of need both sides of the equation, like the budgeting side and the investing side, in order for this lifestyle to work out. I make sure that all the bad things that could happen, we have a backup plan for everything. Then Bryce, make sure that like we got to also follow our dreams. It is not always about the money, it is not always about the fear, there is other ways to live life besides living in fear. I found out that combination of our background worked out really well in terms of getting us to where we are today because we have that different opposite points of view.’

It is time for a new American dream, one that does not involve working in a cubicle for 40 years, barely scraping by. Whether you are looking to get your financial house in order, invest the money you already have or discover new paths for wealth creation, you are in the right place. This show is for anyone who has money or wants more. This is the BiggerPockets Money Podcast.

Scott: How is it going everybody? I am Scott Trench. I am here with my co-host, Ms. Mindy Jensen. How are you doing today, Mindy?

Mindy: Scott, I am doing fantastic. It is a beautiful day and I am super excited to talk to Kristy and Bryce. I met them a couple of months ago in Greece in a conference called to [inaudible][01:11]. They were speaking there and they just have such an amazing story. I love talking to people who have already pushed the button and gotten past the early retirement. They have quit their job, they have started doing whatever it is they are going to do in post-retirement and Kristy and Bryce are really just living it up. They are traveling the world did, they are spending less than they planned and they are just a really great example of how this actually does work because math does not lie.

Scott: Yes. I mean Bryce and Kristy both got great jobs start out of college. They managed to graduate debt free and start with that kind of head start going into all this and then spend very little and make a solid income. I think they both approached six figure salaries right just under that towards the end of their career, their six to seven year career, and were able to produce financial independence. They are now traveling all over the world and living an incredible lifestyle.

Yes, this is a dual income, no kids household that has been able to achieve this but it is something to pay attention to because this is the kind of result that you can produce if you do not make any major, they say they had made a mistake of not investing enough, right? If that is your mistake, going into the financial picture, you are going to live a life that is a few in human history are going to have the opportunity to share it.

I think that there is a really big benefit to this episode if you are starting out in life or considering kind of getting going and you are still in your early twenties or even late twenties and want to kind of produce a similar outcome. They have got a phenomenal situation that they have built through overall good decision making over a period of years. I think it is extremely repeatable if you start off the right way.

Mindy: Well, yes, that is what makes their story so great is that it is kind of boring. We got good jobs, we saved a lot of money, we would still did what we want and now we are retired. We have been retired for three years, we have not even dipped into our savings at all. We might have to do it this year because the market is down but we have their three point plan to not have to run out of money is brilliant. I have not heard it before, I am super excited to read the articles that they shared about the episode and I love how easy this is, how not difficult this is to a little bit of tweaks to the normal everyday life changes your whole direction.

Scott: It is life on cheat code, right? Is what he said I think, right? It is. It is like you are playing a video game and you have a cheat code and you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want with whoever you want. It is still spend less than the average person and not have to work. This is what happens if you just have a very clear winning plan and you could do it even faster than them, right? They made some mistakes. They point it out, right? If you wanted to hustle and get this done even sooner than they did in life, you could start out from the same similar position and race towards it even quicker.

Mindy: I like how they say mistakes do not define you. Do not use that as a crutch. Oh, I made this big mistake, I guess they cannot do this. Well, maybe it does not happen as fast as Kristy and Bryce’s situation because you graduated school with student loans that you had to pay off first. But like Craig Curelop said in episode 35, you do not have to pay those off right away. He started investing first and is now using his investments to pay off his student loans while continuing to invest. There is just a lot of different ways to do it but this is the main way. Low spending, high savings rate.

Scott: Yes, geographic arbitrage does not hurt either.

Mindy: Geographic arbitrage is a really nice tip too. Okay, let us hear a note from today’s show sponsor.

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Mindy: Huge thanks to today’s show sponsor. Now, let us bring in Kristy and Bryce and let them tell their story. Kristy and Bryce from Millenial Revolution, welcome to the BiggerPockets Money podcast. How are you today and where are you today?

Bryce: We are doing great.

Kristy: Hi, we are great. We are actually talking to you from Madrid, Spain. It is around 5PM in the afternoon right now.

Mindy: Oh, it is nine o’clock in the morning over here. Well, thank you for…

Scott: Shouldn’t you be asleep?

Bryce: We just woke up from our siesta.

Scott: Oh, yes.

Bryce: We were just talking about it before. Man, I was really enjoying the Spanish lifestyle. When you say way too much, drink too much sangria every lunch and then just fall asleep at like from like two to four. That is just how they operate over here.

Kristy: Yes.

Scott: That sounds terrible.

Bryce: Yes, yes, yes. The American and the Canadian like work constantly every weekend checking your email and then transitioning into like what they do here, it is like yes, it is like nine days.

Scott: That is perfect. You guys are living the dream. You are in Spain, you are having a great time, you have solved your money problem. Let us talk about the journey to get to this point and how you are kind of operating now. Where does your kind of financial story with money begin?

Kristy: I would say it begins in Toronto. We are both working in the IT sector as software developers. We were basically going around doing what everyone else is doing, getting really stressed out about the Toronto housing market because that is what everyone else is doing and trying to afford that million dollar house because average detached homes in Toronto are over a million dollars now. We really began trying to be like everyone else and following that path of you got to buy a house, you got to have a really big mortgage, work until you are 65 and then you can actually relax and retire. At that point, when I started to look around and see how stressed all my co-workers were to the point where one of them collapsed and actually almost died from overwork, that was my wake up moment that I realized I do not want to work at my desk and then die.

This is not the path I want to go down. At that point, this was back in 2012 that I decided is there something else we can do instead of trying to afford that million dollar house and then working like this and stressing out? Is there something else we can do with our lives? Can we go a different path? That is where this journey started.

Scott: What was your… How did you kind of get into that position in the first place? You are both software engineers, what was your path to become a software engineer in the first place and what was your kind of financial position where you were looking to buy this first house?

Kristy: Okay. I think we have very different backgrounds. Like I went into engineering because I grew up quite poor in China. I grew up in a small village and at one point my family was living on just 40 cents a day. My relationship with money was very much like fear based. It was really like not having enough money, constantly worrying and then when we immigrated to Canada when I was eight years old, I was having trouble learning the language and assimilating with the culture. There was that kind of fear of are we going to be okay? Money has always been fear based for me. Then for me going into computer engineering was my way of securing my future for me.

Because I could not pick a career where if it did not work out, that my parents could support me because they also had like family members and parents and brothers and sisters to support back home in China. For me, it was really like money has always been since the very beginning, something that was always on the forefront of my mind and always something that I needed to make practical decisions in order to make sure that I was going to be financially secure.

Scott: I just want to ask one quick follow up question about that. How did this influence your schooling? Did that influence your choice to become a software engineer?

Kristy: Absolutely.

Scott: Okay.

Kristy: Absolutely. How I actually picked my career? In Canada, we definitely do not have the amount of student debt that people have to deal with as Americans. But at the same time, I still had to like pay for my living expenses and I had to pay for tuition. What I did was I chose this particular program, which is software engineering in Waterloo, a program that was one year longer than normal because it is five years instead of the typical four and what that allows you to do is alternate between doing internships and actually going to school. That was actually one way that I could actually pay for my tuition and living costs throughout school so that I could actually end up with zero debt by the time I graduate. On top of that, I would have some work experience already behind me. For me, it was really just optimizing and making sure I got into as little debt as possible and being able to support myself right out of a school through graduation.

Bryce: Yes. For you, it was almost like a 100% financial decision because like we talked about this a lot on our blog. She always wanted to be a writer, like that was what she always wanted to do and that was her dream and those kind of stuff. Two of her subjects were physics and computers. Of course you would then pick computer engineering as your major? It was just kind of like for her is like literally did not matter what she liked and it was like what paid the bills and what costs the least amount of money.

Scott: Got It. What about you?

Bryce: I had a much more kind of… Like I grew up in Canada, my parents were reasonably middle class. One is a dentist, one is a pharmacist. It was a completely different thing for me. I actually went into computer engineering because I liked it, I like programming. I was programming when I was in grade four just for fun and this kind of stuff. For me it was really more of a passion. For her, it was more financial thing. But it is that juxtaposition of our two attitudes towards money that really made this whole thing because for her like she makes fun of me because whenever I go into a grocery store, I do not check the prices. I do not know why. I just got to go get me some apples,

I do not look at that thing. But she has encyclopedic knowledge of how much apples are supposed to cost and then she would be like, no, no, no, do not get it at this price. You can get it for like 4 cents cheaper over here. I am like, who cares? But it is those two attitudes that are really really helpful because as a result, like even right after we started working, our savings rate just automatically started out like 50% to 60% because she would just like shop the hell out of everything. Like with like how we picked our rent, like whether we chose to buy a car or not, if we did not, we will use car sharing, how we buy groceries, how we buy everything.

She is always the one that is optimizing and maximizing the value you have got out of every dollar that you spend so that you are spending as low as possible. Consume rate was like really really high just by default. But on the other hand, her attitude towards money, which is it is fear-based, it is really really poorly suited to investing because when you put money into the stock market and it goes down like $10,000 in a day, that is not fun, right? That is kind of where like our two attitudes I had to kind of combine because she is the one that is making sure we are spending as little money as possible going out the door and I am the one managing the investments because I am more comfortable with volatility and she is not. It is that weird juxtaposition.

Kristy: Yes, we have a weird pessimistic-optimistic combination that actually made this whole like FI thing work really well because you kind of need both sides of the equation, like the budgeting side and the investing side in order for this lifestyle to work out. I make sure that all the bad things that could happen, we have a backup plan for everything and then Bryce make sure that we got to also follow our dreams. It is not always about the money, it is not always about the fear. There is other ways to live life besides living in fear. I found out that that combination of our background worked out really well in terms of getting us to where we are today because we have that different opposite points of view.

Mindy: Okay. I want to talk a little bit about getting over the fear psychology that you grew up with for so long. I did not have fear, I just grew up really really frugally because my parents were… I am a grandchild of the great depression. My parents each come from enormous families with no money. There was always like nothing and deprivation and they have come a long way since then. But I grew up with that mentality and we went to garage sales every Saturday morning and we did not buy things brand new and we did shop. My dad’s still shops gas, I mean Gas Buddy is his favorite app on the phone. They live in an RV and they travel around the country building churches so they buy a lot of gas. But that is like he is obsessed with gas prices.

Like Bryce said, do not buy these apples, you could buy them for four cents less. How do you get over that? How do you let that go? Because that can really cripple you and that was something that… Actually, my husband had a hard time with when he was leaving his job. He was also a computer programmer. He had this high paying job, his dad was an electrician that was like getting out of work frequently, he was laid off, how dare I let go of this high paying job to go travel around the world? Like how do you get over that?

Kristy: It is very difficult. It was not just the hurdle of the fear, it was also my cultural background, right? Like having to go against the grain and like telling my parents, ‘Oh, by the way, I am quitting this perfectly good job and I am going to travel the world and I am not going to buy a house and I am not going to do all these traditional things.’ It really is that you not only have to get over the mentality that you have been basically like dealing with your entire life, you are also dealing with family and friends who may not understand why you would be doing this and losing security and all that.

I think the thing that really helped me understand that this was the right way to go and that it was not always about fear, it is just seeing other people like going down that traditional path and almost losing their lives. Like seeing their health, things that you would never expect to happen just for a programmer to like actually end up in the hospital. Then like to have I was having all sorts of health problems, I had to be on medication, I had to wear this wrist brace because I was having chronic pain in my wrist and just like the health problems that I was seeing which I thought okay if I have the secure job now, I am earning money, I should not have to worry about security. I should not have to worry about health problems and that was my wake up call to realize that constantly worrying about money, constantly living in fear, constantly living for tomorrow and like ten years from now and when I am 65, what if I do not make it until I am 65?

For me, it really was a health issue that kicked me from that fear based mentality to kind of a hope based mentality to think like what can I do that would make my life more fulfilling and that I could actually live for something else other than money and constantly living in fear.

Bryce: I was kind of giggling as you were saying it because it is really funny how we… Because if you would go ask both of us the same question, for me, how do I get over that fear? For me, I am just kind of go… I just do the math and I look at the spreadsheet, it seems fine. That much for her, the only thing that got her out of that fear was a bigger fear, like avoiding the worse even though the even worse thing that she was even by the way, it is just kind of like the only reason why you would jump off the bridge is it that you thought that train was coming.

Kristy: A bigger monster.

Bryce: An even bigger monster was coming at you.

Scott: I think that is really good. I mean like I remember the first time I read the Four Hour Work Week, right? I am working at my job and I am like, ‘Hey, the clear probability of what is going to happen to me if I do not pursue the financial independence is I am going to spend 30 to 40 years in a job very much like this one and ended up like kind of maybe a little overweight and overworked and not being used to my best talents, not being able to kind of go there. That is a much bigger risk than attempting to pursue financial independence and pursue your dreams, right?

I think that is a great way to look at it. A good way for people with your mindset, Kristy, how to change that so that you can kind of pursue this with a little bit more enthusiasm. Going back to kind of your story here, we kind of have a background on both your financial mindsets coming into this. What was the kind of story and maybe out of college first couple of years in the workforce when you discovered FI and we are going to put this money down on a house, what was your position looking like at that moment and how did you get to that financial position? Like what was your income, what was your savings? What were you kind of spending? How are you avoiding those expenses and all that kind of stuff?

Kristy: Okay. Well, when we first graduated, because we were both classmates and we both picked that program which was one year longer than usual, but we were actually able to pay our tuition and living expenses while we are going to the university, that helped a lot cause we came out with zero and a lot of people actually come out of school with student debt. When we graduated in 2006, we had no student debt. We did not have any savings either but the fact that we did not have debt was amazing. We also had two years of experience with work so we were actually able to go back to the companies that we went to during our internship and they actually gave us full time jobs right out of school. I think that is one of the most important decisions I have ever made in my life was picking that program and being able to start with no debt and high paying jobs straight out of school.

Even though we are students, we are out of school in 2006, we were able to hit the ground running right away. We only worked for six months in 2006 because we graduated in June. But even then, we were able to save within the first year around like $30,000 just because we did not have the student debt and we already had good salaries coming out of school. Like Bryce said, because coming back from a background of poverty and having fear that I was going to run out of money, even though we were doing inefficient things like living in two different places, paying two different rents, we could have moved in together. We were paying $1500 for rent between the two of us because we had two separate places, we still ended up having a 50% savings rate right off the bat like within the first or two years, the first and second year outside of a university.

Then from then on, from that point, 2006 to 2012, during those six years in which I was still following the traditional path of trying to save as much money as possible towards a down payment, working the traditional job like everyone else, not even thinking of FI at the point. Just thinking about, okay, I need to buy a house. Houses in Toronto are very expensive, we need to save as much money as possible. Our savings rate ramped up at this point to be about 60% a year. We were making like really good salaries, close to six figure salaries each. We were getting promotions during this time as well because I was trying to climb the corporate ladder once again, like everyone else, we would be working weekends.

I had to carry this like pager that used to call me all the time and anytime there is a production issue I could wake up at two o’clock in the morning and do some support whenever I was being called on. It was a lot of putting a lot of hours in and just climbing the corporate ladder. By the time 2012, which was where I had my epiphany that we were going to do something different and go down this FI path, we had saved half a million dollars because our salaries were good. There is two engineering salaries, our savings rate was hovering around 50% to 60% at that rate.

Then at the time, even though that is a lot of money to be saving within six years, I was still thinking that was not enough money because when we went to open houses, people looked at us like, well real estate agents would watch us walked in and said are you sure you guys are in the right place? Like can you afford this house? Like that is the kind of attitude we were getting. Lo and behold, like before you even put any offers and they would be getting bidding wars between other people who are even like older than us, people who had even more money who had bought another house and they were moving up from that house. That was the mentality that I had going in. Like even though we had saved that much money, I still felt that we were not doing that great compared to everyone one else who could afford even more house because they were older and there was just bidding wars all over the place.

That was our mentality, we did quite well pitching that program and having zero debt coming out of school. We saved half a million dollars within six years and with two really good engineering salaries. But despite that, my fear mentality still told me that that was not enough to buy a house in Toronto and that I would need to save more and I need to climb the corporate ladder even faster than what I was doing at the time.

Bryce: That is kind of when I activated because she is the fear monster and I am the hope of beacon, right? Then I started reading about a financial independence. I found Money Mustache, I found Jim Collins and all those kind of stuff. I started like plugging into my spreadsheets in this kind of stuff and be like, hey, check this out, check this out. We could buy this house and then pay it off over 25 years or according to these spreadsheets we can retire in three.

Kristy: Then I was like no way. I was like, no way. You cannot retire without like $5 million, no way.

Bryce: Right. But then she is like let me see that. She checks all the numbers and she is like huh, the thing was showing between like three to four years, I see we would hit the million mark and then being able to retire off of that with $40,000 as our spending and then it would just kind of this is much better. It was like we were power saving already towards one goal and then when I realized that sucked, it was just kind of like what else can we buy with this money and that what we bought was retirement. It is kind of like oh yes, that is much better. That is kind of where it all came from.

Mindy: What were you doing with your money when you were saving, you had this $500,000? Was it just in a bank account? Was it under your mattress? Was it in…

Kristy: Well, we were investing right before 2008, perfect timing.

Bryce: Yes. It was just kind of like this is going to be great. That was again, there is like there is a lot of that fear thing going on there because when we were putting, I remember distinctly the feeling of putting like $1,000 into the ETF or mutual fund that I was using at a time and the next day there would be like a thousand point drop on down and my money would just evaporate. I was just like, where did my money go? But I knew enough that what I was supposed to do is I was a keep buying into the dip because it will eventually come back up. The index never crashes to zero. Lo and behold, when it started, when it did bottom out like in 2009 and it started coming back up, I actually recovered all my money within a year, right? We managed to get out throughout to the 2008 financial crisis without losing any money.

Kristy: However, we did make the biggest mistake by jumping out of the market after we had recovered back to our original point because I said, ‘You know what? Let us like put this money aside. Let us not invest it. Let us save up enough to buy a house.’ We actually missed out on three years of the bull run because of fear and because that we were working towards getting a down payment for a house. Even despite that, we were still able to retire in our thirties just because the savings rate was so high and because we came to our senses in 2012 when we discovered we were going to go down the FI path and we went back into the stock market and that actually got us there within three years. I think that is the lesson to be learned. That even if you make mistakes with investing, you can still recover.

Bryce: Yes.

Kristy: Right? It is really not, ‘Oh yes, this is the end of the world. We are not going to be able to retire. This is a stupid mistake. We should not have made any mistakes in the first place. I think despite the mistake that we made, we still got to where we are today.

Scott: It sounds from what I am gathering, it sounds like the major lever that you guys pulled to meet your financial position forward was yes you had good jobs in expensive city but you spent very little and we are very frugal throughout this period. Can you walk us through something like… That is the unusual part here, right? Most of your peers, the people that you were working with, probably were spending more money than you on various things.

Kristy: Absolutely, yes.

Scott: How did your lifestyle contrast with maybe what peers we are living at the same time? Like what are some of the differences that you can highlight there?

Kristy: The funny thing is our peers would kind of say, oh yes, because we did not have a car. We use something called AutoShare which is a car sharing service.

Bryce: It is like Zipcar.

Kristy: Yes, it is like Zipcar. You can actually get a car and rent it out for two or three hours to get groceries. Whenever you needed a car, you basically sign it out. But the cost of the actual car is so little, even including insurance, it was what like less than…

Bryce: Less than $10 an hour.

Kristy: Yes, less than a hundred a month for sure. Then that was like saved us a lot of money but then people were making… Our peers were saying like how can you possibly live in Toronto without a car? Like how can you possibly not have a car? But then they would be jealous whenever we went on fancy vacations because we would go on at least two vacations to Europe a year. That was one thing I was not willing to compromise on in terms of cost. Travel was one thing I was willing to spend money on but then they would be like, ‘Oh, yes. Well, you just came back from Europe, you are going to go again? Like that is ridiculous.’ But then I am like you have a car when you live in Toronto, that is ridiculous.

It really is just kind of the contrast between what our priorities are, right? Like people were willing to just spend $10,000 a year on their car without blinking an eye. But then I spend like $2,000 on a vacation and I come back and they think I am nuts. I think for us the biggest difference was making decisions on renting. Like rent was very low in Toronto. Rented the top floor of a townhouse for only $850 a month. Our landlord was really nice to us, he did not really raise the rent. We got along really well and then we did not buy a car. I think those two were the things that a lot that got a lot of our friends, a lot of our peers, because as soon as they graduated they had to buy the car. They did not hesitate as long as I did to buy and go into the housing market. They did not spend as much as we did on vacations and traveling, but they spent a lot of money on everything else.

To me, it really is just prioritizing. Like, if I am going to spend money on traveling, I am not going to spend money on a car, I am not going to spend a lot of money on rent or buying a house. It really is just prioritizing instead of I have to spend money on everything.

Bryce: The funny thing is for her, she used to be a hoarder. The thing about growing up poor is that you never throw anything out because you never know when that might come in handy. Her mom literally had pots that were made during the communist era, that is like 40 year old pots. It has got holes in it and it probably got 10 of this or whatever and she refuses to throw it out because who knows when this will come in handy? I am like never, it will never come handy.

Mindy: That is my family too.

Bryce: Yes, exactly, exactly.

Kristy: But I would keep empty CD cases. Like I do not even have a CD player and I would still would not throw them out just in case I could use it for something, right. Then on the side as we go around like meeting people, doing Chautauqua meeting with other FI bloggers. What I have noticed, much like I am noticing right now is that for almost every single person who ended up doing this FI thing, at least one person spent some amount of time in poverty. Like that is almost like a universal truth that I have noticed. Like when we see it, we get each other. We are like you are one of us in this kind of stuff but what is interesting is that most people do not like to talk about their time in poverty. Most people find it embarrassing, right?

We are unique a little bit in that we lean into it and she talks about it directly on the blog and then the book and like this kind of stuff. But that experience, I think that experience in poverty is actually one of the reasons that causes people to become FI. They make it not despite their poverty, but because of it. Anyway, we were in that situation in which we were sure she had all the stuff that was just filling up the house and filling up the house and filling up the house. Normally, this is kind of when you creek get into that inflation’s lifestyle creep which would be like, ‘Alright, this is too much stuff. We need to buy a bigger house.’ Why do not you talk about how we…

Kristy: Yes, how he got over the hoarder mentality. Our apartment was getting super crowded. I was thinking either we were going to buy house or I was going to rent a bigger place. Bryce being the smart guy that he is, he did not actually say no. He was not like, ‘Oh no, just get rid of your crap. Like who needs all these empty CD cases?’ No, he was just like, ‘Okay, well let us go out and let us take a look at the different rentals and see if there is any that you like. Let us go do it.’ We spent quite a few weekends looking around at comparable places to rent. I realize that we are getting a super good deal where we were. Places that were around the same size or even a bit smaller or starting at a $1000 or $1200 and we are only paying $850.

Then at that point, I started doing the math and I was thinking, okay, so if I get rid of all these things, this is how much money I could stand to lose because I paid money for it but then I compared that with how much money I would be losing by moving to another place with way more expensive rent. Even if I had the extra space, is it worth it? I did the math, as we call it shut up on the blending of revolution. Then I realized that it was actually going to save me money by getting rid of all this stuff. That was very painful couple of weekends trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible but I think it is kind of like was very therapeutic for me as well. Because then I started realizing, hey, this actually makes my life a lot easier. Now, I do not have to maintain it, I do not have to clean it.

I do not have to be constantly searching for my clothes to wear every day and have to be searching for things that I need around the house, around the apartment. It was a gradual step by step process of getting rid of all the things that I did not need and kind of letting go of the fear that I might accidentally throw away something I am going to lead later on. I went more from a, it was not exactly a minimalist at that point, but I went from hoarding to like a normal human being that does not need to keep crappy empty CD cases lying around.

Bryce: Yes, because I was able to add up the value of all that stuff that you were throwing out. Let us say you throw out something that you actually need me or need to buy it back in and it would be like a couple of hundred bucks in this kind of stuff and be like, okay, but the differential in rent is now $400 every single month.

Kristy: We just buy those things back every month and I am still ahead.

Bryce: That is how I manipulate my wife. I do not trick her, I just show her the numbers and then her Asianess…

Kristy: That is the key to a strong marriage, it is manipulation.

Scott: Well, I want to point out a couple of things here. First of all, you look at average expenses. The largest one is always house, right? For almost everybody, right? You knocked that out by living in the top floor of a house, right, and getting a really good deal on that, right? Then you keep that by recognizing the issue of hey I am collecting more stuff slowly.

Bryce: Right.

Scott: If I continue doing that, I am going to need a bigger place and that is going to directly work against my goal of long term happiness and financial dependence.

Bryce: Right,

Scott: I am going to get rid of that stuff, which is a hard decision. This is a theme that has come up on a couple of recent episodes as well for us. Then you do not have a car, so you get rid of… Two of you really have a low level of expenses on two of the largest expenses that most people have which is housing and transportation.

Bryce: Right?

Scott: In America, I do not know the Canadian stats, but in America that gets you to 50% savings rate if you can eliminate those two expenses or get them down to pretty low. You are right there, at 50% already. Then I assume that if you are doing this, you say you have good vacations and that is a priority for you, what are you doing for like day to day entertainment, food, all that kind of stuff? Are you going out to eat a lot? Are you going to happy hour during this period? How are you kind of managing the other expenses in your life? Do they even matter?

Kristy: In the beginning after we graduated, we were eating out a lot. Part of that was just out of convenience. Like we were eating out maybe three times a week. It was not until we started to realize, hey, I am starting to gain a lot of weight from eating out. It was not even the money in the beginning, right? Because in the beginning I was not as concerned about saving towards FI, I did not even know what that was. It was because I started to gain a lot of weight and then I started to look at maybe I can start controlling what I put into my food, start cooking and doing a bit more healthy eating. Then I started tracking the expenses because I am thinking if I am getting a lot of weight, this is probably not good in terms of how much money we are spending as well.

Then we realized that just on drinking, like just on like pints of alcohol that Bryce was getting when we were going out. That added up to $400 or $600 a month, just drinking parts. I was thinking like this is how much we used to pay for rent in university. You are basically drinking away a rent every single month. At this point, we started thinking. Okay, we get double advantages by just cooking. We were not going to cook all the time. I was still super stressed and I wanted to go out to eat every now and then. But can we try to cut down on the alcohol and just try to eat healthy? Just take these small steps and see if that is going to have benefit to our wallet as well as our waistline.

Bryce: For her, being manipulative shoe that she is, she was just like do not start. You do have to drink fast.

Kristy: You do not have to not drink, I am not saying I am not judging you, right?

Bryce: Just took it at home, right? It is the exact same amount of alcohol but it is…

Kristy: Well, you can go out for a pint once a week instead of three times a week if you want to drink it.

Bryce: We found that drinking at home and then it is just kind of like alcohol costs dropped to like a third of what it was before but without affecting out a lot.

Kristy: Yes, I also lost 15 pounds in one year because we started eating Paleo. We went on a Paleo Diet and then I started cutting out a lot of the carbs that we were eating when we were going out to eat. That had multiple kind of affects that I was not expecting. Then I think food wise, we were spending at the time at least $1200, maybe $1300 a month on food and we were able to cut that down to I would say $800 to a $1000, just like taking some small steps in the beginning. Then we eventually like started cooking more and more as we actually enjoyed that more and it was more healthy for us over time.

I say like in the beginning we were doing what everyone else is doing, just like turning your brain off, because our rent was so cheap, we did not have a car, we already have 50% savings rate, but we did not really care about eating out and trying to cook as much in the beginning. But then over time, because I saw health benefits and I saw that were actually saving money, that continued going forward. I think a lot of like when people say, ‘Oh, yes. I am spending all this money and I do not know where it is going.’ A lot of the times it is when you are going out to eat, you are just not being conscious of how much you are spending and you are not being conscious of your choices in terms of what you are choosing to do. I think even now we still go out to eat quite a bit just because I think that is enjoyable for me. I just do not go out to eat all the time like I used to.

Bryce: I think Money Mustache is also like was in to this whole Paleo thing. The thing about Paleo food is like less grains and less refined carb but it is a lot of like natural like meats and vegetables and…

Kristy: Coconut oil, a lot of coconut oil.

Bryce: Coconut oil or butter and like that kind of stuff. When you were actually pretty good at that, it actually tastes really really good. Once her skill level at this Paleo stuff, I had gotten to the point where it actually tasted better than restaurant food then it became like a real no-brainer because it was just kind of go home and eat our food, it tastes better than their food. It costs like way less and she like loses weight as well. Then I am popping beers back home that I would get at the store rather than at a bar. It is just like a win, win, win. At that point it was just super easy.

Scott: Love it. Let us talk about your transition here. In 2012, you have all this kind of healthy stuff that you are kind of figuring out and you are getting at a very solid savings rate already, what changes about your financial plan? What is the major transition you make in 2012 with your finances? I assume it is not continued incremental progress on just the spending front, right? In order to move you towards the position you are in now? What happened there?

Bryce: At that point, I started learning more about like investing for financial independence, how to calculate that. When we realized we were that close, it just made us want to like find even more incremental improvements. Like at that point, because we knew we were so close to it, we were willing to be like the last couple of years we did not go on any vacations at all because we are working at our life was going to be unlimited vacation afterwards, right? Our savings from at that point actually popped up.

Kristy: Going to 78% at that point.

Bryce: It was like 78%.

Scott: Oh, wow.

Bryce: Then I started figuring out how to invest in like investing not just like the long term 30 years from now but like invest that you can actually live off of it. I figure out on the invest side of it while she went even more like, well…

Kristy: I was optimizing even more.

Bryce: Psychotically optimizing even more because you are just of like, oh my God, when you are like almost there you really want to find that last little bit that just get you over that line.

Scott: Well, that is really interesting. I love to go into some of the savings stuff at some point but let us talk about what you are talking about when you are built designing a portfolio that you can live off of. What does that look like in your mind? Is there a difference between that and just like straight up index fund investing?

Bryce: Yes, when you are pretty far off you just throw everything in the SMP 500 and you set it and forget it. When you get closer to retirement than when you are actually living off of it, you need two things. You need to be not as volatile, and two, you need income. You shift your allocation from a 100% equity to include bonds as well as we use also other assets like reads or real estate investment trusts and corporate bonds and high yielding bonds and this kind of stuff that has two effects. You are shifting out of equities so your portfolio is not swinging as wildly anymore. The second, you are raising what we like to call on the blog, the yield shield of your portfolio which is the amount of income that the portfolio was producing without having to sell anything.

When you establishes yield shield that all our portfolio, even when the markets go down, there is still money that is coming in and you do not have to sell anything. Because the worst thing that you want to do when the markets are down, like right now, it is to sell a capital loss. You want to hold it and just kind of harvest the cash that has been generated over the year. The second part of that is we established what is called a cash cushion. Outside of the portfolio, you want to have some cash that is lying around that will allow you to not have to sell assets during a prolonged downturn. Like we would like to keep three years of cash cushion in just like a savings account outside.

When the markets are down, like right now, we will be able to just harvest the yield, take one year of that cash cushion and then use that to pay for the next year spending. Now, we would not have to sell anything. We can then wait for our portfolio to recover. Right now, like right now everything is negative and I think at the end of this year, we are going to have to do that.

Scott: Got it, that is awesome. I mean this is a fantastic tips. Mindy, you have a question about jobs?

Mindy: I had a… Well, I was going to ask how they transitioned out of their jobs going back to my own personal situation. My husband was having a hard time. Like we had hit our number and then he was just not quitting and not quitting and how do I reconcile this life of growing up with my dad always out of work? With this high paying job that I should continue to work at because why would I throw that away? Obviously, your goal is to travel all the time now so that would make it a lot easier. He did not really have like a specific thing that he wanted to do after retirement so I think that was a lot harder. What did your last couple of years look like at work? Like did you guys have a lot of conversations with each other? We are getting close, we are getting close. Did you have a specific date? Did you have a project you wanted to finish up or did you just walk in one day and be like I am gone, see you, two weeks?

Kristy: Yes. What you are saying about Carl? Yes, I had the same thing. I was terrified to quit my job. Even though like for him I could understand it would be harder for him because he actually likes his job. I was not a fan of my job. It was causing me all sorts of health problems. You would think that, oh, give my notice and then just be like dancing around the apartment, have pizza, be done with it. But no, actually when I gave my notice to my boss, I was having mini panic attack inside because that had been my identity for the last 14 years being a computer engineer.

What was I going to do now? Like if I wanted to go write and follow my passion, would I actually be able to do that? Like yes we are going to be traveling the world but at the time I did not actually know how much it was going to cost to travel the world. I thought it was going to be somewhere in the $75,000 to $100,000 range because that is what I had projected from how much it costs to go on vacations back when we were working. That combined, I did not know how much it was going to cost to travel the world plus the fact that I was giving up an identity that I had built up over a really long period of time. Even though I did not like my job, I was still really really scared. I think this is something that a lot of other people have basically come up with across. Like just quitting your job is not as easy as you think it is.

You think that you are going to be done with it, you think that you are going to be relieved, but it is actually really terrifying. What actually happened was I quit my job. People at work I did not actually tell them that we were FI. I just told him that we were going to take a gap year and travel the world. They thought I was doing the stupid millennial thing and they are like, oh yes you are going to be coming back crawling back, traveling the world, that have to come like crawling back. Yes, I am travelling the world, oh wow, that is great. Yes, they had no idea what we were actually doing.

After I gave my notice, I think what helped me instead of just constantly staying inside my head and thinking like, oh my God, is this a mistake? I just lost my identity, what am I going to do with my life now? I spent more time trying to get rid of everything that we owned, like selling it, and packing everything into two backpacks. Getting out of my head and then actually physically doing something and preparing for our world trip was the thing that kind of what got me out of that spinning panic attack kind of debilitating fear mindset.

Then when we actually started to travel, one of the things that helped me a lot in terms of like calming me down and getting rid of the fear was realizing how inexpensive traveling actually is. Because the thing is when we used to travel, it was really just buy a vacation package, have other people take care of it and then you do not have to think. But when we actually started traveling, we started living like locals. Like we stayed in Airbnbs, we cooked our own food, we split our time between expensive places like the UK but then we also went to places like Thailand.

Then I realized, hey, it is actually not that expensive to travel the world. You just have to balance your time and live like a local. Then once we finished our year round the world, I realized that hey, we had only spent $40,000 Canadian which is like $30,000. At the end of it, I was like, this is actually less expensive than if we stayed in Toronto. That is also within the 4%. We could just do this forever. Then I started that fear really went away because I realized, hey, like we have the yield shield, we have the cash cushion in case there is a stock market crash, but we also have geographic arbitrage. By traveling the world, we are actually saving money and that is our third prong of backup plan in case anything goes wrong.

For me, it really was going out and actually just doing it. Like it does not matter how much you think about it and all the backup plans you can think about in your head actually doing it by quitting your job and actually traveling and then pursuing your passion projects, that is what got me out of that spinning fear mindset. I think just letting you feel that fear and instead of ignoring it really helps too because a lot of are going to run in this, into this. It is not easy to all of a sudden go from 10 years of working to having all this time in the world to do whatever you want. It is a very big mindset switch but I regret nothing. Like I am surprised that we did not do this sooner. Like after we did this, I was like, ‘Why was I so afraid? It really is not that scary.

In fact, if I had stayed at my job, I would have been more afraid because now I hear from all my friends and ex-coworkers that there is layoffs happening all over the place and people are getting outsourced. They are actually way more afraid than I am even though I am living off the portfolio and do not have a fixed income because you never know when you are going to be on the chopping block. You really have no control over job security. To me, it really is just getting over that mindset. It is not as scary as it seems, but we all build it up in our heads.

Mindy: Okay. Now, it is time for my favorite quote in the show. Joel from FI 180 has this amazing quote that I use it almost every show. It is like what is the worst that can happen when you quit your job? The worst thing that happens is you run out of money and you have to go back to work. Your worst case scenario is everybody else’s everyday life.

Kristy: True, yes.

Scott: Your risk is much lower than that of everybody else who is continuing to work that same job that you guys just quit.

Bryce: Right.

Kristy: Absolutely, yes.

Bryce: The only person that is a more risk is a person with less assets, right. In a market downturn. I think that is a really important point there. The other thing is that I wanted to go back, well actually, there is two things I want to cover real quick. One is how did the transition of your portfolio look in the year or period leading up to you quitting your job? Did you design that portfolio after you quit or was that something that you had tweaked and fine-tuned and started receiving income from prior to putting in your notice or the mechanics of that process?

Bryce: Tweak and fine-tuned, and end beforehand. In 2012, when I decided I was going to quit, I started building the 60-40 portfolio and every year measuring am I actually getting the yield on expecting and then this kind of stuff. I had three years of runway before we actually pulled the trigger to know that all this stuff was going to work. The combination of yield shield and cash cushion is how we knew that we would be okay.

In the event of a downturn, the third one that appeared afterwards is geographic carpet as Kristy said. Because when we discovered, as we were traveling, she was meticulously tracking every spit piece of spending, as she always does and then we were able to realize what our average spending was in each of these locations and then we were able to realize that we that if we spend the entire year in Southeast Asia in places like Thailand or Vietnam or something like that, we could spend $20,000 for the entire year and live like kings. Within $20,000 was actually underneath the yield that our portfolio was with generating which was about three and a half percent or about $35,000.

We realized that there was this third backup on the geographic arbitrage that if it was a downturn and we had used the our entire cast cushion, we could just move to Southeast Asia for a year and then just live off of with the yield and not selling anything. At that point, I am just kind of like, ‘Wow, this is really easy.’ Like I notice a lot of guys that talk, I know Jim talks a lot about the investing side of the kind of stuff, but there is this group of people that are out there called the Digital Nomads and they work remotely and they use geographic arbitrage to keep their costs down.

In fact, Thailand has a big community of people who are trying to startup tech companies and they go to Thailand to do that because their startup capital can last a lot longer and they have like a five year runway rather than like a six months runway because it is just spending a lot less. When you combine the ideas that the digital Nomad Community have come up with versus financial independence, the two create this kind of bond and this energy that they really become stronger than just on its own, right? A fine console. It is like that was really amazing and interesting and we learned all that just by traveling.

Kristy: Yes. Other things that we learned is that we met people from other walks of life that we would not have met if we stayed in Toronto. Like one of them we met in Mexico and she was traveling with her son and we learned that there is actually a community called the World Schoolers. There are parents that actually traveled the world with their children and this actually started partially as a result of 2008 because there were some families like they had either lost their investments or they had lost their jobs and they had to find a way to make ends meet online while also living in inexpensive places and raising their children and using the world as the classroom for their child because some of their children actually fair a lot better outside of the structure of a classroom and then spending all that time with their parents.

Another thing we discovered is like how do we live this lifestyle if we actually decided to have kids down the road? Then that is another community that we found out that we would never have even known about have we not started traveling and they also know how to make money online and optimize their spending with their kids as much as possible. They figured out how to deal with like expat insurance and healthcare and all those things that we would not even have thought of.

Bryce: Making sure your kids like how to grade their papers that is recognized by the school system and making sure that they can slide back into the university system and all this kind of stuff. We just met with them and then we interview them on our blog and we are learning about how all that kind of stuff works but it has just been a fascinating journey about all these different groups of people that would have never really interacted and then you put their ideas together and then you kind of go…

Kristy: Combine it with FI.

Bryce: Now, I can retire and raise my kids while travelling the world while making money, right? It is just kind of like, ‘What? I feel like I could do that.’ Ever since we retired, our portfolio has gone up. Like we just with a million dollars and now it is like 1.3. I am like, what the hell? I mean like it feels like cheating, it really does. But like if you take these and these and you combine them and then it just becomes like, wow, life is really easy.

Mindy: What does a typical day or week look like for you? How long do you stay in one place? How far in advance do you make travel plans? Do you have your whole year mapped out or you just, oh, cat looks good today?

Kristy: Well, it depends on which city we are in. To give you an example, in Madrid, because there are so many things to do and there are so many museums that are free and food markets, like what we have been doing for this week while we are staying in Madrid is during the day we have been visiting museums and going out to like food markets and then in the evening we have been, we are currently writing a book with Penguin Random House called Quit Like a Millionaire, when we come back we would write our book and work on the blog which are passion projects. We kind of divide up the day to go sightseeing during the day and then come home and work in the evening. That is just for this week because Madrid has so many things to see. But then, there are other places like we were in Madrid a couple of weeks…

Bryce: It is not Madrid.

Kristy: Sorry, not Madrid. Malta a couple of weeks ago and that is more of a like a beachy place. Like you go and relax on the beach. It is not so much like big city museums and things to see. Then we would kind of do one day work and then one day going to the beach and then we do not do any work every other day. It really just depends on what we feel like and which city we are in. I think like having each other as stability, like being able to travel with your best friend, with your husband is, it is been quite amazing because you always feel like you have your community with you, you have home with you. But then at the same time you also have the variety, like every single day is different because we are in a different city. If we decide that we were a bit tired, we want to stay there for a bit longer, we can slow it down.

If we decide that we want to visit more places, we can speed it up. If we decided we wanted to work one day and then relax the next day, if we wanted to go out in the morning and then come back in the evening, we can do that. It really changes day by day and I really enjoy that. Because when I was working for the 10 years, it was really just go, go, go all the time and it was really the same. You had to be there at the same time as everyone else and sometimes I worked on the weekend as well. This has been really a big mind shift into thinking I do not need to be doing things all the time and every day it does not have to look exactly the same. I can actually design it exactly how I want to design it and change it up whenever I feel like it. I would say that our schedule we generally have some things that are set, kind of like having a shelf, and then we put our activities, as many activities as we want, or we do not want to do anything, we just want to relax, we can do that as well.

Bryce: Yes. There are other question about like how do we pick where are we going to go? We generally have flights booked out for the next month so we know where we are going to be in December but after that we do not.

Kristy: Yes.

Bryce: We always just pick a kind of like where we go and based on what… I was like, where we are nearby, what routes Ryanair has a sale on is always an interesting kind of thing that, ‘Oh, hey. We could be in Barcelona.’ I was like, okay. I would rather like that somewhat of like there is always a bit of a surprise around the next corner. We thought that after, as she talked about, we are just in Greece, that we were going to go from Athens directly to Southeast Asia. But then like literally at that week, we are just kind of like you know what, we still have this visa that allows us to stay in here for a year. We were like, ‘You know what? Why don’t we stay in Portugal for a couple more months then Spain and then go see that because I am just kind of like I have never been in Greece and Ryanair has a cheap flight to Malta.’ I have never been to Malta and we are never going to be this close to it ever again and we are just kind of like, yes, okay. It is like it is a little bit haphazard, but there is also it also a system to it.

Scott: What are you guys doing for healthcare?

Bryce: Normally, in Canada, we were covered by our Gold Plated Community Healthcare System. But after we… Because we have been out of the country for two years, we have actually lost our health insurance. We became uninsured and had to deal with whether we wanted to return back to Canada or continued traveling. What we found is we looked up this thing called expat insurance and this is insurance that is meant for people who immigrate to a new country and are not covered by that country system so you had to pay your own way and this kind of stuff. There is a bunch of companies that offer this and it is usually a lot of the same company you are familiar with like Cigna and Aetna and the one we use, IMGlobal.

They offer insurance policies that cover you for not just like emergency care but like regular care all around the world if you have to pay out of pocket. The funny thing about expat insurance is they literally have like two zones of coverage when it comes to the expat insurance. One is the US and the other is everywhere except the US because insurance, if you pick the US one, your rates skyrocket because insurance and healthcare in America is ridiculously expensive but it is ridiculously inexpensive within the rest of the world. I think what we are paying right now is…

Kristy: $60 a month for the two of us.

Bryce: It is like $60 a month for the both of us. I recently had to go to a doctor…

Kristy: In Malta.

Bryce: In Malta. It took 15 minutes and she took me over and out. I was like where do I pay? The guy was like saying… ‘Do not worry about it.’

Kristy: ”Do not worry about it.’

Bryce: Just whatever.

Kristy: That is the second time that has happened.

Bryce: Whatever. Then I gave the prescription to the pharmacist and I was like, how much would that be? They were like two euros. It is like it is not even worth it telling the insurance company about this.

Kristy: It is not expensive, it is nothing less at all.

Bryce: It is not expensive and it is funny we mentioned… If you look in like the expat insurance policies, they will be actually, they will be like if you are in US it cost this much or whatever and there is this deductible but if you were able to seek treatment outside the US, we will pay your deductible for you because they are like they really want to encourage you to be outside of the US…

Kristy: Because it is so cheap.

Bryce: Because it does not cost… It cost almost nothing. I get that health insurance is like a huge deal for Americans but if you are literally or decide to travel into literally any other country in the world, health insurance becomes just a trivially easy problems. But you know Jeremy from Go Curry Cracker, he lived in California for many years and then when he moved to Taiwan, because his wife is Taiwanese, he now pays like $25 a month for health insurance. It is like, eh.

Kristy: Yes. We are getting a lot of good dental care as well because we found a

dentist in Poland. There is a site called Dental Departures that you can look up. They are actually that clinics abroad and make sure that they are actually really good quality. We actually just booked an appointment about a couple of weeks out. We got in, did not have to wait, got our cleaning done and it only cost like $40. It really is not that expensive once you actually get out of the states.

Mindy: I have insurance and that what it cost me.

Kristy: Yes, exactly. Then they like put a lot of… It is very organized, they give you all your x-rays. You do not have to wait at all. All the dentists speak perfect English and it is been vetted…

Bryce: A lot of them trained in America like the one I went in.

Kristy: Yes. In Mexico, there was a lot of dentists as well. We got the same level of care. It really is not that… Like healthcare is really not that scary once you are outside the states.

Bryce: Yes.

Scott: Alright.

Mindy: It is time now for our Famous Four questions. These are the same five questions we ask all of our guests. There are four questions and a command. First one is what is your favorite finance book?

Kristy: Oh, I am going to go with JL Collins, The Simple Path to Wealth.

Mindy: That is a good one.

Bryce: I agree with that one.

Scott: Alright. You should check out in Audible if you are interested in that book. He has got a incredible voice. James Earl Jones, James Earl Jones-esque.

Bryce: Yes, yes, yes.

Mindy: You can hear…

Bryce: Very authoritative. You can say anything and then just seems like he is authority because of the way he just…

Mindy: Yes, I love his voice. You can listen to him on our podcast episode 20. You can find that on BiggerPockets.com/moneyshow20.

Bryce: Okay, cool.

Scott: Alright. What was your biggest money mistake?

Bryce: Yes, that would be after 2008, getting out of the market, after we had recovered our money back from you just missed like three years of full run. But in terms of mistakes, it is not like the worst thing in the world, right? It is like, I learned from that, but the real mistake that we avoided was getting out of the market at the bottom of the market. That would have devastated our savings but fortunately I avoided that and made a much smaller mistake afterwards.

Scott: Awesome.

Mindy: Okay. What is your best piece of advice for people who are just starting out?

Bryce: I would say your mistakes do not define you. Like there is a lot of people that talk to us about money. Like I wish I could do what you did but I have all this debt and this kind of stuff, right? If you change your habits going forward, like we do these things called Read Your Cases in our website where people write into us, they show us all the numbers and this kind of stuff. Some of the people come to us and they just feel really hopeless cause they are just kind of look at all this debt that I have and usually I can make like two or three kinds of changes and I cannot get them retired in like the next two years. But I will be like and then now in 15 years you can retire and they will be like in in their 30’s so they will be like oh that is pretty good because that is 20 years younger than everyone else, better than 65.

Most of the time, actually in almost every single case, there is no mistake that devastates you permanently but you have to make a change now and get going in the correct direction. You will eventually get out of there but the only way to really really screwed yourself over is to just give up and kind of go I made that one mistake, it will never work so I am going to keep making stupid mistakes and not learn this stuff. But past mistakes do not define you but you have to learn from them.

Scott: Yes. I want to chime in here with a thought because your story here is one of hard work savings, good habits, over a period of six to seven years and the accumulation of of retirement level of wealth through a form of a very formulaic approach to this system, right?

Mindy: Yes.

Scott: Which I think is fantastic. I mean that is what happens if you are smart, get good jobs, behave reasonably for a long period of time, you are going to have the lifetime of opportunity that you guys are going to go after, right?

Bryce: Right.

Scott: If you are not in that position, if you started from a position of disadvantage, it is going to take you longer. Still work, according to a formula, you can build a formula like you started pointing out, that will get you to where you want to be in 10 to 15 years. But also put yourself in position where maybe you can get lucky. What is the side project, what is the side endeavor, an investment or something, that could accelerate your position by three to five to seven years if it works out?

That is very low risk, right? If you are in that position, do not lose hope because you do not have some of the starting position that you guys maybe had. But also think about ways, hey, how can I speed this up? How can I put myself in position to advance quicker?

Kristy: Absolutely. We actually met a couple in Iceland, they write on the blog ‘Where we’d be’ and they retired when there were 43. The wife, she actually originally started out making only $18,000 a year as a travel agent. From $18,000, because she went back to school for two years to be a nurse, she managed to almost triple her salary and as a result they still retired within 15 years. Like that is an exact example of what you are saying. Like does she decided to invest in herself and go back to school and actually raise her salary and then as a result she still made it in 15 years. It really is that exactly to your point where even if you are starting out much lower than you were expecting, it is not the end of the world and your past mistakes do not define you. You can definitely still make it, it might take a bit longer, but you will get there.

Scott: Love it. Alright, last most difficult question. What is your favorite joke to tell at parties around the world?

Kristy: That we are homeless millionaires?

Bryce: I would probably go with that, yes.

Scott: Alright, fair enough.

Mindy: Fair enough. I will bring in… I am going to tell a joke. The Tasmanian Group Next Development sent me this joke. They said, ‘What lies on the bottom of the ocean, shivering?

A nervous wreck.

Bryce: Oh, okay.

Mindy: Those kind of jokes, yes. The kind that you are like, oh.

Scott: I got a joke. Someone sent me a joke on Thanksgiving, which is pretty good. Alright, this is Kevin. Kevin sent in this joke. It says a doctor is going to write his patient a prescription. Reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a thermometer. ‘Oh, shoot,’ he says. ‘Some asshole has my pen.’

Bryce: I like that.

Kristy: I like that one.

Scott: It is Kevin from British Columbia.

Mindy: Oh, a nice tie in with our Canadian guests.

Scott: Exactly.

Mindy: There we go.

Bryce: Alright, okay.

Mindy: The command, the demand. Where can people find out more about you?

Bryce: That will be our blog, millennial-revolution.com. We are also going to be having a book coming out next year called Quit like a Millionaire from Penguin. We are literally just working on it like an hour ago. Yes, that is where you can find us. Come say hi and hope to hear from you.

Mindy: Awesome. Thank you. We will put all of these links in our show notes. I found your article about the Yield Shield and do you have one about the cash cushion? Do you have an article about that?

Bryce: Yes. That will be in the same series but I can send you. The idea is how not to deplete your portfolio in retirement.

Mindy: Perfect, perfect. Yes, that is something that I think a lot of people have a lot of questions about. Going into more depth on a blog article would be great. I am going to include all of these links in our show notes which can be found at BiggerPockets.com/moneyshow55. Okay, Bryce and Kristy, thank you so much for your time today. This was really, really awesome. This show was going to get a lot of comments. I just know it.

Bryce: Cool, cool. Always a pleasure.

Mindy: Always fantastic to see you. Okay, well enjoy. Where are you guys headed next? You are in Madrid for how long?

Kristy: Yes, we are in Madrid for a couple more days and then we are going to Malaga.

Mindy: Oh, enjoy Malaga. That is a seaside town, correct?

Bryce: Yes.

Kristy: Yes.

Bryce: We want to be on a experience being on a beach in December.

Mindy: Nice.

Bryce: Being a Canadian…

Kristy: We tend to run away from to the cold now.

Bryce: I never want to see another snowflake ever again.

Mindy: Do not come visit Denver right now because there is snow on the ground.

Bryce: Yes.

Scott: Until next year when you pick up skiing.

Bryce: Yes. Well, I got enough of that when I was growing up in Canada.

Mindy: Yes, I guess you guys get a lot of it up there. Okay.

Bryce: Oh, yes.

Mindy: Thank you so much for your time today guys and we will talk to you later.

Bryce: Alright, it is cool.

Kristy: Thanks for having us.

Bryce: Yes, cool. Bye now.

Scott: Alright, that was Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution. What did you think?

Mindy: Okay, Scott, that was awesome. There was so much information in this episode. We kind of miss a really great nugget near yet. Bryce said when you asked him how his portfolio was made up, after retirement, he said that he had three years of experience with this portfolio and the returns he was going to get before he retired. But then he brought geographic arbitrage which is also a great topic. We talked about that and we never really got back to the portfolio makeup. Bryce and Kristy actually agreed to come back tomorrow and share more information about the way a portfolio is made up. The reasons behind it, the allocation that they had chosen, and how frequently they adjust it.

Check out tomorrow episode at 55.5. You can find the show notes at BiggerPockets.com/moneyshow55-5. From episode 55 of the BiggerPockets Money podcast, this is Mindy Jensen and Scott Trench, until tomorrow.

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In This Episode We Cover:

  • Bryce and Kristy’s journey with money 
  • Kristy’s fear-based relationship with money
  • How they made the practical decision to be financially secure 
  • Why being a pessimistic-optimistic combination made their lifestyle work out
  • Changing fear-based mentality to hope-based mentality 
  • How they ramped up their savings rate to 60% a year after graduating debt-free 
  • How they discovered financial independence 
  • How their lifestyle contrasted with that of their peers
  • Tips for getting over the hoarder mentality 
  • How they manage their expenses 
  • How they prepare for their world trip 
  • The idea of geographic arbitrage 
  • What their portfolio looks like in a year leading up to them quitting their jobs
  • What their typical day looks like when traveling 
  • The advantages of expat insurance
  • And SO much more!

Links from the Show

Books Mentioned in this Show

Tweetable Topics:

  • “Even if you make mistakes with investing, you can still recover.” (Tweet This!)
  • “The thing about growing up poor is that you never throw anything away because you never know when that might come in handy.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Quitting your job is not as easy as you think it is.” (Tweet This!)
  • “Past mistakes don’t define you, but you have to learn from them.” (Tweet This!)
  • “There is no mistake that devastates you permanently.” (Tweet This!)

Connect with Bryce and Kristy

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.