Anyone on track to quit their 9to5 in < 5 yrs from rental income?

109 Replies

Hi Everyone. I started in March 2020, but fell in analysis paralysis, and am now focusing on "income producing activities". I'm looking to focus on rental REI, but use wholesaling/rehabbing as a means to gain capital to put into properties.

I did it well under 5, but I also ended up with slightly less than 10k a month when I retired. I did end up discovering that retirement wasn't for me, but financial independence changes things massively. Good luck on your goals!

@Cruz Gartner I have a 5 year plan to retire from my 9-5 (well really I work 3rd shift which opens other opportunities). My job allows me about 7 hours to pursue real estate as I only have a few thing here and there to do at my job.

I also have a side hustle that I earn some income from that I will probably keep upon quitting the full time gig. It’s hours will approximately double when my night job is over giving me some steady income still.

During the next 5 years I plan to keep investing in small multi families for a steady form of cash flow while also moving into a larger market of 20-50 unit properties that will be staggered for a constant stream of both cash flow and income though sales as the goal will be to improve these properties and then sell at a profit.

Love these posts. I just bought my first 4 unit building 8 months ago. My goal is to achieve 10k a month in cash flow over the next 10 years like many of you.

would love to better understand the types of deals or better yet how you’re financing these properties to allow you to scale so quickly in 5< years.

I don't work or invest to earn money. Earning money and earning the most money I can earn had never been something that would be written into my business model. I always thought that money (dollar bills) was like achievement certificates where the better you ran your business the more achievement certificates I would earn. The achievement certificate were never something I wanted to earn so that I could accumulate material items.

If fact, accumulating material items is the last thing my wife and I do since we live in an office building with concrete floor. We have zero furniture and our beds are on the floor. We raised to children in this office building and when they were born we never purchased baby cribs or baby furniture. When our children were babies they slept between us on a single mattress on the floor. We always drive vehicles we purchase at auctions for a few hundred or few thousand dollars with the exception that I purchased my wife a Mercedes SUV for about $80,000 about 7 years ago, but she never drives the vehicle and I think it has only about 1500 miles on the odometer.

My two children are leaving tomorrow to go to college in Fairbanks Alaska and Columbus Ohio tomorrow to get PHD's in math and pharmaceutical medicine (or something like that). Currently, I've had sciatica for the past two months and my wife sleeps on a blanket on the floor and is very comfortable. While people think we are crazy there are many people who know us very well and they admire us because of the way we are so stress-free when compared to how one of the most critical reasons people are stressed in this world is because of the high portion of their income they waste on materials items. We spend so little money for material things I sincerely enjoy taking my wife to the mall where I am actually excited when she spends $1,000 to $2500 for a nice purse and we don't get stressed like people who constantly spend almost every disposable penny they have for material items like purses, jewelry, furniture, vehicles, literally hundreds of crappy, but expensive items to decorate their house, curtains, wood blinds, kitchen remodels and a million other things.

So, here is my point. We still don't invest to retire because we've had enough money to retire and live in a multi-million dollar house starting in about 2005. Until 2015, I employed 60 people for my plumbing and construction business and when I turned 65-years old I decided it was time to downsize the company and I kept 20 employees who still work for me today. My plumbing and construction business hardly breaks even because I don't have the mental energy I used to have to get business. So, I keep the company only to give my employees a job where they earn very good money.

I think people who work with a goal to earn a certain amount of money e.g. $10,000 per month to have financial freedom are making a huge mistake because when you consider that there are 4-1/2 weeks per month then you are earning a stinky $2,222 per week minus taxes gives you about $1450 per week and that is not enough money to rent a dog house in California. If you want to rent a house you will have to rent a room in a house in a neighborhood where the illegal immigrants live.

My wife and I work because we are so organized and streamlined with no snags and we love what we do. We don't work because we love money and I think having that philosophy is very critical even when you are just starting out. When I was 15-years old, in 1965, I was still in school and was earning $8,000 per month when my father was a fireman in Massachusetts and I think (can't remember) he was earning $320 per month. Unlike other people, I had had an amazing amount of money, but I still drove a beat up Buick Roadmaster I paid $50 for and I wore the cheapest clothing I could buy and never changed my style clothing or hair when trends came and went.

I will tell you why I made am amazing amount of money when I was a child and throughout my life. It was because I never cared about how much money I made. I never asked an employer for more money. I was always willing to work for free because I always loved being able to help someone who owned an apartment building get out of some sort of jam when they had serious maintenance issues. I will tell you a few short stories.

I would be dead today if I worried about money, or if I worried about working for free. When I was in the Air Force a friend asked me if I wanted to go fishing and I agreed to go. A Co-worker (so-to-speak) was supposed to work on the Saturday we set up our fishing trip for. The co-worker wanted to go fishing. So, I offered to work for him and told him I did not him to work for me for free in return. So, I worked for him on that Saturday and both persons who went fishing died in a car accident.

About two years ago, I was at the Los Angeles Airport and there was a broken water main in the street by a terminal and I was watching the contractor trying to get his backhoe running so he could dig up the street. I have a large backhoe and dump truck and I offered to loan him my tractor for free. So, I drove back to my office and delivered my backhoe. The contractor offered me money, but I refused. I seriously did not want one penny because as they day, "it is no skin off my butt". A few months later, the contractor called me at about 8 pm and said he needed a backhoe. No problem! I will loan it to you, but I don't want any money and I will deliver it in about 45 minutes.

A few more months go by and the contractor calls me again. He has another broken sewer in a building at LAX called Gate Gourmet. This place has 1,000 employees in the building that supply food for the airlines and this operation cannot be shut down for 1 minute and their main sewer pipe is busted and it is 7 feet below a 6 inch concrete floor. So, I deliver the backhoe and the contractor told me he could not do the job and asked if I could help him out. I replaced 75 feet of sewer pipe under the floor and I personally managed the job. We had inspectors from 3 different agencies leaning over my shoulders and we had to work in a food handling facility where the health and safety requirements are super critical. The job took 4 weeks and I my personal profit from the job was $140,000. After that job, I picked up about another $1.5 in business in 3 years. All because I really loved to help the contractor without worrying about what is in it for me, attitude.

$10,000 per month is absolutely nothing when you factor in inflation, health costs and unexpected expenses. How are you going to live if you get into some sort of accident or have some sort of health issue where you need hospice care and you have other insane medical expenses. Right now, I've had sciatic pain for the past 8 weeks where my pain is so miserable 24/7 I cannot work, cannot think straight, cannot sleep more than 2 hours every day and if I was not in the financial situation I am in I would be worried sick about how my children could go to college for another 5 to 6 years and would worry so much about how my wife would survive the worries would make me even more sick. I said I am not materialistic. I never said I don't care about how much money health issues could cost even though all my family has health insurance, but for my two children, my wife and myself I pay about $2400 per month for health insurance. So, take whatever insurance costs you will have out of your $10,000 per month financial freedom income and now what do you have left. Don't forget price increases!

Financial freedom, my butt! How can you enjoy your life with $10,000 to $20,000 per month. You will not be able to travel in-style with that little amount of money. You will not be able to own a nice house and maintain a nice vacation house. You will not be able to own, maintain and pay $4+ dollars for gasoline for a decent 32-foot C-Class motor home. You will not be able to live in an upper middle-class neighborhood and pay $15,000 to $30,000 per year to send any children, or grandchildren to college for the 4 to 9 years it takes to get a bachelor of Phd. degree.

How would you know when you actually reach financial freedom? How do you actually know when it is the right time for retirement for you. The consensus on internet websites is that you sit down with someone like a CPA who can actually do above 5th grade math, you tell him your annual earnings and he is smart enough to deduct your annual expenses and he tells you whether the total is positive or negative. Boy! That takes a lot of brains!

For Bezos! No problem. But...I am betting that Bezos will still work harder than most people doing some type of work and I will bet that he has absolutely no intentions of kicking back and drinking wine coolers while sitting on some beach. Real entrepreneurs cannot quit because entrepreneurs don't work for the money. They work because they love bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to fruition and you can bet that as rich as Bezos is he has some more entrepreneurial ideas that he can't resist bringing to fruition. If I am correct about people like Bezos, It is that rush entrepreneurs work for and not the money.

Of course everyone wants financial freedom, but I cannot see any investor reaching a specific income amount e.g. $10,000 per month, or $20,000 per month where he (or she) can safely say, "I quit working because I not have financial freedom". If so, I will bet you are making a very bad business decision that you will regret after a few years when you realize you need to get geared up to start earning more money so you can continue with a decent and enjoyable lifestyle. 







FIRE, FI and cash flow have been hyped up too much, a more balanced view is needed. While cash flow is like oxigen, it is also the smallest income you have as an investor.

The biggest mistake I see the quit-my-job guys make is beeing blind to their growing capex liability across their portfolio. Some day they realize they need 30k in capex for 30 units...

Quitting your job is also overrated, watching daytime TV gets old fast. Financial freedom means you can make decisions about the productive part of your life without stressing about your bills.

It took me 7 years to replace my (executive) W2 back in 2015. I did not stop working, my active income is higher today than it has been ever before. And every dollar the rental portfolio has ever earned went back into it. Our properties are all fully updated and we continue to grow.

I believe in balance, we live a good lifestyle, not exactly frugal, go on trips often, but we don't spend like crazy - everything in moderation!

My advice to young investors: think about the long game, 30 years, when you are 50 or 60, don't make your goals about quitting your job, instead find a job you love and be a productive member of society! 

@Cruz Gartner

My plan is to do it in 9, although I'm not sure I would quit working.

I don't mind my job so the freedom to leave might be what makes it more rewarding in the long run.

I also would love to be a business consultant with small and medium business that usually couldn't afford a consultant. I really feel like I can help my community that way and make the world around me a better place!

@Cruz Gartner

It all depends how the market turns in the next year or so. I will never stop working, but our goal is 10 houses so my wife can quit her corporate job.

@Jack Orthman I always enjoy reading your post. Your style is not like normal Americans and it makes me think you might mot actually came from America or at least your mom and dad or maybe your grandma and grandpa. I don’t think I would’ve minded living that lifestyle that you described, but very few American women would go for that.

As a federal employee, I'm paid pretty good. But after 20 years in the government, my pension will be about 1/3 of my salary. I can't afford to live on that. So, I'm looking at real estate investing to (1st) make up for the 2/3 I'm losing, then (2nd) the other 1/3 to replace my income, and (3rd) to be free of all debt and be able to help others do the same.

Bought my first rental property 10/1/20 and then 2 more this June. Have three doors rented and rehabbing a 4th. Netting $3,100 per month. Goal is to net 10k per month so still working my W2 job. Looking for more ways to deploy capitol. Goal is work 3 to 5 more years.

@Isabelle Chapman I’m new to investing so might not be able to offer wisdom but encouragement that I can do. I’m also on the same boat as you. MBA, 9-5, plus second job. And just closed on my first rental OOS. Feeling overwhelmed is natural especially when you’re first getting started on something new. But we’re all here to help and getting started is half the battle. Good luck!

@Cruz Gartner

I think this is a hot topic a lot of people would be interested in hearing success stories of how RE investing can open up the door to accomplish this!  While this doesn't happen over night, it can be done if you stay consistent to growing your portfolio strategically over time!  I truly feel RE is the best path to create financial independence and generational wealth over time for those who are persistent! 

My wife & I did accomplished this many years ago.  We were both Optometrists that owned private practices.  We've always invested in RE for many years while working in healthcare.  We strategically started investing in markets throughout the US that offered the best returns which allowed us to surpass our professional income as docs with rental income.  We did this over the course of about 6 years.  Now we run a turnkey business assisting investors in doing the same thing, and scaling their portfolio in some of the best markets.  Some of our investors I see on this thread actually (@David Korchak )!  ; )  

We both enjoy eye care, and still work on a volunteer basis which I must say is much more enjoyable.  We are of course passionate about real estate, and will be investors for life!  It takes grit to get started, and stay the course for many years, but the rewards are worth the work.

My story and contact info is on my page: https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

Originally posted by @Zach Lemaster :

@Cruz Gartner

I think this is a hot topic a lot of people would be interested in hearing success stories of how RE investing can open up the door to accomplish this!  While this doesn't happen over night, it can be done if you stay consistent to growing your portfolio strategically over time!  I truly feel RE is the best path to create financial independence and generational wealth over time for those who are persistent! 

My wife & I did accomplished this many years ago.  We were both Optometrists that owned private practices.  We've always invested in RE for many years while working in healthcare.  We strategically started investing in markets throughout the US that offered the best returns which allowed us to surpass our professional income as docs with rental income.  We did this over the course of about 6 years.  Now we run a turnkey business assisting investors in doing the same thing, and scaling their portfolio in some of the best markets.  Some of our investors I see on this thread actually (@David Korchak )!  ; )  

We both enjoy eye care, and still work on a volunteer basis which I must say is much more enjoyable.  We are of course passionate about real estate, and will be investors for life!  It takes grit to get started, and stay the course for many years, but the rewards are worth the work.

My story and contact info is on my page: https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

 My respect for you grew by reading your post above. A lot of people selling services don’t actually participate in the services they offer. I’m glad to see that you actually took some of your own medicine before offering it to others.

Originally posted by @Joe S. :
Originally posted by @Zach Lemaster:

@Cruz Gartner

I think this is a hot topic a lot of people would be interested in hearing success stories of how RE investing can open up the door to accomplish this!  While this doesn't happen over night, it can be done if you stay consistent to growing your portfolio strategically over time!  I truly feel RE is the best path to create financial independence and generational wealth over time for those who are persistent! 

My wife & I did accomplished this many years ago.  We were both Optometrists that owned private practices.  We've always invested in RE for many years while working in healthcare.  We strategically started investing in markets throughout the US that offered the best returns which allowed us to surpass our professional income as docs with rental income.  We did this over the course of about 6 years.  Now we run a turnkey business assisting investors in doing the same thing, and scaling their portfolio in some of the best markets.  Some of our investors I see on this thread actually (@David Korchak )!  ; )  

We both enjoy eye care, and still work on a volunteer basis which I must say is much more enjoyable.  We are of course passionate about real estate, and will be investors for life!  It takes grit to get started, and stay the course for many years, but the rewards are worth the work.

My story and contact info is on my page: https://www.biggerpockets.com/...

 My respect for you grew by reading your post above. A lot of people selling services don’t actually participate in the services they offer. I’m glad to see that you actually took some of your own medicine before offering it to others.

No doubt!  We got into RE to reach our own goals.  The TK model just seemed to grow naturally from our own success as we had so many family, friends & colleagues approaching us about helping them to invest the same way we did.  We already had the systems built in place for ourselves that is was an easy thing to scale up to help others accomplish their goals.  Reality was we were doing TK before we knew about BP or even exactly what the model was.  I hear ya though.  There's many people out there doing it the other way around, or not actual investors themselves which unfortunately creates a negative stigma around the industry sometimes.

@Cruz Gartner I have to say conversations like this are why I love Biggerpockets. Reading all these comments just show me I am not alone in my FI journey with REI. It's really comforting seeing others who have already made it along the same path and gets me pumped to go into the thick of it and keep trucking along. Glad to be apart of this community!

Yeah, I am now in the process of closing my first property with RTR and I have to say it has been smooth ride so far. @Zach Lemaster and his team really have it all figured out. I promise after we close I will post a long nice thread about my experience for other new investors to take the path. I feel this is definitely the easiest out of all I’ve been exploring. 
I am also continually monitoring RTR inventory for our next investment 

Originally posted by @Joe S. :

@Jack Orthman I always enjoy reading your post. Your style is not like normal Americans and it makes me think you might mot actually came from America or at least your mom and dad or maybe your grandma and grandpa. I don’t think I would’ve minded living that lifestyle that you described, but very few American women would go for that.

I was born in Massachusetts. My mother's parents are French Canadian and my father's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Portugal in 1913. My wife is Filipina and a high percent of Filipina are actually materialistic, but my wife literally grew on on a farm in a house that barely had a roof, no running water and no electricity and of course the family had no motorized vehicle.

I got really lucky when I met my wife when she was going to a donut shop every morning before work. It is fairly simple to profile people and I could see she had a 3-year old child and was struggling with serious financial problems by the way she dressed and since where she worked she had to have black pants so she had dyed her pants black.

I am a plumber and my clothes get fairly filthy from crawling in the dirt under houses and I always wear a hat that collects spider webs. So, knowing my future wife was struggling when I met her at the coffee shop my opening pitch was I needed $2 for a coffee and a donut because I was hungry. She literally thought I was homeless and she gave me the $2. Of course, I had to repay her so I told the donut shop to give her whatever she wanted and to put the bill on my tab. I always tell my wife that the $2 she gave me was the best investment she ever made.

We've been together 23 years and virtually never had an argument or problem of any type with the exception of a few minor things that blew over within a few minutes. My wife is up at 5 am every morning and makes a full breakfast for our 20 employees. So, a few months ago we built a nice kitchen in our company's break room. My wife works every day visiting and cleaning apartment buildings until 6 pm and then she pays bills and does paperwork until after 10 pm. The amount of time she works makes me angry, but I bite my tongue because she enjoys what she enjoys cleaning the apartment common areas and like most Filipinos she has a massive amount of flowers, plants and native plants from the Philippines at every property we own. We have one apartment building where we removed a beautiful lawn from the courtyard and we let every tenant have a section where they grow plants. Every time I walk into the courtyard and see all the Asian vegetables and the way they string everything up it makes me think I am in Vietnam. We have another apartment building where we gave the tenants a 500ft x 10 ft section where the tenants grow nothing but plants native to Asia and it is amazing to see how all the tenants come out of their apartments, work together and share their crops.

Originally posted by @Jack Orthman :
Originally posted by @Joe S.:

@Jack Orthman I always enjoy reading your post. Your style is not like normal Americans and it makes me think you might mot actually came from America or at least your mom and dad or maybe your grandma and grandpa. I don’t think I would’ve minded living that lifestyle that you described, but very few American women would go for that.

I was born in Massachusetts. My mother's parents are French Canadian and my father's parents immigrated to the U.S. from Portugal in 1913. My wife is Filipina and a high percent of Filipina are actually materialistic, but my wife literally grew on on a farm in a house that barely had a roof, no running water and no electricity and of course the family had no motorized vehicle.

I got really lucky when I met my wife when she was going to a donut shop every morning before work. It is fairly simple to profile people and I could see she had a 3-year old child and was struggling with serious financial problems by the way she dressed and since where she worked she had to have black pants so she had dyed her pants black.

I am a plumber and my clothes get fairly filthy from crawling in the dirt under houses and I always wear a hat that collects spider webs. So, knowing my future wife was struggling when I met her at the coffee shop my opening pitch was I needed $2 for a coffee and a donut because I was hungry. She literally thought I was homeless and she gave me the $2. Of course, I had to repay her so I told the donut shop to give her whatever she wanted and to put the bill on my tab. I always tell my wife that the $2 she gave me was the best investment she ever made.

We've been together 23 years and virtually never had an argument or problem of any type with the exception of a few minor things that blew over within a few minutes. My wife is up at 5 am every morning and makes a full breakfast for our 20 employees. So, a few months ago we built a nice kitchen in our company's break room. My wife works every day visiting and cleaning apartment buildings until 6 pm and then she pays bills and does paperwork until after 10 pm. The amount of time she works makes me angry, but I bite my tongue because she enjoys what she enjoys cleaning the apartment common areas and like most Filipinos she has a massive amount of flowers, plants and native plants from the Philippines at every property we own. We have one apartment building where we removed a beautiful lawn from the courtyard and we let every tenant have a section where they grow plants. Every time I walk into the courtyard and see all the Asian vegetables and the way they string everything up it makes me think I am in Vietnam. We have another apartment building where we gave the tenants a 500ft x 10 ft section where the tenants grow nothing but plants native to Asia and it is amazing to see how all the tenants come out of their apartments, work together and share their crops.

That’s a super neat story! :-) If you’ve been married 23 years and your 65. It appears you waited to get married later in life.

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