I'm working on pulling together a community of Landlords who hold down full time jobs. Whether you are making great profits and choose to keep your 9-5 or working towards an early retirement, I think we as W2 Investors have a unique experience and story.
So- post, comment or share. What are some of your wins? What are some of your questions? And better yet- any war stories? (We all have those.. ) Since I started this thread, I will go first:
I started investing 15 years ago and have built a cash flowing portfolio that finally could support my early retirement efforts. However, ironically, now that I'm at the point I can choose- I'm choosing to continue working because I'm apart of a great company, have challenging work, and feel I am making a positive impact.
I love the concept of early retirement, and I am an avid follower of FIRE (Financially Independent Retire Early). But I think I'm not alone in also liking the "somewhat" security of a 9-5, the ability to access conventional funding and other perks of the w2. Plus, if an AC goes out, or I have a heavy maintenance month, I know I have a bit of a buffer with income coming in elsewhere.
Now, there is a long list of tradeoffs- but would be interested to hearing from all of you as well. Why do you continue working a 9-5? If you reached your FI number, would you quit your job, keep working or do something else entirely?
Looking forward to reading the comments and joining the conversation!
I've spent most of my career working in industries where my hours are billed back to a client. Although all of them were supposed to be long-term jobs, only my current one has lasted more than 2 years. I've been laid off a few times when projects ended with other companies I worked for and there isn't another one to replace it. Or work slows down and the client no longer needs positions X, Y, and Z. Even at my current job, I've felt like I've barely avoided the chopping block a few times during work slowdowns.
It's a lot of insecurity! I decided I needed to create my own destiny and REI is what I was drawn to.
I'm not quite at a FIRE point yet, but I'm closing in! When I refi two duplexes I've been rehabbing in another few months, I will technically be in a place where I could support myself from just my net rental income. But I don't plan to leave the W-2 world, at least not yet. At that point, I plan to focus on debt pay down to solidify my financial security better. But 1-2 more years from now? I will reassess.
I have to admit, if I get laid off before I reach the point of debt paydown I want to be at, I might just take the plunge early and not look for another W-2 job!
This is where I know I sound a little spoiled. I'm fortunate that I work for a good company. I have good coworkers. I'm thankful for all of those things. But I feel like a caged animal and I'm resentful. I hate having to sell away so much of my time for someone else to dictate how/when I spend it.
A big reason a lot of folks stay in their W2 is health insurance. W2s offer health insurance that is much easier to acquire than for self employed investors. Our system is set up to make it that way, unfortunately.
There are also a lot of folks who simply don't want to straight up retire. They hit the point where they could retire early, but what else are you going to do with your time? Many FIRE thought leaders retire from their W2, but spend much of their time running their FIRE blog or business, so they're not quite retired in a colloquial "permanent vacation" sense.
I talk with a lot of successful investors who could easily retire tomorrow and live their lives on passive income, but they don't do it because they get a sense of fulfillment from their work. Many of them become focused on the next generation, working to continue to build wealth and assets that they can pass along.