People Who've Successfully Escaped the Rat Race, Please Post Here

27 Replies

Hey everybody! I had this idea today. As I'm progressing toward my goal of building enough passive income through buying and holding small multi-family properties in the Duluth, MN area to replace my income, I came to the realization that this is actually a possible goal. I know before I actually got started down this path, I had a hard time believing people have done this before. So I was thinking it could be cool for those of you who have built up enough monthly income to quit that 9-5 to post your story as inspiration and validation that as long as they keep working towards their goal, that it is possible!

It's totally possible!!  I'm just a few months out and my husband is expected to jump ship in the next year or so.  You're good at budget analysis on any particular property deal, apply similar principles to the family budget!  I enjoy reading Mr. Money Mustache to help frame my thoughts on this. For us, the biggest hurdle to get past is health insurance.

Originally posted by @Melissa Gregg :

For us, the biggest hurdle to get past is health insurance.

 Great post idea and I agree.  I have been using $15k as the amount needed annually to insure my family of three but that number can change so much.  I loved the BP podcast about finding your "Freedom Number".  I have 5 freedom numbers, each one will allow me to be a bit more "free" (i.e. afford a more luxurious life) than the last.  Working on getting to my first freedom number of 32k/year after taxes which will allow me to escape the rat race albeit frill-free!

I have seen a bunch of multifamily housing on auction.com for like 40-50k in Duluth.  I know it's a lot of older inventory but what a great market to invest in (especially if your goal is to switch careers).  College kids, outdoor enthusiast, great scenery.  I don't share the desire to quit the hustle yet, but good for you.  

Only thing I don't like about Duluth is my ears popping as I roll down the hill.

First of all I think it's a disrespect to call the job that pays your bill a rat race. You should be thankful and faithful to your profession. I am employer & obviously it comes with a responsibility to do every effort to make sure the people who work for me get paid on time. Being an employer isn't easy & if I come to know that they are thinking they are in rat race, certainly I will be hurt. Be sincere to your work and it will make lot of difference in your life. It's perfectly okay to have ambitions but calling out on your current job/employer isn't fair. No one forces any one. Every one have a choice to quit whenever they can. 

Now coming to actual question. Absolutely you can change your situation regardless of which circumstances you are in. It might take more time, effort from other but it will happen. Believe in yourself, stay discipline and most important perseverance. Many people give up too soon because results take time. Entire BP community is very friendly to help others and you should take advantage of this opportunity. Build klout to get help with resources when you need it. If you look at all successful people lives, they been through very very tough patches in their life. 

Where there is a will, there is a way.


Good Luck !

Originally posted by @Melissa Gregg :

For us, the biggest hurdle to get past is health insurance.

 That's honestly one of my biggest worries as well. It's just so unaffordable outside of employer-sponsored plans. But I suppose that's nothing a few more cashflowing properties can't solve!

Originally posted by @Matt Higgins :

Only thing I don't like about Duluth is my ears popping as I roll down the hill.

 There's definitely great deals to be found up there and a pretty solid rental market. The ears popping; I experienced that every time we went up as a kid. But after living there for 5 years in college, I kind of have grown immune to it!

Originally posted by @Laura Thorne :
Originally posted by @Melissa Gregg:

For us, the biggest hurdle to get past is health insurance.

 Great post idea and I agree.  I have been using $15k as the amount needed annually to insure my family of three but that number can change so much.  I loved the BP podcast about finding your "Freedom Number".  I have 5 freedom numbers, each one will allow me to be a bit more "free" (i.e. afford a more luxurious life) than the last.  Working on getting to my first freedom number of 32k/year after taxes which will allow me to escape the rat race albeit frill-free!

 I love the freedom number concept. I need to sit down and come up with that again now that we have a little one on the way. I like the idea of having a few different freedom numbers; kind of scale it up as you go. 

Originally posted by @Haseeb Awan :

First of all I think it's a disrespect to call the job that pays your bill a rat race. You should be thankful and faithful to your profession. I am employer & obviously it comes with a responsibility to do every effort to make sure the people who work for me get paid on time. Being an employer isn't easy & if I come to know that they are thinking they are in rat race, certainly I will be hurt. Be sincere to your work and it will make lot of difference in your life. It's perfectly okay to have ambitions but calling out on your current job/employer isn't fair. No one forces any one. Every one have a choice to quit whenever they can.

I didn't call my job a rat race and I didn't call out my employer. I'm referring to the standard practice that most people follow most of their adult lives of trading time for money, exclusively. I actually really enjoy my job. The rat race is waking up in the morning, sitting in traffic, sitting at a desk at prescribed hours, sitting in traffic again, and missing time with family. That's the rat race. Having enough passive income to replace that job is my goal. I just wanted to hear from people in this forum who have successfully built up enough passive income through real estate to work on their own terms, and not on their employers. No offense intended.

I do what @Laura Thorne did and basically have various levels of "lifestyles" I want.

my lowest only requires $2300/month to basically kinda live. My highest is $113k/month (LOL) but that comes with nice cars, yachts, and private jets. Hey, its ok to dream right?

I started investing in Dec, 2015 and my lifestyle then required about 3k/month with my full time. Now just from buy and holds, I'm cashflowing 12k/month which is more than twice my W-2 job which I still have and plan on holding onto for a bit. My lifestyle has remained largely unchanged simply because I keep reinvesting. I honestly think I'll be at 20k/month before I take a step back into a part time position and then maybe 30-35k/month before I actually quit the rat race.

Just letting you know, it can be done! However I don't largely trust the "freedom number" of just replacing your regular job. I think you should have at least 1.5-2x that to account for market fluctuations, worse health insurance rates, etc.

Good luck on your journey!

@David Zheng That is awesome! To build up to 12K that quickly is really impressive, nice work man! I like that yachts and private jets freedom number, always OK to dream. :) Thanks so much David, I appreciate the well wishes and keep on killing it out there! 

Great thread. I'm back to working a full time job after enjoying living on only my passive income for 18months. My number was $2000/month. It's cheap where I live and I had VA health insurance and no vehicle payments. It was a nice break. But I saw that I couldn't grow to my next freedom number while living on my first number. As a matter of fact I couldn't upgrade my vehicle or replace a furnace on that first freedom number. I'm going to try "retirement" again when I hit $5000/month. Having a regular job while investing in passive income sure hastens the pace. I've been back to work for 6months and I'm already in the process of closing on my next two projects. My first time for a two at once.

@John Woodrich High rents. tenants will pay a premium if they know their landlord is awesome ;)

I did not have a huge pile of cash, but like so many others if you just pitch yourself and your business to friends/family, they will invest in you. Now the first couple deals were with my own money so I could build some sort of track record. I've always been known to other to work my a$$ off and be truthful so that helped.

I have 12 units now

Matt, you can and will do this!  Stay focused and enjoy the journey.  

I left my job June 2013 with enough passive income from real estate to eat and pay bills.  That was "base line financial freedom", my wife and I always referred to it as "FF".  (it took almost 10 years...the comfort of my corporate job kept me from being as hungry as I could have been).  Once I left, the motor really started revving. 

In November 2014 we achieved "comfortable FF". which Included:clothing, 2 vacations each year, charitable gifts, ongoing education, etc. Now we are a few months away from achieving "absolute FF" . Basically the comfortable passive income amount X2! A key is we kept fixed expenses LOW and always work to keep them low. A major turning point was when we paid off our home mortgage. This freed up lots of cashflow monthly and when you keep your expenses low while your cashflow is increasing there is more and more capital to re-invest into more income producing assets and the cycle really starts to grow at a nice rate.

Sounds like you are good at budgeting which is a MUST. It really becomes a fun game and then a habit and then the cycle is unstoppable. Never stop learning and investing in yourself and the interesting thing is....you may think you are going to want to just sit back and retire once you get there...well after a few vacations, you just look forward to getting back in the game. So it doesn't even feel like work, its just a lot of fun!

Just sound methodical actions every day, week, month and year and you will get there. Congrats ahead of time!  

Originally posted by @Clarke Wegener :

Having a regular job while investing in passive income sure hastens the pace. I've been back to work for 6months and I'm already in the process of closing on my next two projects. My first time for a two at once.

 I totally agree! That's awesome to be doing two at the same time. That's a level I look forward to getting to. Congrats on your success!

@Josh Bigio Thanks so much for your input on this thread! It truly is inspiring to hear your story and I envision my wife and I doing something very similar to what you've been doing. Absolute FF. That is awesome. I think keeping expenses low is so crucial in the beginning in order to speed up the process. Both our cars are paid off, no student loans for either one of us, no credit card debt, so it was much easier to qualify for this triplex that I'm closing on today! So excited!

@Matt Jennissen

Insightful question Matt!  These are always great questions as they produce subtle clues to understanding successful financial practices.  Anyone can choose to adopt or leave them, whatever works for their system.  This string reminds me of @Account Closed 's BP podcast #151 "Finding Your Freedom Number", super good on understanding financial freedom and when it's right for an individual.  I didn't take much from the turnkey investing information, but the financial freedom details are great soak up.  

Sound like you have a great plan Matt, keep pushing out there, you'll get it some day!  I'm right in the race with ya!

P.S. The arrowhead is a great place to play!  I'm up there once a month in search of new adventures (mostly in the BWCA)

We sit down at the end of every year and set 3 goals for the next year:
1. Net worth goal
2. Rental income goal
3. How many rentals to add to our portfolio.

This has really helped us stay focused. There are lots of ways to raise rental income!

@Matt Jennissen Thanks for the congrats! BP helped a lot on this deal even though I've only been on here for a little over a month. I've been BRRRing all along but didn't realize it. Now that I see there's an actual system to follow I refinanced one of my existing properties to pay for the next two. So getting one mortgage on a property I already own instead of two on new purchases went much easier with the bank and also cut my closing cost in half! Good luck man! 

@David Zheng What are your rental amounts for those 12 units? They must be well over $1000/month each to get you cash flowing at $12,000/month. Nicely done.

@Matt Jennissen , while I am not free just yet I am making steady progress and negotiating with my employer to 'retire' on thursdays and fridays to free up time to do bigger deals and start syndicating. Keeping track of (and minimizing) your expenses is just as important as cash flow, especially for me living in a HCOL location. I am up to 8 doors but more importantly, refi'd one to save $550/mo payment last year and have no car payment or cell phone plan. I am not starving myself but am always looking to cut unnecessary expenses. Everything extra in the budget is going to REI and paying down mortgages. If you want to go deep into FI then check out this sub-reddit. Skews heavily towards tax-advantaged indexing and retirement accounts but lots of interesting discussions there. Nice work taking action.

Good luck with your journey. I find the more people I tell what I am doing the more I make sure to get it done so keep on networking.

Originally posted by @Julie Haveman :

We sit down at the end of every year and set 3 goals for the next year:
1. Net worth goal
2. Rental income goal
3. How many rentals to add to our portfolio.

This has really helped us stay focused. There are lots of ways to raise rental income!

 So important!  Very good points, thank you for posting Julie, Goals are key!  And there are lots of good books out there regarding goal setting.  One thing we do that is very similar, but has been slightly tweaked is use a "Net cashflow goal".  In my opinion it keeps us focused on cashflow from any and all passive sources.  Lending, options, cost savings, etc. not just rentals.