I think the difficult thing for many people is health insurance, especially if you have a family. Also, without W2 income it can be very difficult to get a loan. That said, I think most people would be surprised at how close they can get if they eliminate monthly payments and increase their monthly cash flow. If you are working three miles from your house and make $45k per year, do you REALLY need a $60k BMW? Many people trade a "nice" car for freedom, which is downright silly.
Hi Amanda, I quit 2 yr ago this July. My wife and I went barn burners for 7 years buyinig rentals. The BRRRR tactic. No mater how little you think you make W2 / 1040 you can cut costs as Corby suggests, put savings into an account and start buying rentals. Easiest is to house hack either multi door or single door using FHA low down, move every 2 yrs and repeat. If you start younger then wne I started in 10 yrs you'll have a few rentals even on low W2.
Having decent dual W2, living well below our means we where able to buy 30 rentals in 7 yrs on the day I quit.
Most markets have portfolio 30 yr lenders, today a misnomber, portfolio today means does not check W2/DTI but just based on the rent covering the mortgage. This means no limits to the number of 30 yr loans. Start out using FANNIE conventional rental loans and FHA occupant loans till your DTI is maxed out. Switch to using portfolio lenders.
Join your local REIA to hook up with the lenders. Nationwide: Angel Oak and Lima One,,, many other asset based 30 yr lenders.
One of the issues scaling up has is deal flow. You'll need to master some nitch, make ugly --> beautiful or master AirBNB or some nitch in your area to get over the limits to deal flow most areas today present. We moved out the freeways to smaller towns as long as they had growing jobs, companies moving into the area. 10min to a freeway, 30 min to good jobs, decent schools, cute house in a neighborhood, never on a road with strips....
Read my Buy a Bullet Proof portfolio paper file URL 1/2 way down on my profile.
It really depends on your personal situation.
The key is getting started, and getting your first deal. There are plenty of "what ifs" before your first deal. Also, how comfortable are you with leaving your w2? Does your w2 limit you? The w2 is great since you can still get loans and keep buying property