The Unspoken Truth About Early Retirement Based on This 42-Year-Old Retired Engineer

In the pursuit of early retirement, Francis, a 42-year-old electrical engineer, made headlines when he quit his job in 2017 with a substantial $1.2 million in savings and investments.

At the time, he embraced the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, a concept that advocates for financial freedom and early retirement. However, Francis’s unique journey and subsequent return to work shed light on the misconceptions surrounding the desire for complete retirement.

According to CNBC, upon leaving his engineering role, where he earned a $120,000 base salary plus additional equity and bonuses, Francis discovered that a life without work became “really boring.” Contrary to the belief that most people aspire to retire early, he contends that what individuals truly seek is a sabbatical or extended break from their careers, typically lasting a year or two.

Image Source: CNBC

He had $1.2 million in savings and investments when he quit his job, and he shared that the trick to getting there was spending as little money as possible. First, he paid off his house, which cost $22,000 a year. Then, he tried hard to spend as little money as possible on everything else. 

He cut out things like streaming services and even went without a cellphone for a bit. Francis is also really good at using credit cards to get points, and he has more than 20 of them at a time. This helps him get extra value for his money.

Even though he enjoyed two years of not working and traveling, Francis got a bit bored and decided to start working again in 2019. But this time, he focused on his YouTube channel with 350,000 followers, making videos about money topics. It turns out people loved it, and he now makes around $10,000 a month from YouTube. This money covers his living costs, and whatever is left goes into his savings.

“Now I no longer call myself ‘retired’ because I am putting in my full-time effort into YouTube,” Francis shared to CNBC. “I’d like to put a lot more work into it and grow it … I think it’s a work in progress.”

Featured Image Source: CNBC