About Me

Introduction

At the age of 25 26, I [still] have over $100,000 in debt and plan to retire before the age of 35.

Compared to other personal finance and personal development blogs you’re familiar with, I don’t have it all figured out yet. I’m not retired, I don’t make hundreds of thousands in passive income, and I have over six figures of debt.

Yet, I’m calm, confident, and desire to pass on my experiences and knowledge gained to young professionals and convince everyone they can become financially free and retire early if they develop the right mindset and internalize certain principles.

 

Journey from Debt to Financial Freedom

Through reckless and ignorant financial decisions, I ended up like a lot of people in their early twenties, stuck with student loans. When I first graduated and realized the hole I dug myself into during college, I was overwhelmed and stressed. My good friends in college would talk about how it sucked having $10,000 in loans, while I sat quietly thinking about my much larger balance. Unlike the average U.S. graduate with total student loans around $30,000, I graduated with $75,000 in student loans. To make matters worse, the majority of the loans had interest rates between 8.75% and 9.75%. Also, I owe an additional $40,000 for my portion of a mortgage which pushes me into six figures of debt.

It wasn’t until I started reading online forums, financial blogs, and testing different ideas on my own that I developed a student loan/retirement framework. It’s a dynamic framework, but once I had a few strategies at my disposal, the stress disappeared. My hope is to pass along useful information to my readers that may have been in similar situations.

It will be through careful planning and execution that I will be able to extinguish these loans by December 31, 2018 and continue in my journey to become financially free.

The purpose of writing this blog is to document my journey to become financially independent and to convince my readers that it’s possible to replicate even if it seems impossible within your current financial situation. Trust me, when I reviewed my credit report after graduation and reviewed the loan balances, I was in shock. It was embarrassing to me because no one else I went to school with (or so I thought) had even half of the debt I had.

Since then, I have discovered I’m not the only one with a significant burden of debt. Three years after graduating college and figuring out what needs to be done, my hope is to help people in a similar situation realize it is possible to become financially free at a young age even with significant student loans. Better yet, maybe this will reach recent high school graduates or freshmen in college to make better financial decisions on how to fund their secondary education on the front end.

The journey from debt to financial freedom hasn’t been easy. Changing my lifestyle, developing a strategic financial plan, and embracing the fact there isn’t an overnight solution have been the critical factors in changing my situation.

 

I will ‘Retire’ by Age 35

Simply stated, I consider retiring meaning I don’t have to work for someone I don’t want to and I have the freedom to do what I want. For example, maybe I ‘retire’ but maintain a 20 hour per week consulting gig to help build a retirement cushion, but the rest of the time I have the freedom to do what I please.

My retirement age of 35 was determined by a conservative 5% rate of return on all investments, student loan and car payments completed by December 31, 2018, $14,000 annual expenses (not planning to have kids), and no raises. Although I’m not accounting for raises, I’m also not accounting for unique expenses, vacations, etc, so my assumption is these will cancel each other out and that the planned age of 35 is actually conservative due to the compounding of raises.

 

Why am I Qualified to Give Advice?

I’m hoping I can help people my age realize the importance of creating financial goals and strategies by relating to their situations and common questions. Admittingly, I am not the most qualified person to write on all personal finance topics. I will avoid writing on my weaker topics such as life insurance, family finances (I have no children and cannot relate properly), etc. However, I will address topics such as student loans, frugal living, renting vs home ownership, retirement planning, taxes, and investing. These are topics I have read numerous books on and have personal experiences related to the topics.

On the formal side, I graduated with an accounting and finance degree and I am a Certified Public Accountant with 3 years of tax preparation and financial statement experience; however, I place more importance on my learning outside of the classroom as well as personal experiences.

Full disclosure – all posts are my opinions and you should discuss your own situation with a qualified professional.

 

My Mission

To teach students in college the consequences of excessive student loans and to teach recent graduates how to the importance to developing a financial strategy regarding student loan payments and retirement/financial freedom. I am an open book with my readers; feel free to email me at Brian@RedtoRiches.com for any questions or suggestions.

 

Join Me

Please join the mailing list to keep up to date with my six figure journey from debt to financial freedom. It also keeps me motivated knowing how many people are actively keeping up with the journey!

 

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