Couple retires at 40 with $540,000 in savings

A couple was able to retire by 40 thanks to accumulating a retirement savings pot of around £434,181. Debbie and Chris Emick, 43, both live in Colorado and were successful in reaching early retirement by the age of 40.

The couple spoke with CNBC’s Fired Up to share how they managed to achieve this life goal 20 years earlier than most people.

Back in 2012, Debbie received multiple troubling diagnoses regarding her physical health which lead to her retiring two years later.

Following this development, both she and Chris then looked into laying out a plan to achieve early retirement via FIRE.

FIRE is a financial movement which encourages people to put more of their paycheck towards their savings so they can leave the workforce at an earlier age.

Thanks to an initial investment of $60,000 (£48,242.40), the married couple was able to purchase 19 units across 17 rental properties over the space of four years.

With this income stream, Chris was able to retire early from his £110,000 (£88,444) job in IT by November 2019.

By this point, the Emicks had $540,000 (£434,181.60) in savings and retirement accounts, as well as $1.1million (£884,444).

On their journey to FIRE, Debbie explained: “I started getting diagnosed with some fairly serious medical ailments. I just began to realise that I had been working for a retirement that I may never enjoy.

“We just knew we wanted the freedom to make our own choices with our time and that’s where financial independence came in.”

Chris added: “We started to accumulate real estate in the vein of let’s have an additional source of income besides my job.

“Once Debbie left her job, we were completely dependent on my job. Once we started tracking our spending better with budgeting. I was the guy that was always trying to turn the knob down spending.”

One of the challenges Chris set the family was only spending $100 (£80.40) a month on groceries.

Mr Emick said: “I was mainly hearing many stories about rental real estate. Some people were building mega empires with rental real estate.

“I wasn’t willing to do that. I just wanted to have additional income.

“In the process of going from not knowing anything about being landlords to buying out first property, I scoured the internet and spent a lot of time listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos.

“We got this vision board type, something in our kitchen that would remind us of our goals.”

Gross income from the couple’s rental properties varies based on vacancy, capital expenditure and repairs.

At the time of filming, the duo’s gross rental income came to around $8,000-$10,000 (£6,438.40-£8048.0), with their net rental income being between $4,000-$6,000 (£3,219.20-£4828.80).

Those interested in following more savings and retirement tips can follow the CNBC YouTube channel.

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