Saturday 21 April 2018

Could this be the youngest retiree ever? Woman who left her job at 31 says we're getting retirement all wrong

Kristy Shen retired in 2014, aged just 31.
Kristy Shen retired in 2014, aged just 31.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

This woman could be the youngest retiree in Canada - and she's convinced she's doing it right.

Kristy Shen retired in 2014, aged just 31.

She retired from her job as a computer engineer with $1 million (€620,000) in the bank. Now she travels the world with her husband, Bryce.

Speaking on Farnoosh Torabi's podcast, 'So Money', Shen said she got to $1 million in savings and structured her portfolio to support herself for the next 50 years.

Shen said her understanding of 'retirement' is ""you don't need to work anymore because the passive income from your portfolio pays for your living expenses so you can actually choose to work or not to work at that point."

Shen, who is also the blogger behind Millennial Revolution, said she doesn't think retirement should be limited to lounging on a beach somewhere.

She also said that retirement isn't as expensive as you might think.

She said; "I also found that, actually, people don't realise how much money they're paying to work — like, it's ridiculous.

"How much money you're paying on commuting to work every day?

"How money you have to pay for buying professional clothing and dry cleaning?

"For people who have kids, how much money they have to pay for daycare and childcare?"

She continued; "One of the things that people don't realise until after they reach higher is that their costs go down, because all of those costs that are associated with working completely disappear."

Shen also said anyone who wishes to retire early needs flexibility. She said it's key to living off dividend income, or other savings and investments.

She said she doesn't feel she had to "give up anything".

"I don't think it's so much giving up.

"It's more like being flexible and then also prioritizing the things that matter and then not caring about the things that don't matter. What I mean by that is after we retired, not being fixed to the fact that like, I have to live in Toronto or I have to live in San Francisco or somewhere really expensive.

"I'm OK, because we're no longer tied to a job."

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