A YOUNG couple have been able to leave their government jobs and retire to Portugal after saving more than £1.6 million in just eight years.
Christina, 41, and Amon Browning, 39, from San Francisco, California, amassed the sum by cutting expenses, investing cleverly, and picking up second jobs.
Christina, 41, and Amon Browning, 39, retired after eight years of saving[/caption]
The couple, from San Francisco, California, say they didn’t want to spend the rest of their lives sat at desks[/caption]
They have now retired to Portugal with their two children[/caption]
They are part of a movement known as FIRE, Financial Independence Retirement Early, and among thousands of people worldwide looking to use financial nous to free themselves from the obligation to work.
“The FIRE journey is all about saving money, making money and investing that money,” Christina told DailyMailTV.
“But before you do all that, you have to believe that you can do it.
“It’s about your mindset.”
Amon was formerly an urban planner making $98,000 (£76,470), while Christina was a federal lawyer making $70,000 (£54,620).
The pair had two daughters, Sunoa, 13, and Melea, 11.
They decided to come up with a plan that would enable them to retire after Amon watched a colleague who had been working for 40 years being presented with an award.
Amon was formally an urban planner, while Christina was a federal lawyer[/caption]
They left their government jobs and began renovating properties[/caption]
“You can work for so many years and all you get to show for it is a piece of paper,” he said.
“The idea of working another 30 years in a cubicle and missing out on life was crazy to me.”
They began pursuing their mission by buying and renovating homes in San Francisco, hoping to retire by 2021.
“We lived in the home and put in our own sweat and labour doing it up,” said Amon.
“We sold it, took the equity and did the same thing again.”
After repeating the process on three properties, the couple were able to turn an initial deposit of $17,000 (£13,260) into just over $400,000 (£312,000) profit.
“We had to look for the properties that nobody else wanted,” Christina said.
“By the time we sold them, we had turned them into incredibly beautiful properties.
“They became the houses that everyone was overbidding to get.”
The couple also sold their spare possessions on Facebook and Craigslist and registered as drivers on Uber and Lyft, and say they earned $26,000 (£20,290) without even picking up any passengers.
“The companies were giving $40 an hour just to turn on the app,” said Amon.
They also sold their possessions and began investing their money[/caption]
They have still been able to go on holiday using the sign-up bonuses from credit cards[/caption]
“We would literally get no rides but we’d still get the sign-up bonus.”
On the decision to trade a number of expensive belongings for cheaper alternatives, Christina said: “Some people might say it was a sacrifice, but to us it was liberating.”
The couple were able to carry on organising treats for Sunoa and Melea, using sign-up bonuses on credit cards to pay for holidays to Thailand, Hawaii, and Singapore.
In 2016, they secured work in Japan that allowed them to live rent-free, and in July of this year they reached their saving goal two years early.
They have now moved to Portugal, and spend their time travelling with their daughters, taking Portuguese lessons, and keeping fit.
“What is most important is that we are not tired at the end of the day when we meet our children,” said Amon.
“We have the energy to keep up with them.
“We just know how fortunate we are to have this lifestyle.
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“Some people don’t get this until they are 65 years old and they have less time to enjoy it.
“We have so much time.”
They say the experience has been ‘liberating’[/caption]
They now spend their time travelling with their daughters, taking Portuguese lessons, and keeping fit[/caption]
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