This is an old article, but a good one – it’s about a teacher out in California who arrived in the U.S. as part of a family of “boat people” fleeing communists in Vietnam. He’s on track to retire by 55, on a $60,000 a year teacher’s salary (which is probably above average, but he lives in California). What’s his plan? When he was first starting out, he lived with his family, then his brother, keeping his rent down to a few hundred dollars a month – leaving a much bigger chunk to save. He bought a house in California in 1997, which was pretty good timing, leaving him with a couple hundred thousand in gains. Even though he switched to living alone, raising his expenses somewhat, he’s still saving about $1,400 a month on that salary – a strong accomplishment that has resulted in him having a retirement plan with $100,000 in it, another $100,000 outside the plan in his own investments. To top it off, because he’s a teacher, he gets a pension that will give him a good chunk of money each month (not enough to live on, but a healthy supplement to his savings). One thing I encourage you to look at if you’re following this saving strategy is his budget (which they publish in a little box to the right of the article). It’s a little tight (he’s only spending a little over half his income), but if you start young you probably don’t need to even go that far to have a healthy retirement.
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