Kristen and I have an income that we are happy with right now. It is 1/3 of the reason we are confident we will retire by the age of 40, AND be millionaires at some point in our lives. We make just over $200,000 combined before Uncle Sam and his greedy fingers slip into our pockets.
Let’s break down our income so you can see where it comes from.
Rory’s business pays Rory $90,000/year and Kristen $30,000/year. Kristen also recently got a promotion to an Assistant Manager position at her hospital paying $86,000 a year. We have other seemingly small incomes as well, but ones that yield good benefits in other ways which we will cover in a future blog about the benefits of a “side hustle”.
Net income before taxes is roughly $206,000. Now there are a few key things we want to point out at this point. It is very important to note we did not start at over $200,000 a year. Seven years ago, if we were together, we would have been making about $70,000 a year COMBINED. We feel as though key decision making in several areas allowed us to more than double our combined income in only a few short years. Let’s touch on a few of those reasons now.
1)We chose degrees that have a title of a job (Social Work and Nursing)
WORST case scenario our degrees yield us a solid middle-class income. Kristen will likely talk at length about her nursing career in the future, we both believe strongly it is the BEST career field for someone to join and/or convert into if they are dissatisfied with their income and quality of living. Social Work doesn’t pay great, but if you are competent there are always jobs available paying around $50,000.
2)We combined our financial powers when we got married (technically before)
“With our powers combined”… Anyone? Anyone? Come on! Captain Planet… The greatest Saturday Morning Cartoon of all time!… Anyway. With combining our then roughly $120,000/year income, and consolidating our bills (ONE electric bill, ONE heating bill, ONE food bill etc.) we could become much more efficient at targeting debts, which soon turned into an abundance of cash we had to do something with (other than spend since we are both frugal)
3)We dedicated ourselves to INCREASING our income while MAINTAINING our lifestyle.
The key there is that at every angle that we had the opportunity to increase our income, we had an in-depth discussion about how this would impact the lifestyle that we enjoy… And believe us, a few decisions that caused us to increase our income DID have a negative impact on our daily lives. Both in the recent management position for Kristen, and the business expansion for Rory, there have been increased stress in our lives and a noted lifestyle change for the worse (less time to travel, less time to just hang out, increased stress during time off, more hours at work and working from home) but at the end of the day we are happy we made the decisions we did because it accelerated our retirement by roughly 30%.
4)We thought outside the box
Entrepreneurism is the key to making good money unless you want to dedicate your life to living at work doing overtime, or you want to go to school until your 30’s. Plain and simple. Rory’s business allows him to effectively double his income from what a typical person with his degrees and background would make, all while doing a job that is more enjoyable to him (most of the time) as well as has afforded him the opportunity to expand and diversify into different areas. Kristen has also found other ways to make money in direct sales type of work.
That’s a little more about our income. We will take the time in the future to explain more about entrepreneurialism and some of the projects we are currently working on to accelerate our retirement. We mentioned at the beginning of this blog that our income is only 1/3 of the reason for us hopefully retiring early and having the lifestyle that we want the rest of our lives. In the next blog we will explain our 3 part approach to this.