The 10-Year “Mini” Retirement | Ryan Jacob

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On today’s episode, Cody and Justin are joined by Ryan Jacob who has one of the more gutsy stories you’ll hear. Ryan has decided to step into a mini-retirement or super lean FIRE plan in order to get away from his soul-crushing job.

He was in an extremely corporate setting with big money in his future but decided instead to take his nest egg of just over $300k and call it a day. Instead of a cubicle he now spends most of his time on the water catching some awesome fish.

It’s obvious to see that Ryan is looking for more than fishing in his retirement and is itching to start his own business. Want to know what kind of business he has had and will have? Curious what life looks like when retiring on $300k?

Well, go take a listen to today’s episode and let us hear what you think.

Episode Summary

  • Grew up middle class with a stay at home mom and his dad was a self-employed contractor
  • His mom was a saver while his dad was a saver and his mom’s habits rubbed off on him
  • He would always save everything even as a kid
  • Ryan even started investing money at age 14 after he’d saved up $2k through a custodial account with his mom
  • It’s the late 90’s during the dot com boom
  • His mom sets him up with an adviser and he lost everything in that dot com bubble
  • That experience actually pushed him to learn more about the market instead of discouraging him
  • In college, he studied finance and he realized the adviser who was overseeing money for the whole family was actually doing some shady investing practices
  • Ryan really wanted to start up his own business even at 18 but his mom pushed him to go to a traditional four-year college
  • We talk about the huge gap in financial education in high schools and college
  • He worked for 4 years after college as a consultant and an analyst at a management consulting firm making around $60-70K saving around 40%
  • Part of that career path required an MBA so he went off and did that and came back to a salary of $110k-$120k
  • Ryan talks about his path  wasn’t a flip of the switch that it was a very thorough and long term plan
  • Even though he was marching towards retiring early he didn’t discover the financial independent movement until just under 2 years ago
  • Ryan stepped away from work after fulfilling his last commitment with his company after saving up just over $300k
  • He’s aware that he’ll probably need to work again but he’s in no rush
  • A really interesting take was his discussion about how if he’d kept working longer and saved up so much to have a safe retirement, he wouldn’t have the push to start up his own business which is a big goal of his
  • In college, Ryan had started up a business which was a painting service including a van that he paid $75 for
  • The group made $70k over that summer
  • From that point, we swapped into digging into Ryan’s investing strategy
  • His first recommendation is to avoid the percentage based advisers and swap to one time fee-based advisers
  • He also recommends robo advisers such as M1 finance, Betterment, or Wealth-front
  • The number one recommendation though is Vanguard for their index funds
  • Vanguard even has their own advisers
  • We then transition into what Ryan was looking into doing in retirement
  • His goals are related to ocean fishing, hunting, reading, spending time with family, brewing beer, and start a financial advisor business
  • You can really tell how refreshing it is for Ryan to get to reconnect with his family after his profession took him away from them for so long
  • He rounds out the episode by pleading with people to understand that the path to financial independence isn’t common and you’ll have a lot of people try to stop you or second guess but to stay the course and be confident

Key Takeaways

  1. There is a middle-ground: Notice how Ryan accepts that he may need to go back to work? That’s totally ok with him. He chose to put himself first and get out of a toxic situation. He could have stressed and plunged through several more years of misery but decided instead to find some middle ground.
  2. Family time is ticking: One of the major issues with retiring normally is you get so little time with your family because at that point they are so old they may either be dead or much less functional. Set aside some time in your life for family now.
  3. Jump-ship moments: Ryan had a great plan on when to walk away because he knew he could retain his bonuses and have college paid for if he would just stick it out to a certain point. That point then became an easy way for him to retire since he met all his obligations. Keep an eye out for these jump-ship moments for yourself.

Call to Action

Take a good hard look at what you image your most rewarding day to look like and use that as your initial FI goal instead of stressing about the money for the additional things like entertainment.

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Links from the Episode


Contact Ryan:

Facebook: Ryan Jacob


Learn More About Your Hosts:

Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)

Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)