Early retirement: How one man ditched his 9-to-5 job decades early

It wasn’t going to be easy. Chris had bought a condo, drove a BMW, shopped at Whole Foods every week and spent $1,000 a month flying airplanes.

But Chris’ financial freedom plan worked out. He became a millionaire at age 35, then retired at 37. Here’s how!

1. He said goodbye to $5 lattes

When Chris began to reduce his spending, he started out with the small stuff — like the daily trip to Starbucks.

“When you start with cutting out that daily $5 latte, that means it’s easier to cut out the $15 daily lunch, and that means it’s easier to cut out the next big thing,” Chris told Clark.com.

Chris eventually gave up his $1,000 a month airplane hobby by following this path.

2. He only pays $10/month for cell phone service

For expenses that Chris couldn’t eliminate, he at least tried to lower them. He saved thousands of dollars by switching to a $10 cell phone plan with Ting and hasn’t paid for TV in about seven years.

Chris said it’s all about finding the right balance, which is different for everyone. He prefers to spend his money on travel.

3. He became more valuable to his employer

To retire early, Chris knew that he needed to earn more money. He was already making a $75,000 salary at age 27, but he focused on growing his skills and investing in himself, which led to multiple promotions.

“I started to become more valuable because when you become more valuable you can earn more money,” he said.

Chris told me that he joined Toastmasters to improve his communication and leadership skills, read dozens of self-help books and found good mentors.

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