It was with great pleasure that SimplyFI hosted David Cox for the 10th March meetup at the Abu Dhabi Univeristy Dubai campus. David retired early & writes about his journey on his blog www.iretiredyoung.net. From humble beginnings, possessed with a great attitude & with hard work, he achieved Financial Freedom/Independence.
David's desire for security led him on the path to FI. Investing mainly in properties, avoiding debt & staying the course helped David retire early at the age of 47 in 2017.
Below are a few Key Points of the talk:
Geographical Leverage - David made the decision to take up jobs in Jamaica, Hong Kong & Dubai to maximize earnings. While there were risks associated with these moves he made them with a long term view of growth & security.
Saving/Budgets - Budgeting, recording & reviewing expenses are an essential money management tool, especially for those just beginning their careers
Missteps – In this journey there were financial mistakes. David dwelt on them explaining their reasons & their implications in the long run. It’s probably a rare trait to be open & to speak about one's mistakes.
Investing – David learnt about the Boglehead investing style as recently as Oct’17. His path to FI was on the back of investing in rental properties built over a period of time. A time when mortgage rates were as high as 8-9%. His endeavor was to pay off the mortgage as early as possible.
Avoiding Debt & Staying the course - David bought a property in Dubai just before the downturn in 2008-9. He stayed the course and did not panic sell. He eventually sold his Dubai property when the markets were up again a few years later. He avoids debt, has a credit card but has never ever paid any interest on the card.
Actionable items – David spoke about actionable items .All of us can work on at least some of them. Compare supermarkets prices. Never accept the 1st quote. Downsizing housing if possible. Use public transport. Pause before you shop.
Retirement – David shared his retirement reasons. How a strong moral compass & being fair is still vital to him.
Asset Allocation - With 70% of his net worth in property, David is happy with this. The rental income generated by the properties allows him to support his lifestyle in retirement & more. He now plans to increase his investments ratio in index funds.
Routines - Waking up early to cycle or run a few of his passions. Doing the household chores. Writing his blog. More busy social life.
A lifestyle of one’s choosing - Living this life has made him value things, made him mindful. He shared his recent travels and his immediate travel plans.
Balance – Life is not only about earning, saving & investing. Enjoying & living life is as important.
Better Half Retirement Plans – David’s spouse Sally is a teacher and is hesitant to retire. The reason is the fun retirement may bring.
David believes,”‘if an average guy like him can retire early then anyone can”. David comes across as a humble, open & candid person. An extraordinary ‘average’ guy !