Jeremy and Winnie retired in their 30’s to travel around the world. (Photo: GoCurryCracker.com)
Most people don’t think about retiring until they are at least 65-years-old. This couple couldn’t wait that long.
After scrimping and saving, Jeremy and his wife Winnie were able to retire two years ago. At the time, Jeremy was just 38 and Winnie 33. Today, the couple tells Forbes that they travel around the world, chronicling their journey on the blog GoCurryCracker.com.
So how did they do it? It all started with a trip. Years ago, Jeremy was living in Seattle, working at Microsoft, when he took his first, real vacation. After spending two weeks sipping tropical drinks and scuba diving, he wondered how he could make this vacation last a lifetime.
When he got back home, Jeremy sold his house, rented a place close to work, and started biking to the office every day. He had already been focused on paying off his debts (student loans, car, house, etc.), and was nearly debt free, so he started saving as much of his paycheck as he could.
What it looks like when Jeremy moves houses. (Photo: GoCurryCracker.com)
Soon after, he met Winnie at a conference in Beijing, and she offered even more inspiration. At the time, Winnie was living in Taiwan and was saving half of her salary for travel. After Jeremy and Winnie became a couple, they decided to retire early, and started saving upwards of 70% of their income.
“We lived close to the university and could walk everywhere, so we didn’t have a car. I was commuting by bicycle — 8 to 20 miles every day,” Jeremy told Forbes. “We got most of our food at a farmer’s market and CSA, and since the biggest part of your income is housing, transportation and food, those three things were cut really aggressively, so our monthly spend was less than $2,000 a month at the end.”
The couples second home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. (Photo: GoCurryCracker.com)
Over the course of 12 years at Microsoft, Jeremy’s salary went from $85,000 to $140,000. Winnie stopped working when the couple got married five years ago. When the financial crisis hit, they lost $400,000 on paper. But money-savvy Jeremy rode out the stock market, continued to work, and even bought more stock. Two years later, the couple had saved around $1 million to fund their lifestyle, and budgeted about $40,000-$45,000 a year on living expenses. (Check out a full breakdown of their finances here.)
After retiring, the couple spent nine months in Mexico. They learned Spanish, Winnie took up jewelry making, and Jeremy became an avid hiker. After that, they went to Guatemala, Belize and Cuba before heading up to Oregon and Washington to do some camping and hiking.
The couple then moved to Taiwan where they are awaiting the arrival of their first baby. Still, they don’t plan to stay put too long.
“We’ve been working through different ideas — spend a year in Spain, take an RV and drive around the U.S., or drive around Mexico,” said Jeremy. “We’ll see how the pregnancy goes and see how our child’s personality is.”
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