A UK woman retired at 35 with nearly £1 million ( Rs 10 crore) in savings and investments with her husband.
Katie Donegan, who is now 37, said that she has been thrifty with her money. Unlike other youngsters, she would even save up her pocket money rather than spend it.
She met her husband Alan during a volunteering project in Costa Rica in January 2005.
“We returned to the UK as a couple, and I began a degree in statistics at University College London, where I lived with my parents, eating cheaply and not buying new clothes, as I hated the thought of getting into debt,” she said.
Donegan said, “After graduating in 2008, we moved in with Alan’s mum in Hampshire so we could save for a house deposit, while I worked as an actuary earning £28,500 a year. Alan was self-employed on a variable income, teaching businesses how to do presentations.”
She added, “We ate packed lunches, drove a second-hand Skoda and invited friends over instead of going for expensive nights out. We saved hard and in November 2010 we had enough to put down a £42,000 deposit on a £167,650 two-bedroom flat in Basingstoke.”
The couple got married in July 2013. They kept their costs as low as possible by hiring the local community hall, emailing the invites and getting a friend to do the decorations.
She was earning £58,000 by late 2014 but was determined to keep her expenditure low. The couple put away £3,000 together every month.
In 2015, Katie read about the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement which suggests keeping expenditure low and save every penny you can. Katie and Alan researched and studied the stock market to increase their chances of making money.
Katie said, “It wasn’t because we didn’t enjoy our jobs – it was about financial freedom and quality of life. To bring in more money, I quit my job and began working as a contractor.
She added, “Some friends and family thought we were mad sticking with our modest flat and old car, but we were laser-focused and studied how to invest in the stock market. By September 2018, we had £898,000 in savings and investments.”
They reached their goal of £1 million between March and April 2019 after which Katie decided to retire. Alan supported her decision but he chose to not fully retire. He still manages his business but is not involved in day-to-day operations.
They began to live a nomadic lifestyle, travelling everywhere from Thailand to Mexico, cycling, hiking and keeping fit.
Their investments now generate £65,000 a year.