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An Early Retirement Update from QCash

Since our last interview QCash, the guy who retired @ age 36 with a net worth of over $2 million, we have received a tremendous response from readers looking for more info on the early retiree.  I’ve contacted QCash and he has kindly taken the time to write an update on his early retirement.

Thank you for the opportunity to give you a little bit of an update on my ultra-early retirement a la Derek Foster.

As you recall, I had built up a sizable net worth which allowed me to generate a passive, investment income equivalent to my employment income.   It was reaching this level that allowed me to seriously consider “taking some time off.”

As far as my portfolio providing a return to “stay retired”, I am happy to report that my cash flow has been positive through out the year with dividend and investment income exceeding our requirements.   This still has to be rebalanced a little, because I have been putting off selling any investments to avoid capital gains taxes this year.     In addition, with the market doing as well as it has, I have increased my overall net worth and remain quite confident of my ability to handle this early retirement. I still have my rental properties, and for the time being I guess my profession is landlord, but it is not taking a great deal of my time.

I might make my next submission about some of the actual investment strategy, but for this post, I will keep it to what I have been up to.

So far, I can report on that on a personal level, I have had a hard time “winding down”.   My wife thinks I am busier now than when I am working.

Here is a brief summary of what I have been doing to keep my brain from atrophying:

  1. I am currently chair of our Business Improvement Association. Since one of my investment properties is within the BIA and has a commercial component, I qualify, but most BIAs will let you participate if you are nominated by a qualifying business. 2) I organized a Charity Golf Tournament in July for Breast Cancer Research with a friend who lost her mom to it.
  2. I just finished organizing our community festival this past August. It took far too much time with not enough “young blood” to keep all the hard work out of my hands.
  3. I am helping a friend write a business plan for a voip/internet/dsl business start up. It is lots of fun and lots of research.
  4. I spent lots of time with the kids this summer through their various activities including coaching TimBit soccer (rather like herding cats, but lots of fun).
  5. We have only now just sent our oldest out into the cold cruel world with her first day of JK, and at our school meeting was asked to join the fundraising committee.
  6. I started piano lessons this month.
  7. I did not get to play nearly enough golf, but that is on next years’ agenda.  But I did manage to completely finish phase I of my wife’s three year-three phase gardening and landscape project which answers why not as much golf, perhaps.
  8. I took a three week French immersion course et maintenant, je dois attendre pour le prochain ete pour niveau deux.  (and if that makes no sense to you, I will remind you it was only trios semaines)

On a professional level, I have been asked to help with a couple of start-ups (see Number 4 above) but it has mostly been providing financial advice and doing up business plans (no income yet, but I have been promised loads and loads of stock options) :)

So what’s next?

I am actively looking into buying some property to actually develop (not be a landlord, but be a property developer) because there is a real lack of high quality, multi-residential, condo style apartments in our town.   There is a real need for them for an active senior population and I want to locate them in our Downtown as part of our downtown revitalization strategy which I helped write.

This will probably take me out of the “early retired” category, but if I follow this path, it will be doing something new, exciting and challenging which is what my old job was lacking.

No decision yet. My wife keeps reminding me that property development will always be available, and that if we are heading into a market downturn, maybe now isn’t the right time.

In the meantime, I plan to take a deep breath this fall. We are heading out to Disney World for a couple of weeks in October and after that, I might read a book or two (not write one). :)

Thanks for the update QCash, we look forward to your investment strategy article.

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About the author: QCash is a young retiree and self made millionaire. He has built his net worth up to $1.5 million by the ripe age of 36. QCash writes the occasional article for Million Dollar Journey to share in his experience of obtaining a large net worth at a young age. You can read our interview with him here.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • FourPillars October 4, 2007, 10:12 am

    I love these updates…makes me very envious!

    I think qcash could write a good book – not sure what the hook would be but I’d buy it.

    Mike

  • FrugalTrader October 4, 2007, 11:58 am

    It is always inspiring hearing from someone who “made it”. Thanks for the post QCash!

  • Telly October 4, 2007, 1:39 pm

    I read QCash’s update on what he’s doing on the CB forums and I was impressed. I think he’s doing some really great things for his community in his “spare time”. His post reminds me of all the reasons why I love the book “Your Money or Your Life” and the idea of Financial Independence. Most often we aren’t the best we can be because we have to spend so much of our time at work!

    Thanks for the update and congrats again Q!

  • the Wealthy Canadian October 4, 2007, 2:56 pm

    I always like to hear about people who have ‘made it.’
    The interesting thing is that some people really do love their jobs and gain satisfaction from it. But many of us look to retirement as the point where we’ll have enough time to do things that we really want to do. It sounds like QCash is doing things that he is interested in doing.

    Thanks for the update.

  • Gates VP October 4, 2007, 5:07 pm

    So far, I can report on that on a personal level, I have had a hard time “winding down”. My wife thinks I am busier now than when I am working.

    Hey you gotta be “busy”, otherwise what are you doing? It’s very common to have people talk about “retirement” as if it were some self-fulfilling goal. Meanwhile “retirement” is really just about “doing something else”.

    I’m tempted to say that you’re not actually having trouble “winding down”, you’re just living your life. You’re always “doing stuff”, you’re just doing less stuff to earn money and more stuff to help in the community. This is perfectly normal and healthy, if you’re not “doing stuff”, then what are you doing? Rotting in front of the TV?

    Being busy is what it’s all about, it’s all about doing stuff you love, so don’t fret. I wouldn’t be any different with 2 million in the bank :)

  • Q Cash October 4, 2007, 9:33 pm

    FT

    Thanks for letting me do the update. When I return from vacation (I know, vacation from retirement :-) I will try to send you more info on my strategies (what little there is to them) and maybe more of my history, which may explain why I do things the way I do (probably more relevant).

    FourPillars – I appreciate it, but I don’t think I could stretch what may be a one or two blog entry into a book :-) (although I understand Derek Foster has his own publishing company now, maybe I could shop it to him for a big advance :-)

    Telly – I love being able to do things around the community. I think I may have mentioned either on the CB forums or here in the original interview that local politics intrigues me. Our next municipal election is in 2010 and I expect to be a candidate, so the communtiy work, while rewarding, is also possible selfish on my part (getting my name/rep out there).

    WealthyCanadian – I have come to understand that I like a challenge. Often when I start something, I have to learn or plan or take on a challenge. My job became routine with nothing exciting to challenge me. At that point, I knew it was time to move on. If I hadn’t decided to “retire” early, I would certainly have been looking for something new.

    GatesVP – I plan to show your comment to my wife :-) Her point is that I haven’t completely balanced my family life with my volunteer commitments (her way of saying too much time away from the kids). We used the tools in Smart Couples Finish Rich to discuss our values and how we each see this “retirement” unfolding. She is on board for the political run in 2010, but the trade off is spending more time at home while the kids are not at school full time. By Sept 2010, both kids will be in school full time and as she said, come Labour Day 2010, she will be the first to come knock on doors from 9:30 to 2:30 each day :-)

    Thanks for all the great comments.

    I promised FT a more detailed analysis (just waiting for all my Sept statements so I can plug in the numbers).

    Q

    PS FT/Gates – not quite 2 Million. FT estimated that because I list my properties at their purchase value, not their current value.

  • FrugalTrader October 4, 2007, 11:42 pm

    I agree with Gates. My idea of retirement is doing something every day that I would do for free.

  • The Financial Blogger October 5, 2007, 8:26 am

    Q Cash, you probably define best my perception of retirement: stop working because I have to and starting working because I want to. Starting new projects, helping other people and give time to others who need it; I’ll I can say c’est que tu fais vraiment un bon travail, Félicitation! (keep up with the French lesson ;-)).

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