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Retire Young> Avoid These Mistakes

Jim White, who retired at 43, has a net worth of $1.6 million.

Photo courtesy of Jim White | Article courtesy of Business Insider.

Jim White retired at age 43 in 2018 with a net worth of over $1 million. But, he didn't get there without making a few mistakes.

He says that he overspent on three major expenses before reaching FIRE (financial independence/retire early): his family's home, cars, and groceries. Now, he's trying to reduce these costs as much as possible as he lives off his savings.

Here are the areas where he felt he could have cut back, and what he's doing differently in retirement.

1. He bought too much house

White and his wife, Lisa, bought a home in the Cleveland area, but soon realized that it was more than they needed for their small family.

"We first lived in a beautiful house in a wonderful neighborhood, but it was 2,400 square feet plus a finished basement," he said. "There were rooms we rarely used at all, but you're stuck paying for them in a mortgage payment, plus maintenance, repairs, and cleaning."

Buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases many people make, and it's also an area where overspending is all too common. Buying too much house can make it hard to save, invest, and meet other financial goals.

After retiring, White and his family moved to Panama, where they rent their home. "We don't currently own a house, but when we decide to buy again, we'd be happy with a ranch-style home that's maybe 1,500 square feet," he said. "Big enough for us, but much, much less expensive than where we were living."

Although he was able to make his FIRE goal work despite this, it's a mistake he won't make again.


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