How Tom Christides plans to retire at 35

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Retiring comfortably and traveling the world funded by your investments might seem like a dream, but for 29-year-old Tom Christides, it’s nearly a reality.

According to The Financial Review, Tom Christides is among a growing number of young people who are opting out of the daily grind and living frugally now to enjoy the benefits of early retirement. They’re following an intense regimen known as FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early. FIRE – Financial Independence, Retire Early.

This financial approach has inspired numerous Facebook groups and YouTube channels, and it originates from the 1992 best-seller “Your Money or Your Life” by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez.

“For me, I’ve been chasing FIRE since the start of my work career about 10-12 years ago and I’m at a point now where I’m probably 75 per cent to 80 per cent of the way to achieving my retirement goal to retire at 35,” Christides said, adding that his dream is to pursue a career as a musician and travel.

Photo: Financial Review

The general concept of FIRE is simple: work hard, slash household spending, save aggressively and invest.

For Christides, this philosophy motivates him to work three jobs while still making time to travel, all while living in the West Australian mining town of Port Hedland.

“I work full-time in IT for the local hospital and I’m also a personal trainer at a gym and a musician where I play for events and venues, doing cover stuff, and this year I’ve also started putting out original music,” he says.

“It’s all in the name of FIRE to either, you know, increase my income in whatever way, live a frugal lifestyle and be able to save money to put towards investments.”

Christides’ investment journey started at 19, when he was able to use his casual Subway earnings to save up enough to pay for a deposit for the first of three units in Perth.

While he credits his parents for teaching him the importance of saving early and being thrifty, he has also self-educated by reading extensively, joining FIRE groups on social media, and following financial experts like Warren Buffett.

“I started off in property and quickly realised that I had all my eggs in one basket and needed to diversify my portfolio,” he says. “I’ve been investing mostly in ETFs since then.

Source: The Financial Review

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