I am a husband and currently the father of
As far back as I can remember, my mother always told me from when I was young to buy my own place, and never rent because it's "throwing your money away." She also told me that investing in real estate is the way to go - to buy rental properties and rent them out to tenants to subsidize your mortgage payments. And eventually, when those mortgages are paid off, I would have rental income coming in every month (assuming they are not bad tenants). These two lessons I never forgot.
So after college, I began working and trying to save my money aggressively with the hopes of being able to retire early by living off rental income. I contributed to my employer's 401(k) plan to get the company match and also contributed to a Roth IRA account. Eventually I bought my first rental property a few years later.
While renting out my property, I continued to live at home with my parents to save more money. I proposed to my girlfriend (now my wife) a few years later and bought my second property, the place we live in now.
I was always skeptical about buying individual stocks in the stock market because my parents had lost a decent amount of money to it. However, the curiosity and interest in investing in stocks never went away. I eventually came across finance articles and blogs that spoke about dividend growth investing, which simply put, is investing in companies that increase their dividends year after year. This investment strategy greatly fascinated me since it went hand in hand with my dream of retiring early through receiving passive income. Now, I could diversify my passive income from 3 sources: interest income, rental income, and now dividend income. And so I started investing in dividend growth stocks.
You may ask, "Why retire at the age of 56 and not earlier?" Simple - children. I love kids and Lord willing, I would like to have more than one child. Ideally, I would like to pay for my children's undergraduate education or at least help out in whatever way that I can. For this reason, it's more realistic to aim to retire at the age of 56. I'm sure if I didn't have or want children, I could retire much earlier than that. But alas, I love children and being a father thus far has been very rewarding for me.
There are 3 things that I'm very passionate about: God, my family, and investing. My goal is to be able to retire in 2041 when I turn 56 years old and spend my retirement years in full-time ministry, with my family, and traveling. To reach early retirement, my ultimate strategy is to have multiple streams of income from interest, dividends, and rental income.