Have you ever dreamt about retiring early, packing your bags, and traveling the world with the love of your life? For one couple, this distant dream became a reality.
Jeremy Jacobson and Winnie Tseng retired at the age of 38 with their 3-year-old son, Julian. They live an out-of-office life made up of traveling the world and documenting their experiences. The couple knew it was love when they discovered their mutual obsession with frugal living. They got married in 2010 and are enjoying retirement after years of aggressive saving.
How Did They Do It?
The couple knew that if they wanted to pull this off, they would have to cut back on the three biggest expenses: food, transportation, and housing. Jacobson started by transferring his job at Microsoft to Taiwan. The cost of living there was much lower than his Seattle home which allowed him to jumpstart his savings. He would live there for a few years until he brought Tseng back to Washington where they would continue their savings journey in the states.
The couple made the decision to not own a house or a car. They knew if they were going to save big and retire early that they would have to make their cost of living as cheap as possible. They lived in a 900 square foot apartment and biked everywhere they went. This lifestyle was settling for much less than what they could have given Jacobsen’s $135,000 salary, but they were determined.
“We lived a lifestyle that a lot of people refused to live,” Jacobson told Time.
The couple was, and still is, extremely frugal with their food choices. They cook all of their meals at home and rarely go out to eat. They’ve never felt deprived given Tseng is an amazing chef and only improves after years of cooking at home. The couple would still have friends over and host potluck dinner parties for family and friends.
Jacobsen and Tseng lived like this for years until it became their norm. Suddenly, cooking every meal in their small apartment and biking places became easy. Doing this allowed them to save enough to retire and live their dream life full of travel.
How Do They Continue to Do It?
After years of saving $100,000 annually, Jacobsen maxed out his 401K and IRA. They then invested in Vanguard index funds which gave them over a million dollars stored away by Jacobson’s retirement in late 2012.
Currently, the couple resides in Taiwan where they live off a combination of their savings and income from their blog, GoCurryCracker. They made nearly $57,000 on their blog last year alone from ads and referrals. This in conjunction with investments and their savings leaves them living a fairly comfortable lifestyle that allows them to travel frequently.
“We are doing our best to be completely normal in every way that doesn’t involve going to work,” Jacobsen states on his blog.
Would you ever live this extreme frugal lifestyle in effort to retire early and travel the world? Let us know on social media! We’d love to hear your thoughts.