To achieve financial freedom, and retire early you must be willing to make some sacrifices. These sacrifices will vary from person to person.
The journey to financial independence requires that you save a substantial amount of money each month. This may mean increasing income, and/or decreasing expenses.
In most households, rent or mortgage is the biggest expense item, and strategically reducing your cost of living will significantly increase your chances to retire early. There are several ways to reduce household expenses. One of them is to move to a lower cost of living state or city. This is why we moved from South Florida, the sunshine state to Georgia without hesitation.
We loved our home in South Florida, there is no doubt about that. Our whole family is there. However, we hated the mortgage payment. We were paying $2,400 a month, and it was killing us.
During a road trip to Tennessee, we stopped by Georgia to visit my brother who lives here. He was telling us about his plans to purchase a home.
Just for fun, Ryan and I went into Zillow.com and were amazed by the home prices. The fact that we could get a house bigger than our Florida home at 1/2 the price was amazing. Not only that, but insurance prices were so much lower too. We also loved the various seasons and the scenery. The idea of Georgia was stuck in our minds and eventually, we decided that it was financially beneficial for us to move. We would cut a significant chunk of our expenses.
Initially, we were looking to buy a duplex and rent the other side, but it didn’t work out in the end, so we ended up getting a house. We moved to Conyers which is a city in the suburbs of Atlanta more in the countryside.
We purchased a 2,700 sqft 4 bedrooms/ 2.5 bathrooms sitting in 1.2 acres of land for $185,000. Our Florida house was $340,000 and about 1,000 sqft less.
I am not going to lie, coming from South Florida, it took some to adjust to the small-town life, the wilderness, and the quietness, but we now love it here. Our house might now be the nicest in the block, but it is OUR home. We have been working on adding our personal touch. Before and after pictures will come soon!
In addition to having a bigger house, our new mortgage payment is now $1,200 lower than it was in Florida which now allows us to allocate the extra money to debt pay-down and savings.
Additionally, given the lower cost to acquire real estate in Georgia, we will be able to grow our real estate portfolio at a faster rate.
Within 2 months of moving, we have already acquired an investment property which we got for $65,000. Details coming soon.
Sometimes you have to make difficult choices that may seem like sacrifices at first, but the results are so gratifying that they don’t longer feel like a sacrifice at all. We love our new home and yes, it is not as nice or centrally located, but we are happy at our new home. We are also at peace knowing that we are a step closer to reaching our financial goals.
Now, it is important to know that this worked out for us because of our specific circumstances. Everyone is different.
There were a lot of moving pieces to make this work for us. For example, arranging remote employment.
The important takeaway from this is that everyone’s financial independence journey is different. You need to define your goals and the approach that best suits YOU. Where do you draw the line? The point is not to make yourself miserable. Enjoy the journey!
We could have perfectly downgraded and moved into a cheaper house in Florida, but we didn’t because moving to Georgia was more in alignment with our overall goals. We wanted a big backyard for the doggies and my future babies, you know?! 🙂
What are your financial goals and what steps are you going to take to get there?