A woman who retired at 28 with $2.25 million in the bank explains how she saved 70% of her income while living in New York City

I love sharing inspirational success stories, and today I came across an amazing one about a woman who is living her dream!


JP Livingston is a retiree living in Manhattan. She lives frugally, and she and her husband and dog share a 325-square-foot apartment. There’s just one thing that separates her from the rest of the retired population of NYC, She retired at 28!

After seven years working in the financial industry, working her way up the ranks to hold a senior position at her firm, Livingston built a nest egg of over $US2 million — 40% from investing and 60% from savings — allowing her to retire early, a dream she has had since middle school.

“The way I think about it is, if you don’t need to work for money, you can do anything you like,”…“If you want to go work at a traditional job, you can, but you don’t have to. [Early retirement] is a word I picked up when I was looking at my future way back in middle school [and] high school.” – JP Livingston to Business Insider 

How did she do it? When she started her career, she was earning $100,000/year. With her goal of early retirement in mind, she planned to save and invest 70% of her income. As her salary rose, she continued to save, and live a frugal and humble lifestyle. Today at 28, she has become financially independent, with a growing savings.

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Today, JP spends her days working on her finance blog “The Money Habit,” walking her dog along the Hudson River, all while keeping her and her husband’s combined expenses down to around $US65,000 a year.

Even though NYC can be one of the most expensive places to live, it’s possible to enjoy the city life without going bankrupt.

Livingston’s No. 1 piece of advice for saving money comes down to a shift in mindset: Don’t take prices at face value, but consider them in the context of how many hours of work it would cost, a strategy she picked up from Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez’s “Your Money or Your Life.”

“If you think about how much you earn and you divide it by the number of hours you work, you get the amount of money per life unit,” JP explains.

Let’s say your cost-per-hour comes out to $US20. That means a new $US700 iPhone would shake out to 35 hours worth of work. A $US100 night out would cost five ours. A $US40 blouse would run you two hours worth of work. Ask yourself: Is the purchase worth it?

It’s not just money saved — it’s money that can be invested and grown.

“If I were to get one point across, it’s that if you think of things as not just what you save that day, but having that money work for you and compound, it will totally change the way you spend money,” she says.

Cutting out your daily latte isn’t just $US5 saved in the moment — it’s $US1,825 per year that could be garnering interest in an investment account. Keep that up for 10 years, add an 8% rate of return, and you’ve got more than $US33,000.
Read more of JP Livingston’s advice at: Business Insider Article

Visit her blog to learn more about investing and early retirement: The Money Habit

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