This man became financially independent at 36 and says the key to happiness is “owning your time”


Chad grew up watching his father tidy up properties. Today, thanks to these real estate lessons, he is financially independent, managing rental housing and living on his terms.

The 39-year-old owner, who was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, reached C $ 1 million, or roughly US $ 791,000, in 2019, although he believed he had achieved independence. financial even earlier. That year he quit his full-time job. Along with his real estate investments, he invests in the stock market.

Chad founded the FIRE movement, reached C $ 1 million before age 40, and became a firefighter and shepherd along the way.

The former network administrator and his partner, Catherine, who is a doctoral student. student and research coordinator, save between 50% and 80% of their income each year and live on $ 27,000 in annual expenses. Thanks to his financial independence, they can travel with their dog, Pepper, but he still works as an IT consultant while managing rental properties and other related activities. In his spare time, he also volunteers with the local fire department.

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“One of the keys to happiness is owning your own time,” he said. Financial independence allowed him to create his own schedule and not rely on a job to pursue his interests. For example, in addition to his side activities and his voluntary work, he is a shepherd.

Of course, there are caveats to using real estate as a major source of income. There could be a loss of rent – as many landlords have known in this pandemic – or some sort of emergency or damage to the home. An extended vacancy could be detrimental, so owners have to make up for a total loss of income or decide to offer the unit at a lower price. “These are just calculations – figuring out what you’re comfortable with,” he said.

But there are also ways to maximize income with real estate. Part of its success is its hands-on approach with its rentals. He renovates his properties, including repainting garages, installing heated floors, redoing bathrooms and creating wood wall panels.

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When he had to replace the refrigerator in one of its properties, instead of hiring a professional to deliver the new appliance and get rid of the old one, he did it himself: bring the new refrigerator with his truck, fix the old one and sell it for $ 100. “You can still fix things up and make a few bucks too,” he said.

Convenience is one of the biggest budget killers. “We spend a lot on convenience,” he said. “We can cook our own food, but it’s much easier to pick up the phone and have it delivered. Living two hours away from his rental units might seem like a disadvantage when he needs repairs, but he spends his time driving around town listening to a book. “I like road trips,” he says.

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