Early retiree credits his $1 million net worth to these 7 ‘unpopular opinions’

Doobie Doo

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‘Company loyalty will make you poor’: Early retiree credits his $1 million net worth to these 7 ‘unpopular opinions’​

Published Thu, Aug 18 202210:50 AM EDTUpdated Thu, Aug 18 20222:48 PM EDT
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Steve Adcock, Contributor@STEVEONSPEED
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Steve Adcock and his wife retired early in their mid-30s. The self-made millionaire says he got rich the old-fashioned way—by investing wisely, marrying the right person, and living a frugal life.

Steve Adcock and his wife retired early in their mid-30s. The self-made millionaire says he got rich the “old-fashioned way”—by investing wisely, marrying the right person, and living a frugal life.
Photo: Steve Adcock
In 2016, I retired early at 35. At the time, I had $900,000 saved, and within a few years was able to accumulate a $1 million net worth.
A big factor in my success wasn’t the advice I received, but the advice I ignored. I built wealth the old-fashioned way — by working hard in a regular 9-to-5 job and making strategic financial moves that many people might disagree with.

Here are seven unpopular opinions that helped me retire early as a millionaire:

1. Company loyalty will make you poor.​

If you’re not switching jobs regularly, you’re leaving money on the table. Taking a new position at a different company is one of the best ways to get a substantial raise.
I switched jobs five times in the span of my 14-year career and got a 15% to 20% raise each time. This increased my salary well beyond the rate of inflation.
Employers will do whatever is in their best interest, and employees should do the same.

2. Most millionaires are self-made.​

A 2022 report from research firm Ramsey Solutions found that 74% of millennials believe millionaires inherited their money, and more than half of baby boomers think the same.

But many of the millionaires I knew built wealth on their own, and knowing that gave me greater financial motivation.
In fact, of the 10,000 millionaires that Ramsey Solutions surveyed, 79% didn’t receive any inheritances. Instead, most of them got rich through “consistent investing, avoiding debt and smart spending.”

3. Your life partner can hurt your finances.​

Many of my friends got married young, in their early- to mid-20s. And now, a big point of relationship tension for a lot of them is money-related, like opposite spending habits or an unwillingness to have money conversations.
I chose to wait until I found someone who shared the same financial values — and it was one of the best life decisions I ever made.
Getting on the same page about finances with a partner might not be a priority for most people, but it was for me. Today, I have a supportive spouse who just as enthusiastic as I am about investing and living a frugal lifestyle.

4. You don’t need to hustle 24/7.​

You might think that hustling will make you rich faster, but it also means having less time to take care of your body. And no amount of money is worth neglecting your physical and mental health.
To grow your wealth, you don’t need to always be moving, producing and working. Prioritizing things like sleep, exercise and a proper diet gives you the opportunity to refuel for the next day.
I always put my health first, and as a result, I feel happier and much more energetic, productive and creative.

5. Growing up poor doesn’t mean you can’t build wealth.​

I came from a very low-income family. My grandfather was a pastor and barely got by financially because he wasn’t good with his money.
My dad adopted those same habits and spent most of his early years living paycheck-to-paycheck. Luckily, he recognized his father’s bad habits and changed his ways later in life.
He taught me the value of saving and investing, and told me that credit card debt would ruin my financial stability, like it did for his dad. I learned that even if without a six-figure salary, you can still get rich.

6. A prestigious degree doesn’t guarantee wealth.​

While your degree can help you get your foot in the right door, it’s what you do after you graduate that makes the real difference.
I didn’t have a fancy degree at an Ivy League. I saved up an emergency fund and invested at least 10% of my income early on. Over the years, that helped me create a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
My best advice is to look for less expensive options — perhaps paying in-state tuition at a school that has a great program in what you are interested in. Then take advantage of the alumni network and job placement opportunities from there.

7. Your passion won’t pay the bills.​

Rich celebrities will often tell you that they achieved success by following their passions. But that doesn’t work for everyone.
It’s easier for most of us to earn a living through our strengths than through our passions. Our passions tend to be more creative, and it’s usually harder to earn a high salary in a creative field.
My hobby was photography, but I chose a career in software development because it was what I was good at. The salary difference between those two career paths is drastically different.
Now, as an early retiree, I’m actually able to enjoy and spend more time on my passions.


 

Uachet

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Black Self-Sufficiency

‘Company loyalty will make you poor’: Early retiree credits his $1 million net worth to these 7 ‘unpopular opinions’​

Published Thu, Aug 18 202210:50 AM EDTUpdated Thu, Aug 18 20222:48 PM EDT
thumbnail

Steve Adcock, Contributor@STEVEONSPEED
SHAREShare Article via FacebookShare Article via TwitterShare Article via LinkedInShare Article via Email
Steve Adcock and his wife retired early in their mid-30s. The self-made millionaire says he got rich the old-fashioned way—by investing wisely, marrying the right person, and living a frugal life.

Steve Adcock and his wife retired early in their mid-30s. The self-made millionaire says he got rich the “old-fashioned way”—by investing wisely, marrying the right person, and living a frugal life.
Photo: Steve Adcock
In 2016, I retired early at 35. At the time, I had $900,000 saved, and within a few years was able to accumulate a $1 million net worth.
A big factor in my success wasn’t the advice I received, but the advice I ignored. I built wealth the old-fashioned way — by working hard in a regular 9-to-5 job and making strategic financial moves that many people might disagree with.

Here are seven unpopular opinions that helped me retire early as a millionaire:

1. Company loyalty will make you poor.​

If you’re not switching jobs regularly, you’re leaving money on the table. Taking a new position at a different company is one of the best ways to get a substantial raise.
I switched jobs five times in the span of my 14-year career and got a 15% to 20% raise each time. This increased my salary well beyond the rate of inflation.
Employers will do whatever is in their best interest, and employees should do the same.

2. Most millionaires are self-made.​

A 2022 report from research firm Ramsey Solutions found that 74% of millennials believe millionaires inherited their money, and more than half of baby boomers think the same.

But many of the millionaires I knew built wealth on their own, and knowing that gave me greater financial motivation.
In fact, of the 10,000 millionaires that Ramsey Solutions surveyed, 79% didn’t receive any inheritances. Instead, most of them got rich through “consistent investing, avoiding debt and smart spending.”

3. Your life partner can hurt your finances.​

Many of my friends got married young, in their early- to mid-20s. And now, a big point of relationship tension for a lot of them is money-related, like opposite spending habits or an unwillingness to have money conversations.
I chose to wait until I found someone who shared the same financial values — and it was one of the best life decisions I ever made.
Getting on the same page about finances with a partner might not be a priority for most people, but it was for me. Today, I have a supportive spouse who just as enthusiastic as I am about investing and living a frugal lifestyle.

4. You don’t need to hustle 24/7.​

You might think that hustling will make you rich faster, but it also means having less time to take care of your body. And no amount of money is worth neglecting your physical and mental health.
To grow your wealth, you don’t need to always be moving, producing and working. Prioritizing things like sleep, exercise and a proper diet gives you the opportunity to refuel for the next day.
I always put my health first, and as a result, I feel happier and much more energetic, productive and creative.

5. Growing up poor doesn’t mean you can’t build wealth.​

I came from a very low-income family. My grandfather was a pastor and barely got by financially because he wasn’t good with his money.
My dad adopted those same habits and spent most of his early years living paycheck-to-paycheck. Luckily, he recognized his father’s bad habits and changed his ways later in life.
He taught me the value of saving and investing, and told me that credit card debt would ruin my financial stability, like it did for his dad. I learned that even if without a six-figure salary, you can still get rich.

6. A prestigious degree doesn’t guarantee wealth.​

While your degree can help you get your foot in the right door, it’s what you do after you graduate that makes the real difference.
I didn’t have a fancy degree at an Ivy League. I saved up an emergency fund and invested at least 10% of my income early on. Over the years, that helped me create a comfortable retirement lifestyle.
My best advice is to look for less expensive options — perhaps paying in-state tuition at a school that has a great program in what you are interested in. Then take advantage of the alumni network and job placement opportunities from there.

7. Your passion won’t pay the bills.​

Rich celebrities will often tell you that they achieved success by following their passions. But that doesn’t work for everyone.
It’s easier for most of us to earn a living through our strengths than through our passions. Our passions tend to be more creative, and it’s usually harder to earn a high salary in a creative field.
My hobby was photography, but I chose a career in software development because it was what I was good at. The salary difference between those two career paths is drastically different.
Now, as an early retiree, I’m actually able to enjoy and spend more time on my passions.


Nothing he said on this list is bad, but there are caveats for some of them when it comes to our people.

Examples:

1) is not as easy for us to do as it is for someone non-Black. The certainty of being hired after leaving one job for the next is not something we have like a White person does.

2) What he left out in this case are the other aspects of a leg up that can be given that helps one move towards greater wealth. Were they given money to pay for schools instead of being burdened with student loan debt? Were they raised in decent areas with decent schools that helped them to pass entrance exams (SAT & ACT) and acquire scholarships? Were they able to acquire low interest home loans which helps increase your personal wealth and credit rating as you pay them down?

5) Growing up poor as a Black person is different from growing up poor as a White person. Even if the White person is from a poor background, making inroads into society allowing one to rise up out of poverty is an easier path for them if they have any sort of determination. We have to put in a lot more effort, overcome a lot more stereotypes, and work to convince people quite a bit more vigorously to give us a simple chance.

6) Does not works as well for us either. The Alumni network from in-state schools are not going to be as helpful for us as it is for a White person. We will not have the same network opportunities, though it will be more than those who have not gone to college at all.

What he is saying is perfectly fine for his own demographic, but for ours other considerations have to be made. We have to over-come more obstacles than someone like him does on average. Plenty of us do it, so it is possible. It is just that our path to his position is fraught with a bit more obstacles than what he had to surmount.
 

TreySav

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3, 4, 6, and 7 got us in a head lock. 8 should be doing everything you can to avoid debt and avoid wasteful spending
 

Ciggavelli

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I 100% agree with number 1. Companies don’t give a shyt about you. I’ve been laid off before (Covid), my department has been shut down, etc. switching jobs to make more makes sense. I’ve increased my salary by 57% in the last 2 years by switching jobs.
 

BigBlackSea

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My responses to his 7 tips.

1. True. This works more so in corporate America, but I'm speaking anecdotally as an engineer. Still, most companies aren't gonna reward you for loyalty. Why would they? If they know you don't have aspirations to go anywhere else, they're not gonna lift a finger to improve you life.

2.Bullshyt. You gotta have money to make money. Even something as simple as not having to pay off loans puts you ahead. This capitalist society punishes the poor, and rewards the rich.

3.True. You need to get someone who's on your plan. If they're spending money on trinkets, you're gonna lose money. Plus, it'll be easier on your marraige. Money is the maker or breaker of relationships.

4.True. The Gary V and Elon Musk types who talk about grinding 24/7, are they actually doing any grinding? Elon probably looks at a simplified representation of a rocket that 12 senior engineers worked on, and then spend the rest of the day on Twitter. Gary Vee is just the Creflo Dollar of entrepreneur bros. Just makes a bunch of vids of "cool Gen X dude content". I guarantee you, they're getting 8 hours of sleep, and not working weekends.

5. Somewhat true. Growing up poor sets you back significantly. Simply not getting enough nutrition and attention from your parents stunts your growth physically, mentally, and emotionally. Having stress from money issues fukks with all aspects of life. You can claw yourself out of generational poverty, but it takes a lot of energy and willpower, and luck.

6. Somewhat Bullshyt. Seeing a Harvard or MIT or CalTech puts you miles ahead of someone with Central Arkansas College. Name brand has a lot of weight, and plenty of people have gotten their foot in the door off of that. People see an Ivy League and they know you either got the smarts or the connections/money to get in the school and walk out with a degree. That being said, if you have a smaller college and you bust your ass getting internships, a high GPA, and connections, and you can eventually make it to high earning salaries.

7. Somewhat true. You gotta have a day job that pays the bills, but after said bills are paid off, you can develop your passion and get some extra money from it.
 

Doobie Doo

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Nothing he said on this list is bad, but there are caveats for some of them when it comes to our people.

Examples:

1) is not as easy for us to do as it is for someone non-Black. The certainty of being hired after leaving one job for the next is not something we have like a White person does.
This is bullshyt depending on the industry. I know in IT, I and plenty of black tech folks have taken and turned down high paying jobs. Not saying racism doesn't exist or affect the industry but not enough to stay put and risk losing out on money.
 

who_better_than_me

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The partner part is really underrated. Your partner not being on the same financial page as you are when it comes to budgeting and spending can really hurt you. I was kinda already aware of this but didn’t realize how drastic it was until I separated from my fiancée and all of a sudden my financial value started increasing. Couldn’t even afford to get a second car when we were together but soon as we broke up, I got two(paid off quickly) and I was finally able to build up a portfolio. We weren’t doin horrible together but I felt like we had stalled financially and couldn’t move forward/grow and I had communicated these conversations with but to no avail and often to a detriment.
 
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