To retire early with a good amount of wealth, you need to plan your financial journey well in advance. You have to manage your income, expenses, and investing all at the same time.
In this interview post, you’ll know about Shang, who is the founder of Save My Cents.
Shang achieved FIRE (financial independence, retire early) at the age of just 31. She has multiple streams of income and became a millionaire when she was in her early 30s.
This interview is divided into 3 phases. First, we’ll discuss about Shang’s past and move towards her way of living in the present. Later, we’ll discuss how she’s planning her future life.
The questions are highlighted in bold and Shang’s responses are in black.
Please tell us about your educational background. What courses did you take to sharpen your financial knowledge?
My undergraduate degree was in economics at Harvard. I received an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of business.
I don’t think most of the courses I took were key to sharpening my financial knowledge, but having a degree in economics made me more aware of market forces.
I credit my father’s insistence on teaching me personal finance in being key to helping me develop a curiosity for personal finance at a young age.
Which things made you worried in your past?
In the past I worried a lot that I wouldn’t be the best, that I would not be successful, and that I would be alone. I learned over time that the only way to grow is to do scary things, and so I started doing that.
What money mistakes did you make that our audience can learn from?
I have a whole life insurance policy that I didn’t really know how it worked when I was first sold it. I know it better now, but I would tell anyone, if you don’t understand something, don’t buy it, even if other people are doing it.
Describe your current lifestyle. Are you the one who loves frugality or you believe in luxury?
I believe in loving life here and now, no matter what.
Luxury does not always mean quality. I want my purchases to align with my life values, and right now I have everything I need and I don’t lust after luxury items. I want my money to do good.
What are your main streams of income? How do you adjust your time in managing all your hustles and family?
Both my husband and I work, and we have most of our net worth invested in the stock market which grows over time. I try to be very mindful of how I spend my time and I’m often prioritizing / deprioritizing what does not matter.
Tell us about your financial journey and your net worth target. How did you eliminate your debt (if you had any)?
I thankfully did not take on any student loan debt, so I began saving and investing with my first paycheck.
I started contributing to my 401(k) while also building up an emergency fund. I have already reached my target net worth (it’s in the 7 figures).
Tell us about your retirement plans and how you’re planning to achieve that?
I have enough to retire today, but I enjoy working and I believe in doing purposeful work, and that is why I still work.
If I were to retire before the age of 59.5, I’d withdraw from my brokerage accounts while also doing Roth conversions of my tax-deferred retirement accounts, to access them early without the early withdrawal penalty.
What are your favorite financial books or podcasts that you would like to recommend to our readers?
The Millionaire Next Door embodies the attitude I have towards personal finance and wealth, and I also love recommending Broke Millennial Takes on Investing. For podcast, follow Journey to Launch.
Your one piece of financial advice to:
- Millennials: Get rid of all non-mortgage debt, and start focusing on investing to grow your wealth.
- Those struggling with debt: You will pay off your debt, it won’t be forever.
- Those looking to grow their wealth: Believe that wealth is for you. Investing is not only for the rich. It’s a way to get rich.
That was some amazing life story of Shang.
With her blog, SaveMyCents, she teaches how to retire early and get out of debt. She lives in New York with her husband and family. Shang believes in sharing her financial knowledge to change people’s lives in a better way. To connect with her, follow her on Instagram.
Let us know in the comments, how much you are able to relate yourself with Shang’s story.