Today I had the opportunity to interview Doug from Drop Out and Retire Early. Doug has had some amazing accomplishments and lives a very interesting life. He retired at 39 after dropping out of high school and is now 46. Well, let’s get right into the interview.
1. TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF, AGE, FAMILY DEMOGRAPHICS, CAREER, INCOME.
Dropped out of school mentally in the 7th grade and got all F’s and like one D and then I physically dropped out at 15 my sophomore year. Got married at 18 and then retired at 39 and now I’m 46 and still married. The family is all in Oregon for the most part. My first job right out of high school was pumping gas then I did warehouse forklift and packing in the warehouse. Then went into truck driving which was nice and easy. I started buying rental houses when I was 22 and I was able to do this because I dropped out so young and was able to buy houses cheap because that was way back when I was 22 and the houses were a lot cheaper back then. Since we’ve bought 6 houses. I never made a huge income maybe 50k a year average. I was just extremely frugal because all of this budget stuff boils down to income and outgo. I focused a 100% harder on the outgo.
2. YOU RETIRED AT 39, HOW WHERE YOU ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS AFTER DROPPING OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL AND NO COLLEGE DEGREE? ALSO, DO YOU THINK THIS IS STILL POSSIBLE TO DO TODAY?
I was able to retire at 39 all because of dropping out. Because when you start earlier everything is cheaper because of inflation. If I would have waited longer the real estate prices would have been far too expensive by then. Also, I raised my kids earlier. I had 3 kids by the age of 22 so diapers were cheaper and everything else. I retired so fast because zero student loans to pay. Basically, my dollars were extremely efficient and extremely productive. I had some credit card debt and a car loan very young because my wife thought that it is ok but I stopped that bull shit by about the age of 28. Going forward into the future some very wealthy people think that with the internet colleges should go bankrupt which is an extremely good thing. Less debt to kids and more training back to the employers which are far more efficient because employers won’t waste their time teaching you crap that you will never ever use the schools constantly do. Schools are extremely inefficient learning at best. Plus I never got a divorce. So I never ever had to split up 50% of my assets or my income. The rental income finally surpassed the outgo. It took a long time and went through hell sticking with the renter’s thing. It can be a stressful pain. People can still do the same thing today but I would go to other states where you can still get a house stupid cheap like 50k.
3. YOU LIVE DEBT FREE, TELL US HOW THAT FEELS AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE?
Well, the car is how it looks to be debt free and it feels amazing to be debt free. Debt influences all of your decisions in life. It feels like this!
4. WHAT WOULD BE THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE IN THEIR 20’s?
The one piece of advice would be Dave Ramsey, Clark Howard, Mr. Money Mustache, Jeff Yeager, and last of course Dropout and Retire Early. Follow all of them and stay the Fuck out of debt! Some people jump off of bridges over debt and 90 percent of all marriages and businesses fail because of debt.
5. DID OR DO YOU MAKE ANY SACRIFICES TO REACH YOUR CURRENT ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Yes, I guess if you call not wasting money on a Starbucks line. But I don’t see anything that we do in America as a sacrifice compared to the rest of the world. But I guess I worked a ton of hours and missed a few birthdays but that’s not like digging a 50-foot trench with a teaspoon in the pouring down rain. Most people set a cap at 40 hours a week like they are entitled to not working more than 40 hours a week like they have to get to the bar after work. I guess I sacrificed by not going to strip clubs like all of my friends did when I was younger.
6. DO YOU FEEL DEPRIVED OF ANYTHING WHILE SAVING SO MUCH?
No, not at all. I actually have a ton of fun in life! I am a master credit card churner/travel hacker. My wife and I go on massive free trips.
7. WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT FINANCIAL GOALS?
I helped my son start a car lot about 8 years ago and that’s doing fine. We take whatever we make from that and use it to start up more and more rental houses because the houses are clean and sober houses and my goals have changed. Now I want to start up 50 clean and sober houses before I’m 80 years old and it will be about eight people per house so that will help 400 people here get better per year. And that’s what really brings me true happiness.
8. ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SHARE TO INSPIRE OTHERS TO BE DIFFERENT?
I think for the average person the most useful is for a person to follow and listen to Dave Ramsey and if they become debt-free and start stacking up the cash then they can help people with the cash like I am. I would like to see more people do what I do.
1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK/ OR BLOG ON FINANCES?
I like Mr. Money Mustache. My best friend says that I have his twin brain. Would be fun to meet him someday. Favorite book, Hmmmmm I’ve read massive bits and pieces of tons of books. I would have to say “Landlording on Autopilot” by Mike Butler. He was a full-time cop and owned and managed 70 rental houses. But none of this information is really useful anymore to me because oxford takes care of all the bull shit from day to day and I don’t have to do evictions anymore. I just make sure that the furnace works and the roof doesn’t leak. Oxford House, in a nutshell, is landlord gravy from heaven.
2. WHAT IS ONE THING THAT YOU CAN’T GIVE UP THAT IS PROBABLY NOT CONSIDERED FRUGAL?
I keep my thermostat high in the winter and cool in the summer. But I cut back in a million other ways. Most people don’t think of that as enough of a fancy luxury. They have you think you must buy lattes or something else. I call that “latteing” your savings away.
3. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LIFE HACK?