How I retired from corporate bondage at 46, two years ago!

Published: December 25, 2022 at 6:00 am

In this edition of the reader story, here is a short account of a person who achieved financial independence and quit his corporate job by age 46. For the last two years, he has been enjoying his FIRE status and working on select assignments.

About this series: I am grateful to readers for sharing intimate details about their financial lives for the benefit of readers. Some of the previous editions are linked at the bottom of this article. You can also access the full reader story archive.

Opinions published in reader stories need not represent the views of freefincal or its editors. We must appreciate multiple solutions to the money management puzzle and empathise with diverse views. Articles are typically not checked for grammar unless necessary to convey the right meaning to preserve the tone and emotions of the writers.

If you would like to contribute to the DIY community in this manner, send your audits to freefincal AT Gmail dot com. They can be published anonymously if you so desire.

Please note: We welcome such articles from young earners who have just started investing. See, for example, this piece by a 29-year-old: How I track financial goals without worrying about returns. We have also started a new “mutual fund success stories” series. This is the first edition: How mutual funds helped me reach financial independence.


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FIRE Realization: I have worked full-time in the corporate world for over two decades (a significant portion abroad). I figured out many years ago that just earning money and compromising on other niceties of life does not make me happy. After all, the compromise in this process has been TIME. I decided that I would come up with a realistic Money goal, achieve it, semi-retire, spend more time with family and do things that I am passionate about without having to worry about making more money.

How I achieved it: Saving one-third of my income; investing this money in India. I initially invested in real estate and later diversified into equities and fixed income. I originally had a higher percentage of my financial assets in equity and gradually started reducing this percentage and increasing my fixed income portion. I have been ambitious but never greedy. Contentment is an important part of this process.

What I do now: I constantly monitor my wealth like a fund manager, actively manage my portfolio, and ensure that I stick to my pre-determined asset allocation plan. I also try to manage cash flow in a tax-efficient way. I monitor my monthly expenses and have a pulse on my spending trend. In my spare time, I advise start-ups and do freelance consulting and adjunct faculty work. I spend significant time around music since it is my passion. I have started learning to play a new musical instrument to keep my brain active.

I used to work very hard for large corporates, and now many corporate leaders are working hard for me 🙂

Reader stories published earlier

As regular readers may know, we publish a personal financial audit each December – this is the 2020 edition: How my retirement portfolio performed in 2020. We asked regular readers to share how they review their investments and track financial goals.

These published audits have had a compounding effect on readers. If you would like to contribute to the DIY community in this manner, send your audits to freefincal AT Gmail. They could be published anonymously if you so desire.

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About The Author

Pattabiraman editor freefincalDr M. Pattabiraman(PhD) is the founder, managing editor and primary author of freefincal. He is an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He has over nine years of experience publishing news analysis, research and financial product development. Connect with him via Twitter or Linkedin or YouTube. Pattabiraman has co-authored three print books: (1) You can be rich too with goal-based investing (CNBC TV18) for DIY investors. (2) Gamechanger for young earners. (3) Chinchu Gets a Superpower! for kids. He has also written seven other free e-books on various money management topics. He is a patron and co-founder of “Fee-only India,” an organisation for promoting unbiased, commission-free investment advice.
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Our new book for kids: “Chinchu gets a superpower!” is now available!
Both boy and girl version covers of Chinchu gets a superpower
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Most investor problems can be traced to a lack of informed decision-making. We have all made bad decisions and money mistakes when we started earning and spent years undoing these mistakes. Why should our children go through the same pain? What is this book about? As parents, what would it be if we had to groom one ability in our children that is key not only to money management and investing but to any aspect of life? My answer: Sound Decision Making. So in this book, we meet Chinchu, who is about to turn 10. What he wants for his birthday and how his parents plan for it and teach him several key ideas of decision making and money management is the narrative. What readers say!
Feedback from a young reader after reading Chinchu gets a Superpower (small version)
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Must-read book even for adults! This is something that every parent should teach their kids right from their young age. The importance of money management and decision making based on their wants and needs. Very nicely written in simple terms. - Arun.
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