Most young people, these days, aspire to save and invest enough money so they can retire early. One such person is Ethan Nguonly, a 22-year-old software engineer at Google, who is aiming for an early retirement with a target of accumulating $5 million (roughly Rs 41 crore) by the age of 35, CNBC reported.
The young techie, living in Orange County, California, credited his parents for teaching him about the importance of investing money in stocks rather than just saving it.
”″[My parents] really explained it to me well, They said, ‘If you leave your money here [in a savings account], over time, it’s going to become worthless,’ and they said that you should really learn to invest it into something,” Mr Nguonly told CNBC Make It.
“When I was younger, the main thing I was thinking about was, ‘All this money keeps getting bigger, keeps growing, and I’m not doing any work for this,’. This really exposed me to the idea that my investments could make me money instead of me actually having to actively work for it,” he added.
His determination to achieve financial freedom led him to complete his computer science degree at the University of California, Berkeley, in just two years, avoiding student debt. He also opted to stay with his family after completing his bachelor’s degree to save money on rent.
He then secured a job at a software company while simultaneously starting his master’s degree in information and data science. He completed the course in August 2022. In the midst of getting his master’s, he also landed a job at Google as a software engineer. He has an annual income of $194,000 (roughly Rs 1.60 crore), inclusive of bonuses and stock units.
At present, he also has close to $135,000 (Rs 1.11 crore) invested across his retirement and other investment accounts, as well as homes in Florida and California. He aims to invest 35% of his take-home pay each year and plans to expand his real estate portfolio in the near future.
Mr. Nguonly bought an investment property in Riverview, Florida at the start of 2022 and about a year later, bought his primary residence in La Palma, California where he lives with his dog.
He doesn’t spend too much money on food because Google provides free breakfast and lunch. Further, he doesn’t believe in splurging on brand-name clothes and prefers to wear simplistic and affordable clothes. While he loves traveling and usually takes three to four trips a year, he sticks to lower-cost options rather than luxury upgrades, such as sharing an Airbnb with a friend.
To reach his $5 million goal, he plans to continue investing in his retirement accounts and adding to his real estate portfolio by buying a new property every couple of years.
Talking about a book that really inspired him on his journey, he said, ”It talks about how you should spend more money on experiences and travel while you’re still young and healthy. This is why I really set out this goal. I don’t want to be 67 years old trying to climb up some mountain, I’d rather do it while I’m still able to fully enjoy these experiences.”