Kristy Shen grew up in rural China with her family, where they lived on less than 1$ a day. At the age of 7, she immigrated to Canada with her family. In her recently published book “Quit Like a Millionaire” she chronicles her journey to financial freedom and gives readers an interesting insight into her life story and provides practical wisdom on how to strategize your career, saving and investments for early retirement.
For a young Kristy, a can of Coca-Cola was an incredibly precious gift. So precious, that she refused to throw away the empty can of her first Coca-Cola when her father gave it to her on their first day in Canada. For Kristy, Coca-Cola was a symbol of rich kids from the West that she would see on advertisements when she was in China. This first can of Coca-Cola she received was also the first time in which she felt ‘rich’.
Her restrictions with financial security early in life engrained in her an ability to value money and developed her capacity to be an effective saver. Despite obtaining high paying jobs, Kristy and her husband Leung chose to live modestly and cut their expenses around transportation, food and housing. They stopped eating out, used public transport and carpooled to work. They also moved to the outskirts of town to decrease their cost of rent. Instead of a traditional route of buying a house, they directed their savings into an investment portfolio that focused on index funds. Through a combination of saving and a well-balanced investment portfolio, they were able to quit their jobs as millionaires at the ages of 31 and 32. They go into more detail about how they achieved it in the previously mentioned book – “Quit Like a Millionaire”. The book covers practical advice about tax, housing, investing, risk management and saving. This information is applicable to anyone working towards financial independence and early retirement.
Since retiring, they now spend most of their time travelling and teaching others about how to replicate their success in their Millennial Revolution blog. They believe that if you understand money, life becomes incredibly easy. Like the majority of people nowadays, Kristy didn’t understand money when she started her journey towards financial freedom. Through perseverance, she learnt about financial education in a series of simple lessons. Kirsty and her husband now share these insights with others.
Kristy Shen didn’t inherit her wealth. In fact, she came from a place of extreme limitation early in life. What is revealed in her story is that with resilience, the right education, hard work and perseverance you can achieve financial freedom. Money can become a tool for freedom instead of a reason to stress about life.
Since retiring and achieving financial freedom, Kristy now dedicates most of her time towards her passion for creative writing. In one of her interviews, she was asked if she would ever return to one of her old jobs. To which Kristy amusingly replied: “I don’t think I would be very useful as an employee anymore. I have become too open-minded to obediently follow instructions. Once you’ve been out of the matrix, you can’t go back into the matrix. You’ve already seen too much.”
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