A 27-year-old who says he saves more than 80% of his income and is on track to retire early shares the savings and investing strategies he uses

A 27-year-old who says he saves more than 80% of his income and is on track to retire early shares the savings and investing strategies he uses

Avery Heilbron, 27, lives in Durham, North Carolina. This story is available exclusively to Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now.

Avery Heilbron started saving for a down payment after graduating from college in 2018.

In addition to his salary from his day job, he earns passive income from his real estate properties.

He also works various side hustles, which allows him to save the majority of his income.

After graduating college in 2018 and starting a job in Boston, Avery Heilbron found himself with more free time than he was used to.

“As a student-athlete in school, I felt like basically every hour of the day other than sleeping was put towards doing something,” Heilbron, who played soccer at Colby College in Maine, told Insider. “I didn’t feel the same way once I started at my job.”

He was working full-time as a data analyst at an insurance company, but found himself with unstructured time before and after his work day. To fill the hours, he started reading about a topic that had always interested him: personal finance.

He tore through books like ” Set for Life ” by Scott Trench and ” Retire on Real Estate ” by Kai Anderson. It was Anderson’s guide that nudged him in the direction of owning property, he said. “That book opened me up to the idea of using real estate as an investment and retirement vehicle.”

Today, the 27-year-old owns three properties: two in Boston and one in Durham, North Carolina, where he currently lives. Insider looked at mortgage documents that verified this information. Heilbron played soccer at Colby College in Maine. In addition to his salary from his data analyst job and the rental income that he brings in, he earns money from social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok and his personal coaching business. In 2021, he grossed $115,000 from his various side hustles, which he breaks down in one of his YouTube videos .

“Theoretically, with the investments I have, I have hit financial freedom. I could stop working,” said Heilbron, who says he saves and invests more than 80% of his income. But the “FIRE” (financial independence, retire early) lifestyle doesn’t appeal to him as much as the “FIRO” (financial independence, retire optional) one does.

“I want to get out of the corporate gig but as soon as I do that, it becomes, ‘What’s the next thing? What projects am I going to be doing?’ Because I can’t just sit around all day,” he said.

Here’s how Heilbron saved up to invest in real estate at age 24 and the strategies he’s used to become financially independent before 30. Saving up to buy his first property in Boston and house hacking to live for free in his own home

After graduating in May 2018, Heilbron moved into an apartment in Boston with two roommates and paid $1,100 a month.

His goal was to buy a place as soon as possible, but he didn’t have enough savings to do so immediately — nor did he have a strong credit history. “I didn’t even realize I needed credit,” said Heilbron, who got his first credit card a couple of months after graduating. “So when I was first looking with my agent, I wasn’t allowed to have a pre-approval yet because I had no credit score.”

Even though he didn’t have the funds to actually make any offers, he was learning the ins and outs of the Boston market and better understanding the buying process by attending real estate networking events, which are frequently held in most major cities, he said.

All the while, he was setting aside as much of his paycheck as possible. He had a bit of a head start on savings from money he had earned through internships and working on campus in college. Plus, he received a signing bonus from his company, he said.

In early 2019, an agent he’d met at a networking event gave him a heads up on a duplex about to go back on the market after a cash offer fell through. He asked Heilbron if he wanted it before he listed it again. Heilbron, 24 at the time, jumped on the offer and closed in March 2019. Heilbron did most of the renovations in his first home himself. He financed the $525,000 property with an FHA loan and put 3.5% down, or about $18,000.

“It smelled pretty bad. There was mouse feces everywhere,” he recalled of his first property, which was located a couple of miles […]

source A 27-year-old who says he saves more than 80% of his income and is on track to retire early shares the savings and investing strategies he uses

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