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While most of us spend the majority of our 20s plummeting further and further into debt, one man managed to retire at the youthful age of just 24 - having amassed an impressive £578,132 (CAD $1m/US $760,000).
Mike Rosehart, a former IT business analyst, saved aggressively and lived frugally over the course of his very short working life, and bought his first home when he was just 19.
Now 27, Mike enjoys a life of leisure with his wife Alyse, 28, and their two children, three-year-old Emma and six-month-old Arielle - a dream that Mike says is totally achievable with a little financial guidance, and has even taken in three mentees to teach them his savvy ways.
Mike said: "The secret to retiring early is: spend less, earn more and maximize the returns on the difference.
"The hard part is executing it.
"Most of us can't resist the Starbucks, the trip abroad or the new cellphone.
"Delayed gratification is the secret to FIRE [Financial Independence and Retire Early]."
Mike first came across the pretty appealing idea of retiring early when studying at the Ivey Business School in Ontario, Canada, in 2010.
He also sought inspiration from a book by Danish astrophysicist Jacob Lund Fisker, which was about becoming financially independent on a median salary.
"His thesis was that anyone can retire in five years," Mike explained.
"I thought: 'Hey, I'm 17, I'm young and eager'.
"I realised that what makes you happy is freedom and the ability to do what you want in your life."
Throughout university, Mike - from London in Ontario, Canada, worked full time while also studying.
He said: "I grew up really poor with a single mother on the poverty line so I didn't have family money to rely on.
"I got scholarships to go to college.
"When I first started going after FIRE, I was working at Tim Hortons, earning slightly above minimum wage.
"I got a better job the following summer at border services.I saved aggressively.
"In my second year of university, I rented a bedroom for US $262 (CAD $299) when the market rent would have been US $415 [CAD $550].
"It was 7ft by 8.5ft but it was perfect for me. I just needed a place to sleep."
Mike then got a 'tiny apartment' with his girlfriend for just US $455 (CAD $600) a month, and even shared internet with their neighbours.
He also found a bike someone was giving away online and cycled everywhere.
Eventually, at 19, Mike was ready to buy a US $152,000 [CAD $200,000] cottage with Alyse - the cheapest house they could find in London.
Mike said: "We put down US $29,600 (CAD $39,000) - half of that was money we had saved and half of it was our student line of credit.
"We rented every room in it and so it was earning money for us.
"We had four other roommates.The guy in our basement apartment was paying our mortgage.
"We graduated debt-free and with money in the bank."
When the couple got married in 2014, they splashed out a modest US $3,800 (CAD $5,000), and used the points on Mike's credit card for their honeymoon in Brazil.
After college, Mike took a US $42,000-a-year (CAD $55,000) job in consulting, while Alise was making US $26,500-a-year (CAD $35,000) in graphic design.
He convinced the bank to lend him 80 percent of a house price, and did a property up.
Living off Alyse's salary and saving Mike's, they were able to buy 10 properties in three years.
Finally, in Feburary 2017 Mike handed in his notice and Alyse also retired later that year.
After selling 11 properties, Mike knew he had hit his 'FIRE number', which is 25 times his yearly living expenses.
Mike said: "I knew I needed US $485,000 (CAD $640,000 CAD) to retire and I had, in equity of my property, just under US $760,000 (CAD $1m).
"I went into my boss's office and he told me that my job would be there when I came back in six months time.
"He thought I was having a quarter-life crisis."
Mike said his family still live a good life and their monthly outgoings are around US $2,300 (CAD $3,000 CAD) a month.
He continued: "We're going to Florida at the end of January and we went to Brazil on holiday.
"I like to find frugal holidays if we can.
"There was a deal on flights so I got tickets from Canada to Florida for $52 [69 CAD] a person.
"We are going to Disney and we'll see people who spent $7,600 [10,000 CAD] on their holiday but because I look for deals, our holiday will cost around $1,350 [1,800 CAD]."
Mike now teaches others how to achieve FIRE on his YouTube channel, named Mike Rosehart, and he has also established his own mentorship programme.
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