Katie Donegan has shared how she retired at 35 with nearly £ 1 million in savings, Oyogist.com reports.
Katie Donegan, 35, and husband Alan, 43, are both retired.They split their time between Basingstoke and overseas trips.
“As I looked to my day ahead, I wondered if I should work out or meet a friend. Like any retiree, I had a lot of free time, but unlike most, I didn’t have grandchildren or a bus pass for the elderly – because I stopped working when I was 35.
“I grew up in Uxbridge, where my mom Alison, now 69, was a teacher and my dad Kris, 73, was a market researcher, doing the local big show and always saving my pocket money – I loved watching it grow instead of spending it.
“When I was 18, I went to Oxford University to study mathematics, but I struggled and left the following year. At home I worked as an office administrator for a while, earning £ 9 an hour before I went on a three month volunteer project to Costa Rica in January 2005, where I met Alan.
“We returned to the UK as a couple and I started studying statistics at University College London, where I lived with my parents, eating cheaply and not buying new clothes, as I hated the thought of getting into debt.
“After graduating in 2008, we moved in with Alan’s mum in Hampshire so we could save for a house deposit, while I worked as an actuary earning £28,500 a year. Alan was self-employed on a variable income, teaching businesses how to do presentations.
“We ate packed lunches, drove a second-hand Skoda and invited friends over instead of going for expensive nights out. We saved hard and in November 2010 we had enough to put down a £42,000 deposit on a £167,650 two-bedroom flat in Basingstoke.
We married in July 2013, keeping costs as low as possible by hiring the local community hall, emailing the invites, getting a friend to do the decorations and having a BYO bar.
To many people, a big house and designer clothes signal success, but I have freedom and choice, which feels like the biggest success of all.Katie Donegan