How this couple retired in their 30s to travel the world

first_imgby: Laura ShinJeremy graduated from college on a Friday, started working on cell phone design at Motorola on a Monday and worked 80 hours a week for the next four or five years. What fueled his work ethic was $40,000 in debt — $35,000 from student loans and $5,000 in credit card debt for food and other essentials.But his desire to keep up with his peers led him, on his $40,000 salary, to buy a new car and a three-bedroom house, which turned his previous bike ride to work into a 40-minute commute. The added debt got him to focus on his finances, so he began making models of how he could pay it off, mapped out his trajectory to retirement at 65 and began investing. He then used credit card checks charging 0% interest for 12 months to pay big chunks of his mortgage, his student loan and car loan.When he started working at Microsoft and moved from Chicago to Seattle, getting a salary bump up to $85,000, he made many of the same decisions (which he now calls mistakes) again: buying a house, having a long commute, and not taking a vacation. Three years in, a girlfriend convinced him to take his first real, multi-week vacation — to the Philippines. He spent the first week thinking about work, checking email. But the scuba diving, mangoes and and tropical drinks began to have an effect, and by the third week, he was wondering how he could live like this every day.He sold his house, began renting close to work and biking to the office. With his costs slashed, he was able to save. At a conference in Beijing, he met his future wife, Winnie, who is from Taiwan and had been saving 50% of her salary in order to travel. Now, Jeremy, 40, and Winnie, 36, are financially independent, travel the world and blog about their envious lifestyle on (The site is named for their rallying cry derived from their favorite snack on their honeymoon hiking Mt. Rainier in Washington, during which they endured bone-soaking rain and encountered mosquitoes as big as bats.)Here’s the story of how they saved enough to retire in their 30s — Jeremy at 38 and Winnie at 33 — and how they’ve been spending their money and time since. continue reading » 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

The power of one employee

first_img 16SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr My colleague relayed an experience she had with a pizza delivery driver who gave her dog a dog biscuit when her husband opened the door. Her family has had pizza delivered from the same place many times in the past and nobody has ever brought a treat for the dog. In fact, nobody delivering food from any restaurant has ever brought a treat for her dog. She was pleasantly surprised and called it a wow factor.Based on previous history with that pizza place, this isn’t a company-wide branding idea. It’s one employee who chooses to live the brand in a simply, yet extraordinary way. It’s an example of how one employee can make your brand that much more powerful.Now let’s look at the flip side – that one employee who refuses to live the brand. How much power do you think he or she has over the brand? Research from McClean & Company indicates an employee disengaged with your credit union’s brand, costs a minimum of $10,000 a year in lost customers/members, lack of productivity, extra training and other factors. That’s a lot of negative energy being pumped into your brand from only one person.How can you ensure that every employee is igniting your brand in a positive way? continue reading »last_img read more