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Here's What an IT Professional who Retired at the age of 35 Has to say About Financial Security

“Financial security is not an income amount. To me, financial security is a time amount," says Adcock.
Cover Image Source: Steve Adcock | Twitter (X)|@SteveOnSpeed
Cover Image Source: Steve Adcock | Twitter (X)|@SteveOnSpeed

At a time when prices are rising while wages aren't increasing at the same pace and finding a job is difficult amidst layoffs, financial security is more important than ever. In this era, a lot of young people are asking how much money is enough to feel secure. There are no fixed answers to these questions as everyone has different personal and financial goals. Steve Adcock, a former IT professional who decided to retire at the age of 35, has some distinct views on the subject.

Steve Adcock tells CNBC Make It, “Financial security is not an income amount. To me, financial security is a time amount." Adcock further shares that at 35 years of age, in 2016, he retired from the corporate industry with around $900,000 in savings, and he felt the most financially secure. It wasn't just about hitting a specific money goal; it was about having the freedom to live life on his terms. He and his wife spent three years traveling in an Airstream RV without needing to work. He shares his experience, saying, "We were certainly living small. We were spending a lot less than we are now. That was really the first time where I felt financially secure, meaning we don’t have to work for the rest of our lives."

While earning a hefty paycheck helps, it isn't the solution as many who make that much are also spending 80% of it. Adcock shared that he and his wife together saved about 70% of their $220,000 income by investing wisely. Adcock refers to financial security as a sense of freedom that helps him pursue his passions and interests without worrying about cash. He now earns a good amount from his website and other freelancing projects.

Steve Adcock proudly shares his extraordinary journey and mentions pitfalls that the younger generation can avoid while planning to retire early. He shares his struggle with savings and says, “I’d say our savings rate was borderline extreme. But I hated what I did. I wanted out as fast as possible." He adds, “Once you get into the years where you can live for a year, then five years, then 10 years — that’s where the magic happens."

Most finance experts ask you to focus on having an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses. Adcock, on the other hand, believes true security comes when you can live off your savings for years. He further explains, “I would use the term retired loosely at this point. I wouldn’t say that we’re necessarily traditionally retired, but we are absolutely financially independent. We’re absolutely financially secure. We don’t have to do any of these things. But it’s nice to be able to do the things that just seem or sound interesting and see how they work." For some, the end goal might be early retirement but for Adcock, it's all about having the flexibility to work on his own terms and explore new opportunities without facing any financial stress.