Yep that’s me. My name is Demetrius. I am so glad we connected and I can’t wait to share a few moments with you. I guess first order of business is to give you a little bit about me.
In short, I am a man with an interesting, roller coaster-like financial past looking to turn yesterday’s lessons into tomorrow’s stepping-stones to financial paradise. How’s that for a quick and dirty summary? Need a little more see below.
Hello. I am Demetrius and I had an interesting start.
My financial start is not that peculiar, I guess. I grew up in a single parent family in a lower middle class household where there was varied levels of financial success ranging from personal bankruptcies to business ownership. No millionaires that I can easily identify. No great financial role models to follow for financial success let alone millionaire status.
Out of this beginning and after college, I had the chance of a lifetime and blew it. After graduating college I landed a great job at a Fortune 500 company with a small amount of college debt ($~12,000). At the time, I was in a relationship and headed to marriage and the “American Dream”. Fast forward 9 years and my financial profile looked a little different:
- Stocked full of debt including credit cards, student loans (now over $65,000), a mortgage, etc.
- Low amounts of invested assets mostly in a 401k ($20,000)
- No cash and no other assets to speak of
Now I know what you are thinking: divorce! Yes, that happened and financial arguments were part of it like many marriages in the US. Divorce did affect my finances for sure. However, my divorce is a minor character in this story as the trouble started well before my marriage and continued well after my divorce. More on that in a future post.
Hello. I am Demetrius and I have a plan!
A few years back in 2014 I decided to look into my net worth. I read an article about the average net worth of individuals my age (then 37) and I was curious to see how I stacked up. I pulled all my numbers together and put them in a simple spreadsheet to calculate my net worth. The result made my heart hurt. -$109,000!! I thought it was an error in my formula. Clearly I had the numbers backwards….right?!?
From that point on, I decided to do better and be better. Every decision was a little better such as paying off small high interest loans to lower the interest paid per month and not taking on new debts. I allocated more to my 401k to drive up my assets and lower my taxes. The actions I was taking were working. My net worth progress since then is very positive and I am proud of it for sure.
The only thing missing was a plan. Where was I headed? What was my end goal? I stumbled through plan after plan trying to figure out the answers to these questions. Some of the plans were killed in discussions with my wife (I remarried in 2012). Some of the plans were just so aggressive that they were not sustainable. Then it hit me. None of the plans had an emotional reason for me to complete them. The plans mostly centered on a number to reach by retirement at 65. How drab! There is nothing motivational about retiring “on time” regardless the number you achieve.
I sat down over a few weeks, looked at my current assets, my liabilities, my income, etc., and started to project towards my new goal: retire comfortably at 55 years old! Now that is something emotional to get me motivated.
My Financial Plan is to retire when
- Both of my kids (now age 15 & 17) are out of college and off on their own
- I am physically able to enjoy activities like travelling the world and running after grandchildren
- My mind and body are still fresh to help my community
I am so excited about Riding in Style with millions in my account into a fun and exciting retirement. I cannot wait to share more details, tips I found along the way and my progress to this glorious future.