Flight attendant retires early with £521k in savings
Bianca DiValerio, 37, has saved the equivalent of around £521,000 and is now able to retire early.
Despite this, the flight attendant still chooses to work but is glad she has become financially independent.
This was done by Ms DiValerio joining FIRE, a financial movement of people who are determined to retire early by making bigger savings contributions and cutting costs.
Speaking to MarketWatch, the flight attendant spoke about why becoming financially independent and having the option of an early retirement appealed to her.
She explained: “I think the retire early part is a bit of a misnomer. I don’t know many people that have quit their jobs and are doing absolutely nothing.
“In general, most (FIRE) people are doing at least some kind of side work or passion project.”
Buying her first place at 24, Ms DiValerio quickly picked up a love of real easter but during the 2007-08 market crash she lost three properties and short sales within two years.
At 34, she made her last short sale and had to come up with a new financial plan for herself going forward as those properties were what she planned to live her retirement on.
This led to Ms DiValerio finding her local FIRE community which encouraged her to take better control over her finances.
In order to achieve financial independence, the flight attendant chose to adopt the popular “four percent” rule.
Experts recommended that retirees only withdraw four percent from their pension funds each year in order to make their pot last.
Ms DiValerio added: “The stock market on average is going to be seven percent a year. That’s what they calculate.
“But if you’re pulling four percent out, you are leaving the other three percent in for inflation and your money is going to keep growing.”
In 2014, she rebounded by buying a property outright. This meant that she had no housing expenses with costs coming to only $300 (£240.61) for taxes and assessments.
Without having to pay a mortgage or rent payments, Ms DiValerio was able to adopt the frugal lifestyle of FIRE more easily into her lift.
Her overall early retirement fund comes to $650,000 (£521,326) but she still continues to work despite this due to having concerns over healthcare.
She said: “Being FIRE isn’t an easy thing to do. You have to say no to a lot of things. It’s about delaying gratification and we’re not in a society that delays gratification anymore.
“Everyone wants instant gratification. Well, I’m okay with delaying it but I can’t predict the future. But, what I do know is I’m in a better financial situation than most Americans.”
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