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Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck, or Trust Fund Required

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,446 ratings  ·  324 reviews
From two leaders of the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, a bold, contrarian guide to retiring at any age, with a reproducible formula to financial independence

A bull***t-free guide to growing your wealth, retiring early, and living life on your own terms

Kristy Shen retired with a million dollars at the age of thirty-one, and she did it without hitt
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 9th 2019 by Tarcherperigee (first published 2019)
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Faeez 1. Choose the right vocation, not what your heart tells you, but what pays the bills. (eg. be Software engg vs writer).
2. Annual Expenses x 25 = Savin…more
1. Choose the right vocation, not what your heart tells you, but what pays the bills. (eg. be Software engg vs writer).
2. Annual Expenses x 25 = Savings you need to retire (assuming the 4% rule will work for you)
3. 4% rule says there is a 95% chance that your money will last for 30 years after you retire.
4. The first five years in retirement are crucial (sequence of returns). You don't want to lock in your losses in the first five years if the stock market tanks.
5. So if the stock market tanks right after you retire what do you do. Have a Safety Cushion (cash stashed away - emergency fund) and a Yield Shield. ie. have your portfolio generate dividends and instead of reinvesting those, you cash them out in the down years.
6. Cash harvesting ie. selling your stock (ETF) - good section on how to do it. Sell only that much for which you know there will be no tax. for eg. under $78K income won't be taxed (assuming your paychecks have stopped and you have no other income). So if your portfolio has grown with an unrealized P&L of say $100K, you could sell stock worth $78K and still pay no taxes.
7. You can withdraw money from 401K before 59 and half years without paying a 10% penalty using a technique called "Roth conversion ladder". Chapter 13 has a section that explains how that works. Its a bit of a hack though.
8. Investments in your tax-deferred (401K) account and tax-sheltered (Roth IRA) grow tax-free. Also, you don't report when you sell in these accounts.
9. Geographic arbitrage - earn money in a strong currency (USD) and travel and spend in weak currency (live and vacation in cheap countries like India, Thailand, etc)
10. House is the biggest expense. The govt screws you with a wealth tax disguised in the form of property tax. If possible don't lock your investment in your primary residence. Always good to own real estate and earn rent.(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first thought was: "Another FIRE book? Is there anything new to say?"
Apparently there is. I absolutely loved the book.
Here a short pro and con List:

- Very US and Canada centered, even though not as much as other books. Only a few pages though.
- No "How To" for Newbies. This is more like a refinement for People who know how to invest a bit

+ Very personal book of Kristys Journey with a lot of wisdom to take with me
+ New Content that absolutely adds new dimensions to the Investment p
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars - Well damn. I was just trying to do some reading to figure out how to optimize my retirement strategy so that I could retire at 50. Now I'm thinking I could retire way sooner? This was excellent informative non-fiction, and I really loved how Shen incorporated her personal story to drive home how you can come from literally nothing, be super risk adverse, and still accelerate your road to financial independence. ...more
Valerie Brett
I can’t rate this book because I fundamentally disagree with its premise (capitalism). If you agree with capitalism, this book is full of great advice on how to legally not pay taxes, scrimp and save, pick a job you might hate because it’ll make you the most money, etc etc etc. This woman is a psycho I would not want to be friends with & her life sounds miserable. Is it worth it to have a miserable first 31 years and then a good rest of your life? She doesn’t acknowledge the luck of making it th ...more
Luis Machado
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Refreshingly mathematical, cheerfully approachable

This book is a wonderful memoir; a love letter to financial independence and an acknowledgement that we sacrifice for rewards worth having.

If you value your time and ability to chose how to spend it, read this book. You can read it slowly and take notes, or quickly and enjoy the experience. Either way, it gives a refreshing take on life, the pursuit of happiness and the value of money.

I recommend this book to anyone smart enough to have ever won
Shannon A
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book got me thinking about my Roth IRAs, my 401k and my savings/investments differently. Indexes? Who knew? Did you know that traveling the world actually can cost less than staying in one place (or home) for a year? Wow. This book will have you re-thinking how you think about money; and while I don’t think I’ll actually become a millionaire; I do know that this book has caused me to consider making an appointment ASAP to speak with my financial advisor and start asking more questions.
Another book on FIRE. While the title is correct that you don't need a trust fund, it does require you to have a six figure income so you can invest 60-70% of your income per year. That is not realistic for the average American. ...more
Nomads With a Vision
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book by Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution! I attended a Chautauqua with them in Ecuador in 2017 and will always remember Kristy's kindness. At the meeting, we went down a mile-or-two-long trail that dropped about 2000 feet to a river. On the hike back up to the top, I was left in the dust by the very fit FIRE crowd. As I puffed along up the jungle path as night was falling, I began to wonder if anyone even remembered that I came along for the hike. As things were looking gr ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 — Was not a big fan of parts of this book, since I’m not an “optimizer” as the author writes. The word “retirement” was also liberally misused, instead of “financial independence” which is more accurate. She did not “retire” at the age of 31, since she’s now writing books (her true passion). She simply became financially independent. Did she really hate her engineering job THAT much?...

Arnold Schwarzenegger used a similar strategy of investing into real estate, thereby becoming a millionaire
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Reading the book, I felt like I spent a weekend just hanging out with the authors. The book is written in a way, where it feels like one of your friends just spilling all the secrets of FIRE to you. They share everything they learned along the way, and don’t hesitate to tell you why something is complete BS or why it works well. All in a way that you don’t feel they’re trying to persuade you into something. It's just an honest and frank discussion about how they’ve achieved FIRE.

Although they i
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been following the Millennial Revolution blog since it was featured by CBC and thought that I knew a lot. And then I read this book. The book is in 3 parts; poverty (lessons learned) - middle-class (with useful tax and finance tips) - financial independence (with life-stage appropriate tips like nomad health insurance). I spent most of my reading time in the second part. None of the ideas presented are ground-breaking, but I have never seen tax strategies presented so clearly! Well done, ...more
Dec 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal-finance
I’ve developed an interest in FIRE lately and this is the first actual book I’ve read on the subject. Decent overview, deeply annoying introduction, not a ton of info that I hadn’t already found elsewhere, but packaged pretty well into a readable and consumable format.
Siddharth Prabhu
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got to know about Millennial Revolution when I found their blog online and I really loved the way they broke down complex investing terms and making it really easy to follow and invest in the stock market. I was very excited when I found that they had a book coming out and it did not disappoint. Kristy really takes you through the journey she and Bryce went through to becoming financially independent at the young age of 31! and explains the steps she took to achieve her goals. While the financ ...more
Apr 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
There are quite a few bad things my generation says about Millenials, but FIRE concept is something some of us secretly envy them and wish we figured it out ourselves. 


1. Good background story and skillful presentation of clash among two different cultures (including financial culture) - East and West. 

2. Excellent description of entitlement mindset and consumption needs in the West. Also, very pragmatic (too bad, so rare) point of view on the career choice. 

3. Book is directed to Millenial
Kayla Wiens
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been a longtime fan of Kristy’s blog, and was so excited for the release of her new book. I have always consulted her blog for answers to specific investing questions. Now, in “Quit like a Millionaire”, readers have a comprehensive guide to FIRE that goes into the detail necessary to execute a solid plan. It is a perfect answer to all the detractors of FIRE! I feel so much more confident in my own plan, having read this book. Kristy’s story is inspiring, yet she explains FI in such a way ...more
Canadian-centric, would recommend even just to better understand finances/saving.

“A great book should expand your horizons, not just confirm your biases.”

“At the end of the day, it isn’t about money, it’s about time-and how to use it wisely to live the best life possible.”
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of interesting math in here for sure but no magic bullet. Be ready to sell your house and live in Airbnb’s in cheap foreign countries forever.
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
So the first five chapters are just about one privileged woman who was raised in Toronto with a PhD educated father complaining about life. You end up throwing up a little in your mouth when someone who was raised in the west talks about how hard life was under Mao in China. Someone definitely needed to check their privilege along with their net worth on Mint.

The rest is pretty good though. She has studied the tax code well and identified strategies to delay paying taxes. She definitely shows t
Matt Stewart
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best FIRE book I have read, and I have read quite a few. Very factual, inspiring, and to the point. Definitely worth a read, regardless of how far through your FIRE journey you are. I will likely read this one again over the next few years
Sammie Varghese
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super impressed. A very comprehensive book with an awesome story!
Erica Clou
She has some good points and ideas (though she seems to willfully ignore Dave Ramsey's existence) and I'll definitely raise this one more star if I manage to implement her investing concepts. We are committed to living in our house until the kids (and probably after) are out of school and I'm not even sure how much of what she talks about applies in that very common situation. ...more
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: retirement, business
Another in the recent crop of books on young people saving enough money to reach financial independence and retire early. I’ve read quite a few of these books, and many, if not most, tend to the how-to, with some personal details of the journey to provide insight into the unique ways that the author pulled off their financial feat. This was very similar to most of the others, with some distinct differences that really set it apart. First, the author begins her story in her youth, as a very poor ...more
Jason Braatz
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read, fun-reads
There's a reason why this is getting such high reviews - it's simply well written and is packed full of advice that I haven't seen in other books on personal finance. It's a must-read!

I'm yes, one of those personal finance book nerds who have read every book out there from the older but standard texts in the category ( Rich Dad, Poor Dad and The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime! ), the *much older* books ( like One Up On Wall Street: How to Use What You
Adam Thiele
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So this is definitely not a typical finance book.

I was really looking forward to this book and it didn't disappoint. Kristy Shen takes you on her journey from poverty in China, immigration with her family with college and work that led to her saving and investing to become a millionaire, start a blog on early retirement at and retire at age 31, in a way that is simple to understand and more importantly, copy for yourself!

Along the way the book covers topics such as
Natalie K
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best personal finance book I have EVER read. If you look at my "finance" shelf here on Goodreads, you can see that I pretty much hate all personal finance books I read. (Sad but true!) This one is the exception. I have a graduate degree in finance, I'm working on another graduate degree (in accounting), I read a lot about personal finance in general, and I STILL learned a ton by reading this.

My favorite part was Kristy actually references specific funds to invest in. So many books s
Sarina M
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, self-help
4.5 This was actually really good and had a lot of information and suggestions for investing.

I opened the book out of curiosity expecting not to finish it and likely even hate it (basically assumed it was The Secret but for finance, or would promote materialistic views, or would be super patronizing). It wasn’t like that at all. Shen is very logical and reasonable, and spent years thinking about and becoming an expert in finance. There were a lot of concepts I knew already but never thought abo
Mianu Kanazawa
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Her story and the way of thinking really resonated with my own as well. I think she has very similar way of processing things in brain, so the layout of the book was perfect for me to follow the step-by-step process of retiring early. I made calculations on my own and it looks like to me retiring early for me possible! I loved the feeling of knowing what I have learned about accounting and finance are finally coming together to be utilized for something meaningful in life. Now, I just have to ex ...more
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
This a wonderfully quick read. I picked up this book at my local bookstore (AKA my roommate's book collection) and started reading this amidst my time in quarantine. I have read a small handful of finance books, as well as online forums regarding personal finance, but I've always been a fan of having a small handful of resources you go back to that can help guide your decision making. I love the literal rags to riches anecdotes that Kristy shares throughout her book, and I see aspects of my pers ...more
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: investing
Very engaging and relatively quick read that I was able to finish within a day. I guess the material also flowed really well and made me want to keep going. While there was some information that had already been touched upon in the blog, I think that there was enough new material to warrant reading the book. I appreciated that the book was from the female perspective with credit given to her husband's support along the way. In her blog and her book though, she fails to mention that all the numbe ...more
Mr. Nomad
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In this step by step book to early retirement, Kristy & Bryce “math sh*t up” (a term they coined on their blog) so that nobody can argue with the numbers and the logic behind finances. They debunk some personal finance myths and will put you on your fastest path to reach your financial independence.

The content is so practical and well put together that I wish I had this material in my hands when I started my career as this would have saved me a TON of time figuring things out. This book is full
Jonathan H. LATER
Apr 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
I had written a review, and after clicking DONE, the whole thing was scraped by the internet. :(
So let's start again.
Kristy Shen did not have much. Hell, her first delight was a can of coke. We drink Mountain Dew like it's coolant for your bodies, and this woman didn't experience soda until much later in her life. This moment changed everything when she learned that she could have it all, or have none. It was a choice.
But most people don't understand that it's all a choice.
One of the keys in
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Despite growing up in poverty and, at one point, living with her family on 44 cents a day, Kristy eventually became a millionaire at the age of 31 and retired from her job to travel the world. Her story has been featured in media outlets all over the world, including the New York Times, CBC, CNBC, Women's Health Magazine Australia, Germany’s Handelsblatt, GQ Russia, and the UK Independent. She now ...more

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