As soon as you start a job, it is considered wise to lay out a retirement plan and start working towards that goal. While it may seem far off, planning off retirement early can help make the latter years of your life more comfortable, without too many concerns about money. Google engineer Ethan Nguonly aims to do the very same, by saving right now and retiring at just 35, an age where most people start thinking about their retirement plans.
Retirement at 35
At just 22 years old, Nguonly is part of the Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement, an online movement that is particularly common among millennials, according to a report by CNBC. It encourages people to save their money early on and invest generously, both of which could allow them to have a much earlier retirement than traditional retirement plans, and with more savings.
With a well-paying $ 194,000-a-year job at Google which includes a $134,000 base salary, $30,000 in Restricted Stock Units (RSUs), as well a 15 percent annual bonus and on-call compensation, Nguonly has amassed almost $135,000 in investments which include real-estate. Despite having a well-paying job, Nguonly says he doesn’t spend lavishly but tries to live “as frugally as possible without compromising the quality” of his life.
Nguonly holds a Computer Science degree from the University of California, Berkeley, which he earned during the Covid-19 pandemic. While the lockdowns affected his campus life, he completed his course in half the time in May 2021 by taking on summer classes as well as hustling through classes. Astonishingly, Nguonly completed his degree without taking out any student loans.
Nguonly, who lives with his parents in Orange County, California, attributes his habits of saving and investing to them, who made him understand their values early on in his teenage phase. “They said, ‘If you leave your money here (in a savings account), over time, it’s going to become worthless,’ and they said that you should really learn to invest it into something,” Nguonly said.
Currently just 22, Nguonly aims to retire by 35, having amassed total savings of almost $5 million by then.