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How A Tech Executive Became An Early Retiree After 14 Years In The Workforce

Steve Adcock retired at the age of 35 where he wanted to experience more out of life inspired by eight different books.

This is not a “rags-to-riches” story but, rather, one that recounts the move from wealth to even more wealth. For those resigned to the fate of a monthly paying job, which more often than not is demanding and taxing, the story of Steve Adcock should truly serve as an inspiration.

Not many are risk-takers by nature. For the majority, “one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Adcock, however, challenged this conventional wisdom and proved that one can be hugely successful by taking a giant leap of faith.

Two American Eagle Coins, BU, and Two Silver Canadian Maple leaf Coins on black velvet background. Steve Adcock was inspired by 8 books that lead him to retirement. LINDSEY NICHOLSON/BENZINGA

Adcock and his wife, both software professionals, worked in the information technology sector for over a decade. It goes without saying that software jobs are typically the most lucrative careers — and it’s no wonder that the couple was able to save a hefty sum during their short careers.

As opposed to the average U.S. retirement age of 61 years old, Adcock retired at half that age. He called it quits in 2016 when he was 35, thus qualifying as an early retiree, and the rest is history.

“I didn’t like the idea of working until 65 and then hoping I had another 10 years of quality life left,” Adcock told Benzinga. “I wanted to experience life outside an office as early as possible. Early retirement was the best way for me to achieve that. “

Adcock, who now sees himself as an entrepreneur and writer, says that his early retirement has led to a busier schedule, during which he spends much of his time writing and taking photos and videos.

Adcock’s journey has also made him look beyond himself and see where he can bring about a positive change in others’ lives. “I write about healthy selfishness and the wisdom behind putting yourself first to build a solid foundation on which to help others, get involved and make a positive difference in our communities,” he says on his website.

When Adcock retired in 2016 after a 14-year stint in the IT sector, his efficient money management left with him $900,000 in savings, he revealed in a CNBC piece. While the average estimated nationwide savings by the age of retirement is $255,200, Adcock managed to increase his savings to $1 million in just a few years.

“My wife and I saved 70% of our combined software development salaries to accumulate that much money in our early 30s,” he told Zenger News. “We traveled the country full-time in an RV immediately after quitting our jobs, which allowed us to keep our expenses low and to feel comfortable with our financial situation. Currently, the majority of our funds are allocated in the stock market. However, we have been gradually expanding our portfolio to include investments in real estate.” 

So, how did Adcock manage to amass this fortune? Two things helped him achieve this accomplishment were:

  • His frugal lifestyle
  • Inspiration received from reading books about money, careers and personal health

Reading about personal health was especially important, Adcock told Benzinga.

“Early retirement is meaningless without good health,” he said. “And the healthier you are, the less you’ll spend on health care costs as you age. So for us, health and fitness are number one in our book — even more important than money. Last year, we spent $10,000 on a home gym on our seven acres of property. It’s something that I use to stay active and in shape every single day.”

Here’s a list of 8 books Adcock said helped shape his success and well-being:

1. “The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy”: This book by Dr. Thomas Stanley compiles data about the lifestyles of millionaires. Living modestly is the core theme of the book.

2. “The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Love And Finish Rich”: Written by David Bach, this book delves into the freedom that automated systems and procedures allow for wealth building.

3. “Brain Makeover: A Weekly Guide to a Happier, Healthier And More Abundant Life”: This health-and-wellness-focused book written by Phyllis Ginsberg discusses the components of happiness and stress. It also offers weekly exercises to help build new neural pathways for a more joyful and prosperous life.

4. “Just Keep Buying: Proven Ways to Save Money and Build Your Wealth”: Nick Maggiulli, the book’s author, digs deeply into saving and investing, and gives practical advice to any type of investor in any type of market.

5. “I Will Teach You To Be Rich No Guilt. No Excuses. No BS. Just a 6-Week Program That Works”: This book by author Ramit Sethi challenges traditional financial advice. He recommends spending lavishly on things one cares about, while cutting back on what doesn’t matter.

6. “Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Street, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, And Focus On The Present”: This book by Nick Trenton outlines how to identify when one is overthinking and teaches relaxation techniques so that one can lead a stress-free life.

7. “The Psychology Of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed and Happiness”: The central argument of this book by Morgan Housel is that “making good money choices is equal parts math and psychology.”

8. “Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence”: Co-authored by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, this book is an eye-opener as it challenges the script of working to death in order to have a good retirement life. It prompts readers to explore when enough is enough.

Produced in association with Benzinga

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