Welcome to the Rich Incog Blog!
As you can see from the tagline, incog means unknown. We deliberated for a long time about whether or not to start this blog because we believe in the importance of anonymity when it comes to money. So we’ve assumed the pseudonyms Rich and Mrs. R. and started Rich Incog Blog as a personal finance and lifestyle blog generally focused on encouraging others to achieve financial independence “FI” without attracting the attention of others. By the age of forty we crossed the million dollar net worth watermark with no debt (not even a mortgage), and nobody other than our trusted advisors know about our financial situation. We believe that because we did it, you can do it too!
We are not business owners or lottery winners. We are unrecognizable millionaires hiding in plain site in the same paid for three bedroom two bath home we have lived in for over ten years. Mrs. R is a former IT professional who left the workforce in the early 2000’s to focus on raising our first child. At that time, Rich was an educator earning less than $50,000 per year. We were both committed to Mrs. R being a stay at home mom even though we had student loan debt, a car payment, and a mortgage. We needed to figure out how to not just make ends meet but how to thrive and create a financially secure future for our family. Necessity is the mother of invention, but we soon realized that we did not need to invent anything new. Mrs. R and I had the benefit of growing up as the grandchildren of “the greatest generation”. We were not destitute, facing global financial depression and war! We were blessed to have gone to high school, college and graduate school during our youth rather than to the farm fields, factories, and battle front. We just needed to start asking ourselves “what would our grandparents do?”.
We began by focusing on the lost art of home economics in order to try to derive the maximum utility from each dollar earned. During the four years immediately after Mrs. R’s departure from the workforce we welcomed baby number two, paid off $25,000 in student loan debt, dumped our car payment, and upgraded to our current home. We developed skills which became habits and ultimately a lifestyle. In the mid-2000’s Rich decided to focus on earning more money so he left his educator job for a corporate sales position. Our family has enjoyed a significant increase in income as compared to when Rich was an educator. After a few years of learning how to be successful in sales, we went from the bottom 45% to the top 11% of household incomes, according to money.cnn.com . But it is necessary to keep things in perspective, because you take dollars to the bank not percentages. Our household income over time went from $50,000 to $150,000, which is not an extremely high income for a couple who both have graduate degrees. It is the skills we learned during those early years of our marriage that when combined with a higher income, led to us achieving debt freedom and ultimately catapulted us to become millionaires by the age of 40. Our goal with this blog is to share with others some of the skills, experiences, and lessons we have learned.
The math for calculating both net income and net worth is easy. The formulas each contain two variables that make-up our four focus areas (income, expenses, assets and liabilities). These are the formula for becoming a millionaire and the truth is that it is not complicated, but it does take commitment from everyone in the house (even the children). Rich likes to joke that we have a “traditional Japanese marriage”; he earns a paycheck and Mrs. R saves it. One million dollars held outside of home equity compounded at 7% from age 40 to the traditional retirement age of 65 without adding any additional money to the principle will yield over $5.4 million. This is what we are accomplishing by consistently applying simple math on a daily basis.
So why create another personal finance blog? There are a lot of great blogs on the web written by both individuals and couples with excellent stories and tips for saving money. We decided to create this blog for people who cannot join the extreme retirement crowd and for people who keep finding themselves on a financial yo-yo diet. Rich is still working in “corporate America” even though our portfolio is now large enough that he could quit. Working a traditional job has become a choice rather than a necessity. That doesn’t make the work itself any easier, but it allows Rich to reframe his thinking when it gets stressful. This blog is also a therapeutic outlet for Rich to discuss the challenge of staying in the workforce and why he keeps doing so even though the portfolio math says he doesn’t have to. (He has a secret goal he wants to accomplish before he quits). Which brings us to an important disclaimer: Rich Incog Blog is for entertainment purposes only, mostly Rich and Mrs. R’s. Nothing written on this blog should be construed as actual personal financial advice, and you should seek out the advice of a trained licensed professional before investing.
Rich Incog Blog was created to encourage average people to keep moving forward toward financial independence by adopting the mentality and lifestyle of the Rich Incog. This blog welcomes contributions from other writers who are interested in the topic and we welcome comments from readers. It’s hard to get people to understand the true power of these strategies if they don’t know what kind of results are possible. We are not willing to give up our anonymity, but we do want to share what we have learned and accomplished in order to encourage people to become a Rich Incog.