I get a lot of requests for follow-ups to reader stories and reader questions. People want to hear how things turned out. Because I want to know how things turned out, too, I’ve started a semi-regular feature at Get Rich Slowly. Whenever I hear back from a previous poster, I’ll share an update so that we can all know what happened.
Max wrote in July of 2009 to ask if he should save more or see the world. My advice was to sell his house, put half of his profit in savings, and then use the rest to travel on the cheap. Though some of the 166 reader comments urged caution, most encouraged Max to follow his dream. (Please read the previous post for details on Max’s situation.)
Well, Max wrote recently with an update on his decision:
For starters, I’d like to thank the hundreds of commenters who provided wise and valuable advice. I’ve taken some time to consider their responses and properly evaluate my options.
I decided to keep the condo an extra year, then put it up for sale. It took a few months, but the condo finally sold and left me with nearly $30,000.
After a year of reviewing my options, I’ve taken the plunge, quit my job, and booked a flight to Japan. I even started taking Japanese lessons to prepare for the trip. I’ll then be heading to Australia for one year to enjoy the warmer climate. Thanks to my recently granted Australian work/holiday visa, I’ll be able to work and ensure I don’t completely drain my bank account.
Honestly, I have no idea what I’m doing, but I think that’s what motivated me to make this decision. There’s a feeling of freedom knowing I can roam a strange territory and choose the type of work I do, for pleasure as opposed to necessity. As many others have mentioned, worst case I spend everything and return to the same point I was before I left, but with a ton of priceless experiences, and an additional spoken language.
In regards to investments, I opted to place half my money into a conservative low-risk savings account generating little interest, but allowing me to withdraw the funds at any moment without penalty. As I mentioned in my previous email, I’m interested in working on one of my business ideas, and I feel more secure investing those funds in myself (my business) as opposed to someone else’s business. It’s a much higher risk, but at least I’ll have full control over it, and I’m willing to accept the consequences if I fail.
Thanks a lot for your reply and comments. It’s greatly appreciated.
To be honest, I’m jealous. I wish I had done something similar when I was Max’s age. But I couldn’t. I was deep in debt. Max has made some smart choices, and these have put him in a position to follow a dream. Best wishes, Max, and drop us a line again in a couple of years so we can follow your progress.
If you have shared a reader story at GRS (or asked a question), please feel free to send me a follow-up to let us know how things turned out, whether for good or ill. This is a great way for us all to see how well (or poorly) the Get Rich Slowly philosophy works when put into action.