Woman who was able to retire at AGE 38 after amassing a net worth of $2 MILLION reveals her top tips for building up major wealth

A woman who was able to quit her job and enjoy a ‘mini retirement’ at the age of 38 has revealed the financial tips and tricks that enabled her to go three years without working. 

Sabina Horrocks, 41, was able to bask in a three-year break from work following the birth of her daughter in 2021. 

By then, she and her husband had amassed a net worth of around $2 million, with both bringing in six-figure incomes in addition to managing a rental business. 

‘We didn’t do anything extraordinary – I’d say the way we became millionaires is quite boring,’ Sabina told Business Insider.

‘That’s the thing I think most people don’t understand. Becoming wealthy isn’t hustles… It’s discipline and consistency over time,’ she asserted.

Sabina Horrocks, 41, was able to take three years off from work in a mini retirement of sorts after scrimping and saving in her twenties

On her blog, The Moneyaires, Sabina explained that her and her husband’s combined income in 2007 was $80,000.

By 2020, however, they ‘managed to make it to millionaire status,’ she wrote.

‘Who better to learn from than someone who has walked the walk?’ she asked BI. 

Sabrina grew up in a lower middle class family in the Chicago suburbs. While she never went hungry, she told BI that her parents lived a very modest lifestyle.

She managed to snag a scholarship for her first two years at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she double majored in political science and history.

She went on to get her MBA from Chicago’s DePaul University. The program is estimated to cost just under $35,000, which is a fraction of the price of MBA programs at the neighboring Kellogg business school at Northwestern University.

Sabrina met her husband when they were both younger, and they tied the knot with a low-cost wedding once they’d both secured corporate jobs. 

From there, they figured out how to optimize their financial future, taking it day by day.  

‘I had never thought about our future financial goals. Nobody’s ever really talked about in my house, aside from affording certain things,’ she said.

She explained that while growing up, her family was ‘always trying to save, and my parents would go to four grocery stores on the weekends to save $3 on bread and eggs.’ 

As an adult, it wasn’t too hard of a leap to fall into financially savvy habits with her husband.

When the pair were ready to buy a property of their own, they went with a modest one-bed, one-bath condo for $137,000. 

After tying the knot with her husband in a low-cost wedding, the two worked hard to maintain financially responsible habits

After tying the knot with her husband in a low-cost wedding, the two worked hard to maintain financially responsible habits

By the late aughts, when they were ready to upgrade and they resisted glossy condominiums in downtown Chicago, instead going with a house in the suburbs for half the cost.

‘My husband and I have always worked together as a team, and we’ve treated finances in our marriage like a business. We’ve always had transparency, goals, and shared effort,’ Sabina explained to BI.

‘We treat income as household income, not mine or yours. I personally don’t understand how marriages can survive with no transparency and a “my” mentality.’

While climbing the corporate ladder, they continued managing rental properties, even successfully navigating the 2008 burst of the housing bubble. 

In the aftermath of the housing crash – as their rental properties plunged $60,000 – Sabina conceded the pair may have gone overboard on budgeting, even selling one of their cars, while also scaling back simple pleasures like nights out with friends.

When housing prices were low, they briefly bought up more rental properties – but Sabina’s husband hated the chore of managing them, and they eventually sold their holdings and put the money in retirement. 

In total, their combined net worth is now pushing $2 million.

It’s spread between about $1.16 million in retirement accounts, $460,000 in an after-tax brokerage account, $250,000 in home equity, $30,000 in an HSA, $25,000 in a 529, and $25,000 in savings.

When she left her job in 2021 to spend time with her daughter, she’d been making $120,000.

One day while facing eight hours of meetings, she realized she’d much prefer to spend time with her baby.

Her husband was making enough to support them all if she took time off – and he encouraged her to do so. 

Sabina found herself finally able to enjoy some of the fruits of all their hard work, even recently taking a transatlantic cruise with her daughter and mom.

‘We’re at a point now where we’re able to do things like that, and I think it was because, in our 20s, we made some big sacrifices,’ she said.

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