This is a series that highlights real people who use the Personal Capital Dashboard and gives insights into how they are achieving their financial goals. The goal of this series is to give you a transparent look into the numbers and motivations of people who are building wealth, so that you are better equipped to do the same.
Today, we’ll hear from “The Landshark”, an anonymous attorney from Denver, CO, as he shares how he took his family’s larger than average income and turned it into a multi-million dollar net worth.
Name: “The Landshark”
Location: Greater Denver, CO area
Household Income: $600,000
Net Worth: $4.37 Million
Assets: $2.35 million in retirement accounts; $930k in taxable brokerage; $850k home; $70k HSA; $120k cash/business equity; and $50k cars/529 accounts
Inheritance or Windfall: $0
When did you start tracking your net worth?
In 2008, it was $375k.
Why is tracking your net worth important to you?
What gets measured, gets managed.
What has been the best thing you’ve done to increase your income?
I made partner at my law firm several years ago.
With that promotion, I became a part equity owner of a business and my income increased fairly dramatically. It’s not easy money, however, I had to work really hard to get to this position and with it comes A LOT of stress.
What has been the best thing you’ve done to control your expenses?
We drive 2006 and 2012 model cars. We paid off our mortgage in 2019. I paid off my law school loans in 2011.
Not having huge recurring bills each month on housing, vehicles, and student debt has really helped us accelerate our savings.
Why is it important for you to grow your wealth?
I want to be a good provider for my family. I want my kids to live in a nice and safe community with excellent schools.
We also love living in an area with hiking and biking trails available right outside our front door. Ultimately, I want to be able to provide all of this for my family, without the need to work at my 9 to 5.
Growing our wealth has given me the confidence to pull the trigger on early retirement in 2022.
What is one financial mistake you’ve made during your financial journey?
We bought a pre-construction condo sight unseen in 2007 before the real estate bubble burst in 2008/2009.
What is one financial hack you think most people don’t know about?
The Mega Backdoor Roth.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve been able to add over $75k to my Roth IRA through After Tax Contributions and In-Service Withdrawals to my company’s 401k plan. That has really turbo-charged my Roth IRA… although I’m not quite at the Peter Thiel level, yet.
Outside of building wealth, what brings you the most joy in life?
My wife and kids, the outdoors, music, good food and good company.
What financial goals do you have for the next 5-10 years?
Retirement in 2022. My wife’s retirement in 2024/2025.
Spending quality time traveling with my kids while they’re still into hanging out with us. Starting to send them off to college in 2030-2031.
If someone was looking to grow their net worth like you have, what is one piece of wisdom you’d share with them?
Decide on an aggressive savings number and really push yourself to make it happen. We picked $5,000 a month as a minimum floor for our taxable brokerage. We also used this amount first as a means to pre-pay our mortgage.
This is also in addition to maxing out our 401k and IRAs each year. Some months were difficult, and that’s how I knew we were being aggressive enough with our savings targets.
Any final words to share?
Tracking your net worth is absolutely critical. At a minimum, set up a spreadsheet where you can see your progress on an annual basis. Using tools like Personal Capital can certainly help.
This is an unpaid endorsement of an individual who uses Personal Capital’s free financial tools. This individual is not a client of Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”). The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. Keep in mind that investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate over time and you may gain or lose money. Any opinions or statements shared by third-party are their own and may not be representative of the experience of others or indicative of future performance or success. PCC and PCAC do not endorse or adopt any content on a third party site that may be linked to from this page.
Any reference to the advisory services refers to PCAC, a subsidiary of Personal Capital. Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training nor does it imply endorsement by the SEC. Advisory services are offered for a fee and provided by Personal Capital Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation (“PCC”).