This a true life story of Dr. Tayo Oyedeji, a professor with key expertise in Technology and Marketing.

According to him, he retired on May 5, 2016 when he resigned as the regional (Africa) head of a global ad agency with operations in 34 countries across the continent.

As at then, Dr. Tayo was still 40 (technically) although It was just 16 days from his 41st birthday.

He had always wanted to retire early at the age of 35 but eventually he settled for 40.

Below are some of the key values and decisions that made it happen.

Note: Early retirement does not mean that you command an incredible amount of money. It just means that your investments produce enough dividend to free you from having to work for money. It free you to make life decisions without considering finance.

Now onto the values and decisions that made it possible for him to retire at 40.

1. Get the best education possible. Dr. Tayo holds a PhD from Missouri, the best school in my field, and MBA from Oxford thanks to scholarships and student loan since he grew up relatively poor. Good education meant he could command a decent salary as a springboard for future investments.

2. Always have a side gig. He started with real estate and gradually built an investment portfolio. He even borrowed a lot of money to buy his first property during the 2008 recession and sold it at twice the cost price in 2 years. Other side gigs soon followed.

Side gig (cont.) He said his core values was to give his employers his best until 5pm and then go home and work on his own business. At a point in 2013, he was even running 3 businesses apart from his day job.

He suggested every aspiring Entrepreneurs to read Tim Ferriss’ “4 Hour Work Week”.

3. Minimize your expenses. Dr. Tayo had never bought a brand new car (35% depreciation once you drive out). He said he watch his day-to-day expenses like an hawk. Nigerian are naturally extravagant; he consciously walk against that norm.

In addition, Dr. Tayo doesn’t have any need for luxury items, so no Gucci bag/swag for him. He also doesn’t have any innate need to impress people so he doesn’t spend a lot on appearances. His only indulgence is travel and esoteric experiences.

4. Maximize your savings. He saves 30 to 50% of his monthly income. And he still does it.. It’s important to save first and spend later. Read “The Millionaire Next Door”

5. Understand and use money/capital market instruments. Compound interest is early retirement magic.

6. Understand early retirement math. It’s actually quite simple. If you can save 25x your annual living expenses: you can live forever with 4% annual withdrawal.

My take away is that retiring and being Financially free is a process. You can’t just achieve it without proper planning and execution.

Hope you enjoyed Dr. Tayo’s tips. If you need more updates, kindly follow him on Twitter using the link below.