Roshida Dowe has always been a hardworking person. From her early years as a receptionist to the decision to go to law school and as a consumer auto finance lawyer in Silicon Valley for many years, she has become accustomed to this kind of training.
But in 2018, at the age of 39, she was fired and decided to take advantage of her newly discovered unemployment situation and spend a year traveling the world. Everything changed. During the trip, she realized that she liked the freedom to do what she wanted to do anytime, anywhere, and decided to turn her vacation into a full-time lifestyle.
Dowe said goodbye to her life in the United States. She now lives in Mexico City, where she enjoys what she calls an “unexpected retirement”, works as a life coach and runs her own YouTube channel. The 42-year-old Dowe’s portfolio is worth more than $1 million, and she does not plan to “retire” anytime soon.
Build a positive relationship with money
She said that although she grew up in a middle-class family, Dowe’s parents didn’t often talk to her about their financial situation.
“Sometimes I know we have [money] Sometimes I know we don’t,” Dowe told CNBC Make It. “But this is not really the topic of conversation. My parents would not let me participate in their conversation about money. “
Early in her career, when she worked as a receptionist after college, Dowe was not very proficient in finance. Part of what prompted her to enter the University of Virginia School of Law was the realization that her receptionist salary “I can’t afford it.”
A law degree allowed Dowe to get a higher salary, but it also put her in more than $200,000 in student loan debt, including some remaining debts during her undergraduate period. She worked diligently to cut expenses and use the money for loans, and then spend it on other things to solve the debt problem.
After paying off the debt while serving as the company’s legal counsel, Dowe retained the habit she developed and used the excess money for savings and investment.
“I have developed the habit of saving the same amount of money every month,” she said. “As income grows, I put more money aside.”
Lost my job but found myself
In 2018, the company she worked for was closed by the parent company, and she was eventually fired and lost a six-figure salary, which was about $200,000 at the time. Instead of looking for a new job right away, Dowe decided to spend a year traveling.
In a year abroad, Dowe visited 44 cities in 23 countries, but Mexico City is the only place she has visited multiple times.
“I really like how I feel here,” she said. “I like the vitality of this city.”
This is why although she originally planned to return to the United States and find a new job after her career was interrupted, Dowe decided to stay in Mexico.
“Traveling and seeing the way we work to death in the United States is not common anywhere in the world, which made me realize that if I choose to live a different life, I can have a different life,” she said.
At that time, her investment exceeded $500,000, and her old company had approximately $150,000 in stocks. Dowe calculated that she had enough money to live in Mexico City for at least a period of time.
“I have paid off all my debts and I have saved money,” she said. “When I realized that I didn’t want to work anymore, I calculated it.”
She currently holds a 1-year residence visa and will be eligible to apply for a permanent visa after four years.
Although Mexico City is not as affordable as other parts of the country, Dowe said that her high-rise apartment rent of $1,200 is still lower than what she paid in the United States. Overall, her expenses are approximately US$2,300 per month.
Live for dreams
During the trip, Dowe released the latest news about her journey so that her family and friends can follow up. Over time, her fans grew and some of them sought advice.
“Strangers, mainly women, reached out to me and said,’You took a break from your career? I want to do the same. Can you tell me more?'” she said. “I was helping everyone who came, and finally I realized that this might be a business.”
Now, Dowe is a life coach helping “women who want to take a vacation” [and] Give up unworthy work. “Her clients are usually women who want to live abroad but don’t know if it’s okay.
“I spent a lot of time showing people the possibilities and showing them what their lives would be like if they also made the leap,” Dowe said. She also runs a YouTube channel that records her travels.
These revenue streams bring in revenues of US$3,000 to US$5,000 per month. “The income I get from it saves me from having to withdraw anything from investment,” she said.
Although she runs a successful business, Dowe believes she has retired. She never works more than four days a week, and occasionally takes several weeks or months off at a time to do whatever she wants.
“A lot of people think that retirement means you don’t have a job at all. If you are working, then you are not really retiring,” she said. “I only do the work I like, and I only do it when I want to.”
In the end, her life is designed to maintain the level of happiness she has experienced while traveling, during which time Dowe said she “is the best self.”
“I am very open, I have no pressure, I can do whatever I want,” she said. “When I had the opportunity to reshape my life from scratch, I made a decision that made me happy.”
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