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WHO IS IMMIGRANT ON FIRE?

I moved to the US with the international student visa in 2008 for master’s degree and pulled the plug from my corporate job in 2020 at the age of 38. Throughout these years, I got intimately familiar with many acronyms of the immigration system (F1, CPT, OPT, H1B, I-90, N-400). My goal with this blog is to share my experience as an immigrant in reaching complete financial independence in the US where I started with a huge negative net worth (around -$160,000) and hopefully inspire you to hop on this train because it’s doable for most and totally worth it.


While I created this blog mainly for immigrants and students/non-immigrants who want to live and reach financial independence in the US, over 90% of the content here can be leveraged by anyone who wants to make work optional and spend their time on things that really matter to them.


One of my sneaky goals is to inspire international students & immigrants to dream beyond finding a good job in the US. This was my goal when I first moved to the US. In time, I started questioning the meaning of work and what I want to do with my life. My goal evolved into obtaining complete financial independence to have full control on how I spend my time. Thanks to numerous resources out there about FIRE, I put together my plan and just executed it.


If you love your day job, continue by all means even after you reach financial independence if you want to. Chances are you are going to like your job even more when you don’t need the money, like Mr. Money Moustache says.


I come from a middle-class family in Turkey and moved to the US with $10,000 in my pocket in 2008. When I completed my master’s degree in 2010 I had almost no money in the bank, no savings, and a debt of $160,000 thanks to student and personal loans. From the point of graduation until I reached financial independence, I looked for a job for 4 times -including my first job search during the financial crisis (2009-2010)- I jumped through all immigration hoops, got burned out from work and spend a big part of my savings by taking a gap year. To top all of these, I’ve never been a very frugal person. Still I was able to pull the plug from Corporate America when I was 38.


The point is, the concept of saving and investing is so powerful that even if you are not a super frugal person or make a big salary, you can make work optional way before the traditional retirement age.


Ok, enough about me. Ready to enter the rabbit hole? Caution, you may be permanently affected from the content, proceed at your own risk!