This 25-year-old Denverite is on track to achieve his financial goals. Here’s what experts say you need to do to join him.

Craig Curelop is 25 years old, owns two properties along the Front Range and estimates he’ll be financially independent — free of student-loan debt and monetarily set to pack up for two years of world travel — by 27. Anyone can follow in his footsteps, he said, if they’re willing to pinch some pennies.

In Curelop’s case, it’s more of a constriction than a pinch.

To acquire his $70,000 in savings, Curelop got creative. He slept on a futon surrounded by a curtain while Airbnb guests relaxed in his bedroom and renters took over the top half of his duplex.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Curelop said. “After the first week or two, you get used to people coming in and out unexpectedly.”

Curelop rented out his vehicle through car-sharing site Turo as often as possible, opting to bike 20 miles to and from his home in Thornton to his Denver job as a financial analyst at real estate education website BiggerPockets.

While Curelop can be categorized as a super saver, the president of Greenwood Village-based retirement-planning firm Empower Retirement said millennials — those born between 1982 and the early 2000s — overall are doing better at saving for the future than older generations.

Hyoung Chang, The Denver PostCraig Curelop is 25 and goes to great lengths to save money.

A recent survey conducted by Empower Retirement of 4,000 working Americans found that millennials were on track to have access to the equivalent of 75 percent of their working income in retirement. That was compared to Generation X workers at 61 percent of their income and baby boomers at 58 percent.

“I think that’s counter to what you hear,” said Empower president Ed Murphy.

Soon-to-be 25-year-old Sara Palandeng can’t imagine buying Denver real estate right now. The 2017 graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder is just trying to pay her rent.

“My friends and I are at a point where we’re a little bit confused as to why we feel we’re financially struggling even though we all have good jobs,” said Palandeng, who works in mechanical engineering.

Palandeng is among many Denver millennials who have left the nest with little understanding of how to assemble their own nest egg. A lack of financial experience compounded with the fact that most of savings’ heavy lifting needs to take place during people’s younger years means navigating beyond the proverbial piggy bank days can be tough, according to Denver investment adviser Charlie Farrel.

“It’s just not taught at all,” said Farrel, CEO of Northstar Investment Advisors. “You get out and say, ‘What am I supposed to do?’”

Farrel likens saving money to dieting. Each year, there’s a new fad diet, but the basic formula remains the same: decrease your intake and increase your output. He admits this is easier said than done, particularly for younger folks just getting started.

“It’s not easy to make the numbers work unless you inherit money or end up in a windfall,” Farrel said.

The investment adviser’s best suggestion for young people trying to build up their savings: “You absolutely have to put …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Business


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