Retired Millionaires Pledge Their Fortune To Further Financial Education After Retiring Aged 35

Retired Millionaires Pledge Their Fortune To Further Financial Education After Retiring Aged 35

A young couple who saved over a million pounds while driving a second-hand Skoda and living in a two-bedroom flat in Basingstoke have pledged their entire fortune to further financial education. Katie Donegan – along with her husband Alan – was able to retire five years ago at the age of 35 with nearly £1million in savings after saving, investing and having friends over for dinner rather than splashing out on expensive meals.

By rarely buying new clothes and no fancy meals out, the couple were able to reach their £1 million goal within ten years and now live off their investments, which have since doubled, and generate the £80,000 a year they need to enjoy a nomadic lifestyle. The couple started Rebel Finance School during Covid. The free 10-week online course helps people get control of their finances. After its soaring success, the Donegans have pledged their fortune to finance the course indefinitely after seeing just how many people struggle with debt and money management.

“In 2015 I read a blog about the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement, which involves keeping your outgoings low and saving as much as you can. By putting those savings into index funds – buying stocks in every company available on the stock market – we could eventually live off the money it generated,” Katie explained.

“We used that method and I retired at 35, allowing us to travel while renting out our flat. We were in New Orleans when the Covid pandemic hit. When we got back to England, we saw just how many people were struggling with money. We wanted to do something to help rather than just sit and watch Netflix.”

Alan Donegan adds, “We launched our first course in 2020, with 130 people joining us after I posted about it on Facebook. The following year, we had 330 people join us on Zoom. Then 5,000. Last year, 8,000 people from 43 different countries joined us. Our families don’t need the money and we don’t have children, so we have decided to put our savings into a trust to be used after we’re gone.

The trust can use 4% of the money (currently £80,000 a year) to give away the course and the money will never run out. Anyone who wants to take the course to better handle their finances, deal with debt or work towards financial independence will be able to do so for free, forever.

“My dad went bankrupt for £3.6 million and gambled away the family home. His impact was ‘I will never let this happen to me or anyone else again’. Once I had fixed my finances, I wanted to teach others how to do the same thing.”

The Rebel Finance School course distils the complex financial and investment world into clear cut, actionable steps – with no personal finance degree necessary. A key focus of the 10-week course is on managing debt, with students tackling topics that are essential to modern living but not taught at school. There’s a focus on understanding where money is being spent, and how to get out of debt, before moving onto the basics of investing starting in week six. Many of those attending the course come back year after year to refresh their knowledge and check in with their finances.

This year, a range of well-known experts will join Alan and Katie and share their expertise. Guests include financial educators and famous bloggers including the host of the biggest financial independence podcast in the world.

“We have a real gang of experts this year from around the world, so the information is relatable and relevant,” Alan adds. “We also have additional resources such as a retirement calculator that Katie developed and dedicated sessions for question and answers, so we can help as many people as possible.”

The 10-week Rebel Finance financial literacy course is totally free with no upsells, no cross-sells and no advertising.

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