How I Said “$#%@ It” & Retired in the Bahamas at 28 Years Old

This is not a “rags-to-riches” story. This is also not a “rags-to-hustle-your-ass-off” story, like the many pretentious wannabe-preneurs out there try to make you believe. This is a “rags-to-wake-up-and-smell-the-ocean-breeze” story. Let me set the scene:

I’m relaxing on my 16B2 waterfront piece of paradise on the biggest underdeveloped island in the Bahamas. The entire 1.6 acres and 100 square feet of this sandy waterfront beach is all mine for the taking.

A little shack is in the process of being built, and I’m shipping over a scooter and jet ski for further enjoyment. Visit and you might find me wearing an unbuttoned linen shirt and tilted fedora, casting away from my beach -- which I’ve appropriately named “Dingo Beach” -- with the hopes of catching some bonefish.

But, as I relax, I can’t help but think of all the other folks -- nose to the grindstone and stuck on the wheel -- who are slowly fading away for that little piece of cheese. Some have enough cheese to last 17 lifetimes, but greed gets in the way and so they are still running circles. And here I am living, loving, laughing, and enjoying life without a worry in the world at a fraction of the cost you might think is necessary.

So how did I get here? How did I wake up, beat the rat race, and pull the trigger on my lifelong dream?

Let me reassure you, this isn’t another article about investing in real estate or stocks and making money work until you have enough to retire. It’s all about a simple mental switch I made. Here’s what happened:

The moment it all changed

I was having lunch with a very successful entrepreneur -- let’s call him a lifestyle-preneur. And he asked me a question.

“What do you really want?”

I started to answer him, rambling on about scaling my business to a level where it employs more than 50 people and generates tens of millions of dollars in revenue. But he interrupted me.

“No -- what do you really want?”

So, I started talking about franchising into other markets, becoming the number one real estate investment company in the country, adding thousands of employees nationwide, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, and then -- he stopped me again.

“Stop and read between the lines. What do you really want? Take that ‘monster’ out of the picture for now, and tell me what your happy place is; the one place or thing that gives peace to your heart and soul and makes you relaxed and happy.”

I was stumped. I kept thinking about my grand plans for creating a billion dollar empire, but that honestly wasn’t what I really wanted. Then I started to think back to when I was still a shit-kicking construction laborer only making a few bucks and trying to make ends meet. At that time, I always dreamed of owning a waterfront property in the Bahamas -- snorkeling, fishing, jet skiing, and just doing what I wanted, when I wanted, where I wanted.

I explained this to my friend, and his response completely changed my world.

“So why don’t you just go out and get it?”

I didn’t really get what he meant at first. Did he think I was a multimillionaire who could just pack up and move to the Bahamas?

The reality

His question kept haunting me. I started crunching the numbers in my head -- owning my own piece of paradise was feasible. And if anyone was crazy enough to just pack up and move to the Bahamas, I knew it was me.

I was already running a successful multi-million dollar real estate investment company, working my ass off, and loving what I did, but I completely forgot why I did it. I had a revelation -- I could buy my Bahamas waterfront property now. I mean, why wait?

Letting go

Our minds like to play tricks on us. It’s never the right time; there is always a bigger priority; we should keep our funds securely stored and ready for an emergency -- bla bla bla.

There’s never a perfect time to start a business or to get fit and lose weight. And there will never be a perfect time to go after your dreams. So, stop talking the talk and start walking the walk by taking a leap of faith and letting go.

We all get caught up on this wheel and the cycle of never having enough cheese that we forget to live. We forget why we got on this merry-go-round in the first place.

Conquer your thoughts, and just let go. Once you do, you can conquer anything and anyone. Accept that, one day, everything will be said and done and we will be no more. The only thing you’ll have left on your deathbed will be the many memories that you have built over the years. So, live your life by building as many good memories as you possibly can.

After the leap

Once I decided to take that leap of faith and start living more, bigger and better opportunities started falling into my lap. I bought the waterfront lot that I described above at half the value (half!) of others on the Island. Once it’s developed, it will be worth millions.

My best branded and most reputable real estate investment company in the U.S. is doing better than ever because I started working more on the business, rather than in it. I stopped micromanaging my employees, and our people have taken the bull by the horns. They have really impressed me and taken charge of all of the day-to-day operations. It’s remarkable how many good things happen when you work your ass off for years, and finally let go of the reigns to people you trust and believe in.

I beat the rat race now and made my dream come true, instead of holding out for the perfect time 20 or so years later. Everything I do, everywhere I go, even when shit hits the fan, I'm always in a happy state of mind. I truly am living my dream.

My final word to you is to let go and go for it now. Wake up and smell the ocean breeze. You never know, you might just like it more than your usual hustle and bustle.

P.S. I’m always looking for a fellow fisherman buddy.

What do you really want? What’s keeping you from making that dream a reality?

Engelo Rumora is the CEO and founder of Ohio Cashflow, a multi million dollar turnkey real estate investment company. Connect with Engelo on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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