Dr. Tayo Oyedeji: How I Retired at 40:

What age can you take early retirement? Can you claim any benefits if you take early retirement? Can you retire at the age of 55? Can I claim my state pension at 55? Why should you think of an early retirement especially when getting a job is a hustle in intself? Dr. Tayo Oyedeji shares his journey that led to a retirement by 40. Read on…

Early retirement is a situation in which a person stops working earlier than at the usual statutory retirement age. For many people, this is almost a privilege because they never plan and are often misled into what early retirement really means. Dr. Tayo Oyedeji’s retirement story plus the values and decisions that led hem there will make you rethink what you already know about retirement.

Dr. Tayo Oyedeji's @tayooye retirement story plus the values and decisions that led hem there will make you rethink what you already know about retirement. Click To Tweet

What Early Retirement Means – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji speaks…

One nation, two worlds - Daily Nation ---Dr. Tayo Oyedeji - How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means - Dr. Tayo Oyedeji - How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means
One nation, two worlds – Daily Nation —Dr. Tayo Oyedeji – How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji – How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means

I retired on May 5, 2016, when I resigned as the regional (Africa) head of a global ad agency with operations in 34 countries across the continent. I was still 40 (technically) although It was just 16 days from my 41st birthday.

I always wanted to retire early. I planned to retire at 35 but eventually settled for 40. This thread will highlight some of the key values and decisions that made it happen. Over the next few weeks, I will also share my 8-point flashcard on early retirement.

Note. Early retirement does not mean that you command an incredible amount of money.

Early retirement means that your investments produce enough dividend to free you from having to work for money. It frees you to make life decisions without considering finance.

Before you continue reading this, I highly recommend this article about Ghana Beyond Aid Agenda: The Possibility of an Independent Ghana and the effect it will have on other African countries. It will give you a great juxtaposed perspective of where Ghana is today in relation to the economy and freedom from neo-colonialism. Click here to open the Ghana Beyond Aid Article in a new tab.

Early retirement means that your investments produce enough dividend to free you from having to work for money. It frees you to make life decisions without considering finance. Click To Tweet

I have built an extended financial literacy model (see the picture below) that I teach in conferences around the world – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji

6 Values and Decisions that give life to the “Early Retirement Myth”

  1. Get the best education possible
  2. Always have a side gig
  3. Minimize your expenses
  4. Maximize your savings
  5. Understand and use money/capital market instruments
  6. Understand early retirement math

1. Get the best education possible:

Get the best education possible. I hold a PhD from Missouri, the best school in my field, and an MBA from Oxford thanks to scholarships and student loan since I grew up relatively poor. Good education meant I could command a decent salary as a springboard for future investments.

2. Always have a side gig:

Always have a side gig. I started with real estate and gradually built an investment portfolio. I borrowed a lot of money to buy my first property during the 2008 recession and sold it at twice the cost price in 2 years. Thanks, Obama.

Other side gigs soon followed. My core value is to give my employers my best until 5 pm and then go home and work on my own business. At a point in 2013, I was running 3 businesses apart from my day job. Read Tim Ferriss’ “4 Hour Work Week”.

3. Minimize your expenses:

Minimize your expenses. I have never bought a brand new car (35% depreciation once you drive out) and I watch my day-to-day expenses like a hawk. Nigerian are naturally extravagant; I consciously walk against that norm.

I don’t have a need for luxury so no Gucci bag/swag for me. I also don’t have an innate need to impress people so I don’t spend a lot on appearances. My only indulgence is travel and esoteric experiences.

An Image of a Jua Kali Artisan in Kenya. Before you vote: The truth about unemployment rates in Kenya - Daily Nation
An Image of a Jua Kali Artisan in Kenya. Before you vote: The truth about unemployment rates in Kenya – Daily Nation

4. Maximize your savings:

Maximize your savings. I save 30 to 50% of my monthly income. I still do. It’s important to save first and spend later. Read “The Millionaire Next Door”

5. Understand and use money/capital market instruments:

Understand and use money/capital market instruments. Compound interest is early retirement magic.

6. Understand early retirement math:

Understand early retirement math. It’s actually quite simple. If you can save 25x your annual living expenses: you can live forever with 4% annual withdrawal.

6 Values that give life to the “Early Retirement Myth” 1. Get the best education. 2. Have a side gig 3. Minimize your expenses 4. Maximize your savings 5. Understand and use money/capital market instruments 6. Understand early… Click To Tweet

The big 8 Financial Formulae

I have built an extended financial literacy model (see the picture below) that I teach in conferences around the world and will share details about the model on Twitter within the next few weeks.

The big 8 Financial Formulae - Dr. Tayo Oyedeji: How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means
The big 8 Financial Formulae – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji: How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means

How books taught me to dream in rural Nigeria

Anyone can live the early retirement reality regardless of where they come from.

I grew up in a small town (Ogbomosho) located about 200miles Northwest of Lagos, Nigeria’s capital city. It was your classic, small African town with warm people, great weather, and little to no commerce.

My dad (an accountant) and mom (a school teacher) provided a sparse but comfortable home with lots of books and a TV set that never worked.

The closest TV station was NTA Ibadan, which was miles away from us and well outside the range of our small TV set. Cable TV wasn’t an option in 1980s Nigeria.

Pictures of the Deplorable Situation Of A Major Road In Ogbomoso Oyo State, Nigeria – Nairaland

Ogbomosho didn’t have a Library so books were My Entertainment:

My strict parents literally kept us indoors everyday after schools. No sports, no parties, and little to no social visits. That meant the ONLY source of entertainment for my siblings and I were the books in our small home library since Ogbomosho did not have a local library.

I was an avid reader and finished all the books in our home library by the time I turned 9. I never quite finished “War and Peace” but read everything else.

I kept asking for more books until a travelling book salesman sold my dad a set of 20 books about the Second World War.

Ogbomoso Oyo State Map - Dr. Tayo Oyedeji- How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means
Ogbomoso Oyo State Map – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji – How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means

Books Became My Refuge:

Those books became my refuge. I followed Patton to Omaha Beach, pondered on his rivalry with Eisenhower, and lived Russian’s glorious victory at Stalingrad on the dusty roads of Ogbomosho.

Those books changed my life. They filled me with an intense desire to travel the world, to rise above my surroundings and become the best I could be. That traveling book salesman is the hero of my life story.

Today, I have lived on 3 continents; I have visited many of the places I read about in the WW2 book set; and am living the life I always dreamt of. Books taught me to dream, and those dreams have come true.

Limited Exposure to Television for my Kids:

I am trying to provide the same environment for my kids in today’s hyper-connected world. They get to watch TV for a Max of 3hours a week and must entertain themselves with books the rest of the time. My 9year old daughter currently has a personal library with over 100 books.

The moral of the story is that people never change unless they meet new people, visit new places, or read new books. The first two change agents were inaccessible for me so books made all the difference.

People never change unless they meet new people, visit new places, or read new books. The first two change agents were inaccessible for me so books made all the difference. ~ @tayooye Click To Tweet
Dr. Tayo Oyedeji- How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means
Dr. Tayo Oyedeji- How I Retired at 40 & What Early Retirement Means

About the Author – Dr. Tayo Oyedeji

Dr. Tayo Oyedeji is an Oxford-educated entrepreneur with business interests in technology and advertising. His first degree was in mechanical engineering. He holds a doctoral degree (Missouri-Columbia ’08) in mass communication and a marketing-focused MBA (Oxford ’11).

He has worked in tech, consulting, and advertising across Africa, Europe, and North America. He was most recently the head of Publicis Media’s Africa business where he was responsible for 756 employees in 34 countries.

Dr. Tayo Oyedeji runs a group of companies with operations spanning technology, advertising, and real estate. He works with the business managers to create value for employees and shareholders.

“Follow your passion is the stupidest advice ever” Dr Tayo Oyedeji speaks with Mr FAB on Under 40 CEOs

This episode features Dr. Oyedeji who was recently appointed Managing Director for Starcom MediaVest South Africa whilst also Heading Publicis Media Africa.

He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ilorin. He also holds a Doctorate in Media Management from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA and an MBA in General Management from Oxford University, UK. Tayo Oyedeji also has over 18 years of corporate and academic experience spanning media advertising, management consulting and financial services in Africa, Europe and North America.

Dr. Oyedeji was also an Assistant Professor of Media Management and Economics at the University of Georgia, USA for three years, and is an accomplished media scholar whose research on branding and brand equity management has been published in reputable journals like the American Behavioural Scientists, The International Journal on Media Management, and The Journal of Media Business Studies.

Further Reading:

Dr. Tayo Oyedeji’s Website or his Twitter Handle and Nairaland.