On August 1, 2016, Brandon officially retired.
The 34-year-old software developer and blogger behind theMad Fientist — who doesn’t use his last name online for privacy reasons — had been planning and saving for years to retire early.
“For the first five to seven years of my career, I wasn’t saving for anything in particular,” Brandon told Business Insider. “I was just saving because I wanted a portfolio. Then I learned about financial independence, and I was like, ‘This is perfect. This is what I’m saving for.'”
Brandon, who is married but keeps his finances largely separate from his wife, Jill, an optometrist who isn’t interested in retiring, was talking about the concept of financial independence as pursued and documented by an online community of bloggers and readers seeking to save enough that they can stop working and “retire.”