It takes a lot to impress Kevin O’Leary, but early retirees Steve and Courtney Adcock did it with their strict dedication to their retirement plan and a commitment to never trying to time the market.
CNBC Make It asked the chairman of O’Shares ETFs and judge on CNBC’s new show “Money Court” to watch the Adcocks’ episode of CNBC’s Millennial Money and share his take on the couple’s desert-dwelling lifestyle.
In the episode, 39-year-old Steve and 36-year-old Courtney, who retired in 2016 with a combined net worth of $870,000, talk about the importance of being financially savvy because they haven’t added a penny to their investments since they left their full-time jobs. They currently live in the Arizona desert and keep their spending to a minimum, including just $144 in property taxes each month.
“That’s very, very low. I don’t care where you are, that’s incredibly low,” O’Leary says. “But that means you’re also in the middle of nowhere. If you’re OK with that, that’s great.”
Though the Adcocks admit that their choices are different from many other people their age, they have no desire to go back to their day jobs. They also have no regrets about the cost-cutting measures they had to employ to get where they are now, including selling their house and eliminating almost all their restaurant spending for more than a year.
“I like this guy, he’s really pragmatic,” O’Leary said of Steve. “You’ve got to sacrifice like crazy, but you don’t want your life to feel like a sacrifice because that’s living in hell. They don’t.”
O’Leary said that the couple earned “a very high mark” of 8.76 out of 10, for the simple reason that they had a well-thought-out financial and life plan.
“They called it ‘retirement’ but it’s the way they wanted their lifestyle to go and they wanted to be able to afford it,” he said. “They did it successfully. I like people that plan that way and execute on their plan.”
Still, watching the Adcock’s story hasn’t inspired O’Leary to give it all up and move to the Arizona desert.
“It’s not for me,” O’Leary said. “I prefer to be in a city where I can go out to a restaurant for dinner or whatever. But for this couple, it’s working. Each to your own.”
Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”