Meet Peter Adeney, the Canadian-American who retired at 30 years old

The alias Mr. Money Moustache refers to 46 years old Peter Adeney, a charismatic financial blogger born in Ontario who is best known for retiring at 30. When you get to understand the financial journey of Peter Adeney and the current situation that the world is in right now, retiring at 30 or even living on a fraction of your income does not seem entirely possible. So how did he do it?


How does Mr. Money Moustache earn a living?

Peter Adeney made enough money while working for a software company to a point that he was able to retire at 30 and popularize the FIRE movement, which stands for Financial Independance, Retire Early.

However, his retirement was not the result of him earning millions of dollars. As a software engineer, his income was likely in the high tens of thousands of dollars. This is a fairly standard income, but the difference is that during his work years he was able to put away approximately $600,000 in his savings account in addition to a mortgage-free house worth $200,000.

While almost everyone piles on debts in their early working years, Adeney was set on living well below his means and constantly trying to grow his net worth. He didn’t fall into the trap of getting loaded with student debt, overpaying for a house, or trying to live beyond his means.

Adeney maintains that even if he continues to make money after retiring, the money is not necessary, since the stocks and ETFs he owns in his brokerage account generate enough cashflow to sustain his current lifestyle. This statement is not as impressive as it sounds. As a matter of fact, Mr. Money Moustache only spends $24,000 a year to support himself and his family.


Mr. Money Mustache’s early life

Peter Adeney was brought up in Caledonia, Ontario where his mother was a schoolteacher and an artist. His father, on the other hand, was an advertising agent who did not entertain the idea of advertisements on tobacco and alcohol. This is important because it shows that he did not come from a family that was incredibly wealthy. He has stated that what he remembers most about his life growing up was that they had no cable TV at home or even cars on the streets of their hometown.

He described his dad as being extremely frugal and his mother as only trying to keep up with this kind of lifestyle. He has two older sisters who are both engineers and a younger brother who is an Indie Rock singer under the stage name Wax Mannequin. There is no doubt that not everyone in Adeney’s family supports an extreme frugal lifestyle. One of his sisters Kathryn is described as being frugal too but her husband does not support the lifestyle. He did not reveal much about his other sister and brother and whether they took after his father.

When he was younger, Adeney would perform odd jobs like mowing the lawn for $5. Interestingly, he rarely used this money on material things. Instead, he would iron the $5 bills and place them in an album. From an early age, it was apparent that he knew and understood the value of a dollar. This is when he coined the mantra “every millionaire is made ten bucks a time.” It was when he was seventeen and he came across books that talked about money and investing when he made the decision to start thinking big.


The working life of Mr. Money Mustache

Adeney acquired his engineering degree in 1997 and after graduating started working for Newbridge Networks-a company in Ottawa. When he was twenty four, he moved to Colorado in 1999 and started his company Carrier Access. He again abandoned his project and was employed to write encryption code by Cisco when they moved to the city. He formally retired in 2005 after trying several other ventures, such as real estate.

Adeney created the alias Mr. Money Mustache to tell his story of triumph in money management how most people hardly pause to reflect on how their financial decisions today will affect their future. Many people believe that Mr. Money Mustache is one of the strongest advocates for the FIRE Movement.

Through his blog, Mr. Money Mustache, Adeney ended up becoming the official advocate for the FIRE Movement since he was such a “common man” who achieved such a desirable dream. For many years, Adeney did not openly disclose his identity. However, he gradually revealed more about his identity while still hiding behind his avatar Mr. Money Mustache. If you want to read the detailed story from Mr. Money Mustache himself, click here.

Mr. Money Mustache in 2021

To this day, Peter Adeney continues to live the frugal life that he constantly advocates for. He mostly gets around on foot or on a bicycle and the only time he uses his car is when he is hauling something heavy. It is also said that his family uses less than 3 tanks of gas annually. Adeney has been quoted in the past as saying that one of the reasons he retired was because he wanted to be an amazing dad. To this day, he is also still a lightning rod for discussion related to FIRE.

His blog, Mr. Money Mustache, is all about how the middle class should not spend beyond their means or own material things that don’t add value to their lives. On the blog is an active forum where discussions about investing in yourself, frugal living, and retiring early are the main topics of discussion. Across the world, Mustacians (how his followers refer to themselves) also hold physical meetings where they share ideas about living a frugal lifestyle, happiness and retiring early. In 2017, Adeney introduced to the world the headquarters of the Mustacian movement in Longmont and named it The MMM World Headquarters Building.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications