Even though retiring early may seem like an impossibility, it can be done. By doing so, you’ll make time to pursue other interests in your life. It isn’t easy, but with a lot of work you can achieve this dream by following these five steps.
Change how you look at money
A lot of people think you need to make as much money as possible if you want to retire by the time you’re in your 30s. While you can probably make enough money to retire if you don’t have a life outside of work, you will be miserable. The truth is that you probably don’t need millions of dollars to retire, so you can relax, keep doing what you’re doing for now, and move on to the next step.
Determine how much money you need to retire
To determine how much money you really need to retire early, divide what you plan to spend in retirement with your target withdrawal rate. This means that if you plan to spend $45,000 a year after taxes once you retire and you can safely withdraw three percent of your earnings every year, divide your $45,000 by 0.03. You will end up with $1.5 million, which is something that is more attainable than the three to eight million that many people think they need.
Your next step will be to reduce your expenses. This goal might mean some thrifty living on your part, so determine what you really need to live comfortably and downsize to that. Some examples of this plan could be finding a roommate or two to share your living expenses or getting rid of your car if you can get by with a bike or public transportation. The trick is making the sacrifices that work best for you.
Increase your income
Since you can only cut your expenses down so far before you start to lose your mind, you will need to increase your income if you hope to retire. Doing so doesn’t necessarily mean gunning for a promotion at work or finding a new high-paying job, but it might mean turning a hobby you enjoy into a side hustle. You will continue to do something that you enjoy in your spare time, but you will be making some money from it. You might even be able to turn your hobby into a passive income stream after you retire.
Speaking of passive income streams, you will need at least a few of these if you hope to retire. Invest in low cost index stocks and bonds as aggressively as you can. You don’t want to go overboard and throw all of your money on risky propositions, but find some stocks that look like they could be low-risk investments. If you play your cards right, these stocks could continue to pay off for you long after you retire.