What?! Retirement by age 45?! No, it’s not impossible – and YES it you can do it.
Here’s the insider scoop.
You need to figure out what your minimum annual income needs to be for you to retire. That is not necessarily what you make today. You spend a lot in order to work (think: buying work clothes, putting money away for retirement, commuter costs, childcare costs, buying lunch, etc…).
Here’s an example: say you make $50,000/year today. But you spend $1,000 per month on daycare for your daughter, you spend $10 per day on lunch because it’s too annoying to bring your own, and you have to spend $150/month on gas and train tickets to get to work.
By the time taxes are taken out of your salary, you probably only go home with $35,000-$40,000 per year. Of that you are spending $12,000 on childcare, $2500 on lunch, and $1800 on commuting. That brings you down to $18,700-$23,700 per year.
Do you live close to your work? If you weren’t working, would you be able to move somewhere that has cheaper rent OR a cheaper mortgage payment? That could save you anywhere from a few hundred dollars a month to a few thousand – and it adds up quick.
When you think you need $50,000/year to retire it sounds crazy to retire early… but if you figure out that you could retire on $15,000/year, it gets a lot easier. Here’s what you need to do to get there:
- Save every penny you can. And we mean every penny. Some people who follow the Freedom Plan save over half of their income.
- Live cheaply. Yes this means saying no to drinks with friends because dang they are expensive!! Invite your buddies over for a backyard beer rather than wasting your paycheck at the bar. It means eating things like eggs and rice and beans and making your own meals as often as possible. And any veggies are better than no veggies – if buying organic is too expensive, just eat the conventional produce! It’s a whole lot better than eating fast food.
- Invest smartly. You should be splitting your money between several types of investments to diversify – this is a strategy to maximize returns while minimizing risk. Check out this chart to see how different asset classes perform over time.