We all want financial stability when we grow older, but the problem is, if you didn’t start like yesterday, you’re already behind. Never fear. It’s not too late to start fluffing up that cozy nest egg and if you start smart today, you just may be able to retire early and live your dreams of adventure and enjoyment.
5 Smart Things You Can Do Now To Retire Early
1. Pay your debt, pay yourself.
The first rung in the ladder to financial freedom is to pay off your debt. Start with credit card debt and then work your way up to automobile loans, student loans, and mortgage loans. Along with paying down debt, another smart piece of advice is to pay yourself at the same time. For example, if you pay $100 to your credit card a month, also pay $100 to your savings account. This not only accumulates, but makes saving a habit. Pay your debt, pay yourself.
2. Live conservatively.
It’s tempting to want to live big—to splurge on top-of-the-line vehicles or the latest play thing. But if you’re serious about retiring early, then pull the reins. You don’t have to scrimp, but minimize your spending when it comes to unnecessary items. Do you really need an $80,000 vehicle when a $40,000 will suffice? Live conservatively now so that you can live comfortably later.
3. Have a 401K.
Most employers offer a 401K and if you haven’t started contributing to your future yet, start NOW. Your employer might even match a portion of your contribution which adds up. For example, a 401K with $10,000 deposited in it each year can grow up to $800,000 in 25 years. Use a 401K calculator to generate your potential growth.
4. Work those side jobs.
Supplementing your main income with a few side jobs is a very smart idea. It will get you closer to retirement and provide you with skills and opportunities that might come in handy later. Many retirees find that they still like to dabble in hobbies—why not let those hobbies earn you a little extra moolah?
5. Make a solid investment.
Once debt is managed and you’ve got a sizable chunk of change saved, it may be time for investing. Real estate is a solid investment that can yield a continual income (say you own a rental property) or can payout big time in the long run (like selling a piece of valuable property). Whatever investment you make, do your research, stay the course, and let your early planning pay for your future.