The concept of early retirement is a simple one; in essence we need the income we’re deriving from pensions, investments and savings to match or exceed our living expenses. When this occurs, we’re financially independent and can stop working (for money at least).
The trick is to achieve financial independence as early as possible, freeing you from wage slavery, and opening up a world of possibilities not afforded the unfortunate working man.
So what can be done to accelerate your retirement? How can you more quickly achieve this most exciting of goals?
2 Proven Ways To Retire Earlier
Broadly speaking the strategies for retiring early fall into two different categories. On the one hand you can spend less money; on the other you can earn more. The larger the gap between how much you’re earning, and how much you’re spending, the more you’ll have to invest, and the sooner you should be able to retire.
How To Retire Earlier By Spending Less
Reduce Your Monthly Expenses
Economizing can have a powerful effect on your retirement date. The lower your monthly expenses, the more money you’ll have available to put into savings and investments. That TV package you love so much, or that expensive cell phone plan, could be robbing you of years of freedom. The less money you can “waste” on frivolous expenses now, and the more you can pile into your retirement fund, the sooner your retirement account will hit your target number.
So don’t think of economizing as denying yourself life’s pleasures. Consider it investing in your future. The fewer posh coffees or daily newspapers you buy, the sooner you’ll be able to retire.
Reduce Your Retirement Goals
Those people aiming for early retirement normally have a target sum of money in mind.
This target has been carefully chosen to provide a specific level of income in retirement.
The truth is though that some people want such large incomes in retirement that they’ll spend decades building up the necessary nest egg.
As a result, another way to retire earlier than expected is to reduce the size of your target investment portfolio.
This can be done either by slightly downgrading your income expectations in retirement, or by accepting that you may have to do some simple, stress-free part time work in “retirement” to make ends meet.
Neither is necessarily the end of the world but the preferable option will really depend on your own personal circumstances.
Some people are so desperate to retire early that they would consider reducing their expenses further or taking a hassle-free part time job just to leave their energy-sapping day job a few years earlier.
How To Retire Earlier By Earning More
Land A Promotion
I met an inspiring lady just a few months ago. She had spent the last two decades planning for her retirement and was less than a year away from achieving her target savings goal. When she hit that target she was out of the game, for good. She was already making travel plans with her husband.
The reason she was able to retire after less than 20 years of work was that she had been merciless in her career. She had constantly sought to improve her skills, increase the value she offered to her employer and expand the responsibilities she took on. Over time, by jumping from one company to another, achieving an impressive pay raise with every new appointment, she had significantly increased her income.
While my own results have not been anywhere near as impressive, I have more than doubled my salary in the last 10 years and I expect to keep on seeing it grow into the future.
The fact is that landing a high paying job is possibly one of the easiest and most guaranteed ways to retire earlier. A big pay rise means more money to invest which means earlier retirement.
It all sounds well in theory, but making these leaps can take some effort. In your own role you’ve probably become typecast. You could be waiting years for the next promotion, if you’re even offered it at all. No, for best results you’re going to need to get out of your comfort zone. Brush up that resume and be willing to jump ship to another company for better benefits. Then, keep jumping.
Start Your Own Business
The other way to increase your income is to start your own part time business. The entrepreneurial route is far more risky; will your business actually take off or will you waste time and money trying to get it going? On the other hand, for business owners who succeed the rewards can be rich.
Fortunately, thanks to the advent of the internet, it isn’t necessary to totally quit your day job to set up your own business. You can build a website, start a blog, write an ebook or commission a piece of software in your own free time and *if* it starts to grow *then* you can make the “job vs business” decision. And if it fails, well you’ve still got your steady, reliable career to fall back on.
Retiring earlier really is that simple.
Just pick one or more (ideally all!) of these techniques and apply them to your own financial situation.
Assuming you pile all that extra cash into your retirement fund rather than wasting it on a consumer lifestyle you’ll inevitably speed up your rate of retirement.
See you on the beach! 🙂