Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! We’ll visit a Thai temple, drink some wine at Willamette Valley Vineyard, power wash and front deck splashes, go to RB40Jr’s Ultimate game, and BBQ. Whew, it’s going to be a busy weekend. Hope you had a fun weekend too. Drive safely.
Recently a reader asked if I had any advice for a guy or a girl. I get a question like this sometimes when I meet someone new. My standard answer is to save and invest as much as you can. This is a good answer because it’s a simple message. However, is it really the best advice for early retirement?
Saving and investing as much as you can is very general. It is the answer to most personal finance questions.
- How do I pay off my student loan? Save and invest more.
- How do I save to buy a house? Save and invest more.
- How can I pay for my child’s college education? Save and invest more.
- How do I retire at the age of forty? Save and invest more.
The answer is – Save and invest more. However, most people cannot implement it. They want to save, but they want to spend more. Change must come from within.
My best advice for early retirement
I started saving and investing when I got my first full-time job in 1996. Soon after, I maxed out my 401k with a Roth IRA. I even invested more in my taxable account. This is unusual because our savings rate as a country is a sad 5%. My family struggled financially when I was growing up, which affected me saving more than usual.
My savings rate was higher and that gave me a head start, but I wouldn’t have been able to retire early at that rate. It was only afterRetire at the age of forty“It became my mission that I could really save and invest more. Previously, I thought I would find a new job or switch company. I was counting on income from my career until I was 65. This was the crutch that kept me from doing something revolutionary.
Once I made it my mission to retire at the age of 40, I was able to devote all of my energy to making it happen. Instead of putting all of my creative energy into my day job, I channel it elsewhere.
- I started blogging – retired at 40.
- I tracked our cash flow to see how we were doing month to month.
- You have invested in rental properties and become the owner.
- You have transferred our taxable account into a dividend portfolio to generate income.
- We’ve increased our savings rate even more. In the end, we were able to pay the bills without relying on my salary from my old engineering job.
- I looked for ways to generate income outside of my day job.
- I read many personal finance blogs to get ideas and connect with like-minded people.
Now that I look back, a bunch of things happened after I set my retirement goal of 40. The last 14 years have been much more stable. I worked, came home, tried to decompress and have fun. This is how normal people work. They save 10% and then use the rest of their income to enjoy life. If you want to retire early, you need to get out of that box.
Early retirement is possible
I think early retirement is an attainable goal for most of us. You don’t have to be Google’s CFO to retire early. If you’re making a decent income and make up your mind about it, you can make it happen. Look at Jason. He was a service advisor at a car dealership and earned an average salary. The easy thing to do would have been to carry on like 160 million middle-class Americans, but he set a goal to retire after 12 years instead. In just 3 years, he has built his dividend portfolio from $5,000 to $100,000. Now, he is living his dream. His dividend income pays all of his expenses.
So this is my best advice for early retirement. You need to make it your moon mission. Going to the moon is not easy. It will take a lot of effort and there will be many setbacks, but you will succeed if you persevere and be creative with it. Get obsessed with it.
What do you think of this advice?
In fact, I think it’s better to build a life that you don’t have to retire from than to retire completely.
Image credit: Cat poster from The Lego Movie
Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects all over the USA so check them out!
Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital to DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.
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