7 Tips To Make Your Early Retirement Goal A Reality

Retirement is supposed to be a phase to reap the fruits of your labor. In many ways, carefree retirement is an attractive concept. Since financial freedom is an important factor in happy retirement, many think that you can only attain it after many years of backbreaking and arduous work. Thus, a vision of gray-haired individuals in their 50’s or 60’s blissfully spending their days pursuing the things they love is a common impression people have about retirement.

Just recently though, a growing movement named Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is challenging this typical concept of retirement. This lifestyle trend breaks the notion that retirement is only something that people in their golden years can enjoy. Although FIRE has its own share of criticisms, no one would probably say no to the privilege to do whatever you please without work responsibilities to think of even at a young age. After all, there is no rule setting a certain age for retirement. Check out the suggestions below that will help you attain financial independence and enjoy the benefits of retirement earlier in life:

Visualize your goals.

Every dream starts with a vision. It will be difficult to hit a target if you do not know where the target is in the first place. Therefore, if your wish is to retire early, the first thing you need to do is to lay out the things that you want to happen in your mind. At what age do you wish to sign off your work for good? Where and how do you want to spend it? It concerns your future so feel free to design a clear yet realistic vision of your retirement years. Visualizing your own perfect retirement in your mind will keep motivate and inspire you to take steps towards your goals.  

Make concrete plans.

A vision without accompanying action is likely to stay a vision. You need to develop tactics in every goal you pursue especially if it is something as ambitious as early retirement. What are the steps you will take to achieve your goals? You may need to list a step-by-step plan to easily keep track of your goals. It will be great if your concrete plans also involve a specific time frame so you can realistically gauge how long it will take to turn your dream into reality.

Save more.

Several factors make up a blissful retirement but one of the most important is financial freedom. You need a steady flow of income so you can afford to live comfortably after retirement. To do this, you need to be serious and aggressive about saving money. You can start by increasing the portion of your income that goes to savings. As long as you do not deprive yourself of basic needs, saving as much as 75% of your salary is an option you can consider. 

Work more.

You can easily save more if you earn more. So use your extra time wisely by finding ways to earn extra income.If you are creative and resourceful, you can discover a lot of ways to earn additional income. Do make sure that the side jobs you accept will not jeopardize your health or cause problems in your full-time job. 

Reduce expenses. 

To enjoy the rewards of early retirement, you may need to be willing to make some sacrifices. To make it possible to save more, be ready to cut your expenses as well. This might involve living below your means and depriving yourself of some luxuries.  Focus on your end goals so you do not get tempted to splurge. You can make this goal less difficult by adopting smart money-saving strategies. In the process, you may even learn to appreciate the beauty of living with less. 

Invest wisely. 

We all have to deal with rising inflation so it is best to maximize your hard-earned money by investing it where it can yield the greatest interest. You have several options such as starting a business, buying a property, or investing on stocks. These ventures can provide passive income that can be a great source of livelihood when you retire. Do remember that every investment has an accompanying risk so be very careful before making a decision. You need to study and understand the terms of investments as well as weigh the pros and cons. Consulting with a mentor can also help you make a wise choice. 

Settle your debts.

It would be hard to look forward to days of fun and leisure if debts and its accumulating interest are constantly lurking at the back of your mind. Make it a goal to breeze through retirement by settling your debts early on. You can research for ways on how you can settle existing debts with a lower interest rate. If you can, it may be wiser if you choose not to accrue debts in the first place.

In case you are thinking of a worthy goal to pursue, early retirement might not be such a bad idea. However, the road to a happy retirement is not something you can expect to receive on a silver platter. You need to be determined and committed to achieve your goals. Things may not be easy but with a few conscious efforts to do things differently, it is certainly a possibility.

Ty and Venessa Crandell7 Tips To Make Your Early Retirement Goal A Reality
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Four Science-Proven Tactics To Save Money With Ease

For the majority, money is an essential resource that you need to work hard for. With that in mind, you surely would not want to waste the fruits of your labor with careless spending. Proper cash management is essential to securing your future. Aside from the material benefits that money can provide, researchers from Texas Tech University proved in a study that increasing savings or assets significantly contributes to one’s life satisfaction or happiness. In spite of this, saving money is easier said than done. The temptation to splurge and spend follows you wherever you go. With the money-saving strategies presented below, you can watch your finances grow in no time.

Prioritize savings.

If you wait until you are done paying bills and buying necessities before setting aside money to save, you may end up with zero left over to store. You can avoid this mistake by using the “pay yourself first” tactic. Prioritize growing your savings by deducting the money for saving right after receiving your salary.  This is easier to do today as banks and companies often team up to offer an automatic savings option. An experimental study revealed automatic payroll deductions is a highly effective way to increase savings may convince you to try this method.

Hide your credit cards.

Credit cards can provide a convenient way to shop, but cashless transactions make it easier for you to overspend. To spare yourself the trouble of high credit card bills and charges, get into the habit of paying in cash. Cash may be your last option when your credit card is available, so you may want to leave your plastic at home. If you are not carrying your cards around, you can think twice before purchasing an item or only use it during times when it is really necessary. This claim is proven by Dun & Bradstreet, a consulting company with a study showing that people tend to spend up to 18% more when using credit cards. Just think of how much you can save by paying with physical vs. plastic money.

Procrastinate on spending.

Procrastination is a bad habit that kills productivity. Surprisingly, the practice of choosing to do things later can be a great tactic to help you save for the rainy days. You can do this by opting not to immediately buy items that you want. Instead, give yourself a day or two to think about whether you really want to purchase that item. Chances are, your desire to purchase something might have dwindle. If you are lucky, those items might already be on sale when you do come back to finally buy it. This strategy is proven to work, according to a research from Paris Dauphine University, saying that by delaying purchases  you can kick the habit of impulse purchases and save your precious dollars.

Visualize the future.

If you really want something and you have the cash for it, stopping yourself from buying it can be extremely difficult. To avoid overspending on unnecessary items, try imagining the negative consequences of giving in to your wants. Think about the rewards that you will reap by sticking to your resolve to save money. If you spend without regard about its effects on your future financial status, saving money is much harder. This theory is proven by a study from the Journal of Consumer Research. In order to grow your savings with ease, it will help to visualize the positive and negative effects of your spending habits.

Money management takes hard work and discipline. It may be hard to save up cash to ensure a comfortable future but it will surely be worth it. If you do not want money to be a major concern someday, you have to exert real effort to build up your savings. If you save religiously and invest wisely, you can soon enjoy  financial freedom.

Ty and Venessa CrandellFour Science-Proven Tactics To Save Money With Ease
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Want To Excel At Work But Afraid Of A Burnout? Try These Life Hacks!

The goal of delivering excellent work performance is a definitely not a one-time deal. It is a day-to-day task that you should deliver impressive job or service regardless of the circumstances. The huge pressure of this responsibility can be terribly stressful which may lead to exhaustion or burnout.

Sadly, poor work-life balance often puts the most motivated and talented people at risk for a breakdown. It is a must for everyone to take steps to avoid burnout because it can kill enthusiasm, decrease productivity, and prevent success. The good news is that with a few simple hacks, you can effortlessly excel at work and keep burnout at bay:

Listen To Your Body

Sometimes, common sense is all you need to survive in this world. If your body is already screaming with undeniable aches and pains, it means you need to give it a rest. Many highly-ambitious individuals would try to rise above expectations and do as much work as possible to the point of stretching their stamina to the limits. Do not forget that without enough rest and proper nutrients, your physical and mental faculties cannot function at its best as well.

Focus On Quality Rather Than Quantity

Overachievers may be tempted to work on several projects at once with the belief that they can accomplish a lot this way. However, multitaskers may find it hard to claim expertise in a specific area because it limits the time and attention they can devote to each task. Aside from that, they greatly increase the possibility of experiencing fatigue. On the other hand, if you solely dedicate your best efforts to a single project at a time, you get a chance to master a specific skill and considerably lessen the workload. This theory proposed by author and professor, Morten Hansen, in his book, “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” is a must-try if you want to sustain your interests and satisfaction in your work.

Adopt Good Habits For Better Time-Management

Your day will be twice as hard without routines and habits that can guide you along the way. Useful habits such as planning your day, making to-do lists, and waking up early will go a long way to make your day as smooth and stress-free as possible. This also emphasized the need for discipline as you set out to deliver top-notch performance for every task at hand.

Insert Quick Breaks In Your Routine

You may equate a highly-productive day to longer working hours and fewer break times. Apparently, this concept is the culprit for many work-related health issues and may even result in poor job performance in the long run. To avoid this, you may want to try a time-management strategy called the Pomodoro Technique which was developed by entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo. In this method, you reward yourself with 5-10 minutes of break after working uninterruptedly on a task for 25 minutes. This technique lowers the chance of a burnout and also claims to effectively combat procrastination, increase productivity, and enhance focus.

Do Not Hesitate To Say No

If you say yes to every request or invitation, you may find yourself laden with more assignments than you can handle. This is unlikely to happen if you have a realistic perception of the number of tasks that you can take. So wisely assess your situation to know if you can still squeeze in a favor to your schedule or will it already cost you precious time.

As a conclusion, it pays to always be on the lookout for mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion as you challenge yourself to achieve great things and exceed expectations. You owe it to yourself to aim for a healthy work-life balance because your own well-being and happiness should always be your first priority.

Ty and Venessa CrandellWant To Excel At Work But Afraid Of A Burnout? Try These Life Hacks!
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Three Vital Reasons To Aim For Financial Freedom

Financial freedom results from earning, or saving, enough money to be comfortable, no matter what unforeseen circumstance occurs. If you’ve established passive income from multiple revenue streams, or have a job that covers your expenses, you are in the perfect position to let your money work for you. Having the liberty to make decisions based on choice, rather than the pursuit of income, is a key element of life satisfaction. This type of happiness adds value to your existence. Here’s how:

You Can Live a Healthier Life

Monetary flexibility is good for your health. Extra capital in your savings account can go toward an emergency health fund. Even with a decent insurance plan, unexpected illnesses or accidents can become a huge expense. If you are not prepared to cover such a cost, you may be forced to choose between: incurring debt and settling for the medical care you can afford. On the contrary, if you’ve budgeted for such a scenario, you can pay for the medical attention you need without creating a financial crisis. Having the peace of mind that comes with being prepared reduces stress levels. Most people fear the unknown because they haven’t been able to adequately plan for it. Fear causes stress. This panic can be minimized with financial freedom. To top it off, creating an emergency fund not only decreases stress, but also betters your mental health. Worrying about money is draining. It can consume your every thought and action, but it doesn’t have to. You deserve the freedom of serenity, the freedom of prioritizing quality over cost, and the freedom of mental health. While money doesn’t buy happiness, it does indeed afford you better options for your health, and we can all benefit from that.

You Can Be a Blessing to Others

Most people have the desire to give, but lack the means. Some choose to set aside their budgets to assist others, but may face financial consequences down the line. This scenario is not ideal. Financial freedom affords you a unique opportunity to help others, sans fiscal compromise. Once you have more than enough money to support yourself, it’s much easier to give freely without sacrificing funds that were budgeted for other needs.

Financial freedom also creates flexibility of time. Charity doesn’t always mean money. Sometimes, time is the best gift you can give. People who must work a certain number of weekly hours in order to pay their bills probably don’t have many opportunities to take time off for service projects. However, people who have the flexibility of time, can and do.

You Can Take Control Again

When you are living paycheck to paycheck, you don’t have full control. Your financial needs dictate your time, decisions, and behavior. You may not be able to be spontaneous, take risks, or boldly stand up for your beliefs. When another person controls your ability to pay for your basic needs, you have to be careful not to agitate that source. Not being fully in control is limiting. Without financial freedom, it’s difficult to feel uninhibited. You may yearn to follow your dreams, pursue your passions, or express yourself without worry, but the consequences feel steep. Just remember, you don’t have to live that way. Set your goals on becoming financially unrestricted and watch how your options widen. Stop missing out on experiences that may interfere with your paycheck. Stop running from your dreams. Make freedom of choice a reality.

Financial freedom unlocks liberation in many other areas of life. You can’t afford to let money control you. Your health, passion, and life of charity are waiting for you. Create a path to economic independence, and start living the life you deserve.

Ty and Venessa CrandellThree Vital Reasons To Aim For Financial Freedom
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4 Qualities To Seek Out In Finding The Right Mentor For You

So often when people dream, they hold an unsustainable perception that in order to successfully achieve their goal, they must become some form of perfect. This common misconception of needing to be the best of the best can be seen across all fields and even be applied when people are in search of a mentor. Indeed candidates for mentors are ideally ones that have experienced a high level of success, but keep in mind finding the right mentor for you weighs more in importance than finding one that is able to do anything. Consider these four traits when narrowing in on who you want to guide you.

They Practice What They Preach
When seeking out a mentor, their consistent behavior is equally as important as their achievements. Anyone can read a textbook, how-to guide, or job description to uncover the proper techniques and qualifications for a specific role. When it comes to health or career choices, people are well aware what the correct decision is, but have a tough time following the path that they must be on. In selecting a mentor, find individuals that are dedicated to their purpose and disciplined to the process. Seeing someone act in a way that you aspire to be will help you find your motivation. A mentor that is true in both their words and actions will be able to assist you in overcoming roadblocks on your path to success.

There Is A Balance of Success and Failures
Whether you relate to the idea that “the greatest successes stem from failure” or “The greatest lessons are learned in failure”, there’s no denying that a stifled attempt at success can teach you great deals. By no means should you support an individual that continues to putz around in faulty practices, but dig into a mentor’s past to see if they have stumbled and gotten back up. The ability to learn from your mistakes is a vital skill to have and will make you better in all that you do. People that have recovered from instances of failure will also have the compassion and encouraging words for when you stumble along in your journey.

You Want To Learn From And Inspire Each Other
While their knowledge may be more factual about what will work and what won’t, your mentor should have an open mind about the things that they can learn from you. You should inspire each other to learn and grow together as individuals. Industries and skills are constantly transforming to make jobs more efficient or daily processes more effective. Find a mentor that is comfortable with the idea that they can learn from you and one that gives off positive energy that you can both work off of.

They Know When To Push You
Another key benefit of having a quality mentor that is right for you is having someone to push you past hurdles. A good mentor will have your best interest at heart because they care about you as a person, but will know when to give you an extra nudge to move you up to the next goal. The right mentor will be able to accurately assess your emotions and abilities towards the task at hand and will be able to push past your comfort zone without tearing you down. Whether it be through verbal coaching for your spirit, or addressing different character traits you need to possess to reach your goal a mentor is not afraid to be hard on you when they can see that you are capable of defeating the current barrier you are facing.

Ultimately when finding a mentor, take a moment and think if they are someone you would like to resemble in the future. You should never aim to be just like another person, but if you can respect and admire the way your mentor goes about their daily life, then you have found the person to guide you.

If you yourself are looking to become a mentor and don’t know if you’re fit for it, check out our post Is There Such A Thing As A Perfect Mentor?

Ty and Venessa Crandell4 Qualities To Seek Out In Finding The Right Mentor For You
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The Importance of Becoming the Dreamer and the Doer

Sarah Ban Breathnach, a celebrated author and public speaker, once claimed that “the world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.” And in those two sentences, Ban Breathnach captures the entire sentiments of the mentality we all need to adopt in order to live a productive and fulfilling life. Too often, people feel the need to define themselves as one or the other––as a dreamer or a doer, a romantic or a realist, a play-it-safer or a go-getter. But progress doesn’t function in dichotomies. Progress is a result of everyone becoming their best selves and not conforming to definitions, boundaries, or labels.

In the pursuit of whatever it is that you want to get out of life, you must work on and improve both aspects of your character. You must become both the dreamer and the doer. You must embrace your inner dreamer and allow yourself to live a lifestyle that promotes and encourages creativity and imagination. Live in a way that allows you the freedom to chase inspiration wherever and whenever you may find it. In doing so, your life will fuel your passions and reignite your spirit, again and again, every day. The world needs dreamers to think outside of the box, imagine the possibilities, and challenge the standard because that is exactly how progress is made.

Additionally, in order to match your creative imagination and make your ideas and dreams constructive and fulfilling, you have to become a go-getter and take action. The world needs people who realize their dreams and act on them. More than anything, the world needs people who have come alive. There’s a difference between people who dream of their goals and the people who make them a reality. And in order for this world to advance and change, we need people to be proactive in pursuit of whatever it is that makes them come alive. So wake up every morning determined to do one thing each day that sets your dream in motion.

Essentially, Sarah Ban Breathnach got it right when she said we have to become a hybrid of both a dreamer and a doer because that is just what you need to make something meaningful out of your life.

Ty and Venessa CrandellThe Importance of Becoming the Dreamer and the Doer
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4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life

Making the decision to join and participate in a mentoring program may be a personal one, but it should never be a difficult one. Choosing which program is the best fit for your personal needs, on the other hand, is where the most important decision-making comes into play. But, generally speaking, simply deciding to participate in a mentoring program should be a no-brainer because these programs offer countless benefits that provide both the mentor and the mentee with invaluable opportunities and experience, and here’s why.

For those considering mentorship, here are 4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life

Mentoring sessions are 100% supportive and completely confidential.

Mentoring sessions are completely confidential, and they provide the mentee with a trusted confidant to talk through any difficulties, setbacks, or problems that are relevant at the time. With the guaranteed trust of both the mentor and the mentee, each mentoring session is certain to a be a productive one, and likely both people will leave feeling refreshed and encouraged on their individual life endeavors.

Mentoring sessions enhances chances for success.

By participating in mentoring sessions, the mentee will gain knowledge, advice, and skills from the real-life experience of someone who is already successful and established in a particular field. Mentoring sessions also provide the mentee with guidance on how to most effectively incorporate the knowledge, advice, and lessons learned into their own life for the highest chances of success.

Mentoring sessions increase professional socialization.

Mentoring sessions are also a chance for the mentee to gain experience in conversing with someone highly well-informed in their field. In doing so, the mentee will gain professional social skills that are tailored to their field and required for success in it. If nothing else, mentoring sessions provide a valuable chance for mentees to network with successful business professionals on a similar career path.

Mentoring sessions provide clarity.

It is completely acceptable for a mentee to go into a mentoring session without a clear idea in mind of what they want their next five, ten, or fifteen years to look like. And what a relieving feeling that is!  Mentoring sessions serve as a tool to create a forward-thinking plan that clarifies future goals and the methods necessary to achieve them. In fact, it’s encouraged to leave behind certain thoughts about the future at the door and enter each session with an open mind. Even if the mentee is sure of their future plans and goals, mentoring sessions provide an opportunity to question and refine these plans so that they serve the mentee in the most successful way possible.

Ty and Venessa Crandell4 Ways Mentoring Enhances Your Life
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Why Traveling the World is Actually an Investment in Yourself

One of the main reasons that people don’t just take off from work to travel the world is that they feel that it’s an expensive luxury. They operate under the assumption that travel is for the rich. While it’s true that it takes money and time to be able to travel, it’s anything but a luxury. Traveling the world is actually an investment in yourself. So, this year, make time to broaden your horizon and better yourself by traveling to new places and experiencing other parts of the world.

Traveling the World Puts Your Problems in Perspective

If you’ve ever felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders, there’s nothing like traveling to a country where others are far less fortunate to alleviate that pressure. When you see how the vast majority of the world lives, it’s almost impossible to feel resentful of your own circumstances.

Hopefully, having your own problems put in perspective will inspire you to give back in a sustainable way to the communities you visit.

Even if you happen to visit corners of the world where people have similar privileges, those experiences still have the ability to impact your perspective. After all, humanity is humanity, and we all have issues we need to work through. When you travel the world, you get a front-row seat to see how everyone else lives, and you start to realize that we all need to work with one another to make the world a better place.

Traveling the World Eliminates Fear of Other Cultures

Again, when you get that front-row seat to the way everyone else lives, you begin to develop a greater sense of empathy. You realize that everyone is a person; everyone deserves love and compassion.

It’s so easy to classify people who don’t look or sound like you as “other,” but the truth is that we’re all human, and there’s no reason to fear one another. The first step to eliminating that fear is to foray into understanding. When you travel the world, you take that leap into understanding and being a part of someone else’s rich and colorful life.

Traveling the World Inspires You to Achieve Greatness

Finally, traveling the world is an investment in yourself in that it inspires you to achieve greatness. Opening yourself up to new perspectives and seeing the world through different lenses allows you to see greater potential in yourself and in others.

Traveling is one of the most inspirational things you can do, so what are you waiting for? Achieve greatness, broaden your horizons, and learn to love the world!

Ty and Venessa CrandellWhy Traveling the World is Actually an Investment in Yourself
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Is There Such Thing as a Perfect Mentor?

Is there such thing as a perfect mentor? Well, to answer that question, let’s pose an equally loaded one: is there such thing as a perfect person? Absolutely not! That idea is nonsensical. While there’s no such thing as a perfect mentor—and certainly no such thing as a perfect person—there are phenomenal mentors and incredible people. More than that, though, there are collectives of fantastic mentors and people that come together to help one another and propel each other to greater and greater success.

So, no, there isn’t such thing as a perfect mentor, but there are a thousand ways to be a wonderful mentor, and thousands of mentors you can look up to for different levels of guidance.

Great Mentors Work in Teams

Great mentors rarely fly solo. They’re the ones who can be found with an extensive network of contacts, people they know, and hands they’ve shaken. They’re connected, and they love introducing potentially great fits to one another.

When you’re attempting to be a great mentor or find a great mentor, you need only look for the people who seem to love making connections and casting positive nets. It takes knowing a great mentor to become a great mentor, after all.

Spectacular Mentors Work For You

The most spectacular mentors are the ones who aren’t in the game to advance themselves. They’re looking to help others and lay groundwork for the next successful generation of people. That’s why the most influential and helpful mentors are the ones who aren’t working for themselves; they’re working for you.

If you’re wanting to be a spectacular mentor, know that you’ll have to be in it to win it and have a positive attitude and a desire to help others, even if it means you do nothing for yourself in the process.

The Best Mentors Work With You

All of that being said, the onus is not all on the mentor to do the work for his or her mentees. The best mentors are the ones that work with you more than anything else. They’re there to help guide and motivate and steer you in the right direction.

In order to be the best possible mentor, you have to be willing and able to work well with others to achieve their dreams. And that’s about as close to perfect as you can get.

Ty and Venessa CrandellIs There Such Thing as a Perfect Mentor?
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