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.
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.
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.
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.
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.