Early Retirement is possible with a sound plan

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I can’t tell you how many times I hear clients complain about how tired they are of working and how they wish that time would speed up to retirement. For decades, the norm has been to stay in the workforce until at least age 65, and then retire. Who says you have to follow the norm? I am writing this column specifically for the twenty and thirty somethings who will listen and the ambitious 40 and 50 somethings who want to give early retirement a go.

How many times have we said, “If I only knew then what I know now?” Well, the least we can do is pass financial lessons learned down to our children and other young adults who would appreciate some sound advice. Here are a few helpful action items for those who are interested in early retirement:

  1. Live below your means. Although it’s tempting to go out and buy the most expensive car, the largest home and the finest clothes, if you want out of the work game early, those luxuries should take a back seat. Buy what meets your needs and save the excess. Avoid running up unnecessary debt and stick to the plan.
  2. Contribute the maximum in your 401k plan. If your place of employment offers a matching program for your retirement plan, contribute the highest percentage that the company or organization will match. If you start this at your first job, then you will hardly miss it. For those who are further along in your career, bite the bullet and up that contribution! Remember, you want out of the workplace early!
  3. Save. Save. Save! Identify a comfortable yet significant amount to save each time you get paid. Treat it like a bill, and pay yourself! Place your money in an interest-earning account. Before you know it, you’ll see that nest egg start to grow, and it’s a great feeling.
  4. Consider investing in the stock market. If you are up for a taking a risk, explore stock investments. There are many options available, and there are stock investors available to help you understand how investing works.
  5. Create additional streams of revenue. Ever heard of a side hustle? We all have some type of talent that we may or may not use on our 9-5 job. Think of a way to monetize it. Whether it’s baking cakes, landscaping or making jewelry, let your talents work for you then put those extra funds away!
  6. Invest in property. Owning a home or some other type of property is an investment. It can stand as collateral for a loan or yield a profit when selling it at a later time in life in preparation for retirement.
  7. Consult with a financial advisor. I actually recommend that you sit down with a financial advisor first. He or she can help map out a plan for your early retirement based on the type of lifestyle you want to live once leaving the workforce.

Early retirement is definitely possible if you plan accordingly. Good luck!

At Atled Financial, we are always looking for ways to improve your bottom-line. To schedule a complimentary consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email djwalker@atledfinancial.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!

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