We’re running in a rat-race. While there’s still a long way to go, we can see financial independence on the horizon. Many of us don’t want to work until we’re 65 years old.
We want the race to end earlier. Perhaps at age 55. Perhaps sooner.
We want to achieve financial freedom!
Are you doing all that you can do, in order to cross the finish line earlier?
Here are 4 things that you should consider to achieve your goal.
Have you maximized your earning potential? Are there other career opportunities that you’ve been thinking of pursuing, but haven’t yet?
“Live Beneath Your Means” (LBYM)
Don’t try “Keeping up with the Joneses”
Those are two ways of phrasing the fact that you need to save money. If you want a chance at early retirement, you need to start doing this.
“But, I don’t want to be a hermit and live in poverty.”
You shouldn’t have to. Set up an automatic payment plan, whereby 10% of your paycheck is automatically deposited into an investment account. (If you still have debt, direct that 10% towards paying off your debts first. Once it’s paid off, redirect the 10% towards the investment account.) You may think that you need that 10% to live your life, but you don’t. You will learn to live without that 10%. You won’t miss it.
You can live happily in a more frugal lifestyle.
Don’t just sit there. Set up that automatic payment plan now!
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Investing
Take an interest in your personal finances.
Remember. No one cares as much about your money as you do.
Avoid high fee Mutual Funds. Instead, purchase passive index, low fee ETFs.
I wrote a post in which I stated that the high MER fees of mutual funds can ‘steal’ 3 years of your retirement away from you. That’s a conservative estimate. Some studies estimate that you could retire 10 years earlier.
Become a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Investor and save a huge amount of money.
Asset Allocation – Yes, you need Equities
A proper asset allocation for your risk tolerance will allow you to achieve your goals sooner.
Determine your personal asset allocation and execute your plan. For example, if you determine that your age and risk tolerance allows you to be 70% invested in equities, then ensure that you are fully invested in that amount.
Since the market crash of 2008, investors have been scared of equity markets. A fair chunk of their money has been sitting on the sidelines, in cash, avoiding the stock markets. If you want to retire early, you can’t be too conservative. Over the years, inflation and the ‘Cost of Living’ will silently eat away at your nest egg. You need to have your money working for you. If you want a chance at early financial freedom, then you’ll need to have a significant percentage of your portfolio in equities.
Don’t worry about things that you can’t control.
There is one item that you can’t control. Investment returns. This is the ‘luck’ factor.
The market will be ‘up’ in some years and ‘down’ some other years. This factor is completely out of your control. These investment returns will partially dictate where the finish line ends up for you. You can’t worry about this factor.
Instead, worry about what you can control. Pursue those factors that will allow you to reach the finish line sooner.
Financial independence and early retirement await you. Take action today.