Habits That Help You To Early Retirement
It’s become a drag to drag yourself to the office every day. Maybe you love your work, but hate what the job has become: routine, boring and lacking both challenge and advancement. Or you’re stressed every day with working and caring for a home, kids and aging parents. Or you want to go back to school for a career change, but cannot find the time to squeeze in classes on top of a demanding employer. Early retirement sounds better and better every day. But how do you get there before the minimum age that your full Social Security benefits begin? How do you prepare and what can you do to arrive at the point where you can walk away from the working world sooner rather than later?
Stop the workforce whirlwind: six habits of successful early retirees:
Live within your means from the first job
What you bring in as income should be higher than what you spend, and that excess goes into savings and investing. Knowing how much is left unspent is the definition of living within your means. The target of early retirement means not keeping up other people’s spending; it’s charting your own course for money to spend after you have no more paychecks.
Before you buy new: can you recycle, repurpose, trade, barter or do without?
Consider every new purchase with the brakes on and your eyes towards alternatives first: can you recycle or repurpose the older item? Can you trade or barter or negotiate a lower price for the new item? Think of every major new purchase as a challenge to save money, rather than just spending it.
Housing is better when you’re not paying for all of it
Space of your own is exhilarating, but it’s also expensive. Look for ways to cut housing costs: sharing, renting out basement or attic space, offering your home for vacationers when you’re not there. If you don’t own a car, but have a garage or assigned street parking, rent the space to a driver in need.
Invest early and wisely; don’t pass up company money
Investing early doesn’t require a fortune. The tax benefits of investing come from not touching the money (usually until age 59 1/2) and regular deductions from your paycheck so the amount continues to grow. If your company offers a 401(k) or another retirement plan, especially with company-matched funds, use it. Choose a low-to-medium risk mix of stocks, low-cost index funds, bonds and cash or cash equivalents, such as money market funds, as part of this group, called an “asset allocation.” Find an adviser you trust and who will work with you as you get older and your investment needs change.
Spend on needs, save where you can
Investing in good work clothes, a reliable car and proactive health care means you’ll work, play and enjoy every aspect of your life longer, because what you buy will outlast fads and fashion trends. Put money into yourself, and avoid spending on every social media-texted whim and trend.
Think before you pay with plastic
If you pay your balance in full, on time and every month, then credit cards are a blessing. Choose the right one or two that pay you back in points or cash for things you want. If credit’s a control issue, it can get out of control fast, and daily interest rates vary from around 17% to over 25% for those with poor credit. Use credit sparingly, get a card with a low limit, check your balance and pay it in full, on time, every month.
The Credit Care Company is here to help you on the road to repairing your credit and living your life again after retirement. We can assist those with little or no credit history to build credit history, negotiate debt, resolve disputes, obtain business funding for growth, obtain secure credit cards and clean up credit reports. Your financial life doesn’t have to follow you like a dark cloud. Contact us and we’ll work with you on a personalized plan to restore your money and your life.