Just because the average American retires at the age of 63, it doesn’t mean that you cannot buck the trend and settle down with more than enough time to enjoy your golden years. However, you will need to make some serious sacrifices, take a few risks, and hope that things work out in your favor. Provided you make the commitment and follow these simple instructions, you can make your retirement goals a reality.
Get Ready to Work
Before we explore the steps that you can take to make retiring at 50 not only possible but realistic, you need to accept the wisdom of master marketer Gary Vaynerchuk and get ready to work. Gary’s philosophy is all about putting the hours in when you get home from work. Follow your passion from 6pm until 11pm every night when you get home from the office and you will be able to generate enough income to get yourself to a better place financially.
Once you accept the reality that it takes loads of after-hours work and potentially some significant sacrifices to make it, you’ll arm yourself with the mind-set that makes early retirement possible.
Commit to Substantial Saving
Most people start with a simple question when it comes to retirement – how much do I need to save? The short answer is to save as much as you possibly can: at least 10% to 15% of your take-home income. However, this model alone isn’t enough. You need to cut expenses wherever possible so that you can grow that number. Carpool, fewer clothes, less branded food – there are always areas in our lives that we can cut back on in order to grow that savings account.
No matter how successful your savings strategy is, it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to retire at 50 if you only start contemplating your finances at 45. It takes a considerable amount of time to build the savings momentum and financial stability you need to incorporate the strategies you need to make early retirement a reality.
The main difference between those saving for retirement and those who actively try to reach their retirement goals early is an understanding of the need to actively chase those goals. Far too often people take a passive approach to their retirement – putting a little away here or there in order to one day live an acceptable retirement. Set your retirement goal and chase it by taking a hybrid investment and savings approach. The savings you’ve accumulated are ideal for capital investments in high-yield stocks and commodities that can make you enough money to make early retirement real.
Invest in a diverse portfolio of funds and assets to make sure that your money is working for you, but don’t forget to contribute to a stable retirement fund to overcome the inevitable fluctuations that the markets will bring.
Risk runs at the heart of high-yield investments. Aggressive investors understand that they need to take risks in order to get the returns they’re after – unfortunately, it doesn’t come easily to those of us who are not comfortably parted with our money. The difference between those who manage to retire by 50 and those who don’t is bravery. If you have spent 30 years managing your money, combining smart safer investments with the calculated risk of a range of portfolio funds and options, then taking that final leap will not only be possible, but natural. You will have developed a deep and intuitive understanding of all that’s needed to succeed – but remember that things can always go wrong.
One final consideration to make when it comes to aiming to retire by 50 is the fact that financial trends fluctuate, and these movements have a massive impact on the value you can get from your investments. While it is a necessity that you set up a framework to guide your investments, always maintain contact with what the world is doing. The rise of certain stocks, technologies, or industries can present you with unforeseen opportunity – or conversely, require you to move money to avoid stagnation. By staying connected, reading, asking for advice, and taking an active position when it comes to your financial future, you better your chances of success.
By investing in your own understanding of economics, markets, and money in general you can become a competent investor. You may be surprised at how passive others are – and ultimately, that means there’s more to be made by those who know how to make their ambitions a reality.
About the Author
I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @ajalumnify