The Six Pillars of Early Retirement:
Since, coming to the realization that I don’t want to retire when I’m 60 or 70 years old, but instead 20 years earlier, I developed a dilemma. That dilemma was the task of developing my own plan. That plan needed to include a way of receiving income and getting rid of debt, all the while exploring life goals.
Pillar #1: THE FINISH LINE
Just like a GPS I had to figure out where I wanted to be first. In order to get to the finish line I have to figure out what the finish line looked like. I decided that the finish line would be a place where I would be receiving enough income to not only maintain my current standard of living but also have enough to explore. Throughout life I have avoided vacationing, because I knew if I liked where I was visiting I would want to stay. So, I know that my retirement will include me frequently living in foreign countries. Bottom-line, figuring out the activities that you want to accomplish while in retirement is key to building your roadmap to the finish line.
Pillar #2: MINDSET
You have to know from the very beginning that your dreams are attainable. I know I am going to accomplish my dream, that’s why I don’t mind sharing it with others. Unfortunately, not everyone you encounter will understand your goal of early retiree, so your mindset should be one of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs bet on themselves, and chase their dreams. Early retirees must have determination to persevere against all odds.
In order to assist you on your journey it is important to designate a “financial companion”. A financial companion is the person that you can bounce your ideas off of. My financial companion is Mike Levi, the person that introduced me to options trading. However, I am always in search of likeminded individuals to point out the holes in my plan.
Pillar #3: MONEY
At the finish line I need to have at least $300,000 saved. Before setting my number I Googled the average retirement account amounts for early retirees. I came across several sites and several blogs setting the number of round $600,000. With that amount of money those individuals expected to bring in around 3-5% interest per year, which would be their spending money/income. After I contemplated using this number as my goal for savings, I decided that number would be unrealistic given my career choice. With making around $60,000 per year, trying to save $30,000 of it per year sounds very unrealistic, when simultaneously trying to pay off student loans.
My biggest issue with this number is the fact that it was based on only receiving 3-5% return on my principal investment per year. I felt that with a large principal amount the investment percentage should be a lot higher. That is when I decided to set my investment goal at 1% per month. The concept of 1% investment returns was planted in my mind by my friend Mike Levi. By making very conservative investments we can yield 1% interest per month.
Pillar #4: DEBT REPAYMENT
A major hurdle to getting to retirement is being debt-free. That means no student loans, no car loans, no mortgages, or credit card loans. The problem with carrying debt is, it creates an obligation on your part to pay it back. The obligation to pay your debts back impedes your ability to make your own decisions. The longer you have debt, the longer you must have a job to repay your debt. So, being debt-free is a major pillar of our retirement.
Pillar #5: EDUCATION
Another pillar of my retirement plan is education. Education comes in two forms: 1. learning skills that will allow you more freedom, and 2. learning about how to invest your money. With the first form, this mostly includes different skills in which you can use as a freelancer, mostly computer based skills. Specific types of computer skills allow you the freedom to have more personal time to develop your retirement plans.
With the second form, learning how to invest your money personally was always a goal of mine. I always say, “nobody can lose my money better than I can.” In order to consistently gain 1% per month, I must educate myself on the different investment types. I’ve won and I’ve lost in my pursuit of a financial education, but I always seem to learn more from my losses. When you personally lose money you start to recognize the signs.
Pillar #6: HEALTH
Health is an unexpected pillar of my plan. When I realized that people can spend the same amount on medical bills as they do on mortgages, I concluded that health should be on the list. It is important to develop a healthy meal plan and also a meal budget. Also, exercise should be a part of your health plan. Even though I personally despise exercise, I realize the importance of keeping myself healthy. There is no point in retiring early if I’m two steps away from the grave when I do it. So in order for me to enjoy myself longer I need to be in good health which will decrease my health costs when I’m retired and eliminate major risk factors for me developing health problems. Last but not least, don’t forget about the possibility for the need of health insurance.
Remember to “ACHIEVE, BUILD, AND INSPIRE”
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