If you are like most hard-working people, you probably want to do all that you can to retire. You might not think that early retirement is an option, but for many people, it’s much simpler than you think. Here are 17 stupid simple ways that you, too, can achieve early retirement:
Focus on Your Goals, but Treat Yourself, Too
Yes, it’s true that you have to save money for your retirement in you want to do it early, but don’t forget to treat yourself every once in a while, too. Sure, you will have to make sacrifices, but celebrate life, too.
Be Happy About the Small Stuff
Relieving stress is important, so make sure to try to be happy about the small things in life. Even something like looking forward to an NBA playoff game or checking daily for the spring flowers to bloom can put a smile on your face, and thus, reduce stress.
Remain Inexorably Hopeful
Most early retirees have a very positive outlook on life, so start living that way, now. If you expect things to go well, you will trick your brain into always thinking that way. Then, you start taking actions to make it the real deal.
Don’t Listen to the Naysayers
So, a lot of people don’t follow the path to early retirement, and some even think that trying to retire early in unconventional or even “bad.” Some people who are saving for early retirement might even be called names or get into situations where people are just plain mean. Ignore it. They could probably do this, too, they just choose not to.
Eliminate Your Debts
If you have debt, you are going to have a difficult time retiring early because you are going to be shuffling any money that comes in directly into paying your debts. What are you supposed to live on?
Get a Hobby
You cannot simply retire to nothing. You must do something after retirement that helps you to feel accomplished, productive, and like a contributor to society. So, get a hobby, start painting, volunteer, or do something that you can keep doing after you retire.
Figure Out Who You Are
Who are you? Who are you now? Who are you going to be when you retire? Focusing on your identity is an important step for planning for your retirement.
Don’t Rely on Yourself
What? Stop. Don’t read too much into this. What this means is you shouldn’t rely on yourself to faithfully save your money. Instead, automate the process. This way, you won’t ever have to worry about remembering to transfer funds into your retirement account. Instead, set up auto paycheck deductions or even create an automatic transfer to your bank account.
Pay Yourself First
Budgets are boring, and because of this, many people do it all wrong. Usually, when someone does a budget, they pay others first, and then save what’s left. What if you switched the process, though. Put the money in your retirement account first, and then pay off the other stuff.
Focus on Your Personal Goals
Everywhere you look there are expert opinions on what you should do to have financial freedom. Forget about all of that. Instead, focus on your personal goals. Instead, think about your own personal goals, and then use a “try and see” method. Maybe it will work for you and maybe it won’t. Whatever “it” is, including saving for early retirement, it must be feasible for you.
Don’t Focus on Being a Minimalist
Is “minimalist” a negative term to you? If it is, it’s probably the “wrong” word. You definitely want to live within your means when saving for early retirement, but you don’t want to live a minimalist lifestyle. You shouldn’t be barely living an adequate lifestyle to retire early. All you need it so life within your means.
Talk About the Future
Make sure you are talking about the future a lot. This helps you to keep your eyes on the prize. Do it every day, and talk to your spouse or partner about it, too. Communication like this is critical for any retirement plan, especially when talking about early retirement.
Put Away Some “Fun Money”
All work and no play is not the way you should be living your life. Instead, make sure you are putting away a bit of fun money while in the process of saving for your retirement. Use this money to do things like take a weekend trip. This way you aren’t taking money out of your bank account when you might be better off using it to stock away for retirement.
Love Your Work
You can love what you do but hate your job, and honestly, a job is just a means to an end.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
All of us are on a different path to retirement, so you cannot compare yourself to other people. One person might be ahead of you, but that doesn’t mean they are “better.” The same can be said in the opposite way, too.
Have a Plan for When Things Go Bad
You can spend all the time in the world planning for your early retirement, but inevitably, plans were made to be broken. Sometimes, you can see things slowly starting to go downhill. If this is the case, pick yourself up and try a plan B. Can you reduce your spending? Can you live a bit of a cheaper lifestyle? Should you consider a side hustle? Even if you do these things temporarily, it could get you back on track when things start to go bad.
Pretend to Quit
Finally, think about your “quitting day.” This forces you to think about why you wanted to retire early, and it can be a great way to closely look at your motivation for doing this. You might even consider writing a letter to your boss or co-workers about your motivation for retiring early…just make sure you don’t actually send it.