Setting a Financial Foundation to Retire
If you’re dreaming of leaving the working world behind and retiring early, it’s important to start
laying your financial foundation as soon as possible. Careful planning and saving can ensure that
you’ll have the funds you need to leave your nine to five job well before you turn 60. Making
smart financial decisions now are the key to making your dreams come true in the future.
Whether it’s choosing a smaller home, or opting for less expensive forms of entertainment, you
need to start laying your financial foundation today if you expect to retire before your golden
As the economy recovers from the recession, interest rates remain at historic lows. Though
returns on savings accounts are low due to the low interest rates, creating a large nest egg is still
a vital part of retiring early. If you plan to retire in the near future — say in the next decade or
so — you’ll need to look into relatively safe investment routes, which include bonds and savings
Since high interest rates aren’t available to fund your retirement, you’ll need to work on living
on less money now, and putting more into savings for later. While this principle is extremely
difficult for cash-strapped 20 year olds, saving does get easier once large investments like
college or a mortgage are paid off. Lump sum payments later in life are a great way to catch up
on savings to ensure your early retirement plans stay on track. According to experts, saving just
15 percent of your income for eight to ten years is enough to retire by age 65.
Make a Move if Needed
While it’s true that the housing market has finally started to recover, home values alone won’t be
enough to pad your net worth and make retirement a possibility. You need to look at your home
with a critical eye and be realistic about what it can do for you. You may find that it makes more
sense to sell while the market is strong, and move into a smaller home at a significant savings.
As a bonus, by choosing a smaller home now, you may not need to move again once you retire.
Living in less space means fewer expenses for heating, cooling and maintenance. Smaller houses
also cost less, and will leave more money in your retirement budget.
If you can, move to a town with lower property taxes and a lower cost of living. Look into up
and coming areas, as these places will provide plenty of opportunities for entertainment and
growth in the future.
Consider Working Part-Time
Many early retirees continue working part time or as a consultant after they leave the nine to five
world. This takes some of the pressure off of your finances, but still gives you the sense of
freedom you get from being retired. If you’re having trouble finding a part time job, change your
verbiage and start looking for projects or contract positions as these types of work typically have
Laying a strong financial foundation now and saving as much as possible can help make your
dreams of early retirement a reality. No matter how old you are, it’s never too late to start
aggressively planning for your future. Making small changes today can help make your golden
years even more enjoyable.
Jonah Engler is a New York based Entrepreneur, a financial expert, and a stock broker.