Read these 6 Early Retirement Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Retirement tips and hundreds of other topics.
Have you thought about how to retire early? It's not just for lucky internet tycoons or CEOs with a golden parachute. Early retirement takes some careful planning and is probably possible for many who never thought they could retire quickly. The key is planning and knowing exactly what your needs are. As a first step, start keeping a record of every expenditure you make, down to the last cent. Be diligent about this, and eventually you will have a clearer picture of what your financial needs will be after you retire. Next, you need to make a plan to build the funds you need to support those needs. This will probably need a good financial planner. Shop carefully and ask around, and be prepared to seek and consider a second opinion.
The recent bear market has made a lot of people nervous about investing in stocks to fund an early retirement. It may not be as easy to retire quickly as it was during the halcyon days before the high-tech bubble burst, but it was also a lot riskier. The easiest way to reduce the risk of investing in equities and improve the gain is to increase the time you hang on to your portfolio. Even taking the current climate into account, holding on to your stocks for the long haul is a good investment.
It doesn't get any sweeter than early retirement. To retire early is to gain a measure of control over your life and time that other only dream of. What you may not realize is that with some savvy and discipline, you may be able to retire quickly... or at least more quickly than you thought. Take a good hard look at your expenses, your assets and your liabilities. Sometimes, by making thoughtful, carefully considered choices you can cut your overhead by a surprising amount (do you really need that new boat or BMW?). A growing number of people have found out how to retire early by enhancing the value of their assets by reducing overhead.
Early retirement can bring some unexpected challenges. Those who retire young often did so by pulling 60 hour weeks and not spending much time with their spouses and families. When it comes time to retire early to spend more time with their spouse, some people find themselves craving the privacy of the office. Doing a little part-time work on the side is one way to assuage that need. If you retire early, be aware that you may need to re-engineer the way you interact with those you care about.
59 1/2 is the age at which one can retire early and start to receive retirement plan distributions without penalty, you can get full access to your money in a company plan such as a 401(k) if you "retire young" at 55. The hitch is, you have to stop working entirely. If you plan early retirement at a younger age, you'll owe a penalty for spending the money early unless you follow a very specific set of rules for withdrawing it. Some company plans allow this, others don't. Check with your financial advisor or your company's 401(k) representative to find out what your options are.
So you want to retire young. Great. What are you going to do with all that extra time? A major financial magazine asked hundreds of Americans between the ages of 36 and 54 to describe their idea of the perfect early retirement. Here's a small sample of what life will be like if they could retire early. 64% plan to continue working, 11% will be starting a completely new full-time career, 36% will be politically active, 50% want to volunteer their time to charities, 45% plan to move into a new home, and 49% of those to a new state, probably where the sun shines a lot.