Retiring Early: The FIRE Method
For some folks, it’s a dream to retire early. However, it can seem utterly impossible. This is especially true if one kickstarts their career at a later age, doesn’t set up a retirement account on time, or has general financial struggles that would make it difficult and even risky to retire at the age they want to. The good news is, there is a way you can retire early, all without having to have a high-paying job or busting your butt working 80 hours a week. It can all be done with what we call the FIRE method.
Save as Much as Possible
It’s easier said than done, but if you keep your eye on the prize (retirement), saving money won’t be so difficult after all. The FIRE method aims to save at least 25% to 50% of the income you bring in every month after taxes. This may involve some serious changes to your lifestyle. Start by cutting off all unnecessary and luxurious expenses, like your Netflix subscription, daily Starbucks runs, and biweekly manicures. Not only can the money you save be used in retirement, but it can also help you tackle debt before you retire.
It isn’t enough to just save. It would be best if you also grew your savings through proper investing. Not only does saving take quite a bit of time and grit but all your savings could be trashed by inflation. How do you get the most bang for your buck? You invest. Put some of your hard-earned cash into the stock market so that your earnings will eventually accumulate and better reflect the future current value of a dollar so that when you do retire, you won’t be living on small bucks.
Earn More Money
Increasing your income is never a bad idea. The good news is, that you won’t have to slave away working double shifts to earn more as part of this FIRE method principle. So breathe a sigh of relief! Know that earning more money can be easier than you might think. Simply asking your boss for a raise, picking up an extra shift or few every now and then, freelancing in your spare time, or starting a side business can make a big difference in the long run.
Live Well Below Your Means
Nobody wants to hear this, but if you want to retire early, you absolutely cannot live above or even at your means. You need to live below it as much as you can. This means not replacing your wardrobe every year, refraining from going out to eat, not upgrading your phone, and staying away from fancy vacations.
Living below your means may also mean saying no to simple purchases, like magazines, chewing gum, and chapstick, which can certainly add up, especially when we get comfortable spending money. It may be difficult to live so frugally now. However, you’re preparing yourself for a beautiful retirement. Just imagine getting to enjoy retirement living in Arizona with no stresses or worries!
The FIRE method: Conclusion
Saving for retirement is already a battle in itself. So, you may assume retiring early will be virtually impossible and merely a dream. On a brighter note, it is all very much possible to retire earlier than the average retirement age. Through the FIRE method, you can get a head start on retirement, living to live instead of working to live.