Is it really possible to do things in your twenties to set yourself up for retirement in your thirties? Yes! It is possible. Is it guaranteed? Of course not. There will always be factors outside of your control, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. Retirement in your thirties might be a lofty goal, but it is not impossible. So, why not work towards that goal? What is the worst thing that can happen? Good choices in your twenties might put you on the path to retirement. At worst, they will put you on the path to prosperity. Either way, here are 5 things that you can do to retire in your thirties.
1. Learn the Difference between Good and Bad Debt
Creating wealth often requires that you go into debt temporarily in order to make a profit later. This means that you need to have an excellent credit rating. Many people make the mistake of believing that the best approach to early retirement is to never go into debt. This is a big mistake. Having no debt means that you have no credit. This means that when you do need to go into debt, to invest in real estate, for example, creditors have no way of knowing if you are worth the risk. This is why incurring some good debt is necessary.
Good debt is a reasonable amount of debt that you carry, based upon your income that you pay on in a timely manner. One example of good debt would be a credit card that you obtain through your local bank that you carry a small balance on. As long as you make payments on time, and you carry over a small balance each month, you will be creditworthy when you need to borrow money. Just keep your debt to a minimum.
On the other hand, bad debt can be high-interest credit cards where you make only minimum payments and are frequently late, buy here pay here car purchases, and many types of in-store credit. Avoid this type of debt like the plague.
2. Start Saving Immediately and Make Sacrifices to do So
If you want to retire in your thirties, you will need to build a healthy, liquid savings account now. This will be your source of emergency funds. In addition to this, once you build up enough savings, you can begin to move some of this cash into a retirement fund or into other investments.
Your next question is probably how much should you have available in savings? That depends on your lifestyle and income. However, may experts say that you should save 1 to 2 years worth of income in case of an emergency? Just remember that your goals are different than your peers. They may be fine simply putting away 10 percent of each paycheck. If you aren’t making enough to save adequately this could be one of many signs that it is time to change careers. You, on the other hand, will need to put away much more. In fact, you will have to make important personal choices and sacrifice some wants to make early retirement happen.
3. Live as Simply as Possible
Consumerism is one of the biggest barriers to financial success. Every day, you are targeted with advertisements that are designed to do nothing more than thinking that you need to purchase products or services that you don’t really need. Take a look at your life as it is right now. What can you simplify, what can you give up, where can you cut back? For example, do you really need to own a car and a home? Are the maintenance and payments on both worth it? Maybe you could cut some complication out of your life and save money if you purchased a small condo that was close to work and rode the bus. Do you really need that full cable package with all of the sports and movie channels? Could you live with Netflix and just pay for wi-fi instead? What about using your smartphone as an internet hotspot instead of enriching some major cable conglomerate?
4. Don’t Purchase: Invest!
Speaking of overconsumption, remember that every dollar that you spend on a good or service is a dollar that you are not using to invest in your future. If you prioritize putting money into retirement savings or towards other investments, you can earn money on your money. This will go much further than money spent on some item that is going to depreciate over time. Whether you have a 401k or some other retirement plan, be sure that you are contributing the maximum amount that you can. Remember, if your employer has a matching program, you are throwing away money if you don’t invest at least that amount from your own paycheck.
When you get raises, tax refunds, or other windfalls of cash, don’t fall into the temptation to make some big-ticket purchase or take a vacation. Instead, put that money towards your investments. If making a purchase is necessary, focus on getting the most value for the smallest amount of money.
5. Make Your Free Time Productive Time
There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying life, doing things that make you happy in your down time, and even procrastinating from time to time. However, if you are like many people, you waste several hours each week simply being unproductive. This is time spent surfing the internet, watching television, and otherwise doing nothing that is constructive. Consider taking some of that spare time to pick up an extra job or starting a side business, to learn a new skill that you can monetize down the road, or to learn more about investing.
Wouldn’t it be great to get out of the rat race instead of working for the next forty years? If you make some sacrifices and smart choices now, this could be a very real opportunity for you.
About the Author
Rick Riddle is a marketing consultant and an up-and-coming blogger whose articles aim to help people with e-learning, career, entrepreneurship, self-development and digital marketing.