With me being 21 years old, its easy for me to put off retirement planning and say that retirement is light years away. But the reality is, the time to decide if I want to retirement will behere before I know it and it willonly be a smoother transition the earlier I start with planning and preparing for retirement. With me wanting to retire earlier than the average retirement age is,it is imperative for me to lay the groundwork for making my dream a reality. With that said, read on to learn how I will make a early retirement for myself a reality:
First and foremost, I will eliminate any debt I may have accumulated as soon as possible. With mebeing ableto go tocollege on a football scholarship, I will be able tograduate in December 2011 with minimal debt so I consider myself fortunate in this aspect being that I have minimal debt in a era where a lot of people are saddled with large amounts of student loan debt, credit car debt and other loans. I have already been paying back any student loans I may have taken out while in school and I speculate I will be completely debt free in 1-3 years upon graduation.
Next, I will make sure that me and my girlfriend whom's hand I intend on asking for, are on the same page as far as finances go. Its important to have a partner who sees eye to eye with you when it comes to money and finances. Luckily for me, I have a partner who wants the same things as me and wishes to also retire early. In my eyes, that is half of the battle.
Third, I will make sure I have a sufficient amount of money in a emergency savings for life's unexpected events. Ideally, I plan on accumulating around $5,000 to $20,000 which I will keep in a safe at home or in a bank account that is designated strictlyjust for emergencies.
Fourth, I will continue to invest my money in stocks which have on average given investors the most return on their money invested. I have accumulated around $2,000 worth of stock through my online brokerage account at www.sharebuilder.com. I invest in companies that have been around for a long time and pay their shareholders a hefty dividend each quarter. Companies I currently own in my portfolio are McDonalds, Altria Group, Walmart, General Electric, Johnson and Johnson, and Proctor and Gamble. I plan on pouring as much money into companies such as these and then reinvesting all of the dividends they pay out totheir shareholdersin order to purchase more stock in these companies. I will implement this strategy until I retire and then either sell off some of my stocks in these companies or attempt to live off ofthe dividendsfrom these companies.
Next, I will open up a Roth IRA with either a bank or a brokerage firm and aim to contribute ideally 5-15% of my annual salary to this account. In this account, I plan on investing in broad ETFs, stocks,and mutual funds like Vanguard mutual funds and companies I invest in like the ones in my online brokerage account at www.sharebuilder.com.
Its also important to take care of few other neccesities and expenses thatsimply can't be avoided. I planon buying life insurance policies for myself and my family, purchasing adecenthouse as well asa good running car. These are expenses that can't be avoided but you can control how much money you spend on these big ticket purchases. I will practice cost control when purchasing items like these. By the time I plan on retiring, I plan on having these expenses paid off or close to being paid off.
Finally as I near my early retirement, I plan on reviewing my portfolio and personal finances with a financial advisor and making sure Iam track to enjoy a successful early retirement. I will also review my portfolio and go over all ofthe stocks, Roth IRAs, life insurance policies, and any other investments Iwill have available to liveoff ofin retirement. I also plan on buying an anuity policyin order to insure some type of guaranteed monthly check for the rest of my life with some of the money frommy portfolio.
In conclusion, you may be thinking thatthis planwill be hard tocarry outbut I assure you I have had this plan in place since I was 18 years old. When you start at a young age, you don't have to have a lot of money to invest in order to end up with a large nest egg when you retire. The younger you start investing and putting your money into assets that go up in value, themorethe power of compounding interest will work in your favor andthe more money you will have to enjoy in retirement. The above outlined plan is what I will use to retire early and do the things I've always enjoyed doing. What's your plan for when you retire? I hope these words will inspire you as you embark on your own journey in life.