Want to Retire Early? Here’s How We’re Doing It.

Do you want to retire early? Start making plans now! This 30-something couple shares 6 tips which have them on the path to early retirement.

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Hi, my name is Greg! I’m 38 years old, and my wife Holly and I are on track to retire by the time we’re 52. Want to know our secrets? Here you go!

We Have a Monthly Plan

Retiring early means making the most of the money you already have. To do that, you need a monthly plan. Every month, we detail exactly where we want our money to go. After creating our plan, we track our spending to ensure we’re following through.

Tiller is a great app that helps create a plan and automate your tracking. Simply connect your accounts and the app does all the work for you. Use this link to try Tiller free for 30 days. After that, pay just a few bucks a month. (Trust me, it’s worth it.)

We Maximize Our Retirement Savings

If you want to retire early, you must take advantage of retirement accounts. When we worked at our old jobs, Holly and I made sure  we saved at least enough to meet our company match. (The match is free money, right?!?) But just meeting the match isn’t enough to retire early.

Even if you’re saving through work, you should definitely consider saving more on the side. Betterment is a great resource to help you do this. It’s like an “easy button” for investing. Just answer a few questions about your goals and risk tolerance, and they’ll create a fully-automated investment plan based on your answers. Best of all, they charge super low fees which could save you thousands over time and help you retire sooner!

Optimize Your 401(k) – Think your employer is optimizing your 401(k) plan? Think again. While your job might make a retirement plan available, it’s usually up to you to manage it. Blooom is a cool new plugin that helps manage your existing retirement accounts. You don’t even have to move any money or open any new investment accounts. Simply hook it up and let the plugin do the work. They’ll even give you a free analysis of your retirement accounts here.

We Cut Our Expenses

Speaking of spending, we actively search for ways to spend less on things that don’t matter so we can spend more on things that do. That way, we can save for retirement and still have money for stuff like travel and entertainment.

You should check out Trim, a free money saving app that finds old subscriptions you may have forgotten about. Simply tell Trim to cancel the bills you no longer use, and the app will do it automatically. Trim also reminds you about cash back deals, negotiate your cable bill, and alert you to price reductions on Amazon. Pretty cool if you ask me!

We Track Our Progress

For years, we’ve tracked all of our retirement accounts using the free money tools at Personal Capital. The program helps us view all of our accounts in one place, plus it has a nifty retirement calculator that keeps us on track to meet our goals. We can also track our net worth, keep an eye on our spending, and analyze how much we’re paying in investment fees.

We Invest Outside of the Stock Market

Although investing in retirement accounts is an important part of our early retirement strategy, one of the best moves we made was investing a percentage of our retirement funds outside of the stock market. This helped diversify our investments and create new streams of revenue that aren’t tied to stock market fluctuations. Personally, we choose to invest in real estate, but here are a few other options you can consider:

PeerStreet – If real estate investing sounds interesting but you don’t want to deal with the hassles of owning physical property, PeerStreet may be a good option. This company allows you to invest in real estate loans and share in a portion of the interest profits. You can choose your desired return based on the level of risk. It’s a really cool option for diversifying your investments in the real estate sphere.

Lending Club – This peer-to-peer lending website allows you to act like a bank, earning interest on your money by providing the capital for loans. Use your investments to create a side income or classify your investment as a tax-advantaged individual retirement account (I.R.A). The choice is yours. Requirements for becoming an investor are less stringent than at PeerStreet, making this an option for investors at almost all levels.

We Build Additional Streams of Income

Do you want to retire early? Start making plans now! This 30-something couple shares 6 tips which have them on the path to early retirement.To retire early, a single income from one job probably isn’t going to cut it. For most early retirees, it’s important to make extra money on the side. We’ve always sought ways to make money beyond our regular jobs. Luckily, there are a million ways to make extra money these days. In your spare time, you could try driving for Lyft, open a small business, or create an online store. The possibilities are endless.

Final Thoughts

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope this piece gives you some ideas on how to increase your own retirement savings. As always, I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments below. Good luck and here’s to a happy and healthy early retirement!

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    1. If I’m not mistaken, PeerStreet was founded by one of the guys “profiled” in The Big Short. So, it seems like there are probably some pretty smart people behind it.

      1. Greg, great article. I agree, maxing out 401k savings, especially when you get an employer match (100% return on the match right up front). You can’t beat that and compound growth and avoidance of tax on yearly gains while growing is a magic combination. Keep up the great work. I would love to see more articles like this one.

  1. I love how you travel often, love what you do, and STILL plan on retiring early. You’re living the ultimate dream! I’ll be stealing these tips for sure!

    1. Thanks Chonce! We’re just trying to make the most of what we’re given. So far, we’re pretty happy with the results 🙂

  2. I’d also add that people can try beefing up their income from their full-time job, too. The $200/mo I make from freelance writing is dwarfed by a $500/mo raise I got for the same work I’m already doing. And I get more of my free time. 🙂

    1. Making more from the job you already have is always a great way to get ahead! It’s a lot easier than bouncing around and finding another job, that’s for sure. I like that tip, especially when you combine it with a side income!

  3. I love that both of you are really savvy in optimizing, planning, and making a goal for early retirement. Traveling often and getting to do work you love, it’s a good balanced life. Great tips! Betterment can be amazing for uber-passive investing.

    1. Thanks Colin! In our former careers, we saw too many people die before they ever got to live out their dreams. On the other hand, we also saw people who died penniless because they were never able to save or never bothered to save. So, we’ve definitely made a conscious decision that we want to live now while still saving for the future.

  4. I had also not heard of Peer Street. Just a question have you determined what your FI number is. Your time frame of 52 is about my time frame (although I am a bit older and don’t travel quite as much I do hope to remedy that).

    1. Hey Jason! Thanks for reading! We have a ballpark figure for our FI, although we don’t really share our hard financial numbers any more. (It seems to dilute the message for too many people.) However, our main concern isn’t so much the savings number – although that is important. We’re really focusing on building income streams that will last throughout retirement. For us, that means our online businesses, rental property, stock market investments (of course), etc. I should also note that when I say “retire,” we’ll probably never fully retire. We’ll pull waaaaaaay back on the number of hours we work, but we’ll probably still blog well into retirement.

  5. I’m not sure why more people don’t try to have multiple streams of income. Especially with all the online automation tools we have these days.

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely an important tool for getting ahead. We’re conditioned to believe that a good paying job is all you need. However, most very successful people have multiple streams of income.

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