How To Retire Early (In Under 10 Years)

Susan and I aren’t ready to retire just yet, but I’ll be straight with you – we are eyeing the finishing line and it no longer looks as far away as it once did. We enjoy our work and we enjoy our lifestyle, so we won’t be packing it in today, but we’d like to cash out before we are 50. That is as long as we can continue to have the same standard of life as do now.

So, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at people who have retired early to see if we could find anything that they have in common. We found three things that these people all seemed to do well. In fact, many of them did it so well that from starting with nothing – they were laying about on a beach with no further need to work in just 10 years!

What You Need To Know To Retire In Ten Years

If you want to retire, you need an income. That means you need investments. There are three investments that seem to offer the best returns for this and they’re not complicated. We won’t be talking about buying fine wines or strange financial instruments, oh no. Our 3 options are quite vanilla:

  • Stock market investments. Do you know that the easiest way to invest in the stock market is to sink your money into an index tracking fund? The S&P has outperformed bank accounts for decades. Then you don’t even need to study stocks, you just assume that America will continue to do fine and let its business community as a whole grow your money.
  • Real estate investments. You can invest in commercial or residential property. This allows you to leverage small sums of money into much larger sums. Having somebody else pay the mortgage allows you to grow your equity and in the longer-term even make a profit on the rent!
  • Business ownership. You know where I stand on this. Start a blog. It’s the business that everyone can own. You can start today without any hassle whatsoever. You don’t need lots of cash. You don’t need any stock. You can open your business in the next day and by the time it’s been running for 10 years; it will be making a lot of money for you.

Something else that we noticed about those who retired early was this: they didn’t stick with just one form of investment.

These people were wise enough not to put all their eggs in one basket. Typically, they did this:

  • Started a business. The entrepreneurial lifestyle is not as financially demanding as most people believe. Susan and I make our living blogging. But there are dozens of other businesses you can start with less than $1,000. If you need some ideas for making extra cash check out these great ideas here.
  • Invested the profits in the stock market. They didn’t take ALL the profits out but they did take some and they put them in the stock market to grow them into more capital. This is a good idea because you don’t need a fortune to buy stocks or into an index tracking fund. $100 a month and you’re away!
  • They took those profits and leveraged them into property. Most of our entrepreneurs bought their own homes first. Then they bought others. The profits generated on the stock market gave them the deposit to buy properties. The rent and equity gain gave them more money to plow back into more property and into the stock market.

Thus, each investment, in the long-term, helped create other investments. You can see how that’s going to make a huge difference to how much money you can make in a short-period of time like 10 years.

Susan and I think you can combine this investing strategy with another – saving money. Susan talks at length about ways to save money here. The less you spend, the more you have to invest. The more you invest, the harder it works for you. The faster you can retire.

But How Much Would I Need To Retire?

They control their money rather than let their money control them. They pay off their debts fast and in the right order. That means the most expensive, like credit cards, are the first to go.

Then they invest their money so that it works for them. That means more money comes in every month and they revise their budget to ensure they understand how this will affect them.

Finally, they know how much it’s going to cost to maintain the lifestyle they want. So, for example, let’s say that comes to $5,000 a month to live the way you do today in retirement.

The Stock Market

If you want the stock market to fund all of that, it’s going to be expensive. You use the “rule of 4” (the idea that you never want to draw more than 4% of the investment in one year in order to keep that investment alive for 30 years).

In that case, you’d need to have about $8,000 a month going into a mutual fund paying out around 10% resulting in a pot of $1,500,000 or so and a $5,000 a month income for the next 30 years (or more).

Does that sound like too much? Then real estate may be a better bet.

The Real Estate Investment

If you were to buy a $200,000 house. You’d need a $40,000 deposit. In 10 years’ time, it would be worth roughly $400,000 (based on recent trends in property valuation). Most of the mortgage would be paid down. So, if you sold the house it would be worth $300,000 or it would produce roughly $1,000 in rental surplus each month by then.

If you can do this 5 times, you have $1.5 million in cash and invest it in that mutual fund or you can have an income of $5,000 in rental surplus each month. Either way, you’ve hit your retirement target.

Business Ownership

Susan and I own a few blogs now. Our income is in the 5-figure bracket each month and we’d expect to break 6-figures in the next 5 years or so.

If we brought somebody else in to run the business for us, we’d make a little less money, but we could retire now. With our property and stock investments, we’d have a very pleasant life to look forward to. But we’re young. So, we’ll wait.

Can I Really Retire In 10 Years?

10 years is possible, but it requires a lot of hard work and focus. So, the answer is “yes, you really can” but will you choose to do so? It’s up to you.

Let me know when you’re looking to retire in the comments below or if you have any great investment tips, I’d love to hear about them.

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