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7 Steps To Achieving Early Retirement

I was able to retire early at the age of 30 using this exact early retirement strategy. I don’t have to work anymore and I have more time to do the things I love. How can you retire at 30? It is possible if you plan for the future and make the right decisions now. It is important to define what early retirement actually means to you. You can begin to create a plan to achieve early retirement if you have a clear idea of what it is.

What is Early Retirement?

The moment when you no longer have to work for money is known as early retirement. Financial freedom and the ability to live life on your own terms are what early retirement is all about. If you enjoy doing that, you can keep working. You have the power to make your own decisions about how you spend your time.

If you save enough money, you can leave your job if you get tired of it, because you have the freedom and flexibility to do that. It is possible to make the most of your money and have enough saved up to make a career change.

It’s been scientifically proven that working is actually good for you and many people who completely quit working start losing their mental faculties and people who retire early might actually die sooner.

So to me, early retirement means being able to make the shift from work you have to do to work you want to do. An old school idea is that when you retire you are done working. More and more retirees are finding ways to stay connected and productive, either through continuing to work in some capacity or venturing into new hobbies and interests.

Let me show you how I retired early and how you can too. I’m excited to share my knowledge with you so you can retire early.

Maximizing Your Early Retirement Strategy

A good early retirement strategy is built on maximizing three levers:

  1. Income – How much money you’re making
  2. Expenses – How much money you’re spending
  3. Saving – How much money you’re saving and investing

Determine your retire early or financial independence number, the amount of money you need for work to become optional, is the first step in building your early retirement strategy.

This isn’t an exact science since it’s a blend of how much money you need to live the life you want today and planning for a future “you” that you haven’t yet become. Over time, your financial plan should be adjusted as needed.

As you change, your number should change as well. It’s important to embrace the changes that come with growth, no matter how much you want to stay the same. It is likely that it will take you 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 years or more to have enough money to walk away. The journey to financial freedom is a marathon and not a sprint. As the cost of your lifestyle changes, you will need to refine your walk-away number calculations. It’s a good idea to review your walk-away number every few years to make sure it keeps up with your lifestyle.

7 Steps to Retiring Early

  1. Figure Up How Much Money You Need to Retire
  2. Cut Back On Your Three Biggest Expenses
  3. Increase & Diversify Your Income Streams
  4. Set Your Savings Goals
  5. Create a Simple Investing Strategy
  6. Fast Track Your Early Retirement Plan by Investing More
  7. Track Your Savings Rate & Net Worth

1. How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?

You need to save at least 25% of your annual expenses to have enough money to last you for the rest of your life, based on a series of papers known as the Trinity Studies. Everyone’s retirement situation is unique and should be tailored accordingly.

The percentage of your investment growth that you would be able to withdraw per year is known as the expected withdrawal rate. Your expected withdrawal rate should be adjusted periodically to make sure you have enough money for your retirement. A safe early retirement withdrawal percentage is between 3%- 4% adjusted for inflation, meaning you can take out an additional 2%- 3% per year depending on inflation. Depending on your personal financial situation, as well as market conditions, this withdrawal rate should be adjusted periodically.

Here’s how to calculate how much money you need to retire early:

Tracking your expenses will help you figure out how much money you are spending. A budget that works for you and your goals can be created once you have an idea of your yearly spending.

My wife and I spend approximately $50,000 per year, and you can see an approximate breakdown of my expenses by category here:

early retirement expenses

If you spend $50,000 a year, then you need to have somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000 to $1 million. Over time, this amount of money can be saved through budgeting and saving.

Whether you want to have kids or not will affect how much money you need to walk away. It’s important to make sure you have enough money set aside for unforeseen expenses when setting financial goals.

If you want a mansion in the Hamptons and an apartment in New York City, you will need millions and millions of dollars, which means you will need to make some huge tradeoffs in your life while you are trying to save that money. You may have to work harder to save that kind of money.

You don’t need to retire early if you don’t have enough money to live on. You can be prepared for an early retirement if you save more now.

[Online Tool] Calculate your own current expenses or project your future expenses

2. Cut Back On Your Three Biggest Expenses

What are your three biggest expenses?…

  1. Housing
  2. Transportation
  3. Food

You will always be able to save money where you spend the most money, even if you cut back on small purchases. You can make more informed decisions about where to save if you create a budget and track your spending. The average American family spends over 70% of their income on housing, transportation and food.

The most effective ways to cut back are listed. If you want to keep track of where your money is going, you need to analyze your current spending habits and create a budget.


If you want to make money on your housing expense, you should do everything you can to eliminate it. Renting out a spare room or taking on a side gig can help you cover your housing costs and possibly create an additional stream of income. The easiest way to do this is by house hacking, which is a simple strategy where you rent or buy a 2 or 3-bedroom apartment and rent out the extra rooms to offset, completely cover, or even make money on your rent or mortgage.

It is the fastest and easiest way to increase your savings rate and net worth. One of the easiest ways to reach your financial goals is to automate your savings.


Don’t buy a car if you don’t need one. Alternative methods of transportation may be more cost-effective. Always buy a used car if you do. The average American works for a year and a half in order to buy a new car. It’s important to find a car that fits your budget and needs. In most cities in the United States, you can buy a used car that will get you from point A to B safely and is reliable for under $5,000. Older used cars can be found for under $2,000 in many cities.

If you want to save money, buy a used car instead of a new one. You can save money by investing in a used car. If you’re commuting to and from work, here are some of our best tips for how to save money commuting.


There are many ways to save money on food. You can make food at home. Cooking at home can help build healthy eating habits and save money. Buy in bulk. Eat less meat. When shopping, calculate your cost per unit. It can be a great way to save money. You pay an incredible cost for convenience when you eat out or get your food delivered. The quality of food you receive may be more expensive than what you could make at home. Here are some good ways to save money eating out.

Here are another 101 ways to save money.

3. Increase and Diversify Your Income Streams

The next step is to try and make more money. You can save and invest money if you make more money. It is possible to grow your wealth even further by making wise investments. There are two places you should start – optimizing your full-time job and starting a side hustle.

If you made it that far, you would go to school, get a job, and retire after 40 years. It’s more common to have multiple jobs during a person’s lifetime. We are left to fend for ourselves now that your company took care of you with a lifetime pension. I’m grateful for the security that the pension provided, but I’m overwhelmed by the prospect of having to make my own financial decisions. It has never been easier to make more money. There are many ways to increase your income.

There are more ways to make money today. Anyone can create a profitable business with the right knowledge and determination. You can learn skills on the internet in less than a week, you can copy someone else’s work, and you can join a community of other people who are making money and building wealth. It is a powerful tool that can help you succeed.

Optimize Your 9 to 5

You should make as much money as you can if you don’t live your full-time job. Negotiate a raise and work remote opportunities so you have more control over your time and more time to make money on the side.

Make sure you’re maximizing all of your employee benefits, including commuter benefits, HSAs, and all retirement investing account opportunities. There is a video about how to maximize your 9 to 5. The tips and strategies in this video will help you maximize your productivity.

Start a Side Hustle

It is possible for anyone to make a few hundred extra dollars a week on the side. This extra income can be used to pay off debt, save for the future, or just enjoy life a little more. You make extra money doing anything – mow lawns, walk dogs, shovel snow, babysit, code online, tutor, make deliveries, chauffeur people, flip on eBay, sell a product on Amazon, participate in focus groups, or an infinite number of things.

Some side hustles can make you more money than others. It is important to research side hustles in order to maximize your earning potential. The best thing about side hustling is that you can make money doing anything. There is no limit to how much money you can make with a side hustle.

If you are side hustling for someone else, the money you can make will always be limited by the number of hours you have in the day. It’s important to start your own business in order to maximize your earnings potential. It’s really tough to get off your 9 to 5 job and hop in a To drive all night. There is a chance for drivers to make extra money by driving all night. People do it and it is a popular side hustle.

You are actually working for Lyft, even if you think you are working for yourself. You are part of a larger network that is helping to provide safe, reliable transportation to passengers around the country. Sure, it gives you flexibility and freedom, but no matter how much you drive for Uber or Lyft or deliver for Doordash or Instacart, you’ll always be limited to your own hours. You can’t scale because it’s limited to your own time. It is an ideal job choice for people who prefer flexibility in their work schedule.

You have to think about side hustles that you can do to build a business. In order to make the most of your time and efforts, it’s important to consider your skills and interests. You can probably make more money if you hire your own employers. If you are the person at the top, you will make more money because of the tradeoff of money and time. To maximize your profit, you need to invest time. This is just one of the many reasons blogging is a great side hustle. To learn how to make money blogging check out my Free 7 A day course on the side hustle. This course will teach you how to start and maintain a successful dayBlogging side hustle.

If you have an amazing idea for a new mobile app, but you don’t know how to code, it will take a lot of time to get that idea off the ground. You could hire a developer to help you with coding and bring your vision to life in a shorter time frame. It is possible to mow lawns in the evenings or on the weekends. You could save up for a car or college tuition with the extra income you make from mowing lawns.

If you have enough time, you should calibrate the difficulty of your side hustle based on the amount of time you have. Taking on too much can be counter productive. Many families who work at night after theirkids go to bed bring their kids with them on the weekend. They are able to do it because they schedule their time well. They have been able to reach their goals by using their organization skills and dedication.

Not only are you more likely to stick with it, but it also won’t feel like work because you can make money doing something you love. You should pursue activities and career paths that make you happy and fulfilled, not just those that make you the most money.

Video Series

Check out our post on How to Live Without a Job.

4. Set Daily, Weekly, Monthly, and Annual Savings Goals

My money goals are broken into daily goals. I am making progress towards my larger financial goals if this helps me stay on track. I still deposit money every day into my investment accounts and track my net worth for free using Personal Capital. Our minds are built to think. It can be difficult to reach our full potential if we don’t plan ahead and think about the future. Our ancestors were not able to comprehend the future. We are able to plan and prepare for big events that will shape our lives in the future. It is hard for us to save money because of this. It can be hard to stop spending money on things we don’t need.

You may have used the retirement projector at Personal Capital. It’s worth consulting with a financial advisor if you’re still unsure about your retirement strategy. The number you will need to retire is based on your inputs and progression. The numbers run into millions. Who can save the most money? It’s possible to save a million dollars over time if you start early, invest wisely and stay disciplined. I couldn’t buy a burrito when I first started. I was thankful to have a meal because I had not eaten all day.

These numbers are so large, they seem impossible to reach, and they actually discourage saving. A lot changes when we start thinking about money daily. Small changes in how we think about money can have a big impact on our financial wellbeing. If you are nerdy like me and want to go deeper on this topic check out the research of USC professor Daphna Oysterman.

What should be your daily goal? It should be doable and will help you move closer to your long-term goals. I decided I needed to save $50 a day in order to reach financial independence in 30 years. To achieve this goal, I created a budget and am tracking my expenses to make sure I stay on track. It can’t be a coincidence that I needed to save a Grant a day!

It’s a simple calculation, and I even created an early retirement calculator that makes it easy to figure out. I needed to save $50 a day and have a 5% annual compounding rate for 30 years to reach $1,250,000. I was able to achieve my goal by saving for thirty years and taking advantage of the power of compound interest. I had to save $18,250 a year to think about it. To reach my goal of saving $500,000 in 10 years, I needed to increase the amount by at least $20,000 annually. Max out the money.

I started to think. I began to think about all of the options available to me. I could fast-track my financial independence if I could save $51 a day. $1 more per day. I was hooked.

To figure out when you can retire early, check out this early retirement calculator :


You’re 5.76% on track to your goal of retiring at 45

You will need about: $1,150,000.00

You will have about: $66,283.96

5. Create a Simple Investing Strategy

A good early retirement investing strategy should be simple, focused on stocks, bonds, and real estate, and executed consistently. You should have both a short- and long-term investing strategy. You can make the best decisions for your future if you plan ahead and determine your investment goals.

While you can invest in anything, only invest in what you know and stick with asset classes that have performed well historically like stocks, bonds, and real estate. Diversification within these asset classes is important to spread risk and maximize returns. If you want to make sure your money is working for you, you need to invest in a tax efficient way. You should invest in your accounts the right way. You can maximize your return on investment by investing in your accounts the right way.

To learn more about how to invest for early retirement check out my step-by-step posts on best investing strategies and my early retirement investing strategy, as well as my book Financial Freedom, where I’ve outlined a 7-step investing strategy to help anyone retire early.

6. Fast Track Your Early Retirement by Investing More

Every day I deposited more money into my accounts. I have been doing this for almost a year and have seen my savings grow. I deposit my money directly into my investment accounts with the Vanguard app. It was $5 on some days, but I never missed a day. I saved at least $10 on most days, so I felt like I was making progress. I put 100% of what I made into the same account as a side hustle. Since investing in a diversified portfolio of index funds, my money has grown steadily. I didn’t let deposits clear my bank account. I make sure I have enough money to cover my expenses. I put the money into an investment account when I saw it. I knew it was the best decision I could make.

I was really happy when I passed the deposit threshold. I felt like I had unlocked a major milestone in my journey to financial freedom. I felt in control. I knew I was in front. I felt like I was leading the pack. Every day that I deposited more than $50 I was ahead in my retirement savings.

I was trying to make as much money as possible so I could invest it. I was able to make money on the side by taking on extra shifts at work. Every day I thought about making that $50 threshold. I was able to exceed the $50 threshold when I started looking for more creative ways to make money. I only got bonus points when I got a new client. Right into my account. I’m very happy with the money I put in there.

You might need less than you think. Don’t forget to include a buffer in your budget just in case.

Here is how much you need to save per day to reach your number:

early retirement 50 dollars day

Depositing money into my investment accounts feels like a game.

Fifty dollars was my daily minimum. In order to reach my financial goals, I began pushing myself to make more than fifty dollars a day. I deposited $100 dollars a day. I was able to save enough money to make a large purchase. I deposited $500+ a day as my side hustles took off. I knew I had to keep going because of the rapid growth of my bank account. I kept my daily $50 deposit goal even though I put as much in as I could that day. I put $20,000 in a day and the rest is history. I was able to grow my investments so much that I never looked back.

I was able to reach financial independence using this early retirement hack, as I was able to reduce my 30-year saving plan to just 5 years.

I still do this. I automate most of it and just put the money out of my account. I’m taking a more proactive approach to my savings goals. The minimum threshold is $200 a day. I don’t think anything below that is worth my time.

You can start at any level that is comfortable for you. As you grow in skill and confidence, you can work your way up to more advanced levels. There are many ways you can run with this idea. If you deposit $5 a day, you can increase it to $1 a week. You can build up your savings slowly and steadily. I bet you won’t miss that extra dollar.

Good old-fashioned manual depositing via your investment app makes it super easy to deposit, and there are a ton of apps you can use to do this for you. Many brokerages offer traditional savings accounts with more conservative investments if you’re not comfortable with investing via an app.

I use a combination of both automated and manual investments, since automation is my base and then I supplement it manually. This approach allows me to remain in control of my investments while ensuring that I am getting the best of both worlds.

7. Track Your Savings Rate and Net-Worth

It is not about how much money you make, it is about how much money you keep and invest. It’s important to plan for your finances in order to make wise investments and keep more money. If you make $1, you want it to be worth $5, $10, or $20 in the future. Investing your money wisely is the key to making that happen. This is how you get more done. Setting daily goals and eliminating distraction can help you get more done in less time. The savings rate and net worth are the most important numbers to track. The two measures will show you how close you are to your financial goals and how well your early retirement strategy is working.

Savings Rate

Your savings is the percentage of your income you save before or after taxes in all of your accounts. It can have a big impact on your financial future if you increase your savings rate. It will take you years to retire early if you have a low savings rate. It is important to save as much of your income as possible in order to retire early. The savings rate is easy to understand. You should calculate how much you are saving each month once you have determined your income. If you want to save a year of living expenses, you have to work for it. It’s important to remember that saving for your future is a priority no matter what your income level is.

Working Years To Save 1 Year of Living Expenses Depending on Savings Rates:

  • 10% savings rate: 9 years of work (1-0.1)/0.1
  • 25% savings rate: 3 years of work (1-0.25)/0.25
  • 50% savings rate: 1 year of work (1-0.5)/0.5
  • 75% savings rate: 1/3 of a year of work(1-0.75)/0.75

You will be able to retire early if you have a higher savings rate. You have a better chance of achieving an early retirement if you start saving sooner. Calculate your savings rate using our savings rate calculator.


While your income, savings rate, investment returns, debt to income ratio, and all those other numbers are important, the single most important metric that you should be tracking is your net worth. Tracking your net worth will help you understand where you are financially and give you a goal to work towards.

Your net-worth measures how much money you are worth by subtracting your debts from your assets. It is possible to understand your financial standing and set yourself up for future success with your net-worth. If you spend it all, it doesn’t matter how much you make. Learning how to budget and manage money is the key to financial success.

Calculate your net worth using our net-worth calculator and monitor your net worth using the powerful free net-worth tracker Personal Capital.

You Can Retire Early Too!

You will retire early if you invest more every day. To achieve financial freedom as soon as possible, your investment strategy should be tailored to your individual goals and risk tolerance. You will make time for it if it means a lot to you. You could reach early retirement days, weeks, or even months sooner with every $10 you invest today. Imagine how much time it will take you to make that investment. It is possible to save time and money by investing in yourself now.

Now that you have learned how to retire early, you need to pay attention to the mechanics and make decisions that minimize taxes, minimize fees, and invest consistently in the right accounts the right way, so you can reach early retirement as quickly as possible.

To learn more about how to retire early and the exact steps I took to retire at 30 check out my book

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