Your early retirement plan
We get it! You’d rather pluck your own eyelashes than spend another minute in that beige cubicle, but retirement’s decades away. Well, not so much, with this 5-step early retirement plan and the free Retirement Guide you can get at the button below.
What you’ll find here.
- Why it’s important to learn more
- Steps to earn more
- How to invest better
- The value in being a saver
- How to avoid borrowing and paying off debt
5 steps to early retirement
There’s a whole community called FIRE. Like Trekkies and Furries, these are like-minded individuals with common, shall we say, interests. The FIRE community seeks Financial Independence and to Retire Early.
That’s a fetish we can get into. In fact, we learned recording tomorrow’s Queer Money™ that we’re FIREs and didn’t know it. All along, we thought we were just flaming!
Are we jaunting off to Palm Springs for a life of leisure in leisure suits? Not quite. Our goal is to be geoliberated and boss-liberated. According to today’s ever-changing definition of everything, that meets the standard for today’s definition of retirement.
So, we happily admit that we’re on FIRE – just not down there. 😉 You, too, can be a flamer on FIRE with the five steps further down and the retirement calculator you’ll get from your free Retirement Guide.
1. Learn more
First, you need to know what retirement means to you. Yours could be a traditional retirement wearing black knee-high socks and sandals while playing Bridge in Boca. Yours could be the definition of many of today’s older retirees, who work part-time for a job or organization they actually like, or those who volunteer for the people and causes important to them. Or, you could simply want to never sit in rush hour traffic again and any means that makes this possible is retirement.
Once you know what your definition of retirement is, put a price tag on it. Know what your living expenses will be. Know how you’ll cover important things, like healthcare and other insurance. Know what it’ll cost you week-to-week, month-to-month and year-to-year.
2. Earn more
Right now, you’re saying, “No shit, Sherly Locks! If I could master this, I wouldn’t need your stupid 5-step plan for early retirement.”
Hear us out. We want you to think of a new way to earn money.
Stop looking only to “earned income” as your income source. In most cases, that kind of income will never get you the life you truly want, especially a life of early retirement. Consider other viable sources of income, like:
- Income from your own business(s)
- Real estate income
- Investment income
Nearly every member of the FIRE community has multiple streams of income and the above streams are the most common. To start your own business, see why we think every boy or girl needs a blog. Then, start one.
Here are more ways to increase your income and your income streams:
- Create and monetize a blog, like we did, for less than $4 a month. Sign up here for BlueHost to get our negotiated discount.
- Become an Instagram marketer to grow your blog, become an influencer or grow someone else’s blog. Sign up for The Mother of Marketing’s Instagram Masterclass by clicking this link.
- Sell products, yours or someone else’s, on Amazon and Etsy like our Credit Card Pay Off Plan members do.
- Become a Facebook Ads pro to grow your blog, become an influencer or grow someone else’s blog. Learn all there is to know by signing up at this link here.
- Learn to become a freelance writer from our mentor here and earn $60,000 a year as we did in less than two years. Sign up here.
- Make $22 an hour teaching English to Chinese people.
- Write and publish a book through Publish Your Purpose Press, a queer-owned and operated publishing company that helps queer authors get published. Start your authorship by clicking here.
- Become a virtual assistant and earn $10,000 a month. Sign up for $10K VA by clicking this link.
- Make a mint writing eBooks and selling them on Amazon. Learn more by clicking here.
Then, consider how you might want to get involved in real estate. This isn’t your home. It’s real estate that earns you income. Determine if you’d like to rent your own real estate investment properties as a landlord, fix up and sell properties as a flipper, or buy REITs or crowdfund real estate as an investor. There are a couple of options from which to choose.
AcreTrader has a simple mission: give investors direct access to the highly attractive asset class of farmland. This is a great way to diversify your portfolio.
M1 Finance REIT
M1 Finance is another trading firm that lets traders invest in real estate through a REIT. This is another great way to diversify your portfolio.
These are all viable and possible ways to increase your income. You just need to figure which one(s) are for you.
3. Invest more
Since the stock market was invented, it’s returned an annual average of 11.69% to investors. Since Bill Clinton swore an oath, the stock market has returned an average of over 9.00% a year to investors. Sure, some years sucked, but we’re talking averages.
It’s for these reasons that your next early retirement plan step is to invest early, regularly and often. You can’t retire early if you don’t invest in the stock market. If you currently have a W-2, max out your company-sponsored retirement plan. Then, invest in either a Traditional or a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and then invest in a taxable brokerage account.
This article isn’t about investing per se, but it’s important that we caution you. This step in the early retirement plan does not suggest radical or greedy investing. If you’re looking for one stock to make millions or are banking on cryptocurrency, you’re FIREing wrong.
Invest in a balanced portfolio that includes a combination of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), bonds, cash and maybe some of those REITs or that crowdfunded real estate we suggested above. If you need help getting started with investing, get our 10 super-simple steps and Super-Simple Investing Guide.
Get the 5 most important tips to retire early using real estate investing:
Then, get a copy of Chad Carson’s book, Retire Early with Real Estate: How Smart Investing Can Help You Escape the 9-5 Grind and Do More of What Matters. The key to every successful FIRE guy, gal or duo is that investing came first, even before Sunday Funday.
Here’s how to get the help you need with all your investing:
1. Sign up for Blooom
Get investment help from Blooom. Your investment options in company-sponsored retirement plans are often limited but even then, it can be hard to pick and manage the investments that are right for you because there are so many things to consider.
Don’t worry about it! Let Blooom worry about it for you – you just supervise.
Let Blooom do a 401(k), 403(b) or other company-sponsored retirement plan analysis for you, then do the research and provide you truly unbiased advice to build a portfolio that best suits your short- and long-term retirement goals based on the investments that are available to you in your employer plan.
If you have a Traditional or Roth IRA at either Vanguard, Fidelity or Charles Schwab, it can help you manage those accounts, too.
If you’re concerned about the current market volatility and its effects on your 401(k), 403(b), Blooom as three special O’s to help you with your investing during these turbulent times that you can see here.
2. Get an M1 Finance account
If you’re a go-it-alone, independent investor, open an account with M1 Finance – it’s free for retirement accounts with a minimum of $500 that you can access by clicking here.
M1 Finance is an incredibly flexible investing automation platform and great for individuals who are comfortable managing pre-built and customized Exchange Trade Funds (ETF)-based portfolios (see below), though they can model pre-built portfolios by Wall Street experts and robo-advised models.
• Trading is free
• There are no asset under management (AUM) fees
• There are no account fees (for brokerage accounts with a minimum of $100 and retirement accounts with a minimum of $500)
M1 Finance also allows for socially responsible investing, which is huge for the queer community.
3. Start investing with Acorns
Think you’re too broke to invest for retirement? You’re not; there’s always a way, and that way is investing through Acorns here!
With its spare change savings tool and cash-back rewards, Acorns lets account owners invest in taxable and, for your purposes here, retirement accounts using spare or loose change. It’s a great way to get started with investing, especially when you think you have no money to invest.
4. Save more
This step in the early retirement plan was probably obvious from above, but this is more than stashing cash under your mattress (figuratively, not literally). Yes, stash cash in retirement and savings accounts. Also, save on your costs of living.
If early retirement is your goal, maybe those brown Salvatore Ferragamo Tramezza Special Edition Medallion-Toe Oxford shoes aren’t that important. If you’re really, truly and honestly going to retire early, reliving your own version of Party Monster will get you nowhere – which was pretty much implied in the movie.
Calculate if the lifestyle you’re currently living will get you to the lifestyle you want. It’s not about not being fabulous, it’s about fabulously living how you want. Every single person on FIRE doesn’t spend any more money on anything that doesn’t or won’t let them retire early.
Find out what successful people do and then do that. Find out all that they do with the Retirement Guide complete with retirement calculator and gay retirement communities directory.
Some online banks to consider for help with saving your money:
1. Join CIT Bank
For one of the best online savings rates, open a Savings Builder Account with CIT Bank.
CIT’s base savings rate is currently 0.95%. If you can make a recurring monthly deposit of $100, you can take advantage of CIT’s Monthly Savers Plan, too. With CIT, there are no opening, monthly servicing or online transfer fees.
2. Open an account with Radius Bank
A feature we especially like that you won’t use in this case but may use in another is Radius’ 1% cashback program on debit card purchases.
So, if you’re looking to increase your income – and if you’re looking for money solutions you probably are – this is an easy way to supplement our tips from above.
5. Borrow less
Successful FIREy retirees are debt free – at least, free of credit card debt. When we were in $51,000 of credit card debt, we were paying $10,000 a year in credit card interest payments. That’s a huge waste of money! It’s also an example of why once people get into credit card debt, they struggle to get out of it.
How to calculate what your interest rates are costing you:
To see how you can pay off credit card debt super-fast, save money and improve your credit score, click here.
As for student loans and credit card debt, they pay that shit off as fast as possible if they ever acquired it at all. This early retirement plan will fail if you’re paying 18% – 23% in interest charges back to a bank. If you’re waiting for student loan forgiveness to be forgiven for having so much student loan debt, extend this early retirement plan ten more years.
The good news is that a large percentage of people who are now on FIRE got on that path because they had too much debt and decided there was a better way.
There is a better way with this 5-step retirement plan. Live the life of your dreams. It’s possible.
Here’s more help for retiring early:
- Debt Lasso Method: Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
- 21 Gay Couple Goals for the Most Fabulous Life
- 11 Secrets of Gay Power Couples You Don’t Know
Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll receive payment at no cost to you if you buy through these links. We only recommend products we use or thoroughly vet and would recommend to our moms. Buying too many of these is how you live fabulously broke. To live fabulously with financial security, start here.