I’m going to do my best to not make this another FIRE blog post. But the reality is, in most cases, early retirement is easier than you think. You don’t need to come up with 1 giant success to retire early, just come up with 3-4 ways that are each semi-successful that you enjoy.
Here are the avenues I’m using to retire within 10 years, in my mid-40s.
- Long term real estate investing
- Side hustle through auction buying and online selling with a little drop shipping mixed in
- Blogging so I have something I can continue to grow
- Finding a part time gig I genuinely enjoy
Just because it’s easier than you think doesn’t mean it won’t involve risk, and a little bit of work.
If you think you can just work your safe 9-5 job putting 15% of your pay away and have enough to retire early, keep dreaming. Even if you’re 30 years old and want to retire at 50, and you’re making $100k a year. After 20 years of putting $15,000 away, you’d still have only $900,000. Hardly enough for an early retirement.
I currently work full time in finance sales, there are worse things you can do for a living and it pays well enough, but the thought of doing it for the next 30 years makes me want to cry… hard… like a hard ugly cry. So it’s time to make some moves and do what all the other early retirees are doing.
Long Term Real Estate Investing
This is going to be my number 1 earner for early retirement. I’ve only just jumped into the world of real estate but so far so good. I was able to purchase a nice little single-family home for $100,000 with $20,000 down. I put another $10,000 into it doing a lot of the work myself. It costs me about $1,000 all in every month, but rents for $1,700! Now I put money aside for things like vacancies, damages, capital expenditures, but still its cash flowing a solid $500 a month even after that.
My first rental was a real home run, I don’t expect the next ones to be like that. I figure if I can buy 1 property a year for the next 10 years and cashflow even $350 a month from each one I’ll still have an income of $4,000 just from my rentals.
One property a year really isn’t hard, there’s risk and you have to be smart, but I promise it’s easier than you think. The other bonus is real estate income pays almost nothing in taxes, the tenants are paying down your mortgage and the house is appreciating, so your net worth grows every month.
If you’re new to real estate investing, I suggest doing research over at biggerpockets.com that’s where I learned pretty much everything I needed to know and ran into very few surprises when I finally pulled the trigger.
I have a side hustle that I LOVE, I go to auctions, win random stuff and I sell it online. Because I love it so much, I’m not using it just to come up with a large lump some to live off in retirement, but this is something I can do during my early retirement.
If I’m able to make $1,000 a month now working maybe 10 hours a month on this side hustle, imagine what I could make without a full-time job putting in 10 hours a week.
I’ve also recently started doing a little eBay drop shipping. I just take a listing from Aliexpress, copy and paste all the info into eBay and that’s it.
When an item sells, I place the order on Aliexpress and have it shipped directly to the buyer from eBay. I just sold a children’s desk for $195 that I get off Aliexpress for $115. There are some fees, but I should profit about $50. Took me maybe 5 mins and did not cost a dime up front. This is another avenue that is also expandable, but as it stands now should be worth an extra $250-$500 a moth with very little effort.
At this phase in my blog this is the Hail Mary. I’ve owned blogs before, had some traffic made a little money, but the same thing always happens. I lose interest. My last blog was all about my adventures while auctioning. But it was too mater of fact. I couldn’t blog about my opinions, or idea’s, it seemed it only made sense to blog about the auctions I’ve been to and the stuff I sold. It made it too hard to keep up, and I lost interest in the blog.
This blog is only a few weeks old but I have high hopes. I’m pretty good with SEO, I’m passionate about my blog topics, I’ve broken it down into “Self-help” like this post, “Long posts” that are involved opinion pieces with lots of SEO, and “short rants” that are just me hitting quick little hot topics for extra content.
I’m blogging 3 times a week no problem, with short and long term goals.
I don’t expect that this blog will start making $10k a month in it’s first year. But I do have a goal of seeing $1,000 a month by year 1, and even if I only reach half of that, I’m cool with it.
Eventually, so long as I stick with it, this blog will be an outlet for my opinions that will also give me some extra spending cash.
If you’re interested in starting your own blog I HIGHLY recommend going with SiteGround.com. I’ve used Hostgator for hosting but it was soooo slow. SiteGround has been awesome. CLICK HERE to get started with Siteground.
Part-time Gig I love
We’ve all sat in our car or on the train fantasizing about how we’d tell off our boss if we hit the lottery. Or daydreamed about what our perfect job would be if money wasn’t a factor.
When I “retire” I’m not going to travel the world, if I retire at 45 and have nothing to really do I’m going to get bored real quick. So I’m going to find something to keep me busy, something I love, that doesn’t get in the way of my other activities.
I like to fish, so maybe I’ll work at a trout hatchery part-time or a kayak shop. Or I could work as security at a state park because I love being outside. I once heard of a guy who goes out at night shooting muskrat with a bb gun for the township because they block up storm drains. When money is no longer an issue you can do whatever the hell you want.
If I can get a part-time job that pays even $2,000 a month, that’s $2,000 less I don’t need to make via real estate, or pray that this blog actually takes off. I’ll enjoy what I do, and will do it part-time so it wont get in the way of my life.
Forget the old school way of thinking
It used to just be “You need X in the bank to be able to retire with Y”, that sucks. Really take a step back and think about it, retirement is easier than you think and doesn’t have to be a large end number.
If you make $10,000 a month, do you really need to replace $10,000? After taxes what are you really bringing home? $7,0000?
So how do we replace a take home of $7,000 a month.
Well for one, you’re no longer putting 15% into an IRA so now we only need to get to $5,950. Do you have student loans or credit card bills you can pay off that are costing you $950 a month? Now we’re down to $5,000 every month.
So you get a few rental properties cash flowing $3,000 a month maybe that takes 7 years.
You get a little side hustle and make $1,000 a month.
You start a blog and stick with it an earn $750 a month
You get a part time job you love that pays $2,000 a month.
Your taxes a very low thanks to the massive real estate write offs you get, so when the dust settles, you’re now making $6,000 a month. You have $1,000 more in disposable income then if you just kept following the status quo.
It only took you 7 years to get there.
If you really wanted to, you can take that extra money and continue to buy rental property to increase your income even more. Your net worth is only growing, and you’ve ensured that you’ll never run out of money.
Decide what retiring means to you
Retirement has always been considered not working any more. To me that’s not retirement. To me retirement is having the financial freedom to do whatever makes you happy. Isn’t that really the point of retirement, “no longer working” so you can be happy.
Get a few side hustles, find a way to earn passive income while you sleep, then doing something part-time or even full time that you love. Allow yourself to take that pay cut to follow your dream. If your boss ever gives you a hard time you can tell them all the things you’ve already dreamed about saying to past bosses, then just move on to your next part time adventure.
Time to start thinking outside the box and you’ll realize Retirement is easier than you think.
A great way to get there, is by making small positive changes every day, by improving just 1%. Read more about how you can make small changes and build great habits HERE.