If you’re like most people, you work, pay bills, try to save, and hope for an early retirement. But if you’re strategic about it, you could accelerate your retirement with good planning and disciplined investing.
There are many ways to improve your financial stakes, from increasing your income to lowering your expenses. But the most important thing you can do is to have investments that make you money while you’re still working and long after you retire.
To steadily grow your wealth isn’t a thing that just happens. It’s a strategy and discipline that impacts all aspects of your life.
Take consumer spending, for example. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household spends nearly 75% of its household income on rent, food, energy, heating, and consumer goods.
So that means if you’re making nearly $80,000 as a household, you’re spending upwards of $60,000 to get by and live a comfortable life.
Suppose you want to accelerate your retirement and look to live comfortably in your later years. In that case, you’ll need to create a budget, including cost-of-living increases, decrease expenditures and discretionary spending, and create an investment portfolio that makes passive income over the length of the investments.
Create A Budget
The first step in shaping your financial future is to create a realistic budget that covers all your bills and also has room to allow you to save toward your goals.
When creating your budget, consider your family size, your immediate and future needs, and any short-term bills you need to pay off, like your credit cards or car loans.
Also, a problem most people face is that they don’t budget for cost-of-living increases, which will cut severely into any budget.
You can’t control the costs of things or the inflation rate, but you can add 10-15% on top of your budget to have a “rainy-day” fund that will cover living costs as they happen.
Budgeting does two things for you. First, it sets the expectations for income and expenses so that you’re operating within specific boundaries. Second, it shows you the expected amount you’ll need to get by for now and into retirement.
For example, if you have a mortgage payment and have 15 more years on it, then by budgeting, you establish expectations of what you will need to cover for the remaining terms of the loan.
This approach creates discipline in your spending and provides room for your budget after completing the loan.
On top of creating a budget, finding and eliminating unnecessary and costly expenditures is your next step toward creating a good financial foundation to prepare you for retirement.
Cost-cutting measures don’t need to be draconian. You just want to cut back and find room to save with simple things like;
- Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
- Avoid impulse buys
- Limit your credit card use
- Automate payments as needed
- Use loyalty points and sales to save money
Any effort to decrease your spending should be matched with increased income so that you double your savings opportunities. Consider a second job, a side hustle, or, most importantly, investing in things that will provide you with residual, passive income.
In part, developing a smart financial strategy is understanding your costs and revenue (budget), increasing income opportunities while lowering costs (decreasing expenditures), and making wise investments that make residuals on the side.
There are a few different ways to make wise investments that make you money on the side. Traditional ROTH 401(k)s are one of the most common ways, but plenty of alternative options are available.
One of the better ways to make a residual income is through real estate. Real estate is an investment that typically appreciates in time at faster and higher rates than inflation or cost-of-living, and if done correctly, can make residuals as well.
Rentals are the primary way investors can make money on their investment, but it comes with some risk. For example, there are maintenance costs, management costs, and vacancy possibilities where there won’t be a tenant and thus no income.
Another real estate option is to look at buying and selling property at the higher end, known as the luxury market.
Luxury markets in real estate are defined as having an expensive price tag, highly desirable location, large size, valuable materials, expert design, high-end amenities, or a prestigious history.
Unlike other real estate markets, the luxury market isn’t impacted by inflation since the consumers are typically high-wage earners with available assets to offset lending costs, making ownership in luxury markets an intelligent investment.
You can look for luxury opportunities by contacting local brokers and agents that specialize in the luxury market, or you can conduct your own Google search with search parameters like;
The luxury market will continue to appreciate, and with inflation impacting the lending markets, high-wage earners are better poised to act on purchase decisions as home prices are slowing down, making these types of investments more attractive.
Setting a course toward a better financial foundation prepares you for a life of retirement.
Being strategic, disciplined, and aggressive will allow you to achieve your goals sooner than if you didn’t have a plan, so get started today.