When looking into retiring early, there are many things to consider – from living to financing. There aren’t that many people in the world who could wake up one morning and just think ‘I’m going to retire today’. It would be wonderful, but likely impossible for many. But an early retirement is possible for many people, and you don’t have to be rich to do it.
A huge thing that you do need to consider before starting to arrange your retirement budget is to look at and erase your debt. You might be managing fine with your debt at the moment, while you’re still working, but that manageable amount you have to pay each month could be a financial drag for you once you’re retired. And if you have student loans, the repayment of those can last into a regular retirement, let alone an early one. Some debt, like your mortgage or student loan can be fine into your retirement, but cutting it all down as much as possible should always be a priority.
Get your financial affairs under control by identifying where everything is going out and what is coming in. You will then be able to see what you are spending money on unnecessarily, which could free up money to go towards paying off your debt quicker. You can also create a tidy budget to help you scrape together more money for debt repayment and figure out how much money you can realistically afford to live off once you have retired.
Prioritize debt repayment high in your early retirement plan and the sooner the better. Not only will debt payoff reduce the amount of your lifestyle outgoings thus reducing the total amount you need saved for retirement, it also allows you to dedicate money normally sent to your creditors toward retirement savings.
Group Through Debt Consolidation
You might find it easier to pay off your debts if it’s under one payment a month rather than multiple. Excluding your mortgage and student loan (unless the second one is gathering interest too quickly) you can look into covering everything with a loan from somewhere like personalloan.co, lendingtree.com, and quickenloans.com. Also check with your bank or credit union. It is always best to get broad comparisons for the best rates and terms available to you. This way you can have one payment rather than many, plus you might be able to have a smaller interest rate that is much more manageable.
Pay it off
Like we said before, your debt might be small enough not to bother you in retirement. But if it will be a concern, think hard and ask yourself, is there is anything you can do to bring in some extra money? If you have any unneeded land or property, sell it. Have you got a particular skill in a subject you could tutor in? If so, start a side hustle. Do you have any gold or antiques lying around? These are all things that you can do or sell to help clear or minimize your debt.
Once you have paid off your debt, then say goodbye to paying interest to those credit cards or companies. If you can’t resist charging more than you can pay off each month within budget then cut up your cards and close the account. And when companies try to call and reel you back in, say thank you but no, and hang up. You don’t need those temptations in your life. It will feel like a huge accomplishment – and you should feel proud that you got this far. And, not only that, but you will be a giant step closer to being able to retire early with no stresses following you there.