If You Want to Retire Early, Start Doing These 12 Things Right Now

If you can implement some or all of the items on this list your journey to early retirement will be short and sweet. The hardest part is actually starting.“The thing to do is to make so much money that you don’t have to work after the age of twenty-seven. In case this is impracticable, stop work at the earliest possible moment, even if it is at a quarter past eleven on the morning of the day when you find you do have enough money.”-Robert Benchley

Dreaming of Early Retirement

While I won’t retire by the time I’m 27(I’m 36), I’m hoping to retire before I’m 45.  I’m getting more and more antsy at work.  I pretty much daydream about early retirement whenever there’s downtime.

Even though I’m not retired yet, the following list are things that I have done or currently do to help me reach early retirement as fast as possible.  If you follow this list, or do only some of the items on the list, it should help you reach early retirement as well!

Max Out Your 401k and IRA if Possible

Look, I know it’s really hard to save that much money.  Start small!  It was only 4 years ago that I was putting in 3% every paycheck.  3% was the amount I needed to contribute to get the match.  I wanted to pay down my debts before I really started investing.

Once I was debt free I slowly started contributing more and more until I was comfortable contributing the max amount.  I’m pretty sure I changed my contribution amount like four times in one year!

Pay Off Debt

Some people suggest paying off all debt before investing anything.  When I was in debt, I saved enough to get the 401k match and then focused on paying off my debts.  Making sure that my emergency fund was fully funded when I was paying off my debt was also a high priority for me.

I kept a fully funded emergency fund because I had been laid off before at a time when I wasn’t in a secure financial situation and IT SUCKED! Thanks to parental help, I made it through, but it’s a situation that I never wanted to be in again. Continue reading “If You Want to Retire Early, Start Doing These 12 Things Right Now”

Guest Post: Who Honked at Me? Or, Why You Should Walk to Work

Awesome guest post by blogger thefutureFIT on the benefits of walking to work.Hi everyone! I’m thefutureFIT (FIT is short for Financially Independent Teacher.) I’ve recently learned of the ideas of FIRE, and I’m changing my life around. I teach English in a middle school. I want to capture some thoughts about what it means to live frugally as a teacher because I think we have some interesting experiences. You can catch more of my journey and these thoughts at theFIteacher.com. Thanks!

Who Honked at Me?

Or, Why You Should Walk to Work

Somebody honked at me on the way to work the other day. I was on the side of the road, a 4 lane road, on a sidewalk, walking to school. I was feeling pretty great about life. Walking really does improve your mood, even near traffic. In fact, I was feeling ecstatic. I was thinking about how I’m saving money lately, how I’m getting in better shape, how I’m having an overall fun time. Then it happened. Some jerk honked at me.

I knew this would happen…

Since I’ve started walking to school, I’ve been wondering about what the drivers are seeing. Are they seeing me? Are they going by too fast to even notice? Would they stoop so low as to spend a second of their precious time gazing at a passerby?

I began to think, for the first few days, that everyone that drove by noticed me. I began to stress that everyone was looking and judging.

This is not the case! Since I’ve been walking, now about a month and a half, I’ve seen many of my coworkers drive by in the onslaught of the commute. But hardly anyone has ever mentioned anything about it. I think for the most part everyone is pretty much in the zone when they are driving.

It isn’t all bad/Get in your own zone!

Walking frees up some time to think. Whereas all those drivers whizzing past get caught up in the traffic, in the lights, in the noise, and in the danger, you, the walker, can think freely. You can smell the fresh air, the still-crisp winter mornings. You can see that the trees are beginning to bloom. These blooms are small, and only a few trees have them, but they are already there! That is insane; it is only February! Continue reading “Guest Post: Who Honked at Me? Or, Why You Should Walk to Work”