#1 — Know your numbers: Get in the habit of tracking your income, spending, assets, and liabilities. Put all these numbers in a spreadsheet and update them regularly. You should know your Monthly Net Income and your Net Worth like the back of your hand.
#2 — Figure out your target retirement goal: Use the 4% Rule and Multiply by 25 Rule to calculate how much nest egg you need to retire. Basically these rules say that you should have at the minimum 25x your yearly expenses in your retirement nest egg.
#3 — Pay down debt: If you have credit card debt, you’ll never retire early. Devise a plan to eliminate credit card debt asap. As for other debts, like student loans, car payments, and mortgages — the more you can eliminate the better. Once we paid off our mortgage, it was smooth sailing into early retirement!
#4 — Maximize your income now: To build your nest egg, you need income. The best way to maximize income is to develop multiple streams of income (in addition to a F/T job). Some examples: Contract (Freelance) work, Side hustles, Gig economy jobs (like driving for Lyft), Sharing economy opps (like renting out a room on AirBnB), and creating an online resource for sale (like an ebook, an online course, or a video on Youtube).
#5 — Learn how to Invest: Next, take that income and GROW it! You should understand and take advantage of these 4 investing concepts: Compound interest, Dollar cost averaging, Diversification, and Automation. If you don’t know what these are or how to implement them, Google them (or go to and follow me).
#6 — Slash your expenses: If you really want to retire at 35, you can’t spend all your money on stuff you really don’t need. Downsize your living situation – get a smaller place or move to a cheaper location (overseas can be a great option). Also, reduce or eliminate altogether small expenses. Some examples: cut your cable cord, cook your own meals, buy groceries in bulk, drive an old car, get your books for free from the library, get free stuff from sites like Freecycle and Nextdoor. There are so many ways to cut your expenses – be creative!
If you do these 6 things, you’ll be way ahead of the game!