Achieving the financial freedom to retire early a dream for most. Making that dream a reality isn't as tricky as it sounds. The secret is simple: Save a lot more each month. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast.
Typically, advisors peg 15% to 20% of total income saved each month as a goal - but if you want to retire earlier, you probably have to ratchet that number up to 40% or 50% of your income. Not a feat easily accomplished when you review your take into account that a good portion of your paycheck goes to essential, non-negotiable lifestyle items. However, if you are willing to make some serious lifestyle changes and sacrifices, it's possible.
A generally new development called Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) has been created around this "sacrifice and over-save now to retire early" idea. FIRE supporters create exacting savings plans (up to 75% of income) and make related compromises like living in small homes, walking to work every day, prohibitive weight control plans, etc. This way might be unreasonably prohibitive for many, yet the mentality offers a few takeaways that may merit consideration.
The first point is to adhere to the key principles of long-term investing, including developing a diversified portfolio that includes stocks with various styles, sizes, sectors and regions.
To accelerate the retirement investment cycle, you can construct a portfolio designed with more risk - and the potential for higher returns - but it should still be appropriately diversified to protect against larger than average market drawdowns that can be difficult to recover from and ruin any chance to accomplish your early retirement goal. There are numerous ways to diversify a portfolio, and how you do so should depend on your age, your risk tolerance, your growth and income needs, and your long-term goals.
After accelerating your savings and setting up an ongoing plan, invest your savings into your portfolio at the earliest opportunity. Try not to attempt to time the market. Stay put, and let the compounding characteristics of the markets do its work to help grow your retirement wealth exponentially over time.
Astute investors pick retirement growth stocks with low beta, strong earnings estimates, positive sales growth, and expected future growth.
The Zacks Rank routinely recognizes lower risk growth retirement portfolio picks, and here are a few that may be worth considering: CNB Financial (CCNE - Free Report) , Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY - Free Report) and CenterPoint Energy (CNP - Free Report) . These growth stocks have strong Zacks Ranks and a beta of 1 or lower, with earnings and sales growth of at least 5% over the past 5 years.
Do You Know the Top 9 Retirement Investing Mistakes?
Whether you're planning to retire early or not, don't let investing mistakes derail your plans.
If you have $500,000 or more to invest and want to learn more, click the link to download our free report, 9 Retirement Mistakes that will Ruin Your Retirement.