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.
This concept of intensive saving for an early retirement has spawned a movement called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Followers of FIRE strive to save up to three-quarters of their income, and make other adjustments too: live in small homes, walk to work each day, practice strict diet plans, and more. Even if this lifestyle may sound a bit unreasonable, the ideas behind it are worth considering.
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.
You may be able to accelerate your potential retirement earnings by consciously seeking higher returns (and also accepting more risk) in your investment portfolio. But whatever your risk tolerance, your portfolio must be diversified to protect against extreme market movements that could jeopardize your early retirement objective. You can choose from a number of ways to allocate investments to diversify your portfolio, and these should be informed by your individual goals, growth and income needs, appetite for risk, and age.
Once you have accelerated your savings and put an ongoing plan in place, invest your savings into your portfolio as soon as possible. Don't try to time the market. Leave your portfolio alone, and let the compounding nature of the markets do its magic to help grow your retirement nest egg 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: Merck (MRK - Free Report) , New Jersey Resources (NJR - Free Report) and Darden Restaurants (DRI - 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.