How to retire early in under 20 years

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A path far less taken How to retire early in under 20 years

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Sound like an odd first step toward an early retirement? Well, retiring just 20 years from now — especially if you’re younger — is pretty odd as well. As you’ll see, the benefits of meditation, intentionality, and mindfulness snowball into all parts of your life. STEp #1: Start Meditating, daily

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When we are bombarded by certain messages every day, it can be very difficult to discern between what others are telling us we need to be happy, and what we really believe to be necessary for our own happiness. Meditation acts as a filter. In the end, it improves: Levels of stress, anxiety, depression, anger, and confusion. Overall physical health Your ability to focus and think clearly When this is the case, YOU get to determine what makes you happy Meditation’s many benefits

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Usually — but not always — we realize we need far less than we have to actually be content. This helps make early retirement possible. Everyone’s situation is different, but let’s look at the median American family, which averages $51,442 after taxes. Ways You Can Save Stop eating out; invite friends to your house: $2,500 Grow 25% of your own food $1,000 Don’t drive: walk, bike, use public transport $5,350 Pay 20% (instead of 10%) down on your $188k home $3,600 Cut cable; use Netflix, friends, and nature as entertainment $2,500 Stop buying new, brand-name clothes $1,500 Cut out most other “miscellaneous” expenditures $3,000 Keep contributing to your retirement accounts $5,600 Step #2: Cut out the unnecessary

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In the end, you’re living on $26,200 and saving $25,000 per year. If your household brings in more than the average family, you could reach your goals even sooner. Remember, this is just the “average” American family, and everyone’s situation is different. If driving your car is your passion and it brings you happiness, then by all means, keep doing so. Just realize that it will delay retirement — if that matters to you. Gasp as you realize how easy it is to live frugally

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First, pay off your debts, especially high-interest ones. Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover three to six months without income. Then, invest your savings. If you’re truly a Foolish investor who enjoys the process of picking out your own stocks to buy, start educating yourself right away. Otherwise, if you’d like to focus on other things in life, set a plan where you’ll automatically invest in a broad-market, low-cost index fund every month. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (NYSEMKT: VOO) is a great place to start. Step #3: Invest those savings

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In reality, the movements of the stock market over a short time frame are impossible to predict. But for illustrative purposes, let’s see what would happen if your portfolio returned the historical average of 9% per year, and factored out 3% inflation per year. Step #4: wash, Rinse, Repeat

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The safest rule of thumb is to withdraw 4% of your retirement funds each year to meet your needs. Since these are inflation-adjusted numbers, this “average” family would need $655,000. Should this hypothetical situation play out and match the averages (which won’t look anywhere near as smooth in real life), you would reach your retirement goal after just 15 years. Retire early, and enjoy financial independence

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Remember, the exact numbers — in terms of income and savings — will be different for everyone. The “average” household was only used for illustrative purposes. However, assuming normal (historical) market returns, here’s how long it should take to save for retirement, based on how much of your salary you save per year. Now, figure out your own situation