So you want to retire at 40 years old, yeah? That wouldn’t be the worst situation in the world.
I mean you’d only have the freedom to do whatever you wanted during the day… for the rest of your life.
Talk about living large.
If you’re a hobbyist, you could plant that dream garden, play the piano, try cooking, or learn a different language for as long as you desired.
Heck, you could try all of them given the time you’ve acquired.
If you’re a family man or woman, that’s thousands of opportunities to drop your kids off at school. And you could make all their sports games and school plays. Your financial freedom essentially makes you parent of the year.
And if you’re a book nerd, you could read all of your favorite books five times over until you discovered new novels. There’s no limit on the amount of pages you could devour in a year, plus you’d have no trouble affording these books.
Those are the lifestyles available to people who reach financial freedom.
But if you seek to reach it 25 years before most people, at age 40, you need a smarter plan and better execution.
Because time is always ticking, and if your wealth isn’t growing, you have no shot at accomplishing your ambitious financial mission.
The goal is to create a solid financial nut that gives you the safe runway to retire for the rest of your life. We want true financial freedom. Not to retire and go to bed every night wondering if we saved enough.
And it’d be a failure to retire early only to be pulled back into the rat race since you don’t have enough money working for you to pay your bills without a job.
With that in mind, here are 5 steps that, if followed to a tee, give you a solid chance at retiring by age 40.
How To Retire At 40 Years Old
This challenge is not for the weak or impatient.
You’re going to have to battle, turn down impulses, and stay disciplined for decades to reach your money goals.
But the good news is your financial freedom goal is attainable. If you don’t get in your own way, you got this.
Here’s what to do.
1. Use minimalism to save as much money as possible
Let’s be real: The corporations don’t want you to be a minimalist. They want you to consume every food, product, and service in your way. Why? So they get rich.
But you can’t say you’re serious about an early retirement when your spending habits are so short sighted.
Do you need a Range Rover? Nope, that’s $20,000 in savings, at least, you can invest that’ll return hundreds of thousands of dollars for your retirement.
Do you need to get a McMansion and try to keep up with the Joneses? If that’s your objective, but it’s not. It’s never going to work again for the rest of your life, so don’t buy an excessive house.
These minimalistic spending habits from major ones like your house and car, to little ones like where you shop and eat can make the difference between retiring at 40 or never being able to retire.
2. Save 50% of your income to invest it over decades
The reason saving is a critical piece to this puzzle is it allows us money and breathing room to invest as much as possible to make more money. Simply put, the more money you have to invest, the more that investment makes you money, and the cycle continues.
But you have no shot at quitting your job two decades before most people if your savings percentage is 1% or less. Then you’ll always be working for the man. Because without that paycheck you can’t live.
In times of my life I’ve saved up to 75% or 80% of my income. Was it easy? No. But I knew that each one hundred dollars saved and invested is going to compound over the years to make me thousands.
That’s why I could pass on unnecessary purchases for a big-time net worth later.
Can you live in a high-end apartment with a BMW and save 50% of your income? Odds are you can’t. So something has to give: materials or freedom.
I choose freedom.
3. Choose investments that are low-cost and high-performing
Just because the race is on to get your finances in order to retire, doesn’t mean you should spend your weekends day trading or gambling at the casino.
You want to do the opposite in fact. By choosing low-cost investments, you protect yourself if the investment goes the wrong way, and reap more profits if it performs well since there’s less fees and commissions.
One avenue to achieve this is investing in an S&P 500 index fund. There are numerous ones out there. But where they excel is in giving you a low-cost investment that, on average, returns around 8% a year.
Go to a compound interest calculator to see what 8% a year over a few decades does for you. I guarantee you’ll be blown away!
And once you have a solid safety net of investments that you’re confident in, then you can afford to make riskier investments into cryptocurrencies, for example, or real estate.
4. Own a business or run a side hustle
The wealthiest people in the world are not employees, but owners.
Maybe they own stocks, real estate, or their own business, but they’re at the top and get the majority of the profits before it trickles down to the rest of the organization.
Though I’d say owning stocks or real estate is essentially like running a business, we’re going to focus on building wealth through entrepreneurship.
So let’s get started. What talent, quality about you, or interest in a subject separates you from other people? That’s where you should consider starting a business or side hustle.
What do you spend most of your time thinking, reading, or talking about? That could be a major opportunity.
Then work your butt off to get this business churning a steady profit for a few decades. Those profits alone can help you quit your 9 to 5 job to focus on it full time, and ultimately make 10 times as much money.
Keep in mind, if you near the figure you need, you now have the option to sell the business for a hefty sum and retire. That could be your checkmate into retirement.
5. Have a freedom mindset
Willpower will quickly fade away if you don’t remember your goal: total freedom.
So with every financial decision, ask yourself does this help me get closer to freedom or farther away?
What might help you when tempted to splurge on an item you don’t need is playing this scenario in your head: Would you rather buy it now, or be able to afford 10 of them in 10 years?
Maybe I’m naturally a long-term thinker and skilled at building wealth, but that logic wins every time for me. Delay the purchase and save, instead of pay and suffer later.
You can also order my book Freedom Mindset to get a better idea of this mentality that leads to financial freedom and the life of your dreams.
Financial Freedom At 40 Wrap Up
If retiring the year after your 39th birthday is your mission, I applaud you. That’s a noble goal.
Yet it’s going to take unbreakable commitment to get the job down, and some luck. You can’t control some circumstances, but you can be a minimalist, save 50% of your income, choose smart investments, start a business, and have a freedom mindset.
Best of luck to you! Go do this thing.
What’s your best tip for reaching financial freedom?