On the Beach in the Dominican Republic
So do you want to retire... early?
Get your finances in order
Just as any successful business, you need to know your assets and liabilities. You are in charge of your financial life, so treat it like you are the CEO.
Track your spending and know what your cash outlay is per year, month, and day. Once you establish this information then multiply your yearly amount by twenty-five. This should give you a rough estimate of how much in invested assets you are going to need to cover your current expenses in retirement.
Could it really be that simple? Yes! This is how you arrive at "your number."
How social security plays into the equation
Don’t forget that at some point you will be receiving Social Security and it will cover at least a portion of your monthly expenses.
For example: if today you need $3,000 per month (this is NET after taxes) for living your current lifestyle and you are going to receive $2,000 per month in Social Security benefits then you need to cover the remaining $1,000 from your investments. In this example that would be $12,000 per year times 25 equaling $300,000 in investable assets.
The 4% rule
Most experts agree that in a “normal” portfolio of 60% stocks and 40% bonds you can withdraw 4% per year and your nest egg will continue to grow ahead of inflation. Again in our example with a $300,000 portfolio, 4% of that is $12,000. Bingo! That covers your $1,000 per month differential from the above example.
Get me outta here!
You have to live somewhere, so you may as well start looking at either staying put or moving to another location. Better weather, lower cost of living, more interesting lifestyle - whatever your decision, cost of housing will be a large part of your budget. Manage that expense assertively and, number one, you’ll need less income and secondly, you’ll have more disposable dollars. There are many lower cost of living places outside the U.S. that qualify for your attention. Thailand, Vietnam, Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Ecuador are a few with which we are familiar.
Have faith in yourself
You have all your bases covered. You’ve created elaborate spreadsheets detailing all of your expenses and income, yet you just continue to have this doubt and are afraid to pull the trigger on retirement.
You have a finite number of years in your life and every year of “just one more year of work then I will do it” brings you closer to the end. Then what? Are you going to be too old and stiff to make the adjustment of living a new lifestyle? Will you come down with an illness preventing you from traveling? The list of excuses to not move forward to retirement is endless. At some point you just have to have faith in yourself and go for it, knowing that you have managed your life just fine up to this point and that you can do the same after retirement.
Being 71 and into our 33rd year of retirement, at this point in our lives we are more concerned about running out of time than we are of running out of money. We advise you to take stock and realize that none of us live forever. Even if you have all of your ducks in a row there is still apt to be some low level angst that will follow you into retirement.
While not encouraging you to be flippant or frivolous, we feel that life is to be lived while you are able. We urge you to move into the life of your dreams and don’t let anyone take them from you.
What's Your Number? - How much money do you need to retire?
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.
Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.