wikiHow to Retire in Your 30s

Three Methods:Managing Your FinancesEarning Enough Money to Retire EarlyInvesting Your Money for Early Retirement

Early retirement and maintaining a lifestyle above poverty level for most Americans is not possible. If you make early retirement your highest priority in life and follow a disciplined path to obtaining it, you may be able to leave work permanently in your 30s. You should either have a high income and modest lifestyle, or save your earnings every year and live on a subsistence level.

Method 1
Managing Your Finances

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    Calculate how much you need to save for retirement. The myth of early retirement savings is you need to save somewhere between $5-$10 million dollars to never have to work again. But this is a general number that may not apply to your financial situation or your lifestyle. A more accurate formula is to take your annual spending and multiply it by somewhere between 20 and 50. The large range allows you determine how much you need to save, based on your particular lifestyle.
    • For example. If you make $30,000 per year, you're likely to need $600,00 and $1,500,000 in savings
    • The safe withdrawal rate is how much you can afford to take out from your savings and investments every year, if you no longer work. So if you multiply your annual spending by 25, you’re using a 1-2% safe withdrawal rate. You will have 1-2% of your investments to spend annually, possibly forever, once you retire.[1] Withdrawal rate, in order to avoid invading corpus, must be less than returns plus any taxes owed.
    • Inflation and changes in the market are hard to predict and will affect how much your savings will be worth by the time you are in your 30s and ready to retire. But according to the Trinity Study, which looked at how much a person would need to save to whether possible inflation, market crashes, or other financial issues, the 1-2% withdrawal rate is a safe bet for most individuals looking to retire early.[2]
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    Set a retirement amount or goal. Using the 1-2% safe withdrawal rate, decide how much money you will need to save to retire successfully and comfortably. This will depend on other factors, such as how many individuals there are in your household (are you saving on your own? with a partner who also earns an income? for a family?), and your lifestyle choices. Sit down and choose a rough amount, higher than you might need, and work towards that goal.[3]
    • Consider lifestyle factors like how many individuals will be supported by your savings, your living situation (do you already own a home? an apartment?), and your standard of living (do you enjoy an expensive lifestyle that you don’t want to give up, or are you willing to live more frugally?)
    • For a family of three, with two earners in the household, your retirement goal could be $600,000, plus a fully paid off home. Using the 1-2% safe withdrawal, your family might then have $24,000 to live off of every year once you retire in your 30s. Remember that this depends on things like your life span and investment returns each year. [4]
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    Work with a financial planner. It is not necessary to hire a financial planner to help you figure out your investments, as you can look on several online sources and check out library books on managing your finances. But a financial planner can help you work toward your retirement goal and organize your investments.[5]
    • Ask your financial planner about your asset allocations. Asset allocations are how you distribute your savings among different types of investments, such as stock funds, bond funds, and stable value or money market investments. How you distribute your savings will also affect how much risk you are taking on your returns. For example, a portfolio that holds 80% bonds and 20% stocks will provide a return and risk pattern that will be different from a portfolio holding 15% bonds and 85% stocks.
    • You should be investing aggressively when you are in your 20s and 30s, especially if you are aiming to retire early. If possible, allocate up to 80 percent or even 90 percent of your assets in a diverse array of stocks and bonds.[6]
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    Enroll in your employer’s retirement plan. Most employer retirement plans offer a 401(k). This means that your employer sponsors a fund where your employer matches the amount of money in this fund. For example, if you have $1,500 in your 401(k), your employer may match this amount with $1,500. There are maximum annual contribution limits for these funds and as you move up the career ladder, these maximums get larger. Put raises into your retirement savings and don’t spend them.[7]
    • You can also gradually increase contributions to your 401(k) over time if you can’t afford to stash all your pay in a retirement fund. You won’t miss this money if you increase your savings slowly.
    • To retire in your 30s, you should increase your 401(k) contributions to a higher percentage to accelerate your savings and how much your company will match.

Method 2
Earning Enough Money to Retire Early

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    Pay off all your debts and stay out of debt. If you have multiple sources of debt, try to consolidate them into one account with the lowest interest rate. Pay off as much as possible every month until the debt is paid off. Then, avoid getting back into debt through the use of credit cards or loans. Keep your credit score healthy and remain debt free.[8]
    • Once you are debt free, take the monthly funds you would put towards your debt and put it into your savings account.
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    Generate income outside of your paycheck. If it fits your lifestyle, focus on reaching your retirement goal faster by doing freelance work outside of your day job. Take odd jobs for family or friends that will add funds to your savings account. Remember that every penny you save now brings you one step closer to retirement in your 30s.[9]
    • Some full-time jobs do not allow for you to work at other companies. Check your contract or ask your human resources contact.
    • It may be more feasible for you to work hard at your current job and get raises, bonuses, or promotions instead of focusing on other jobs after hours.
    • Think about skills or abilities that you can channel into extra forms of income. This could be a gardening or landscaping side business, or a freelance writing business. Try to maximize your skills and add to your savings nest egg.
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    Involve your partner in your retirement plan. If you are living with a partner or involved in a long term relationship, your significant other should be supportive of your retirement plan. Work together to achieve a mutual retirement plan and agree to lifestyle changes that will help you both achieve your retirement goals.[10]
    • Pooling your financial resources could also help you both reach retirement in your 30s much faster.
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    Reduce your monthly expenses. If you are renting an affordable apartment or living space, focus on cutting down on other expenses like your internet costs, your cellphone, and your food costs. Reducing your expenses by $10-$20 a month can add up to more funds in your savings account, towards your retirement.[11]
    • Focus on stacking savings on top of one another to add up to a large amount of money saved. This means embracing a frugal lifestyle and not spending money when you do not need to. Eliminating the desire for new or expensive items, for the sake of retiring early, will make it easier to avoid spending money on these items.
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    Bike or walk, rather than drive. One of the biggest expenses is likely your car. From the car itself to car maintenance and insurance, it can be a big money suck. When possible, bike to work or to run errands rather than pay to fill up your gas tank and using your car.[12]
    • Investing in a good bike means a small payment of $500-$1,000 that will provide you with free transportation for a long period of time, possibly for life.
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    Avoid eating out. On average, most U.S. households spend 12.9% of their income on food a year.[13] Reduce the amount of money you spend on food by cooking your own meals and only eating out once or twice a year. There are several budget friendly food blogs and books with recipes that take a short amount of time and won’t break your budget.[14]
    • Make grocery shopping part of your weekly routine. Take a list of grocery items to the store to avoid expensive spontaneous purchases or buying unnecessary items.
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    Do free leisure activities. Minimize your recreational spending by looking for free activities in your area or city. Go for hikes or walks, attend free street fairs or local events, and take advantage of entertainment that doesn’t involve spending money.[15]
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    Embrace a do-it-yourself lifestyle. Do home repairs yourself, and maintain your car to avoid costly repairs at an auto body shop. Look for how to videos online on bike repair and fix it yourself. Being your own handyman means you will have the skills to complete tasks yourself and avoid paying someone for these services.[16]

Method 3
Investing Your Money for Early Retirement

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    Invest in stocks and bonds. A stock represents a stake in a company. When you own a share of a stock, you are a part owner in the company and have a claim on every asset and every penny in the company’s earnings.[17] A bond is a financial IOU from a company or the government. Companies and governments issue bonds to fund their day-to-day operations or to finance specific projects.
    • When you buy a bond, you are loaning your money to the issuer, whether it’s a company or a government body, for a certain period of time. In return, you get interest on the loan, and you get the entire loan amount paid back either on a specific date (the bond’s maturity date) or a future date of the issuer’s choice. For example, if a bond is valued at $1,000, and pays 7% a year, it has an interest value of $70.
    • You can invest in stocks and bonds by buying them individually or by buying them via a mutual fund. A mutual fund is a collection of stocks, bonds, or cash equivalents, or a mix of all three.[18]
    • When you are young and just starting to invest, you should put money in stocks. The long term potential growth of stocks will outweigh the risks. Over time, as you get older, you should scale back on your investment in stocks. Bonds are less volatile and they are good long term investments. Over time, as you get older, increase your investment in bonds.[19]
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    Research "hard assets". Hard assets, like gold or house properties, are illiquid: they are literal goods you cannot break down, or liquidate, in order to sell. Because of this nature, investing in hard assets can be tricky for novices. However, real estate investments offers considerable tax advantage in the United States, often non-recourse financing for leverage, and high returns if selected carefully. [20]
    • Focus on smarter investments like stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents.
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    Put a portion of your earnings in an IRA. An IRA is an Individual Retirement Account that acts as a savings account with big tax breaks. IRAs are not investment accounts. They are baskets where you keep stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets. There are several types of IRAs, including traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Simple IRAs.[21]
    • There are also Drip Account IRAs. These are popular and safe investment portfolios under IRAs that provide high money value with less commission.[22]
    • Talk to your bank or your financial advisor about IRAs. Each type of IRA has eligibility restrictions based on your income or employment status. All types have caps on how much you can contribute each year and penalties if you take out your money before the designated retirement age.

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