Retirement Saving Tips: How to Retire Early with No Money – Trajan King

Retirement Saving Tips: How to Retire Early with No Money

Everyone dreams of the day when they can hang the boots and retire. Some people want to know how to retire at 30 and some want to retire at 50, hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that so many people look for retirement saving tips.

In this how to retire article, we’ll provide some great retirement savings tips to help you retire. 

Let’s get started:

What Does Retirement Mean Today?

Retirement is different for different people.

For some people, retirement means leaving the office and traveling, for some it means to work a lighter schedule, and for some it means to avoid worrying about work and finances so you can concentrate on other things in life.

The dictionary defines retirement as ‘“withdrawing from one’s position or occupation or from active working life.”

However, most people today do not fully retire. They move to a lighter schedule and enjoy life. This is because about 15% of Americans have no retirement savings.

If you don’t have enough savings or if you do not know how to save then continue reading our retirement savings tips. We’ll tell you how to retire early with no money.

What are the Benefits of Retirement and Why do People Retire?

Here are some of the benefits of retirement:

  • It’s good for your health, allows you to rest physically and mentally
  • Gives you time to concentrate on your hobbies such as traveling
  • Serves as a good opportunity to concentrate on other career goals
  • You will have more time to connect with your loved ones
  • Less stress and worries will allow you to enjoy life

People retire to enjoy all these benefits of retirement. Be sure about how much money is enough to be happy after retirement so you can retire in peace.

How Can I Make Enough Money to Retire at 50?

The best way to make money to retire at 50 is to save and invest. 

Check our 20 Ideas To Earn Extra Money Fast in 2020 and Beyond article for some great tips on making money.

Start retirement planning and open a retirement account (Roth IRAs, traditional IRA, etc.) or savings account so that you can have a decent amount of money when you retire at 50 or earlier.

Retirement Saving Tips: How to Retire Early 

Here are some great retirement savings tips to help you retire early at 50 or any age:

#1 Know What You Want to Do Once You Retire

Be clear about how much money you’ll need to retire. It can be a little tricky to determine the amount of money you will need to retire.

According to AARP, you’ll need about 80% of your pre-retirement income to retire happily. Hence, if you made about $70,000 per year while working a full-time job, you will need about $50,000 in retirement. However, the amount may be more based on what you want to do once you retire.

For example, you might need more money if you need to move abroad or travel the world.

These retirement calculators can help you reach the amount:

Use a loan calculator that offers all the factors that are of essence to you. Some may also include major life events, credit card debt, and the amount you have already saved for retirement.

#2 Be Clear About When You’d Like to Retire

Some workers want to retire at 30, some want to retire at 50, and some wish to retire at 60. The average retirement age is 67. It’s very important to be clear about the retirement age because the amount of retirement money you’ll need depends on when you wish to retire.

Make sure to account for inflation, lifestyle changes, and the costs of aging to get a true picture. Some people want to retire at 30 and enjoy the perks of early retirement without realizing its side effects.

Early retirement can be risky. You may have to let go of some perks. We’ll talk more about the cons of early retirement later in this article. For now, let’s talk about the benefits of early retirement.

The earlier you retire, the more time you will have to enjoy yourself. Late retirement means more time to save money. It’s a personal choice. 

Consider how retiring at a specific age will affect your plans. 

#3 Create and Stick to a Budget

Now that you have had a look at how and when you wish to retire, it’s time to review your current lifestyle and create a budget that highlights your expected costs. 

This process can be a little tricky if you’ve never drafted a budget before. Let us be clear that a budget is a ‘list of expected incomes and expenditure’. Do not create a very strict budget if you can’t stick to it.

You might have to create a number of budgets before choosing one. There are several budgeting apps that can help you retire early. Have a look at these:

Once you’ve created a budget that’s easy to stick to, it’s time to see how it can help you achieve your retirement goals. 

The budget should be able to facilitate your preferred lifestyle. Consider revising your budget or retirement target if it doesn’t match up. You must be realistic if you want to retire early.

#4 Invest Your Money

At this point, you’re fully aware of how much money you’ll need to retire peacefully and how much you already have. 

If there’s a gap, you will have to cover it. Let’s say you’re 40 and you wish to retire at 50. Your retirement number is $1.2 million and you currently have $130,000 in your retirement fund.

You invest $625 per month and expect your retirement fund to be valued at $368,000 at your retirement age, 50, which is ten years from now. The difference stands at $732,000.

There are several ways to fill the gap. You can find another job to earn and save more, however, the most reliable option is to look for better investment options.

In addition to retirement accounts like Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs, you can look for investment in:

  • Stocks
  • Real Estate and REITs
  • Precious Metals
  •  Bonds 

All these options come with their pros and cons. Compare these and pick what works best for you. You can opt for risky options like online brokerages as well but remember that a brokerage account is risky and may not be the best option for personalized retirement.

Remember the importance of diversification when investing your hard-earned money. Never put all your eggs in one basket. The market is unpredictable and it can be difficult to know exactly how much a specific investment will give you in ten years.

The right investment largely depends on your age. If you have a lot of years before you retire, you can choose to invest in high-risk investments. They offer higher returns but at a cost. You will have years in your hand to recover losses. However, if you only have a few years to retire then you must stay away from high-risk investments.

Assess risk tolerance vs investment goals.

“Markets will go through long cycles of up and down and, if you are investing money you won’t need to touch for 40 years, you can afford to see your portfolio value rise and fall with those cycles,” suggests John R. Frye, CFA, Crane Asset Management, LLC. “When the market declines, buy—don’t sell. Refuse to give in to panic. If shirts went on sale, 20% off, you’d want to buy, right? Why not stocks if they went on sale 20% off?” he concludes.

#5 Get Rid of Debt

It can be hard to retire at 50 if you are still in debt. For us, this is one of the most important retirement saving tips.

Know about the debt albatross and prioritize your debt. Retiring while you still have a mortgage on your house or creditors knocking on your door will cause your entire retirement plan to go haywire.

Having to pay down debt before you can retire might mean having to work more years, but it’s worth it. You will not have to worry about monthly payments (interest and principal). This will allow you to manage your finances in a neater manner.

It can, however, be difficult to decide how to best use your money – to invest or to clear debt. Compare the cost of debt to the returns and be clear about mortgage rates and investment ROI. Also, consider debt consolidation and other such options.

#6 Create a Regular Income Stream to Retire at 50

Merely investing money is not enough, you should concentrate on creating a regular income stream of money to retire at 50. 

Here are a few ways to create a retirement income stream:

  • Delay social security benefits 
  • Buy an annuity 
  • Choose a savings account that offers monthly returns
  • Invest in real estate and enjoy rent
  • Laddered bonds and certificates of deposits

This way you will not only have your ‘savings’ to count on. You will receive money that you can use to pay bills and retire early.

#7 Get in Touch with a Financial Advisor

A financial advisor is someone who can answer all your questions from where to invest to how much to invest. The person may also help manage your estate and answer tax-related questions.

Remember that you will have to pay taxes on capital gains and investments. Moreover, you may have to rethink how you use your credit cards. Personal finance can be a tricky topic due to the huge number of investing options. 

A financial advisor can help you choose the right bank account for a credit card. He or she can also highlight the importance of health care as you grow old and your options.

Since financial advisors can be expensive, not everyone can afford the luxury to hire one. If you can’t manage to hire a financial advisor then consider signing up for our newsletters.

They’re written with YOU in mind and will help you save and make money for retirement.

#6 Plan Your Withdrawals

Even if you’re rich with a million dollars in your bank account, you need to be careful about how you use this money, especially after retirement when you have fewer income sources.

The right retirement strategy is to only take out what you need and let the rest of it multiply for you. Work on a systematic withdrawal strategy and figure out your cash flow needs.

The key lies in matching your needs to your withdrawals while managing enough balance. A clever strategy is vital to ensuring your income stream lasts a long time. However, retirees may not always have the luxury to choose how much they wish to withdraw or when.

“For retirees who are pulling retirement money out of traditional IRAs (not Roth IRAs), 401(k)s, and 403(b)s, the “right withdrawal amount” is not their decision—rather, it is determined by the required minimum distribution, or RMD, starting at age 70½,” says Craig L. Israelsen, Ph.D. and personal finance expert. 

Israelsen adds, “the RMD requires smaller withdrawals during the first five to six years (roughly through age 76). After that, annual RMD-based withdrawals will be significantly larger for the remainder of the retiree’s life.” 

The government has increased the age requirement for RMDs – from 70½ to 72 – under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019.

Bonus Retirement Saving Tip: Have a Backup Plan

We’re not meant to scare you with this retirement saving tip, but things may not always go as expected, hence always have a backup plan.

What if you run out of money within 5 years of retirement or what if you fall sick all of a sudden? Retirement saving tips do not always cover such instances despite the fact that they’re very common in the real world.

It can be hard to get back to the office if you haven’t worked for five or so years. So, work on a contingency plan.

Can I Retire Early with No Money?

Yes, it is possible to retire with no money, however, you will have to lead a very simple life and keep your expenses limited.

Your options include social security benefits. You will need at least 10 years of work or 40 credits to qualify for SS benefits. The amount depends on your highest-earning 35 years of experience, the age you apply at, and your earnings during your career.

Another option is to count on your pension. Some big companies like Coca Cola offer pensions to retirees. Consider such programs so you can have money even after you retire.

If these are not your options then look for a job to cover your bills. You can also consider other federal and state welfare programs.

Can Retirement be Bad?

As odd as it may sound, retirement can turn out to be a bad decision if not taken with care. People who retire too early or with little money may struggle financially and end up depending on others for the basic necessities. They may also have to let go of state and federal benefits. Moreover, some often end up depressed and lonely. 

How to Fit Family Into Retirement Planning

Retirement should be your decision alone but it should depend on what others around you think, especially your immediate family including spouse and children.

A recent study showed that about 51% of Americans aged 50-64 provide financial help to their loved ones. You must think of people who depend on you for financial help before you decide to retire. 

You will need your family after retirement. Retiring alone and having no one to talk to can be a bad experience. According to this SOA research, it is common for children to look after their older parents and grandparents when they’re not in a position to do so.

Experts suggest to be clear about what your family expects from you in terms of financial support. Paying for college for your loved ones, for example, can be hard unless you have a reliable plan. Some employers plan to take care of such things (employer-sponsored retirement plan) for their employees but not all will help with your retirement fund. Ask if your employers match (account IRA) programs and look for investment professionals who can help you plan contribution in a wise manner.

Think if you’ll be able to continue to help your loved ones without jeopardizing your situation. 

Some retirees opt for multiple income sources, some dedicated to their loved ones. If you have enough money then you can consider this option.

How to Know if It’s the Wrong Time to Retire

Do not retire now if you do not have enough money to support your retirement lifestyle. Also, do not return if you are under debt or have dependents to take care of unless you are guaranteed a reliable source of income.

Retirement is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken in a haste. Plan carefully before you decide to wrap your career up.

Retirement Saving Tips: Conclusion

Retirement is a big decision that has to be planned with care. Whether you decide to retire at 30, retire at 50, or retire at 67, you must know how to retire peacefully so that you can enjoy your life on your own terms.


Who is Trajan King?

CFO & former Wall Street analyst helping your reach financial independence.

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