So as far as how early I want to retire, I don’t want you to laugh or be quick to judge… I want to retire at 35, and when I tell people that, I usually get a reaction of either “that’s not happening,” or, “oh, you wanna go backpacking in Europe and that’s what you’re doing at 35.” Nope, I want a nice house, I want a family, and I want to retire early. And I really do believe that I can have both. The reason I think that is because there are people who reach 55 years old and they realize, “I am supposed to retire at 65, oh shoot!” And they might only have $300,000 saved, and they begin to use catch up contributions, and they make it. So within a span of 10 years, they’re able to retire. I made this goal at the age of 25. I have that same 10 year span. And yes, the money needs to last longer, but I panicked at 25 instead of at 55.
So I’ve learned that there are really three different levers that you can pull. So there’s saving more money. And in trying to retire early, that has been a big component. It’s starting with a budget and then increasing your savings rate. The next lever is earning more money. So if you get a raise or if you’re able to make extra money on the side, you don’t increase your cost of living. Instead, you save all of that, but then there’s only so much money you can save and there’s only so much time in the day to work before you impact your own life. And so the third lever is growing your money. And that is something that I didn’t know a lot about before joining Rebalance. I knew how to save it and I was learning how to make it, but how to grow it is something that these financial advisors have been able to help me learn. And I’ve also learned the benefit of talking to a certified financial planner and how growing my money, it’s something that I, I don’t necessarily want to do myself, but I do want to retire early. And so because it’s one of these three main levers it’s really crucial.
I’ve heard from my dad and my father-in-law that as they’re approaching retirement, I think they’re getting into that phase of their late fifties where they’re starting to worry if they’ve saved enough. And I’ve seen kind of that panic a little bit. And I like that I’m able to be part of the solution. I’m able to help people who are further than 10 years away make sure that they’re on the right track. And I’m glad that I’m able to help people who are in retirement know that they’re spending the right amounts and just feel confident in that. And then for me personally, on this journey to trying to retire early, it kind of consumes my life. I mean, most of my decisions are made based on, “is this going to help me reach that goal?” And it’s very neat that I get to also do that in my job, that I’m able to help people with retirement and maybe not obsess over it or retire as early as I want to, but help them with whatever their goals might be.