Achieving the financial freedom to retire early a dream for most. Making that dream a reality isn't as tricky as it sounds. The secret is simple: Save a lot more each month. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast.
Typically, advisors peg 15% to 20% of total income saved each month as a goal - but if you want to retire earlier, you probably have to ratchet that number up to 40% or 50% of your income. Not a feat easily accomplished when you review your take into account that a good portion of your paycheck goes to essential, non-negotiable lifestyle items. However, if you are willing to make some serious lifestyle changes and sacrifices, it's possible.
A relatively new movement called Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) has been developed around this "sacrifice and over-save now to retire early" concept. FIRE followers develop strict savings programs (up to 75% of income) and make associated sacrifices like living in small apartments, walking to work every day, restrictive diets, and so on. This path may be too restrictive for many, but the mindset offers some takeaways that might be worth considering.
The first point is to adhere to the key principles of long-term investing, including developing a diversified portfolio that includes stocks with various styles, sizes, sectors and regions.
To accelerate the retirement investment cycle, you can construct a portfolio designed with more risk - and the potential for higher returns - but it should still be appropriately diversified to protect against larger than average market drawdowns that can be difficult to recover from and ruin any chance to accomplish your early retirement goal. There are numerous ways to diversify a portfolio, and how you do so should depend on your age, your risk tolerance, your growth and income needs, and your long-term goals.
Once you've begun saving at a higher rate and you have an investment plan, put that money to work in your plan as quickly as you can. Don't worry about finding the "perfect time" to invest - simply put the money in and keep it in. Let compounding work to help you grow your retirement savings at an exponential rate.
You may want to look at growth stocks with attributes acceptable for retirement investing like low beta, strong earnings estimates, positive sales growth, and expected future growth.
Zacks offers investors useful rankings for lower risk growth stocks for retirement portfolios. The following are a few selections that merit a closer look: Virtu Financial (VIRT), Meridian Bancorp (EBSB) and Waterstone Financial (WSBF). Earnings and revenue has seen growth of at least 5% or higher over the last five years, with a beta of 1 or lower.
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Waterstone Financial, Inc. (WSBF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Meridian Bancorp, Inc. (EBSB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Virtu Financial, Inc. (VIRT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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