Some days, you sit at work and wish retirement was within reach. While this may seem like a far-off fantasy, there are ways to cut down on the number of years you'll need to work until you can retire. According to ESI (a pseudonym), a self-made millionaire and an early retiree, from ESI Money, you may just be able to set yourself up for retirement in 10 years flat.
ESI’s recommended path for early retirement is linked to the three initials that make up his website’s name: earning, saving and investing. Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your combination of the three, and you'll need to determine what works for your lifestyle. “There are many paths that can get you home, so consider where you can make headway and where you’d rather pull back a bit,” ESI tells Business Insider. Below, read up on his strategy for retiring within a decade:
Start investing as much as possible: We can’t stop stressing the importance of compounded interest. Plus, once you start cutting costs and investing more money, your assets will grow exponentially. ESI suggests investing in low-cost, U.S.-stock-based index funds if you have 10 to 15 years to spare. “I waited for five years after college to begin saving and investing, and those five years are worth a fortune,” the early retiree confesses. So if you haven’t already started investing, get to it.
Find a way to save: Now’s the time to pull out your budget and start cutting down on the expenditures that matter less to you (or, if you don’t have a budget, it’s time to make one). Don’t just make one budget and expect it to work long-term; constantly reassess your priorities and revise them to reflect any lifestyle changes.
Get a side gig: No matter what you do for your side hustle, any extra cash flow will help. Consider advertising your services on a platform like Upwork or even getting a part-time job in a coffee shop. This extra money in addition to your gradual pay increases will help you invest—and save—even more.
Avoid debt: First, try to get rid of any debt you may have. Some purchases are inevitable, but try to avoid buying things you don’t have the cash for in the first place. (PS: Credit cards are not your friends.) Try taking out a budgeted amount of cash for the week, and then avoid going back to the ATM. This way, you'll see your money physically leave your hands each day, which will hopefully cause you to spend less.
What do you think about these tips for early retirement? Be sure to read about high-paying side jobs.