Have you ever wanted to retire early? How about in your 20’s? I know my goal had always been to retire early so I could enjoy the simple things in life.
Well guess what? It is possible to live a retired lifestyle, even in your 20’s, by simply following the steps I’ve listed below. The plan is broken down into two phases: one for getting to retirement and the other is for living it up once you make it there.
Phase 1: Getting To Retirement
Below are the steps needed to get yourself to the retired lifestyle. It’s worth noting that they don’t have to be performed in the order listed, since some of the steps can be rearranged to suit your needs.
I have also put a percentage after each step, which indicates how important the step is in achieving the retired lifestyle:
Reduce Your Expenses (15%)
The first step to retiring in your 20’s is reducing your expenses. The more you can cut them down, the less you’ll have to worry about when it comes to creating an income stream. The key is to write down every expense you have and then figure out how to either reduce it or eliminate it completely.
It takes some imagination to figure out how to reduce your expenses, but it can be done. Start by cutting out cable and ditching your cell phone . From there, start thinking about getting rid of your vehicle(s). This will save you money on gas, as well as on repairs and insurance.
Become A Smart Shopper (10%)
As mentioned above, it’s important to weed out your expenses. However, there will always be a few things you need to purchase. That’s where becoming a smart shopper comes in handy.
What does being a smart shopper mean? It means you know how to find deals, buy in bulk, and overall understand how to get the things you need for the least amount of money possible.
For example, instead of buying various cleaning supplies, you purchase vinegar, water, and a spray bottle. Not only will you save a bunch of money, but you’ll also reduce the amount of times you have to go to the store. That’s a double whammy right there!
Another good example is utilizing coupons, whether they are from the paper or online. You can easily save money on various things by taking the time to hunt down coupons. Besides, you have to use your free time for something…
Move To Florida (50%)
This is an IMPORTANT step in getting closer to an early retirement. You could simply follow this one step and be half way towards retirement. Not bad for a simple step that doesn’t require much planning or capital.
I managed to migrate to Florida for less than a thousand dollars and it was well worth it. Now that I’m here, I feel that much closer to retiring in my 20’s. I’m not sure what it is about Florida that makes it so perfect for retirees, but I think a lot of it has to do with the weather and the amenities available. I can literally walk down the street and play tennis, swim in the bay, play shuffleboard, or watch a few games of baseball for free.
Or perhaps it’s the dive bars with wood paneling for walls and 2 dollar mix drinks specials. I’ve managed to listen in on some pretty crazy conversations amongst retirees. Talk about the perfect place to retire!
If you need help with this step, check out my post: How To Move Across The Country.
Quit Your Day Job (15%)
It’s important to free yourself of your day job if you really want to live the retired lifestyle. Unless of course, you manage to find a nice part-time job you enjoy (door greeter perhaps?). If that’s the case, feel free to work the job for as long as you wish.
The reason it’s important to quit the day job is because most activities take place prior to 4 PM (including dinner specials). If you’re working 9 – 5, there is no way you can enjoy Florida the way it was meant to be. You’ll miss out on some of the coolest tours, tournaments, and happy hours around.
Create An Income Source (10%)
This is also an important step, and can be done before or after you move down to Florida. I would recommend working on an income stream prior to getting here if possible.
Luckily, you should have already reduced your expenses and became a smart shopper. If not, I highly recommend working on those steps first. That way you have an idea of how much income you need generate each month.
If you’ve reduced your expenses and became a smart shopper, this should require less work. The first step is to figure out how much money you need to live off of. Once you know that figure, it’s time to figure out a plan to build an income stream to support you.
Most importantly, you want to build an income stream that requires the least amount of upkeep as possible. This will allow you to truly embrace the retired lifestyle. A few good ideas include building a website, blog, or online business that requires only small amounts of daily/weekly work. Again, use your imagination.
Phase 2: Living It Up
Now that you’ve figured out how to become retired, it’s time to live it up. Here’s some great tips and tricks on what to do with your time:
Create Your Own Sleep Schedule
One of the biggest perks to being retired is the ability to create your own sleep schedule. You no longer have to worry about your day job or any commitments. So it’s a good idea to figure out when you actually prefer sleeping. If you’re a night owl, enjoy it and sleep in the morning.
However, it’s worth noting that you want to get up by noon each morning otherwise you will miss out on some of the specials in the next tip.
Early Bird Specials
It’s true, Florida has a ton of early bird specials. Best of all, a lot of them are open to all ages. Woo!
The key is to find happy hours and specials in your neighborhood and plan them out on a calendar. That way you know where to get cheap food and drink whenever you are craving them. I swear some of the prices remind me of cheap college bars on a tuesday night. It’s crazy.
Do Crossword Puzzles (And Word Searches)
When it comes to entertainment, one of my personal favorites is doing crossword puzzles and word searches. Not only are these things cheap, but they are also very relaxing. Especially if you pair them up with a cup of coffee on the back porch. It’s heaven on earth.
Read Books (From The Library)
Another great source of entertainment is the library. You can literally keep yourself entertained for free. Each week, I head to the nearest branch and pick up at least 3 books to read each week. Not only does it give me something to do, but I’ve also noticed that fiction books blow away anything on television. I barely watch any television now that I read on a daily basis. It’s also a great way to improving your writing.
Listen To Chill Music
Retirement is all about relaxing and enjoying life. There is no room for stress or negativity. That’s why I love listening to chill music all day. I’m a big fan of Jack Johnson since his music puts me in a great mood. You could also listen to oldies if you prefer.
Either way, find something that puts you in a good mood and let it play all day long.
Enjoy The Outdoors
One of the reasons Florida is so perfect for retirement is because of the weather. We did have a few cold weeks here but other than that it’s been great. I can go outside and enjoy the sun, even in January.
Best of all, there are tons of free things to do as I mentioned above. You can go swimming, play tennis, or take up shuffleboard (badass sport). But lets not forget tanning and hanging out at the beach.
Okay I must admit that this is probably not the best way to approach retirement. However, my life is pretty similar to what I’ve listed above. By doing what I love and combining it with a frugal, green, and minimalist lifestyle, I’ve managed to create my own version of the retired lifestyle.