If you want to retire in 10 years, it might be possible. But it’ll require some work.
Getting your finances in order now can help you meet your goal later. While everyone has a different budget and circumstances, it might be possible to retire comfortably sooner than you think. However, it might take more time than 10 years, depending on your starting point.
Whenever you want to retire — whether at typical retirement age in your 60s, or much earlier — these four suggestions can help you work towards that goal.
1. Cut your living expenses
If you’re able to downsize your living expenses, it could allow you to save more. While this may mean moving from one home to another, it could also be as simple as slashing your spending and revisiting your budget to see where you can cut back.
Early retiree and blogger A Purple Life (who is anonymous online) cut her costs by moving from New York City to Seattle. Retiring just five years after she started saving, the move helped her progress. “I cut my living costs in half just by moving out of Manhattan,” she told Insider.
By cutting her expenses, she was able to retire quickly. Doing something similar to lower your expenses might help your retirement journey, too.
2. Pay off any debt
If it’s possible for you to pay off debt, it will benefit your retirement goals twofold.
You’ll be able to save more money each month with one less responsibility. Freeing up several hundred dollars each month means you’ll have more cash to save and invest.
And, there’s a long-term benefit. Going into retirement without debt can help to keep costs low, and stretch the money you already have saved. The combination can put you years ahead on your retirement journey.
3. Earn more income
Whether you’re thinking about asking for a raise at work or starting a side hustle, earning more means saving more.
High school teacher Brian Weitzel found ways to earn more with a side hustle on his journey to early retirement, Insider’s Tanza Loudenback reports. Starting a side photography business and investing in real estate helped boost his income enough to max out six retirement accounts, and save for early retirement in another investment account.
Earning more could help you boost your income and save more now, and help establish a side hustle you can continue after you’ve left work.
4. Downsize your lifestyle and make a budget
Spending less means saving more, and that could be the key to retiring earlier than you anticipated.
Simply paying attention to your spending can make a big difference. Avoiding lifestyle creep, or spending more when you earn more, can make a significant difference. Additionally, living below your means can help you save more and create a lifestyle now that will be sustainable in retirement later.
Making a budget can be a good place to start, and it will give you an idea of where to cut back. List out all of your spending, and categorize things into essential and non-essential costs. Look at the non-essential spending, and see if you’re able to cut back in any specific area. Investing the difference could help you save more and get closer to your goal.