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Powerful Proof Anyone Can Invest for an Early Retirement - January 22, 2020

Zacks Equity Research

Accomplishing the financial cushion to retire early is a fantasy for most. Bringing the fantasy to reality is not as difficult as it sounds. The key is straightforward: Save significantly more every month. Sounds simple, correct? One moment.

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 generally new development called Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) has been created around this "sacrifice and over-save now to retire early" idea. FIRE supporters create exacting savings plans (up to 75% of income) and make related compromises like living in small homes, walking to work every day, prohibitive weight control plans, etc. This way might be unreasonably prohibitive for many, yet the mentality offers a few takeaways that may merit consideration.

First, stick with the fundamentals of long-term growth investing: Choose a diversified portfolio of stocks with exposure to different styles, sizes, sectors, and regions.

To speed up the retirement investment cycle, you can build a portfolio structured with more risk - and the potential for higher returns. It should in any case be adequately diversified to safeguard against sharper than normal market downturns that can be hard to recuperate from and that can ruin any opportunity to achieve your early retirement goal. There are various strategies to diversify a portfolio, and how you do so should be guided by your age, your risk appetite, your growth and income needs, and your long-term objectives.

After accelerating your savings and setting up an ongoing plan, invest your savings into your portfolio at the earliest opportunity. Try not to attempt to time the market. Stay put, and let the compounding characteristics of the markets do its work to help grow your retirement wealth exponentially over time.

Astute investors pick retirement growth stocks with low beta, strong earnings estimates, positive sales growth, and expected future growth.

The Zacks Rank routinely recognizes lower risk growth retirement portfolio picks, and here are a few that may be worth considering: Medifast (MED), First Defiance Financial (FDEF) and Flushing Financial (FFIC). These growth stocks have strong Zacks Ranks and a beta of 1 or lower, with earnings and sales growth of at least 5% over the past 5 years.

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Flushing Financial Corporation (FFIC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
First Defiance Financial Corp. (FDEF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MEDIFAST INC (MED) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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