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Powerful Proof Anyone Can Invest for an Early Retirement - January 14, 2020

Zacks Equity Research

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.

Usually, advisors advise 15% to 20% of total income saved every month as an objective - yet in the event that you want to retire earlier, you likely need to tighten that number up to 40% or half of your pay. Not a discipline easily practiced when you review or consider that a substantial segment of your paycheck goes to basic, non- negotiable lifestyle needs. But if you are willing to make some serious lifestyle adjustments and trade-offs, it's achievable.

This concept of intensive saving for an early retirement has spawned a movement called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Followers of FIRE strive to save up to three-quarters of their income, and make other adjustments too: live in small homes, walk to work each day, practice strict diet plans, and more. Even if this lifestyle may sound a bit unreasonable, the ideas behind it are worth considering.

To start, stick with the essentials of long-term growth investing: Build a diversified portfolio of stocks with exposure to 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.

The Zacks Rank routinely recognizes lower risk growth retirement portfolio picks, and here are a few that may be worth considering: Armada Hoffler Properties (AHH), Heritage Commerce (HTBK) and CNB Financial (CCNE). 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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CNB Financial Corporation (CCNE) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Heritage Commerce Corp (HTBK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Armada Hoffler Properties, Inc. (AHH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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