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.
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.
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.
You may be able to accelerate your potential retirement earnings by consciously seeking higher returns (and also accepting more risk) in your investment portfolio. But whatever your risk tolerance, your portfolio must be diversified to protect against extreme market movements that could jeopardize your early retirement objective. You can choose from a number of ways to allocate investments to diversify your portfolio, and these should be informed by your individual goals, growth and income needs, appetite for risk, and age.
Once you have accelerated your savings and put an ongoing plan in place, invest your savings into your portfolio as soon as possible. Don't try to time the market. Leave your portfolio alone, and let the compounding nature of the markets do its magic to help grow your retirement nest egg exponentially over time.
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.
Zacks offers investors useful rankings for lower risk growth stocks for retirement portfolios. The following are a few selections that merit a closer look: Darden Restaurants (DRI), Brinker International (EAT) and EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM). Earnings and revenue has seen growth of at least 5% or higher over the last five years, with a beta of 1 or lower.
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EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Brinker International, Inc. (EAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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