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.
The typical rule of thumb given by financial planners is to have a goal of saving up to 20% of total earnings. But if you want to retire when you're younger, that percentage will probably need to be more like 40% to 50% of your income. Of course, that's not so simple since a big part of your paycheck goes to day-to-day, necessary expenses. So if you want to save that much, you need to make some serious lifestyle adjustments. It requires making changes, but it's doable.
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.
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 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.
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.
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: First American Financial (FAF), Banner (BANR) and First Defiance Financial (FDEF). 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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First Defiance Financial Corp. (FDEF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Banner Corporation (BANR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
First American Financial Corporation (FAF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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