5 stupid mistakes that keep you from retiring early


Retiring early, or at least achieving some form of financial independence, is a worthy goal for many Americans. Getting there, though, requires careful thought about financial planning and more careful attention to savings and investments. have to pay

Here are five silly mistakes that can ruin your early retirement plans.

1. Donate but don’t invest

It may seem like an obvious mistake, but many investors donate their money to a 401(k) or Roth IRA without forgetting to invest it! There are important steps. Invest Money according to your wider asset allocation. Leaving your retirement savings in cash eliminates the potential for significant long-term returns and misses out on valuable time for the compounded returns to take hold.

Man sitting at laptop taking notes.

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2. Don’t prepare for the unexpected

Financial planning is meant to make retirement a little easier, but you never know what your life will be like in five, ten, fifteen years. With interest rates rising, holding a sizeable cash reserve has become significantly more attractive than it has been in the last decade. Some high-yield savings accounts pay a yield of 4% to he as much as 4.5% per annum. If you can receive a reasonably attractive risk-free return at a local or online savings institution, you don’t necessarily have to invest aggressively.

That said, keep some cash on hand in case you run into the unexpected.

3. Invest haphazardly

A number of studies suggest that broad-market mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) tend to be a safer choice than random selection of individual stocks when it comes to long-term investment success. increase. To decide which funds to keep, consider creating an asset allocation that covers all the funds you want to invest and allocating specific percentages of the total to various asset classes. For example, a portfolio might be 40% US equities, 40% international equities, and 20% bonds. Then it’s up to you to choose a mutual fund that contains the specific exposure you want.

Regardless of what your asset allocation looks like in the end, be sure to give it a little thought and consider carefully where each dollar goes.

4. Don’t worry about spending

Early retirees pay very high attention to investment costs. Fees, trading fees, advisor costs and above-market cost ratios can be really costly for smaller investors, especially if these charges are applied over a long period of time. favors the investor, compounding fees accelerate in the opposite direction.

Make sure you can name all fees associated with your investment account and have a strong understanding of the value you are receiving in exchange for those fees. It may be time.

5. Do not create a written plan

It’s easy to assume that everything will be fine, and it might be. However, you should be very careful in planning for early retirement. Ultimately, you should prepare for known issues that may arise. There are many scenarios (childbirth, layoffs, family emergencies to name a few) that may require changes to your retirement plans.

Of course, you can’t plan everything, but having the document in place will give you logistical and psychological peace of mind, especially if things change drastically in the future. Use online budgeting and investment tools or create your own spreadsheets covering investments, taxes and more.

avoid simple mistakes

Retirement and investing are often very simple, but getting the basics right is also important. If you can think through your investments and develop a written plan, you can safely let the stock market take its course, giving it plenty of time to run its course. No matter which path you choose in your search for early retirement, do some thinking and planning for the unexpected.

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