Note from Jason: This is the fourth and final article in a multi-part series that reveals how I personally put myself in a position to retire in my early 30s. If you haven’t already, read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 first. This series explores the entire six-year journey, where I recount the exact strategies I used to get here. Through sharing this information, I aim to inspire you readers to reach for similar heights while simultaneously giving you the tools to succeed. I’m essentially pulling back the curtain, giving you real-life numbers and results. This fourth article will wrap things up. I’m going to highlight a few important points that I’ve touched on. And I want to leave you with some lasting inspiration. I’m also going to reveal how I aim to help those who are seeking early retirement via a special resource available to Daily Trade Alert readers. I hope you enjoyed these articles. And I thank you for reading them.
So I pulled back the curtain, guys.
I showed you exactly how I went from below broke at 27 years old to retired at 33.
I like to say that retiring early is easy but hard.
See, it’s easy to pull out a calculator and figure out what you have to do. It’s easy to punch in numbers. Anyone can do the math.
But it’s hard to actually make the major lifestyle changes necessary to have the math pan out in real life. It’s hard to make supposed sacrifices every day, for years on end. It’s hard to swim against the current of society. It’s hard to be your own person.
In order to actually realize an audacious dream, you have to be audacious.
The sacrifices I’ve made are real.
I’ve taken thousands of bus rides. I’ve eaten lots of ramen noodles. I’ve worked 100-hour weeks, building an online business on top of a normal career that demanded 50-60 hours per week.
But what is sacrifice?
I think the idea of sacrifice is subjective.
To me, the biggest sacrifice of all would be to spend most of your waking hours doing things you don’t want to do.
In my opinion, it’s most of society that is making the big sacrifices. Most people are working at jobs they don’t like, and they’re spending decades doing it.
That’s sacrifice to me.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, folks.
You just have to think differently. You have to truly want it. And you have to actually make some drastic changes to your lifestyle if you want make early retirement a reality.
But let me tell you, it’s all worth it.
At least for me.
I wake up without the help of an alarm clock.
I then go about my day as I please.
Most importantly, I’m filling my life with passions, pursuits, and challenges that make me happy and live with more meaning and purpose.
And that’s the great gift of early retirement: One is able to supplant pursuits that don’t offer them happiness, meaning and purpose with pursuits that do.
Maybe you’ve always wanted to start a non-profit or write a book, but you’ve just never had the time.
Maybe you want to take some classes or learn a new skill.
Maybe you like exercising. Or cooking. Or reading.
Maybe you have a passion for helping others and you want to be more involved with volunteer work.
Or maybe you just want to spend more time with your family.
Whatever your hobbies or pursuits might be, you’ll have so much more time, energy, creativity, and passion for these activities. Once you’re no longer wearing yourself out with work you’d prefer not to be doing, you’re freeing up so much physical and mental capacity for the things you do want to do.
Look, if I can do it, anyone can do it.
I was 27 years old and unemployed when I first decided that I had to make this change in my life.
I had no formal education for any of this. In fact, I couldn’t have been further away from Wall Street if I had tried. Working for a car dealership isn’t exactly priming one for personal finance expertise.
When I started to share my plans with people, they basically laughed at me.
After all, how could this guy who had mismanaged his money so badly all of a sudden retire decades before everyone else?
Well, I had a secret weapon they didn’t know about.
Desire and discipline.
I wanted it. And I was willing to make some major lifestyle changes to get there.
I exhibited patience, persistence, and perseverance. I stayed optimistic, I worked hard, and I never lost sight of the goal.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t let the naysayers convince you that you can’t retire early.
After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
I figured even if I fell slightly short and retired in my early 40s, I’d still be far ahead of the curve.
They say if you shoot for the moon but fail, you’ll still be among the stars. That’s how I approached this journey.
However, I believe that anyone who gives this lifestyle a serious shot has almost zero chances of failing.
We all have different goals. Different interests. Different lives.
But I think the pursuit of happiness is something that binds humanity. We all want to be happier. We all want to feel like we’re living meaningful lives. We all want to feel like we have purpose.
Well, as I’ve already touched on, early retirement can help with much of that.
You have the blueprint.
The math is quite simple.
You have to live well below your means. You should aim to save at least half your net income.
To do so, you’ll have to make some hard choices.
You have to think about what’s really making you happy. And is whatever it is that’s keeping you from saving a very large chunk of your income really worth it? Is that worth keeping you from climbing this amazing mountain and achieving all the freedom that comes with early retirement?
But you can’t stop with just saving a high percentage of your income. You have to invest that free cash flow intelligently.
As I went over in the last article, I think dividend growth investing is the single best available strategy out there for those who want to retire very early in life.
That’s because owning shares of high-quality companies that pay growing dividends is a great source of passive income.
It’s passive income you don’t have to do anything for.
And the income is likely to grow in excess of inflation for the long haul, increasing your purchasing power.
However, it’s really up to you to take action. It’s up to you to save and invest for early retirement.
If you think it can’t be done, I’m here to tell you otherwise. Early retirement is indeed possible. And I can say firsthand that because of the freedom I now have to pursue only those things that are meaningful to me, it’s worth all the hard work.
I hope I’m leaving you with inspiration.
I’m certainly leaving you with the blueprint.
But it’s now up to you to follow the road to your own freedom. It’s up to you to climb that mountain.
It’ll be bumpy. No doubt about it. And it won’t always be fun.
However, there is an incredible reward awaiting you. The freedom is worth the climb.
The dream is alive, guys. You just have to want it and make some major lifestyle changes.
Save, invest and stick with it.
I wish you a very happy early retirement!
Thanks for reading.
— Jason Fieber
P.S. I know firsthand there are many good people out there looking for a way to become financially independent. They have jobs or lifestyles that do not suit them and they want the freedom to do things that have more meaning and purpose. They know financial independence can help get them there, but they’re just not sure where to start.
Are you one of these people?
If so, I’d suggest you start by focusing on your spending habits first. That will help you maximize your savings rate, which will give you more money to invest in the passive income-generating stocks that will ultimately fund your early retirement.
I’ve lived extremely frugally for years now — and it’s that thoughtful approach to spending that has been a key component to the overall lifestyle that has allowed me to retire decades before most people.
The thing is, nothing I did is off limits to you or anyone else. Everything I did (and still do) to save money can be replicated by anyone.
To prove that point, I just put the finishing touches on a five-part series that reveals five real-life changes I’ve made over the years to my own spending.
The series is called 5 Ways To Start Saving Serious Money (And Fast-Track Your Early Retirement).
If you want to retire decades before most people, you’re probably going to have to operate way outside the norm. As you can probably already tell, this series isn’t going to be talking about just “cutting out the daily latte”.
So I’m going to show you, via real math, what the implications are to making these changes, and how these methods can lead to real and lasting wealth for anyone.
This real and lasting wealth can then be used to generate the passive income necessary to quit your job and have the freedom to do those things that are most meaningful to you.
So if you’re serious about retiring early – I mean, really serious – consider implementing some of the real money-saving ideas I’ll tell you about. They could substantially speed up retirement.
Stay tuned for Part 1 of this new series!
Note from DTA: If you’re ready to start building your own dividend growth portfolio, and you’re looking for ideas, there are several resources right here on Daily Trade Alert (and they’re all free). One of them is something we call our Undervalued Dividend Growth Stock of the Week, which is written by Jason and published every Sunday. As the name implies, the companies featured in this column typically offer sound fundamentals, reasonable levels of debt, strong balance sheets, rock-solid histories of increasing their dividends, and of course, attractive valuations. Click here to access Jason’s latest pick — a stock he recently bought more shares of for his own portfolio, that pays a higher-than-average yield, and that’s potentially 30% undervalued right now.