How To Retire Early – The Actionable Guide

Justin McCurry of Root of Good retired at age 38 with over $1 Million. Neither did he have a six-figure salary nor did he win the lottery. Yet he was able to achieve quite the early retirement when the average retirement age in the US is 60.

With proper prior planning, you can live the life that you’ve always wanted instead of worrying about your financial security day-in and day-out and retire early.

Here’s a fun fact: By showing your interest in early retirement, you now are a part of the FIRE movement.

Surprised? Confused as to what FIRE Movement is? Wondering what it has to do with retiring early?

Before we get to that, know that retirement differs from individual to individual.

Different Schools of Thought

Everybody’s reality is different.

Retirement for one white-collar worker might be very different from the rest of their colleagues.

For one it might be leaving their work once and for all by the age of 55 and never work again while living on their savings.

While for the other, it might be leaving their profession but settling down in a quaint town, pursuing what they’ve always wanted to do or contribute to their community.

For the other, it might be their dream to live along the beaches, whiling their time amongst the company of your family and friends and stargaze at night.

It might be an entirely different case for one who owns a business or is self-employed. The way they operate already offers them more freedom. Their view on retirement might be to continue till the end, gradually reducing the time invested in it or they could decide to pass it onto their next generation.

There is also increasing awareness of being financially prepared and this has led to them widening their views on retirement and along with many considering early retirement.

This brings us to FIRE Movement we were talking about earlier.

FIRE (Financial Independence and Retire Early) Movement

Financial Independence and Retire Early Movement a.k.a. FIRE is a lifestyle movement through which people are looking forward to being financially independent and retiring earlier than the average norm. It is another equivalent of planning to retire early and there are four different types of FIRE retirement methods.

  • Regular FIRE – Focus mainly on retiring early
  • Lean FIRE – Focus on retiring early but living off very less. The fastest to achieve.
  • Fat FIRE – Focus on retiring early but living off of lot more. The longest to achieve.
  • Barista FIRE – Focus on retiring early but taking up a part-time job or freelance to maintain cash inflow and gain company health benefits.

You can mix and match the different types of FIRE to suit your needs. For example, I would choose something between a Lean FIRE and Barista FIRE. This way I can retire very early as well as still make money and enjoy company benefits.

The FIRE movement melds well with what we are trying to achieve. Use this as an inspiration to start your planning based upon it.

So decide on when and what you want when you finally want to hang your coat and move onto planning on achieving it.

The Plan

Figure out how much do you’ll need for Retirement

It’s time to find out the amount of money that you’ll need at the time of retirement in order to live a content life later on.

It involves quite a lot of calculations and to ease things up you can use the Retirement Corpus Calculator below to find out how much you’ll need to save for retirement.

Retirement Corpus Calculator

Now that you’ve figured out how much do you need to retire early, let’s look at ways that will help boost your savings and reach this goal faster.

Taking Action

Acquiring Wealth & Increasing your Net Worth

With your retirement corpus at hand, it’s time to look into ways to get to it. Savings alone won’t cut it unless you save a sizable portion of your income or have a large income, to begin with.

Fret not. There are a million ways to earn. But the best among those are the ones where money works for you and not the other way around.

Invest your savings in:

Creating a Passive Income Stream

I recommend you focus on growing this part of your portfolio over any other. Passive Income includes revenue from real estate, royalties, Interest, affiliate marketing or even phone apps for that matter.

Freelancing during your free time is another great option to earn extra income, helping you reach your goal of early retirement faster.

The reason why I recommend growing your passive income source is because, once set up, they provide constant stream on revenue for no work done by you at all.


Investing your money in Direct Stocks (High Risk), Mutual Funds (Lower Risk), Systematic Investment Plan (Low Risk), and Pension Funds provides you with great returns.

The major benefit in investing is the ability to beat inflation and help your money grow.

Putting your money in a saving account whose interest rate is generally below the inflation rate, means that money depreciating in value.

Instead of letting it go to waste, that money could’ve been put to use by you in purchasing something valuable that would have increased in value later on.

It is also better to invest in SIPs and Mutual Funds if not direct stocks and bonds since the former are considered less risky compared to the latter all the while helping beat inflation.

I recommend reading up and finding out all about everything since investing in many of the above-mentioned commodities involve risk.

Here are a few resources that will help you get started:

Better yet, get in contact with a financial advisor to make better decisions and help managing your investments.

Top Tip: Risk aversion is the name of the game. Being risk-averse by diversifying your portfolio and having the discipline to stick to your investing plan. The lesser the number of unaccounted variables in play, the lesser the risk.

The goal is to increase your net worth all the while being financially secure and not letting your money depreciate in value. This will help net in quite the earnings in the long run.

Reduce/Eliminate Debt

While you begin saving, you might find quite a lot of miscellaneous payments eating into your savings.

It might be your house’s mortgage or student loan that is yet to be settled. The first course of action is to pay off all your debts and student loans.

Trivial, I know. But will be much more easy to save if you don’t have a constant outflow of cash. So settle those debts at the earliest.

Start Saving Early

Be it waking up early or saving for retirement, an early start helps in relieving a lot of stress and tension that you might face later.

Reduce the number of risks that you take. Every small risk count. Starting late too counts as a risk that you can avoid by starting saving for retirement now!

You don’t need to wait for the time when you have everything that you need and then start saving. That time may never come as far as you know.

Save a part of your income as soon as you receive it and use the remaining for your expenses and spending.

As time goes by, the number of people dependant on you might increase and you also won’t be getting any younger by the day too. It’ll become a chore to start saving for retirement at that stage.

Start saving, say 20% of your earnings to begin with and increase it to 50% as you near your retirement age.

Stick to the Plan

You now have an idea on how to go about planning for your retirement if not with an exact estimate of your retirement figures.

But it is easy to lose sight of your goal and spend on things on the spur and this becomes a hindrance to your retirement plans.


The utterance of the word “Retirement” brings forth fear to those in their late 40s and is never given due consideration while in our youth.

Well, the reasoning behind both is simple. It brings about fear because they haven’t started planning for retirement yet. And the youths, well are in their youth. Why should they have to think about retirement when they have just started out?

Many have always believed in living off their retirement days off their savings alone.

That negligence of their financial health leads them to become the very people who tend to dread the topic of retirement and life thereupon.

Do know that it is never too late to start planning for retirement.

But it is also possible to retire early. It requires a bit of planning and this eventually helps in reducing the burden of planning for one later on.

It may look like a lot of work at first but the benefit that you gain for your effort is the ability to live out the life that you wanted all the while not being financially burdened and provide the best for yourself and those dependant on you.

Happy retirement planning!

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How To Retire Early - The Actionable Guide

by Bharath Sivakumar