7 ways to boost your odds of retiring early

Are you ready to say goodbye to the rat race? These money moves will help get a head start on retiring young.

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Dec 18, 2013 11:08AM
1. Quit buying and dropping cash value life insurance
2. Quit trading cars every few years
3. Save before you see your money(401k,403b) and live on what is left
4. Quit trying to keep up with everyone
5. Invest in a a high quality balanced fund on a regular basis and leave it alone
6. Treat your 401k/403b like a hands off retirement plan, not a lending bank
7. Never touch tax deferred money(401k) - not even when you change jobs(rollover)
8. Do some soul searching before you sign up for an automatic monthly payment.
9. Never buy anything someone is trying to sell. Educate yourself and buy later when pressure is off.

Saving $1 a day will not get you there but refraining to spend $100's every month will really compound

Dec 18, 2013 12:56PM

Be happy with what you have and not what you don't ...

Have a roof over your head ?

Have a little cash in the bank ?

Food in the frig ?

Someone who Loves you ?

Sounds like a good retirement to me.

Merry Christmas

Dec 18, 2013 10:51AM

This is advice for someone who stays single and never has kids. Want to kill an early retirement? Don’t work on your marriage and let your kids dream of a ( useless major) higher education that neither you or they can afford. Here’s 3 ways to Boost Your Odds: Find a financially compatible spouse, start your family as early as possible and educate your kids early on debt and financial responsibility. I know many people who's retirement has been derailed by divorce or struggling adult kids.

Dec 18, 2013 8:13AM
No more Starbucks?  Decent advice.

Getting rid of cable?  Maybe.  Unless you like sports or any other live televised event.

Pay off your debt?  Excellent advice.

Open a high interest bank account?  Those don't exist nowadays.  So what if you get 3 times better return from an online bank - we're still talking about 2% here - pretty damn pathetic.

Deposit the extras?  No crap, Columbo.

Series I bonds because they are indexed to inflation?  Who cares if the costs of food, gas, heating oil, insurance, etc... aren't included in the inflation index.  I-bonds might keep up with the official inflation rate, but they won't keep up with cost of living increases.

Invest in stocks?  There are many better alternatives.

Remember boys and girls, cash flow is king.  Forget about using the alleged value of your assets to measure your wealth.  Markets change and values fluctuate.  Instead, measure your wealth by the amount of consistent cash flow your assets can generate.
Dec 17, 2013 10:44PM
Gotta say- the recommendations of this article won't amount to squat. If you EVER spent $1000 at Starbucks in a year- give it up - you'll be working till you die. Best advice is to MAKE A REALISTIC PLAN. Even on less than stellar salaries, it can be done.
Dec 18, 2013 9:53AM
The sad fact is that a lot of older workers get "retired" when companies downsize or go under, and if you are anything over 50, good luck finding a new job that pays anything.  Living a controlled and conservative lifestyle can go a long way toward making early "retirement" less of a disaster.
Dec 18, 2013 2:02AM
I just  up and   quit engineering ( suckers  game) age  58  glad i did--------- then i  started  teaching english  overseas when and  how  I  wanted for 10 years  now I am 78 and  dont get  as  much  social security as if  Id  quit  at  70  but  had a whale of  a  better  life not  having to work  for  people with half  my  qualifications always  trying to keep me  down or  stab me in the  back ( standard US  company  environment)
Dec 18, 2013 9:54AM
I wish the article would tell me where to open a high interest savings account.  I wonder what they consider high interest?
Dec 18, 2013 12:00PM
Boost odds of "retiring at all," IMPEACH OBAMA.
Dec 18, 2013 4:18PM
Here is a better plan. It's WAY WAY easier in concept but WAY WAY harder to implement (mainly because people just don't try to save):

Look for all areas in your life where you can cut costs. Are you really fully utilizing that $75/mo cell phone plan? Probably not. Get a cheaper plan. Now, here's the plan:

1) Work hard - you have to have money coming in to build wealth

2) Contribute MAX amount to your 401k & get employer match (or at least to an IRA - invest in PM, WAG, MCD, PEP, KO, JNJ, EMR, MMM, RAI, LLY,  - I know this is a long list but just pick what you like - that's all you need - believe me!) ... oh, remember to reinvest those dividends!

3) Live off 1/2 of what's left after 401k - of your post 401k check about 1/4 for taxes, 1/4 for savings - you have 1/2 left - no budgets - do what ever you want with it BUT THAT"S ALL YOU GET. You'll soon learn how to manage on that. As you get raises, your spendable portion goes up - go wild with it...

4) Keep putting that savings EVERY TIME into a good dividend paying stock like Walgreen's (WAG)

5) Reinvest the dividends.

6) Repeat cycle for 40 yrs and you'll NEVER have to worry about money and you'll never have to budget.

Dec 18, 2013 12:58AM
Buying bonds now (when US interest rates are near multi-generational lows, and starting to rise) may be a bad idea.  The day-to-day value of a bond changes in relation to interest rates - the bond value goes down as interest rates rise. There is no impact if one holds the bond to maturity, but if there is a need or desire to sell before maturity, one may take a "haircut" on the selling price that can wipe out any interest earned, or worse.
Dec 18, 2013 4:13PM
Cable TV is the biggest waste of money. I watch my $130/mo cable about the same amount I watch my $7.99/mo netflix. I would have cut it long ago but my girlfriend insists on keeping cable because there are couple shows she can't see right when they come out if she doesn't have cable. Such a stupid reason to spend an extra 122 a month.
Dec 17, 2013 10:09PM
Live hard, die young, and leave a good looking corpse. No one gets out alive.
Dec 18, 2013 10:26AM
This may have been the dumbest article I've ever read.  "I don't do this" and "I don't do that" yet he's still working for MSN Money and isn't retired...hmmmm.
Dec 18, 2013 7:38PM


Pay of debt ?........really no kidding ??


Most obvious is to start EARLY, and in my opinion, use a professional planner to guide your investments over many years.  Yes, a  planner is in it to make money, but unless you yourself are educated sufficiently, self direction could be costly.  Another set of eyes on your investment direction can help achieve your goals 


 But TIME TIME TIME is key.   If you start early,  time is your biggest friend; if you wait,  time is your biggest foe....and beginning early and saving over many many years is your best bet on beating inflation.


Then go have a Starbucks coffee and watch some cable

Jan 10, 2014 10:51AM
You should know this already. If you don't, please be under 30.

When will have mandatory financial classes (HS level?).

Dec 18, 2013 1:52PM
And just where am I going to get the money for investing in the stock market and high interest bank accounts.... and another thing today there are no "high interest bank accounts".
Jan 6, 2014 9:50AM
OMG, Who writes this stuff?  Most, good ways to save money. But boosting your odds of retiring early!  Please
Dec 17, 2013 8:03PM
One way to boost your odds of living to retirement......Avoid whitecoats if possible and refuse to injest any sort of FDA junk pills that may cause more severe illnesses and/or death, increasing the bank roll for the legal drug lords.  One report indicates a majoy legal drug distributor drug in 55 BILLION dollars in one year, 2009!  Now, with relentlsess "ask your doctor" ads and "medicare supplement " ads, I have to wonder what they  drag in now.  With 7400 distributtorships, they might be dispensing addiction and death for dollars.  I prefer home remedies.
Jan 10, 2014 1:48PM
Fastest way marry for MONEY ,as least you will suffer in comfort  BYE
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