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4 Hacks for Retiring Early

4 Hacks for Retiring Early

It is a brand new year and a lot of people are going back to work with a slightly depressed feeling in their gut. This is completely normal after weeks of vacationing and is not something to worry about.

However, many people have thoughts of retirement on their mind. They just can’t wait until they can stop worrying about money and start enjoying life to the fullest. Although retiring at 65 or 70 may be the norm, that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Here are four hacks that millions of people use each year in order to retire as early as 30.

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1. Real Estate

Real estate is likely the number one way that people plan a successful retirement. If done correctly, real estate investments can make money now, and continue making increased amounts of money for the rest of your life.

You don’t have to be rich enough to own an apartment complex either. It can start with one small, single-unit rental and expand from there. Every state has areas where rent is more than the average price of a mortgage. Simply find where that is in your state and start looking.

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Financing real estate is also significantly easier than most people realize. There are dozens of tips and tricks that people can use to get cheap real estate properties at almost no cost to themselves. Most people don’t invest in real estate simply because they never take the time to learn.

2. 401(k)

Imagine if you could invest money, and double your investment overnight. Who wouldn’t take advantage of something like that? As crazy as the concept sounds, that is exactly what a company-matched 401(k) is. You put in a portion of your paycheck, and your company will contribute the same amount. In effect, you have doubled your investment, something that normally takes 7-10 years.

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Take full advantage of any 401(k) offerings your company allows. They will manage all of the asset allocation and investing and you simply tell them how much of your paycheck you can afford to invest (up to a point).

3. IRA

If you do not work at a company that offers a 401(k), as many don’t, then there are other options as well. One of these is called an IRA. The benefits of IRAs are mainly taxes and compounding your investment. You can open an IRA anytime after you turn 18 and don’t have to have a perfect understanding of investing to do so. Simply choose a stock broker (there are quite a few) and then sign up for an IRA. You can set it to pull a certain amount every month. With many brokers, they will also do most of the investing for you. You simply tell them your age and when you plan on retiring, and they will invest in funds that are proper for your current situation.

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It is important to have your money in financial markets (like stocks) because of compound gains. Compounding gains are essentially a way to make your money increase by 10 percent each year. This means $500 invested today can be worth $5,000 by retirement if invested correctly.

4. Start a Business

One of the best ways to retire early is to start a business that can be your cash cow. Many people make significant amounts of money for the rest of their life through extremely boring business ideas. For example, someone can purchase fabric at a discount in China, sell it to people in the U.S. via Amazon, and pocket the difference. It isn’t sexy, but it can be completely automated and can make plenty of money. There are many different online classes that teach people how to do just this thing.

The key for all of these is motivation. Set a plan for how you want to retire early and then write down the specifics. Figure out what route you are most interested in and then make it happen. It will be worth it someday!

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

Video Summary

1. Visit a strawberry festival

Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

2. Have a picnic

Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

3. Camp in your back yard

    The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

    4. Take long walks

    Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

    5. Break a world record

    Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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    6. Go on a bike ride

    The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

    7. Join a gym class

      The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

      8. Find a new hobby

      The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

      9. Join a sports team

      Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

      10. Make a slip ‘n slide

        Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

        11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

        Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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        12. Visit a free festival

        Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

        13. Visit the zoo

          Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

          14. Take a road trip

          Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

          15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

            Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

            16. Make your own ice cream

            Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

            17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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              When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

              18. Get a summer job

              For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

              19. Attend a charity event

              Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

              20. Visit a national park

              National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

              21. Visit your local comedy club

                Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                22. Make your own hammock

                  Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                  23. Read in your new hammock

                  Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                  24. Watch a movie outside

                  Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                  25. Take a hike

                    Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                    26. Learn how to fly a kite

                    As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                    27. Work out at the park

                    American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                    28. Take your dog to the beach

                      One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                      29. Make a summer smoothie

                      Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                      30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                      No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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