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10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

10 Signs You Will Be Able To Retire At An Early Age

For many people, the dream of an early retirement seems far fetched. Worries about how you will live, what will you do, and what others will think can obscure the reality that is right in front of you. But early retirement may be more viable than you think. Take, for example, the story of Brenton Hayden who made himself a goal to retire by age 27 and succeeded. By strategically building a business that could run itself when he was ready to walk away, he did the seemingly impossible and now lives a life of complete freedom.

So we have compiled 10 signs you could be capable of the same.

Being able to identify the 10 signs that you can retire early can be the first and most important step to setting your own course. As you read the list, you may be pleasantly surprised at how many of these elements apply to you right now.

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1. You Believe That Opportunities Exist Everywhere

Hayden’s belief that he could find the positive in any situation and turn it to his benefit is what allowed him to become self-sufficient and able to meet his goal of retiring at 27. Opportunities can be all around us, we just have to look to see them.

2. You Feel That Your Daily Life Is No Longer Fulfilling

Sometimes being productive or successful in a position still leaves a spiritual and emotional void. When you reach this point, the best cure is often to walk away and follow that “road less traveled” to reawaken that desire to build something new – perhaps even in a new location.

3. You Want To Share The Skills You’ve Learned

When you’ve mastered a skill or trade, the greatest satisfaction is often gained by sharing that knowledge with others. Not only is this a great way to “pay it forward,” but it also empowers those around you and enables them to carry on with what you’ve taught them, freeing you up to focus on the things that will help you achieve your early retirement goal.

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4. You Aren’t Afraid Of Risk

The old saying, “no risk, no reward” is particularly important in knowing if you are ready to retire. Walking away from the relative security of a known existence (i.e. job, daily routine, etc.) to step into an uncertain future is a profound choice. Yet if you feel that the only thing worse is to remain stagnant, then the time may be right to make that move.

5. You Want to Control Your Destiny

Recognizing that being able to dictate how and where you spend your time is truly life affirming and can be a major step in the retirement process. If you find yourself wanting to take control of your own future and live life according to your own terms, then you may just have what it takes. The key is having the courage to take the first step.

6. You Don’t Believe In The Traditional Definition Of Retirement

Retirement no longer means just sitting around the house, playing golf or tennis, and watching the time go by. Believing that retirement today can mean working (or not) when you want, traveling when you want, and not being held to someone’s else’s agenda is a major indicator that you are ready to retire on your terms.

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7. You Believe That Retirement Isn’t The End, But Instead A New Beginning

Being freed from the yoke of job deadlines, a daily routine and demands on your time marks that start of a whole new existence. You can now work hard (or not) and play hard. It is up to you how to take this next chapter in your life and make it your own.

8. You Accept That Money Is Not The End-All And Be-All

Monetary status is like the weather; it can change without warning. By embracing the fact that you can live cheaply for now – if need be – in order to achieve your goal of early retirement, you are already prepared to handle the ebb and flow that retirement and investing while retired, can bring.

9. You Don’t Measure Your Life Against Others

One of the most profound benefits of retiring on your own terms is that you no longer have to measure your life achievements against what others have (or have not) gained. Success and failure are both just chapters. Some of which fall short of a goal and may ultimately lead you to end up reaping more rewards than if your original plan had succeeded. Life is funny that way.

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10. You Know That Age Is Just A Number

Nowhere is it written that you have to reach a certain age in order to be “ready” for retirement. True, some financial situations, such as pensions, 401k’s or Social Security have a mandated legal age, but the idea of retiring and beginning a new life is not bound by those same numbers. That is why people like Hayden could choose to retire at 27, while others continue to work through their 70’s and 80’s. Knowing that age is just a number means that you are not bound by the societal barriers that dictate what the “right” age for retirement should be. That choice is uniquely your own.

So What Questions Should You Be Asking?

Every journey starts with the question: What do I want to discover? No matter what your age or status, it is never too early to start asking yourself some serious questions about retiring. As you look within, these 10 signs will stand out as beacons showing you that the only obstacle to meeting that dream is yourself. Dare to take that first step today.

Featured photo credit: barca-couple-soledad-wholesale-473854/Montaplex via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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