I started a retire early blog and I think everyone should have one too. That is.. If you want a happy retirement.
A Happy Retirement: My 7 Steps and Why I Started a Retire Early Blog
I’ve made a ton of financial mistakes in my life. I’ve had a few wins along the way, but it’s never been enough. Between the wins and losses, I needed a blank canvas to share my experiences, learn and help along the way.
Blogging is one of the best mediums in the world to do so. Setting up a website has never been easier.
To me, early retirement has a much different definition. It means quitting your primary income to do whatever it is you truly love to do. I love the online world as the limits are endless. Personally, I don’t think I will ever stop working completely. Ever. Being a former investment banker and a primary investor currently, I have this innate need to stay busy.
It’s just in my DNA.
You should see me on vacations. I have this addiction to working on a train or plane. I get satisfied knowing that I am working while in-transit. Not only that working in general keeps me happy and feeling productive. Just like working out, but only for your mind.
So, what is retire early?
The Millionaire Mob definition of retiring early is kill your day job.
But, what if you love your day job? Well, do you work for someone else?
I’m a huge fan of working wherever you want and whenever you want. Say goodbye to the traditional office, but how do you do so? You can become an owner.
It’s true that one of the quickest and most successful ways to wealth is by becoming an owner and building wealth through a cash flow producing asset. Blogging is one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to start earning cash flow, but also learn along the way.
A blog can be a platform for much bigger things and ideas, which is why I truly believe that every single person in the world should have their own personal blog…
Crazy thing is that everyone already has a blog. You are already documenting your life through social media… Why not do it through a much more constructive platform that allows you to express your success and failures though images, video, words and so much more. Be careful of what other bloggers tell you about the path to prosperity.
Why should everyone have their own personal blog? Besides expressing your success and failures, a blog enables anyone to be able to:
- Express your feelings
- Journal your thoughts
- Document your progress
- Set goals
- And so much more.
With one click you can become an owner of a business that is full of ideas. While you document a number of different things during your blogging process, a blog has the following monetary benefits:
- Extremely low startup costs,
- Blogging is ever-evolving (topics and conversations are changing in real-time),
- You have maximum earnings potential, and…
- YOU GET TO MAKE MONEY LEARNING.
Try creating a blog to learn how you can become an owner and work on your own time. A blog can be about anything, so pick something that you absolutely love and let it ride.
Why I started Millionaire Mob
I’ve always been fascinated by personal finance. I was (and still am) a big follower of Financial Samurai, Dividend Growth Investor and so much more. Kudos to them because they lit a fire under my chair upon graduating college to reshape my financial situation.
I immediately started attacking my student loans and was able to repay $60,000 of my student loans. I refinanced them through SoFi, which was a huge help because it freed up so much more cash flow for me. What will help me get to a happy retirement? Well, at first, I need to evaluate what I did well. And where I need to improve.
I’m the prototype millennial. I had student loans. I love the sharing economy. I’ve been known to order avocado toast. As I’ve said in my values, I lobe saving while paying down debt.
I followed a strict formula for achieving financial success and tracking my net worth.
- Open a savings account enough for 6 months of living expenses.
- Contribute the maximum amount to retirement accounts each year for BOTH your IRA accounts and 401(k). Ensure you are not paying too much in retirement fees by analyzing your portfolio with Blooom. Here are the exact steps I took to save money in my Alerus 401(k).
- Pay down any debt with a higher interest rate than the low-end of the long-term returns of the stock market.
- Invest after-tax funds in a dividend income portfolio.
- Increase and DIVERSIFY your income. You never know when one source of income will disappear. Overnight.
- Live within a budget that allows for you to save to reach your goals. Don’t live for material possessions. Live for experiences.
- Track your cash flow and net worth to ensure you are continually building wealth.
By following these 7 steps, I’ve been able to effectively save for retirement, buy 2 separate houses (hopefully add another investment property soon) and pay off nearly all of my student loans.
I have one small loan left that has a lower interest rate that I’m fine putting into investments. I love the upside of dividend growth investing.
My Personal Capital net worth has increased from a negative balance right out of college to nearly $500,000 in about 5 years. I’ve used both the Retirement Planner on Personal Capital and Blooom to reduce my 401(k) fees too. That’s always good to know how much you are paying.
Additionally, I turned my credit score from high 600s to low 800s during that time frame. I’d like to have a perfect credit score someday. Use free software like Credit Sesame to monitor and track your credit score. If you use my link, you’ll get free identity theft insurance when you sign up.
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There is still so much more work to do. I created Millionaire Mob to learn from my previous mistakes to better my future while helping others along the way. I still have that urgency that I had when I graduated college to save more and spend less. However, I reached a point where I need to take it to the next level.
I believed Millionaire Mob could help me do that. By creating my financial freedom and retire early blog, I became an owner overnight. I love it.
By creating several resources to help you achieve retire early or financial freedom, I think I’m off to a good start. Here a few to help you along:
- How to build a dividend portfolio: I love dividend growth investing as a way to earn income AND save for retirement.
- Live off of dividends forever: If I love dividends, why don’t I try to live off them forever?
- Dividend calculator: Our dividend calculator can help you see what it will take to live completely off dividends.
- 23+ online jobs to increase your income: This list can help you increase your income through immediate actionable online jobs that will allow for you to earn money instantly. .
The bad news is that I am no where near achieving financial freedom OR early retirement. I just purchased a house that has a lofty mortgage payment. Enough for me to continue to save, but not small enough for me to just quit my day job overnight.
I love having some new financial challenges in my windshield. It motivates me to do better, so around the time I was purchasing a home, I decided to start my Millionaire Mob blog with the goal of hitting a million dollar net worth much quicker than it took me to hit half-a-million.
I also have obligations of new homeownership, having kids, retiring early and more!
I feel like I have so much more climbing to do to get to ‘happy retirement mountain.’
How will you paint your happy retirement canvas?
You have a blank canvas right now. How will you craft your story? What will you learn? How will you leave your legacy?
For me, I won’t ever retire. I should almost call Millionaire Mob an unretirement blog because I like to think of my life as a winding road up to the top of a hill. During this trip up the hill, I want to find a way to leave a meaningful legacy and a meaningful canvas for others to learn from.
For me, I could end up owning a golf driving range or I could end up selling my photography for a living.
If you want to paint your canvas for everyone to learn, see and build off of. Then, start a blog and craft your story.
In my eyes, financial freedom and traveling is the best way to live in the truest form. Many people strive for it, but few truly live it.
Money + Travel = Freedom
From here, I plan to give you the best that I have along with the best information possible to help you achieve the Millionaire Mob definition of freedom. You can create it just like farmers have a passion and the money follows later.
What does it take to retire early?
Well, the earlier you want to retire the lower your expenses should be (unless you’ve made significant sums of money). We have a retirement readiness checklist to help you understand when you are good to retire. There are a few steps in there to help you think about your progress and goals.
At what point can you live on your expenses with you assets you have?
- You can either reduce your expenses as low as possible.
- Or, you can save significant dough upfront. You will need to ensure that you can cover your expenses.
I’m somewhere in the middle of reducing expenses and saving big money. Travel is one of my top priorities for retirement. There is just too much to see in the world.
Seeing my computer screen every single day isn’t really at the top of my list.
Retire Early, Live Longer = A Happy Retirement
I believe that if you do retire early you will live longer. It is not only about retiring early, but it is about retiring happy. We all work way too hard in our lives to just retire after slaving away and making someone else a lot of money. Every single one of us is capable of creating something and living on our own, sustainable means.
This is why I believe in retiring happy. Again…
Money + Travel = Freedom
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Millionaire Mob is an early retirement blog focused on passive income, personal finance, dividend growth investing and travel hacking. With both a million rewards points and a million dollar net worth you can live a happier lifestyle.
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