5 things you should be doing now to retire by 50

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We all want to retire today. But since that isn’t really an option (we checked), you’ll probably want to retire as soon as possible.

With today’s news specifically focusing on how we’ll NEVER be able to retire, we wanted to know: is it true?

We checked and the answer was a resounding no.

Turns out it is more than possible to retire by 50 if you take the right steps, which we’ve outlined for you below.

1. Recognize fear-mongering is just noise/clickbait and label it as such

The power of suggestion is real, and if you keep listening to headlines, it just may come true.

2. Make a plan.

If you don’t make a plan, then, well, then you’ll have no plan. Simple, really.

You need to know, definitively, how much money you’ll need to retire at 50. Make a spreadsheet, write it down, whatever works best for you. Consider how much you expect to spend every year you’re retired and how many years you expect to live in retirement (we realize that’s hard to estimate). Obviously, you don’t need completely accurate numbers but you do need a pretty good framework. Check
out this retirement calculator that helps you figure out how much money you need to save by the time you retire – and what you should be saving every month.

3. Figure out what sources of income you will have when you retire

Yes, just as in non-retirement, people who are retired also have sources of income like Social Security benefits and pensions. Keep in mind that if you do decide to retire at 50, you won’t be able to claim Social Security benefits (aka receive Social Security checks) until you’re at least 62.

Want an educated guesstimate as to what you’ll receive in Social Security benefits? Create a social security account here. But do remember that you’ll only receive the full amount if you claim at the full retirement age, which is 67 for people born in 1960 or later.

4. Make sacrifices

Did you think we would say retiring by 50 was easy? It’s not. What it is is doable. And the single most important step you need to take toward retiring early is to start saving today. Yes, that means today. No, that doesn’t mean tomorrow. Yes, it means today.

It’s kind of like debt. A small change in paying down debt means you’re in a whole different ballgame of what you end up paying.

For example, if you start saving at 25 (with the goal of retiring by 50 with $1 million), you need to be saving $1,400 a month. If you start at age 40, however, the number goes up to $6,000 a month, which isn’t really doable for most people.

So does this mean you should give up? No, it doesn’t. It just means you might have to work a bit longer, but it still remains true that beginning to save now is the cure for not working until you die.

Cut your unnecessary expenses and put that money toward your 401(k) or IRA instead.

5. Hire someone

We often avoid hiring experts at all costs because we fear they’re just another terrible use of our money/reason we won’t be able to retire at age 50. The truth is that wealthy and successful people know where to go for help. They also know these types of experts tend to end up paying for themselves. Make sure you do your due diligence, though; not all experts are created equal.

To recap, the most important things to remember in order to retire at age 50 are to start early and to do the math. When you’ll be able to retire shouldn’t be a mystery.