8 Tips to Retire at 50

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FINANCIAL TIPS

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8 Tips to Retire at 50

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The secret is not how much money you make… it’s how much of that stays in your pocket.

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MARIANA KONSOLOS

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27 March 2017

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I never had problems making money. I was creative, hardworking and trustworthy. I began a career in Real Estate at the age of 20. It only took a few years and I was already ahead of the game. I was making more money than any of my friends who had University degrees. They had no experience and tons of debt.

But I had other problems: I had no clue how to budget, manage or invest my money. I had a very comfortable life but no financial plans for the future. At 32, I only had $2,000 in my savings. How could that happen when I earned hundreds of thousands of dollars?

Suddenly, the unexpected happened. I sustained a back injury and couldn’t work for a while. Debts started piling up. Which lead to what many people in my situation experience: stress, depression… in such a short time, my life became a mess.

My husband Eli, on the other hand, was a taxi driver. He was a very hard worker. Money didn’t come easily to him but he knew what to do with his money.

When I met Eli, he was 42 and had lots of savings and investments. His and his daughter’s financial future were planned and saved for.

We had lots to learn from each other!

Here are the seven best pieces of advice we could gather between the two of us.

 

1- KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

For a full month, I wrote down EVERY EXPENSE I had including coffee, chewing gum and any other “little things” that I never believed would add up. What a surprise! Those stupid little things could be the future study fund for my daughter! I couldn’t believe it!

 

2- READ THE WEALTHY BARBER

The Wealthy Barber explains the principles of wealth in a very simple way. It taught me the difference between investments and expenses and between investment and lifestyle.

 

3- CREATE A REAL BUDGET ACCORDING TO THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT TO HAVE.

Are your monthly expenses aligned with your salary? What are expenses and what is luxury? What are the things you can cut in case your salary gets reduced?

 

4- SAVE 10% OF YOUR SALARY, WHATEVER YOUR SALARY IS.

Create an automatic transfer of 10% of your salary to a very risky mutual fund (ONLY for long-term periods) and forget it exists! In 10 years, you will be amaze of the power of interest!

Everybody who makes $2,000 could live on $1,800 by cutting the not-so-important things.

 

5- THE EARLIER YOU START SAVING, THE EARLIER YOU WILL BE ABLE TO RETIRE.

Which would you prefer to have: a closet full of clothing, shoes and tools that will sell for a few coins at a garage sale or to have money working for you in a fund, left alone and growing over many years so that when the time comes, you can travel and have the freedom to do what you want, when you want?

 

6- THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS.

The big question is simple: Do you want to PARTY NOW and work like a dog for the rest of your life or WORK LIKE A DOG NOW and party for the rest of your life?

 

7- DO WE REALLY NEED OR  DO WE JUST WANT?

I think we all get caught on the lie that advertising sells us. When you start asking yourself this simple question, you will realize how little we actually need.

I was in Barcelona for three months last spring and I was worried because I didn’t have a car. I actually learned a huge lesson: I used the Subway to go everywhere!

I realized I didn’t have to pay for insurance, no gas, no car wash and I definitely didn’t need cute accessories for the car, or to budget for winter tires, or to fork out garage expenses. I walked more, socialized with people and discovered the city in ways I never would have been able to had I had a car. Less was more!

 

8- NEVER RENT, ALWAYS OWN.

Do you know that renting can cost the same as your mortgage payment? You will tell me that interest adds up, but in 90% of the cases, the value of the property increases with time.

People look at the price of the house when they should be focusing on the monthly mortgage payment.

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