Last updated: October 20th, 2019
Figuring out how to retire early isn’t an easy process.
And, while most of us aim to retire in our 60’s, a select few are willing to do whatever it takes to leave the workforce at a much earlier age.
These 7 contrarian tactics will help you escape the rat race before most others do.
Tactic #1. Invest using a barbell strategy
Talking to a trusted financial advisor about pursuing a barbell investment strategy could give you the greatest odds of “winning” a large payoff (without betting the house).
Pursuing a barbell investment strategy will allow you to put 90% of your portfolio in extremely safe instruments (like T-bills), and the remaining 10% in highly-speculative bets (such as options).
If you can practice this tail-end investment strategy over time, you might find yourself with a powerful payday that helps you earn an early retirement.
You can check out Nassim Taleb’s book called Antifragile to learn more about contrarian principles like barbell investment strategies.
Tactic #2. Kill your cable bill
Watching television is fun. I’ll give you that.
But, it isn’t going to speed up your path to an early retirement.
Making the difficult decision to cut down on entertainment will not only free up your valuable time, but it will also help you save an extra $100 or more each month.
Cutting out your television bill, restaurant spending, and other entertainment expenses could help you retire years earlier than expected.
Trust me. Cutting out TV will be worth skipping The Price is Right every weekday morning.
Pro tip: If you still want to be entertained, invest in an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku Streaming Stick. That will give you access to the internet on your TV, and let you stream inexpensive or free media like Netflix and YouTube.
Tactic #3. Just do what you love
We’ve all fantasized about working a prestigious job before.
But, when reality strikes, and you’re faced with bills to pay, it’s a lot easier to settle for a lesser line of work. This is quite common and totally fine.
However, the good news is that it’s never too late to start doing what you love today.
You can immediately begin doing what you love by pursuing a “new path” late in life.
For example, if your current skills are transferable to a new industry, there’s a fair chance that you can find new work that you actually enjoy doing.
You could work for a sports organization, travel service, radio show or any number of jobs that are becoming available as the American economy continues to recover.
Doing what you love will ultimately make it a lot easier for you to earn extra income towards an early retirement.
And best of all, it probably won’t even feel like work at all.
Tactic #4. Take more vacations
Taking more vacation days off from work might sound a bit counterintuitive when you’re trying to retire early.
However, the logic here is that if you’re going to work, then you might as well enjoy yourself more often.
You can even experience “mini retirements” if you’re able to request off 2-3 weeks’ vacation at a time.
And, if you can get PTO, that’s an even better deal all-around.
Taking more time off from work will lower your level of stress and cortisol, which will make it a lot easier for you to achieve retirement at an early age.
Tactic #5. Move
Moving to a less expensive city can easily cut down on your rent or mortgage payments by 30% or much more.
Many southern cities in the USA are prime locations for inexpensive, retirement-friendly living.
For example, Dallas, Phoenix, New Orleans and the Tampa Bay area are amazing “value cities” with many adventures to be had.
You can see this list of the top 5 best cities in the USA to get a better idea of great places to live.
Tactic #6. Downsize
Just like moving to a cheaper city, downsizing your home or condo is another great way to significantly cut down on monthly expenses.
Plus, if you aren’t already living in a one or two bedroom condo, then why wouldn’t you want to?
You’ll save tons of money this way, and probably get even better, more centralized logistics at the same time.
Pro tip: If you’re really budget-savvy, check out Walk Score and find an apartment where you won’t need a car. There’s another few monthly payments gone.
Tactic #7. Pursue a “side business” you’re passionate about
The fastest path to an early retirement involves building a business that you’re passionate about in your spare time.
Building a “side business” will allow you to fast-track your wealth, and start gaining more momentum for your financial success than you ever thought was possible.
However, it’s important for you to pursue a business opportunity that you’re truly passionate about. You shouldn’t feel obliged to start a new venture for the money alone, as that rarely makes people happy.
Ironically, starting a business that you love will provide you with the greatest odds of finding financial success, and achieving an extremely early retirement to boot.
How to retire early conclusion
Overall, by following the 7 counterintuitive tips listed in this article, you’ll be on a far more accurate path to retirement than if you were to follow most advice out there.
Of course, every path to retirement is unique, so you shouldn’t take this advice as gospel, either.
It’s important for you to use these tips to come up with your own retirement plan that works for you. Speaking with a trusted financial planner couldn’t hurt, either.
But, at the end of the day, I’m confident that taking a contrarian approach to retirement is the greatest path that you can pursue. So take advantage of these tactics, and start making the most of your retirement today.