If you are Millennial, it is likely that you are looking for alternative ways to leave the nine-to-five job. From side gigs to working crazy hours, from finding high paying jobs to creating other ventures, people are always trying to find other ways of retiring faster! I have compiled a list of five different ways to help you retire faster. You don’t have to follow all of them, but I would encourage you to pick one and set a plan to follow it in order to retire as early as possible, if that is what you want. These are not the only ways, but I believe they are some of the best ways to help you leave your nine-to-five faster!
1. Get involved in real estate
One popular way that a lot of people are able to leave a nine-to-five job is to invest in real estate. What you do is you buy one or two rental properties and rent them out. Your goal should be to get the income at 1% of the value of the real estate. For example, if the property is worth $100,000, you should aim to rent it out at $1,000 per month. You should try to get your total expenses to be around $600 per month, or 0.6% of the total rental value. If you repeat this pattern a couple times, eventually you have enough net income to replace your current income from your nine-to-five job allowing you to leave your nine-to-five job and continue pursuing other passions and hobbies that you may have.
There are three main advantages to real estate. The first advantage is that the tax code really favors land owners. If you provide value to the American economy by providing homes and shelters, then you are going to be allowed to take major tax deductions on depreciation and interest.
The second reason why real estate is helpful for retiring is that it allows one to leverage money. You only have to invest about 25% of the property value in order to make a down payment on a property. By doing this, you can have a 3/1 leverage . For every $1 you put in a rental property, a bank puts in $3. It does not even have to be your own money! A lot of people crowdfund money to others to buy properties with them! This occurs when a general partner goes out and gets limited partners to work with him on real estate deals. Some of these real estate deals raise money through a 506(C) Capital Raising.
The third reason why real estate is so profitable and useful for a faster retirement is because it not only gives you cash flow, but it also gives you appreciation in net worth on each asset. The cash flow is typically safe from inflation, because rent rises higher or as fast as inflation.
2. Live below your means and invest!
Early retirement can be done by contributing more than normal to your IRA, saving a lot of your money, and investing the extra savings into the market. By doing these three things, it will allow you to retire from your nine-to-five job a lot sooner.
This approach takes a lot of discipline, and it still takes time to build up enough retirement savings where you can leave your nine-to-five job earlier. This is probably the most common and easiest way to do it. It is much easier to do if you have a high-paying job where you can work long hours and where you can fully invest your time in your job, because it allows you to bring in as much money as possible.
I'm not a huge fan of this method, personally, because it puts off all of your fun! There's a saying when you are young you have time and energy but no money, when you are a middle-aged you have money and energy but no time, and when you're old you have money and time but no energy. I don't think it is worth giving up all your money and all your time when you are middle-aged so that you can have both money and more time when you’re old, because it will take a strong toll on your health. That's why I recommend using this method in moderation and still enjoying your day-to-day life right now. I have developed a coaching plan to help people like you reach your financial goals with out making huge sacrifices.
3. Leave the US and become an expat!
Another method of leaving the nine-to-five job before you turn 65 is to consider living abroad when you retire! Given the strength of the American dollar, you might have more flexibility in retirement if you move to a country with a weaker currency. For example, if you earn in dollars and spend in Mexican pesos, you will probably be able to save money a lot quicker than if you were spending dollars. This is because the cost of living is a lot lower in other countries than the USA. If you want to leave the nine-to-five job early, consider moving abroad before the normal retirement age and thus should definitely help you retire quicker. Most people that I've seen be successful with this moved to South America or Southeast Asia.
Two major factors to consider is that in order to do this you'll probably have to leave your friends and family and you will most likely experience culture shock that could make your experience very challenging. But, if you have a multicultural background, with friends and family in another country, then you are a great candidate for leaving the USA to leave the nine-to-five job lifestyle using this method.
4. Start a side job!
Another way of leaving the nine-to-five job quicker is to start a side job. Make sure that your employer is fine with you doing this before you do this. This will do two things for you. First, it will give you more income than if you're only working for your employer. Second, and more importantly, it will give you a revenue source even after you leave your nine-to-five job.
If your side job begins to bring in twice the monthly income as your W-2 job, at that point in time, you might be ready to consider leaving your W-2 job. The goal should be to double your W-2 job, because as a self-employed person, you will have to pay more taxes, and more in health insurance. The best part about having your own side job is that you call the shots. If you want to stop working 40 hours a week when you have your own side job, then you are able to do that.
Let's say you want to go from 40 hours a week to 20 hours a week, but you still want to make an income that's more than double that amount. One way to do this is to increase your rate by a certain percentage. This will automatically get rid of your lower-paying customers who don't see much value in what you're providing, and it will keep your higher-paying customers who really appreciate the value that you provide them with your side business.
This works according to the 80/20 rule. This rule says that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the effort put into it. This can also be applied to your revenue because 80% of your revenue takes up 20% of your working time. The trick is to identify the 80% of the time that's only making 20% of your revenue; once identified, you have to get rid of those items.
I believe that raising your hourly rate or product rate is a good way to weed out the lower-paying customers that are taking up a lot of your time. For example, you could drop from 40 hours to 20 hours a week and only lose 15% of your revenue while saving 50% of your time. But you have to do this right. You have to give your clients and customers ample time to be prepared for this, letting them know that you are going to take fewer customers that you will spend more time on! You have to convince them on the added value that you will be giving them because you are able to focus all your efforts on customers rather than having to work hard for a few customers that don't really value what you are doing.
5. Create a royalties-based product!
Another way to leave your nine-to-five job faster is to create something of value that you can sell online that would bring in residual income. A few examples are a book or a new product that you gain royalties from. Now, you might be afraid or think that this is not for you, but I believe that everyone, if given enough time and resources, is able to create something very valuable for this world that can bring them a good lifestyle and support them.
The advantage of this approach is that once you have a really good product, let’s say, a book. All you have to do is market it, and you'll get paid for the rest of your life as long as it keeps selling! In order to do this, your book has to stand out and be something that continues to provide value to people over time. Is there something that you are really good at? Is there something that interests you that you can write a research paper on or some opinion piece that might bring in a lot of viewers who would be interested in buying? Or is there a course that you would be really good at teaching? If you were to put together a great course, would people be interested in buying it?
Really take some time to think about your experiences and skills and how you could package them, because this might be your best ticket to leaving the nine-to-five job. The best part about this is that once you leave the nine-to-five job, this could be your hobby. It is likely going to be something that you really enjoy without feeling like work, even if you continue doing this after leaving the nine-to-five.
If you're like most people you're probably thinking about what you will do after you stop working, you are probably also thinking about how soon you’ll be able to do that. The formula of when you are able to retires is simple: once have enough money to cover your annual spending times the rest of the years that you will live, then you can retire.
Keep in mind that transitioning to life after the nine-to-five job is not always an easy one. I have heard that it can be as hard as getting married, getting divorced, graduating college, getting a new job, or moving to another country. If leaving the nine-to-five job early is something you are heading towards, then you have to start developing a very good plan of what you'll be doing after you retire. If you don’t, then you might find yourself back at your nine-to-five job.
By Caleb Basile, CPA