Whatever form of work we’re employed in – we’ve all aspired to retire early and make Blue Mondays a thing of the past and enjoy the freedom to pursue our passions and enjoy life with no financial worry at all.
With the state pension age for both men and women set to reach 66 by the year 2020, many UK workers are exploring better and faster ways to enjoy the perks of retirement at a much earlier age. Early retirement is achievable but of course not a walk in the park and requires planning, hard work and determination.
Here’s just some ways you can help yourself swap the four walls of the office for sandy beaches and pina coladas.
Choose your lifestyle
The first and most important thing to decide upon, before you embark upon your retirement plans is to choose what kind of retirement lifestyle you are working towards. Do you want just a modest style of living where all your financial commitments are all taken care of (Mortgage-free for example), but you’ve downsized your living quarters, and can only enjoy 1-2 holidays per year in more affordable places in Europe let’s say, as opposed to the Bahamas or Far East.
Or are you aiming for the high life when you retire? Where you’re a regular jet-setter and can enjoy the finer things in life, and every day’s a party!
There is no right or wrong answer of course. But whatever your goals are, these will determine how you go about achieving them.
Target and Plan
Once you’re settled on your future lifestyle, it’s good to have a target and plan in place for you to work to. At what age do you want to retire? 35? 40? 50? With your dream retirement lifestyle in mind, and an age you want to achieve this by, you’ll need to work out a strategy and long term plan that involves things like outgoings, monthly savings, etc that will work towards you reaching that final amount you want to procure in your retirement fund.
You never know, the smallest things could make a difference – cutting your weekly coffee purchases by 1-2 cups a week could shave off six months to a year to you reaching your retirement age.
Once you’ve reached your retirement age, you’ll no doubt own your own property outright and won’t have to worry about stressful mortgage payments. Where this is a huge weight off many people’s shoulders and cuts down their financial commitments greatly – it doesn’t necessarily bring in extra income that could potentially supplement your retirement lifestyle further.
There are many ways property can help in your retirement plans. Owning another property that you can sell on can bring a large chunk of income to put towards your final pension fund, or simply leasing it out can help you with general cash flow when retired.
You may even have plans to leave your current home temporarily to travel the world for a few months (something you never got to experience whilst working). The boom of the sharing economy has allowed people to generate income in an effortless way through apps like Airbnb. Platforms like this have helped people bring in extra income without the need for an additional job.
Investments can be a shrewd method of putting some of your finances (whatever size you choose) into initiatives that you believe have the potential to grow and earn you a big return on your investment. The important question is what initiatives have the potential do this for you? Do you see a potential trend in the making that makes investing in a particular initiative a sensible investment? Perhaps you might have discovered the next Facebook, and want to get in early with your investment before its popularity makes investment more expensive in the future?
Remember investing in anything can come with an element of risk so be sure you’re prepared for the possible negative consequences of investment.
With the average minimum contractor day rate as high as £500 p/day, working as a contractor can reap huge financial benefit and bring about a positive work-life balance. Looking at this in contrast to working as a full-time employee, contracting offers you the flexibility we all crave, greater financial reward, and a better opportunity to retire earlier.
Contracting can open many doors for you, and is fast becoming the way forward for many UK workers wanting to transform their lives for the better.
Start your contracting journey today and take your first step towards your early retirement plans, with iContract. Register for free at www.icontract.co.uk and connect and interact with a growing community of contractors, and access third-party support for help and advice with things like insurance, accountancy, investments, pensions and mortgages.