tapui / Getty Images/iStockphoto When Greg Wilson was barely out of high school and at an age when most don’t have the future figured out, he knew one thing. He wanted financial security down the road.
His next step? Investing in rental properties. That decision, combined with smart money management made during his career at a major financial services firm, allowed him to retire early last November. Very early.
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“I was able to retire at age 42 because of decisions I made in my late teens that I stuck with,” said Wilson, who lives in St. Louis. “I bought several rental houses in my early 20s with the goal of having enough in taxable accounts to last me from age 40-something to 60. Concurrently, I put as much in my 401(k) as I could to last me from age 60 until death.”
Wilson offers evidence that you don’t need to work until age 62 or 65 or 67 if you make good decisions along the way. Retiring by age 50 without wondering how to fund the second half of your life? Not an impossible dream, but it takes dedication and a plan, financial experts said.
“The key to achieving a goal like retiring at 50 is a combination of a high savings rate and a smart investment strategy,” said Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock in the Boston area. “A high savings rate refers to the percentage of your gross income that you save each year. For our clients who pursue aggressive early retirement goals, we recommend contributing at least 30% of gross income to long-term investments – like retirement plans and brokerages.”
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