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Want to retire early? Start planning early
his past week my two
oldest sons each had a
significant life event
My oldest, Max, was offered his
first salaried position job in the
industry he studied for, complete
with benefits.
His younger brother, Noah,
graduated from high school and
has been accepted to the college
he wanted to go to, with a small
scholarship to boot. Even though
they are very different people,
they do have some common
traits that have helped them get
to where they are today.
First, they both are passionate
about their goals in life; Max’s is
to work in the entertainment
industry and Noah wants to be a
doctor or scientist.
The other is that they have
planned from an early age to do
what they needed in order to get
where they are now.
Max has been singing, making
films and playing guitar since he
was 10 years old. He then went
on to take elective classes in the
arts, and earned a degree in film.
Lastly, he took unpaid
internships in Hollywood in
order to get his foot in the door,
which has resulted in his recent
salaried position.
Noah took advanced classes and
interviewed many doctors during
his junior high and high school
years, to prepare for college and
medical school. At different
times both have asked me about
the key to obtaining financial
security. My answer has been
relatively simple, start saving
early and do it consistently. Both
stated that they would like the
option of retiring prior to age 65,
and wanted to know how people
do that. I let them know, to treat
it like any other goal. Set the
goal, that is how much you want
saved up. Set the timeline for
when you want that goal
achieved, and calculate how
much money per month or year
they had to put aside in order to
achieve the goal, with a
reasonable return rate. We then
did quick calculations and came
up with the following. For Max,
if he achieves an average rate of
return of 6 percent, he will need
to average $9,000 per year for
the next 36 years to obtain his
goal of $1 million savings by
age 60.
When Max first heard the
numbers, he said, “There is no
way I can save that kind of
money right now.” I then
explained to him that he should
save what he can now, $50 or
$100 per month and, as his
income increases, he will
increase his contribution and,
five years from now, he may be
saving 10 to 15 percent of his
income, and 20 years from now
will most likely be well more
than $9,000. I also reminded him
that like any goal, he and his
brother will need to monitor
their plans and make
adjustments as needed. The key
is to start early and to make
saving for retirement a top
priority that gets funded at the
cost of other expenses, like
dining out, vacations, and
hobbies. Saving for retirement,
early or otherwise, takes
patience, commitment and
diversification of investments.
Starting with a trained and
competent financial professional
is a great place to start.
Example provided is
hypothetical and not indicative
of any particular investment.
Your actual results will vary.
Frederick Fisher is a CFP®,
and Insurance Agent. Securities
and advisory services offered
through National Planning
Corporation (NPC), Member
FINRA/SIPC, a Registered
Investment Adviser. Ostrofe
Financial and NPC are separate
and unrelated companies. For
questions or suggestions, contact
Rick Fisher at 530-273-4425, or
[email protected]
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