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「我娶到了好老婆」52歲存到1億退休,部落客公開十個提早財務自由的方法(中英文)

致富故事 「我娶到了好老婆」52歲存到1億退休,部落客公開十個提早財務自由的方法
http://wealth.businessweekly.com.tw/m/GArticle.aspx?id=ARTL000097931

 

退休 夫妻
圖片來源:dreamstime

 

國外有個名叫"ESI"的部落客,在52歲那年存到300萬美元(約1億台幣)退休了,如今他分享十個提早退休的心法,一起來看看他如何推升他的財富。

1.選對科系就讀

大家都知道職業百百種,薪資差距非常大。如果可以挑一個距離薪資頂端越近的行業,自然收入就會比在底部的人多。

我發現,大學畢業生一生賺的錢,比高中畢業的人多100萬美元(約3000萬台幣);大學念不同科系,薪資差距也可高達300萬美元(約1億台幣)。因此,選個有錢景的科系攻讀,將來才能為你帶來大量財富。

我花了六年時間拿到企管碩士(MBA),但只付了5千美元學費(約15萬台幣),因為我在學校工讀、而且學業成績很好。我的MBA學位為我多創造一到兩百萬的產值,如果我繼續工作到60歲,甚至可多出好幾百萬。

當然,謀職的時候需要考量能力和興趣,大部分人一生至少會遇上幾個做得來的工作。如果可以選擇薪水較高的那個,你的財富就能隨時間推移而增加了。

2.想辦法加薪

 

 

如果你沒能選擇最高薪的工作,你也能累積好幾百萬資產的。如果你不相信,算給你看:以年薪4萬美元(約120萬台幣)為例,如果每年加薪3%,45年後你將賺來370萬美元(約1.1億台幣)。

當然你也能想辦法讓加薪幅度更多,讓我們用年加薪8.16%來算,45年後更多了1千萬(約3億台幣)。保守一點以年加薪4%來算,也多了110萬美元(3300萬台幣)。

不管你怎麼看,讓職涯收入增加,真的能對你的財富帶來巨大影響。

3.控制開銷

賺再多,傾家蕩產的例子更多。多少高收入的明星和運動員最終走向破產,光是我們國家美國就不勝枚舉。

美國家庭年收入中位數為51393美元,而淨資產中位數為80039美元。這意味在40年的投報率為8%的情況下,美國人平均一年只存了310美元。剩下的錢呢?都花掉了。

但如果是懂得控制開銷,就不會怎麼慘。

假設一個家庭每年可省下5千美元(低於收入的10%),40年以8%投報率計算,他們將可擁有130萬美元淨資產。

這不是要你徹頭徹尾節省,只是省下一部分而已。當花則花還是很重要,僅僅省下10%收入,假以時日你就能變有錢人。

 

 

 

控制支出可著眼兩個地方:大東西和小東西。大東西如房子、車子、奢華的假期,單一項目就能讓你的預算爆表。小東西則如一頓午餐、一包菸或一杯咖啡,我敢說一天喝幾次5美元咖啡看似不多,但長久下來會是一大筆錢。

4.消滅負債

 

 

債務是你的財富殺手,尤其是消費性的卡債。即便是「好的債務」如房貸和學貸,某些時候還是會讓你的財務惡化。

美國人一生平均花數十萬美元支付貸款產生的利息。想像一下,如果這些支出沒了或挪一半去投資,這個舉動將會讓你的淨資產衝新高。

如果20年前我們可以消滅負債(房貸、車貸、個人信貸),如今你的資產一定會戲劇性地增加。

5.及早投資

我可以用我的真實經驗告訴你,時間真的是最大的投資資產。

你可以花很多時間尋覓「對的投資」,或直接投資低成本的指數型基金(ETF),讓它們為你工作。ETF隨著時間推移可以打敗95%以上的其他投資,而這正是我在做的也是我推薦的投資工具。

我還記得2008到2010年,那時真的很難熬,我的投資組合不停下跌,而我一路加碼,沒有跡象止跌回升。

但我還是堅持下去,甚至挪其他部位的現金投進去。七年後,我很開心我撐過來了,現在可是一大筆錢。

常常有人喊股市要跌了要跌了,但沒有人知道何時會發生。如果真的發生了,也請堅持住你的信念。以十年時間來看,很多時候股市下跌反而是你買進的好時機。

6.和對的人結婚

 

 

你可能賺了大筆錢,但和一個老做出錯誤決策的人結婚,會讓你陷入麻煩。

你不需要和財經專家在一起,但需要一個和你金錢觀相匹配的另一半。這在取得財富成功上扮演極重要的角色。

對我來說,我很擅長上述的第一、二和五項,但我的妻子擅長第三和第四。在《原來有錢人都這麼做》(The Millionaire Next Door)這本書裡,我就是那個善於進攻的人,而我的妻子就是最佳防守員。我們可以是贏家的結合,我們知道我們要達成什麼目標、分擔責任、一起攀向「錢山」。

 

全文:I retired at 52 with a $3 million net worth — here are my 10 best tips to build wealth

 

I retired at 52 with a $3 million net worth — here are my 10 best tips to build wealth

wealthy man in top hatTrack your net worth.Julian Herbert/Getty

My man ESI from ESIMoney.com makes a return today to share his tips on what to really focus on in order to grow our wealth exponentially. You might remember him from his previous post that went viral on the 10 things he didn't expect in early retirement, which he's still very much in and still very much enjoying. Thanks for taking the time, good sir!

We all have money tips coming out our ears. Do this. Don't do that. Do this or that. And on and on… The advice seems endless. So much so that if you try to follow them all you'd end up with no time to actually live your life.

At the same time, all money tips are not created equal. While many are valuable, there are some that are exponentially better. These are the tips that will make you wealthy.

So let's get to the good stuff and cast the rest aside for now. Based on the experience of managing my own money — allowing me to accumulate a few million dollars and retire at 52 — here are my recommended ten big financial moves that will propel your wealth skyward!

View As: One Page Slides

 
 

1. Get an advanced education in a valuable field

College degrees can add significant wealth. There's no debate that (on average) the more education you have, the more you'll earn and the less likely you are to be unemployed.

And if you can keep debt low while getting the degree (and there are reliable ways of doing this), then it's almost guaranteed that getting a college degree is a good deal.

Even better is getting a degree in the right field. It's well-known that certain careers pay more than others. Pick one that is closer to the top than the bottom and you're finances will thank you for it.

Consider this finding: College graduates earn $1 million more than high school graduates over their lifetime, and the income gap between the highest-paid college majors and the lowest-paid is more than $3 million dollars.

To make even more, get an advanced degree in a high-paying field. This is where the big money can kick in.

I got an MBA by spending a grand total of $5k for six years of college (because I was willing to work during school and got good grades). My MBA was worth an extra $1 million to $2 million, even though I only worked until I was 52. If I had stayed employed into my sixties you could take on a few more million.

Of course, you have to factor in abilities and interests when picking a career. But most people have at least a handful of fields that would work for them. If they select one which pays a bit more, they will be making a solid financial decision which can help them become quite wealthy over time.

2. Focus on growing your career

Even if you don't pick a vocation in the highest-earning field, your career is a multi-million dollar asset. If you don't believe me, take a starting salary of $40k, add in 3% annual raises over 45 years, and look at the result. You'll have earned $3.7 million.

Even better, you can manage your career to get those 3% average raises even higher. Doing so will help you earn millions more throughout your career.

Take the same numbers from above and instead of 3% raises use 8.16% raises. The difference is over $10 million!

Think it can't be done? I averaged 8.16% increases for 28 years using seven steps that grow any career. Plus, it took me years to figure out the seven steps. You don't have to go through that trouble, so you have the potential to do much better than I did.

Of course, 8.16% could be considered on the high side. So let's go low. Let's say you average 4% annual raises. That extra 1% will allow you to earn an extra $1.1 million more than what 3% raises would.

Any way you look at it, managing your career for income growth will have a huge impact on your finances.

3. Control spending

No matter how much you make, you can spend it all. We don't have to look far to find examples. It's almost a cliche that high-income actors and sports stars go bankrupt. People who have made millions somehow spend it all and then some. As a result, they are often left with nothing (or less).

A bit closer to home, you can see this principle play out across our country.

The median American household annual income is $51,939. U.S. households median net worth is $80,039. This means that over a 40-year period at an 8% return rate, the average American is saving a paltry $310 a year. What are they doing with all the rest? They are spending it!

On the other hand, those who control their spending do much better.

Assume a family can save $5k per year (less than 10% of their income). In 40 years at 8% they will have a net worth of $1.3 million. See what even a little bit of saving can do over a lifetime?

And this doesn't mean you have to save on EVERYTHING, just some things. Enjoy your life by spending on what you want here and there, just keep it in line so you have excess to save and invest. Even 10% will make you wealthy over time.

Personally, I wanted to do better than average and was able to save 36% of my income. Others have saved much more. If we can do it, so can you.

There are two major areas to control spending: on the big things, and on the little things.

Big things like homes, cars, extravagant vacations, and the like can bust your budget in a single move. Little things like eating out for lunch regularly, smoking a pack of cigarettes daily, and, dare I say, drinking $5 cups of coffee several times a day don't seem like much, but they can add up to big dollars over time.

4. Eliminate debt

Debt is a financial killer, especially consumer debt. And yes, even "good debt" like a mortgage and student loan debt can be bad in many situations. Look no further than 2008 for housing debt and the current issues with student loan debt.

The average American will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest over the course of his/her lifetime. Imagine if this expense was eliminated or even cut in half and invested? This move alone would make anyone's net worth sky-high.

We eliminated all debt over 20 years ago when we paid off our mortgage. We had already retired our car loans and a personal loan. Then we focused everything on paying off the mortgage. It started with buying a house we could afford — one half the price the bank wanted to lend to us. We then took all extra cash — bonuses, financial gifts, etc. — and put them against the mortgage. We cut spending as well and made extra payment after extra payment.

Less than a decade later, we were completely debt free.

Not having debt for two decades allowed us to dramatically increase the amount we saved, which in turn super-charged our net worth.

5. Invest early and often

You've probably heard that time is your greatest investing asset. It's true. The more investments earn and grow on their own, the greater they become.

Investment value is also greatly impacted by the amount invested.

These two factors are why you want to put away as much as you can as soon as you can. Fortunately, both of these decisions are within your control.

Return rate is the third variable in the investment growth equation and gets most of the press. However it's actually the least important of the three in determining your overall results. Furthermore, beating the averages in return rate is virtually impossible.

You can spend hours and hours trying to find the right investments, only to not pick a winner. Or you can just invest in low-cost index funds and let them do the work — and beat 95+% of investments over time! This is what I've done and what I recommend.

Finally, you have to stick with it, which may be the hardest investing choice of all.

I remember back in 2008-2010 when things were really dicey. My portfolio was down big-time. I had put money in all the way down and there was no sign it was going to come back.

But I kept at it and even found extra cash to invest.

Seven years later I'm so glad I did. That money is now worth a small fortune!

Many think the stock market is due for a drop soon. No one knows when it will happen, but if it does, keep the faith. Market drops are often the time to buy if you have at least a 10-year time horizon.

6. Marry well

You can make all the great money moves in the world, but if you're married to someone who makes all the wrong moves you're in trouble.

You don't have to marry Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey, but you do need a spouse who shares your financial goals and general outlook on money.

This was a VERY big part of our financial success.

I was good at tips #1, #2, and #5 above, but my wife was great at #3 and #4. In words from The Millionaire Next Door, I was good at offense and she was good at defense.

Together we had a winning combination. We knew what we wanted to accomplish, divided up the responsibilities, and climbed up the money mountain together.

7. Have goals and a plan to reach them

First of all, having a goal is key to being financially successful. It sets the bar and allows you to work towards what you want to achieve.

It doesn't need to be a 100-page treatise comparable to the federal budget, but you must have at least a general goal like "retire at 40 with $2 million in the bank." It's better yet to have SMART goals.

Another key is to write them down. Research has shown that "people become 42% more likely to achieve their goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a regular basis."

Second, simply having a goal does little good if you don't then take action on reaching these goals.

You need to break each goal into bite-sized tasks that allow you to grow your career and control your spending if you want to accumulate wealth.

I know this can seem daunting, but it doesn't need to be. Simply write down what you want to accomplish and what you're going to do to get you there. Then just make a small bit of progress every day. Over time, those seemingly little advances will add up to something big.

This was the tip that I missed when I was young. I went several years without a specific money plan and I lost five years of investing. Do you know what those five years would be worth now? Thousands.

But hopefully my bad planning demonstrates that even if you've made a few mistakes along the way, there's hope for you if you take action now.

8. Track net worth and cash flow

8. Track net worth and cash flow
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Net worth and cash flow statements are financial success scorecards. Net worth (assets less liabilities) tells you how you are growing your wealth over time, and is of course something that J$ likes to drill into our heads.

Cash flow statements (aka "budgets" listing income less expenses) tell you how much you are making and how it's being spent. From there, you can make decisions that allow you to do more of the former and less of the latter, freeing up more money for investing.

We have tracked our net worth monthly for over 20 years. We use Quicken, but you can also use Mint, Personal Capital, a spreadsheet, or even paper. The key is that you track it on a regular basis (probably at least quarterly) to see how you're doing at growing your wealth. It lets you know if what you're doing is working or not. (Editor's Note: I'm on month #114 in a row – best thing I ever did for my money!!!)

We have had a budget for years as well. We use a spreadsheet that I update monthly. It's very useful at showing where our money is spent which allows us to make adjustments sooner rather than later.

Many people hate budgets because they think they are too restrictive. I've found them to be the opposite. They allow me to know exactly what I'm earning and spending, which then frees me to make the lifestyle decisions I want to make.

My guess is that our budget alone was responsible for half of our spending control success.

9. Develop side hustles

In addition to growing your career, a side hustle/business is a great way to #1) do something you enjoy and #2) bring in some extra income to grow your net worth much faster. Also something J$ loves to share here. (See: 71 Ways to Make Money On The Side)

I've had several side hustles over the years including:

• Freelance writing for magazines — This was a major contributor to paying off our mortgage

• Blogging — I had a blog before my current one which was quite successful

• Refereeing — Mostly done because my son needed the money and we did it together, but a few extra thousand dollars a year never hurts

• Real estate — My biggest side business of all (though some could call it an investment) which allowed me to retire without having to draw down any assets

The great thing about a side hustle is that it speeds up early retirement dramatically.

Assume you can retire when you are able to generate $40k in income per year. At a 4% asset withdrawal rate, this means you'd need $1 million saved. Also assume you can invest $10,000 a year towards that goal at an 8% return.

If you have no side hustle, it would take you 29 years to reach your goal.

If you have a side hustle that took four years to build up to $20k per year, and you invested that money, in 12 years you'd have $503k (which would generate just over $20k at 4% withdrawal) plus a business that generated $20k. Bam! You're at your $40k annual goal.

So the side hustle is probably worth it to save 17 years of working, right?

10. Learn about money and manage it yourself

No one cares more about you than you do, but there are plenty of people who care about your money. Many of them want to turn it into their money and they are quite good at it.

Others have good intentions but simply don't understand how money works. And yes, this includes many, if not most, financial advisors. The only way to avoid being taken (one way or the other) is to know the basics of managing money yourself.

Fortunately, the money principles you need to be successful are simple to learn and few in number. With a handful of books and regular reading of some good money blogs you will develop the knowledge and skill not only to protect yourself, but to thrive financially.

We were fortunate to take a Dave Ramsey-like class at our church soon after we were married. It set up a good foundation for us. I continued by reading several personal finance books and applying the key principles that I learned. Finally, I began to write about money and became even more educated along the way.

I started from ground zero, and if I can learn how to manage my money, you certainly can too.

Everything you need to know

Yes, there are a ton of other financial guidelines you could implement — probably thousands. But if you want the biggest financial bang for the time spent, focus on these ten wins above.

If you get these right, there's no way for you not to become financially free yourself.

*********
ESI is the founder of ESI Money, a blog about achieving financial independence through earning, saving, and investing (ESI). It's written by an early 50s retiree who achieved financial independence, shares what's worked for him, and details how others can implement those successes in their lives. You can learn more about him, and get his free ebook, here: Three Steps to Financial Independence.

Read the original article on Budgets Are Sexy. Copyright 2017.

 

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