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How to Retire Early

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How to Retire Early

Retirement is the other innings of your life, to be filled with fond memories and ensuring peace of mind with a sense of security. It’s that phase of life where you take it easy and let the experiences set in.

Early retirement is becoming the norm these days. Do you wish to retire right now? Do you want to give up the rat race and invest time for your family and travel? Are you looking for more independence and stress-free life? It does seem like a fantasy but, with the right steps, it’s possible. But, before going further, you need to understand what early retirement is and is that want you really want.

The FIRE Movement

“Financially Independent, Retire Early” is a movement popularised on Reddit; the American social media platform. The movement specifically means retiring in your 30s or 40s. There have been diverse responses from the public and is open to debate. However, it cannot be denied since a good bunch of individuals, at the peak of their profession, have successfully called it quits.

This movement has inspired millions to take a look and determine what early retirement can be like. It stresses on extreme budgeting with saving and thoughtful investing that can lead to financial freedom a couple of decades before the previous generation reached.

It teaches you about living a life you love rather than go by the social norms. The movement has inspired several millennials to enjoy what they have and ways to increase their income source.

What is Early Retirement?

Is it not working anymore yet, living the life you are currently?

Is it having the freedom to do the kind of work you love doing?

Does it mean doing away with the routine of clock-punching?

Or is it anything else you are looking forward to concentrating on?

Whatever your reasons, you should have complete clarity of your decision and know where it will take you. You need to look into several aspects and welcome major alterations to your lifestyle if you want to retire early. Remember, retiring early is awesome for some but, not for everyone. Let’s look at some of the reasons why retiring is not a good idea for everyone.

The Drawbacks of Early Retirement

You can suffer from identity crisis

“What do you do for a living now?” is the most common question that pops out. It can be an eye-opener when you realise that you are no longer recognized as the expert in your area you once were. You can also realise how you were passionate about the profession only after quitting.

You can second-guess yourself

Once you retire young, there’s a possibility you may question your decision and regret the additional income you let go.

You may appear like a misfit

Retiring early is still considered unconventional and, people may be jealous that you are no longer busy. In other words, people won’t respect you the same way as respecting a working individual.

You may not be as happy as you thought you would be

You may think that quitting a demanding job and retiring with substantial savings will make you happy. However, it’s not always the case. You will be surprised to know that after a short-term high, you come back to the low phase again.

You can get really bored

Retiring early can leave you sad and, you wonder what to do next. Your motivation can take a beating and, you can easily get bored. This also happens when your working colleagues and friends don’t have time to meet you.

However, if planned well taking the complete perspective into account, early retirement can be a delight. It requires in-depth planning and a lot of homework before you decide to call it quits.

The following points throw light on the necessary steps to take for retiring early:

Determine the type of lifestyle you want after you retire

Think of all that you want to do in your retirement. Also, get a clear picture on the type of lifestyle you wish to enjoy. Whatever your dreams and goals are, that will help you determine the budget.

Increase your savings rate

This is a huge component for early retirement. Prioritize your needs and wants and cut down on unwanted expenses right away. You need to have substantial savings in your account to take advantage of a robust investment strategy.

Incorporate changes to your current budget

This is a continued slice from the previous point. Early retirement demands you to funnel at least 40% to 50% of your annual earnings into savings. Make a source for a second income that can go into your retirement account. You can get smart about controlling your spending on transportation, utilities, housing and other aspects.

These also include making major lifestyle changes comprising of:

Getting out of debt: Debt ruins your chances of retiring early with the lifestyle you have imagined. You cannot save much for retirement if you continue clearing your debt.

Start Investing

Wherever possible, put any extra money you make into retirement savings. Look for areas where you can cut down on the budget and yet afford the current lifestyle. Clothing, entertainment, gym memberships and other areas are where you can readjust your budget.

Boost your Income

Creating a second source of income is a great way to plan for early retirement. With substantial years of professional experience under the belt, this option is a possibility.

Get in touch with a financial advisor

Running your portfolio and your investment plans with a professional advisor is highly beneficial. It helps you be in control with your finances and also opens up new avenues for investment. Your financial advisor can help you keep track of where your finances go.

Other Important Points to Consider

While planning for early retirement, you should play it smart and stay alert. Make sure to consider the following before deciding to retire early:

Revisit your retirement dream again

A couple should be on the same page when it comes to early retirement. What do you both think about and plan about travelling? What are your hobbies? What your daily routine will be like? Being on par with your spouse make the process less daunting.

Think about a location

Do you plan to live in the current location, or do you wish to relocate? Know the states that have the highest standard of living and those that offer best tax breaks.

Do you want to work?

There are some people who look for some more income even after retirement. Check out part-time options or consider starting a business if you wish to. Are you looking for work that involves more social interactions? Get clarity on these lines and shape your retirement accordingly.

Keep a track of social security and healthcare

Though social security is not a major source of income, it does make a difference to the quality of your retired life. Keep track of how much you will get and make wise investment decisions. Also, make sure you get private health insurance if you want to retire early. It’s a leading factor deciding the quality of your retirement.

Manage your income streams

Income streams let you draw money easily without touching your emergency fund. You need to know when to draw money from these streams to avoid a tax penalty. A penalty can also be charged if you don’t take out the money within the prescribed date.

Benefits of Retiring Early

Retiring early opens up opportunities for exciting times you never thought existed. Check out the following benefits of retiring early:

You will probably be healthier

Retiring early reduces stress levels to a great extent and makes way for a more active lifestyle. You can concentrate on exercising and maintaining a healthy diet.

You can concentrate on things that excite you

It’s great to have an ample amount of free time to do the things you love doing while you are young. You can travel more and try new hobbies or adventures while your energy levels are high.

You can hangout with people on weekdays

Contrary to the common perception, there are people to meet and socialise during the weekdays. Not everyone works across a routine clock. You can also find people who share common interests.

You can find other sources of income

Retiring early means you have the time to start a potential second source of income. This could be in something you wished doing for a long time. It enhances your creativity and helps you discover your true interests.

The Takeaway

Retiring early is a dream for millions and, is a worthy dream. But the efforts and the work to put into practice are enormous. If you are ready to make some serious sacrifices and forego certain joys of life, then early retirement may be for you. Patience and perseverance are the keys and, serious investment is something that cannot be missed. You need to invest in autopilot mode and keep looking for options to increase your savings.

If you can go through this long phase, a remarkable retired life with immense financial freedom and lots of years to enjoy is yours to keep. It is the sacrifices you make today that bear the fruits in the stage of early retirement.

Investing

Is It The Right Time To Invest In Gold?

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Is It The Right Time To Invest In Gold? 1

By Zoe Lyons, Hatton Garden Metals

The current climate is one of uncertainty, so it can be difficult to know what to do with your money, particularly investments. When faced with the decision on what to do with your savings, there are a number of options, but one investment which many have opted for over the years is gold buying.

Purchasing gold can be a great investment. Although the price of which can fluctuate just like anything else, the value of gold has generally tended to increase at a good rate and many prefer it over other saving options. With bank interest rates currently at a low and discussions of negative interest rates, many are opting to purchase gold as a way to earn money on their savings.

So is gold buying right for you? We take a look at some commonly asked questions when it comes to purchasing gold.

Why Should I Buy Gold?

Buying gold is often seen as a good investment due to value increases, so you may be able to make a profit from selling it on if the price of gold increases after you have purchased. The price can fluctuate, so profit is not guaranteed and is based on a number of factors. Looking back over previous years since the 1970s, the value of gold has prospered compared to other investment types, albeit with some dips in value at certain points over the past 50 years.

Buying gold also allows you full control as you are the owner. So you can choose if and when you want to sell.

Buying Gold Vs ETFs

When looking at investment opportunities, you may consider ETFs. An ETF is an Exchange Rated Fund, which when purchased is similar to buying stocks and shares. They can be a good investment, but is it more beneficial than purchasing gold?

When purchasing physical gold you will need to consider where to store it. This can incur charges, whereas with an ETF there is no need for storage, but an ETF can come with admin charges and investment management costs. When you choose to sell an ETF, you may also be required to pay a commission, which are often small amounts, but can add up if you are an active trader. There is also less control with an ETF as the price of which can change and is based on the company’s actions.

Gold Bars Vs Gold Coins

If you do choose to purchase gold, you will be faced with the option of whether to buy gold coins or gold bars. Although similar, they have varying benefits.

  • Gold Coins

The purchase of gold coins are often favoured by those who appreciate the historic value of the coin. Many people collect coins, so an investor may be inclined to pay more if they are a keen collector of such. Many may also pay more for gold coins based on their rarity. These factors can affect the price you pay or sell at, meaning the value of gold coins is not solely deemed by the live price of gold, so you may receive a higher price, dependent on the investor. This allows the price of gold coins to be more fluid than gold bars.

  • Gold Bars
Zoe Lyons

Zoe Lyons

Gold bars are not seen as a collectors item and don’t tend to have historical attachments. Because of this, the price is not influenced by these factors and is based on the weight, purity and the live price of gold at the time of selling or purchasing. This allows for a more accurate estimate of the price of your gold bars.

Where Should I Store Gold?

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to gold buying is storage. If you do choose to purchase gold, you will need to consider storage. Just like anything else of a high value, it needs to be stored securely. Simply keeping gold stored at home could be risky. When kept in your property, if not stored in the correct conditions, it is more susceptible to damp and corroding. There is also the possibility that your home insurance does not cover your gold, so if you are burgled, you could lose your investment. Because of this, it is wise to protect your gold with proper secure storage. Look for companies that offer storage abilities that are covered by insurance and be sure to do your research on pricing and look for cost effective storage as the fees incurred can soon add up. You may also want to look for a company that allows you quick and easy access to your gold to ensure you can buy and sell with ease.

Should I Invest In Silver Too?

Although gold is often a more popular investment option, many choose to purchase silver alongside it. The price of silver tends to be much more volatile than the price of gold, for this reason, many see gold as a safer choice. The price of silver will still have an intrinsic value but may be more worthwhile for those looking into long term investment options due to its VAT charges.

Negative Interest Rates

Although it is not a current practice, there has been recent talk of banks in the UK potentially introducing negative interest rates. If a savings account has a negative interest rate, this could mean you are charged for keeping money in the bank. If introduced, this could mean savers lose out. Instead of receiving interest on your savings, you may be charged a rate for keeping your money in the bank.

Could purchasing gold be a better option for your savings? Possibly, but this will depend on how much you have saved and the rates of the negative interest (if they are introduced). They may be minimal, but if you have a large amount in a savings account, this could add up to an expensive charge. If you choose to use your savings to buy gold, you may make a profit upon selling, but you will need to consider costs of storage as well as the chances of the price decreasing in the future.

So, is it the right time to invest in gold? It’s a very popular question. Hopefully the above will give you a bit more insight into gold investing and how it may work for you, but with any investment, there is never a guarantee that it will generate profit, so take careful considerations when diversifying your portfolio.

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Private public investment is more inter-dependant than ever

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Private public investment is more inter-dependant than ever 2

By Konstantin Sidorov, CEO and Founder of London Technology Club

Today, one thing unites the majority of governments around the world: their fiscal position is destitute. COVID 19 has seen an extraordinary, forced expansion in public sector expenditure, which has come just as the world was getting back on its feet following the Global Financial Crisis. The financial strains are already showing and will become more apparent as we move through the pandemic into social and economic recovery.

If you want to understand the impact that the re-focusing of public sector spending is having, then there is no better example than the space economy. In the US and Europe, we are becoming increasingly reliant on the space rockets and space launch companies pioneered by private investors and entrepreneurs.

NASA, that powerhouse and flag bearer for American national pride, is having to partner with the private sector in order to fulfil their missions. Private investors, the likes of Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos alongside smart use of new technologies have brought the economics of space down and the excitement around what’s possible up. With it comes a whole satellite manufacturing, launch and servicing industry growing to $271bn in revenues in 2019. Of the total revenues in the space economy ($366bn in 2019), government space budgets made up $95bn of that.

Commercial entities, being patiently built and backed by private capital willing to dig deep and progress their own missions has helped fuel the space economy. Many are realising now just how crucial space is for the future of a country’s protection, position in the world and prosperity. In China, India and Russia we still see significant public sector expenditure in space projects as an agent for military and economic expansion. The role of private investors in plugging major gaps in public sector funds and national pride in Western economies is therefore increasingly important.

Private and public investment must be seen as a partnership. We should not forget that Elon Musk’s SpaceX survived from the brink of collapse only because of a ten-figure NASA contract awarded at the last minute. Musk, since then, has looked for public infrastructure contracts to fuel his companies, the likes of The Boring Company winning the contract to build a downtown-to-airport loop, a  government program for high-speed transport in Chicago. Musk proves his products and services work and then secures lucrative government contracts in order to quickly scale which in turn leads to transforming whole industries.

It’s not just space infrastructure where we see this redefinition of the role of public and private finance. The Chinese have invested at least US$160 billion in infrastructure projects as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, creating roads, ports, energy infrastructure and providing aid to foreign governments to create the most ambitious infrastructure project the world has yet seen.

Konstantin Sidorov

Konstantin Sidorov

For Western countries, access to that scale of public finance is not fiscally-possible, a new solution is needed and just as the space race has been redefined by private capital, so will the development of new industries, infrastructure and the reinvigorating of economies facing structural change that has been accelerated by COVID.

Private capital has the huge advantage of being driven by conviction and competence. It can cost-effectively be deployed, fast and targeted with a laser-like focus by entrepreneurs who know exactly what they want to achieve. Private capital, currently, is also in abundance.

In a world which is providing slim returns across multiple traditional asset classes, private capital is being stockpiled and is waiting for the opportunity to be invested for growth. We need private investors to have the confidence to deploy their capital to fuel the system once again.

This new world, post COVID, won’t see public capital replaced. Its role is likely to focus more heavily on health, welfare and critical infrastructure. However private investors will step in where gaps appear. Ten years ago, the scale and ambition of private space companies would have been greeted with snorts of derision and looks of disbelief. Today governments embrace the private capital, and regard the companies that have deployed it as systemically important national assets.

As we look to the future, huge macro trends emerge that demand significant investment: the aging population, the threat of pandemic, the drive to create a sustainable economy and lifestyle, the need to decarbonise, the digital revolution. The list goes on.

Public finance cannot hope to provide the finance and pioneer the bold thinking and accept the risks required to find new solutions that drive us forward in a world of change. That role goes to the private investor and private capital.

For the investors themselves the opportunities are immense, and for society as a whole they are just as big. As we look forward public and private sector needs to embrace private capital. Rather than fearing private investors as locusts who strip organisations and opportunities of profit then fly away, a narrative that gained traction after the last great economic crash. This time we need to see private capital as agents for positive transformation. Private-public partnerships fuelling each other.

Private money is already building rockets that send people and payloads into space, but that isn’t the final frontier for entrepreneurial investors or the societies and economies that benefit from their boldness.

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What should I invest and How do I invest

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What should I invest and How do I invest 3

By Imogen Clarke, The Fry Group

With all the uncertainty that has arisen from 2020, with lockdown threatening businesses and the warning of a second wave, the topic of investments has taken on new meaning. Nowadays, more people are concerned with what makes for a good investment, or, if you’re a novice, how to best invest.

For instance, you might be unsure about the reliability of the company you’re looking to invest in, as well as the long-term prospects of your investment.

If you are unsure of your investments, then it is best to seek advice from financial experts like The Fry Group, who deal with tax, wealth and estate planning. They will see that you have a strong financial plan in place to help meet your objectives. They will develop a strategy that is built around your needs and asses any risks that could hinder your plans.

There are some things you’ll need to consider for your strategy; for instance, are you looking to make investments that are more of a risk and will take longer to come to fruition? Or, alternatively, are you wanting a faster approach that will result in a steady income? Whether or not you decide to play it safe all depends on your current financial situation and whether you have the means to take more of a risk. Do you have any other debts that take precedence over your future plans? Is your investment strategy realistic?

With the aid of a specialist – or investment manager – you can design an investment concept that works for you and your goals, and start to build a regular income from your investments. There are four main areas when it comes to assets (groups of investments) that you can consider:

  • Equities
  • Bonds
  • Alternatives
  • Cash

Your investment manager will test the risks associated with your investment, and if it proves to be a positive investment choice, then you will be able to invest more over time.

So, how do you decide where to invest?

According to The Fry Group, ESG investing (Environmental, Social and Governance) is a good option for investors looking to support businesses that meet their similar ethics.

The main areas of ESG investing include:

  • Environmental challenges (climate change, pollution, etc)
  • Social issues (human rights, labour standards, child labour, etc)
  • Governance considerations relating to company management

According to The Fry Group, “Many investors choose to consider ESG investing in order to ensure any investment decisions reflect personal beliefs and values. As a result, they choose to support companies who are making informed, responsible decisions which take into account their wider societal and global impact. In this way investors can achieve peace of mind that their investments are creating a positive effect.”

ESG investing is also more relevant now than ever, as more businesses are looking to present themselves as an environmentally conscious corporation that recognises the values of their consumers.

As The Fry Group puts it, “In the past, ESG investing has been seen as a niche investment approach, for a relatively small number of people with specific requirements. This has changed significantly in recent years, with a growing awareness of environmental issues such as climate change and an increasing understanding of social issues and human rights. As a result, many people are increasingly interested in reflecting their opinions and lifestyle choices through the way they invest.”

So, if you want your investments to pave the way for your personal values and reflect your own morals, then this is the route to go down. But how does it all work?

There are four areas of ESG investing:

  • Responsible ownership and engagement: when companies are encouraged to make necessary improvements.
  • Avoidance or negative screening: whereby businesses are ‘graded’ based on how ethical their business practices are and are avoided altogether if their methods are not approved.
  • Positive screening strategies:when companies meet the ESG goals and are approved for investments.
  • Impact investment strategies: the purpose of this is to use investment capital for positive social results such as renewable energy.

You will need to take into account your own personal objectives as well as the objectives that meet the ESG investment criteria. And, in terms of financial performance, ESG investing can be hugely beneficial. Those who opt for ESG investing perform a more in-depth analysis into long-term and future trends that affect industries, meaning that they are better prepared for changes in consumer values when they arise. And, with all the unpredictability that this year has offered us so far, isn’t it better to do the research and have all angles covered?

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