How to Speed Up Saving for Retirement

Not willing to wait 40 years to achieve financial independence? Maybe you're not 25 years old anymore and you NEED to speed up the saving process.

If you'd like to learn how to speed up saving for retirement, then read on because we cover that topic in detail below.

Defining Retirement Money Requirements So We Can Optimize

Before we can optimize our speed saving for retirement, it is important to understand the retirement money requirements.

To be able to support yourself in retirement you need enough money to cover your expenses. Seems obvious enough, but let's look at the component parts of that.

Successful Retirement = Income > Expenses

Let's drill down deeper into the income and then go for speed.

Income for Retirement

Income in retirement typically comes from one or more of several options:

  • Passive Income from things like social security, pensions, loans, and annuities.
  • Safe Withdrawal Rate from money you have invested in cash, stocks, and bonds.
  • Cash Flow from Rental Properties after all expenses including a vacancy allowance, taxes, insurance, mortgage payments, maintenance, property management, and capital expenses.

We will look at ways to increase each of these in a moment, but let's now look at a new formula:

Annual Passive Income + (4% of Amount Invested in Stocks, Bonds, etc) + Net Cash Flow >= Expenses

So, to speed up saving for retirement we need to do one or more of the following:

  • Increase Passive Income
  • Increase Amount Invested in Stocks, Bonds, etc
  • Increase Cash Flow on Rental Properties
  • Decrease Expenses

Decrease Expenses

Easier said than done.

But, and I know this is obvious, any expenses you're going to have in retirement will need to be covered by your income. If you reduce your expenses, you won't need as much income and you'll achieve financial independence faster.

So, consider reducing your housing costs by moving to a less expensive property or part of the country. Or, consider paying off your property so you don't have a mortgage.

Increase Passive Income

Passive income comes from things like social security, pensions, loans you've made, and annuities.

Social Security

To increase social security you can:

  • Increase the income that you're paying social security on while you're working. This only works to a point and high-income earners will max this out. Earning more will also help give you additional money to invest and to qualify for larger loans on rental properties.
  • Delay when you start taking social security. Social security pays out less if you take it early and more if you wait.

See exactly how this impacts your specific situation on the Social Security Administration website that has a great tool for estimating your social security benefit based on what you earn and when you take it.

Pensions

If your work has a pension… congratulations! Talk to your HR rep to make sure you maximizing the pension benefits offered.

If you earn more at your pension producing job, you can often qualify for a higher pension when you retire. So, maximizing your income will speed up your savings speed for retirement through your pension as well.

Loans You've Made

Any money you've loaned where you are receiving monthly payments count as passive income.

Making loans at higher interest rates will increase your savings speed toward retirement.

Annuities

Buying annuities can convert lumps of cash into a stream of income. The more annuities you own, typically the larger the stream.

Many annuities are based on your life expectancy. If you're younger, the annuity will need to pay out for a longer period of time to cover your entire life. If you're older, the annuity will need to pay out for a shorter period of time. Therefore, the longer you wait to buy the annuity, typically the larger the stream you will get from the same lump sum.

But, that typically doesn't really help you speed up saving for retirement.

Increase Amount Invested in Stocks, Bonds, etc

Invest more money in stocks and bonds and that increases the amount of money you're receiving using the 4% safe withdrawal rate.

To speed up saving toward retirement, contribute more and maximize any match that your employer provides.

I am going to do a dangerous thing and ignore for a moment that sometimes: extra return comes with additional volatility and other additional risks. With that being said, investing in things that historically have had a higher rate of return, could speed up your saving for retirement.

For example, investing in bonds that (historically) have earned 4% per year would (historically) been slower than investing in stocks that (historically) earned 8% per year. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that bonds or stocks will perform the same in the future. And, while you could use additional tools like options to limit your downsides and change the risk characteristics of your investment, that has an additional cost and is beyond the scope of this discussion.

In general, the more you have invested in stocks, bonds, etc the faster you'll achieve financial independence. So, increasing the amount matters. As does the rate of return you're earning.

Increase Cash Flow on Rental Properties

The final way we will discuss to speed up saving for retirement is cash flow from rental properties.

No one knows what the future holds, but leveraged rental properties (historically) have earned higher rates of return than many other asset classes (see Return Quadrants™ for a more detailed discussion of this). The rate of return you're earning on your money is a major factor in the speed of saving for retirement. So, owning rentals can be a way to speed up saving for retirement.

You can focus on buying more rentals and/or improving cash flow on existing rentals to speed up saving for retirement.

Buying More Rentals

Of course you could save up, typically, 20% down to buy rental properties.

One of the faster ways to acquire rentals is through Nomading™. Nomads™ buy a property as an owner-occupant with owner-occupant financing. Owner-occupant financing requires a lower down payment (can be zero down for USDA and VA loans, 3-5% or more for conventional financing, 3.5% for FHA financing) and get the lowest interest rates (typically lower than buying rental properties as a non-owner-occupant). Nomads™ typically live in the property for a year (a requirement of the lender and getting the owner-occupant loan) then move out and convert the property to a rental. They buy their next property to live in with another low down, lower interest rate owner-occupant loan. Repeat this until you have the numnber of rentals you desire.

Real estate entrepreneurs can also acquire properties creatively with little or nothing down using strategies like lease-options, buying subject-to the existing financing, owner financing or with the BRRR strategy. These strategies typically require more work than Nomading™ but can be even faster than Nomad™.

Improving Cash Flow

Improving cash comes down to increasing the income you're earning on the property and decreasing the expenses on the property. You should consider both.

Check out the entire workshop class we did on How to Improve Cash Flow Workshop.

Earning Extra Income

Earning extra income from a job or business will increase capital to invest in loans, annuities, stocks, bonds, or real estate. If it is income you're paying social security taxes on, it may also increase your social security income (up to a max defined by the Social Security Administration).

Extra income can come in many forms:

  • It can be focusing on advancement in your current profession.
  • It can be searching for a promotion with higher pay elsewhere, other than your current employer.
  • It can be starting any number of side-hustles.
  • It can be starting any number of full-blown separate businesses.
  • It can be becoming a real estate entrepreneur flipping houses or wholesaling.
  • It can be house hacking and renting out parts of the property you're living in (as a short-term rental or long-term rental).

Any extra income you generate can be used to buy assets that will speed up your savings toward retirement.

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