Get this: don’t always think you have the time to save later. Time doesn’t stand still.

And the earlier you start saving, the more time you will have to improve your finances.

So if you want to retire as early as 60 (or 55, or even 50), you have to be smart with your money, start saving and so much more.

In this post, we put together a list of tips that can help you turn your dream of early retirement into a reality.

Understand How Much You Need

Let’s face it, there is really no number that would guarantee everyone an adequate retirement. It considers different factors – your spending, your income, your ideal retirement age. The point is that it is hard to calculate the exact amount of what you need for retirement.

But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a reasonable amount. As long as you become conscious of your financial, you can hit your ballpark figure for your retirement years.

One easy way you can do this is by using an online retirement calculator. This way you can estimate how much you should have in the bank before retirement.

Here’s the secret: you should base your retirement projections on your level of spending rather than on your income. This will easily determine how much you need to earn to pay your retirement expenses.

It’s also important to note that it’s impossible to know for sure how much inflation will occur between now and your planned retirement date, so it’s wise to estimate on the high end for this number.

Create Your Retirement Income Plan

Now, that you know how much money you need to retire, it’s time to craft your retirement income plan. It is a year by year timeline that shows you where your retirement income will come from.

You can begin by creating a rough budget for your retirement plan. Then, add your protected income sources: Social Security, pensions, annuity payments.

Also, take into consideration your family and anyone else you’ll want to take care of when you die.

Track your expenses

To keep your momentum going, start tracking your expenses because frankly, it’s easy to lose track of how much you’re spending when you don’t pay attention.

And if tracking isn’t your forté, there are tons of free apps and websites that will manage your finances records.

Start Saving Now

The sooner you begin saving, the sooner you will be able to retire.

Make some short and long-term sacrifices. Cut expenses you don’t really need. Don’t eat out too often or cut subscriptions like Spotify or Netflix.

Make A Budget Plan

And yes, it’s not easy to suddenly start saving your money, but you can finally get the groove of frugality by budgeting your finances.

Make no mistake about it: budgeting doesn’t have to be an endless work of numbers in Excel. You can also enlist applications and websites to do the work.

So the first thing you can practice for budgeting is the 50-30-20 rule. It works like this:

  • 50%: Your Needs
  • 30%: Your Wants
  • 20%: Your Savings & Debt

It sounds simple. And it is. You only need to be conscious of all your purchases and always keep in mind your saving goals.

Pay Off Your Debt

But for some of you that have huge debts, cutting your savings and retiring early seem unrealistic.

Don’t worry. There’s a solution: eliminate your debts.

Because there’s no denying it, the only way to get out of debt is to pay it.

Sadly, getting out of debt is not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, you can be in trouble for overdues and unpaid loans. Foreclosures, bankruptcy, or even getting a court judgment can be a real possibility if you disregard your unpaid bills.

Start by paying off high-interest credit cards. At the same time, reduce your spending and don’t take out more loans.

Once you take care of your debts, clean up your financial account and ask lenders/creditors to remove any negative history. For one, getting your judgments removed from your credit report can improve your financial account in the long run. Read a great guide about this process and start your way to early retirement.