Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

Thank you for reading this article! If you would rather listen to this article, check out our YouTube channel.


If you think of retirement as an age, then you need to rewire your brain. Retirement is, and always has been, a financial number and a math problem, not an age. You can retire at any time, once the money works out. 

We define retirement as the point where work is no longer necessary. At that point, you may choose to keep working for pay or you may not, you may decide to quit your 9-5 and follow a passion project, or you may even choose to just travel and spend time with family and friends. It is entirely up to you and that is the beauty of financial freedom. 

Luckily, if financial freedom and early retirement is a math problem, that means there is a formula to solve it. Many people have FIRE’d before and you can follow in their footsteps. So, in this article we will be discussing the blueprint and the steps to reach financial freedom and retiring early.

Step 1: Make Money

The first step to reaching financial freedom is making money. Your income is your ultimate building block for wealth. Without your income, you have no money coming in and money is only going out. In this scenario, it is absolutely impossible to build wealth, or even survive for long.

This can be either through 9-5 work, owning your own business, working a side hustle, or whatever else works for you (within the bounds of the law, of course). Whatever you choose, stick with it and work hard.

You may also consider working to increase your income by asking for a raise, changing jobs, or picking up a side hustle. The more money that you make, the more you have to build your nest egg with. 

Step 2: Pay Down Debt

There is some debate about how much debt you should take into retirement, if any. Some common consensus is:

Mortgage Debt? Probably fine.

Car Debt? Debatable (Depends on the payment and interest rate)

Credit Card Debt? Absolutely not.

Of course this is highly dependent on your personal situation and your tolerance for debt. Just make sure that you are eliminating bad, high-interest debts along the way.

That said, paying off all of your debt is generally seen as a major step toward seeking early retirement. With every debt payment that you eliminate, you get more free cash flow each month to invest and decrease your overall monthly expenses, effectively lowering your FIRE number. 

Step 3: Invest

The second to last step in retiring early is to grow your money through investing. Unless you have an extraordinary high income, you can not save your way to financial freedom. This means that you will have to put your money to work to grow it. 

In our opinion, the best things to invest in to help you retire early include:

  1. Equity

Equity investments are probably what you think about first when we say investing. This category includes stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. There are an almost unlimited amount of investment strategies out there and that goes beyond the scope of this article. But, make sure to do your own research and potentially consult an investment professional before making any investment decisions. 

  1. Real Estate

While real estate may have a higher barrier to entry than the stock market, the cash flow that it creates can not be matched or beaten by any other asset class. If you think that you have what it takes to be a landlord, real estate can be your ticket to financial freedom. Just a few rental properties can provide you with enough cash flow to replace your 9-5.

  1. Yourself

This last idea has the potential to yield the highest ROI of any investment, and that is investing in yourself. This may mean taking a course to learn a new skill, going back to school to earn a degree, or building your own business or brand. Anyone of these investments in yourself can drastically increase your income and pay the most dividends in the future. 

In short, investing puts your money to work outside of you and allows you to earn money around the clock. Making money without having to work yourself is the main driving force behind reaching financial freedom and retiring early. Don’t just take our word for it, as Warren Buffet famously said:

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

– Warren Buffet

Step 4: Repeat

The last, and most important, step in the process is repetition. Anyone can invest once, make an extra credit card payment once, or work a side hustle for one day, but wealth is built over a long period of time with consistent work and consistent action. Reaching financial freedom is a several year process and it requires sticking to a plan over this period of time. 


Retirement is still just a number, but that number is not an age. Anyone at any age can retire early by following this simple blueprint and we are here to walk with you every step of the way.

Want to learn more?

Check out our most recent podcast episode with early-retiree Laura DiBenedetto: Here

Want to start a side hustle? Check out our article on the 8 Online Side Hustles that You Can Start Today: Here

Want to get started with real estate investing? Check out our article on House Hacking: Here 

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Exit mobile version