How to Achieve FIRE: Financial Independence and Retire Early | Sunny Green | Skillshare

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How to Achieve FIRE: Financial Independence and Retire Early

teacher avatar Sunny Green, Living simply day by day

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

16 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Welcome

    • 2. Case Study - Our Story

    • 3. 01 Introduction

    • 4. 02 Budget - Overview

    • 5. 03 Budget - Tracking

    • 6. 04 Budget - Balancing

    • 7. 05 Debt - Overview

    • 8. 06 Debt - Credit Cards

    • 9. 07 Debt - Loans

    • 10. 08 Debt - Line of Credit

    • 11. 09 Debt - Mortgage

    • 12. 10 Debt - Mortgage Payoff

    • 13. 11 Nest Egg - Overview

    • 14. 12 Nest Egg - Assets

    • 15. 13 Nest Egg - Income Streams

    • 16. 14 Nest Egg - Investments

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About This Class

This life-changing course will help jumpstart your journey to financial independence and retiring early. It covers three main topics: maintaining a monthly budget, getting out of debt (including paying off a mortgage early), and investing for the future. 

We've taken the key concepts of personal finance and presented them in a fun and easy-to-follow manner. We know that your time is limited, so we've made this course possible to consume in a lunch hour. 

This course is accessible to anybody regardless of age, background, or financial state. Whether you're new to personal finances or a veteran, we're sure you'll learn something practical and valuable. 

Why are we so confident? Because we ourselves retired from our fast-paced careers in management consulting before the age of 40 by using the principals in this course.  

The path to a debt free life, financial independence, and early retirement is just a step away. We hope you join us by enrolling in this course. (Music from bensound)

Feel free to leave a review and to check out our other courses as well:

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How To Achieve FIRE: Financial Independence and Retire Early

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Meet Your Teacher

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Sunny Green

Living simply day by day


I'm the founder and director of Green + Humble, a successful management consulting firm. I've since downsized from the corporate world and am living a simpler life giving back to the community and sharing my passions and accumulated management, financial, and life lessons. Please join me in my journey to live a simpler life.  

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1. Welcome: The idea of retiring early seems like a far fetched dream, with stagnant wages, rising living costs and crushing debt. Even the idea of retiring it all seems impossible. Little retiring early. This course will walk you through a simple and effective approach to personal finances that can make the stream a reality. We've broken things up into three main sections. Maintaining a budget, managing debt and investing for the future. So even if you're not thinking of retirement, you'll still learn life changing lessons and personal finance. However, we're sure this course can set you on the path to early retirement. Why are we so confident? Because we ourselves retired from our careers before age 40 and we're excited to share a knowledge with you. No matter your age, background or financial state, we know how busy you are. So we've created this to be finished in a lunch hour, and we've done it in a fun and engaging way to give you the best possible learning experience. By enrolling in this course, you'll be taking the first step in a journey that starts with putting your finances on a super strong foundation and ends with achieving your early retirement dreams. We hope you join us 2. Case Study - Our Story: my partner and I grew up in typical blue collar homes. We got married at 25 since we had similar financial sensibilities, we developed a comprehensive monthly budget. Early on, we had student loans that we paid off as quickly as we could, and we bought a house through mortgage from the outset, we always lived within our means and prioritize relationships and generosity. We allocated a percentage of our incomes every month to charitable giving regarding credit cards. We only ever used them knowing we could pay it off the end of the month. And so we didn't have any credit card death. We didn't have any beautiful alone since both of us worked. We decided to live off one paycheck. The income of the other was spent on mortgage prepayments and investments. We tried to max out our peace. Thes are SPS Air Taxi heard the taxi for a moment. We also received a larger income tax refund Every year. The income tax refunds were used as more pre payments on the mortgage. Well, we did this. We didn't forget to. Investors well were able to pay off her mortgage in a fraction of the typical 25 year amortization period. We literally saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments. This'll clear the path to our early retirement dreams. Amongst all this. We started a family. Were you able to take time off to care for them in their early days? Because we were debt free, Way could observe the loss of income from eliminating our debt, allowed us to absorb other losses as well. In a tragic turn of events, there was a house fire and it burned to the ground. We literally lost everything we owned. However, with a mortgage paid off, we didn't have to deal with the lender and the legal ramifications of making mortgage payments or rebuilding with the third party of the title of the home. This was a big relief as he went through the painful rebuilding process. The rebuilding process, so difficult and stressful do not seriously impact us as we had sufficient coverage on our home insurance policy. So we rebuilt and continue to focus. Our retained earnings in their entirety on amassing are nesting. Throughout the years, though, we made sure to budget for vacations and things that brought us joy or helped others four years after the fire. In another episode of tragic misfortune, our family suffered a series of life threatening medical incidents. Luckily, we purchase life insurance when younger and maintain the policy throughout the years. It was comforting, knowing that our Children would be financially OK if one of us died. Medical issues were serious enough that we took a full year to recover. Our income was seriously impacted as you couldn't work. However, because we're debt free, the vast reduction in our incomes was an inconvenience rather than a disaster. This allowed us to focus on physical recovery. Eventually, things got back to normal and we return to work. Way never took her eye off our retirement nest egg. Then, at long last, before 40th birthdays, we felt that our nest egg was large enough to let us retire from working. We felt confident that our assets, savings investments and passive in from streams were sufficient to meet are likely needs indefinitely. We have a regular house and three young Children. We have a beautiful vegetable garden that someone call an urban farm, and we live within our means. We try to produce more than we consume and enjoy the truly good things in life while sharing and giving back to the community. We retired from our stressful careers and couldn't be happier. We found joy and living simply and financial freedom despite the challenges we faced. So there you have it. This is our story thes air. The lessons we've learned throughout the years It's this wisdom that we wanted to share with you in this course way. Also, hope for this course can be encouraging and inspiring to you, because if we can retire early, so can you. 3. 01 Introduction: So what exactly is retirement? Whether it's beach life in some tropical paradise or volunteering ones time giving back to your community, everybody will have a different idea of what it is and how to enjoy it. For the purposes of this course, we're using a fairly simple definition. It's being in a situation where your present and future expenses are likely to be met without borrowing or having to work at a job. Those expenses could include traveling to exotic locales and golfing every day. Or they could be a za steer as living in a self sufficient cabin in the woods. How you'll spend your time will be specific to your priorities and financial readiness. Key to actually realizing your early retirement dream lies in setting three large goals and sticking to them. These goals are to maintain a monthly budget, manage your debt, invest for your retirement when setting goals, make sure they're smart. Smart stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant time. Based Throughout this course, you'll be challenged to make smart goals, which will then lay the foundation for your early retirement plan. Please proceed to the next section to learn about the first goal of maintaining a monthly budget 4. 02 Budget - Overview: Yeah, the monthly budget is the single most important document in this plan for early retirement . So let's talk about what a budget is and how it doesn't have to be a frustrating thing. Your budget is simply a document that tracks all the money that comes in against all the money that goes out in a given month. This will require some effort on your part to keep receipts, check bill payments and reconcile bank or credit card statements for a month. If you're able to do this for at least three months, it will help you form a better picture of what an average monthly cash flow looks like. Ultimately, your budget will reveal if your money in is greater than your money out. If it isn't, then it'll highlight what area of your finances you'll need to improve to bring your monthly cash flow into the positive for this next section will be going over every category that forms a typical monthly budget. You may want to pull up or print out the budget worksheet provided for this course to follow along 5. 03 Budget - Tracking: tracking monthly income is typically a straightforward matter. Simply average out three months of take home pay from working and place it on the worksheet . Make sure to include income from other sources. For example, rent collected from investment properties tracking money out will be a bit more involved than money in Let's Look at the different categories that your monthly expenses can fall into appearance. THIS'LL category includes clothing, beauty, personal care, hygiene products, fitness activities and so forth. Take the time to compile, on average, what you spend each month on appearance in the budget. Worksheets Insurance. There are many different policies you can obtain for home vehicle life and health. List out your insurance expenses on the worksheet. Housing housing expenses like mortgage payments, property tax wrench, condo fees, maintenance and cleaning will likely comprise your largest monthly expenditure. Utilities. Costs associated with heating water, sewer services and electricity comprised this category. Food and dining expenses in this category would typically include groceries, drinks, entertaining, dining out and so forth Communications In our connected world, communication and information expenses seem to be an absolute necessity from phone plans, Internet access and cable television subscriptions. Monthly costs can quickly add up transportation after hosing, it said. The transportation costs are often the second largest monthly expense. Expenses include repairs, gas registration, parking and public transit Children. The cost of raising Children can be a large part of your monthly budget. The impact of schooling, extracurricular activities, child care and food and clothes for rapidly growing bodies can be significant, if not monitored appropriately. Discretionary. This category is a catch all for miscellaneous expenses that are not necessarily required on a monthly basis. But you prioritize as important, for example, spending on travel, hobbies, charity and entertainment. Taking the time to fill in the budget worksheet will give you a clear sense of what you might spend in each category per month on average, as mentioned, this might take some effort to dig through pay stubs, recedes bills and credit card statements, but it is an important first step in maintaining a monthly budget. Once you have this information, you can subtract expenses from income to derive your retained earnings. This represents all the money have left over in an average month, if it is a positive number than that means you have money left over at the end of the month to use to service debt or to save and invest if it is a negative number than that means you're spending more each month than what you're taking in. Your goal is to try to make your retained earnings as large as possible. This will allow you to pay down your debt faster or have more money to save and invest for a longer period of time. The next section on balancing your monthly budget. We'll explore how you can increase your monthly retained earnings. 6. 04 Budget - Balancing: The first step to early retirement and general healthy personal finances is to make sure your monthly budget is balanced. That is to say, to ensure that your retaining more than you're spending generally to balance a budget there , too. Simple things you can do, earn more and or spend less here. Some effective tips on how to do that earn more. If you're working a full time job, and if your circumstances permit, you can also try to obtain a part time job. Discussing a raise in an assertive but non confrontational manner is potentially a very worthwhile thing to dio. Be discreet news. Common sense when doing this and make sure it is appropriate to your circumstances. One of the most straightforward ways to earn more is to work more hours at your job. If your circumstances permit you're able to get more hours, this might be a good way to increase your monthly earnings. If you have an interest or skill, you would be surprised with the opportunities that exist to monetize them. Be imaginative and think outside the box. In today's sharing or gig economy, there are many opportunities for developing passive streams of income, thes initiatives may require some initial set up, but they then generate a steady income stream without too much work. After whether it's wrenching out your living quarters on platforms like Airbnb or selling your artwork Onazi or developing T shirts on Amazon merch, there are a lot of options for passive income streams. Spend less. Pay with cash at the beginning of the month. Allocate a fixed amount in cash for each category. Keep this cash and separate envelopes or jars when the cash runs out. That's it for the month. You'd be surprised how careful you become with your spending when you're paying with cash. The physical aspect of seeing and feeling your cash dwindle is a powerful reminder of where you are financially throughout the month. Take the time to check online prices before purchasing items in this category with free shipping was the minimum order amount. It's easy to buy multiple items of what you need at significantly reduce rates compared to traditional brick and mortar stores. To reduce your monthly home or vehicle insurance payments, you should consider calling your insurance provider on at least a yearly basis if you're driving less and have been violation free for a while. Take advantage of the discounts to your premiums that this can provide. Downsides. Your lifestyle with less stuff. Well, it's beyond the scope of this course. Feel free to research recent tiny House and minimalism trends. These philosophies can be powerful guy. It's just dream I wear and how you live. Install a smart thermostat to rein in heating bills. Learning to cook and producing your own meals can have a significant impact in reducing your monthly budget on food and dining Out. Cooking for yourself will allow you to avoid expensive convenience foods and reduce the temptation to dine out regularly. Many are cutting the cord with their cable television subscriptions in favor of viewing based on relatively inexpensive Internet streaming services. Taking out cycling is a great way to reduce your monthly transportation costs commuting to and from work. And sometimes we faster, more enjoyable and play an important part of a healthy exercise regimen. In Canada, Children have access to registered education savings plans for R. E S P for short thes air grant program sponsored by the government to encourage saving for Children's college educations through matching contributions. Research what educational grant programs might be available in your area whenever spending in this category, try to research or develop other options that don't require as large and expenditure. For instance, if you enjoy reading instead of buying new books, consider secondhand or borrowing them from the library. Take a blank copy of the budget worksheets and fill it out again. This time, think of ways you can realistically earn more or spend less in each category. Take the time to brainstorm and research different tricks and tips to reduce each of the monthly budget categories. Be resourceful and creative. And doing this theory, jek tive, is to earn more and spend less so that you retained earnings increase. Sticking to this new balanced budget is an achievable goal. Review this worksheet often to keep track of progress and remind yourself of what you're trying to accomplish. We're confident that if you apply yourself, you'll be able to bring your monthly budget into balance and stay there with an increase in retained earnings, you'll be prepared to tackle your death 7. 05 Debt - Overview: in this section will be discussing major forms of debt and the best methods and strategies to pay them down. It's important that we go over some basic terms. Principal the initial amount you borrowed interest rate or annual percentage rate proportion of alone that is charged as interest to the borrower. Compound interest interest earned on principal plus interest that was earned earlier. Credit score A number assigned to a person that indicates toe lenders their capacity to repay a loan. This simple illustration shows the power and danger of compounding interest from Cycle one . We see that the principle of $1000 multiplied by the interest rate of 20% generates interest of $200. Now take note of how the $200 interests from Psycho one is added to the principle of cycle to so that the interest in cycle to is larger than psycho one. In the same way, notice how the interests from Cycle two is then added to the principal in Psycho three to generate an even greater interest payment in cycle three. This is how compound interest works and is crucial to grasp this. To understand how to manage it properly 8. 06 Debt - Credit Cards: with the contact and interest illustration. We use 20% as the interest rate. Because credit cards typically charge in that range, we can see how quickly credit card debt can grow. This is because of the extremely high interest rate and because this percentages compound did more frequently. If you were only to pay the minimum payments on your credit card bill, you might not be aware of how quickly your debt can balloon month to month. In addition, if the amount you're borrowing is a large percentage of your credit card limit and that amount isn't decreasing over time, then that can negatively impact your credit score, making it that much harder to borrow in the future through loans, mortgages and so forth. Avoid making just the minimum payments on your credit card. Instead, pay off your credit card debt in full every month so that you won't have to pay any compound interest. In other words, treat your credit card like a debit card. Only buy things on your credit card when you know you have sufficient funds to pay it off when your credit card statement comes due. If you've balanced your budget, you can use some or all of your retained earnings to pay off your credit card debt so that it's fully paid off each month. Use the debt worksheet provided to write down a goal for when you'll have any lingering credit card balances paid off in full. 9. 07 Debt - Loans: Once you've completely paid off your credit card debt, you can focus on other forms of debt, like vehicle loans and student loans. If you have multiple loans owing, some people perform what's known as debt consolidation, where you essentially pay off all your various disparate loans at once through another loan . If you can obtain this type of financing, the advantages are that it is much easier to administrate and keep track of. And most importantly, you can negotiate a lower interest rate if you're not able to consolidate your loans. Or if debt consolidation is not financially worthwhile in your particular circumstance, then work towards paying off your loans in a time frame and manner that is ambitious but realistic. Using the debt work, she list out all your outstanding loans and the details surrounding them. Make sure to write down a goal date for when you would like to have each loan paid off in full 10. 08 Debt - Line of Credit: lines of credit are potentially useful to obtain so that you can tap into an emergency pool of funds if needed. The interest rate is much lower than a credit card, and, as mentioned before, they're a good mechanism to consolidate your debts. There are two types of lines of credit unsecured and secured. An unsecured line of credit is where no collateral is provided to the lender. Success in obtaining an unsecured line of credit will depend on many factors, like your credit history, your annual income and other measurements that the lender will apply to determine how likely you are to miss payments or default on what was lent to you. In a secured line of credit, something is offered up his collateral. The most common type of secured line of credit is what is referred to as home equity line of credit. Where the equity in your home is offered up is collateral to the lender, and the lender is then registered on the title of your home. Obtain an unsecured line of credit early on in life. If your credit score is healthy, shop around to see who might be willing to offer you a line of credit. Don't be afraid to negotiate an interest rate that is more favorable to you. If you obtain it, it can sit there idle without any cost to you until such time as you access it, potentially to consolidate your debt. Or if you need to deal with the financial emergency research lenders in your area who might offer an unsecured line of credit. 11. 09 Debt - Mortgage: Once you've paid off your other debt and loans, it's time to seriously deal with your mortgage. If you have one, this will most likely be the biggest and most difficult debt to eliminate. Mortgages have a lot of jargon surrounding them, so let's go over. Some key words. Rate the interest that is charged annually on the mortgage variable rate. An interest rate that changes based on a country's prime lending rate, fixed rate and interest rate that a static over the term of the mortgage term. The length of time you're committed to a mortgage rate lender. And conditions set out by the lender amortization period. The length of time given to pay off the mortgage payment frequency. The interval at which mortgage payments are made. Closed mortgage penalties for paying off the mortgage early. Open mortgage. No penalties for paying off the mortgage. Early mortgages typically have a five year term with the 25 year amortization period. At the end of the term, you'll need to either renew your mortgage with the current lender under the same terms and conditions re negotiate under different terms and conditions hopefully more favorable to you or obtain a new term from a different lender altogether. The question also remains as to whether you should go with variable or fixed rate. If you're risk averse, you may appreciate the certainty that comes with having your rate that is locked in and certain. On the other hand, variable rates change over time but are historically lower than fixed rates, and so you would possibly pay less interest. Overall, you have to make your decision based on what is most appropriate to your outlook in personal situation. One of training a mortgage or renewing your mortgage. Some people use mortgage brokers thes air individuals who are able to broker a deal between you and the lender. Because of their relationships to various lenders, they're often able to obtain better rates, terms and conditions, their services air, typically paid for by the lenders as recompense for bringing customers to the lenders. Please proceed to the next section to go over the secret of paying off your mortgage early 12. 10 Debt - Mortgage Payoff: if you have a mortgage, than it will be one of the biggest obstacles in your quest to retire early. Therefore, coming up with a coherent strategy to paying off your mortgage early will be key to achieving early retirement. Let's compare to mortgages that are identical except that one has a 25 year amortization, while the others 30 years stretching payments across 30 years. So 25 equates to a lower monthly payment, but it results in so much more interest being paid. In the end, paying off a mortgage should be characterized by paying more, more frequently so as to reduce the amount of interest paid. Having a shorter amortization period will help. With this, however, the most effective method to pay off a mortgage is through pre payments. What is a mortgage containment? Basically, it's making a payment over it above your obligatory minimum payments. Let's compare two scenarios that are identical except that in a second scenario, an additional $1000 is paid each month over and above the obligatory mortgage payment notice. The interest paid is so much less. In the second scenario, thistles more clearly visualized in figure two. In addition, the time span of the mortgage is reduced from 25 years to about 10 years. So how is it possible that pre payments could have such a profound it? Don't a mortgage. There's a secret most lenders don't want you to focus on because their priority isn't having borrowers paying for as long as possible, and thus paying as much interest as possible with secret is that a pre payment reduces the principal directly, while a regular payment reduces the interest and principal. This is actually a very complicated idea, so let's look at it through an analogy. Mortgages like a dandelion weed the roots below ground represents the principal. In other words, the original amount borrowed plant above ground represents the interests that grows off. If the goal is to eliminate the weak completely, then it's not enough to simply clip away some of the flowers and stocks as the roots are still alive and will send up new flowers during the next cycle by having a long advertise ation period, which would be fine earlier, at the length of time given to pay back mortgage, you'll be paying a lot of interest under our analogy. It's like slowly dealing with the flowers, but that just gives the roots time to send up new flowers. So then, what's the best way to pay off the mortgage? The answer is twofold. Deal with the flowers quickly, while at the same time removing the roots below ground. So how would you do that? Reducing the advertise ation period will mean bigger payments, and switching to a bi weekly payment schedule will mean to extra payments in a year over a bi monthly frequency. This type of structure will allow you to pay more, more often, which is like clipping the dandelion flowers quicker. Not many people realize, though, that during the early stages of a mortgage, basically all the payments are going towards servicing the interest on the loan. However, every pre payment goes directly to paying down the principle. A pre payment. It's like removing the roots, which prevents the flowers from going back to reiterate budget. To make a many pre payments as you can, my budgeting even a small amount each month for a pre payment, it will greatly accelerate the payoff of your mortgage thistles. One of the most important lessons in this course feel free to replay the section of the course again, use the debt work she provided to write down a goal for when you would want to have your mortgage paid off in full. Use the Mortgage Payoff calculator listed in the calculator resources document of this course To figure out how much you would have to pre pay each month to your mortgage to pay off your mortgage in the time frame that you wrote down, balancing your budget will enable you to pay off your debts, including your mortgage. Eliminating your debt will fully enable you to execute final major step in the early retirement journey and amass enough savings and investments to sustain you indefinitely. 13. 11 Nest Egg - Overview: a retirement fund is often described as the retirement nest egg, and it's basically the collection of physical assets, investments and income streams. You have to sustain you as you stop working for a living, the more spending you envision retirement the larger nest egg will have to be when thinking about your nest eggs. Some recommend something called the 4% rule. Basically, this means drawing out 4% of your nest egg to meet your expenses every year. So if you had $1 million in your nest egg and it is earning more than, say, 10% a year, you can comfortably draw 4% which would be $40,000 in this case to live off of. And it will still allow your nest egg to grow by 6%. So conceivably your nest egg with the stain you year after year. Indefinitely, however, this rule is just a very, very rough reference point. For instance, in Canada, recent national surveys indicate that the average amount people think they'll need in retirement in $700,000. Similarly, retiring to a country where living expenses are less expensive would require a smaller nest egg at the end of the day, you need to plan, save and invest in a manner that is right for you. Whatever the case may be, you want to save and invest enough to meet your expenses while still growing in this way, the nest egg will continually compound an increase so that you can draw from it and sustain your retirement life. Let's talk about each of the categories that can typically comprise a nest egg. 14. 12 Nest Egg - Assets: if you own a home and he paid it off. It's a considerable asset that could be part of your nest egg. Retirees often consider selling their homes and downsizing, or it can be kept and rented out as an investment property. Whatever the case may be, it will most likely be the biggest physical asset you own that comprises your retirement nest egg. Other valuable physical assets could be things like artwork, collectibles, luxury items that hold their value and so forth. Cultivate a hobby in your youth around physical assets that hold or increase in value over time. For example, if you have an interest in comic books, fine wines for high end designer purses developing those interests may be fun and profitable. 15. 13 Nest Egg - Income Streams: even though you might not be working at a job in retirement, that doesn't mean you won't be earning an income if you're one of the few in this day and age of access to an employer funded pension plan, and this will be a significant contributor to your nest egg. Typically, though, employers no longer offer pension plans but offer instead matching contributions up to a certain limit to registered retirement savings vehicles in Canada. Thes registered pools or no NAS R s piece, which stand for registered retirement savings plans in the United States. These are known as World One case. Your country will most likely have something similar. He's registered plans. Encourage retirement savings by allowing you to contribute a portion of your income into them. This income tax shelters during retirement. You can start withdrawing from these plans, but you will have to then pay income tax on them. However, since you won't be working any longer, you'll be in the lower tax bracket and won't have to pay as much tax on this income depending, of course, on how much he decided to withdraw every year Other income streams might be in the forum of various social programs in Canada, there is the Canada Pension plan or See PP for Short, which every employee and employer is automatically obligated to enroll into. This is a national program that citizens can start accessing, typically at age 67. Old age, security or away. Asked for short is another social program that citizens can access, typically at age 65. Additionally, you could develop passive income streams as mentioned in the earn more budget section of this course. To supplement your income in retirement, explore any tax deferred retirement savings plans, contributions that might be offered by your employer and take advantage of them. 16. 14 Nest Egg - Investments: when talking about a retirement nest egg. Typically, the primary mechanism for amassing one is through investments in equities and securities, like stocks and bonds in various farms like mutual funds and exchange traded funds. The's forms of investments also typically comprise every Tyree's main passive income stream . Seek out a financial planner on a fixed fee basis. They will provide guidance for a fixed fee. Most financial planners work on a commission basis, whereby they receive a commission on the financial products myself. This might skew the recommendations to products with high administrative fees or other hidden terms. Many people invest in funds like mutual funds or exchange traded funds, which are collections of securities and equities. These funds have a management expense ratio, or M e r, for short wishes. An administrative fee gets paid regardless of how well the fund is doing. Mutual funds are typically managed by fund manager where's exchange traded funds, or index to a particular exchange or market like TSX or the Dow. E. T EFS have much, much smaller M ers and often do Justus well or better on a similarly represented mutual fund. Banks and brokers have many fees and costs that are not necessarily transparent to the average person. Make yourself aware of these costs. Commissions trailing fees, etcetera. Some people like using discount brokerages because some of these costs are greatly reduced , more transparent. Buy low, sell high, don't panic stocks or markets drop. Adopt a long term investing strategy that aligns to your retirement goals and execute against that as opposed to an emotional response based on the day's headlines. Billowed another budget worksheets this time. Think about what your income and expenses would look like. As a retiree, this budget will be a guide to you as you save and invest into your nest egg and work towards your early retirement.