Filling the Gap Years

Today I am crunching numbers.

When I look at my goal to end full-time employment in another 5.5 years, it means I will have to replace my day job income with investment income to fill the gap years between “retirement” and age 67 when I can collect 100% of my Social Security benefits.

That’s about 8 years of income replacement.

I’ve never wanted to rely completely on Social Security, so I have aggressively set aside money in my work retirement plan, deferred compensation, an HSA, IRA, and a group of stocks in dividend reinvestment accounts. I also have money market accounts that accumulate my saved money until I can buy assets. Since purchasing my first multi-family building, the fund has continued to grow with automated monthly transfers that I don’t even notice.

I came up with the 2022 date to stop working to coincide with my student loan pay-off date, which may be somewhere around June of that year. Once those loans are paid off, that will be a relief! At that point, I will only have income property mortgages to pay. I can’t wait!

What does all this mean today? It gives me inspiration to continue finding new ways to cut spending, save more, waste less and push myself to increase my rate of savings/investing. Everything I do today to cut back and shift more of my money to investments gets me closer to my goal of quitting the day job. I enjoy my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it, but right now, I have no other option for paying the bills but to work the job. I look forward to the day when I have the option of quitting and still having enough to be on my own. That will be a great feeling. If I then continue to work, it won’t be because I have to, but because I want to.

That’s freedom.


p.s. Check out the new NDQ Guide: 500 Tips the guide that will give you actionable steps to jump start your savings and investing immediately.

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