Building Wealth for Early Retirement: Investment Strategies for 20-Year-Olds

March 28, 2023

In this highlight, Brian and Bo discuss retirement strategies you should implement in your twenties for retiring early.

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We’re going to move on to Griffin’s question. If I’m 24 and single and planning to retire early, is it still advisable to come back around to maxing my 401k rather than building a taxable bridge account? For some context, he has a 95k salary and has potentially like really good salary growth ahead of him.

All right, Griffin. So here’s what’s interesting. In your 24, you’re single, you’re planning on early retirement. I’m going to speak from my experience. I don’t want to put my bias onto you, but I’m just going to tell you in my story. The things that I thought would be true when I was 24 have changed, right? A lot of life has happened just from my age 24 to where I am now. And I imagine a lot more of life is going to change from the age I am now until I get to age 50. And so one of the things that’s really difficult for younger folks when we’re planning out for retirement is we’re thinking, okay, I want to retire and I want to retire at the age of 51 in June of that year. And I want to have this much in. It’s really, really hard to know exactly what that’s going to look like. We don’t know what our expenses are going to look like, but I don’t know our family situation, where we’re going to live, job, vocation, all that kind of stuff. So what you really want to focus on in these early years is making sure that you are saving aggressively so that you can build for the future. And in our opinion, one of the best ways to save aggressively is to follow the Financial Order of Operations. Brian, Brian, you want to hold that up for me? Oh, yeah. Let me give it a little sound, too.

You have a really strong income. It sounds like your income’s going to increase. So building up pre-tax assets is probably something that’s going to, if it doesn’t make sense for you this year, it’s probably going to make sense for the next couple of years. And one of the best ways that you can build up pre-tax assets and get that current year tax benefit is by maxing out your employer’s sponsored retirement account. So if I were in your situation, I don’t know that I would just glaze and blaze right through step six. I probably would try to, especially if the tax savings, if I live in a state that has higher tax rates, I don’t know, my federal tax rate and that current year tax benefit is super valuable. I don’t think it’s crazy to think about loading up those pre-tax assets before I start moving to hyper accumulation of the bridge account. And I’ll take it at 30,000 feet is that even if it’s not pre-tax, I still think your employer plans, they’re off, there’s the other off and tax free.

So I put three things that I said, follow the tax benefits, that’s number one. So that’s what, you know, somebody who’s 24 years of age, your retirement plan, even if you think you’re retiring super early, is going to have tremendous opportunities from a tax standpoint. It’s the two biggest things that impact you are obviously taxes and the fees you pay. So be very aware of how much you’re paying in taxes. So you’re crazy if you don’t follow the tax benefits to optimize that. And that’s where it leads to number two, which is follow the food. The food is going to kick in to help you know, when is the right time to build that bridge account? And what I have found is somebody who thinks they’re going to retire early, you’re going well beyond saving and investing 25% of your gross income. Well, guess what, that’s built into the Financial Order of Operations because you’re going to blow through step six, get to step seven, which is that hyper accumulation, which is where you’ll be Griffin. And that’s where yes, it’s going to start helping you build that bridge account. So follow the food, it will kick in at the right time to, you know, know how to optimize your process and retirement. And then just number three, I’d written down, was three words. I said, I want you to automate, I want you to build, and I want you to believe because we have created this system with the financial order of operations, where it is road tested. And it’s set up to help you optimize all these decisions. But you need to, I just don’t want you to hyper focus on the noise. I want you to kind of like I said, automate and build by just setting up these buckets, start putting the money in there. And you’re going to see the process will actually help you guide and land that plane when it’s time to do it. Love it.

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