- There are two key ingredients to making the dream of early retirement a reality.
- First, you need to define goals for both your career and your finances.
- Then, create a specific plan for each that will help you get there.
- Financial management and investing professionals and career experts suggest their top books to help motivate and encourage people who want to retire early.
Many Americans think they’ll never have enough money to retire. So being able to retire early can seem like a Holy Grail — an impossible quest none of us will ever come close to achieving.
According to experts, though, it is possible not only to retire early but to fulfill personal goals, explore new interests — even reorient yourself into an entirely new career if you find that a life of leisure isn’t all it was cracked up to be.
There are two key ingredients to making the dream of early retirement a reality: You need to define goals for both your career and your finances, and have a specific plan for each that will help you get there. MONEY asked financial management and investing professionals as well as career experts what books they would suggest for people who desire an early retirement.
‘Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence’ by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez
Joe Heider, president of Cirrus Wealth Management, says that Your Money or Your Life offers “a very different approach to personal finance.” Author Vicki Robin talked to MONEY earlier this year about her book’s huge and unlikely millennial fan base, a group seeking FIRE — or, “financial independence, retire early.”
Despite Robin’s lack of a traditional finance or investing background, this book is often recommended a must-read if you want to retire before you spot your first gray hair in the mirror. “[It] really is thought-provoking regarding your relationship with money and how to use it to achieve your best life,” Heider says.
‘The Instant Millionaire: A Tale of Wisdom and Wealth’ by Mark Fisher
“This book about one’s financial beliefs and mindset changed my life when I was 18 years old,” says Jason Dorsey, president of The Center for Generational Kinetics, a research and consulting firm that focuses on Generations Y and Z.
‘Grant’ by Robert Chernow
John Challenger, CEO of executive outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, sees a lot of hard-charging professionals in his line of work, and his observations lead him to offer this unexpected recommendation by the author of Alexander Hamilton, the book that led to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash hit musical.
While Grant is not about retiring early, per se, Challenger says this biography of the Civil War hero and president is a great way “to see how people were able to pivot and adapt to their situations to make significant advances in their careers.” Thanks to Chernow’s exhaustive research, readers get a deep dive into how Ulysses S. Grant reinvented himself time and again, Challenger says.
‘The Elements of Investing: Easy Lessons for Every Investor’ by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis
Jonathan Clarke, an associate professor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, has high praise for The Elements of Investing. He calls it “the best book on personal finance for young people,” saying it “is straightforward and easy to read. It stresses passive investing strategies, which tend to work best.
‘The Millionaire Next Door’ by Thomas Stanley and William Danko
“This is not a get-rich-quick book, but a way to view the practical and compounding effects of recognizing how you spend, save, and invest to reach your financial goals,” Dorsey says.