COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's never too early to think about retirement.
chief economist Diania Merriam shares her tips to get a jump start on an early retirement to Good Day Columbus' Maria Durant and Jackie Orozco.
Merriam will host "The EconoMe Conference" about financial independence held at the University of Cincinnati on March 7, 2020.
Use code "Good Day" for discount tickets.
Merriam Financial Tips:
1. The key to financial independence and early retirement is a high savings rate (i.e. the gap between your income and expenses/spending) and squashing debt. There are countless strategies to increase the gap through decreasing expenses and increasing income.
2. When decreasing expenses, it's efficient to focus on the big 3: housing, transportation, and food. Ohio has some of the lowest cost of living metro areas in the country, and my goal is to position this state, and Cincinnati specifically, as The Best Place to pursue financial independence.
3. Protect the gap and invest it don't let lifestyle inflation creep in as your income increases and don't fall for get rich quick schemes.
4. It's important to recognize that money is emotional- personal finance is personal. We’re talking about money but we’re also talking about so much more than money because how you spend any resource is a reflection of what you value. When what you value deep down isn’t reflective of how you’re spending your time, energy and money, that discrepancy feels uncomfortable. Getting in touch with your values makes wrapping your head around your financial situation sooooo much easier.
5. Community matters. The FIRE path can be lonely if everyone you know is stuck in a loop of mindless consumption. There are many online communities that can be a resource.