Tips For Early Retirement Seekers, It’s Not a 401(k) or IRA

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Many people considering early retirement have high-paying jobs. They don’t plan to stay in very long. If this is the case, Victor Gersten, a certified financial planner and the owner of San Diego-based Gersten Financial Planning, recommends maxing out 401(k) accounts and fully funding an IRA as well. Savers may want to consider a Roth IRA, as contributions can be withdrawn at any time tax-and penalty-free. However, any Roth earnings must remain in the account until age 59½ or risk being subject to a 10% early-withdrawal penalty.

For additional long-term savings, consider holding low-cost investments, such as index funds, in a regular brokerage account that lets you withdraw money without penalties before age 59½. However, you will still need to strategize about covering the tax liability that comes with selling investments to fund your retirement lifestyle. One way to do so is by taking advantage of the tax benefits afforded by investing in a personal business or real estate.

Real Estate: Gersten recommends savers looking to retire early invest up to a third of their wealth directly in rental properties. This is a move both for diversification and tax management. Landlords can deduct mortgage interest, maintenance, and depreciation to help offset the cost of owning the rental property along with capital gains taxes incurred by selling investments from brokerage accounts.