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Can you retire early as a single mom?
Single mothers are the most burdened and self-sacrificing members of our society. They’ll be working until their legs give out and they have to lean on their children for support, right?
I sure hope not!
So then is having children a good retirement plan?
In short, no.
Even though you’re the primary caregiver to some very needy dependents, you can and should focus on your own financial health. Your children will thank you (or not!) when they’re older and you’re financially secure enough not to lean on them as they struggle to raise their own families.
So let’s get started and build a plan to put on your own oxygen mask while you fly the plane, buckle everyone’s seatbelts, prepare the in-flight meal, stow the luggage in the overhead–
Well, you get the idea.
1. Get Real
With all the distractions of your day-to-day, it can be difficult to face the music. But if you want to retire early, you need to get serious about your finances and start planning now.
Though the best time to start planning was 20 years ago, right?
That said, not only is it absolutely possible to retire early as a single mom – it can be in your plan if you truly want it to be.
You just need to make it a priority.
Say it out loud, tell your best friend, and write down your new goal somewhere visible.
No more excuses, no more procrastination - it’s time to take control of your future.
2. Get Educated
Knowledge is power, so start educating yourself on all things money.
Learn about saving, investing, and budgeting, so you can make informed decisions about your finances. And don’t be afraid to ask for help from folks in your financial community if you need it.
[backlink to financial community]
Start tracking your expenses today so that in a few weeks you’ll have an accurate reflection of how much you’re spending and where. This is the golden information you’ll need to really set yourself up for success.
3. Get Focused
With your newfound knowledge, it’s time to get focused on your financial goals. Determine how much money you need to retire, and create a plan to get there.
Usually it’s your annual expenses multiplied by 25.
AND DON’T PANIC!
I know that seems like a huge number, but you’re going to get there one dollar at a time.
The most important number to track is your savings rate. The higher you can push it, the faster you can retire.
Whether it’s through saving, investing, or both, make sure you’re taking concrete steps towards your goal every day. Continue tracking your expenses and focus on where you can save, which expenses are necessary, etc.
4. Get Creative
As a single parent, you’ll have a lot of potential drains on your time, energy, and most importantly – your money.
But you’ll also be exposed to opportunities that other people won’t. Keep an eye out for problems you may be able to solve for other people, or ways in which you can leverage your relationships for help.
They say it takes a village – how do you fit into it?
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Consider taking on a side hustle, downsizing your living expenses, or finding ways to increase your income.
The more creative you get, the closer you’ll get to your goal of early retirement.
Just be sure to keep your eyes on the price: Your savings rate! Maximizing this will fast-track your savings.
5. Get Serious
Finally, single moms, don’t forget to bring your strengths to the table. You deserve to retire early and live your best life, so don’t let anyone or anything stand in your way. Stay focused, stay determined, and never give up on your dream of a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.
You are some of the most capable people on the planet. If anyone can do it – you can!