How Can You Retire Early?

January 24, 2018 Jordan Meola 17 Comments

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read My Disclosure for more info.


The view up here is better with you

The 5 Keys to Early Retirement… and Freedom

Everyone wants more time. I don’t even just mean longer life. Everyone wants to be the master of their own time, to do the things that they’re passionate about, with the people they love.

The problem is that most people get stuck in a rut, or a grind. They work at least 8 exhausting hours a day, their job has a very locked and set income, and their only hope of moving above and beyond is to give MORE of their time away in a higher paying position.

This doesn’t usually work out. Your family drifts further and further away, as you pour increasing amounts of your precious time to build wealth, to get your freedom. By the time you’re finally retiring, well into your 60’s, you’ve lost a near lifetime worth of memories and adventure… ironically… just seeking the financial freedom to buy more time.

The truth is… none of that is necessary. These are the 5 keys I’ve found to retiring young, and seeing more of the world as I am in that picture above, with my wife, on a hike. On a weekday. At the age of 23.

Diversifying Income Flows

Please pay attention here, because this is one of the simplest but most important concepts to building wealth, and achieving freedom of time and money. It was emphasized to me by one of my mentors, and I have never regretted it.

Note: this does NOT mean to get a second job, and work MORE hours away from home.

Instead, pursue something on your own time, making your own hours, that has more lucrative potential. This may seem impossible for some, but there are millions of people that could take advantage of this. Self-employed people. Teachers who have a 3 month summer break where they’re not working regularly. A stay-at-home parent. A young person still living at home, working a small job. Even those working full time, but able to find empty hours to fill.

For example, getting licensed to sell insurance, or real estate. I got licensed in insurance soon after graduating from college, and became an independent agent. It takes a while to learn, and study how to market yourself, especially with commission based income, but you could pursue this as a side-gig while working a part-time job very easily. You make your own hours.

Just to put this into perspective: you can land a single annuity sale with a paycheck over $50,000. I have business partners and friends who have sold Life insurance plans for paychecks of over $150,000. On. One. Sale. It takes some creativity and strategy to get to these potential clients, but you can pursue it on your own time. Think about how even managing to land one of these every few months could boost your income, or even double it.

It may be even more possible and realistic to begin diversifying your income flow ONLINE. This is where I went: Wealthy Affiliate. It’s an education system on how to build an online business. It helped me do almost ALL of the heavy technology lifting for free, and then trained me, and gave me access to a massive network of helpful people for an incredibly small cost.

Building a brick-and-mortar side business could cost thousands a month. This business builder was only $360 for an entire year of website building, training, etc. And this is just one of several methods you can use.

Eventually, with enough action in the beginning, these website businesses can bring in hundreds, and even thousands per month.

Not only could you double or even far surpass your regular income with these side jobs, but with enough time and persistence, they can fully replace your day job, leading to total control of your time.


This second part is just as valuable as the first. If you don’t get how residuals work, stick with me here.

With most commission based incomes, the greatest and deepest value they present is actually in the long term. The slow burn.

Going back to the insurance side-gig, for example. Selling home insurance is pretty simple. It also, initially, doesn’t pay much. Selling a single policy, if it’s not included with a car plan, might pay you $100-$150. You’d have to sell a boatload of that to quit your day job. EXCEPT… you get paid that $100-something every. single. year. In other words, as long as the client keeps their policy, you’re still getting paid for it.

Say you manage to sell 100 home insurance policies on the side, over the course of a year. You might add $10,000-$15,000 to your income that year. But here’s the cool thing. If you didn’t work a single day the next year, you would STILL be making about $10,000-$15,000. Now say you manage to sell about 100/year for a few more years… Do you see where this is going? Not all insurance types pay residuals as big as the initial sales, but these small ticket ones usually do.

I’m very new in the insurance world. My residual income from selling insurance is just beginning to build up. I have associates who have been doing this for 10 years that are making over $90,000 a year just in residuals. In other words, it’s what they make even before they start working and hustling.

Wealthy Affiliate works in a similar way. More than most other online ventures, affiliate marketing can create POWERFUL residual income. You could publish a promotion on your website, with the guidance of a couple experts, in about 45 minutes, and be making thousands on that promotion for years.

This kind of success doesn’t happen immediately. Overnight millionaire strategies are generally scams. The idea of building residual income is to do a big chunk of work on the front end, to do almost nothing on the back end and be making money almost on auto-pilot. With patience, effort, and action, you get there.


inspiration from the rolling hills


This picture above is one of my inspirations. It may not make sense off the bat. Many people picture exotic cars or expensive clothes to motivate them to pursue and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I AM a car enthusiast. And I like dressing sharp. But getting to be out in the natural world, adventuring, and seeing things I had only imagined, is what really gets me motivated.

Freedom is a motivator. Wanting to go out on a drive with some friends, on any random nice day, to see rolling hills (those who know me well are all too familiar with my love for rolling hills, maybe driving over them is an acquired taste), to see waterfalls, mountains, canyons, anything. The desire to take more control of the time I’ve been given is a motivator.

Wanting to provide for my family, and the future of my family, is a motivator. Wanting to end the fear, burdens, and stress that comes with living paycheck to paycheck.

Money… is not a good motivator. Not in of itself. It’s just paper. Weightless. Meaningless. Freedom and provision are good motivators. This is a key. Choosing what it is within you that motivates you to succeed. Setting goals. Pursuing them.

And when you find that it isn’t as easy as it seemed, keep persevering. Keep pushing. Keep growing. Staying motivated is a key.


The more people I meet, the more I find that the subject of investing creates dread in a lot of people. There are many people that see investing as something that you start when you have a lot of money. People that believe investing is something that is incredibly risky. Or worst of all, something that you start looking into when you’re almost a senior citizen, and FINALLY begin thinking about retirement.

The problem with investing, for most people, is that they let their fear and uncertainty prevent them from taking action! Investing is almost always something that is far better when you take action EARLIER.

Please, especially to my young readers, don’t wait. But also don’t go in blind.

There is still, of course, such thing as a bad investment. A car is a bad investment. If you’re not making much money yet, don’t go out and spend most of what you’ve made to buy a brand new Audi to impress your friends, or gain some short-lived respect. It’s a depreciating asset. It drops at least 1%-5% in value the minute you pull it off the lot. Use a decent, pre-owned car and be content with it until you can afford something extra.

There are a lot of different ways that you can invest. Bank accounts are some of the weakest, but some online bank accounts have recently been increasing interest rates. Use them. And consistently put allotted amounts of money towards them.

There are other safe investment vehicles you can use to make great gains. An IRA, or a ROTH may be a good place to start (look into them first, of course). Annuities also offer an awesome way to build a safe retirement fund, especially if you start early.

Believe it or not, an Indexed Universal Life policy, with the right company in the right way, can be one of the best ways to invest for your retirement. I didn’t know this until I start learning it and selling it. Not only are all of the cash value withdrawals you make in retirement 100% free of taxes, but they’re also making gains of up to 12% interest, and have the added benefit of giving your family a massive chunk of tax-free money if you die, and can give you a nursing home fund when you’re older. It’s too complex to get into here, and is ideal for only certain clients, but its powerful.

Yes even the stock market has a lot of potential. There are thousands of people that believe the stock market is little more than a lottery, and is an incredibly risky investment. This is not exactly accurate. If you educate yourself first on how it works, and learn techniques and strategies, you can minimize your risks, and make absolutely enormous gains off of the markets.

Don’t go in blind. And don’t put more than you can afford to. Use just what you can. Especially if you’re putting money into volatile penny stocks or cryptocurrency. But if used carefully and cleverly, it may be the only way to turn tiny amounts of money into multi-million dollar payouts in under a year.


Last but not least, I encourage you to connect with people. Connections may be the single most powerful tool to success in existence.

The people you surround yourself with will inevitably shape you, just as you shape them. They will influence your motivation, and even possibly the way you think. Even for those with a solid world view, and strong self-awareness, those around us will influence us. They will either help us, or hinder us.

Reach out to people. You want to start building a side business as an insurance agent? Stop miserably cold calling people, and get to know some Certified Public Accountants. They could be anywhere from LinkedIn, to Facebook groups, to your local church or gym. Many of them have hundreds of clients, and for a little cut of the commission they would gladly contact the clients and recommend you for retirement investments, life insurance, etc. A friend of yours is succeeding in the field? Get coffee with them and ask questions!

You want to sell home insurance? Get to know that Realtor friend of yours, and maybe slip him a few of your business cards to hand over to his clients. My Realtor friend starting setting me up before I even realized I wanted it! He was glad to help a young guy just starting out in business.

The one that I have an actual link to is Wealthy Affiliate. That’s where you can find a community of hundreds of online entrepreneurs. This may be the easiest and the cheapest place to start, and they will advance you light years ahead, just by directing you from their own experiences.

Remember: Diversifying Flows of Income, Residuals, Motivation, Investing, and Networking.

Financial freedom. Time freedom. All of it is possible. Take action!

I’m here if you have any questions,






17 People reacted on this

  1. Hi, I know what you mean about selling insurance I tried it for one year. I could not get the continual sales that they needed. I know that building the base was hard, I probably lost my motivation, you mention one thing at times I am afraid of doing and that is networking. I am going to put you on my list of site to watch.

    Thanks Leslie

    1. Thanks Leslie!

      Insurance is definitely a tough business to start out in. Because of the residuals, it gets easier the longer you can endure through it, but it takes a lot of strategy to start making consistent sales. If you go the insurance route, it can help to be an independent agent. Instead of working for the company. You won’t have as much help, but you won’t have any sales quotas to meet, or time restrictions. You can make it in your own time.

      But there are many different things you can do! There are lots of options online for different skill sets. What are you especially good at, and what do you love doing? Networking can be challenging. The best networking comes from just continuing to develop genuine relationships, and friendships in your community, and in online communities.

      Thanks for dropping by! 

  2. I would love to retire early but bills and the general costs of living are making this near to impossible. I would like to find a genuine way to earn extra money to cover these expenses so I can actually focus on putting money away for my retirement.
    Can you suggest any genuine opportunities online to do this?
    Thanks heaps, Jeff.

    1. Hi Jeff! It’s definitely challenging to break free of being stuck in a paycheck to paycheck grind.

      I’ve found that it can help to start small. When needed, my wife and I would live very frugally. I use apps like this one which you can sign up for, which is a free app you can use to scan the receipts and bar codes from groceries. We have save at least $20 per month on groceries this way. Similarly, you can use this free website… for all of your online shopping. Any time you purchase something online, make sure you get some money back for it by doing it through this. It’s a small start, but cutting costs is the beginning. 

      A savings account in a bank may be one place to START setting money aside, but a Roth IRA, an annuity, or in many cases a Life policy, are significantly more lucrative as retirement savings vehicles, with far more additional benefits. As long as you live in the U.S. I should be able to find a professional who can help you with those needs. Also, if you work with an institution offering you a 401K it’s good to take full advantage of what they’ll match you for. 

      Ultimately, online may be the most practical and reasonable place to start building residual income that could add significantly to your retirement income. After a lot of trial and error I found Wealthy Affiliate (https://www.wealthyaffiliate.c…) to be by far the best resource for starting an online writing-based business. There are fantastic things you can do with physical goods as well, through stores like Shopify, but my experience there is limited. I”m sorry. 

      Thanks for the questions, and I wish you well!

  3. Great tips for early retirement. Life is short and time is precious. Without proper plan, strategy and motivation, it is really hard to make a steady flow of income after retirement. One need to chalk out his plan and time to invest for more income so that he can take early retirement. Your ideas are really helpful and the Wealthy Affiliate is the best platform to earn such steady income which can help one to take decision of early retirement.
    Thanks for this great article

    1. Great points, I see we have a similar mindset!

      Like you said, building up enough income for ANY retirement is difficult, let alone an early one. That’s why residual income has so much value. It may be a slow growth, but by the time you retire it could effectively DOUBLE your annual income. The sooner you start, the better. 

      I work with senior citizens regularly. I have always connected well with folks much older than I am, and many of my good friends have been retired senior citizens. I’ve learned great things from them. But I’ve also seen many of my closest friends suffering in retirement with only a social security check, and a small pension. Not only does it often force them to decrease their standard of living a TON, but it causes many to barely even get by. This isn’t quite the peaceful, well-deserved rest that retirement should be.

      That’s why raising awareness and taking action at a young age is extremely important. 

  4. I once had a life insurance license on me, but I did not do well in the industry because I did not feel comfortable with the idea of being a salesman. I have done affiliate marketing however and found it enjoyable thanks to the course you recommend. I am curious, how do you like it learning from wealthy affiliate vs being an insurance agent?

    1. Hey Jessie, thanks for the comment!

      I can definitely understand how you felt, starting out in life insurance. It’s a really tough industry to get started in, especially without connections to help along the way. I’m still getting my feet under me with that industry.

      For me, personally, with life insurance, I floundered for months, barely making income. I noticed one day that a friend of mine from college was finding huge success in the life insurance industry, and he was only a couple years older than me. I had to gather up my courage, and ask him to help me out. He had eventually found a formula for success, and was willing to share it. Finding people like this is an important key. There are generous people out there, with lots of knowledge, if we can just find them.

      Wealthy Affiliate is amazing! It’s kind of the same concept actually – finding people that are at least 5 years ahead in the same industry, succeeding, and willing to share their knowledge. The community is incredible, the education is priceless, and the tools are awesome. And it’s one of the few that is actually affordable, while also having equal value to the more expensive options. 

      It’s hard to compare it to the life insurance work, because I am still very slowly finding success with affiliate marketing. It’s a slow build, you know? But I know that both will be worth it, and probably will share equal value.

      Thanks, and good luck!

  5. Great post! I hate the way jobs work. Like you said, in order to make more you have to give more time. I don’t like my life to revolve around my job. I want my life to be about family and friends. I don’t like feeling trapped in a job and a low wage. And I hate the fear of losing my job at any point, even when I’m not doing anything wrong. There’s no security in a job.

    Like you, I also chose the online route. It seemed like it had the most potential to eventually earn a full-time income. I’m still working at it, but my goal is to some day quit my day job to work full-time online. It will give me the freedom I want and the income I need.

    Thanks for the awesome tips and helpful advice.


    1. Thanks for the comment Weston!

      I’m right there with you. Working for a company and boss that may be volatile, or difficult to please, especially when stuck with a very set and immovable income that’s just enough to get by, really feels like a trap. The sad thing is most people don’t believe, or even know, that a side business can free you of that grind.

      I’m glad you’re pursuing that freedom! Online is a great place to start. Especially when you have a community of helpful people all wanting to see you succeed.

      I wish you the best! 

  6. I am grateful to be young still and live in this hyperactive social media world! Your knowledge is amazing and I will definitely put this to practice. I plan to create multiple streams of income, (including stocks and crypto), use residuals, stay motivated, and network and create opportunities for myself. Thank you for this information, and I will come back for more knowledge

    1. Awesome! 

      Your motivation, and your choice to take action is going to lead you to success. Everyone wants to be a millionaire, and we’re surrounded by strategies and methods to achieve that, but very few people actually follow through on the work and self-motivation that it requires.

      You have that. And you can succeed with it. 

  7. Nice article. I think every 18 year old should have to read something of this nature before they can graduate. I have 2 Teenagers myself, they are 20 and 18, I am constantly throwing this stuff at them softly. Most of it they do not have time for and jsut blow off but with persistence, I know one of them will stick to them. Thanks again.

    1. I definitely agree!

      This kind of advice is also the kind that I wish I had respected much more when my Dad tried to instill it in me as a teenager. He doesn’t have an especially entrepreneurial spirit, but he understands saving, and taking self-responsibility. 

      I’m hoping your kids pick this up quickly too. The earlier you start the better, am I right? 

  8. I find that living Paycheck to Paycheck, working in a company where the future is uncertain and not working on your time takes a lot from your own lifestyle whether wanting to have more time with family to being at peace. This is the slave mentality and the majority of us are going through it. Your article talks about how we can break out of this cycle by motivating ourselves and networking with others by taking our passion and turning it into a business. I know that there is no such thing as a get rich quick program and it takes long term thinking, patience and perseverance to make income. The key factor is to set and keep up with your goals to financial freedom as it is easy to stray from the path.

    1. Great points Sam!

      It’s true that most people are still going through the grind, and it can feel hopeless, demotivating, and even demoralizing. The key is to not just realize that there is better out there, but to continuously work towards the goal of betterment. 

      To do nothing is the first and biggest mistake that most people make. 

      Good luck with everything that you’re doing! 

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