Ever dream about being retired well before you reach your 50s or 60s? Although most early retirees began saving very early in life, there are still steps you can take today to make early retirement a reality. Learn more about various methods to optimize your income, and make your money work for you.

Be like a squirrel

A squirrel may not seem like the most aggressive creature on the planet. However, it is a good example of a saving strategy.

Similar to a squirrel storing away food for the winter, you will need to have an aggressive stance about putting as much income as possible toward savings. And while you’re at it, put your money into a high yield savings account.

Snag a side hustle

Don’t mind giving strangers a car ride for money? Like taking surveys for cash? Having a side hustle that creates additional income outside of your regular job can help you boost your chances of an early retirement.

If you can save or invest nearly all of the money from an outside source, it will help you exit the working world sooner.

Trim those taxes

When it comes to paying your taxes, you don’t want to find yourself overpaying. You can lower your taxes by contributing money toward a 401k or HSA, donating money to charitable causes, and deducting costs for using your vehicle.

Whether you are self-employed or work for a company, learn about all applicable deductions to shave down the amount you owe.

A simple kind of life

When retired, you’ll be on fixed income, so it pays to get comfortable now. Reduce your living expenses by downsizing to a smaller home.

Choose public transit or a smaller vehicle when commuting, and eat more meals at home. Sell or donate items you don’t want or need, and cancel subscriptions, Put the money you save away toward retirement.

Build that IRA now

Some people wait too long before contributing money toward an IRA. Others may neglect to sign up for an excellent employer offer, regarding matching and contribution toward a retirement account.

Start now. Figure out how much money you need to put toward an account, and how long it will take to reach your goals. Also, consider whether the IRA you choose is tax-deferred or not.