Before writing the book, Retire Early What are you waiting for? I created a process I call DIAL into Retirement and it’s the same process I used in order to retire at age 48. My goal with the DIAL was to simplify the retirement process and make it easy for everyone to understand. DIAL is short for Debt, Income, Assets and Lifestyle. Anything and everything concerning retirement planning will fall somewhere on your DIAL. If you want to get the full breakdown of the DIAL system you can check out the blog series I wrote. Here is a link to part one.

DIAL will help you to focus on getting the four parts of your financial picture in order so that you can retire with confidence at any age. Whenyou have your Debt, Income, Assets and Lifestyle in sync, then it’s just a matter of setting a retirement date.

Each part of your DIAL is as important as the next. They all work together. However, there is one part that can make or break your retirement plan.

INCOME

Unless you are one of the few people that have one secure source of income large enough to cover your debt and lifestyle, having multiple income streams in retirement is key. This is true whether you’re retiring at age 50, 65 or at 70. At least after age 62, most people will have access to social security. Some will have a pension, and others will need to generate income from other sources. Prior to then, having an income plan, other than just savings, is highly recommended.

There are many ways you can generate income in retirement. Having your DIAL out in front of you will help you determine how and where best to do it.

Remember, your income is not only to cover your Lifestyle, your daily cost of living, but it overcomes deficiencies in other parts of your DIAL as well.

Take for an example a person that has debt but not the assets to cover both the debt and their lifestyle. Finding an additional source of income to cover the debt without touching income from their assets will allow that person to still retire with confidence. Depending on the amount of debt, maybe a part-time job can pay it off in a short amount of time. Income can also be produced from a hobby. All you have to do is spend a few minutes on the internet and you will find people all over the world turning their hobbies into income producers. Whether through an Etsy store, YouTube, Shopify, Affiliate Marketing or Amazon FBA (fulfillment by Amazon), income is being produced online.

Another example: someone who wants to retire in their mid-50’s and travel but most of their assets are in retirement investments. (There are tricks to pull funds from retirement accounts that I’ve written about, but ideally that is best left for ‘later’ money.)  An asset that a lot of people forget about is their home. You don’t have to sell your home and pull the equity out of it to make it profitable. For someone who wants to travel for long stretches, renting their home  is one solution. There are many professions that have a need to relocate for set periods of time. Medical professionals are a perfect example – they may need to work in a location for 3, 6, 9, 12 months or even longer. Not only does it produce income, it doesn’t leave their house unoccupied for extended periods of time. Vacation rentals are also very popular and allow for more flexibility if shorter travel trips are planned.

Everyone has their own DIAL and talents to pull income from. Remember, when looking at your DIAL, just because you have a lot in assets doesn’t mean you are ready and prepared to retire. Unless your assets are, or will be, income producers they won’t be of much help in your retirement planning.

Your DIAL does NOT have to be perfect to pull off a successful early retirement. However, if there is one area that you want to pay extra close attention to, that would be building up as much income as you possibly can.

If you’re age 45, with a goal of retiring at 55, now is the time to start finding those income streams whether it be through real estate, investing or developing a side “hustle” business that in ten years can generate you a sustainable income stream.

It’s not too late.  You’re not too old.  You’re not dead yet.  What are you waiting for?

If you need help developing an income strategy or how to generate income from your current assets, I can help. Check out AskEricGaddy.com and let me know if I can help you get on the road to your retirement and freedom.

Live free my friends