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7 Steps to Early Retirement


By Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP® Illustration by Tom Cocotos


WHAT IS THE SECRET TO RETIRING EARLY? Having a goal, educating yourself, and developing a plan and sticking with it are key. Consider these steps and advice from three peo- ple who achieved their retirement goals.


Have a goal. Establish the vision of retir- ing early and live your life to realize the vision. Think


and talk about early retirement as though it will happen, and follow up by making professional and fi nan- cial decisions that move you closer


to retirement. You have to establish the target before you can develop a strategy and determine the instru- ments required to hit the target. “The starting point for me coin- cided with my decision to begin my retirement transition from the Air Force,” says retired Air Force Col. Dan Koslov, who fully retired at age 58 after 30 years in the military and a second career at a nonprofi t.


Educate yourself. Financial knowledge is the key element in formulating your game plan


to achieve your goal. Successful people understand fi nancial issues and know how to use their knowl- edge in practical and eff ective ways. They might use fi nancial special- ists as a part of their team to ac- complish their missions. They have some understanding of the pros and cons of investment vehicles. This is critical because there are many ways to accomplish the same thing, and some methods work better than others depending on your objective.


MARCH 2014 MILITARY OFFICER 59


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