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I always ignored my dad's money advice until I watched him use a 4-step strategy to retire at 55

I always ignored my dad's money advice until I watched him use a 4-step strategy to retire at 55
Courtesy of Elizabeth Aldrich



I ignored my Dad's advice about saving money and investing until I saw him retire a decade before his peers.




Now, he and my stepmom get to enjoy retirement while they're young and healthy, and they spend their time traveling the globe.




I asked how they did it, and they explained their retirement plan. It involved living below their means, investing everything in a combination of retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and rental properties, and coming up with a back-up plan.




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As a child, there's no joy quite like opening a birthday card and seeing crisp dollar bills fall out.
Growing up, my Dad tried to convince me that this cash, when saved, symbolized opportunity for my future self. I'd hold my birthday money up to the light to see the watermark and try to picture my future self enjoying this money, but all I could see was my current self enjoying 7/11 Slurpees, top-ups for my pre-paid cell phone, and band tee shirts.
When I got my first job in high school, my Dad printed out an article about the power of compound interest and put it in my purse with a note: "Start investing early Lizzie." My money left my bank account almost as soon as it entered that summer, and not because it was being funneled into a retirement account.
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