Let's start with the facts: Most Americans likely will have a hard time retiring on time, let alone early.
For starters, the average retirement account balance for U.S. households ages 50 to 64 is $150,000 — and the median is only $12,000 — according to a report from The New School. Nearly a third of families have no savings at all, the study found.
Even if your nest egg is substantially larger, you'll have to account for living longer. If it's tricky to save for 30 years of income, stashing enough for 40 might seem especially difficult, said Christine Benz, director of personal finance at Morningstar. But that is not to say it can't be done, she said.
The first step in any plan to leave the workforce ahead of schedule must be acknowledging the obstacles you're up against. For one, you cannot count on high market returns, said Benz.
"Bond yields are very low, and the recent rally in equities suggest the decade ahead might not be as good as what we've seen in the past," she said.
So — unless you're on the receiving end of a big inheritance — the most secure way to fund an early retirement might be what's easier said than done: pumping up savings during your working years.
Sound unfeasible for your circumstances? You'd be surprised. These three moves can bring you a big step closer to your early retirement dreams.