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Want to retire early? Here’s how to pay off debts fast — and build wealth

Golf, fishing, travel and relaxation — it’s a retirement many look forward to. But with growing personal debt and the average retirement age slowly rising, some might think it is far out of reach. Radio host and personal finance expert Dave Ramsey talked to TODAY and told us it’s not; and in fact, it can come sooner than you think.

To Ramsey, every person has the ability to get out of debt and retire early; it all depends on how serious they take the task.

Ramsey started his company, Ramsey Solutions, in 1992 “to counsel folks hurting from the results of financial stress,” according to his website. In addition to writing six bestsellers listed on The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly lists, he has created a “7 Baby Steps” plan on how to take control of your money and build wealth.

Baby Step No. 1: Create a baby emergency fund

The first thing to do, Ramsey says, is to stop all investments. “You stop all savings and you put $1,000 aside as your starter emergency fund,” he told TODAY.

Not investing in a 401(k) or Roth IRA might sound counterintuitive to retiring early, but Ramsey says that the shortest path to wealth is to do whatever it takes to get rid of any debt you have. Weiterlesen