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How To Retire Comfortably On $1,000

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Post How To Retire Comfortably On $1,000   Sat Aug 13, 2011 11:48 am

Many Americans worry constantly over how they are going to fund their retirement. Given a 4% withdrawal rate on retirement savings, they would have to have $1,000,000 in the bank to afford a $40,000 per year cost of living. That's very discouraging.

But what if you could get the same income off of $1,000 in savings? How? By starting up your own business. And I'm not talking about selling Amway or some multi-level-marketing scheme. Or buying zero-down real estate. And it's not some get rich quick scheme that has about as much chance of working out as the nation's mortgage industry. What I'm going to propose is starting a business, starting out small, and building it up with little risk, in your spare time on nights and weekends. And keeping your day job the whole time, until you reach retirement age.

We all know that most of the millionaires in the U.S. got that way from owning businesses. But did you know that there are millions of folks that make great money, while not millions, owning their own start-up business?

So what kind of business can you start-up? We have many great businesses that you can start for under $5,000 at And the list is free. We personally endorse all 50 ideas, and they were garnered from over 1,000 candidates.

Now besides a great idea, what does it take to succeed and make that $40,000 per year, or whatever amount you need? It takes five elements:

I. A Great Business Model

A great business model is a combination of a great idea with one that you can get enthusiastic about and a basic operating plan that works with your schedule and delivers your desired profits. It should also tie to your skill set, and be something that you love doing.

II. Sell, Sell, Sell

90% of a successful start-up is related to sales. You have got to be committed to selling your product and service and, to do that, you have to believe in it 100%. If you are enthusiastic about your start-up, it is easy to sell it. And you have to make the commitment to do the unpleasant part of sales, too, such as cold calls.

III. Cut, Cut, Cut

You will need to keep your expenses low at all times. You never want to waste money on things you don't need, such as an office in many cases. By going it barebones, you will keep more money in your pocket, and give yourself more cushion in case of some calamity, such as a drop in sales. Fancy offices and office equipment are for companies that are more into ego than profit.

IV. Cover Yourself

From asset protection strategies to forming the correct entity structure and making sure to carry lots of insurance and keep abreast of the laws - the goal is to keep yourself out of trouble, both legal and lawsuits. Some of these steps you only have to address once, and they protect you for years, kind of like a vaccine. Others you have to stay proactively on top of at all times.

V. Have An Exit Strategy

It is essential that you have an exit strategy in mind from the day you start your business. You never know what will come up in life - sickness, divorce, midlife crisis, relocation - and you want to be able to gracefully exit and sell your business when that happens. In addition, if your business grows to huge proportions, you may want to take it public, or sell an interest in it to a private equity group.

So do you want to scrimp and save your whole life to make $40,000 per year, or take $1,000 out of your savings now and have a side income that gives you a better quality of life now? You can retire on $1,000.

And that's how you do it.

Frank began his start-up career in college, selling ad space on flyers that he posted all over the campus. It was so effective, that after two clients the school banned the concept. Upon graduation, he started his first big success - a billboard company in Dallas, Texas. He diligently worked 18 hours a day for 14 years, and built it into the largest privately-owned billboard company in Dallas. He sold it in 1996 for $5,800,000 to Universal Outdoor of Chicago, a publicly traded company. During this time he also bought Leonard & Co. billboard company in Los Angeles, California, turned it around, and sold it to Heywood Outdoor of California for a $600,000 profit. Then he built a third billboard company in Dallas, and sold it to Clear Channel. Frank then changed industries and started buying and operating mobile home parks. He continue with this until he had bought and sold about $50,000,000 of property, and attained recognition as the 63rd largest owner of mobile home parks in the U.S. In addition, he owns an old-tyme photo shop which he started from scratch, and has written several best-selling books. His love of entrepreneurship runs deep - he has read probably two hundred biographies on famous start-ups. He is also a third-generation entrepreneur - nobody has held a real job in his family since 1928!

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