Everything I Would Do If I Woke Up Tomorrow and My Net Worth Was $0…

Man Overcoming Obstacles

If I woke up tomorrow and my net worth was suddenly at $0…

And I wanted to retire again by 50.

Here is exactly what I would do, step by step:

1. Find a job!

That’s right, I would go back to the drawing board and get a job.

But after four years out of the workforce, it certainly wouldn’t be easy!

I’d reach out to everyone I could think of in my network, and start applying to jobs like a madman.

I have no idea how long it would take to get a job, but I hope that with my skillset and networking skills, it won’t take long.

Now, practically speaking if there was truly nothing left for me and my family to live off of, I would need to go out and get a job right away – ANY job.

So that means working a retail job or securing an entry-level job in my children’s school district – it’s a good first step.

No one should be above taking whatever step is necessary to get started.

2. Land a job with a 401(k) match

But not all jobs are equal. Getting your first job is fine, but I would still want to get the right job.

I’d try to maximize my salary and find a company with a 401(k) match.

The combined employer/employee contribution limit is $69K. While it would be fairly impossible to reach that limit, reaching the individual limit of $23K + employer match is doable.

When you supercharge your 401 (k), you are not only lowering your taxable income, but you are setting yourself up for the future.

I maxed out my 401(k) for 5 years and I estimate that it will be worth $1.4M by the time I can withdraw it.

3. Lower my expenses

Once you get your income rolling in, then it would be time to get serious about lowering expenses.

I would do a top-down audit of our spending using my expense tracker spreadsheets.

Using that you can see what to cut and what to keep.

It would be pretty clear that anything extra or frivolous would go.

We don’t need Spotify, Disney+, a pool guy, cleaning people, etc.

Let’s face it most of us live off more luxuries than we really NEED, so it would be easy to cut some of these things and focus on the things that bring us real joy.

BUT we might have to take more drastic measures, such as downsizing, or moving to one car.

Anything would be on the table, though that doesn’t mean we wouldn’t figure out how to indulge a little. Because life is too short to go full frugal.

4. Change up Vacations

As much as I love traveling, starting over is serious business.

I would cancel upcoming vacations and change to more budget-conscious travel.

We’d vacation only to places we could drive to.

We’d lower our budget for hotels and Airbnb’s.

We’d go camping more and get creative to keep our travel budget down.

Finally, I’d haggle for prices to get everything down as low as possible (I already do that anyway).

5. Start a Side Hustle

Side hustles can be a big ticket to financial freedom.

They take time to build and years to amount to anything, but any added income can help to supercharge your wealth building.

And while I feel it often is better to focus on ONE income stream, most of my side hustles turned into something: either a job, a partnership or were sold off.

So why not? The upside is better than the downside – hell, I’d even consider delivering Uber Eats on my way to/from my job.

6. Build a $50k Emergency Fund

Not fun to have to rebuild it, but this would be my number one priority.

An emergency fund helps you to sleep at night, and for me, a comfortable number is $50k.

As you know, I love my cash. There are just too many good uses for it, but most of all it helps you to sleep better at night.

And after going to $0, boy do I need it!

7. Automate My Investments

Ok, so with my emergency fund loaded up, NOW it’s time to automate investments.

Frankly, you should do this with your emergency fund too. Load it up, then switch the automation to investments once you’re ready.

What better way is there to build wealth? You do it automatically, slowly, and with purpose.

So how does it work? You send money straight from your employer to your taxable investment account.

If you make $5,000 after taxes, but then automatically send $2,000 every month to your taxable investment account, then it’s pretty simple, you will live off $3,000.

You’ll make it work. I promise!

8. Get 8 hours of sleep

Not joking. You need between 7-9 hours of sleep to function properly.

I’m sure this would be a very stressful time, and that’s why I would prioritize sleep.

It’s just too important. Not only does it keep you healthier, but getting the proper amount of sleep helps you to perform at your best.

And to climb up the corporate ladder, I need/want my brain to be functioning in tip-top shape.

9. Stay fit and healthy

It would be easy to let myself go since everything just went to $0!

But NO it is more important than ever to stick to a workout schedule and stay fit and healthy.

Maybe I wouldn’t need to do 3,000 push-ups in a month, but I would certainly want to create some sort of workout regime.

Working out not only helps me sleep better at night but also assists in de-stressing. It’s a win-win!

10. Not lose sight of the bigger picture

It would truly suck to start over, but let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture.

The world didn’t end!

There is no big secret…wealth building is simply a matter of time.

With a high-paying job, 401(k) max, a solid emergency fund, lowered expenses, and automated investments, I believe could retire again in 10 years.

I’d use my Time to FIRE Spreadsheet to monitor and keep track of my progress.

It wouldn’t be easy, but it could be done.


Starting over at 39 wouldn’t be fun.

It would really suck.

But with this playbook, I could surely retire by 50!!!

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