As our economy changes due to the changes in how we work, live and play, I believe that the future will be about creating multiple income streams and not relying on just your career. If you look at the proliferation of marketplaces that can help to monetise anything from your parking space (ParkAtMyHouse.com), your empty rooms (AirBnB), your space time (TaskRabbit.com), your ability to teach an expertise (Skillshare.com) etc, it is not impossible to build these multiple income streams using the Internet as your leverage.
For me, my early retirement plan focuses on building enough income streams to sustain my cost of living, which is not cheap if you look at this post that details my monthly spending. It is my way of getting back my time. That is the only resource that is non replenish-able!
My multiple income streams will come from the following:
Income from blogs
I run a couple of these currently off my spare time. They are making meUSD1.5k per month but it has been reduced to about USD500-700 ((Updated august 2012)) due to a lost of traffic. I might explain why later on if readers have an interest but for now, I just want to put on record what is my income from these blogs.
Income from domain investment
I recently started putting some money into buying domains for investments. If you don’t know what is domain, it is the web address that all websites have. For example, my site is called earlyretirementdiary.com and that is my domain.
Domain investing started around the late 1990s. It was an era when you can buy super premium domain names such as Property.com, Chocolate.com, Creditcard.com for about USD100 per name. Prices have of course risen by a factor of a million times since then. In fact, domains are the fastest growing asset classes when you compare them to real estate, stocks, gold etc. If you are interested to see what prices are domain names commanding, you can take a look at this domain sales chart as an example.
The reason why domain prices have skyrocketed is due to their scarity. Of course, you can say that anybody can still register a domain name today for USD10 but the truly meaningful ones are getting rare. Anybody can register a name like donkey1234.com but these types of names doesn’t have value. A truly valuable name is one that conveys meaning and one that can be used by businesses to assist them in their branding. In fact, the best domain names are ones that have a call to action such as getrich.com, buyflowers.com, investgold.com. I will be saying more about how the values of domains in a future post.
With prices so high, is there room for a new domain investor like myself to make money? Well, this is what I am going to find out. My belief is that anyone can still make money of buying and selling meaningful domain names. Let’s look at real estate. For property buyers of today, it is impossible to buy a property in District 9 for anything less than a million dollars. Does this mean that we can’t make money off property anymore? Of course not! As long as there is new demand generated for years to come, property prices will continue to rise. Domain investing works the same way. Although you can’t buy meaningful domain names for cheap anymore, it doesn’t mean you can’t make money off them. As long as you can buy low and sell high, you can always expect a good return on your domain investment.
Income from an online business
I am starting something this year. I am not ready to talk about yet as it is still early but I hope this business can add at least USD2-3k to my pockets in 2014 when it matures.
WIth these different options, I hope I can generate enough monthly income streams to facilitate my early retirement. If you want to retire early, always have a plan to create income stream to avoid depleting your emergency or empty nest fund.