How to Pay Yourself First

How to Pay Yourself First

Pay yourself first.  I’m sure we’ve all heard it a million times.  It’s simple and to the point.  If you want to build up your wealth, you need to pay yourself first. When I was a teenager, that mantra was something my grandfather used to preach to me repeatedly.  He was truly an inspiration to me – he retired when he was in his mid-forties and lived to be in his mid-nineties.  So when he would tell me something, I would pay attention. But, I didn’t really fully get it.  Pay yourself first? I mean I understood the idea that the more money you saved, the further ahead you would be.  However, if you had bills to pay, you had bills

A Fun Interview on Our Plans to Move to Panama

A Fun Interview on Our Plans to Move to Panama

Hey everyone – I just wanted to let you know that Laurie at The Three Year Experiment recently invited me to be interviewed on her series, “Location Independent, International Jobs.” I was excited to say yes and she hit me with all kinds of great questions (both financial and otherwise) regarding our plans to move to Panama in a couple years. Among other things, we talked about working or not working, schooling for my daughter, costs of living, and of course the great food! I think you’ll really enjoy the interview as we go into a number of points I haven’t discussed yet on this site. Please check it out and let me know what you think… Location Independence, International Jobs: Jim

What if Moving to Panama Sucks?

What if Moving to Panama Sucks?

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you know we’re moving to Panama in 2020 – Boquete, Panama to be specific. I’ll be quitting my job at the end of 2019 and then getting everything prepared and ready to go while my daughter finishes her fourth-grade year of school. To say we’re excited would be an understatement.  In the blink of an eye, everything’s changing.  We’ll have vast new territory to explore and no 9-5 jobs getting in the way of making it happen. I have that perfect vision in my head about us all having breakfast together in the morning before my daughter heads off to school.  Then my wife and I spend some time taking a nice

Can You Make Money Blogging? I Am.

Can You Make Money Blogging?  I Am.

Can you make money blogging?  It’s one of the first questions people tend to ask once they find out I have a blog. I’ve seen plenty of posts that make it sound like you can make a fortune by blogging.  Start a blog, put some ads on it, then just sit back enjoying piña coladas on the beach, while your steady flow of passive income rolls in. Jim, you’re giving me a look – are you saying there’s more to this?  Is it possible to make money blogging or not?! Easy… settle down – we’re all friends here. Unfortunately, it’s more than just a quick yes or no.  The answer is a little more complicated.   Yes, you can make

Is the 4% Rule Safe to Use in Retirement Planning?

Is the 4% Rule Safe to Use in Retirement Planning?

The 4% rule is probably one of the most well-known ideas in the FIRE (financial independence/early retirement) community.  It provides a way to put some actual numbers to your future needs. But is it safe to rely on this rule for your own retirement planning? Let’s start with digging in a little further on what the 4% rule is first…   Some background on the 4% rule The biggest focus folks have in retirement planning is how much money they need to have socked away.  Will it be enough to sustain them throughout the rest of their lives? If you build up a portfolio of investments over the years, your hope is that you can withdraw from that portfolio over

Personal and Financial Goals for 2018

Personal and Financial Goals for 2018

That’s right, folks – it’s time for me to set some goals for 2018.  Sure, it’s a little blasé, but it’s that time of year after all. So why do a blog post on goals I’m setting?  There’s one good reason – it keeps me accountable. I’ve always hated the idea of “writing down my goals.”  You’ve probably heard time and again that putting your goals on paper (or digital paper!) will help push you to make them happen… such a lame idea!! Except for one thing – it actually worked for me. I’ve held off from ever doing this in my past until last year.  Writing out my 2017 Personal and Financial Goals last year was my first time I ever caved