Only You Can Change Your Circumstances

Only You Can Change Your Circumstances

Some guys have all the luck.  Things just seem to work out for some people and not for others.  Such is life.  After all, you can’t change your circumstances… can you? Hmm, that’s a question worth digging into – can you change your circumstances in life? I’ve always had this weird fascination about how cool it would be to take someone from the past (like from the 1700’s or 1800’s) and bring them to the present. Yeah, I’m a weirdo – deal with it. But, imagine their awe at some of the technology we have today.  There’s so much we take for granted… computers really are an astounding feat. If we just look at smartphones as one facet of technology, it’s almost

Guest Post on ESI Money: How to Get Up the Nerve to Retire

Guest Post on ESI Money: How to Get Up the Nerve to Retire

Hey, regular readers – just thought I’d drop a quick note to let you know about a guest post that I recently did on getting the nerve to retire early. John at ESI Money reached out to me recently to let me know that a number of his readers had a concern.  The problem they were having is that they were close to early retirement but have been unable to pull the trigger. Since he knew that I’m close to actually leaving my job for good in just a few months (woo-hoo!), he thought I’d be the right guy to write a post on the subject. Sounded like a great idea and a lot of fun, so I made it

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Early retirement planning.  You’d think the closer we get to our FIRE date, the simpler things would become. I mean really – I’m leaving my job in just a few months so as I continue to train my replacement, my workload should start to diminish over time.  Plus, we’re downsizing to an apartment soon (if we could ever sell our house!). What else could there be, Jim?  How much early retirement planning do you really need?  Didn’t you already get these plans laid out months or years ago? I’ll tell you what – I read a lot of personal finance blogs with folks who’ve already left their jobs and it seems like the majority of what I read is: 1) Reach

Why Is It So Uncomfortable to Say I’m Retiring Early?

Why Is It So Uncomfortable to Say I’m Retiring Early?

The idea of retiring early is something that most folks in the personal finance and FIRE world understand.  When I tell people in the community that I’m retiring early at the age of 43, they say “good for you” and move on. Nevertheless, when friends or family ask me what we’re planning to do once we move to Panama (that is after they get past the idea that we’re moving to Panama!), it gets a little weird. Ok, it gets a little weird, but really just for me.  I hem and haw and then say something along of the lines of… “Well, uh, I’ve been working on building up my blog for a while and that’s starting to generate some

Travel Rewards – 12 Free Flights Earned in 9 Months!

Travel Rewards - 12 Free Flights Earned in 9 Months!

You ever see those offers from the credit card companies with the big juicy sign-up bonuses?  They might be offering 50,000 points or miles in travel rewards for spending maybe $3,000 in the first few months. If you’re like I used to be, you get those offers in the mail and just tear ’em up and pitch ’em.  Those jerks aren’t suckering me into their little trap of overspending my hard-earned money for a lousy plane ticket or hotel stay! Yeah, well that was then.  Back in my college days, I got my first credit cards and ran up about $30k in credit card debt.  It took me years to realize just how screwed I was and work my way