Year: 2019

5 Life Lessons from Our First Year of Early Retirement

It’s time to share some life lessons I’ve gone through in my first year of early retirement. Exactly one year ago today, I was at the office on the last day I would ever work in my career again.  It was New Year’s Eve, 2018 and it was the day before my retirement officially began at the sweet age of 43. My career in IT started back in 1999 and lasted almost 20 years.  I started as an unexperienced Systems …

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Our Return Trip to Panama – How We Saved Thousands

This return trip to Panama is well overdue.  We had a blast, but we’re whupped and ready to get back home (we’re finally starting to get comfortable calling Panama “home”). We spent over a month in the U.S. enjoying time with friends and family.  Then we took a roundtrip Caribbean cruise out of Miami. Who’da thunk that we’d be ready to go home after so much fun?!  But we really are – it’s time to enjoy the holidays together and …

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The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

Doing a Roth conversion can be the key to a successful FIRE (financial independence, retire early) strategy.  That’s definitely the case for us. By doing some financial planning, this one move is allowing us to access money in our pre-tax retirement accounts with no penalty and the ability to pay little to no tax when it happens. Today, I’m going to take you through some more details on what a Roth conversion is and why it’s so valuable.  I’ll also …

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We Got Turned Down for a Credit Card… Ok, Four!

Yeah, getting turned down for a credit card isn’t a good feeling. It doesn’t matter that Lisa and I each have credit scores of over 800.  It doesn’t matter that we have plenty of credit cards already and don’t really need another. We also have more of an unused credit line spanned across all our cards than we’ll never need.  And then, of course, there’s that little piece of info that we’ve saved up enough money that we never have …

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How and Why We Changed Our State of Domicile

One of the things we did before we headed to Panama was to change our state of domicile. If you’re not familiar with the term, your state of domicile refers to your principal place of residence.  If you leave for a while, it’s what can be thought of as the place you would return to afterward. In other words, it might be considered your “home base” in the U.S. – your permanent place of residence. For snowbirds that head from …

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What the FIRE Movement Means to Me

What the FIRE Movement Means to Me

I recently came across a question in the FinCon Community Facebook Group relating to the FIRE movement (financial independence / retire early).  It was asked by Jeff Rose, creator of the Good Financial Cents site. If you’re not a member of the FinCon Facebook group, you likely won’t be able to access this link.  However, the question asked was “Who disagrees with the FIRE movement and why?” The post drew quite a number of comments that spanned all sorts of …

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Uh-Oh… Our Retirement Expenses Are Higher than Expected

Retirement expenses are a tough one to plan for in life. You can budget for what you think your expenses will be, but you really don’t know if they’ll be more or less.  The biggest reason is that your life will likely be dramatically different at the time. This is probably even more on par the younger you are when you leave the workforce because you’re likely not going to be resting on your laurels.  Not only would you be …

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The What-Ifs of Moving to a Different Country

Recently, my friend Lisa from the Mad Money Monster blog wrote about the “what ifs” on moving to a different country.  It was appropriately titled The What Ifs of International Geoarbitrage And Early Retirement. There’s a lot of talk on the Internet, particularly in the personal finance community, about the idea of geoarbitrage.  That’s the strategy of moving to another location, domestic or abroad, to take advantage of the lower cost-of-living and move ahead financially or possibly retire early. It …

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The Biggest Secret the Library Offers to Enrich Your Life

The Biggest Secret the Library Offers to Enrich Your Life

Oh, the times they are a-changin’.  I don’t think Bob Dylan was talking about the library in his early ’60s song, but boy oh boy, libraries are much different than they were when I was a kid. Of course, you have the obvious stuff like digital card catalogs and the ability to use the computers if you need Internet access.  Heck, I even used them over the past year during those unusual times I needed to print something (I haven’t …

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One of the Absolute Best Facets of Early Retirement

A lot of you have been following FIRE (financial independence, retire early) blogs as you continue down your own path toward financial freedom.  And the numbers to reach FI (financial independence) are important, but what about the early retirement side of things? Some of you will continue to work and just want FI to ensure a secure retirement.  If you love what you do, that’s the best scenario you can have.  Congratulations! But others of you want to get out …

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