My Credit Score Dropped – Should I Worry?

My Credit Score Dropped – Should I Worry?

Should I be concerned that my credit score dropped recently? I mean, after all, your credit score helps financial institutions define your reliability in the world of finance.  It’s like your report card to see how you’re doing. A great score likely means you’ll get better rates when applying for a loan.  A bad credit score usually equates to a higher rate – if you’re able to get approved at all. I’ve always maintained a good score, even when I was in deep consumer debt back in the college years.  Even though I had a lot of credit card debt, I was still paying at least the minimum every month. Back when balance transfers were big with the credit card

After 20 Years on Quicken, I’m All-In on Personal Capital

After 20 Years on Quicken, I'm All-In on Personal Capital

I’ve been using the Personal Capital financial software now for the past few years.  However, I’ve only been dipping my toes in with it… until now. Quicken’s been my go-to software for just over 20 years.  I stumbled on it back in 1999 when I first started at the career I just retired from.  I was hired in as an engineer to fight the scary Y2K bug and Intuit was giving away their Quicken 98 software for free as a fix to anyone running older versions. I decided to install the software just to toy with it.  I entered in all my accounts and ended up being appalled at what I saw.  I owed about $30k in credit card debt and just

Money Throughout My Life

Money Throughout My Life

Money.  We all know its importance or you wouldn’t be reading this post. Whether you like it or not, it’s what the world runs on.  You could opt out of playing the game and become a hobo, but there are very few of us that can live happily ever after in that position. You can’t let money rule your life, but it’s important to understand its role.  Once you can control your capital instead of it controlling you, you’re one step closer to freedom. The old adage that “money can’t buy happiness” is only partially true.  It can’t directly buy you a life of bliss, but it can buy you freedom – and that freedom can give you the opportunity

There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

Everyone likes a secret, but a secret formula?  Even better! Now that we’re only a few months out from me quitting my job, we’re starting to share the news more with friends and family. A lot of them seem to be a little confused, but then we talk about our planned move to Panama and it takes most folks to a level beyond comprehension. Eventually though, we tend to get past that initial shock.  And then the “bold” ones out there muster up the courage to ask some questions. But most importantly, they want to know how we did it… What’s the secret formula for reaching financial independence? I think it’s a fair question. After all, people as a whole tend

Why You Truly Need to Get Out of Debt

Why You Truly Need to Get Out of Debt

It’s nothing new to hear that if you’re in the red, you should make it a priority to get out of debt. Let’s face it, debt sucks.  We all know it, but here in the U.S., we just can’t seem to stay away from it. NerdWallet states that the average household that has credit card debt is carrying a balance of $15,654… ouch. And that doesn’t even count other forms of debt – mortgages, car loans, student debt, etc. Ok, so what?  Is it really that big of a deal? If you’re in debt now and you’re reading blogs like Route to Retire, chances are you’re already working on digging yourself out. However, I implore you to push yourself to

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

We’re in an interesting cycle of the economy right now.  Things are looking good, which helps boost the value of your money.  When it comes to investments, stock prices and property values are generally up. And if you’re selling, that’s a good thing.  Retirees and folks selling their houses or some of their stock investments are partying it up during these times. However, if you’re still in the wealth-building phase of your life, this isn’t as exciting.  Sure, it makes your portfolio look good, but if you don’t need the money right now, it’s taking its toll on your buying power. Using your money to buy new shares in the stock market is expensive right now.  Expensive is a subjective word,