Guest Interview on Financially Alert

Guest Interview on Financially Alert

Michael Quan started his blog, Financially Alert, right about the same time as I started Route to Retire (early 2015). The big difference is that Michael was already financially independent when his blog came out.  He crushed it and retired from the corporate world at 36 in 2012… how cool is that?! I think we’ve followed each others’ journeys since our sites came out.  We finally had an opportunity to meet at the FinCon personal finance conference a couple of years ago.  Good news – he’s just as nice in person as he comes off on the Financially Alert blog! Last spring, Michael asked if I would be interested in being part of his “Finding FI” interview series.  Unfortunately, we were

Make Your Money Work for You Instead of Vice Versa

Make Your Money Work for You Instead of Vice Versa

I think I first heard the mantra of “make your money work for you” when I was a kid.  I’d also guess that it was my grandfather who preached it.  He was able to retire in his mid-40’s before the term FIRE (financial independence / retire early) was even coined. But it took me years to really understand what that meant.  And even once I thought I got it, I still assumed it was just some pipe dream that only the rich could appreciate. Over the years though, I started to dig myself out of the credit card debt I was in.  Then I started saving.  And then I started saving even more and more. Eventually, I began to make

5 Life Lessons from Our First Year of Early Retirement

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 Engineer, but with training and experience, I became a confident engineer over the first handful of years.  Then in 2005, I was promoted to be the manager of the engineers, which I did for the remainder of my career. It’s

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 share with you the steps we took in making it happen.   What is a Roth conversion? A Roth conversion (more formally known as a Roth IRA conversion) is simply a matter of moving all or part of the money

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 opinions and it made for some interesting reading.  Some comments I nodded my head to while others I disagreed with. Regardless, it got me thinking about my own path in life.  FIRE was a very important component of my life

The What-Ifs of Moving to a Different Country

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 was a great post!  I love it because it raises a lot of questions that many people are thinking when they even consider geoarbitrage.  And she wasn’t trying to say whether or not moving to a different country is good