Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE)

You Gotta Spend Money To Make Money, Right? Our Monster Travel Experiment

You Gotta Spend Money To Make Money, Right? Our Monster Travel Experiment

We all know the saying “You gotta spend money to make money.” I’ve never bought into that but with this major change we’re making, I’ve really got my fingers crossed that it’ll run true. You see, my family and I made a big decision not even a month ago. We’ve decided to wrap up the lease to our apartment here in Ohio later this summer, put our stuff in storage, and travel around the country with an RV travel trailer […]

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Limited Time, Unlimited Dreams: 3 Steps to an Extraordinary Life

Limited Time, Unlimited Dreams: 3 Steps to an Extraordinary Life

As I find my way closer to 50 (I’ll be 48 in a couple of months), I’m starting to see those small changes creeping up that I thought only happen to old people. Oh crap, am I old?!! Out of nowhere, my eyes have gotten a little weaker – both near and far! I can see close-up pretty well most of the time but I finally broke down and bought some readers for nighttime reading. The same goes for distance.

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Rekindling the Eye of the Tiger - Escaping Mediocrity

Rekindling the Eye of the Tiger – Escaping Mediocrity

We all know that life’s got its highs and lows. When you’re riding one of those highs, life can’t get any better. You feel that all your hard work has paid off and you’re sitting on top of the world. But when those lows come, they can be like a sucker punch that takes you completely by surprise. Occasionally, those times can make you feel there’s no way out either. As someone who tends to have higher-than-high and lower-than-low temperaments

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Master the Art of Anticipation: How Travel Planning Can Double Your Vacation Fun!

Master the Art of Anticipation: How Travel Planning Can Double Your Vacation Fun!

It’s hard not to enjoy a good vacation… a chance to get away from the “same old” just for a little while. Traveling can be an opportunity to visit places you’ve never been, see new sites, meet interesting people, and maybe even try some different foods! Whether traveling just a short distance away, flying to another country, or cruising around the world, just the idea of travel gets the vacation-goer chomping at the bit. And that’s what’s so interesting –

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There Shouldn't Be Boredom in Retirement or You're Doing It Wrong

There Shouldn’t Be Boredom in Retirement or You’re Doing It Wrong

I recently went out with some good friends of mine – one I’ve been friends with since high school and two since college. They’re great guys and it’s always fun when the stars align and the four of us can get together. As always, we reminisced and laughed about all the hijinx and fun from the old days, talked about what’s currently been going on in each other’s lives, and delved into plans for the future. And of course, we

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The Art of Self-Improvement: My Journey to Living a Healthier Lifestyle

The Art of Self-Improvement: My Journey to Living a Healthier Lifestyle

Living a healthier lifestyle is something I think almost all of us want to make happen. Whether it’s exercising more, eating better, or aiming for better mental health, we all know that living a healthier lifestyle helps put us on track for a longer and happier life. But… @#$% happens. And by that, I mean life tends to get in the way. Things like lack of time or energy, stress at work, or even social pressure tend to make us

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A Wake-Up Call: Our Annual Expenses in Retirement for the Past 4 Years

A Wake-Up Call: Our Annual Expenses in Retirement for the Past 4 Years

In my post a couple of weeks ago, A Month-Long Panama Trip for 3 for an Unbeatable Price of Less than $1,500!, a reader named Ian asked in the comments what our expenses in retirement have been – both in the U.S. and while we lived in Panama. It was a good comment because he hit the nail on the head. I sometimes give a ballpark on what our bucket strategy is allowing us to spend each year… but I

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Squeezing Out Higher Returns – 5 Minutes of Work for Short-Term Gains

Squeezing Out Higher Returns – 5 Minutes of Work for Short-Term Gains

Being aware of opportunity can be extremely valuable in building your nest egg. This doesn’t mean veering from the path – sticking to your investment plan is highly important to growth. You put the money in (broad-based index funds for this guy) and then just leave it alone to do its thing… with some regular rebalancing once or twice a year. But what about taking advantage of higher returns for the short term? As early retirees, we get our annual

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The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2022

The 10 Most Popular Posts of 2022

Last year, I wrote a wrap-up post with the 10 most popular posts of the year. It was an idea I borrowed from my friend Fritz over at The Retirement Manifesto (with his permission, of course). I liked that idea so much that I’m running with it again this year. And guess what – Fritz did it again as well and beat me to the punch! If you’re interested (and you should be!), you can check out his post appropriately

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ETFs vs Mutual Funds… Why I'm All-In on ETFs

ETFs vs Mutual Funds… Why I’m All-In on ETFs

In my last post, Opening the Books to Our Investment Portfolio, I broke down our entire portfolio. This included every holding and the values of each (rounded slightly just for security). This turned out to be a pretty popular post and generated a little bit of fun discussion – both in the comments and through email several email conversations I had with readers. One fair comment was about why I choose to buy the Vanguard ETF VTI instead of the

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