Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE)

Why Not One More? Transform Your Life!

Why Not One More? Transform Your Life!

I realized something while working out recently – something important to understand. There’s one thing that keeps many of us from achieving extraordinary things in life. It’s the difference between average and exceptional – just two simple words… One more. Imagine lifting a set of dumbbells and you plan to do 12 in your set. When you get to 12, what’s stopping you from doing one more? It might not sound like much, but if you consistently raise the reps […]

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ACA Subsidies Mean We Only Pay $227.34/Mo for Our Family of 3

ACA Subsidies Mean We Only Pay $227.34/Mo for Our Family of 3

I talked last year about how we planned to keep our health insurance costs low once we moved back to the U.S. from Panama. Well, that time is now and I wanted to share how ACA subsidies have enabled us to keep our costs even lower than anticipated. One of the toughest areas to plan for in early retirement is health insurance. Finding quality health care coverage at an affordable price to tide you over until Medicare eligibility at 65

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Lisa’s Now a Secret Shopper… Is This Legit or Even Worthwhile?

Lisa’s Now a Secret Shopper… Is This Legit or Even Worthwhile?

Have you ever heard of those mythical jobs where you’re hired to go into a store or restaurant as a customer and then report back and get paid? Generally, that person is known as a secret shopper or a mystery shopper. Yeah, well, here’s a little treat – they’re real. I had forwarded over a link to Lisa for a company called Market Force Information that acts as a liaison for this exact purpose. Sure enough, after Lisa dug into

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We’re on a Bus to Costa Rica Right Now! Here’s Why…

We’re on a Bus to Costa Rica Right Now! Here’s Why…

You read that right… I’m typing this entire blog post while on a bus to Costa Rica. We took a taxi from our home in Boquete, Panama to David (also in Panama). Then we got on a Tracopa bus around 9 am that’s taking us all the way to San José, Costa Rica. By the time it’s done, we’ll have been on this bus to Costa Rica for probably 8-9 hours. You might think of this as a grueling day,

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The Rent vs Buy Dilemma… Does It Matter?

The Rent vs Buy Dilemma… Does It Matter?

One of the most debated topics in the personal finance space revolves around the question of rent vs buy. On one side of the fence, you have the folks marching to the beat of, “You’re throwing money away when you rent… when you buy, you have something to show for it down the line.” And on the other side of the fence are those that say, “Yeah, but renting can cost a lot less money with excess to be invested…

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For a Better Life, Turn Your "I Can’t" Into an "I Can"

For a Better Life, Turn Your “I Can’t” Into an “I Can”

It’s a little surreal for me to reflect on my life and see how far we’ve come. By far, I feel we now have a better life than I could have ever imagined. We’re financially independent and no longer report to “the man.” We’ve taken advantage of our early retirement freedom to spend more time being a part of our daughter’s life as she grows up, We’ve all stepped out of our comfort zone and have been living in Panama

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Should I Get a Job Now as a Hedge for Tomorrow?

Should I Get a Job Now as a Hedge for Tomorrow?

Get a job???? Isn’t this a site focusing on financial independence and the option to retire early? Easy, tiger – no need to come out fighting right off the rip. Don’t get out your pitchforks to tell me that we didn’t retire with enough money. This is more of a hypothetical than anything. I’m confident that we have enough money to last us the rest of our lives. Our net worth has actually grown dramatically since I retired at the

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Is This Down Stock Market Problematic as an Early Retiree?

Is This Down Stock Market Problematic as an Early Retiree?

A down stock market? Is that true? Yeah, unless you haven’t been paying attention, the market’s been on a not-so-fun ride lately in the direction that most folks tend to fear. Most of last week was a stressful week for investors. By the end of the day Wednesday, 02/23/2022, all gains in the S&P 500 since 06/21/2021 had been completely erased. Thursday and Friday produced a pretty big uptick but not enough to compensate for the downward spiral the beginning

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Stop Counting Pennies and Focus on the Dollars

Stop Counting Pennies and Focus on the Dollars

I have this problem where I’m always counting pennies in my head. Not literally, but rather that I’m always conscientious of all our spending… to a fault. Don’t get me wrong, being mindful of what you’re spending is a good thing. If you don’t know what you’re spending, it can become very difficult to get ahead. The problem, however, is that counting pennies isn’t as important as focusing on the bigger money. In other words, saving a few extra dollars

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Why Early Retirement Isn’t Just About Escaping a Sh*tty Job

Why Early Retirement Isn’t Just About Escaping a Sh*tty Job

It seems that more and more folks in the FIRE (financial independence / retire early) community are jumping on the bandwagon of bashing the idea of early retirement… because early retirement now somehow conveys a negative connotation. I even heard some of my favorite hosts talking about this recently on a very popular podcast. The message was basically that early retirement is bad and if you don’t like your job, early retirement isn’t the answer – find a job you

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