General Thoughts

Money Growing Up – I’m Not Taking a Paycheck This Month

Money Growing Up – I’m Not Taking a Paycheck This Month

Every family is different. And every family’s financial situation is different. Growing up in my family was unique as well. “I’m not taking a paycheck this month” were confusing words we’d hear periodically from my mom. We never fully understood what that meant or why at the time but we knew we’d be tighter on money for a little while. We weren’t poor but we were far from rich as well. Looking back, I would have thought we were lower-middle …

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Play the Hand You’re Dealt To Live the Life You Dream

Play the Hand You’re Dealt To Live the Life You Dream

If you sit on the sidelines and continue to fold instead of playing the hand you’re dealt, you’re never going to get ahead. This is true in poker, but it’s also true in life. It’s time to stop just going through the motions and work on making your dreams come true. I reflect on how much we’ve progressed the last decade or two and I’m amazed and proud of us. Seriously. I retired a couple of years ago at the …

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We Don’t Need More Money... But I Want It!

We Don’t Need More Money… But I Want It!

The guiding principle of the Financial Independence / Retire Early (FIRE) movement is to get to the point in life where you have enough and don’t need more money to cover your expenses. Once you pull that off, you’re golden. You’re now financially independent and never have to work another day in life again… if you don’t want to. It sounds great, right? And for someone that pulled it off at the age of 43 a couple of years ago, …

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Giving Myself Permission To Breathe

Giving Myself Permission To Breathe

After over 6 years of consistent blogging, it’s time to give myself some permission to breathe. Before I continue, know that I’m not done blogging – far from it. Writing on Route to Retire is something I still thoroughly enjoy doing and will continue to do for as long as that’s the case. However, it’s still something that takes a lot of time each week to do. And unfortunately, time is a finite resource for each and every one of …

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Designing Our New Life – The Power of Early Retirement

Designing Our New Life – The Power of Early Retirement

Change. I thrive on it. It’s the only way to continue to learn, grow, and become better. On the flip side, I think that complacency is just the path to a slow death. That’s why, as much as I know I’m going to miss Boquete, I’m excited to map out our new life for next year. We’ll be moving back to the U.S. in May of 2022. Although a year seems like a long way off, it’s time to start …

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Making Plans for the Future – Stay or Go?

Making Plans for the Future – Stay or Go?

Life is funny sometimes. We made plans for the future, retired early, sold everything we had, and then moved to Boquete, Panama in 2019. What are the chances a once-in-century pandemic hits shortly thereafter and throws everything out of whack? The odds can’t be very high I would guess. I’ll tell you what – it’s been one helluva ride so far. The first six months were pretty awesome. We got settled in, had the opportunity to be on House Hunters …

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To Truly Reach for the Stars, Challenge Herd Mentality

To Truly Reach for the Stars, Challenge Herd Mentality

I had a little bit of a strange realization the other day. We tell our kids, friends, and other family members that we support their dreams. We tell them to reach for the stars and they can be or do anything they want to in life. But guess what – those are just some empty words. Even though we say to reach for the stars, those words can be meaningless due to our actions. We push our kids to chase …

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Is Anyone Else’s Mental Health Still a Wreck?

Is Anyone Else’s Mental Health Still a Wreck?

What a year! And I figured that if my mental health is still a mess right now, then I’m sure some of you might be in the same boat. Before you get too concerned about me though and start telling me that I need to talk to someone… I’m fine. I’m just a lot more off-balance than usual. I feel like I’m exhausted all the time and just plain anxious. Anxiety is something new to me. I’m used to being …

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Racism and Privilege - My Naivety is Astounding!

Racism and Privilege – My Naivety is Astounding!

This post is truly a break from the norm for me. My knowledge of racism and privilege is both limited and skewed. I’ve never thought of myself as a racist or even privileged before. However, my eyes have been opening slowly to a world I wasn’t seeing – one that’s slanted in favor of white people like myself. I’ll be honest – this is a subject that I don’t feel comfortable addressing. As a white male, I’m hesitant that I’ll …

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46 More Unforgettable Quotes from My Daughter [Part 2]

46 More Unforgettable Quotes from My Daughter [Part 2]

Hello, friends!  I hope you enjoyed part 1 of the quotes from my daughter.  Those quotes were from when she was between ages 2 through 4. It’s time to share another batch of lines that struck me as worthwhile to jot down over the years. These quotes from Faith are from when she was age 5 up until now (age 9). During these goofy times with the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, a lot of things are out of whack from what we’re …

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