General Thoughts

3 Attainable Characteristics That Drastically Improved My Quality of Life

3 Attainable Characteristics That Drastically Improved My Quality of Life

None of us are perfect. That’s life and we all know it. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to improve our quality of life. That applies to us physically, mentally, and spiritually. Doing so can make you healthier, stronger, smarter, and happier. I have this innate tendency to not become complacent. I want to continually work on bettering my quality of life. I want to become the best person I can be. I know that I’ll never be able …

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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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Companion Flies Free With the Southwest Credit Card for a Year!

Companion Flies Free With the Southwest Credit Card for a Year!

A few months ago, I wrote a post titled The #1 Easy Way We’re Getting the Southwest Companion Pass. I detailed the strategy we’re in the process of going through using a Southwest credit card (or maybe two) to get the Southwest Companion Pass. If you’re not familiar, the Southwest Companion Pass is a benefit earned that then allows you to book a friend with you for free on every Southwest flight you book. You still have to pay a …

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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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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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