One of the things we did before we headed to Panama was to change our state of domicile. If you’re not familiar with the term, your state of domicile refers to your principal place of residence. If you leave for a while, it’s what can be thought of as the place you would return to afterward. In other words, it might be considered your “home base” in the U.S. – your permanent place of residence. For snowbirds that head from Ohio to places like Florida during the winter, their home in Ohio would more than likely be their state of domicile. It’s also the state you’ll be taxed in for any income earned (though other states you reside it might
I don’t normally write book reviews on this blog, but I’m making an exception for the new Choose FI book. I was expecting my opinion to sway one way with the book but my impression after reading it went in a completely different direction. Chris Mamula is the author of Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence (along with coauthors Brad Barrett and Jonathan Mendonsa). If you’re not familiar with Chris, he retired in 2017 at the young age of 41 (beat me by two years!). He also spends a lot of time writing at the Can I Retire Yet? site. I met Chris at the FinCon conference in 2017 – such a nice guy! We didn’t get a chance
A couple of weeks ago, I brought up the idea of negative interest rates with my nine-year-old daughter, Faith. Yes, this might be something a little weird to talk about with your kid, but it piggy-backed off of our personal finance class during homeschooling. And of course, I kept it pretty high-level. I had kept it simple talking about how banks pay interest to people who store their money there. The banks then take that money and loan it out to others and charge a higher interest rate to them for things like buying a home. These concepts are important for kids to understand. Eventually, we can talk about some of the causes and effects, but for now, that’ll suffice.
I recently completed a transfer of our health savings account (HSA) from Health Equity to Fidelity. Today, I want to tell you why I made this move and explain the process. First off, if you aren’t familiar with health savings accounts, they’re one of the most valuable accounts you can have in your arsenal. I’ve talked about how an HSA is the best bang for your buck in that the account belongs to you and not your employer. Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), the money you have in it doesn’t expire after the plan year is over either. It’s yours for the long haul! Your money also goes in as pre-tax dollars, grows tax-free, AND is tax-free on withdrawal
By early 2017, we had finally built our net worth up to over a million dollars. It was a great feeling to reach that milestone, but it didn’t really change things for us – we just continued to follow our plan. When I left my job at the end of 2018, we had a net worth of about $1.1 million and, thanks to the bull market still pushing ahead, it’s roughly $1.2 million right now. I’ve written a few posts talking about the relevance of the infamous $1 million number: $1 Million Net Worth… Now What? Is One Million Dollars Enough to Retire On? Being a FIRE Millionaire Doesn’t Mean You’re Rich Some folks look at that as an amazing
I’m only 43 years old right now (Ok, fine – I’m pushing 44!). But this is still prime time to continue on with my career. If I were to keep working, I could build up an even bigger and more secure nest egg. So why don’t you do that? Why did you leave your job and retire early? Are you stupid or just lazy? Haha, talk about cutting to the chase! I actually love when others ask me questions about our plans because it gets the conversation going about financial independence. Personally, I don’t feel like everyone needs to retire early from their jobs. If you enjoy what you do, more power to you. But I do feel that financial