Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Strategies We’re Using in Our Early Retirement Planning

Early retirement planning.  You’d think the closer we get to our FIRE date, the simpler things would become. I mean really – I’m leaving my job in just a few months so as I continue to train my replacement, my workload should start to diminish over time.  Plus, we’re downsizing to an apartment soon (if we could ever sell our house!). What else could there be, Jim?  How much early retirement planning do you really need?  Didn’t you already get these plans laid out months or years ago? I’ll tell you what – I read a lot of personal finance blogs with folks who’ve already left their jobs and it seems like the majority of what I read is: 1) Reach

There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

There is a Secret Formula to FI, But It Ain’t No Secret!

Everyone likes a secret, but a secret formula?  Even better! Now that we’re only a few months out from me quitting my job, we’re starting to share the news more with friends and family. A lot of them seem to be a little confused, but then we talk about our planned move to Panama and it takes most folks to a level beyond comprehension. Eventually though, we tend to get past that initial shock.  And then the “bold” ones out there muster up the courage to ask some questions. But most importantly, they want to know how we did it… What’s the secret formula for reaching financial independence? I think it’s a fair question. After all, people as a whole tend

Why the Rich Get Richer

Why the Rich Get Richer

Have you ever heard the saying “the rich get richer”? It’s the go-to cry of the American working man and woman against the inequality that seems to arise when more fortune seems to fall on the wealthy. I started thinking about that saying recently and you know what?  I think it’s true. It’s not that hard to see that the middle class is slowly being squeezed out.  Wages for middle-class Americans have been relatively stagnant while prices continue to rise. On the flip side, the wealth of the top 1% continues to grow to tremendously disproportionate levels. But why is that – is there a reason that the rich get richer? The more I thought about it, the more I

The Three-Year Blog Post… Finance Lessons Learned

The Three-Year Blog Post… Finance Lessons Learned

3 years.  That’s what this blog post marks… three years of blogging on Route to Retire. For new bloggers, this might sound like a long time.  However, I look at some of the others out there who have been doing this for over a decade – like J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly or J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy.  It’s then that I realize I’m still somewhat of a rookie in the blogosphere. I’ve consistently posted a minimum of once a week (haven’t missed a week yet!) and I’ve seen a steady increase in both readers and blog income. On last year’s anniversary, I talked about what I’ve learned about blogging.  That seemed to help a lot of newer bloggers out.

Adjusting My Asset Allocation… Tastes Great, Less Filling

Adjusting My Asset Allocation… Tastes Great, Less Filling

This might be sacrilegious to say in a personal finance blog, but I’ve never really paid that much attention to my asset allocation. Yeah, yeah, quit your mumblings about what a terrible personal finance blogger I am. What it really comes down to is that I just kept saving and investing.  It was as if I just kept shoveling dirt into a pile and never looked up. Then one day I looked at the pile and went, “Huh?  Oh, hey, that’s pretty nice.” I built up a nice nest egg over the years by just saving and investing in a pretty haphazard way.  This isn’t a horrible thing, but it’s far from the most efficient way of planning for our future.

Is the 4% Rule Safe to Use in Retirement Planning?

Is the 4% Rule Safe to Use in Retirement Planning?

The 4% rule is probably one of the most well-known ideas in the FIRE (financial independence/early retirement) community.  It provides a way to put some actual numbers to your future needs. But is it safe to rely on this rule for your own retirement planning? Let’s start with digging in a little further on what the 4% rule is first…   Some background on the 4% rule The biggest focus folks have in retirement planning is how much money they need to have socked away.  Will it be enough to sustain them throughout the rest of their lives? If you build up a portfolio of investments over the years, your hope is that you can withdraw from that portfolio over