Investments

The Recession - The Ultimate Test for Early Retirees

The Recession – The Ultimate Test for Early Retirees

Well boys and girls, like it or not, we’re soon to be in a recession – if we’re not there already. The COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic appears to be the black swan event that became the catalyst for the downfall of one heckuva long bull market. To try to contain the virus and flatten the curve, many businesses were ordered to shut down temporarily.  In many places, bars, wineries, breweries, and restaurants (sometimes with the exception of takeout or delivery) were forced …

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My 2¢ on the Coronavirus, Stock Market, and Other Fun

Well, folks, between the fear of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the roller coaster of a stock market, life has really changed for us all in the blink of an eye.  For some, it may be some minor inconveniences and for others, it could be a real punch in the face. I initially wasn’t going to write a post on this because I figured that everyone and their brother are already on it.  However, sometimes it’s good to hear different perspectives.  …

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Net Income on Our Duplex Last Year… Negative $7,400!!

I might not be the smartest businessman, but I keep thinking that a negative net income in regards to your rental property for the year is not good. And just over $7,400 in the red makes it so much worse! Ouch, what the hell happened?! This duplex was supposed to be another stream of income that would help level out the bumps from rockiness in the stock market over the coming years.  Last year though, proved to be a particularly …

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Portfolio Rebalancing - Get Your Asset Allocation in Line

Portfolio Rebalancing: Get Your Asset Allocation in Line

I’ve never done a portfolio rebalancing on my resting investments.  As I’ve made money moves over the last few years to get prepared for early retirement, that’s helped me to rebalance accordingly at those times. However, this was my first shot at actively doing a portfolio rebalancing just because it was time. All the smart financial folks out there will tell you that rebalancing is an important part of maintaining your investments.  The problem is that those folks don’t usually …

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FI and Early Retirement… Could It All Come Crashing Down?

I’m not going to lie – being FI (financially independent) is a truly awesome feeling.  To realize that you don’t need to work again if you don’t want to takes such a massive weight off of your shoulders. But if you take it to the next level and throw in early retirement, you’re now solely depending on whatever you’ve put in place to sustain that financial independence. That’s scary.  No, I mean, that’s really scary. If you continue to work, you …

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Make Your Money Work for You Instead of Vice Versa

I think I first heard the mantra of “make your money work for you” when I was a kid.  I’d also guess that it was my grandfather who preached it.  He was able to retire in his mid-40’s before the term FIRE (financial independence / retire early) was even coined. But it took me years to really understand what that meant.  And even once I thought I got it, I still assumed it was just some pipe dream that only …

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The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

The Roth Conversion Strategy Guide for Early Retirees

Doing a Roth conversion can be the key to a successful FIRE (financial independence, retire early) strategy.  That’s definitely the case for us. By doing some financial planning, this one move is allowing us to access money in our pre-tax retirement accounts with no penalty and the ability to pay little to no tax when it happens. Today, I’m going to take you through some more details on what a Roth conversion is and why it’s so valuable.  I’ll also …

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How and Why We Changed Our State of Domicile

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 …

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Book Review: Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

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 …

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Do Low and Negative Interest Rates Scare You?

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 …

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