Real Estate

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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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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Boquete, Panama Places to Live… We Found a Rental!

Looking at places to live in Panama is kind of an adventure.  There are a lot of nuances you need to be aware of or you could end up very unhappy. For instance, if you don’t know to ask, you could get a place that has what they lovingly refer to as “suicide showers” here.  And by that, they mean that it doesn’t have hot water! A lot of the local Panamanians here are used to that and that’s just …

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How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

How to Get a Million Dollars for Your Nest Egg

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 …

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8 Financial Tips I Wish I Knew When I Was in My 20’s

My nephew recently started reading this blog and it got me thinking.  What would be valuable information for him as a reader?  What do I wish I knew when I was younger? He’s almost 20 years old and he just started a career in construction probably close to a couple of years ago.  At his age, I know I wasn’t very smart financially.  Don’t get me wrong – I thought I was, but looking back, I made some stupid decisions. …

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Selling a House... It's the Reason I'll Never Buy Another

Selling a House… It’s the Reason I’ll Never Buy Another

Selling a house.  Selling our house.  It sounded easy enough and we needed to consider doing that as part of our plan to move to Panama next summer. We thought about keeping it and renting it out, but after discussing the options with our financial advisor, it actually made more sense to sell it.  We have a lot of equity in it and we’ll need that money to cover our first five years during our Roth IRA conversion ladder. That said, …

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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 …

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Buying an Investment Property? Here's Why I Sold Mine

Buying an Investment Property? Here’s Why I Sold Mine

Buying an investment property might be one of the smartest things you can do… if you do it right. Most of my money is in the stock market because of the ease of investing in it, the company match offered, and other incentives.  However, I don’t fully trust it. The biggest reason why is that you don’t really have control over what happens.  Sure, you can choose your specific investments, but it’s not up to you to determine if that …

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Property Management Companies – Why I’m Firing Mine

Ah, property management companies – the answer to anyone wanting to get into real estate without the headaches, right? The thought makes sense.  Rental properties are a great way to help diversify your investment portfolio and earn a solid cash flow. The only problem… managing the properties. Now, some folks like the idea of running the operation and handling any repairs themselves.  The good news is that they tend to make more money on their properties every month since they’re …

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