Self-Employment

The 2 Big Reasons We’re Moving Back From Panama… and What’s Next!

I’ve been regularly putting my entire life out there publicly on this blog since 2015. So when someone is surprised to find out we’re moving back to the U.S. from Panama, I’m sometimes confused for a second… doesn’t everyone follow our journey on this site every week? Of course not! Though you should be! 😉 When friends ask us about why we’re moving back, I usually fill them in. And when blog-reading friends ask us why we’re moving back, I …

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Should I Get a Job Now as a Hedge for Tomorrow?

Should I Get a Job Now as a Hedge for Tomorrow?

Get a job???? Isn’t this a site focusing on financial independence and the option to retire early? Easy, tiger – no need to come out fighting right off the rip. Don’t get out your pitchforks to tell me that we didn’t retire with enough money. This is more of a hypothetical than anything. I’m confident that we have enough money to last us the rest of our lives. Our net worth has actually grown dramatically since I retired at the …

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Doing Your Own Taxes and Planning… or Die Trying!

Doing Your Own Taxes and Planning… or Die Trying!

I’ve bounced back and forth over the years in preparing my own taxes or having a CPA handle the job. If you’re using TurboTax, H&R Block’s software, TaxSlayer, TaxAct, or some other software when doing your own taxes, you’re already familiar with how they’re relatively easy to use (except when they’re not). But if you’re trying to do financial planning along the way that might affect your taxes, running solo can be a struggle if you don’t know the ins …

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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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Switching to Ezoic Increased My Ad Income by 628%!

Switching to Ezoic Increased My Ad Income by 628%!

I switched the ads on my website from Google AdSense to Ezoic a few months ago and I have to say that I’m astounded by the results! Seeing an increase in ad revenue of over 7x what I was making before is pretty crazy. Let’s start with this though – I’m not a big-time blogger. If you think this site was the catalyst for us to reach early retirement… yeah, not so much. The money we’re talking about is still …

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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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Is FIRE the Finish Line or Just the Beginning?

Looking back on my own path to financial independence, I treated the whole thing like a race in my mind.  Reaching the finish line was the utmost important goal. As I continued to make more money every year through raises, I saved more and more.  But the other side of the equation is cutting expenses… and cut expenses we did! In my mind, if it wasn’t a necessity, I really had to think about if it made sense to spend …

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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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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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Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

Estimated Self-Employment Tax Used to Scare Me!

I’m just going to say it – I have three very small businesses that I’ve been running for years and I’ve never paid estimated self-employment tax payments. Ouch, for shame, for shame! That’s right, I’m a complete failure in that avenue.  And that could have cost me, too. If you owe $1,000 or more come tax day in April, you might be hit with a penalty by the IRS.  In essence, it’s an interest penalty on the difference of what …

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