You Don’t Need to be Rich to be Financially Independent!!

When I was in my twenties, I had this vision that I would be very rich.  Rich, rich, rich!!  I thought I needed to have all the money in the world if I was ever going to be done working. I mean, how else can you retire if you aren’t rich and sipping champagne on a yacht near your own private island in the Caribbean somewhere??!! Now, although that vision coming to fruition would be great, it took me until the past …

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How to Access Your 401(k) Money Penalty-Free

The majority of my net worth is tied up in my 401(k).  The reason, if you remember, is that my employer gives me an unlimited 35% match on my plan. This makes it hard to pass up the free money. However, it makes it a lot harder to get to that money when retiring early. When I was younger, I really just planned on having millions… being rich would just carry me into retirement.  However, after digging more into things …

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Save It All… or Spend It All?

As my brother and I got older, we both gained a good understanding of how important money really is in our society.  We both made sure that we worked our way up into solid-paying jobs and we continue to pull in more income where possible.  He went after and gained his real estate license on top of his regular career to help bring in additional money.  I went the landlord route to chase after long-term cash flow. However, we like to laugh at how …

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Panama

Is Panama the Right Place to Retire?

I’ve been trying to figure out a good place to retire that’s not, well… Ohio!!  I’ve lived in Ohio for most of my life and it’s done well for me, but why live in a place that ever snows?!! The answer is simply that I have roots here… friends, family, stable job, and so on.  Pulling the trigger to move out of your comfort zone is a tough thing for most of us to do.  And the problem is that once you have kids, they start …

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Dividend Stocks

Make Dividend Stocks a Part of Your Portfolio

As I continue to build up some passive income to help carry me once I retire, I’m taking a second look at dividend stocks. If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know that I think rental property can be an important part of your portfolio, but I don’t want to solely count on that for passive income. I’m not completely new to dividend stocks, but I’m definitely not the expert. I look at Jason at Dividend Mantra and …

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Birthday Cake

Happy 40th Birthday to Me!!!

Well, I’m about to hit the big FOUR-OH this month.  Happy birthday to me! 🙂  So with that, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share my goals and plans I have for the next ten years. If you’ve read my “about” page (Time to Make the Donuts), you know that my goal is to retire at (or hopefully before) the age of 50.  To some of you that might seem like a pretty good feat, and to others, it might seem like …

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Financially Smart Friends

Why You Need Financially Smart Friends

I think about money and retirement a lot.  I believe it’s important that we communicate with one another to share our thoughts on money with friends.  This can help you determine if you’re on the same track as your peers or to learn ideas that can help you save or generate more money. Discussing money can help you to brainstorm financial problems that you might otherwise not have figured out on your own. So why is it that my friends …

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Things I Should Be Doing Instead of Working…

I thought it might be time to take a little break from the serious stuff and discuss something a little more fun.  In all reality, this articles relates to the entire point of this site and what I’m trying to accomplish in life.  Early retirement is extremely important, but if you don’t know why you want it, you might not enjoy the free time when it happens.  So without further ado, here are the… Things I Should Be Doing Instead of Working… Playtime with my …

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Do You Have a Mentor?

Do You Have a Financial Mentor?

I’ve learned the importance of having a mentor over the years.  We all make mistakes and hopefully we are able to learn from them.  However, when you have a mentor to help guide you, you can take out some of the mistakes before you make them because you are aware of what the mistakes might be. Many of us have mentors that we don’t get to actually talk to – these are usually famous people who have the same ideals …

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401(k)s, Roth IRAs, Roth 401(k)s, Oh My!!! [Part 3]

If you’ve read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, you might already be maxing out your company’s match on your 401(k) plan and putting the rest in a Roth IRA.  Well, now it’s time we look at something even better… the holy grail of retirement plans – the Roth 401(k)!! Ah, the Roth 401(k) – that elusive unicorn… I know you’re out there somewhere! I’m still waiting to see the Roth 401(k) become available at my company, but that …

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