We’re almost there. For years, my wife and I have been aggressively saving towards our goal of early retirement, and according to our plan, things are right on track. Maybe too well … As an engineer by trade, I know the value of building in a good safety margin to your plan. And right now, ours has a pretty large one! But having taken some pretty important steps forward lately with estate planning, all of this has got me thinking: What if retirement (or even early retirement at that) is just the beginning? What planning for retirement is like standing in an art gallery and focusing on just one single picture in front of you? But when we take a step back, we realize there’s a WHOLE wall in this gallery we could have … [Read more...] about Thinking BIGGER Than Early Retirement – Could You Build a Financial Legacy?
Philosophy & Motivation
One of the sensational headlines I often see tossed around is the notion that the "American Dream" is dead, and that it’s impossible for the average person to “get ahead” anymore. But is that really true? Are we all really being held back by some invisible force, or has our idea of what the American Dream should be just become so skewed that we’re chasing after something that never really existed in the first place? The Origin of the American Dream The term “the American Dream” is credited to James Truslow Adams who wrote in 1931: "Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.” America was seen … [Read more...] about The American Dream Isn’t Dead, It’s Just Different Now
As the year comes to a close and I become another year wiser, I realize more and more how secondary money really is in the grand scheme of life. “Most of us” know this to be true about all the cliché things like bigger homes, more expensive cars, luxury jewelry, and so on. But what’s harder to define is that grey area in the middle … the place between having just enough for both now and the future, but not compromising our other priorities in life. This is a difficult line to walk. In general, a lot of us believe that striving to work harder and earn more is a good thing. Most of the time it is … so long as we are not missing the mark completely. Want to know what I’m talking about? Hop in the car and go visit the local … [Read more...] about Planting the Seeds of Human Capital: Your Greatest Investment
Go to the theater and the message is clear: Everyone LOVES super hero movies! Disney is practically printing money using the success of the Marvel studio franchises. Since Iron Man, they’ve made over $10 billion dollars! And Warner Bros is no fool either. They hope to capture some of that market share with their upcoming line-up of DC-based comic book action movies. So, what exactly is the draw to these movies? Why are they so irresistible? And what makes us have to rush out on opening day with the whole family to spend +$50 and be the first to see them? I’m Batman! When I was a kid, my favorite super-hero, by far, was Batman. I was right about at that tender age of 9 when the Tim Burton mega-hit was released back … [Read more...] about Batman and Money – The Connection and What We Can Learn From It
It has been about two weeks now since my family and I took the big plunge and moved into our new home. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, this move was all about priorities – the most important ones being close to my children’s schools and my wife’s work. In addition to relocating our home lives, my working life also took a dramatic turn. I was offered a great job opportunity by one of my former clients at a location that was within a reasonable commute to my new house. With little hesitation, I sprung at the opening and have now switched jobs. I’m sure I don’t need to tell anyone that leaving your house of 11 years and your job of 12 years doesn’t come without some sort of apprehension or uncertainty. As human beings and … [Read more...] about Embrace Your Fear of Change and Overcome It
I have some very exciting news to share … As of my last PET scan, my cancerous tumor is gone! Finally! My cancer is in remission! Last Thursday was also my last treatment of chemotherapy. Even though I’m thankful the infusions got rid of my cancer, I am SO glad for that whole process to finally be over! From here on out it’s going to be CT scans every 6 months for the next 5 years. As you can bet, I’ll have my fingers and toes crossed every single time that I get nothing but good news. Cancer Really is a Silent Killer: Throughout this whole experience cancer has been a very mysterious thing. It sneaks in on you when you least expect it and then does nothing but completely consumes your life once you discover … [Read more...] about Cancer Update – The Battle is Won!
One of the fun things to think about when it comes to investing is what happens when your assets reach critical mass – the point at which your money is self-sustaining. Generally that’s when your compounded returns are so large that they could support you if you were to suddenly stop working. Most of the time the goal for retirement is to reach this point and have our finances start to take care of us. BUT … for fun, let’s consider what would happen if we didn’t. Let’s suppose you had accumulated $1 million dollars by the time you had intended to retire. But being financially savvy, you decided to work just one extra year. Now let’s assume that during that “extra year”, your assets grossed another average 10% return, and now … [Read more...] about What Would You Do with $100,000 if You Waited One More Year to Retire?
I just wanted to give everyone another quick update on my fight with cancer. Things have been going fairly well so far, although I’m starting to feel more of the cumulative effects of chemo. This past week was somewhat of a milestone for me – I’m officially halfway through my treatments! Within the next few weeks I’m scheduled for a PET scan where they will be able to tell just how much my tumor has shrunk. Our fingers are crossed for some good news! Aside from the actual treatments themselves, I can tell you this – in the days of post-recovery after chemo, you get a lot of time to think and reflect on what’s going on. I’ve determined that having cancer is like being a part of a club or group you were never asked to join and … [Read more...] about 14 Week Cancer Update and My Thoughts on Dying