Tis the Season of Thankfulness


This week we celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, so I’d like to take a moment to briefly reflect on what I’m most thankful for.

We are days away from hosting almost 30 people for Thanksgiving at our house. I’m very thankful we have ample wealth to pay for all the food and fixings without putting a dent in our budget. I’m also thankful we don’t have to work so that we have plenty of time to cook all the good food we’ll be enjoying. I’m thankful that both of our immediate families live in town, making getting together a lot easier and less stressful for all.

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How Early Retirement Affects Social Security

lounging in the lake

This week I’m jumping into the inner workings of Social Security to answer a question about the impact of early retirement on how much Social Security early retirees will qualify for.

The usual question is: “Yeah but if you retire early you won’t get hardly any social security and you’ll be poor when you’re older. You should keep working till a reasonable age like 67 so you can earn a good Social Security payment”. Okay, grammarians, I confess. That’s not really a question but rather a complaint in the form of a declarative sentence followed by another declarative sentence.

The short answer is that the complainant has no clue how Social Security works, because early retirees typically qualify for really great SS benefits given how little they work. The long answer involves bend points and understanding the progressive nature of the Social Security system. And math.

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Zero To Millionaire in Ten Years


Financial voyeurs of the world, rejoice! I dug out all our old tax returns, pay stubs, and my net worth spreadsheet to pull together the story of our ten year journey from nearly zero net worth to millionaire status (and early retirement).

This post answers a lot of questions like: How much did we earn? Did we have six figure incomes all of our careers? Did we work for a start up and make a million when our employer went IPO? Did we get lucky picking stocks?

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October 2015 Financial Update


October is over and our investment portfolio decided to celebrate Halloween by giving us a treat after offering nothing but tricks the last couple of months. Our net worth rose by $93,000 fueled by a recovery in the stock market. With $7,715 in income and only $1,015 in expenses, we’re still making way more than we spend each month.

I’ll have to make this monthly financial update relatively short since my ten year old requested a pre-bedtime game of Monopoly and I’m running out time. How can I turn down the opportunity to teach my kids about buying assets, leveraging those assets to generate income, and trying to bankrupt the competition by building hotels that they can’t afford to rent?

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