Retired at 33. I'm here to share some financial wisdom with everyone.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: The Killing Fields and A Royal Palace

Welcome back to another edition of Root of Good Travels the World. This time we’re recapping a slice of our seven week Southeast Asia vacation. After departing Saigon, Vietnam, we traveled for six hours to the heart of Cambodia, the capital city of Phnom Penh, where we spent a week touring around town. 

Phnom Penh is hard to summarize. There are towering high rise buildings and shiny shopping malls right alongside extreme poverty and squalor. But the city is thriving with activity everywhere we turned.

While in Phnom Penh we visited temples and palaces, caught an Apsara Cambodian dance show, and visited several sites memorializing the nation’s great losses suffered under the genocidal Khmer Rouge Communist dictatorship. 

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September 2019 Financial Update

Summer is officially over and fall is here (finally). Between the heat and humidity of our summer vacation in Southeast Asia and the excessively warm September in North Carolina, I’m definitely ready for cooler weather. Fall, my favorite time of the year, means more pleasant outdoor weather for lounging in the hammock and exploring the woods on foot and by bike.

September was a lazy month for us. I got in several nice bike rides, played a bunch of video games, and read a few books. I’m a big fan of leisurely pastimes in early retirement in case you haven’t noticed!

Financially, September was a really good month. Our net worth climbed by $45,000 to reach $2,123,000 by month end. Our income was very strong at $8,462 while our expenses were a puny $979 for the month. If every month were like September, then soon we’d be rich! 

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August 2019 Financial Update – Back to School Edition

Here we are days away from the official start of fall. We are fully recovered from our eight week vacation in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. After we landed in Raleigh, we were immediately busy with back to school shopping for supplies and clothes and several rounds of school orientations now that each of our kids attend a different school. Throw a teenager’s birthday party/sleepover into the mix and it made for a very busy August. 

Now that the kids are back in school, the adults of the Root of Good household get to take a breather. Our daily schedule shifts from the summertime routine of waking up, touring temples and palaces, and gorging on street food to the school year routine of waking up, walking one kid to school, then returning home to sip coffee for as long as we want.   

Financially, last month was a mixed bag. Our net worth dropped by $34,000 to end the month at $2,078,000. Income was better than average at $3,968 while expenses remained modest at $1,995 for the month of August. Any month where income greatly exceeds expenses is a win as far as I’m concerned. Small fluctuations in the stock market don’t mean anything in terms of long term financial success for early retirement.

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Vietnam: From Saigon High Rises to the Mekong Delta

What do you do when you save a bunch of money and retire at 33? Spend months at a time traveling the world of course!

This summer we spent eight weeks exploring the temples, palaces, and waterways of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand in Southeast Asia. 

In today’s article, we cover the first segment of the trip where we visited two cities in Vietnam. After a looooong flight from the East Coast of the USA, we landed in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, where we stayed for eight nights. Then we visited Can Tho, Vietnam in the Mekong River Delta region for a three night stay. After leaving the Mekong Delta, we headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (with a short one night pit stop in Ho Chi Minh City en route).

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July 2019 Financial Update – Exploring Cambodia and Thailand Edition

The Root of Good family just got back to the US after an eight week adventure in Southeast Asia. We spent the month of July split between Cambodia and Thailand. 

Now that we’re rested up and mostly recovered from the jet lag, I wanted to take a break from life and share our July financials before we get busy with all the back to school activities coming up soon.

Our net worth dropped ever so slightly from $2,114,000 to $2,112,000 (a $2,000 drop). Income remained strong at $2,777 for the month of July, while our expenses remained moderate at $1,961. 

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June 2019 Financial Update – Exploring Vietnam Edition

June was an incredibly busy month for the Root of Good family. We spent the first half of the month at home in Raleigh wrapping up the school year for the kids. Then we relaxed for a few days before packing our bags for our big eight week summer vacation in Southeast Asia. 

We spent the second half of June in Vietnam where we visited Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Can Tho, a smaller city in the Mekong Delta region. I’ll have a more in depth update of that part of our trip in a future post, but read on to get a glimpse into the trip so far. 

While we were hitting the road and discovering new parts of the world, our finances did a great job of taking care of themselves. June was a huge success financially. Our net worth climbed $92,000 to reach $2,114,000. Our income was strong at $8,412 for the month while our expenses totaled $4,343. 

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Quit Like a Millionaire

Today we have a guest post from Kristy from the blog Millennial Revolution.

“Anyone can become FI with a 6-figure salary!”

“Financially independent?! If you’re not American and privileged, forget it!”

“Try to become FI if you are living on $30K a year while raising a family! HA!”

These are some of the biggest criticisms of the FIRE movement. Apparently, we’re all a bunch of rich assholes and there’s no way you can become financially independent if you weren’t born with privilege.

I get it. Seeing other people succeed is excruciating when you’re struggling. It’s easier to dismiss their accomplishments so you can feel better. I was there. I used to be a hater too.

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May 2019 Financial Update – Lazy May Daze Edition

May was another successful month of early retirement. We took it easy and enjoyed a relatively slow month of leisure with family and friends. I spent a few days being a “real” blogger and influencer by attending Camp FI in Virginia where I gave a presentation titled “FIRE for Fun!”.  That makes me a real blogger, right? 

Our finances were a mixed bag in May. Our net worth dropped precipitously by $87,000 to end the month at $2,022,000. Fortunately our cash flow situation was much better. Income remained decent at $3,438 while our expenses dropped significantly to only $752 for the month of May. When income exceeds outflow, you can’t worry about finances too much!

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April 2019 Financial Update – Cuba Cruise Edition

Time flies when you’re having fun! We’re almost half way through May and I’m just now updating our April financial snapshot. We have been vacationing, volunteering, and enjoying the wonderful springtime weather. What can I say? I’m retired and don’t always have time to focus on this blog! 

We had a great financial month during April. Our net worth climbed $47,000 to $2,109,000 thanks to great stock market returns. Our income for the month remained strong at $4,794 while our expenses were rather low at $1,591. 

Here is a more detailed look at our April finances along with some pictures to show what the life of an early retiree looks like. 

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March 2019 Financial Update – Springtime Pollen Edition

Spring is definitely here in Raleigh. Warm afternoon temperatures bring us outside while green clouds of pollen filling the air push us back inside. And everything is in bloom! 

We had a busy March as you’ll see in this article. April will be no different. We are just a few days away from departing for our one week cruise to Jamaica, Mexico, and Cuba. When we return, the last week of April will be filled with volunteering at our kid’s school all week and a big birthday party to close out the month. 

Our March financials look great. Net worth climbed $13,000 to $2,062,000. Our spending remained low at $2,299 while our income continued to be strong at $4,553. We just wrapped up another month where income greatly exceeded spending.

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