Blogs/Links

waterfallI visit these sites on a routine basis.  All provide solid and reliable content that is interesting (to me).

early-retirement.org I have posted on this forum for almost ten years.  The general participant is seeking a fully funded retirement way before hitting age 65.  Excellent advice on investing, taxes, living off your investments, and all things financial.  For financial independence sites, this one caters to a relatively well to do crowd, with ample millionaires or millionaires in the making ambling the halls.  As an added bonus, they don’t neglect the softer points like the psychology of retirement and of pursuing an unconventional path in life.

mrmoneymustache.com Great tips on living frugally and simply without sacrificing quality of life.  Good compromise of focusing on building wealth yet living the good life (in a frugal manner of course!).

earlyretirementextreme.com The extreme frugality blog/site that borders on self deprivation.  In terms of lifestyle/net worth hard-coreism, this is the far end (the deep end?) of the early retirement blog/site spectrum.  The target audience would feel plenty comfortable retiring way early (in their 30’s or 40’s) by living in a used 1972 Volkswagen van and having nothing more than a five figure investment portfolio and a few 50 pound sacks of beans or rice.

retireby40.org Joe at Retireby40 is in a very similar set of circumstances as I am, so naturally I identify with what he writes about.  30-something stay at home dad that is close to reaching financial independence.

madFIentist.com The Mad FIentist not only has a wonderfully clever portmanteau for his blog name, but continues his clever ways by discussing key topics such as (legal) tax strategies, geographical arbitrage, and travel hacking.  Interesting topics and quality writing.

gocurrycracker.com Jeremy and Winnie at Go Curry Cracker are traveling the world and living off their savings.  Read more about their adventures and experiences as they enjoy their location independent lifestyle to the fullest.

fiology.com David from Fiology teaches all the basics of financial independence in easily digestible lessons.

economist.com News from around the world.  Relatively free of bias in reporting.

firecalc.com An online retirement calculator where you put in what you got, what you want to spend,  and when you want to retire and it calculates your chance of having a financially successful retirement.  It is also customizable for advanced users doing more in depth analysis.

bogleheads.org Great investment forum if you want to learn more about low cost investing.  Posters tend to be knowledgeable, although erudite and academic at times.

moneychimp.com I like their financial calculators.  Clean and simple.

Feel free to share other online resources that can be helpful to me or others in their pursuit of wealth and happiness.


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31 comments

  1. Thanks for putting together these resources. Will be checking them out.

    It’s obvious that your success in retiring early is not random. You’ve been at this for quite some time – 10yrs of participating in Early Retirement forums, and sticking through your investing at difficult times. Slow and Steady wins the race. I like that.

  2. Hi, I am a new reader to your blog and have enjoyed it very much thus far. I am currently 54 and looking to retire at 57, my income will come from a small company pension and rental properties I own and manage. I currently have health insurance from my employer, but will loose that when I retire. So, I am curious about health insurance after I retire. How are you covering health insurance for your family? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Don

    1. Hey Don! For health insurance, we are currently insured through my wife’s health insurance through her job (she’s still “working” though on a 3 month paid sabbatical at the moment).

      Once her employment ends (probably sooner rather than later) we’ll be jumping on the Health Insurance Exchange at healthcare.gov. Our family of five will qualify for some steep subsidies through the Affordable Care Act. Married couples can get a subsidy even if they make around $60,000 per year as I outline in this article.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for quick response. I thought Obamacare might be the answer, but wanted to double check, Have any of your readers commented concerning Obamacare, like or dislike it?
    Don

    1. I haven’t heard much negative from actual applicants that received health insurance through the exchanges and/or received subsidies. Most of the criticism comes from the political level of folks disagreeing with the program.

      I have heard from a number of people who now have insurance who either couldn’t afford it before or couldn’t get full coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Since the first few months of the exchange opening in late 2013, I haven’t heard a lot of complaints from the technical end, although there have been a few “I had to call and call again to get something straightened out”. In other words, exactly like applying for any kind of insurance or financial product – sometimes there are questions and hoops to jump through.

      In my own research, our current doctors are all participants in the Exchange plans I’ve looked at (inexpensive silver plans). Even the state’s Medicaid for Kids (CHIP) program includes our current doctors and dentist in network.

  4. Hi, I recently found this wonderful FI community and paradigm. I’ve been consumed by all these magnificent blogs and I’ve been following you. I’m so jealous you’re in Mexico City! This is my favorite time of the year with afternoon rains and cool nights!
    I’ve always been carefully with money and have to thank my late father for teaching me early finances. My husband and I moved to the U.S. 20 years ago and have been able to accomplish many thing compared with our friends who stared a carrer earlier having being born and raised in the U.S. I stared saving for retirement early in my career, but had to stop contributing after having kids, losing my consulting job, and switching to a lower paying job. we have a small stash of around $100k saved in ROTHs and 403B. We will both have a pension that will likely cover our expenses. I am currently looking at retiring in 5 years, in my early 50s. At that time, my kids will be graduating HS and our house will be paid off. Next year we will plan to save my husband’s salary and live off of mine. I need some advice about what to do with that money: 1) pay off our house in 2 years and not investing or saving for retirement; 2) contribute the max to my 403B and one ROTH; 3) continue the max to both ROTHs, 529s and the reminder to my 403B; 4) put part of that money in taxable accounts so we can live off and travel until we can tap into our retirement accounts. I really appreciate your insights.

    1. It sounds like you’ll have enough in pensions to cover your expenses after you retire early in your 50’s. If that’s the case, then you are pretty well set.

      As for where to put additional contributions the next 5 years pre-retirement, if it were me I would focus on paying off the house over those 5 years so you have more free cash flow in retirement. After that, you just need to figure out which tax pots fit your spending plan best. If you want money accessible in your early 50’s you’ll have to avoid the 10% early withdrawal penalty. If you have access to a 457 plan (many government employees do) then you can contribute to that, get an immediate tax deduction, then pull from that account penalty free at any age (just pay taxes).

      Beyond that advice, I’ll point you to a couple articles I’ve written on accessing money before 59.5 and saving on taxes. We are planning on a Roth IRA Conversion Ladder that will let us pull money out of traditional IRAs in our 30’s without paying a penalty for early withdrawal. And while working, we always maxed out retirement accounts to take advantage of tax breaks, thereby reducing our tax bill to $150 on a $150,000 income.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Justin- I appreciate your reply. We work for a school district so I will have to check if they support 457s -they’ve changed program administrators in the past two years. What is your thinking about 403Bs? I’ve heard both negative and positive. My concern is that our retirement income (via pensions) may put us in a high tax bracket (including investments and rentals) that accessing my money from my 403b will aggravate the situation instead of helping. Hence, if I don’t put my money in tax deferred accounts, Im not bale to benefit from tax savings because I will be putting our money in IRAs. Do you think that a 457 will better than a 403b in my situation? Thanks!

        1. The main advantage of a 457 is the ability to withdraw without a penalty at any time. I have about 2 years of living expenses in my 457 account and I can withdraw those funds any time I want and only owe tax (no penalty).

          As for 403 plans, they vary a lot. It can save you a lot on taxes now, but if you’re in a higher tax bracket later due to pension income, then you will end up paying more taxes overall.

  5. Good recommendations! I’ve found many of these sites interesting and useful and I’ve utilized your list on more than one occasion while searching for some good reads.

    -DP

  6. This is a great list of inspiring blogs.
    I love the idea behind early retirement.
    If I can turn my blog into a profit I’d love to join you guys:)

    Thanks!

  7. Can we put our full faith in the stock market over the next 5, 10, or 15 years? It seems the reason a lot of FIRE people were able to achieve their success has been the market’s monumental comeback over the last six years. But can it continue? I would like to achieve FIRE within 10 years but I’m not so sure we’ll get the same gains. Thoughts anyone? Mike Carmel, NY

    1. 5 years? No.

      10 years? Maybe.

      15+ years? Probably.

      Longer time in the market leads to higher chances of it doing well. I’m planning on a 40+ year time horizon so short term fluctuations in the next 5 years don’t matter much.

  8. With the market in a holding pattern, what are people doing with their money? I’ve temporarily cashed out of equities and my balances are in money market funds. I’m just afraid the market is going to take a nose dive. I plan to get back in when things are more stable. What are others out there doing during this time of uncertainty? Thanks..Mike, Carmel, NY

    1. I wish you luck! I suck at predicting which way the market is going so I’m sticking with my long term asset allocation. The market might be down next month or next year, but I bet it will be up in 10-20 years.

    2. Difficult to time the market. It’s gone up quite a bit since your post. I’ve stopped buying somewhat and I’m stashing some cash. not trying to time the market, it is at all time highs though.

  9. Solid list! Thank you.

    I, too, am on the path to early retirement. My system has been to save money and then buy income-producing assets. It really does become a game to keep finding new ways to save even a few dollars here and there. But, my motto is: it all adds up. With that in mind, I save where I can, eliminate as much spending as possible, and sock that money away.

    NDQ

  10. Excellent list, thanks Justin! Anyone who is interested in learning more about FIRE should also check out the /r/financialindependence and /r/personalfinance SubReddits for active well-informed and like-minded communities. Michael Kitces’ blog at kitces.com is also a fantastic resource, though primarily intended for professional financial advisors.

  11. I love this list and really appreciate it. These are all great resources. I just started tracking my path to early retirement and financial freedom as well. Hope to keep reading your posts to help me along the way!

  12. Great list of blogs. Lots of inspiration!

    I hope to an inspiration to others as well, as I document my journey to financial freedom. I’m investing through less known (maybe more modern) investment vehicles. It involves a little more risk but the earnings potential is also higher (10% – 15% p.a.).

  13. Great List!
    Thanks for inspiring new aspirants like me. I just dawned on the concept of FIRE and looked over my finances only to discover that I was already financially independent at 37! I’ll pull the plug soon. I’ve already cut down some. Thank you!

  14. Hello-
    Great job on your retirement planning. I am basically in the same boat as you with my retirement savings, IRAs, stock and mutual funds with Fidelity and Vangaurd and dollar cost averaging over a period of approx 35 years. I am 59 yo and I have just left my job with over 1.2 mill in investments not including property. My question is: Are you still fully invested in the stock market or have you diversified into other asset classes such as bonds, CDs, Annuties etc? I was also wondering, in the event of a market correction, how you would offset that with paying your monthly bills. I have pulled out of numerous stock funds and re-balanced into CDs and Bond funds to keep my investments more stabilized and take a more conservative approach. Would you agree with my strategy considering my age?

    Thanks in advance!
    Best!

    1. Your approach sounds good to me! I went from 100% stocks in 2017 to a slightly more conservative 10% allocation to bonds/cash/CDs. I missed the top by a little bit but I sleep well at night πŸ™‚

      As for source of funds, I spend my dividends and have some income from this blog too. That about covers our living expenses so I usually don’t have to sell and dip into principle. I’d cash in CDs and sell bonds to fund living expenses in a down market (if required).

  15. I can’t believe anyone would rent from AirBNB. I had a horrific experience with AirBNB and WILL NEVER USE AIRBNB EVER AGAIN! They are a complaint rip-off. I paid for a luxury rental and had 7 days of hell with alarms ringing 3 nights at 1-3am, no hot water for days, door handles installed backwards injuring children and the list goes on. AVOID AIRBNB!!!!

    1. We have stayed in a couple dozen airbnbs and only had one bad experience. Now we know what to avoid (the cheapest 20% of properties and those without good positive reviews). We’ve definitely had crappy experiences in hotels too!

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