October 2014 Financial Update

After losing $50,000 in September, October started out looking just as ugly. By the middle of October we had lost another $50,000. However the last half of October made up for all those losses and left us substantially wealthier by month end. In terms of expenses, we didn’t do a lot of spending in October other than the ordinary monthly bills.
With $2,619 of income in October, we more than covered our $1,383 in spending. The excess of income over expenses of $1,200 or so was dwarfed by tens of thousands in investment gains.

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The Ultimate Gift: Your Paycheck

Most people would say the pinnacle of life is when you score a top level job in your field, when your kids are born, when you land a full ride to college or sign a multi-million dollar contract with your favorite sports team. Achieving financial independence (FI) in life is typically an afterthought. That is why we see hundreds of celebrities and lottery winners squandering their money and years later filing for bankruptcy. Just look at MC Hammer, Kim Basinger and Michael Jackson.

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Root of Good on Radical Personal Finance Podcast

I was lucky enough to be invited on the Radical Personal Finance podcast last week. The host, Joshua Sheats, “interviews others to learn from their success, to hear what they’re doing and how they’re winning.”

During the interview, Joshua points out that retiring at 33 is kind of radical and asks me to explain to an audience not indoctrinated into the Financial Independence / Retire Early world how it’s possible to retire that early. I do my best, but you’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out how successful I was.

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Case Study: High Earning Attorneys Shun High Spending Lifestyle

After graduating from law school ten years ago, Jane has practiced as an attorney and ended up in Washington, DC married to another attorney. Most 30-something attorneys working at big law firms in big cities are making a ton of money and spending most of it living the high life.

Jane and her husband made the conscious decision to split from the herd of her high-spending colleagues and do the bizarre. They paid down huge law school debts, saved boatloads of money, tactically bought a home at fire sale prices, and carefully managed their expenses and investments to bring about a certain level of financial independence in their mid-30’s. Though they won’t be retiring early immediately, their money savvy behavior will allow them to execute a “coup de career” very soon so they can get back to living life on their own terms.

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September 2014 Financial Update

September. An ugly month for our investments, but an awesomely fun month for us. After making $33,000 in August, we gave it all back and then some in September by lopping $50,000 off our net worth. Our spending was roughly in line with our budget in spite of almost $2,000 in unplanned vacation expenses (the “awesomely fun” part).

With $6,125 of income in September, we more than covered our $2,802 in spending. More than half of our income came in the form of dividends and interest from our investment portfolio.

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Root of Good Interview On The Voluntary Life Podcast

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Jake Desyllas and discuss the financial moves and life decisions that put me in a position to retire by age 33. Jake runs The Voluntary Life podcast, which features over 160 podcasts recorded to date that cover entrepreneurship, financial independence, and freedom among other topics.

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Team Dixie Chickens!

High Adventure Early Retirement – Part 1

Hesitating in the doorway of my mother’s hospital room, I’m distracted by the usual thoughts in such situations, like hoping she’s getting over the pneumonia (she is, and is discharged the following day) and wishing that hospitals didn’t smell so weird, so I was unprepared for the white-coated person standing idly in the room chatting with Mom. Ever proud of our travels, Mom immediately announces to the Physician’s Assistant that this is her daughter who is traveling around the world in a school bus.

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