Showing posts from January, 2021

Review of Bushkill Falls and Grey Towers National Historic Site: Our travel notes

  Grey Towers, Milford, Pennsylvania  Welcome back! In this post, we’d like to share with you our recent trip to the Poconos area of Pennsylvania, more specifically, Bushkill Falls, in Bushkill, Pennsylvania, and Grey Towers National Historic Site, in the town of Milford, Pennsylvania. My wife and I (and our Pomeranian) took my parents on a 3 nights/4 days mini vacation.  We rented via AirBNB for this trip.  We paid about $150 per night to rent the whole house.  It had 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with a deck overlooking the wooded / mountainous backyard.   The drive from New York City to the Poconos is simply beautiful.  I have two favorite drives to mention:  first is crossing over on interstate I-80 New Jersey into Pennsylvania and the second is PA Route 209 which is a road that hugs the Delaware River.   The Delaware Water Gap and its surrounding hills are simply majestic.  Even during November, the fall foliage still had some life.  Colors were still mesmerizing!  The oranges, reds, gre

Importance of a savings account: Second in a series of financial tools to master

  This is a second in a series of financial tools to master:  a savings account.  We will be covering basic concepts of WHY a savings account is an important tool to master and how to open one.  In regards to early retirement, it’s vitally important to have money readily available via a savings account (liquid assets), in the event the stock market is in a bear market (prolonged price declines of around 20% or more from the highs).   If you’ve missed the first topic ‘Importance of a checking account...’ please click here . One of the the most important things to have is an emergency fund .  Why?  Well, a thing called life will find a way to surprise you (not always in a good way) when you least expect it.  Just when you’re humming along, enjoying life, it’ll throw a curveball at you!  Your car might break down, your checkup at the dentist becomes a major root canal, or your water heater goes out.  I’ve had all 3 things happen in my life, so I know what that feels like. It was so strang

Importance of having a checking account: First in a series of financial tools to master

  In this series of posts, I will be covering useful financial tools that have helped me to achieve my goal of early retirement.  I’m also writing this to help my nieces and nephews (and anyone else for that matter!) get a basic understanding of finance, in simplest way possible.   By the way, the word ‘finance’ is the managing, creating, and studying of money and investments.   First a little background: I don’t know about most of you, but I don’t think I ever had anyone sit me down to tell me what finance was.  My concept of money was whatever my parents said, which wasn’t much.  I remember my parents arguing over money more often than not, but they wouldn’t tell me anything about our family’s finances.  They wanted to shield me from so called ‘adult’ topics, and this was one of them.   School education was also lacking when it came to learning about finance.  There was no required course in high school or in college that prepared me for the real world.  Simply put, my knowledge abou

How to retire early (FIRE-financial independence retire early): A recent early retiree’s tips & advice

  Sunrise at the beach, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina  In my previous post, I had shared with you my final days leading up to my resignation and few days after that day.  I guess the last day working for a paycheck was Day One of my early retirement.  In this post, I’d like to share how I did this so someone reading this post can be inspired to follow. When someone thinks about money, he/she may automatically assume making more money is the ONLY goal.  This is partially true.  Simply making more money is only useful if someone can also manage other facets of their money matters.  If someone makes $100,000 per year, but spends $110,000 per year, then this person is actually not doing well financially.   This way of thinking was how I got into trouble.  I also assumed, like most people, that making more each year would work out in the end.  The problem with this way of thinking is flawed.  There’s something called ‘lifestyle creep’, which is when your way of living keeps up with your pa

Slow travel during the pandemic: Our observations and tips

  Sunset at Atlantic Beach, North Carolina My wife and I sold our home during the pandemic (August 2020), and we needed a place to stay long term.  We chose to travel and spend time with our family instead of looking for a permanent place of our own.  We chose Airbnb sublet eventually, and it’s working out great for now.  Here are our observations and our tips for traveling during the pandemic.   Observations: Once we knew our home’s closing date, we needed to start looking for a place to stay.  We looked into various travel booking websites, including Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire,, etc., but couldn’t find anything in our price range of around $800-$1000 per month.  What’s common with most travel websites is they almost always charge additional fees like taxes (state/county/municipality/hotel occupancy/travel surcharge, etc.), and resort fees.  Whereas a simple motel/hotel room may start at $30-$35 per night, with these fees tacked on, it may end up being close to $50+ per

What’s it like to hand in your resignation before retiring early? These are my chronicles...

Theodore Roosevelt nature trail, Pine Knoll Shores, NC Ever since I started working full time (since 1996), the thought of early retirement always seemed like a pipe dream.  I knew I wanted to do that some day, but to be honest, I couldn’t even balance my checkbook in the beginning.  I didn’t know how to retire nor how to plan for retirement.  For me, retirement was just some far away, intangible thing I should think about because everyone said so, but had really no drive or desire to understand how to get there. Having monthly bills like everyone else made planning for retirement an impossibility.  How could I put away money when I had $20000 in credit card bills?  I had bills to pay!  The rent, transportation, credit card bills, groceries, food, and feeling of missing out (or deserving something because I had a stressful week), had me living a paycheck to paycheck existence. It wasn’t until I had turned 35 years of age that I grew up.  Up until then, I had changed from one job to ano