Showing posts from April, 2021

Importance of a significant other’s role in your path to FIRE (financial independence retire early)

  Leonardo Da Vinci:  “Life without love is no life at all.” My wife and I are recent early retirees at ages 51 and 48.  We have been on this journey to reach financial independence and to retire early for the past 10 years or so.  We finally reached that on August 2020.  Since August, we’ve been traveling to various locations in the eastern parts of the United States with our companion, a Pomeranian dog named Toby. In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts on the importance of a significant other’s role in reaching financial independence and to retire early. My wife and I met in college in New York City.  I remember telling her that she looked like the partying type (she was pretty!)  I loved her reaction when I told her that (she couldn’t believe I had said that to someone who just met).  I had literally met her for the first time in the second floor cafeteria that day.  I guess I wasn’t very socially aware... For whatever reason, I just knew she was someone I could see myself marr

Review of Zion National Park: Our travel notes and tips

Zion National Park  Zion National Park is Utah’s first national park.  It encompasses 229 square miles and is located in southwest corner of the state of Utah, in the town of Springdale.   Zion National Park is 163 miles from Las Vegas, NV and it should take about 2 hours and 45 minutes by car.  Zion is world renowned for massive sandstone cliffs, slot canyons, and for hiking trails.   My wife and I drove on an early Friday morning during our stay in Las Vegas, to Zion National Park.  Let me start by saying the drive to Utah is incredible.  After about 30 minutes of driving outside of Las Vegas city limits, the roads really open up.  The speed limit will reach up to 75 miles per hour. Our rental car for the trip, a Mustang convertible, was more than up to task for our drive there.  When the roads got curvy, Mustang was ready for action.  It was planted to the road and it had more than enough juice to get to passing speeds on the wide open roads.  I will always remember the beautiful vi

Save for retirement or pay off debt? A recent early retiree’s thoughts...

  Ringing Rocks Park, Hollidaysburg, PA Recently, I heard from my niece with some awesome news that she managed to pay off $10,000 in student loans!  I congratulated her on her awesome achievement at her young age of 21!  Frankly, at her age, it’s not uncommon to spend, then spend some more, to live the ‘FOMO’ (fear of missing out) lifestyle. I take partial credit as I always tried to teach her about finance, but this was mostly on her.  She still has to make the decision to follow through on her commitment to do this.  And for that, I am very proud of what she was able to accomplish! The question to pay off debt vs saving for retirement is a very popular question that most seriously financially minded people would surely have asked at least once in their journey, to achieve financial independence. In my opinion, the short answer is:  you should pay off debt and save for retirement.  You can’t ignore one or the other, as both are equally important... This is what I’d like to suggest:

Review of Beaufort, NC (North Carolina) waterfront and historic site

  Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina  Welcome back!  My wife and I (and our Pomeranian dog) have been slow traveling across the eastern parts of the United States since our early retirement in August 2020.  We’ve spent a month in Ocean City, Maryland and spent 3 months in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. It was during our 3 months trip to Atlantic Beach, North Carolina that we got to see all the hidden gems nearby, including this one, which is about 8 miles east of Atlantic Beach.   As usual, I looked up on Google to search scenic spots near me and came up with several choices.  This one was the one I decided due to the close proximity to Atlantic Beach.  We wanted to come back to our place before lunch time... The drive on NC Route 70 is such a joy!  I love the bay and ocean views all around.  The views really open up whenever we’re crossing a bridge, affording a better view of the surrounding areas.   It took us about 15 minutes to arrive at our first destination:  Beaufor

How much do I need to retire? A path to FIRE (financial independence retire early) and a recent early retiree’s thoughts...

  Beaufort Waterfront, North Carolina  My wife and I are recent early retirees at ages 51 and 48.  We’ve been slow traveling with our traveling companion Toby, a 13 pound Pomeranian dog since our early retirement last August.  We’ve spent a month or longer in various destinations on the east coast of the United States and we plan on continuing our travel schedule in the foreseeable future. The question “how much to retire?” is something I asked myself for years before my own retirement.  I must have spent hours searching online for this same question.  If you also asked this question, then I know why.   It might be because you’re tired of the rat race, where you’re going through your life like an automaton each week, except you can’t seem to get out of this rut.  You don’t enjoy your job, or you’re no longer happy doing the same thing different day... It might be because you want to travel more.  It might be because you think there’s more to life than working, paying the bills, taking

Top 3 things to do near Vernon, NJ (New Jersey)

  View of Mountain Creek from inside the condo When my wife and I lived in New York City, we had visited Mountain Creek in New Jersey, to ski there several times.  Mountain Creek is the closest ski resort near NYC at just over 50 miles or so.  We made good use of that relatively close distance on our yearly trips.   We had skied for about 6 years.  The year 2002 was our last trip to any ski resort to enjoy this winter activity.  The following year (2003), we had moved to Hawaii.  No more skiing from that point on! It was a wonderful feeling to revisit Mountain Creek after all these years.  I still remembered driving on I-80 West, then taking Route 23 to get to the mountain.   For this trip in early March, we went with my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law.  We had stopped by at a supermarket near Fort Lee (NJ), to do some grocery shopping for this one week trip.  We purchased close to $200(!) in groceries.  Everyone has to eat, right?  Especially me!  I mean, look at the name of my blo