Showing posts from October, 2021

Top 3 things to do in Erie, PA (Pennsylvania)

  Perry Monument, Presque Isle State Park, PA When my wife and I lived in the state of Pennsylvania, we always wanted to visit Erie, PA.  We heard of the city from my colleagues at work who raved above the area, and from travel guides/brochures we picked up from one of many Pennsylvania’s rest areas.  The distance from where we lived near Philadelphia to Erie, was one of the biggest hurdles for us visiting Erie, as it would’ve been at least a 6 hour ride to get there. All the hurdles disappeared thanks to our month long trip using Vrbo to western New York, in a town called Ellicottville.  The location of Ellicottville is awesome.  Niagara Falls State Park is under a 90 minute drive, Letchworth State Park is about a 60 minute drive and Erie, PA is under a 90 minute drive. We had to check out Erie! We prepared lunch, snacks, drinks, and Toby’s treats for our trip to Erie.  We left around 9 a.m. on a beautiful June weekday going west!  Road trip again! Toby (our Pomeranian) was waiting to

The importance of writing down your financial goal to achieve financial independence and to retire early

  Emerald Isle Beach, North Carolina  Welcome back!  In this post, I’d like to discuss the importance of writing down your financial goals so you can plan for your future effectively. When I started working at my last job which would last over 13 years, the first thing I did, once I had worked there for about two years, was to write down how I thought my financial situation would look like by the time I turned 58.  Back then, my original goal was to retire at age 58 to pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a beach bum somewhere.   I imagined living like someone who didn’t have any worries and just lived life one beautiful sunny day at a time...I thought age 58 sounded like a good age for retirement when I was 37 years old.   What I had written down back then were the following: I should have around $500k in retirement account.  I thought I would withdraw 4% of that money for around $20k per year.   I should have paid off my mortgage by then, so positive equity would be used to fund my re

Review of Letchworth State Park, New York

  Letchworth State Park, NY After my wife and I (and our Pomeranian dog Toby) visited the Niagara Falls State Park during our June trip to western New York, we thought we had seen the greatest state park anywhere.  I was wrong!   As much as we loved Niagara Falls State Park for all its grandeur and the greatest falls anywhere in the US, we both fell in love with Letchworth State Park.  We would put Letchworth State Park on the same level as Niagara Falls State Park. Letchworth State Park is in the Genesee region of New York, and is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.”  It was chosen as the best state park (2015) in a poll by the readers of USA Today.  The park is known for three major waterfalls, whitewater rafting, Genesee River, hot air ballooning and hiking.   Little did I know at the time of our trip planning to Letchworth State Park, but we had actually visited the park exactly 25 years ago, with our good buddy Charlie.  He went to school near Rochester (NY), and he introduce

Learn to enjoy doing things that doesn’t cost money (or not much money) for happy retirement: An early retiree’s thoughts…

  Island of Oahu, Hawaii  Robert Holden:  “Happiness is free, there are no conditions.” When my wife and I lived in Oahu (Hawaii), one of our favorite pastimes was going to the beach.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to go the beach in Hawaii?   There are so many world class beaches on the island of Oahu alone:  Waikiki, Kailua, Sunset, Lanikai, Ala Moana, and so on… We would pack lunches and refreshments, then take two beach lounge chairs to these beaches for a day of swimming, snorkeling, taking naps, eating, enjoying the views, and watching the sunset. When we lived there, we thought life couldn’t get any better than a beach day in Hawaii. We both loved the beach, especially the first month we had moved to Oahu.  We would go to Waikiki Beach every day, as it was only a 4 block walk to the world famous beach, from our apartment rental. It would be after breakfast to enjoy the rising sun, when there are much less tourists out in full force.  It would be after lunch to swim at the beach, the

Top 3 things to do in Ellicottville, NY

  Downtown Ellicottville, NY When my wife and I were searching for a suitable location during the month of June, we came upon Ellicottville, in western New York.  We knew monthly rentals in beach areas during the summer months would be exorbitantly high, so we tried to stay away from beaches as much as possible. Ellicottville fit the bill!  It was in western New York, which we haven’t been to in well over 18 years, since our move to Hawaii from New York City. We have to admit, we didn’t know much about the town of Ellicottville when we booked it via Vrbo.  We weren’t sure what to expect to find there, or what attractions were nearby… Our worries were overblown.  We found so many things to do and see around Ellicottville!   We left on a Tuesday June 1st, from our parent’s place in New York City.  It was a beautiful morning for a road trip! As usual, our SUV was packed with our belongings, as we needed 3 months worth of stuff for the summer months.  June would be in Ellicottville, July w