Showing posts from November, 2021

The significance of health (financial and physical) on your path to FIRE (financial independence retire early)

  Exercise to make the most of life and financial life! Arlen Specter:  “There’s nothing more important than our good health - that’s our principal capital asset.” I’m a recent early retiree at the age of 48.  My retirement started at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020.  Since August, I’ve been traveling with my wife and our traveling companion Toby, a 13 pound Pomeranian dog.   For this post, I’d like to discuss the significance of maintaining a healthy body for life and for financial independence. First some interesting findings: In a 2019 report by the Financial Health Network, less than 1/3 of Americans were considered financially healthy.  20% of women reported a lack of financial security causes them high stress.  In a 2015 survey done by one of the largest banks in the US, it found 81% of respondents found goals easier to achieve when their finances were in order.  About 70% of respondents reported good financial health had a positive effect on their physical hea

Review of Ohiopyle State Park, PA (Pennsylvania)

  Ohiopyle Falls, near the visitor center  My wife and I (and our Pomeranian) spent the month of July in the town of Indiana, Pennsylvania.  It was during this time that we decided to finally explore one of Pennsylvania’s best state parks, Ohiopyle State Park.   Ohiopyle State Park is located in the town of Ohiopyle in the southern parts of the Laurel Ridge.  The park encompasses over 20,500 acres of natural beauty and is the gateway to the Laurel Highlands.  Park is perhaps most famous for number of beautiful falls, for the Youghiogheny River, and for whitewater rafting. We woke up on a Monday morning to get ready to leave for Ohiopyle State Park.  It was a muggy and humid morning, and we wanted to get there as early as possible.  The driving distance would be about an hour and a half, cutting through some of the most beautiful mountainous terrain in the state of Pennsylvania. We prepared our usual lunches, snacks, water/drinks, and food/water for Toby.  We left around 8:30 a.m. hopin

What does an early retiree do all day? Diary of a recent early retiree

Hammocks Beach State Park, North Carolina  Ernest Hemingway:  “When you stop doing things for fun, you might as well be dead”. My wife and I have been retired since August 2020.  Since our early retirement, we have been traveling with our companion Toby, a 13 pound Pomeranian dog.   In this post, I’d like to share our typical weekly schedule since our early retirement, so everyone will have an idea what early retirement is really like. For those of you who are new to this blog, my wife and I are very low key people, who enjoy doing things that doesn’t cost much money.  We are no jet setters who travel globally.  We are definitely not living a glamorous, an Instagram worthy, or an exciting lifestyle.  That just isn’t our style... Honestly, if we lived the high energy, Instagram worthy, globe trotting lifestyle, then we probably couldn’t retire early.  Half of the equation for early retirement is the ability to cut down your expenses SO you can retire early.   Few years prior to our reti

Top 3 things to do in Dunkirk, NY (western New York)

  Dunkirk Harbor, NY Our pack (myself, my wife, and our Pomeranian dog Toby) had a very busy month of June during our stay in western New York town of Ellicottville.  More than 15 days out of the month were spent visiting places (old and new), and trying out new things (treetop adventures, vegan restaurant). During the month of June, we decided we would go out as long as it didn’t rain that day.  Luckily, the rain would come after we had come home in the late afternoon or evening, so this plan worked out great! It was one warm and sunny day late June, that we decided to visit Dunkirk, NY.  We have to admit we had no idea where or what Dunkirk was while we were planning this trip to western New York.  We decided to go there on a recommendation from a very friendly mother/daughter who we had met at a laundromat, to check out Dunkirk.   In fact, at that same laundromat, even the manager chimed in to recommend a destination in western New York!  We were glad we decided to go to that parti

Picking the right investments for early retirement: Recent early retirees’ thoughts...

Picking the right investments for early retirement! My wife and I are adherents of the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement.  Concepts of FIRE movement (saving up 25 times your yearly expenses), allowed us to retire early at ages 51 and 48. In this post, I’d like to share with you my experiences with different investment options as well as make some recommendations.  Please use these recommendations for informational purposes only.  Use what works for you, discard what doesn’t.  Gather as many resources as you can to make an informed decision. Let’s jump right in! When I started out with a retirement account, a 401k, I had no clue what each investment options were.  I passed on my first job’s 401k plan as it totally overwhelmed me.  Those investment options may have been in Greek!   At my second workplace, I signed up for 401k, but only at my colleagues’ behest.  They explained the importance of a retirement account and how investment options worked.  Most of these went