Showing posts from December, 2021

One year anniversary of my blog “Wandering Money Pig”: Thank you readers!

  Ocean City Fishing Pier during sunset, MD Martin Luther King Jr.:  “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Last week of December 2021 marks the one year anniversary of this blog.  I had created this blog for two reasons:  1) give my nieces/nephews (and anyone else) useful information on how to reach financial independence and to retire early and 2) document my travels as well as anything else that comes to my mind after retirement so readers can have a better understanding of what to expect after retirement. I didn’t think anyone (outside of my family) would actually read any of my posts when I first posted my blog, but to my surprise, people started to read them!  For that, I thank you readers.  It gives me so much motivation when I know someone out there is reading what I write, which hopefully can help them in their journey to FIRE (financial independence retire early). One other reason why I started this blog was because I wanted to write to satisf

Top attractions to see near Altoona, PA: Our travel notes and tips

  World Famous Horseshoe Curve, PA My wife and I (and our Pomeranian Toby) spent a month in a cozy AirBNB rental in Altoona for the month of August.  Because we had stayed in Claysburg (about 20 miles south of Altoona) 4 months prior, we felt nostalgic to be returning to central Pennsylvania. We remembered the beautiful scenery including mountains, valleys, lakes, and incredible roads that dot the landscape!  As we were heading to Altoona from our month long stay in Indiana (PA), we were looking forward to seeing and experiencing all of these things again. There’s something very reassuring about knowing an area.  I know where the stores are, where the restaurants are, and where the main roads are.  This makes for an easy and comfortable way to travel.   Of course, I personally enjoy exploring NEW places.  I love driving on new roads, experiencing new views, and any new stimuli (like a dog?!?).  But even for me, I do enjoy the feeling of nostalgia, that feeling of coming back to a famil

Does being an introvert help you to retire early? An early retiree’s thoughts…

  Love the solitude! Stephen Hawking:  “Quiet people have the loudest minds.” When my wife and I embarked on our journey to achieve financial independence and to retire early, we read often how other FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement crowd achieved their FIRE.  The more we read, listened to podcasts, watched videos on all the successful FIRE movement crowd, the more we got the sense that many of them, were introverts. It got me thinking, “ What is it about introverts that seem to help with FIRE ?”   In this post, I’d like to share my perspectives on this matter. So, what are some of the traits of an introvert? Reflective and self-aware Listens, rather than talks Does not enjoy group settings  Enjoys being alone Compassionate leader Thinks before speaking Observes/analyzes Makes quality partners/friends How do these traits help with financial independence and retiring early?  Although not all of the listed traits help with FIRE, I do believe many of them do.  Here’s ho

Review of Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College, PA

  Millbrook Marsh Nature Center  Now that I look back at the month of August, I see that my wife and I have traveled to quite a few places during our month long stay at Altoona, PA.  One of those places that really struck a chord was Millbrook Marsh Nature Center in State College, PA. Millbrook Marsh Nature Center is located about 50 miles from Altoona, in central Pennsylvania.  It is a 62 acre site consisting of 12 acre farmstead area and an adjacent 50 acre wetland area.  The center features a restored bank barn, a wetland laboratory, picnic tables/pavilion, a boardwalk and walking trails. We knew right away that we would enjoy this place while we were researching a suitable place to visit during our stay.  We also knew based on our previous experiences that our Pomeranian Toby, would like this place! We set out for the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center at our usual departure time of around 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. We took the fastest route to State College, which is via I-99 North from Altoon

Would you rather look rich or be rich? A recent early retiree’s thoughts…

  I’d rather be rich than to look rich Cicero:  “Frugality includes all the other virtues.” Ever since I can remember, I realized there were way too many people pretending to be rich by driving luxury cars, playing golf at expensive resorts, buying too much bling, and going on way too expensive vacations.  Just  counting the people I knew growing up, that number is staggering.   When once upon a time, people I knew drove average/common folk car brands like Buicks,  Chevys, or Fords, all of a sudden, these same people started driving luxury brands like Mercedes Benzes, Lexuses,  and Infinites. Did all these same people suddenly hit the lottery?  Nope.  They were in same jobs or professions, living in same places, and living the same lives. What explains this sudden shift in consumption? The answer lies in several major factors that happened around the 1980’s, like the end of the Soviet Union (no more nuclear war threats), more consumption driven economy thanks to advances in technology