Showing posts from February, 2022

Expressing gratitude for happiness and for FIRE (financial independence retire early)

  Expressing gratitude for happiness and for FIRE! Charles Dickens:  “Reflect upon your present blessings, for which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” My wife and I are early retirees since ages 51 and 48.  We’ve decided to retire to travel, spend time with our family, and to be free from stressful jobs.  We reached financial independence around August of 2020 thanks to the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement.  By spending less and saving for the future, we jumped off the rat race! In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts on the importance of expressing gratitude for happiness and for financial independence. Growing up poor, I didn’t think I needed to be thankful for anything.  In my opinion, expressing gratitude is only possible when your basic needs are satisfied.  These needs are shelter, food, love, and security. My family was kicked out of our apartment rental when I was 12 years old.  The eviction came due to unpai

The incredible beauty of Seneca Rocks, West Virginia: Our review and travel tips

  Seneca Rocks, WV John Kruk:  “People in West Virginia do have cars.  We have indoor plumbing.  We even use knives and forks.” As a kid, one of my favorite songs I listened to was John Denver ’s “ Take me home, country roads .”  The lyrics of that song made an impression on me as a kid growing up in the mean concrete jungles of New York City. I longed to drive those West Virginia country roads with its Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah River as soon as I possibly could.  It would take all of 31 years before I would set my foot (well, my car actually) on West Virginia roads, on our way towards Memphis, TN. Our drive through the state via I-81 wasn’t very noteworthy.  It had some nice views of the mountains and farms, but it was rather underwhelming that first and brief drive through the state. All that perception changed with our first actual overnight stay in West Virginia, and not just a drive through.  For the month of October 2021, we booked a month long stay at Snowshoe Mountai

Ambition on your path to FIRE (financial independence retire early): An early retiree’s thoughts

  Be ambitious to reach your financial goals! Oscar Wilde:  “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.” Our early retirement enabled us to travel a month or longer at a time with our Pomeranian dog, Toby.  Since August 2020, we’ve visited various destinations on the eastern parts of the United States, and we look forward to doing just that in the foreseeable future. In this post, I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences on ambition and why it is vital to reach your goal of financial independence and retiring early.   Around 2010 or so, I encountered the FIRE (financial independence retire early) movement by chance.  I was searching online for search terms like ‘retiring early’, retiring on 200k’, and ‘how to end the rat race’. I came upon two that struck a chord:   Jacob Lund Fisker (Early Retirement Extreme) and Peter Adeney (Mr. Money Moustache).  Thanks to their blogs, I got s

The importance of avoiding scams: Eleventh in a series of financial tools to master

  Driving on I-80 westbound, Pennsylvania  Welcome back! This is the eleventh installment in ‘ a series of financial tools to master ’.  The topic we will be covering is avoiding scams .   For those of you that have missed any of the previous series, please see the bottom of this post for links. I had my first ‘introduction’ to the world of scams at an early age of 14.  I was looking to get rich quick at that age so I can brag to my friends and family.  I discovered a scam that asks for a tiny sum, a processing fee, to enroll me in sweepstakes/games to make money.  It sounded awesome! Little did I know, this was a scam to get more of these processing fees from naive, unsuspecting individuals, like me... After taken along for the ride one too many times, I finally said enough’s enough after few months.  I promised myself that I wouldn’t fall prey to these scams ever again!!! Well, that promise didn’t last forever... I got involved with a pyramid scheme in my late twenties, looking for a

Can I retire early if I’m working part time or working a gig? Path to FIRE (financial independence retire early) without a 401k...

Hammocks Beach State Park, North Carolina  Part time work or gig economy may become more prevalent in the foreseeable future, as more companies look to shed workforce and/or replace with a more ‘mobile’ (on standby) workforce.  How does someone who’s a part time worker or a gig worker supposed to retire? In this post, I’d like to discuss financial independence and retiring early for more than 1/3 of US working population who are part time or gig workers.   Let’s first define the term: A part time worker or a gig worker is defined as someone who works under 30 hours per week at one job.  In many cases, someone may be working multiple jobs.  Worker’s hours may be over 30 hours or even 40 hours depending on how busy the work gets.  This is in contrast to a full time worker who typically works 40 hours per week for one employer.   Most part timers will not have access to benefits like the 401k (or health insurance).  Instead, part timers need to figure out their own retirement via an IRA