Showing posts from March, 2022

Review of Spruce Knob at Monongahela National Forest: A must see destination in West Virginia

  Spruce Knob, West Virginia  While I was researching for a place to visit during our pack’s (myself, my wife, and our Pomeranian) month long stay in West Virginia, we came upon Spruce Knob .  Spruce Knob is the highest point in all of West Virginia at 4,863 feet above sea level.  This fact alone was enough for me to visit! Spruce Knob is located within the eastern West Virginia and it is the highest ridge of the Allegheny Mountains.  The “whale-backed” ridge extending for about 16 miles, from northeast to southwest, has many of its peaks exceeding 4,500 feet in elevation.  Spruce Knob is part of Monongahela National Forest and Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area . On a rather chilly morning during the middle of October, we set out to check out Spruce Knob.  As usual, we prepared our de facto lunch lately, of peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which is by far the easiest of lunches to prepare and more importantly, to eat.  Why PB & J sandwich, you ask?  Well, unlike t

High Income vs High Net Worth: What would you rather have?

  High net worth (or wealth) is always better than high income! Swedish Proverb:  “He who buys what he does not need, steals from himself.” My wife and I have been traveling since our early retirement in August (2020) along with our Pomeranian dog, Toby.  Our journey since early retirement have taken us to locations such as Ocean City, Atlantic Beach, the Poconos, Myrtle Beach, Mountain Creek, among others... In this post, I’d like to discuss the difference between high income and high net worth (wealth). Growing up, I thought high income was the only goal.  The reason for working, besides paying the bills, was to gain experience so I can then get a higher paying job in the same field.  No one bothered to tell me there was a more important thing than just income.   When I started working at car dealerships, each one of us selling cars would brag about our paychecks when we had a good sales month.  This was a natural behavior in the industry.  Because most salespeople were working on c

Dangers of overspending to chase a fake lifestyle: Commentary on social media and targeted ads

  Dunkirk Harbor, Dunkirk, NY Recently, I came upon a news article about an Instagram influencer who had racked up over $10,000 in credit card debt, chasing a lavish lifestyle.  She was living a lifestyle that was way beyond what she can actually afford, and worse, she was living as someone else, and living for someone else. Her problems began when she got enamored with others liking her posts on Instagram, of her expensive trips to faraway lands and/or staying at best hotels.  She really couldn’t afford these trips as she was charging all these trips on her credit cards.   Over time, all these flights, resorts, shopping, eating at best restaurants, caught up with her.  She was deeply in debt and her life was spinning out of control… Lucky for her, she decided to do something about her dire situation and started to live her life for her, and not for others.   The moral of this story is to not overspend, to impress others you don’t really know that well… In this post, I’d like to discus

Review of Blackwater Falls State Park: A must see attraction in West Virginia

  Blackwater Falls, WV During the month of October (2021), we stayed a month in West Virginia, in a ski resort called Snowshoe Mountain Resort .  It was during this time that we learned of Blackwater Falls State Park from a travel brochure we had picked up at Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. On one of the county travel brochures, Blackwater Falls State Park was featured on the cover.  It was such a mesmerizing and a beautiful photo of the falls and boardwalk, that we needed to plan a day trip to check it out. The drive from Snowshoe Mountain Resort to Blackwater Falls State Park is around 90 miles, and it would take us over 2 hours, driving up and over many mountains, and traversing over hairpin turns.  As I’ve mentioned multiple times previously, I fell in love with West Virginia roads, with its incredible scenery and never ending excitement of turning left, only to turn a quick right the instant the previous turn is completed. Our Pomeranian Toby, on the other hand, didn’t enjoy the r

Watch out for weight gain after early retirement! A recent early retiree’s tips and observations…

  Cucumber Falls, Ohiopyle State Park, PA Johnny Damon:  “I’m gaining weight the right way:  I’m drinking beer.” In July 2020, when my wife and I were preparing to sell our home in anticipation for our early retirement, I weighed 172 pounds.  That was probably due to the stress of downsizing and the need to lift heavy objects like furniture.  Few months prior to that, I had weighed around 175 pounds. Even though downsizing was hard work, I did appreciate the fact that I was trimmer going into my early retirement.   Fast forward to around May of 2021, when I weighed (gulp!) 180 pounds!  How did this happen?   There were many reasons for this weight gain: I was celebrating our early retirement early My supervisor had given me a 12 pack bottle of Sam Adams beer for my retirement gift on my last day.  Of course I couldn’t let that go to waste!   A week prior to that gift, I also purchased a 12 pack of IPA (India Pale Ale) beer from a local supermarket to celebrate our retirement. I was hav