August Round Up

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August is coming to a close and the summer is slowly coming to an end.  The market continues to set all time highs and kids have gone back to school, creating more relaxing afternoons at the beach and neighborhood pool.  In hoping the crowds would thin out, we made our first short trip of the summer, going to the Northeast to visit family and making a drive to see Acadia National Park.   It was a beautiful spot, however all the stories about crowded national parks this summer are real!  We look forward to seeing it again during a slightly less busy time.

A couple people enjoying the beach on a Wednesday

In less than ideal news, we’ve been navigating the medical system along with our exchange health care plan this past month, a prior issue resurfaced and we’ve had some challenging delays in getting scheduled with various providers.  This is also the first real test of our ACA insurance in early retirement. The early observation is it’s interesting to have a high deductible health plan. The first $6,750 of our costs come completely out of our pocket, but it still comes with the pain of using insurance without any of the benefits (paying for stuff).   If all the steps aren’t followed, the spending isn’t credited towards the deductible. The entire pre-authorization process gets infuriating when it’s unlikely the work put in will actually be beneficial. I’ll go into detail on this experience in a later post, but working through this has delayed some of my planned content.

Now to highlight some great content from the month:

I share a similar mindset with Dave at Accidental Fire:  We only want to get wealthy once.  Why risk money you have and need today for returns that you don’t need?   He discusses this mindset with Why I’m Derisking My Portfolio.   People often ask me why I don’t use leverage in my investments and why we aren’t 100% equities now that we are far past our FI number…this tweet sums it up: Avoid stupidity.

Is FIRE a sacrifice? Some of the objections I see to financial independence is “it’s a life of sacrifice”.  A Purple Life would challenge that concept, she is out living her best life after leaving full time work with a nest egg most would consider leanFIRE:  Celebrating 1 Year Of Nomadic Life

Can I Retire Yet had two features this month:  Can I Retire Yet founder Darrow Kirkpatrick looks back on 10 years of retirement.  It’s not often you hear from someone who’s been retired ten years and is only now approaching the age many consider retirement.

In a more challenging but important series of posts, Emily, also known as Mrs. Plan, Invest, Escape shares the challenges of navigating early retirement after the death of a spouse. This was a two part series that included adjusting early retirement plans. I can’t imagine going through this and there are important lessons about keeping financial affairs in order to not place an undue burden on your family should the unexpected happen.

The Landshark is a lawyer and upcoming early retiree looking to escape his time being controlled to the nearest 1/10th per hour.   He wonders about time and life in his inaugural post, On Time. The Landshark happens to be my most popular case study and we were featured together in Episode 59 of the Earn and Invest Podcast.

One common comment I hear is that everyone writes about early retirement, but few people write that are actually retired. Why? Many of them use writing as a way to escape work and plan for the future. Once they are there, most go out and live their best life! One of my favorite people to read and follow before I retired early was Steve Adcock when he wrote at Think, Save, Retire.  He retired in late 2016 at 35 and resurfaced to talk about being an early retiree for the last four plus years on the Bigger Pockets Money Podcast. One of his big takeaways: Don’t think you get a break just because you told the boss you’re retiring in six months. It is excruciatingly difficult to work those final months knowing that you’re done. I shared the same challenge while keeping my plans private in the last couple months.

To those that are still working, enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend. To those of who are retired, everyone else will clear out of all your favorite spots by Tuesday!

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5 Replies to “August Round Up”

  1. So sorry you guys are having to deal with health issues. I hope it all gets resolved soon.

    And thanks for the mention of my inaugural blog post. Hopefully, I’ll get better at writing them over time.

  2. Always enjoy reading your voice! Hope your family’s health issues are able to resolve soon and smoothly, without too much added insurance-related pain.

  3. I never felt FIRE was a sacrifice. It was about deciding what was enough. I need transportation, but I don’t need a $30k+ new car every few years, so I drive a cheap used car. I need housing, but I can live comfortably in an small condo or apartment. I can remove myself from the consumer culture of expensive hair salons, designer clothes and purses, etc.. Those things didn’t make me happier, so they were not a sacrifice. Retiring at 49, did make me much happier!

    I lost my husband a year into retirement. I knew the theory on how to finance retirement, but actually implementing the drawdown plan and health insurance options was a challenge. (He was still working, and we were living on his income.)

    Thanks for sharing your experiences! I’m off to check out the things you linked.

  4. Hi,

    FI gives one the options to RE. Whether one decides to implement RE is another matter. In FIRE, there are a lot of challenges along the way. I guess that it pays for one to be mentally and financially prepared. This is the way of approach which will build confidences for one.

    WTK

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