September Round Up

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September is coming to an end.  The first signs of fall are upon us, College Football season in full swing and I have my fingers crossed for a few more “fish storms” that can bring the combination of a cool morning offshore breeze combined with some swell.    

Early September Weekday Hike

Here were some of my favorite articles from the web this month:

Carl @ Mr. 1500 wrote one of my favorite posts of all time, the Death March to Financial Independence.  He revisits this post in a new interview with The Fioneers.  Hint:  We tried a live flip once….never again. 

Justin at Root of Good shares part of his why of Financial Independence is taking long summer trips with his family

For those of you who invest in individual stocks and like yield, Mike Zaccardi reminds you to look at both the dividend yield and the total buybacks.  Companies like Home Depot stealthily returned 1000% over the last decade thanks to a smart use of share repurchases and earnings growth.  

Curious about health insurance in early retirement? I’ve had to deal with four different health plans in twenty one months. Jim from Route to Retire tackles this topic as he’s gone from a health sharing ministry to overseas health insurance to considering an ACA plan.  

The Why of Financial Independence (and Early Retirement)

It’s been thirty months now since I gave my early retirement notice.  Time can go by both fast and slow in this new chapter in my life.  I used to think I stood out being my age and around running errands or doing hobbies during the week, now it’s just normal.

This year I’ve been most thankful for Financial Independence to give me the space and freedom to handle normal life issues without the pressures of work or money.   My dad passed away last December while in the middle of a messy divorce with his third wife.  While I didn’t want the involuntary job of dealing with this, I was able to do so without the pressures of a “normal” American life.  We had a medical issue pop up with Mrs. Shirts and I was free to focus my time and energy on that to figure out care in a new location.  I was free to go visit my grandparents in their mid 80s and help them with projects around the house.

I realize these issues aren’t unique to me:  We’re all likely going to deal with the death of a loved one, aging relatives, and personal illness / injury for either us or a loved one.  Financial Independence doesn’t solve those problems, but it does give both time and financial resources to work through these inevitable situations with focus.  As you reach financial independence, running out of time becomes a bigger risk than running out of money.   Find your balance.

3 Replies to “September Round Up”

  1. Thanks for the kind comment about my post! And I’d be curious to know what went wrong with your live-in flip? I fully acknowledge that it isn’t for everybody. Hell, it’s probably not for any sane human…

    1. You’re welcome.

      On the live in flip, I missed a few things in due diligence, an old underground oil tank, window/siding issues, and asbestos floor tiles covering the hardwood I planned on ripping up and restoring. I was enthralled with the lot size and location and didn’t spend enough time in due diligence.

      This stuff moved around the priorities in the budget and we didn’t get to the high return stuff like kitchens and bathrooms.

      Ultimately I got an internal job offer with relocation and it mostly got me out of the house only losing a little money. The part that stings the most is we *knew* we should have kept the thing as a break-even rental because of location, but were so frustrated with the house after 3/4 of a year that we wanted it gone.

      Selling that house vs. holding it was a multiple six figure mistake because of it’s underlying land value.

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