Ok, the title might be an obscure reference but, hey, you won’t just learn about finance here. If you remember (for those of us older), or heard of the band (for my younger readers), REM, then you might be familiar with the song, “What’s The Frequency Kenneth.” But it’s more than a song title. Michael Stipe got that line from a physical attack on then CBS News anchor Dan Rather who was approached by two men who asked, “What’s the frequency Kenneth?” and then punched Rather in the face.
This was our first real trip since COVID shut everything down in March of 2020. And like most of our trips, it wasn’t planned very far in advance. This excursion was also tied to an event. In this case it was set around a half marathon in Tucson Arizona.
One way I keep myself busy, now that I’m retired, is that I train for and take part in races. From triathlons to half marathons (not interested in longer distances…yet), my wife and I try to do several races a year.
When one of our favorite race organizers, Vacation Races, announced…
When I retired at the age of 48, over two years ago in September of 2018, my finances and portfolio looked very different than today, but that was the plan. I had built one portfolio to get me to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early), and now I have to unwind that to see me through what I hope will be a very long and successful retirement.
What makes someone working toward FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) different from others is that:
We are prepared, or should be.
That we have a plan that is sound, or should.
That we have a community that is supportive, or should be.
That we are strong enough to make difficult decisions when others panic, or should be.
That we are patient when others are anxious, or should be.
That we are proactive, or should be, when others are reactive.
That we are confident, or should be, when others are doubtful.
I get that this current shock to the economy and…
Obviously up is better right? Things are looking up, or if someone says, “there’s a lot of upside to this” that sounds great. Compare that to we’re on the way down, or there’s a lot of downside to this, those don’t sound so good. How about a thumbs up, great, versus thumbs down, bad.
In our financial life we want our investments to go up and we want to buy low and sell high. When things are going well it’s said that they’re looking up.
Up is not always good, however.
Have you ever ridden a bike? Up a really…
When any kind of movement gains traction the “experts” come out of the woodwork. It seems that anyone working toward FIRE, Financial Independence Retire Early, suddenly knows exactly what you should or shouldn’t do with your money, your hobbies, which car you should drive, which job you should take, how much you should spend on groceries and on and on.
Are you maxing your 401k? No? You’re a fool.
Do you have a high deductible health plan so you can have a Health Savings Account (HSA)? No? What’s wrong with you?
You bought a new car? What were you thinking…
Have you said those words? “So, that’s how the other half lives.” Or maybe you’ve experienced some luxury that’s out of the ordinary and asked, “Is this how the other half live?”
I know I’ve said it often, from visiting Aspen, CO to going out to dinner at a fine restaurant, to flying first class, I’ve wondered who these people are, the people who experience lavishness on a regular basis.
I know people have also asked the same about me. Why? Because I retired at the age of 48, split my time between NJ and CA, and have, what many…
Have you ever been part of a fringe movement, a group of people who think outside the norms of society?
There are bad fringe movements, climate change deniers or flat Earthers, for example, and there are good fringe movements such as the one I’m part of, the financially secure. But wait, is someone who has their financial act together really a member of a fringe group?
I say, yes, especially when you consider that 78% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, that most people can’t cover a $1,000 emergency, and that our collective debt load stands at 14 trillion…
Variously funny, sad, and downright apocalyptic, the tweets got me thinking. This one in particular made me think about my own progress early in my working career.
I have to say that there are some really strange ideas out there about savings. The math of savings is really simple but people tend to complicate it, mostly to feel better about themselves and how much they think they’re saving.
The very simple math of savings is:
Total income — total expenses = savings
(savings/total income)*100 = savings rate
Some people will say that they figure their savings rate based on after tax income. At best this will result in a similar savings rate as including taxes but will over complicate the formula. At worst it will lead to…