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My Income Taxes: 2014

Welcome to Can I Retire Yet. You'll find ideas here to accelerate your retirement, analyze whether you can retire, and generate retirement income. For more on me, click Darrow. Click here for free updates by email.

Are taxes going to be your single biggest financial concern in retirement? A ravenous velociraptor stalking your financial security? Many pundits say so. Or, are taxes just another expense, and by no means your largest one?

Despite their scary reputation, I don’t worry about taxes much. I laid out the reasons why — my political and financial analysis of tax rates for middle-income retirees — in an article last year. That post was a bit controversial. Seems it’s not politically correct to be ambivalent about taxes!

Politics notwithstanding, if you’re able to live on less than about $6,000/month or $72,000/year in retirement — as more than 70% of my readers expect to do — then income taxes are unlikely to be a deciding factor in your finances. The U.S. Census Bureau reports, as of 2012, that the median household income was a bit over $51,000 — taxes will be even less of a factor at that level. Below I’ll show why, with examples from our own tax return.

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Shopping Obamacare: Good Deal for Retirees?

Stethoscope over dollars

Open enrollment under the new health care law closed for 2014 at the end of March. There won't be another opportunity to apply for coverage until late in the year. There is nothing like a deadline to move someone to action. So, even though we are … [Continue reading]

Frugal Home Renovation: Kitchens, Bathrooms and More…

Building tools

Home expenses might be your single most important decision variable on the road to financial freedom. Buying and maintaining a home that's bigger or more luxurious than you need, is one of the most common detours along that road. The amount … [Continue reading]

Asset Classes for Early Retirement

Multicolor toy blocks

Asset allocation is the most important variable in your portfolio. The way you allocate your money to different asset classes will dictate the risk you take on. And it will likely prescribe the long-term returns you achieve. That's conventional … [Continue reading]

My Investment Portfolio: 2014

Stock certificates - 2

How do you actually manage your investment portfolio in a real-world retirement? Nearly every prospective or current retiree has this question. And there are lots of answers out there.... The article I wrote at the end of 2012 disclosing my … [Continue reading]

Having Kids vs. Retiring Earlier

Learning to ride

How does raising children impact the journey to financial independence? If you choose to have a family, does that mean you'll be working forever? Does electing to have no kids, or fewer kids, supercharge your way to wealth? And, should the desire for … [Continue reading]

My Retirement Fears

Lighthouse in storm

Reading my story on this blog, you might think I've got it made. Thanks to a high-paying job and relatively frugal lifestyle, I managed to save a large sum by the time I was 50, and retire early. Since then I've pursued new interests, … [Continue reading]

Retirement Withdrawal Strategies

Automated teller machine

You've worked and saved for years, most of a career. Maybe you're looking at a traditional retirement in your 60's, or you're one of the fortunate few who are able to consider earlier retirement. Either way, you've amassed a sizable nest egg. Your … [Continue reading]

Moving West – Part 2

Southwestern sunset

We've arrived. We've left our empty nest, downsized, and relocated from the southeast to the southwest. For the first time in five months, we, our vehicles, and our possessions, are all in one place. It's been a dramatic change in venue, and we're … [Continue reading]

Moving West – Part 1

Van-POD-Prius

Blogs are unique because they include personal experience, in addition to the facts. The backstory for this blog over the last six months has been our downsizing and relocation. So here is the first part of our moving story, plus a few financial … [Continue reading]

Renting vs. Buying: The True Cost of Home Ownership

Rent vs Buy Two-Way Street Sign

Rent or buy? We're about to choose a new home in a new location. So the question of renting vs. buying has come to the foreground for us again. Whether you're newlyweds starting out, a middle-age couple downsizing, or seniors contemplating … [Continue reading]

Should You Pay for a Retirement Calculator?

Calculator displaying RETIRE

There are lots of retirement calculators. Naturally, people want to know which ones to use and trust. The reviews I've written of free retirement calculators have been some of the most popular posts on this site. There aren't too many side-by-side … [Continue reading]

Early vs. Traditional Retirement

Hourglass

"Retirement" is a slippery concept. Yes, that R-word is commonly used, and that's why I chose it for this blog. But it can describe radically different situations: a 20-something Internet tycoon; an extremely frugal 30-something software engineer; a … [Continue reading]

The Ideal Retirement Location

Tropical beach hut mountain

What is your ideal retirement location? Do you dream of beaches or of mountains? Of your home state, or exotic international locales? Of urban skylines or of rural landscapes? Do you like snowy winters, hot dry summers, or moderate temperatures year … [Continue reading]

Short-Term Housing

Modern apartments

I've always been leery of owning two homes at once. I've heard too many stories of people stretched thin between two properties -- trying to sell their previous home while setting up life in the new one. The costs of maintaining a second, empty … [Continue reading]

Living Efficiently in a Small RV

Dinner in Van

Travel is a big part of retirement for many, but it can be expensive. Owning a small RV is one good solution for traveling relatively cheaply in retirement. House swapping and off-season journeys are others. However you do it, developing your own … [Continue reading]

News, Views and Summer Travels

Williams Lake

It's been two months since the launch of my first book Retiring Sooner, which I worked on in some form for more than two years. When it was finally published, I had no idea what to expect. As most authors will tell you, after spending that much time … [Continue reading]

Investing in Real Estate

Red house

Do you need to invest in real estate for a diversified portfolio? If so, what kind of real estate do you need to buy? And how should you own it: directly, through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), or via a broad market index? Also, is … [Continue reading]

How We Sold Our House in 24 Hours

GG Living Room

It's true. We've downsized, and it happened fast. Our house was listed last month, late on a Tuesday evening. Early Wednesday morning, while packing to be out of town for a week, we started getting phone calls. By the time we left for the … [Continue reading]

The “Perfect” Retirement Calculator

Fuel gauge

The perfect retirement calculator doesn't exist yet. But having just finished reviewing dozens of calculators in recent posts -- The 3 Best Free Retirement Calculators and The Best Free Retirement Calculators: Round 2 -- I can't stop thinking about … [Continue reading]

Retiring Sooner – My New Book

Retiring Sooner

My first book, Retiring Sooner: How to Accelerate Your Financial Independence, is available on Amazon now for Kindle and in paperback. Just click the cover image below to get your copy. If you want, you can save quite a bit by getting the electronic … [Continue reading]