April 2019 Best of the Web

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Spring is a time of new beginnings. If you’ve been putting off planning retirement, we’ve got a great collection of articles from around the web this month to get you back on track.

This month’s articles explore the benefit of preparing for early retirement, even if you’re not sure you’ll ever want to retire early. We also dive into research on the factors that lead to happiness in retirement.

A reader of the blog was interviewed, sharing fascinating insights into the challenges and benefits of retirement. Articles also examine the conflict that many of us face between saving for our own retirement and helping our children financially.

We close with articles exploring niche topics that will be of great interest to particular segments of our audience.

Happiness in Retirement

The Financial Planning Association published Time Allocations and Self-Reported Happiness of Retirees: An Exploratory Study. A key finding: “retirees spending more time on “passive” activities tended to be less happy than those engaged in “active” activities”. . . “as retirees age, it actually becomes exponentially more important for them to try to figure out how to remain social and engaged.”

Samantha Lamas and Sarah Newcomb ask What Is Financial Health? They point out that having enough, or even more than enough, financial resources doesn’t necessarily translate to good financial health and happiness.

Case Study of a “Normal” Early Retiree

I started sharing my story to share the perspective of a “normal person” pursuing early retirement, as opposed to what I perceived as extreme stories of other FIRE bloggers. But once I became a blogger and left my career behind at 41, I ceased being “normal” and became another FIRE blogger. So I enjoyed reading the case study of an actual “normal” early retiree who happens to be a long-time reader of Can I Retire Yet?. ESI Money shares his story in Retirement Interview 6.

Be Prepared

Investors tend to have short memories and the market continues to soar. Jonathan Clements knows it can’t continue forever. He writes The 5 market crashes I lived through and what I learned.

I’ve started to cringe when I see mainstream personal finance personalities and publications take on the topic of FIRE. The Today Show’s Jean Chatzky is about as mainstream as it gets, but she’s embraced the concept and shows she actually understands it, writing 5 Things to Take from the FIRE Movement (Even if You Don’t Plan to Retire Early)

Tanja Hester makes the compelling argument Why everyone should save like they’re going to retire early.

Kids vs. Retirement

Many of us have competing saving priorities between saving for our children’s education and our own retirements. Physician on FIRE gives a thorough overview of one option, writing 529 Plans: What You Need to Know About College Savings Plans.

Many parents are providing at least some financial assistance to their kids into adulthood. Reshma Kapadia writes How Your Kids Can Ruin Your Retirement – And How to Make Sure They Don’t.

Niche Topics

The timing of my early retirement was far more a lifestyle decision than a financial one. It was important to us to both be involved in our daughter’s life. So I loved reading about other Fathers on Financial Independence by Julien at Rich and Regular.

Most people don’t relocate after retiring. However, both Darrow and I are exceptions to this rule, as are a portion of this audience drawn by our stories. For those looking to relocate in retirement, Silvia Ascarelli and Catey Hill recently shared a new tool to help determine Where Should I Retire?

Another niche topic for a segment of our audience is spending time traveling in an RV in retirement. You’ll enjoy reading Fritz Gilbert’s ambitious summer plans in The Great American Road Trip.

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