April 2021 Best of the Web

Want To Reach FI Sooner? Join more than 18,000 others and get new tips and strategies from Can I Retire Yet? every week. Subscription is free. Unsubscribe anytime:

This months selections start off with a few perspectives on investing through challenging times. Improving investment performance by picking the best stocks or sectors or timing the market is challenging at best. A better approach to improve your financial performance is to focus on decreasing your tax burden. We have resources that will help you do this.

The Best

When planning retirement, we have to be aware of worst case scenarios that can destroy our best laid plans. A lot of attention is given to factors like future market returns, tax rates, and inflation that are ultimately out of our control. This month’s resources focus on two factors you can impact: navigating the American healthcare system and avoiding divorce.

I share a resource to prepare for retirement at this challenging pandemic time. You will also find an opportunity to chat with me about any challenges you may be facing on your path to financial independence. Finally, we close with ideas to live a simpler and more efficient life to exchange work time for more play time.

Enjoy and have a great month!

Investing Through Challenging Times

JL Collins asks if it’s Time to Sell?

From the Monevator blog, The Investor asks and answers What can investors do in the face of low returns?

Amy Arnott explains Why Portfolio Diversification Still Works.

Dana Anspach has an interesting take on a timely question, writing Should You Invest in Crypto?

Tax Alpha

With low interest rates and high stock valuations, it is especially important to control the things you can control: your behavior, investment fees, and … taxes!

A popular post on this blog is Early Retirement Tax Planning 101. Phil Demuth built on those foundational principles and took a deep dive into advanced tax planning strategies on the Bogleheads on Investing podcast. This episode will be particularly useful for higher earners and/or higher net worth retirees.

Those resources provide a framework for long-term tax planning. But Mike Piper explains that your strategy needs to be fluid as your circumstances and tax laws change, writing Predicting Tax Legislation is Harder than Timing the Market.

Understanding The Business of Healthcare

Last month, I featured a pair of videos that demonstrated both the promise and challenge of recent legislation aimed at improving price transparency in American healthcare. This month I’m sharing a pair of Freakonomics podcasts that shine more light on the business of healthcare in the United States to help you understand the system we all must navigate.

How to Fix the Hot Mess of U.S. Healthcare

Is Dialysis a Test Case of Medicare for All?

Black Swans and Gray Divorce

Retirement planning requires thinking about worst case scenarios. Too often we focus on “Black Swan” events, which by definition are exceptionally rare and that we can’t predict. In the process, we focus too little on events that are much more common and equally destructive to our plans.

Stacy Francis writes about one such risk that continues to become more common, ‘Gray Divorce’ Rates Are Exploding Due to This Perfect Storm.

Relationship expert Dr. Sue Johnson was interviewed on the Farnam Street podcast. She provided interesting insights into risk factors for ‘Gray Divorce’ including becoming empty nesters and retirement.

Avoiding Discontentment in Retirement

This month, I wrote about the idea that periods of discontentment are an inevitability for many of us in retirement. You can’t necessarily avoid periods of discontentment with good planning. Still, we should prepare as well as possible for the challenges that retirement inevitably may bring.

Sam at Financial Samurai provides a Pre-Retirement Checklist for a Post-Pandemic Life for those preparing to retire at this especially challenging time.

Let’s Talk

I enjoyed meeting more blog readers in April and have cleared a couple more spots in May. If you’d like to chat, grab one of the spots on my calendar at this link. As a reminder, I’m here to talk about anything you would like about your journey to financial independence or the transition to retirement, but I can not offer any specific investment, tax related, or other financial advice.

End of the Winter Ski Season…

This month, I concluded my third ski season in Utah. Before moving on to warmer weather activities, the next selection is a fun ski video that packs a ton of wisdom about how building a simple, frugal, efficient, and active lifestyle allows you to “trade work time for play time.” 73 year-old Utah local legend Dave “The Farmer” Van Dame is featured in the short video Steeped in Tradition.

* * *

Valuable Resources

  • The Best Retirement Calculators can help you perform detailed retirement simulations including modeling withdrawal strategies, federal and state income taxes, healthcare expenses, and more. Can I Retire Yet? partners with two of the best.
  • Free Travel or Cash Back with credit card rewards and sign up bonuses.
  • Monitor Your Investment Portfolio
    • Sign up for a free Empower account to gain access to track your asset allocation, investment performance, individual account balances, net worth, cash flow, and investment expenses.
  • Our Books

* * *

[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. After achieving financial independence, Chris began writing about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Chris also does financial planning with individuals and couples at Abundo Wealth, a low-cost, advice-only financial planning firm with the mission of making quality financial advice available to populations for whom it was previously inaccessible. Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He has spoken at events including the Bogleheads and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual conferences. Blog inquiries can be sent to chris@caniretireyet.com. Financial planning inquiries can be sent to chris@abundowealth.com]

* * *

Disclosure: Can I Retire Yet? has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Can I Retire Yet? and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. The site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Other links on this site, like the Amazon, NewRetirement, Pralana, and Personal Capital links are also affiliate links. As an affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on one of these links and buy from the affiliated company, then we receive some compensation. The income helps to keep this blog going. Affiliate links do not increase your cost, and we only use them for products or services that we're familiar with and that we feel may deliver value to you. By contrast, we have limited control over most of the display ads on this site. Though we do attempt to block objectionable content. Buyer beware.


  1. Thanks for the shout out Chris! My wife and I are anxious to get back to the early retirement lifestyle once our son finally goes back to school this fall. So tired, so wanting to change, like perhaps so many other people.

    Good job getting three ski runs in. I didn’t go once this year, but maybe I still have a chance!


  2. Hi Chris,
    Is Darrow Kirkpatrick still involved with the blog? Just curious. Thanks, Elizabeth

    1. He is, but on a less regular basis as he is choosing to do less writing for the time being.


    1. Thanks! I thought it had some great messages that transcend skiing. And as for skiing, let’s do it!

  3. I am 60 years old having fully retired at 54. I spent tree weeks this past winter skiing in Montana and Utah, by the end of which I “was skiing better than I have in the 35 years that I have been skiing. I now know who I want to be when I grow up–call me “The Farmer, Jr.”

Comments are closed.