April 2022 Best of the Web

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This month’s selections start with a few perspectives on a topic front and center for many in this audience. How will we spend money and time in retirement?

The Best

We discuss the eye popping inflation numbers released this month and a few suggestions to help you maintain your lifestyle without depleting your assets too quickly. Other articles address important consumer advocacy issues.

I share a resource for parents concerned with raising financially literate adults. Closing things out are some great investing insights from members of the Bogleheads community and a big announcement for Bogleheads fans.

Enjoy and have a great month!

Spending Your Money (and Time) After Financial Independence

Ben Carlson discusses Why It’s So Hard to Spend Money in Retirement. He presents some interesting statistics that support what I’ve observed in conversations with blog readers and Kim’s and my difficulties shifting from saver to spender after achieving financial independence.

Physician on FIRE writes The Future is Unknowable. Spend it All or Sock it Away? He suggests the right answer likely doesn’t lie at either extreme.

Carl Jensen is thinking about retirement spending in a different way. He discusses how he is spending his time, writing 5 Years of FIRE Life.

Eye Popping Inflation

This month the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the most recent inflation numbers. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) ending March 31st increased by 8.5% over the past 12 months. Here are two opportunities to help deal with higher prices.

Tipswatch reports I Bond’s variable rate will rise to 9.62% with the May reset. This article explains that if you haven’t purchased I Bonds yet, doing so by April 30 guarantees a one year return of close to 8.4% for an investment with virtually no default or interest rate risk.

Related: I Bonds vs. TIPS

Consumer Advocacy Issues

A few years ago I reviewed Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSM) as a lower cost alternative to traditional health insurance to bridge the gap between employer provided coverage and Medicare. I wrote then, “there is no legally binding contract and no legal recourse for a member if financial needs are not met. This introduces a unique financial risk of HCSM that is difficult to quantify.”

Sadly, many families are figuring that out the hard way. Liuan Huska reports Health Care Sharing Ministry Sharity Leaves 10K Families with Millions in Unpaid Bills. This is a stark reminder to do your due diligence before trying to save money on something as vital as medical insurance.

ProPublica exposes another important issue consumers need to be aware of: The TurboTax Trap–How the Tax Prep Industry Makes You Pay.

Financial Independence for the Next Generation

Doc G created a discussion on the Earn & Invest podcast with bloggers and authors J.L. Collins and Doug Nordman and their adult daughters Jessica and Carol. They explored a topic that many of us with kids think about. Can You Teach Financial Wellness?

Bogleheads on Investing

Taylor Larimore is known as the “king of the Bogleheads.” Allan Roth shares Investing Lessons From Taylor Larimore’s 98 Years of Wisdom.

Christine Benz asks and answers Can a Taxable Account Beat a 401(k)?

Mike Piper asks and answers Do You Need a Financial Planner?

Bogleheads Conference

Vanguard founder John Bogle and his followers, the “Bogleheads,” have been very influential on my investing and life philosophy. So I’m happy to announce that after a two year hiatus, due to COVID, the Bogleheads Annual Conference is returning in 2022. 

I’m incredibly excited and honored to share that I’ll be one of the speakers. I’ll be sharing the stage with with many people I’ve learned from over the years and continue to admire.

Registration is now open. You can find the link here. The conference will take place October 12-14 near Chicago, IL.

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[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. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at chris@caniretireyet.com.]

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you for making an adjustment on your Healthcare Ministries position. This is why I love this forum. You’re not afraid to change course if better information arises. I should note that I tried to warn readers about this by posting John Oliver’s excellent show on this subject in the comments but I got railed on by readers because Oliver is of the left wing. “Wings” shouldn’t matter when we’re trying to help and support each other.
    Here’s to good health in these troubling time.

    1. Bob,

      I appreciate your comment, and I agree that we should change our positions when new information is presented. However, that is really not what is going on here.

      If you read my original article on HCSM, I presented them for what they are. My conclusion was that they were not a good fit for our family, given the specifics of our situation. However, I think I gave them a fair shake and reported on them objectively. This was even acknowledged by someone who identified themselves as being from Samaritan if you scroll all the way to the last comment. https://www.caniretireyet.com/health-care-sharing-ministries-early-retirement/#comments

      What I find troubling is that it’s hard to get good reliable information on many issues because our society has become so politicized. There is definitely one side (the left) that is committed to socialized medicine. Because HCSM rose in popularity after the ACA (aka Obamacare) was passed and HCSM have a religious affiliation, you will never read anything positive about them from this side. On the other side (the right), anything the government does is viewed as bad, so by the definition the ACA is “socialism” and everything about it must be attacked. As such, rather than bother to try to fix things that are wrong with the ACA, the only answer is essentially to “burn it down.”

      The article I shared was from Christianity Today. I give them credit for their willingness to call out this situation rather than sweep it under the rug. That said, I had never heard of that particular HCSM prior to reading the article. They are not one of the 5 largest HCSM that I reviewed in my article, and which to my knowledge continue to work relatively well for many for whom they are a preferable alternative to traditional health insurance.

      Best,
      Chris

  2. Happy April! I didn’t realize Ben Carlson had retired. Do you know when he announced it and where?

    It’s great to see more people retire early and do what they want. Hopefully Ben can spend more money in retirement now that rates have increased.

    Sam

    1. ????? His article is about people (or more appropriately stats about those) who have retired. He is not one of them to my knowledge.

      Chris

      1. Ah, gotcha! I thought he was writing from firsthand experience about retirement. Otherwise, how does he know that it’s hard to spend money in retirement?

        Which actually makes me wonder whether we should stop limiting our writing based on firsthand experience to expand our topics etc. What do you think?

        For me, it’s just easier writing about the things I’ve experienced and know. But maybe readers don’t really care.

        Sam

Comments are closed.