August 2019 Best of the Web

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Each month we share the best resources we’ve found to help you save more, invest better, and retire sooner.

Popular topics are building wealth, DIY investing, creating retirement income, managing risk, and limiting your tax burden to enable you to use your money to build the life you want.

Early retirement frees up the time to ponder topics that tend to get neglected during careers. So while this is first and foremost a personal finance blog, we also share articles about traveling and seeking adventure, finding happiness, enhancing health, improving relationships, and creating meaning and purpose in life.

Before diving into this month’s articles, I’d like to share a little blog news. We were nominated for a Plutus Award for Best Retirement Blog along with Retirement Researcher, Root of Good, Sightings at 60 and Social Security Intelligence. We’re honored and grateful to be nominated alongside these excellent content producers.

I hope you enjoy and get great value from our selections for this month’s Best of the Web. . .

Getting Good Advice

I started writing to become a consumer advocate after receiving horrible financial advice for the first decade of my adult life. J.D. Roth writes an excellent guide to help answer the question: Which Financial Advice Should You Trust?

Personal finance and personal health and wellness are similar in that there is an abundance of bad advice, ranging from those who are well intentioned but misinformed to those that are frauds and charlatans. Brad Stulberg provides a good overview of the best thinking on how to be physically, mentally, and emotionally well. From Outside magazine: We’ve Reached Peak Wellness. Most of It Is Nonsense. Here’s what actually works.


Many of us make investing more complicated than it needs to be, driven by emotions and a desire for outsized returns. Russel Kinnel presents compelling evidence to keep things simple and focus on behavior in the Morningstar report Mind the Gap 2019.

Two of the leading minds in financial planning, Michael Kitces and Carl Richards debate just how simple things can be with Projection-Free Planning To Avoid a False Sense of Precision.

But Sometimes Things Are Complex

As much as we crave simplicity, some aspects of personal finance are complex. Jim Dahle tackles one of these topics, Comparing 14 Types of Retirement Accounts.

Alternative Investment Ideas

I embrace simplicity in investing and am slow to make changes to my portfolio. But I think in investing, as in life, it is always wise to continue learning and listening to alternative viewpoints.

Carla Fried examines retirement researcher Wade Pfau’s annuity research, writing A Retirement Expert Says Annuities Are Better Than Bonds for Guaranteed Income. Here’s His Argument.

Joe Weisenthal gives the best explanation I’ve seen to a phenomenon I can’t wrap my head around, writing The Non-Weirdness of Negative Interest Rates.

David Stein provided food for thought while answering a question I have always reflexively answered no. He asks Should You Invest In Gold?

Alternative Approaches to Retirement

A theme of this blog is redefining retirement, pushing back against traditional definitions of what retirement is and should be as well as the FIRE movement’s underlying assumption that we should all try to get there as quickly as possible. We’re not alone.

Dana Anspach writes FIRE isn’t the only path to a happy retirement.

Mark Miller writes How to blend work and retirement.

Food For Thought

Joe Udo asks an interesting question and provides even more interesting insight when pondering the answer to his question, with Is Financial Independence Easier for Poor Kids?

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Valuable Resources

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  • Our Books

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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. 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 Financial planning inquiries can be sent to]

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