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Building Your Work Optional Life

Tanja Hester and her husband, Mark Bunge, retired in December 2017 at the ripe old ages of 38 and 41. Hester, author of the award winning blog Our Next Life, is releasing a new book, “Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way,” to help others create their own early retirements. As a long time reader …

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January 2019 Best of the Web

The biggest news from the investing world this month was also the saddest. John Bogle passed away. Investors lost their biggest ally. The world lost a great man. We start our round up of the best articles from around the web with a few paying tribute to Mr. Bogle. There were several great articles for …

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Early Retirement Tax Planning 101

Complaining about taxes is our national pastime. Many people think others aren’t paying their fair share. At the same time, we’re all certain we’re paying too much. Nearly everyone complains about taxes. Few people take the time to actually understand the tax code and learn the easy, legal and low risk ways they can reduce …

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Using Leverage to Create Retirement Income

Traditional retirement planning focuses on accumulating assets, which eventually are converted into an income stream to last a lifetime. Creating retirement income without exhausting your portfolio presents a fundamental challenge. This is especially problematic for early retirees for three reasons. First, your money may need to last much longer than traditional retirees’. Second, early retirees …

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December 2018 Best of the Web

2018 is coming to an end and it’s time for December’s best articles from around the internet to help you save more, invest better and retire sooner. This month’s articles share insight on investing in the face of recent market volatility. We discuss the personal aspects of investing, reasonable market forecasts and how to add …

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Finding the Right Financial Advisor

This blog is written for and by DIY investors and retirement planners. In the process of working on it, I’ve learned a lot of people need personalized financial advice and guidance. It would be failing a large percentage of our audience to not recognize their need and assist them. This is challenging with a financial industry …

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Does FIRE Make Life Harder?

I was an avid reader of financial independence, retire early (FIRE) blogs on the path to my own early retirement. They served as inspiration and education. However, I found them to be an echo chamber. Each tries to outdo the next in an effort to show you how to optimize your life. Then you can …

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November 2018 Best of the Web

It’s time for our monthly collection of articles to help you save more, invest smarter and retire sooner. We share several newsworthy events and announcements that occurred in November. The IRS announced increased contribution and income limits for retirement savers. As market volatility continues, we share a few different perspectives on retiring at a market …

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Are Health Care Sharing Ministries A Viable Alternative To Health Insurance For Early Retirement?

Like many Americans planning early retirement, our family’s biggest challenge is obtaining affordable health insurance. We’re searching for an affordable, long-term solution to bridge the gap from employer provided coverage to Medicare. My recent research shows purchasing Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant insurance on the marketplace presents several challenges. For those who have variable income, …

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Navigating ACA Tax Credits to Purchase Affordable Health Insurance

A massive challenge for Americans planning to retire early is determining how we’ll obtain affordable health insurance. The earlier you want to retire, the more challenging it is to determine how much you need to bridge the gap until Medicare eligibility at age 65. Health insurance costs increase faster than the rate of inflation. Medical …

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October 2018 Best of the Web

October has been a crazy month in the world of finance. The stock markets have been volatile and trending downward. In the past week, the market gave up all of its gains for the year to that point. Many wonder if this could be the start of a bear market. In the personal finance world, …

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Pretirement: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Pretirement is a term being proposed to describe a phase of life between career and retirement. Pretirement is a process that takes place over years, even decades, versus a single decision to retire. It is characterized by cutting back on work earlier in life, but continuing some work indefinitely. Why do we need this new …

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Is The Three-Fund Portfolio Right For You?

Investing is simple. But it’s not easy. Most people do best with a passive investing approach utilizing index funds. This minimizes unnecessary investing costs, taxes and common behavioral mistakes made when more active approaches to investing are used. But within this framework, there are countless options for building your portfolio. Strategies range from holding a single …

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September 2018 Best of the Web

It’s time for the best articles we’ve found around the internet in the last month to help you save more, invest smarter, and retire sooner. This month’s articles explore how to generate income in retirement from your portfolio and Social Security. We also explore ideas on how to give yourself the best chance of success …

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A Week In The Life of a FIRE Household

My journey to financial independence and retiring early (FIRE) started largely because I was burnt out on my career. This led to an oversimplified solution. If my career was the source of my unhappiness, I should pursue the opposite: retirement. In the process of planning for early retirement, I realized retirement with no work and no …

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Using Real Estate to Retire Early

I connected with real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and educator Chad “Coach” Carson in 2015 when we were both getting into blogging about financial independence and retiring early (FIRE). We’ve developed a friendship around our similar values, family situations, and philosophies for life. We also are in a similarly fortunate financial situation early in life. …

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August 2018 Best of the Web

It’s time for the best articles we’ve found around the internet in the last month to help you save more, invest smarter, and retire sooner. This month’s selections explore the latest move in the price war to lower investment fees and what it means for you. The articles also look at the challenge of getting, …

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Our Investment Plan: What We Do, What’s Changing, How We’ve Performed

A reader recently asked me to share my investment choices and portfolio breakdown. I’ll do this by sharing our investment policy statement (IPS). This includes our asset allocation, strategies to control investment fees and taxes, and plans for managing the portfolio. A well written IPS ties an investment plan together, marrying investments with a system …

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5 Lessons Learned In My Year As a Landlord

I’ve been intrigued by real estate for years. I first saw it as a way to accelerate my path to early retirement. More recently, I’ve considered the benefits of diversifying out of paper assets due to high stock valuations and low interest rates. But I’ve never been able to pull the trigger. I’ve been stuck …

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July 2018 Best of the Web

I hope everyone is getting outside, enjoying the long days, and having a great summer. Next Monday, we’ll resume publishing new, original, weekly content. First, it’s time for the best articles we’ve found around the internet in the last month to help you save more, invest smarter, and retire sooner. Let’s jump right in. Cutting …

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DIY Investing Resource #4: All About Asset Allocation

The following post was originally published on Eat the Financial Elephant in March 2015, shortly after my wife and I dug out from under our past investing mistakes. It is the fourth of the four most valuable resources that helped us go from feeling clueless to competent managing our investment portfolio. Our fourth selected DIY investing resource is …

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