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How Accurate Should Your Retirement Calculation Be?

You run out of money. That’s the fundamental event that most retirement calculators try to predict. If there’s a strong probability that your money will last your lifetime — congratulations — you’re financially independent! But, if not, then you need to keep working, or generate retirement income, or curtail your lifestyle. There are many possible …

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Investing in Land

Most financial experts will tell you that investing in land is a bad idea. And they’re probably right. At best, on average, in many cases and places, land will only appreciate at the rate of inflation. And it won’t produce any income while sitting there. Worse still, it will cost you in property taxes every …

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Microadventures Before and After Retirement

Travel, adventure, seeing and being in new places, is the spice of life for many of us. But there is never enough time. In the working years we mostly have to make do with a few weeks of vacation annually. By the time family obligations and house chores are done, there can be precious little …

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Downsizing, 5 Years Later: Any Regrets?

Five years ago this month we downsized for early retirement. With a series of yard sales, charity pickups, and gifts to friends, we reduced the volume of our possessions by about one-half. We then carefully staged our 4-bedroom family home where we’d lived for 17 years and put it on the market with a trusted …

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My Retirement Income Taxes: 2018

A few weeks ago I completed and filed my returns for the 2017 tax year. Once again, without much attention to the matter, I paid very little in taxes. And, once again, despite what many financial professionals will tell you, I didn’t find taxes threatening my retirement lifestyle… I’m proactive about most financial matters. But, …

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Doing Good Better with Your Money

This blog has always focused on saving more, investing smarter, and retiring sooner. It’s about living your financial life efficiently and effectively so that you reach your goals, and reach them sooner. But there is more to life than getting rich. Accumulating assets for their sake alone is a dead end. Having money lets us …

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Debugging Your Retirement Calculations

“When a thing is done and past, even fools are wise at last!” —Homer Hindsight is 20/20. The further you go in life, the easier it is to look back and understand the results of your earlier decisions. Nowhere is this more true than in personal finance. Relatively small changes in your work, your purchases, …

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Launching 2 New Retirement Calculators: Behind the Scenes

If you’re an Android user, please take a minute to download our new Free retirement calculator from the Google Play Store. This simple, easy app gives you a quick snapshot of your retirement situation. You’ll get answers in minutes. Or, if you’d like a full-blown financial planner in the palm of our hand, try out …

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My Retirement Flexibility Scale for Choosing Your Safe Withdrawal Rate

Prospective retirees want a simple formula for making the retirement decision. Financial advisors, pundits, and salesmen would love to give it to them. And charge for it. But, sadly, it doesn’t exist. Sure, there are calculations that will shed light on your retirement prospects. You can gather your income, expense, tax, and investment return projections. …

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My Investment Portfolio: 2018

The past year was one of the best of my investing career. And likely yours too. No complaints. But beware complacency. The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned around 28% including dividends for 2017. My very conservative and diversified retirement portfolio couldn’t match the Dow’s return. But it did well enough not only to keep our …

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My Favorite Blogs: 2017

It’s been a good year at Can I Retire Yet? And it’s the season for reflection and thanks…. When it comes to this blog, I’d like to single out for special thanks my business partner David at Ekorau LLC, my colleague Stuart at Pralana Consulting, and my incoming contributing editor Chris Mamula. David has worked …

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Why Taxes Matter for Retirement Calculations: The New Law

First, many thanks to the hundreds of people who downloaded and tried our new Free retirement calculator for Android, and to those who have purchased the Pro version. We appreciate the support and positive reviews! We’re committed to making these the very best retirement calculators for Android. In fact, we are planning a significant upgrade …

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How to Hedge Your Retirement Plan

The following is a guest contribution from blogging friend Stephen Chen, the founder and CEO of NewRetirement, an online retirement planning service focused on helping people prepare for and make the most of their resources in retirement. Steve’s experience spans financial services, education, investing and retirement planning across firms that include Charles Schwab, Wells Fargo, …

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10 Steps to Investing Success

“…the issue isn’t managing your investments, it’s managing yourself while you manage your investments.” –Charles Hugh Smith I started investing in my mid-30’s and became financially independent at age 50. Over that time, I learned much, had my share of successes, and made some big mistakes. But I reached my goals, despite two of the …

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Deciding Whether to Take a Pension Lump Sum: The 2 Opposing Methods

The following is a guest contribution from reader and fellow blogger Grumpus Maximus, a 40-something U.S. military officer with 18 years of active duty service under his belt. Grumpus has recently realized that, with some minor lifestyle adjustments, he will reach Financial Independence by his military retirement point. With no formal education in finance, but …

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The 3 Great Misconceptions About Retirement Saving

Retirement planning can be hard. Annuities, estates, health care, retirement calculators, safe withdrawal rates, Social Security, taxes. There are many pieces to a successful retirement plan. But almost all of those topics boil down and feed into the one question that outranks all others: How much money do I need to retire? I’ve been a …

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Managed-Payout Funds: One-Stop Shopping for Retirement Income?

The holy grail of retirement income is guaranteed, inflation-adjusted payments that last a lifetime, with principal left over. Annuities offer that kind of lifetime income, at the cost of giving up your principal. But true inflation-adjusted annuities are hard to find, and very expensive. On the other hand, investment portfolios with a sizable allocation to …

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Summer Travels: Seize the Day

It would be my last night in the Sierra for a long while. As I stared into the campfire under the star-filled sky last week, I reflected on how far I’d come: That day we had hiked nearly nine miles with full backpacks. We had climbed 1,000 feet up, past the famed Vogelsang High Sierra …

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Getting a Mortgage When You Have Assets But No Income

Most early retirees have no pension, annuity, or Social Security income. Even if you’re a traditional retiree, you might have only one of those income streams. But what if your lifestyle plans require a home purchase? Even if you have the savings to afford a house, you might not necessarily be able to liquidate enough …

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Designing Your Home Ownership to Retire Earlier

The following is a guest contribution from reader and blogging friend Chris Mamula, a pending early-retiree in his 40’s. Chris has been writing on personal finance topics for several years. His efforts first came to my attention with his insightful review of my second book. In this post, Chris explores how to craft home ownership …

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Raising Cash: My Retirement Withdrawal “System”

Our cash was running low. It had been a year and a half since I sold significant assets. Last month, when I added up our liquid reserves, they were down to about six months of living expenses. For many a young worker that would be a cushy emergency fund. But for me — an early …

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