My Favorite Blogs: 2017

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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 endlessly to help me create, support, and distribute state-of-the-art retirement calculators for Android. Stuart continues to be an experienced guide to all aspects of retirement planning. And Chris has been working hard behind the scenes to support the blog, and will now be a regular contributor in 2018.

Finally, I’d like to thank my fellow financial bloggers for their inspiration and support in countless ways throughout the year. Financial blogging is a team sport where, together, we offer an alternative to the mainstream media. With that in mind, I’d like to share some particularly noteworthy examples of their work over the past year:

We’ll start with Chris Mamula writing about How He Reached Financial Independence by Age 40. You’ll see that Chris has extensive financial chops based on his own lessons learned over the years, and an inspiring philosophy that ties it all together. I think you’ll enjoy hearing much more from him in the coming year….

Mike Piper at Oblivious Investor remains a favorite voice in the financial world. Not only is he an authority on tax matters, being a CPA, but he writes with the perspective that there is more to life than money. The entire premise of his blog is “voluntary simplicity for personal finance.”

This year, Mike wrote wisely about the few sure ways to increase investing returns, playing the high probability game, the 3 characteristics that contribute to a superior investment portfolio, and maintaining focus on the essential financial priorities.

Todd Tresidder at FinancialMentor remains one of my most trusted sources for financial and business advice. Todd is a truly successful individual on a number of fronts: financial, personal, lifestyle. He’s simply an inspiring person and, whenever I talk with him, I always come away feeling better educated.

This year, I appreciated Todd’s extensive list of securities fraud to avoid. Todd has an insider’s knowledge of the investing industry, having managed a hedge fund for years, and it shows. More proof that almost all of us belong in cheap, simple, mainstream investments. Buyer beware.

Blogging friend JL Collins continues as a persuasive spokesman for index investing and lifestyle freedom. His book The Simple Path to Wealth has been a huge success and is now available in an audio version.

This past year, in view of dire predictions for the future, Jim reminded us that stocks have performed quite well over past decades despite many tragic events. He also covered some potential alternatives to the simple path to wealth and why he doesn’t personally choose them.

Finally, Jim published an excellent guest post with background, primer, and caveats for investing in Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This is the article that I would write on Bitcoin, if I were going to say anything more about it, but I don’t plan to.

Steve Chen at NewRetirement is passionately devoted to helping people plan for a successful retirement. Not only does he produce a consistently reliable blog, but he also offers an excellent high-fidelity web-based retirement calculator, and various conflict-free routes to getting financial advice, if you need that.

Steve’s recent guest post here on How to Hedge Your Retirement Plan was a big hit. And this past year I found NewRetirement’s articles on reverse mortgages and average retirement income particularly helpful.

Megan McArdle of Bloomberg is my favorite libertarian, contrarian, independent-thinking columnist from the mainstream media. She writes on everything from politics to food, and has a deep understanding of finance and economics too. Last year she tackled the lack of retirement saving, and why saving for retirement should come before saving for college.

Michael Kitces — blogger, financial advisor, entrepreneur, and interviewer — continues to be a giant in the financial world. Any personal finance professional who is not plugged into Michael’s work is going to be playing catch up to the rest of the industry.

Michael’s posts are typically more technical than I’d recommend for the casual, do-it-yourself investor or financial planner. But sometimes he offers productivity and lifestyle pieces that can work for anyone. This past year he wrote a post about creating a Stop-Doing List that’s perfect for small business owners or anybody else who wants to be more productive, or adopt a New Year’s resolution.

J.D. Roth, who started GetRichSlowly, is iconic as one of the very first personal finance bloggers. J.D. sold his site in the first rush of blog acquisitions and spent several years traveling and freelance writing, before founding MoneyBoss. Now comes the news that J.D. has re-acquired GetRichSlowly. Expect more excellent financial content from this direction.

Late last year J.D. ran a guest post from Bob Clyatt, author of Work Less, Live More — one of my early inspirations. In it, Bob catches us up on the upsides and downsides of his semi-retired life.

Allan Roth, a no-nonsense financial advisor who writes now for the AARP, offers five sensible investing lessons based on investing history this century. He concludes that, while it’s unlikely the next decades will mirror the past ones, by applying what we’ve learned from the past, we can give ourselves an edge in whatever the future brings.

E.J. Smith, a director at Richard C. Young — my investing mentor — penned a short but thought provoking piece on how in investing, business, or life we need to focus on our own personal goals and not what the rest of the world is doing: How it Feels to be Rich Like Bezos.

And, on the lifestyle front, I especially liked a couple of posts this year on making yourself healthier and more comfortable — a continuing challenge as you get older:

First, good friend Dr. Barbara at Aging With Pizzazz gives us 3 simple exercises to do in front of the TV or computer. It is so important to keep moving as we age, and now you can do it even while sitting down.

Finally, in a similar vein, Kristen Bor at Bearfoot Theory gives us 10 great Travel Tips, oriented to flying, but useful for anybody traveling any way, anywhere. It’s especially important to take care of yourself when on the move.

So that’s it for 2017. The New Year is right around the corner now. Make it a safe, healthy, and happy one!

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