May 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 finding meaning and purpose in life.

With that, enjoy May’s Best of the Web. . .

Advanced Investing/Planning Topics

Allan Roth writes Advanced Strategies for Investment Taxation.

Mike Piper provides a framework to incorporate Social Security into your overall retirement plan with Social Security: It Is an Asset, But Not a Bond.

Bud Boland asks Does It Make Sense to Buy Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance? He makes an interesting case for transferring a permenant life insurance policy that you may not want or need to a potentially more beneficial product.

When I shared my investment portfolio last summer, several readers suggested in the comments that I should be utilizing ETFs because they are more tax efficient than index mutual funds in a taxable account. I argued there is no difference. So who was right? . . . We both were, because I use Vanguard index funds. This article from Bloomberg explains Vanguard Patented a Way to Avoid Taxes on Mutual Funds.

“Real World” Investing

There is a disconnect between DIY investors who follow the principles we regularly write about on this blog and the general public. Ryan Kelly wrote an excellent guest post for the White Coat Investor that illustrates the investing advice that many people using financial advisors receive and the astounding cost they pay for it. He writes 10 Things Form ADV2 Reveals and How it Can Save You Millions.

Looking at The Big Picture

Steve Chen looks at macro-economic trends and asks Could These Two Mega Trends Crush Your Retirement Plan?

Mistakes of Millionaires

ESI Money interviewed over 100 millionaires for his blog. He writes The Top Eight Areas Where Millionaires Make Money Mistakes.

Dave at Accidental Fire wrote about one mistake many millionaires make with Are You Wealthy, Successful, And Miserable?

Audio Gems

Morningstar’s Christine Benz is an excellent writer at Morningstar who we feature frequently in these monthly roundups. This month she and Jeff Ptak launched The Long View Podcast. Check it out, starting with the first episode: an interview with William Bernstein.

The What’s Up Next Podcast continues to add nuance and improve the conversation within the FIRE community. One of their best episodes was a debate that grew out of the question Do We Understand Risk?

Tim Ferriss interviewed wealth manager Peter Mallouk. The interview provides a sneak peak into the investing advice given to ultra-wealthy clients as well as fascinating insights into the biggest and most common mistakes wealthy people make and how Mallouk helps them course correct.

Heading Out for Summer

Mary writes the blog Reflections Around the Campfire, typically focusing on living an RV lifestyle. This month, she shifted her focus to personal finance, and did it well writing Knowledge is Power – and Sometimes it Translates into Cold Hard Cash Too.

When curating these monthly round-up posts, we generally look for valuable insights to help use your finances to improve your life. But there are exceptions to every rule! This last selection will provide you with nothing but a smile. As many of you are preparing for your own summer adventures around the campfire, we’ll close on a light note with a selection from Brendan Leonard who helps you figure out What Tent Is Wrong For You?

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[Contributing Editor 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' writing has been featured in MarketWatch, Doughroller, Business Insider and RockStar Finance. He is also the primary author of the forthcoming book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at]


  1. Thanks for the feature Chris, I really appreciate it!

  2. Tracey from the 'burgh says

    Thank you, Chris! I love your best of the web roundups and look forward to reading all of the selections throughout the week. I appreciate your research.

  3. Thanks for the shout out, Chris! I’m happy to report that Can I Retire Yet remains one of my favorite sources of information, even though I’ve been retired for more than three years now. The time and effort my husband and I have put into financial decisions over the years paid off in spades – early retirement has proven to be more enjoyable and rewarding than we ever imagined!

    • Chris Mamula says

      Happy to be able to share some of the many great ideas and writing that we find each month. Thanks for the kind words and glad to hear your early retirement is all you were hoping for. Have a great summer!

  4. I always enjoy the thoughtful and intelligent articles that you feature in these posts. I often don’t have the time to weed through all the different articles available on the internet; I know when I click on one of these links, the information will be worth reading. Thanks!

    • Chris Mamula says

      Thanks for the kind words Nicole. . . and warning, the last article may not meet up to those standards if you’re focused on serious planning. But sometimes we need a good laugh, and thought the tent article was good silly fun.

  5. Interesting read on the hybrid long-term care insurance. I have been doing a little work for a long-term care nursing facility tied to my health system. Definitely outside of my wheelhouse but a great learning experience. Very few patients there seem to have long term care insurance and the ones who don’t are required to ‘spend down’ all of their assets to $2,500 (state law) before they can jump onto the Medicaid program to help cover the cost. There are some protections built in for a living spouse but planning for these costs will be huge. That said, I sometimes wish I was an actuary. Seems pretty wild that these hybrid plans can offer both a death benefit returning almost all of your premiums but also pay out care if needed. I understand they make money on the ‘float’ (whatever that means : ) but it just doesn’t seem sustainable. That said, there are probably people much smarter than me figuring all this stuff out! Thanks, Max.