Should You Pay for a Retirement Calculator?

There are lots of retirement calculators. Naturally, people want to know which ones to use and trust. The reviews I've written of free retirement calculators have been some of the most popular posts on this site. There aren't too many side-by-side … [Continue reading]

Early vs. Traditional Retirement

"Retirement" is a slippery concept. Yes, that R-word is commonly used, and that's why I chose it for this blog. But it can describe radically different situations: a 20-something Internet tycoon; an extremely frugal 30-something software engineer; a … [Continue reading]

The Ideal Retirement Location

What is your ideal retirement location? Do you dream of beaches or of mountains? Of your home state, or exotic international locales? Of urban skylines or of rural landscapes? Do you like snowy winters, hot dry summers, or moderate temperatures year … [Continue reading]

Short-Term Housing

I've always been leery of owning two homes at once. I've heard too many stories of people stretched thin between two properties -- trying to sell their previous home while setting up life in the new one. The costs of maintaining a second, empty … [Continue reading]

Living Efficiently in a Small RV

Travel is a big part of retirement for many, but it can be expensive. Owning a small RV is one good solution for traveling relatively cheaply in retirement. House swapping and off-season journeys are others. However you do it, developing your own … [Continue reading]

News, Views and Summer Travels

It's been two months since the launch of my first book Retiring Sooner, which I worked on in some form for more than two years. When it was finally published, I had no idea what to expect. As most authors will tell you, after spending that much time … [Continue reading]

Investing in Real Estate

Do you need to invest in real estate for a diversified portfolio? If so, what kind of real estate do you need to buy? And how should you own it: directly, through a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), or via a broad market index? Also, is … [Continue reading]

How We Sold Our House in 24 Hours

It's true. We've downsized, and it happened fast. Our house was listed last month, late on a Tuesday evening. Early Wednesday morning, while packing to be out of town for a week, we started getting phone calls. By the time we left for the … [Continue reading]

The “Perfect” Retirement Calculator

The perfect retirement calculator doesn't exist yet. But having just finished reviewing dozens of calculators in recent posts -- The 3 Best Free Retirement Calculators and The Best Free Retirement Calculators: Round 2 -- I can't stop thinking about … [Continue reading]

Retiring Sooner – My New Book

Retiring Sooner

My first book, Retiring Sooner: How to Accelerate Your Financial Independence, is available on Amazon now for Kindle and in paperback. Just click the cover image below to get your copy. If you want, you can save quite a bit by getting the electronic … [Continue reading]

Protecting Your Assets in a Digital World

As anybody who has made progress along the road to financial independence knows, building wealth doesn't make all your problems go away or automatically bestow peace of mind. Along with increasing financial assets come inevitable concerns about … [Continue reading]

The 3 Unknowns that Dominate Your Retirement Calculation

Retirement calculators are supposed to make retirement-related decisions easier, showing you how much you need to save, or how much you might be able to spend once you reach your retirement goal. But as soon as you open up one of these calculators … [Continue reading]

The Best Free Retirement Calculators: Round 2

Last month's post on the best free retirement calculators had the most comments ever on this blog. There were many good technical questions, a number of helpful suggestions, and even a bit of controversy. People are clearly fascinated by this topic. … [Continue reading]

How to Buy a Used Car

We're in the market for another vehicle in our family and, though it hasn't always been the case, it will almost surely be a used one. I confess we've bought our share of new vehicles over the years, back when we had more money than time, and before … [Continue reading]

The 3 Best Free Retirement Calculators

Retirement calculators have an impossible job. They use various imperfect mathematical techniques in an attempt to predict the distant future. That can't be done reliably. So they will inevitably be "wrong." Add to that the difficulties in … [Continue reading]

Looking Ahead: Another Retirement, and a Book or Two…

It's official. Caroline has announced her retirement. She'll wrap up her elementary school teaching career later this year. I imagine she'll be drawn back to working with kids in some fashion, eventually. But for now, she's ready for some much … [Continue reading]

Annuity Shopping: GLWBs and Asteroid Insurance

Vanguard made waves in late 2011 by introducing a budget-priced Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefit (GLWB) rider on its variable annuity. I knew I would be in the market for guaranteed lifetime income at some point. And, though I didn't know much … [Continue reading]

“Working” in Retirement

man at beach working on laptop

Working and retirement would seem to be contradictory terms, but today’s retirees, especially early retirees, know that isn’t so. CNN Money reports that “70% to 80% of preretirees plan to include part-time or some other type of work in their … [Continue reading]

Why I Don’t Fret About Taxes

On either side of the aisle these days, it's not politically correct to be ambivalent about taxes. If you lean to the left, you're supposed to feel the tax code should be more progressive, that taxes should be higher on the wealthy and on … [Continue reading]

Computing Your Overall Investment Return

I just completed an annual ritual that involves calculating one of my favorite metrics, other than monthly expenses and net worth, and that is overall portfolio return. This is an exercise that I've performed annually for many years, and that I … [Continue reading]

My Investment Portfolio: Full Disclosure

In writing about safe, simple investing, I often mention that I hold just 9 funds in 2 accounts. And often people ask me about those specific investments or accounts.... I've been reluctant to talk about this, for a variety of reasons. … [Continue reading]