Slow Market Start In Final Year

The stock market is off to a challenging start this year. This is a bit worrisome as I am now approaching the 1 year mark of my expected early retirement.   Year to date the S&P500 is down slightly, and the one MegaCorp I hold a disproportionate amount of share in (former employer) is down -3%.  Not huge declines obviously, but the closer I get … Continue reading Slow Market Start In Final Year

Work “One More Year” – As A Gift To Charity?

I’ve always had this interesting thought about highly paid athletes that are financially independent and retire early from their careers: why don’t they work “one more year” and donate all of the money they earn their last season to charity? Wouldn’t that be a magnanimous gesture? Wouldn’t every fan and city they visited be excited by what the are doing? Obviously some athletes’ careers end … Continue reading Work “One More Year” – As A Gift To Charity?

Happily Ever After @ $75K Lifestyle

A big part of reaching FIRE is having a plan for the lifestyle that you want after retirement.  Many people work “one more year” because they fear quitting the workforce and finding out that they don’t have enough financial resources to live happily ever after.  Fortunately, the level at which money drives happiness is (relatively) low at about $75,000. The Huffington Post published this graphic … Continue reading Happily Ever After @ $75K Lifestyle

Early Retirement Checklist – Jane Bryant Quinn

If you look at the books on my Links tab, you’ll notice that I included Jane Bryant Quinn’s Making The Most of Your Money on the list.   I’ve been relying on this book as a key gospel for our household financial planning for many years.  She is very complete, keeps money matters simple, and has a nice conversational writing quality.  Here’s a link to her … Continue reading Early Retirement Checklist – Jane Bryant Quinn

Do You Know Where You Are Going To?

The old Diana Ross song asks “Do you know where you are going to?” and many Americans should be asking themselves the same question when it comes to achieving financial independence. You can’t reach a goal you haven’t adequately envisioned for yourself and reaching FIRE is a very big vision indeed. The best place to start is by understanding what you are spending today. If … Continue reading Do You Know Where You Are Going To?

Living Debt Free – That’s Means The Mortgage Too!

How can you find a secure 5-15% return on your investment with NO risk at all? Simple – start paying off your debts. The FIRE lifestyle begins with paying off the bank, credit cards & mortgage. Debt is a four-letter word that needs to be banished from your financial vocabulary. There are a few simple strategies to do so. One approach says to pay off … Continue reading Living Debt Free – That’s Means The Mortgage Too!

Chief Sparky’s Blog

Since this is the FIRST post of this new blog, I thought it would only make sense to outline a little of my life-view and financial philosophies.  We are what we believe and you can’t understand someone’s behavior if you don’t understand how they view the world.  Judging from other people’s actions, the value that I place on financial independence & retiring early (FIRE) isn’t … Continue reading Chief Sparky’s Blog