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Money & Relationships: Rules That Work

Love may be blind but life isn’t! Long term domestic partnerships are not the garden path of roses leading to a velvety beach that romantic novels, movies and dating websites want you to believe.   As a married man for over 12 years, and also, raising a kid together, I think I have earned the right to comment about domestic partnerships. 🙂  This post is about a topic that any person with a ‘significant other’ must confront at some point on their journey towards financial independence.   

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Juvenile Philosophy?

This kid is the carrot among peppers!

Is this kid the carrot among TFR peppers?

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what’cha gonna get.”  Thus declared the famous Forrest Gump, in a rare glimpse of his philosophical mettle way beyond his portrayed capabilities in the film.   That quote resonated for me recently when I was speaking with my 10-year old kid for his ‘sub par’ performance in his exams recently.  

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What gets measured gets GROWING!

     Get your net worth growing and retire confidently! Quick, what’s your net worth today?  Can you answer this question within a couple of minutes?  It is vital to measure where you are in your journey towards financial independence (FI).  With just a few keystrokes, there are modern tools available to track what you own, […]

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Boss: Aren’t we supposed to have a meeting now? Where is everyone? Secretary: Didn’t you read the memo? They have all quit and are blogging about ER.

Your Job. Your Attitude. Your Independence!

Boss: Aren’t we supposed to have a meeting now? Where is everyone? Secretary: Didn’t you read the memo? They have all quit and are blogging about ER.

Boss: Aren’t we supposed to have a meeting now? Where is everyone?
Secretary: Didn’t you read the mails? They have all quit and are blogging about ER.

It’s no surprise your job feels like a prison after reading many personal finance blogs.  It has become a rite of passage for many early retirement (ER) bloggers to declare their freedom from the ‘chains’ of corporate life.   After all, being free from what 99% of the world’s salaried class are doing every day certainly gives an early retiree the bragging rights.  At times, the financially independent ER bloggers seem like the real 1% as we remain part of the 99%.

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Work Abroad Before You Retire

If you are well aware of the retirement crisis in the first world or worried about your own retirement, then you have come to the right place.  In an earlier post, we saw how a simple decision to rent, while giving you the opportunity to be globally mobile, can help accelerate your journey towards financial independence.   Once you learn to move and thrive in your new role for work in a new place, you will not worry about doing the same in retirement to enjoy a higher quality of life.

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Nothing more scary than being old and penniless.

What The Retirement Crisis Means for You

Nothing more scary than being old and penniless.

Being old and penniless – now that’s scary.

Let’s face it.   Americans, and for that matter, most of the western world, are ill-prepared for their retirement.   Reading ER blogs and personal finance websites will not give you the real picture as the authors and commentators are a progressive bunch who, collectively, are better off financially than others.  The real truth, of course, is scary.  In this post, I analyze two charts from a well-researched American study to explain what this means to you and why you should care.

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Are You a PAW Yet?

I am a PAW. Are you?

                                                          I love PAWs.  Don’t you?

A scoreboard keeps us engaged in the game.  As a player, you need to focus on the game and not on the scoreboard, but once in a while, it helps to lift your head up to see what the score is, so you can change your game accordingly.  A scoreboard also keeps us grounded, gives us a chance to pat ourselves on the back when we are doing well, or say meh when we are doing just OK and importantly, give us a kick in the shins (not this shins) or in the a** if you prefer, when we need to catch up.

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Invert. Always Invert!

The Jacobi (or is it ibocaj?)

 The (now) famous Mr. Jacobi (or is it ibocaJ?)

The 19th century mathematician Carl Gustav Jacobi is attributed to have said “Invert, Always Invert!”.   His words never had it so good until recently.   His name and work might have forever remained within the cocoon of academic mathematics if not for his quote made famous in recent times by Charlie Munger.  The modern life application of Jacobi’s urging covers all forms of societal, economic and even personal issues where the concept of inversion can be useful.  The concept can be applied at a global level or at an individual level. For example, the question “How do we increase our country’s exports?” can be inverted as “What are all the ways by which we can reduce our exports?”.

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You cannot shrink your way to FI

'Utils' is how an economist defines satisfaction. Quantity can be anything that you have or want (money, time, no. of vacations you take etc.).

‘Utils’ is how an economist defines satisfaction. Quantity can be anything that you have or want (money, time, number of vacations you take etc.).

In the pursuit of financial independence (FI), you will have to deal with frugality. Frugality, like many things in life, is relative.   I always find it curious to read how someone can live under $10,000 a year or under $15,000 a year with family (in a developed country.  This qualifier is important because these figures are a comfortable middle class income in many developing countries).   I read such articles more to understand the full extent of human ability to shrink their expense footprint beyond what many consider as feasible.   

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Entrepreneurship Hype – It Will Cost You

The idea is nice, but the odds don't make it real.

The idea is nice, but the odds don’t make it real.

One of the common themes among self-improvement seminars, self-help gurus and life coach experts is this idea that you are limiting yourself by working in a job and that you must own your own business. The clarion call for entrepreneurship is tempting indeed.  One well-known blogger has built a thriving business telling others to create their own business and not to be the ‘slave’ by working in a job.   Personal development is critical for everyone, but do you have to start a business to develop yourself?  

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