Screw-ups up on My Way to a Million: Greed

You've probably heard it or seen it on a cheesy motivational poster: The road to success is paved with failure. I prefer to call them screw-ups as it seems to imply more of a duh!!-moment and lessons are learned. For two years now I've been writing about how I made my way to a million and how that eventually resulted in early retirement at 43. In my book I write about the screw-ups, but on my blog I've not paid much attention to them. Today I'll start a series that focuses on … Continue Reading ››

The price of a life with diabetes

They say you can't put a price on a life. Well, there is something morally ambiguous about it, but it happens all the time. Sometimes, that pricing hits too close to home for comfort, in this case, when talking about the price of a life with diabetes.

Our son has diabetes

Before I go into the cold hard numbers let's take a step back. Three months ago our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. For those who don't know, Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, … Continue Reading ››

Am I tempting the powers that be?

Oh, the irony. In my last post I wrote about getting what you need, not what you want. Well, I'm writing this, sitting in my basement in a balmy 84 degrees while the HVAC guys are installing a new condenser and coils. Did I want a new Airco Unit? No. Do I need a new Airco unit? Yes, it is hot (and it will get even hotter next week). Am I tempting the powers that be, or did I prepare for all the right reasons?

DIY

I'm fairly technical so of course … Continue Reading ››

Get what you need, not what you want

After 18 years of cellphone ownership I finally did it: I broke mine. Well not so much broke it but more like drowned it; took a swim with it. It didn't take it that well. I tried the rice thing, hoping it would suck the moisture out and it would miraculously turn back on. Alas, it didn't. It was all done for, before I took it out of my pocket. My soaked in lake water pocket that is. Now before I continue I have to disclaim, I used to be one that got what … Continue Reading ››

2 years into retirement, what’s next?

That's right, I'm 45 and June 18th will mark the second anniversary of retirement. 2 years into retirement and the funny thing is, this never started out to be retirement. I figured I would take some time off and figure out what's next.

Why retire at 45?

For, as much as my job had brought me, in experience, joy and money, in the end stress was starting to physically affect me. After 20 years of Business Rules Management technology it was time for a break. It was maybe 2 weeks into my … Continue Reading ››

My Money is My Business

A little too late you may say. "If your money is your business why do you write so much it"? No, my money is my business as in: it is my place of business, it is there to generate our income. A modest income at that. My business isn't running that well to be honest. The year I took the helm (the year I retired), SPY saw a high of $208.44, yesterday SPY closed at $209.28. In that time span we've also seen SPY drop to a mere $182. Since my business is build on a … Continue Reading ››

We Finally Cut the Cable (continued)

It has been some weeks now that we cut the cable. Our heads haven't exploded yet, which is a good thing (I did not rule that out from happening). As a matter of fact we've hardly noticed. No, we no longer get The walking dead but we'll survive (as I'm sure will they). We no longer get the Daily Show nor the Larry Wilmore show which, given that this is election season, is probably a good thing. As entertaining as these shows are, they're also somewhat depressing. Here is what we do still get, and … Continue Reading ››

8 Money Tricks That Can Save Young Adults From A Financial Disaster

The following article is a guest post by Stacy Barbee.

How I wish money tricks were taught in schools. In our times, schools and colleges primarily focused on obtaining good grades at the end of the academic year. And, that trend is still going on.

The 2 fundamental aspects of an awesome financial life are:

(i) Making money (ii) Managing money

In the last few years, I have interacted without countless people who are not happy with their financial life and have been compelled to enroll in Continue Reading ››

We finally cut the cord

I've written in the past about luxury in moderation and have always considered Cable to be a moderate one. I've written about how we saved $700 by simply visiting the cable store and asking to pay less. Today I took it a step further.  Cable has now become more than a moderate luxury for us. Living on a tight budget facing heaps of continues medical bills is going to require some sacrifices. Cable is the first. We finally cut the cord. Actually, in our case I removed the … Continue Reading ››

Let’s talk about healthcare again

If you follow this blog you'll find I've written about healthcare a few times. Not so much the care itself but the cost of it. Coming from the Netherlands where healthcare is done differently was the actual motivator for me to build our nest-egg. I was worried that no matter what social status, you're truly one disease away from bankruptcy. Since, I've seen two fund-me-now campaigns to support former colleagues, both battling cancer at the time. These were well-insured colleagues, higher up the corporate ladder than I was. Surely they could … Continue Reading ››

My little boy has diabetes

For those who have followed me and possibly have read my book, you know that I initially built my wealth out of fear of some expensive disease/illness hitting us, putting me and my family in bankruptcy, like so many others before us. Never did I imagine this. Last week Friday, as I was about ready to publish my latest post when Mrs. Mi10 noticed something wrong with our boy. She was initially dismissed by our pediatrics clinic (read about it here) but with persistence was seen. She went, came home and … Continue Reading ››

Taxation without representation and hotel points

Just read an article by my friend James over at RetirementSavvy  on the fairness of taxes. I think I lean the same way. This year I paid zero in US taxes and feel a little guilty about that (I'll write about this one later) but for some reason my old homestead, The Netherlands, took some of my hard earned money, 19 years after I left it. Talk about taxation without representation. This year my Dutch passport expired. No big deal, I'll hop over to the consulate in Chicago (one town … Continue Reading ››

My Economic Anxiety Index went from 73 to 7

I took the Marketplace Economic Anxiety Index test to see how I feel about the economy and my score was 7. My anxiety was way below that of the average of 37 for those in my age group. It made me believe the test says more about me as a person than about the economy (although there is a correlation about how people feel about economy that affects the economy). current anxiety by age It's not like I went through the test … Continue Reading ››

Makerspace | Conceive, Create, Collaborate and Save!

Back when I was making a handsome six figures, if I wanted a 3D printer I would have gone out and bought one. If I wanted to build one (just for the fun of it) I would have gone out and bought a Laser cutter to cut the parts. Those days are over and that's okay, now I have the Makerspace. Ever since I retired, I no longer have the discretionary income to buy whatever my heart desires. So instead of buying a 3D printer I'm building one. Total estimated cost for this … Continue Reading ››

For a light bulb moment that might save you some

A picture says a thousand words and I found one so I don't have to. Some of you know I'm a big proponent of LED lighting. I jumped on the bandwagon back when a subsidized LED light bulb still cost $33. Today they are at Home Depot for less then $3 per bulb. You can read how we saved $350 a year switching to LED here. I totally skipped the CFL (Compact Fluorescent light) trend mainly due to the fact that they kept burning out on me but also because of … Continue Reading ››

Getting Started In Stocks

Last week I wrote how investing can be scary but if you read the article, you'll find it is all relative. Despite the ups and downs, hundreds of thousands in my portfolio are pure profits. "Good for you, but I don't care about your hundreds of thousands. What I want to know is how to invest my $5,000. I don't know where to start." For that, I apologize. some of us in the Personal Finance world overlook the fact that most of us DON'T invest. What's more, you have no clue … Continue Reading ››

I won this much at the casino

Isn't it funny how when your friends get back from Vegas you generally hear how they either broke even or actually made a few hundred. Casinos are like Trump, they don't need to pay for advertising and everyone who goes always only talks of winning. You don't (or rarely) hear how they lost hundreds (if not thousands) and even when they do lose they'll talk about the great comps they got to make up for it. We all must have lucky friends and as we know the casinos always wins. … Continue Reading ››

4 reasons you need a budget

Why budget? Well, besides the 4 reasons you need a budget below, it is simply a shame not to. You owe it to yourself. All of us spend between 1 and 2 decades getting prepared in school to make a living.  Unfortunately that is where most of us stop. We learn how to make a living and leave it at that. Most of us go through life being totally oblivious about one of the most important aspects of our lives. Where does our money go? Most of you just go through life … Continue Reading ››

Yes, investing can be scary, but

I somewhat freaked out the Debt Free Diva during my interview, some time ago, when I told her I lost some $200,000 in my first 401(k). That was my first lesson in investing. In hindsight probably not the first thing to bring up when talking about building wealth. Don't worry, it all came back. Just as I'm convinced the $100,000 my portfolio dropped in January will come back (as we speak half way there). All of this sounds scary like shit right? Yes, but it doesn't have to. … Continue Reading ››