Maarten van Lier


About Maarten van Lier

Maarten came to this country with a suitcase and a diploma. He created a financial plan and goal to become a millionaire in 10 years. He successfully turned his financial goals into reality, wrote a book about it and now blogs actively in hope of inspiring other to do the same.


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Healthcare and the insurance to pay for it, is screwed up. While most of you are shopping for toys for Christmas, I just spent the morning on the phone ordering Diabetes supplies for the remainder of the year. Only in America can a basic human right (health that is) be handled so wrong. By the numbers Here is how the system is screwed up: Today, putting in my last order for the year, I just reached one of the individual deductibles on our policy.  so lets look at the balance. The insurance company this year charged: Me: $577 * 12 […]

A screwed up tale of American Healthcare


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I’ve been in the United States for over 20 years and I still haven’t taken the step of taking on American Citizenship. Why? In a nutshell: Education. Not for me (mine served me fine), but for my children. By clinging on to my Dutch citizenship, I keep the door open for my kids to get their advanced education in Europe. Why? Because, even if at par with the US, it comes at a fraction of the price. Tuition at any college/university in the Netherlands is around $2,300 annually. Is college that much different? Are colleges and Universities better in the […]

Education experienced elsewhere



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With all the support and extra traffic coming from my friends at FreedomIsGroovy.com, I feel compelled to put down some thoughts. I tend to not write about politics, but never has politics hit home as hard as this year. The first effects are already felt and potential upcoming changes may hit even harder. ACA Renewal It’s ObamaCare renewal time. Last year, I received probably 50 timely emails/messages letting us know it was coming up. This year I received a single text. I’m personally aware of what’s happening but it makes you wonder, how many will miss this year’s enrollment due […]

The month of unknowns


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And this is on a personal finance blog, why?? It so happens, that’s how I keep busy during my early retirement. You could say it’s a symptom of Personal Finance. Symptoms which exhibit itself entirely different for each accomplished PFr. Some travel, some deal with chemical toilets, from under their tiny houses (they never seem to mention that touting, tiny houses) and some build 3D Printers. There’s no real lesson in here on how to retire early but I do keep getting amazed about how I could save more money. The savings mentioned below go beyond building 3D printers but […]

Just finished my latest 3D printer build



Earlier this year, I wrote about getting started on the Roth IRA conversion ladder. The first rung has been taken. This week, I completed the first of 7 conversions. For those of you not in the know, I have some money, but it’s in all the wrong places. I’m 47 years young, 3 years retired with a modest income from various investments. The problem is, that the bigger chunk of these investments are tied up in my 401(k) (Luxury problem, I admit). Based on today’s budget, five years prior to the age of 59 (and a half), my after tax […]

Roth IRA Conversion Ladder update


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I realize retirement isn’t for everybody. We all know the stories of “Bob” retiring and him withering away, sitting in front of the window only to die 5 years later. Some people live to work and when you love your work, kudos to you. Some people will flourish in retirement. I think I belong to the latter. Busy in Retirement I’m over three years into retirement, keeping busy doing the things I really love. Prior to retirement I built my own CNC machine. It wasn’t a success but I loved doing it nonetheless. Since then I’ve been building my own […]

Keeping Busy by Giving Back using 3D Printing



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At last year’s dentist appointment, it was pointed out that our son has an overbite. As it could destroy his teeth, left untreated, certainly something that should be addressed by orthodontics. Normally, when a doctor or dentist tells you your child needs X, Y or Z care, you don’t hesitate; you take care of it. We immediately saw an orthodontist. Course of treatment would be internal braces that would be screwed outward a little each week, squeezing his upper cleft outward a little at a time. It would last for about 6 months to a year, to be followed up […]

I’m glad we waited, NO orthodontics!


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I just came from the dentist to have my new crown fitted. We’ve been in a bit of a disagreement on pricing (and procedure) and I think one of the issues maybe a misunderstanding of the Millionaire Next Door. My dentist has known me for a while, he even knows I’m a millionaire. Hard not to, considering the copy of my book I left behind in the waiting room. He thinks I’m loaded. While I’m trying to tell him, the hard time I’ll have finding the funds to pay for the root canal and crown (and dental induced migraine ER visit), […]

The Millionaire Next Door and his/her money



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Looking on my calendar on June 21st I realized, my third retirement anniversary on June 18th had come an gone. As a Financial blogger and early successful retiree that date should have been marked prominently, instead it just past by. Maybe it’s because after a while it looses it’s significance. Maybe, its because the 18th was father’s day and my mind was occupied with lovely, meaningful crafts from my children. Maybe it was because I was equally occupied, chewing on the left side of my mouth because of a filling place the day prior had gone wrong. It now turns […]

Happy Third Anniversary on Retirement, Oh and more Healthcare


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Mid April, I received the dreaded call. It was actually a Facebook messenger video request. There was no doubt, I knew before I answered, my father had just passed away. My brother called me from the nursing home where my dad took his last breath just seconds prior to Mom and him walking in. We knew this was coming and arrangements were in the works for my dad’s care for the next few months. Months we knew would end in his eventual demise. Having it happen, there and then, so early, came as a shock. We talked, we consoled my […]

An alternative to funeral or cremation, worth thinking about



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That’s what I learned 2 weeks ago when I was in the Netherlands. That, and the “fact”, I’m a direct descendant of King Willem II of the Netherlands (albeit from his illegitimate child born in 1842). But let’s get back to the wealth tax. The estate my father left my mother, after his unfortunate passing some weeks ago, revealed my parents still had a mortgage. My brother replied to that, that it was better to have debt, as the alternative would be paying taxes over their assets. They call it Box 3 tax, as that’s where you capture this info on […]

OMG, They’re paying a wealth tax over there


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I’ve put it off long enough now. I need to get started on the Roth IRA Conversion Ladder. It seems to be the only solution to my western world problem. The problem of having too much in my 401(k). The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder will allow me to gradually convert funds from my 401(k) to a Roth IRA, in turn, allowing me to withdraw WITHOUT PENALTY when I really need it. The catch: You need to start this at least 5 years prior to the first withdrawal. Is there such a thing as too much in a 401(k)? For most of […]

Roth IRA Conversion Ladder



Article works out the saving (or lack thereof) when purchasing a hybrid assuming 2 dollars per gallon 10
I’ve written several posts on, how we saved money. Saving is good; saving can help you in a better financial future. Even better, saving can make you money! Lots of it!! below I’ll explain how I made 20K buying a Prius. Besides all the benefits, saving often tends to make you give up something. “Yes, we saved buying a Prius but it’s not as comfortable as that BMW next door”. We saved handsomely by cutting the cable but, I no longer have Syfy. “We saved X on Y but….” It’s true, some savings come without negative side effects but most of […]

How I made 20K buying a Prius


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Well, I would have liked to have written this with nothing but good stuff that happened this year, but I can’t. 2016 may well go down in memory for us as the worst year of our lives. Yes, financially things have been great, early retirement is now two and a half years in and going strong but 2016 is also the year that our 6 year old son was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes. An autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system systematically attacks the pancreas no longer leaving it able to create insulin. Our six-year-old now needs to […]

2016 in Review, spoiler alert: for us it sucked!!



How I made 200K doing nothing 12
Sounds like a get rich quick scam, right? It’s not, it took a lot of work, sweat, patience and time before I got here, but I’m doing it nonetheless. I retired two and half years ago, haven’t worked for a single penny and today I have more money than I had the day I retired. It’s like magic (but it’s not). Doing nothing I lied, I’ve been doing something, I’ve been enjoying early retirement. I’ve found something I’m passionate about and it keeps be busy most day. What I’m not doing, and haven’t done for two and a half years, […]

How I made 200K Doing Nothing


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Holiday Season is here and I’m scratching my head what to get for Xmass. For inspiration I took a stroll through the mall and to my surprise even the Mall was on the Ugly Sweater band wagon. What the F@ck!!??? I think a society has reached the pinnacle of waste when this has become the hot item for the Holidays. Ugly sweaters (and they are ugly) as seen on Live with Kelly and Michael. For the love of everything that is personal finance: DON’T. Yes it’s funny…. for about 5 minutes. That will be $49 for a 30 second laugh. […]

Ugly Sweaters, WTF!!??



This is what it means to be financially independent 16
It’s been almost a month since I’ve written a post and I should be embarrassed. I’m not. This is what it means to be financially independent. To do whatever, whenever and however I want it. I quit my job to get away from deadlines, I don’t want to self-impose them again by means of this blog. Will millionin10 survive? Will it hurt the ranking of my blog? Yes, probably, but since I’m not trying to sell you anything, nothing lost. For those of you who are wondering what ranking has to do with anything (or even what it means)? For most […]

This is what it means to be financially independent


screw-ups on my way to a million 6
Let’s put it out there, making assumptions is making an ass out of u and me. Mostly though, making an ass of out myself. On my way to wealth, I’ve made a few of them. Today in the series on Screw-ups on My Way to a Million: Making Assumptions. As you can guess, most of them wrong. Is making assumptions bad? That is a tough question. I’ve made several wrong ones but at the same time my entire path to wealth and my continued growth/stability of my wealth is premised on the biggest assumption of them all: The stock market will go up […]

Screw-ups on My Way to a Million: Making Assumptions



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In my last post I mentioned this was going to be a series. I’ve made a few Screw-ups on my way to a million. Today’s post is about investing emotionally. In other words, falling in love with your investments and the disastrous consequences associated to it. Different emotions in play It’s okay to get emotional when investing. When the stock is up I’m happy and when it’s down I get pissed. Can’t help it, it’s just another day on the job so to say. Investing emotionally isn’t okay, it can cloud your judgement. There are several ways in which you can get tied […]

Screw-ups on My Way to a Million: Investing Emotionally


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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 the screw-ups on my way to a million. We all […]

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



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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, a hormone people need to get energy from […]

The price of a life with diabetes


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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 I tried to fix things myself. Me and […]

Am I tempting the powers that be?



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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 I wanted instead of what I really needed. In my […]

Get what you need, not what you want


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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 break that my neighbor came to me and […]

2 years into retirement, what’s next?



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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 foundation of mostly SPY one might say we’re off […]

My Money is My Business


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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 how we get it after we cut the […]

We Finally Cut the Cord (continued)



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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 outdated cable cards and disconnected the the Tuning adapter (TIVO fans know what […]

We finally cut the cord


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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 afford… Last year, our boy broke his elbow and the accompanied […]

Let’s talk about healthcare again



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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 only 40 minutes later the phone rang. Please come back right […]

My little boy has diabetes


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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 over) and get it like I did 5 years ago. I […]

Taxation without representation and hotel points