The Sunday Best (4/14/2019)
Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy.
Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles.
For more great articles, take a peek at The Sunday Best Archives. Now let’s get to the best… The Sunday Best!
The Sunday Best
You’re probably familiar with the 4% rule based on a presumably safe withdrawal rate. Paula Pant of Afford Anything came up with a different calculation using rental properties. Six Percent is the New Four Percent.
The better the returns, the more you can spend. Makes sense, right? The Financial Samurai took a look at J.P. Morgan’s analysis of ten different asset classes over the last 20 years. How do you suppose real estate performed? What about gold? U.S. stocks? Prepare to be surprised by the Annualized Returns By Asset Class From 1999 — 2018.
Along those lines, paying off a mortgage may not be the optimal use of money, but those of us who have done so seem to be pretty happy with that choice. The Chief Mom Officer explains why she made that choice and how she made it happen (in a one-income non-doctor household). We’re Debt Free.
Having no mortgage makes it easier to retire early. Should one be in a hurry to make that a possibility or not? ESI Money hosts Jillian of Montana Money Adventures in a guest post addressing that question with a palatable alternative. Are Several Mini-Retirements Better than One Full Retirement?
The E.R. physician from Big Family Small World has been on a “mini-retirement,” traveling the world with his big family for the better part of a year. Is he ready to make it one full retirement? Future plans revealed in The Prodigal Physician.
The Dragons on FIRE detail how they’re Preparing for Early Retirement while living with cancer. You’ll note they’ve been crossing items off their bucket list. Like this one: Easter Island — Hawaii 100 Years Ago.
As I do each quarter, I shared all kinds of blog statistics along with the performance of The PoF Portfolio in 2019 Q1 PoF Portfolio & Blog Performance Update last week.
Not all index funds are created equal, and the wrong fund could cost you millions. Just Start Investing shows us The Long-Term Cost of Investing in the Wrong Index Fund.
Our most recent Saturday Selection demonstrated How to Design Your Personal Retirement Glide Path. Will you decrease your stock allocation in retirement? Or consider increasing? For many reasons, your optimal glide path is personal.
We’re still working on figuring out our non-investment retirement glide path. That is, what exactly will our living situation be after I leave my job this summer?
We plan to spend at least half the year traveling, and we have a cozy place where we’ve been spending the majority of our time in the summers that could function as a home base.
We also have a whole lot of stuff. Furniture, drawers, the things that fill the drawers, the stuff we will want if we move to another house, but shouldn’t keep if we’re going to use our cabin as our launching pad.
There are pros and cons to either option. If we keep only our second home and make it our primary home, we’ve got two bedrooms and one bathroom and about 700 square feet of living space. The minimalists in us — or the 1% of me that might be part-minimalist — likes this idea. The practical me, not so much.
The costs of that plan are appealing. Altogether, between association dues, property taxes, and utilities, the place runs us maybe $4,000 a year. It’s pretty much maintenance free, and the grounds are taken care of for us.
The downsides include the obvious smallness and the fact that we’d have to get rid of or store most of our belongings for an indefinite period of time. We would have no place to keep a car or cars over the winter, and while we love the location, it’s not as close to my wife’s family as we’d like our home base to be.
So we’ve been house hunting. In the area that we’re looking, we could get a decent lake home for what we’re selling our current home for, but we’d definitely be downsizing. We could afford something grander, but there’s not much inventory in the 4 to 5 bedroom / 3 bathroom range, and something like that could be overkill for our needs, anyway. We’re pretty much shopping for a summer home that we might spend a few weeks at in the fall and winter, as well.
I made an impromptu trip east to check out some homes last week. We’re going back as scheduled to look again this week. It’s great to have options, but that means we have to make choices. It’s easy to take the simplicity of maintaining the status quo for granted. Facing the FIRE is like opening a menu with unlimited dining options.
Wish us luck as we page through the massive menu!
FIRE Made Simple
The Two Cents duo from PBS put together a slick video that portrays FIRE in a positive, easily understood light. A couple of our friends, namely Mr. Money Mustache and Montana Money Adventures (that’s a mouthful of M) are featured:
Have an outstanding week!
-Physician on FIRE