Money and FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early)  are the name of the game, right?

I was drawn to the FIRE community because I’ve pretty much been living my life this way for quite a while now.  Probably since I was 15 and had a 5am paper route.   Our networth, all in, is over $1M and that’s as a couple. I’m happy that we could work on our financial success together.  That’s provided me with ample challenges over the years that I share in an occasional post. Also, just to clarify, both me and my wife grew up from very modest backgrounds (aka poor) and none of our financial success has come from gift or grants or donations from family. Zero. No matter your background I’m still interested in your perspective. I just want to clarify the roots of my personal perspective.  My full “About me” page is here.

This is a “core content” post as it relates to the 3 core topics that I enjoy blogging about: Finance, Food and Fitness. Some of it geared toward an after 50 crowd but doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to a specific age group.  As my Mother used to say frequently….”You’ll get there..”

Frugal stuff & Budgeting

I have a very simple strategy when it comes to budgeting: “Spend less than you earn.”  I hope that doesn’t sound cocky or aloof, but that’s where you need to start if you want to save more money.  Everything else hinges off that core concept, because you can always try to increase the amount you earn or save, but you must start there. 

People seem to like budgeting sheets, etc. and there is a possibility I will be adding more content like that down the road but it’s not currently my core focus. 

Regarding being frugal, I think I summed up my philosophy in a recent post here.  Just like a nutrition plan…your quickest way to success is when it becomes “a way of life.”  Please follow along on Twitter and Instagram for more “off the cuff” frugal tips.

Investing

Spreading your risk is a very important concept, and this also includes not being blind to ONLY investing in index funds. 

My philosophy is NOT for everybody, but it is uniquely my own. 

In addition to passive investing in index funds, I like to pick individual stocks. I get some of my ideas from The Motley Fool, who I’ve followed for the last 20+ years.  I’m a firm believer that some of your biggest returns can come from smartly researched individual stocks that are held for a long period of time.  I’ve been using all the brokerage tools for many years, (Fidelity, TDAmeritrade, Vanguard and Etrade) so I will be offering ideas on what tools I’ve found most helpful and where I see opportunity for improvement.  Also, it’s never too late to start, if you’re just getting under way with your investment goals.

Spending

After the last few years I’ve had, is there any wonder that I’d like to start ENJOYING some of my money now?  When I talk with people in my own age cohort, I realize I’m not alone.  My friend Jack a 60 something retired electrician wanted to buy himself a $40K sports car, but his daughter was asking him if he would pay the balance of her mortgage after he had already provided the 20% down payment, years ago.  Families, especially blended families, have unique challenges to their money dynamics.  It left me thinking about how I want to handle stewardship of what I might leave behind.  Frankly, if me and my wife could spend our last dollars on the day we die, that’d be fine with me, but I think it’s healthier to take a more active role in planning or establishing a trust. In fact a recent Instagram friend has inspired me to see things a bit differently.  Check out her page if you get a chance.  That’s how we all can continue to learn from this community.

These are some of the topics that I’m most interested in writing about and also learning more about:
1. Being “mentally” ok with making withdraws from your retirement accounts, but doing it in the smartest way possible.
2. Pampering yourself w/ premium spending when necessary
3. Spending on your HEALTH so you can improve your quality of life and longevity

That’s pretty much it. Do what makes you happy but hopefully you can attach a purpose and meaning to your goals.  That’s what led me here, and that’s what’s going to move me into the future.  Thanks for sharing the ride.

 

 

Finance after 50