Have you ever felt like your life is a constant shift from one commitment to the next? As soon as one meeting finishes, another is about to begin. In the open spaces of your calendar, you do your best to keep up with your inbox, respond to texts, and answer the call of social media. I’ve been there, putting myself in a position where my obligations were in charge of my attention. One of my goals in mini-retirement is to take back my schedule (and my sanity) by shifting my actions from “push” to “pull”. Here’s how I’m doing it - starting with one little experiment.
Twenty-nine thousand dollars. That’s how much we spent on updates and maintenance in the last two years we lived in our house. It was higher than either of us had considered and yet, we realized that we would have spent tens of thousands more if we had stayed in our house. It’s worth taking a look at why this is, and what we can do to save ourselves if we get back into home ownership.
A survey in 2014 found 22% of children responding in the UK had an interesting aspiration for when they grew up: “I just want to be rich”. Another 19% wanted to be “famous”. More traditional answers like police officer, zoo keeper, firefighter, and doctor showed up lower in the survey. Can money really buy happiness? Read on to hear my answer in parable form.
What a month! Between moving, closing on the sale of our house, reaching debt freedom, celebrating our nine-year anniversary, and kicking off a one-year mini-retirement, we’ve flipped a good chunk of our life over! We’ve got our road trip coming up this month and then the school year starts. At that point, everything should settle down a bit. For now, let’s take a look at how our nothing new year challenge is going and give the details of our final mortgage payment.
One of the cornerstones of financial independence math is the safe withdrawal rate (SWR). The SWR is the amount you can withdraw from your retirement accounts every year without fearing that you’ll run out of money before you kick the bucket. If you’ve got financial freedom on your goals list, the safe withdrawal rate is something you’ll probably want to understand! One of the most well-known papers on this was The Trinity Study, which gave guidance on how to establish a portfolio with a sustainable 4% SWR. You’ll see this number used all over the place (including on this site), but looking at the study raised some questions for me about whether the 4% SWR is applicable for financial freedomists today.