I have a confession to make. I put off writing this post for a while. When I first started my blog, I had always intended to demonstrate how to test your retirement plan. I wanted to do this by using a high powered retirement calculator. Doing so would complement what I consider the biggest strength of my website: the series of practical “How To” retirement plan articles in the Planning section. However, I needed to tackle some other topics first. I wanted to walk financially novice readers up to a point where they could understand the subject matter of this article. Yet, I essentially hit that point weeks ago, and still, I delayed.
Part of that delay was due to the complexity of what I intended to describe. It’s hard to write effectively about the steps needed to test your retirement plan. A technically savvy blogger would simply post a video of how to do this, but that is beyond my capability at the moment. As a point of reference, I was happy enough when I figured out how to embed a spreadsheet into this post. Maybe someday I will circle back and create a video once I obtain the skills, and find the time. Continue reading Test Your Retirement Plan: FI Numbers Don’t Lie, But … (Part 2)
In the now timeless words of Chris Farley, “Holy Schneikes!”. I saw a lot of negativity on the interwebs this week, which made me regret getting a Book of Face account. I only got an account in order to run a Financial Independence (FI) blog. Prior to that I was as anti-FB as they come, and had never had an account. In fact, I still do not have personal account, just this semi-awesome public persona with his two avid followers (thanks kids!).
I used to simply listen to podcasts about the cognitive dissonance people engaged in on the internet, now I get to see it first hand. I used to read well thought out news articles that would lay out facts, points, and counter-points forcing me to think about all sides of an issue. Now I get sucked into the visceral, opinion laden, and nonfactual diarrhea that spews out from peoples’ minds, through their thumbs, and into their comments box. Is it me, or do people just like to shout “fake news”, strap into their echo chambers, and argue past each other with no intent, or hope, in reaching common ground. It’s enough to make a grumpy guy like me point out that people suck … I mean REALLY suck.
The other day Mrs. Grumpus tried to kill me … twice. She sent me an email while I was at work, asking if our budget could support her joining a new community center with gym, childcare, and pool akin to the YMCA. The price tag attached to her query nearly gave me a heart attack. Fortunately, my bike commute has paid off, and my heart withstood the initial shock. To put this in context, since our marriage I’ve adamantly refused to pay for a gym membership since all military bases, big and small, have gyms — many with the type of classes she likes to take. It is an expense that does not make sense in the overall context of the benefits that the military affords its members. With that said, we’ve paid for outdoor exercise classes before, and at the time she asked about the possibility of joining the new community center, she had just stopped going to her latest outdoor class due to the summer break. In her email, she also listed several other memberships she was willing to let lapse. When I did the math though, the memberships she proposed to let lapse did not add up to the cost of the new community center. I sent her an email stating such. I expected much foot stomping and toy throwing when I got home.
Anyone who read my previous posts, An Unintentional Meander Up Grumpus Avenue Part 1 and Part 2 understands the cost associated with my decisions to either work with a money management professional, or go it alone. While I can’t promise that I will never use a professional service again, currently I am a dedicated DIY investor. However, it is not like I forgo all professional advice. It is simply that these days I do not pay for it. In this post I intend to show you how I saved thousands of dollars over the last three years, while obtaining professional level money and investing advice. I will also point you in the direction of where you might be able to obtain the same level of advice for free, or almost free. Continue reading How I Save Thousands Of Dollars and Get Professional Money Advice