I’m Moving On, But Not Going Away

Not sure if others have experienced this but hosting my blog on WordPress wasn’t the best idea. Their hosting plans are pretty cheap but though their digital eco-system you are limited to their boundaries.

For that reason, I’m out.

I will be starting a new blog with the same content moving forward but the name will change. I should have done better research up front on domains and social media accounts before pulling the trigger.

The good news? I’ve learned about a couple amazing tools through this process and I’ll share them with you:

Bluehost – This domain hosting tool allows you to integrate with your Google accounts and transfer a WordPress content.

Namechk – This tool allows you to type a name into the search and it will tell you if that domain is available AND if the associated social media accounts are available.

If you’re starting your own blog and you want to monetize it or add affiliate links, steer clear of purchasing a WordPress.com hosting account as they lock you into a very limited ecosystem. I believe that a recent change allowed people to add plugins to their WordPress.com blogs where you could script in some Adsense or similar account but the ability to add plugins is sealed away behind their “business” paywall.

If you’re willing to wait for more easy frugal finance rules, hiking reports, travel tips, and my investment journey, please be patient. I’m working on getting the next iteration of this thing online as quickly as possible.

Thank you for reading!

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The Mid-Life Crisis

I believe I have figured out what is, and what causes the Mid-Life Crisis (MLC).

Financial experts all around the world agree that at, or around, age 40 that people begin to wake up financially and realize that they need to start investing so that they can retire without having to resort to cat food.

The crisis part comes in when people realize they wasted their youth spending money unconsciously and now have nothing to show for it. But wait Amn Duffle, isn’t it okay for people to have different life paths? And if so, is this really a crisis?

Yes and no, let me explain…

It’s not truly a crisis YET because the average 40 year old probably has a decent-paying job that can support his or her family and afford to live a fairly-comfortable American lifestyle. By this point the 40 year old has probably had a few promotions and feels at the top of his or her game at their job.

But, you see, at age 40 when people really begin investing, what they’re actually facing is the reality that they MUST work for the next 20 – 30ish years in the same hellish job just to break even in their shiny new retirement accounts. Instead of being able to retire and play golf like the media portrays, they are stuck working with failing bodies in jobs that are looking to replace them with fresher faces who will work cheaper.

THAT’s the crisis!

I’d imagine, it’s not easy coming to terms with a lifetime of bad choices and it’s pretty ironic that the most stereotypical thing we associate with the MLC is the acquisition of more debt in the form of a sports car. Maybe the person feels compelled to double-down on their behavior since changing seems futile… AND, they’re going to have to keep working anyways, so… might as well enjoy the time.

Thoughts?

The Why of FI

Right now I’m reading I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. And shortly into the book, Ramit brings up one of the most important aspects of PF. Why? Why aim to be rich or independently wealthy, or financially independent? This lines up with my previous post about having a clear sight picture.

If you don’t know why you want something, you probably won’t want it very much. Everything is easier and more desirable with a clear picture of the end result.

Today, coincidentally, I was also binging posts on Choose FI and came across the Why of FI post written by Ms. MoneyPenny. It talks about evaluating your current life and making a conscious choice to determine what you’d like to change.

This is the hardest part for me. I know that I must improve my finances so that my later years improve or so I can retire early but both results don’t appear clear in my mind. This might be due to current financial stability but surviving isn’t thriving. I enjoy starting something and watching it improve even incrementally.

Case in point, I love RPG’s. I like seeing a digital character improve through small steps until it’s the best character it can be.

I wonder…

Can the path be the goal? I suppose, like the end of my previous post…. we’ll see.

Starting Late

Part of this blog’s existence is to offer advice and tips to folks who, like me, started down the road of PF and FIRE late in life. I will chronicle my progress and pitfalls here for the world to see in hopes of making other people smarter.

One of the oldest stories in PF is that of two people who walk the path of investing at different stages of life yet end up at VERY different destinations. The first person invests $100 per month for ten years starting at age 20 and stops investing additional money at age 30. The second person starts at age 40 and invests $100 every month for 30 years. The second person, with more money invested NEVER catches up to the 20 year old because of compounding.

This tale shook me as a 20 year old but not enough to action. Here I am today, nearly 40, and I’m no different than person #2. My investments will never catch up to the smart whipper-snapper.

My blog is dedicated to #2 people. People who, either through fear or analysis paralysis didn’t invest early and want to start today.

There really is NO better time than NOW to start planning for the future. Whether your future is not working or having a smooth retirement or both, at whatever age. This blog is to help the #2 people from becoming #3 people… the people who never sorted their finances and never invested.

According to this CNBC article, 34% of Americans have NO SAVINGS!

That’s nuts!

I know that’s an extreme example and there are plenty of people who live a successful life that fall everywhere on that spectrum. But it’s still a shock!

So keep reading this and other PF, FIRE, and investment blogs. Read the popular books. Gain wisdom and grow rich.

The Buy It Once Rule

Have ever been working on a car, piece of furniture, small motor, or other object with screws and have the screwdriver snap in half along the metal?

I have.

It was at that moment, many years ago, that I decided I was only going to buy things once… or as close to once as possible.

The screwdriver had been purchased from a convenience store in a pack of about three different sized screwdrivers for less than 10 bucks. I didn’t have any delusions that such a cheap object would last forever but it really WAS spectacular when it snapped.

Imagine the Terminator 2000 from Judgement Day fragmenting into a hundred pieces after being frozen… yeah, something like that.

Anyways, this rule has to do with spending your money on quality items WHEN, and ONLY WHEN you need to buy it. A good example is the screwdriver or other hand tools. By making a smaller investment up front for the better option, you might save yourself from having to buy it again in the future thus doubling your expense.

My parents have a kitchen knife in use today that they used to cook for me when I was a child. It’s been sharpened down and now closely resembles a filet knife but it’s sharp and durable and my parents only had to buy it once.

This isn’t a new concept and I’m sure you’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating here because the effect of owning a quality item for many years is rewarding spiritually and financially.

What items do you have that have stood the test of time, and what things have you bought that failed right away?