Thursday Rant: Why the 4% Rule Won’t Steal Your Spouse or Give You the Clap

Some thoughts before we begin today’s Rant:

I’d rather take a chance and be free than stay chained to my desk in the name of safety.

I’d rather play with FIRE than live a conventional life.

If you ever see a Komodo dragon in the wild, run like hell.

The 4% Rule

A simulation I ran on the 4% Rule

A simulation I ran on my retirement

If you’re going to quit the workforce early, I’ll bet that the 4% Rule is one of the cornerstones of your planning. If you’ve never heard of the 4% Rule, it refers to a study that was done to determine the maximum safe withdrawal rate in retirement over a 30 year time period. Basically, it states that if you can live off of 4% of your investments in the first year, you are ready to retire. I will spend $40,000 in my first year of retirement, so I need to accumulate $1,000,000 before I can tell my boss what to do with my job.

Mainstream Media Nonsense

If you read the mainstream media, you’ll notice that approximately 99.746% of the articles about the 4% Rule are negative. Here are some that I’ve read recently:

  • Why you’ll go broke, catch an STD and live in a box if you abide by the 4% Rule
  • Why dinosaurs will eat you if you follow the 4% Rule
  • How the 4% Rule drove your spouse to Ashley Madison
  • Why the 4% Rule keeps your husband from replacing the toilet paper roll and putting the seat down
  • Why following the 4% Rule will cause the band KISS to reunite for the 736th time and play a concert in your backyard
Some of the horrors that await you should you choose to follow the 4% Rule

Some of the horrors that await you should you choose to follow the 4% Rule

I can’t seem to find links to any of these journalistic masterpieces now, but you get the picture; the mainstream media wants you to fear the 4% Rule.

Why you’ll probably be OK

I’m not an economist or a financial planner, but I play one on TV. Continue reading

Posted in Rants | Tagged , | 48 Comments

Nothing lasts Forever

He could no longer control his own trembling. It was not, after all, so easy to die. -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. -Steve Jobs 

You know things going to be serious when I open with quotes like that.

Summer is over

Last Tuesday morning, I noted two things:

  • It was cold: One of the first things I do in the morning is go outside and gaze at the sky. I look East to the sunrise and West to the Rocky Mountains. It’s been hot here in Colorado, but this morning, it was in the 50’s. It felt great.
  • School: It was the first day of school for our children. Big C is in 3rd grade now and Little D is in kindergarten.

Both of these events let me know that it was time for the cycle of the seasons to move once again.

First day of school

First day of school

The end of 1500 Days (not quite yet)

Continue reading

Posted in Saving and Investing Money, Something Completely Different | Tagged , | 68 Comments

From Big Debt to $1,000,000 in 15 Years

IMG_20141219_064222809_HDRUpdate (8/20/2015): Big thanks to Business Insider for featuring the post! I’m humbled.

Last November, after working 15 years of post-college jobs, I became a millionaire at the age of 40. Today, I tell you the story over on Rockstar Finance. As you’re reading, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that I’m just an ordinary dude:

  • I’m not a doctor, lawyer or business magnate. Working as a computer programmer, I make a healthy wage, but nowhere close to 1 Percenter territory.
  • My wife worked, but only until our first child was born. We have been a single earner household for the past 8 years. Note: Mrs. 1500 goes back to work full time next week when our youngest starts school.
  • I haven’t lived an ultra-frugal life. Among other poor decisions, we bought two cars new. We also go out to eat occasionally, buy fancy beer and take epic vacations.
  • I started my journey with $60,000 in student loan debt.
  • I’ve had plenty of setbacks. The Mistake by the Lake, which I discuss in the Rockstar post, cost me years of time.

I hope that my story inspires you to follow along. I’m close to Financial Independence now and it feels pretty great. The things that used to cause me stress like a demanding job or a mortgage payment don’t bother me anymore. I’m in a better and happier place. And I’m a better person.

Please flip over to Rockstar Finance to learn how, and more importantly, why I got there.

Finally, big thank you to J$ for featuring me today! Its always wonderful to work with you.

Posted in Saving and Investing Money | Tagged , | 30 Comments

10 Questions with Ridinkulous

Today is the 16th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today’s 10 questions are being answered by Norm from Ridinkulous. Or Gygax. I’m not really sure where this was supposed to go. I clicked over to his site to check him out and read the best review of The Hottest Cell Phone You Need to Own RIGHT NOW!!! Without further ado, here is Norm. Or Gygax. Or whatever.

Tell us about your blog

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.
My Earth name is Gygax, but throughout the universe I am known by a name unpronounceable by your human vocal cords. The imperial title given to me is The Malevolent One and I control a vast network of blogs, the subject today being the one that is known as Ridinkulous. My army of unpaid bloggers do my bidding. This includes many blogs you may know and love. Soon the blogs under my control shall be the only blogs known to the world.  All other blogs will be destroyed! If these bloggers do not heed my call and surrender to become my minions, they shall be skewered alive, writhing in agony! (This includes you, Mr. 1500, and all of your ilk)  Mankind’s memory will be erased and it shall appear that the Gygax Network contains every blog that has ever existed. Indeed Ridinkulous will appear to be the only conversationally-written personal finance blog that has ever been created!

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).
This blog is going to change the world by destroying every other blog in existence.  There shall be nothing remaining on the Earth and all will be mine! Continue reading

Posted in 10 Questions | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Thursday Non-Rant: Sunshine Award/Garden Weasel Edition

I have some juicy Rants cooking, but they aren’t quite ready for prime-time. No Rant will be served before it is fully baked. Instead, I focus on something positive today, the Amazing Garden Weasel! Oh, and my Sunshine Blogger Award nominations!

I also swear that except for an occasional beer, I don’t partake in any mind altering substances…

More on the amazing Garden Weasel in just a moment folks!

More on the Amazing Garden Weasel in just a moment folks! Stay tuned…

Two bloggers were kind enough to nominate me for a Sunshine Blogger Award:

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

1)   Acknowledge and thank the nominating blogger.
2)  Answer the random questions from the person that nominated me.
3)  Nominate and notify other bloggers of my choosing for the award.
4)  Provide new questions for the other bloggers I nominate.

My Answers

First up, the Debt Free Guys:

1) Who do you think is the most profound non-deity? Continue reading

Posted in Something Completely Different | Tagged , , | 34 Comments

Hermione, Holden and the Best Thing that happened to me Lately

IMG_0049Back in June, Marcia from Proceed Until Apprehended wrote up the most creative 10 Questions I’ve ever received. So, when Marcia asked me if I’d like to be interviewed, I immediately agreed.

Click over to Marcia’s site today to read the interview. You’ll learn:

  • What I have in common with Holden Caulfield and Hermione Granger
  • Why the Chicago Bears will win the Superbowl this year*
  • The make of my horrible first car and what animal it resembled
  • My secret superpower**
  • What I’m reading right now
  • How I got to sing the national anthem at the Chicago Cubs opening day***
  • The best thing that has happened to me lately

Click now! Still here? Move along. Nothing more to see. Say “Hi!” to Marcia.

You’re still here? Fine. If you click in the next 5 minutes, I’ll throw in a beautiful set of steak knives****. They slice! They dice! …

 

*Nope

**Ummm, I have none

***Even more BS

****Probably not

Posted in Something Completely Different | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

10 Questions with Debtless in Texas

Hello Frugalwoods readers! If you’re new here, this is a great place to start. Thanks for the love Mr. and Mrs. FW!


 

Today is the 15th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today we hear from Debtless in Texas. I was planning on posting Debtless’ answers a couple month ago, but then put him off when I was overcome by life. Earlier this week when I told him I finally had time to get to his post, I couldn’t find his answers. Neither could he. Thankfully, he was kind enough to redo them all. In any case, I’ll shut up now and get on with the show before I blow it a third time.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 9.20.01 PM

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

My little corner of the internet over at Debtless in Texas is great because I am able to explore personal finance from an everyday regular person’s perspective. It is my own personal finance blog dedicated to my journey towards eliminating debt, financial independence, and early retirement (hopefully). I am 100% honest with my posts and am able to provide my own spin on this whole personal finance thing.

Tell me how you’re going to change the world with your blog (dream big or don’t dream at all!).

I am going to change the world with my blog by inspiring people to stop paying for crap they don’t need with money they don’t have – all while throwing in a bit of humor.

What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Thursday Guest Rant: Points Program Pain with the Debt Free Guys

Today, I feature a guest rant from my friend David over at the Debt Free Guys. Have you ever tried to use airline points only to find that it’s completely impossible? I thought so…

United and Visa Team Up to Become the Unfriendly Skies

DSC_5067_DxO-2-750x400

The Debt Free (but angry) Guys

I will preface this, and you can ask John, that it takes a lot to upset me. For the most part, I am a mild mannered person and rarely rant. When I take time to write a post like this, it means something has really upset me.

Case in point, United Airline’s Mileage Plus Visa Program.

I have been a member of United’s Mileage Plus Visa Program for well over ten years. It was one of the first credit cards I let get me into trouble and one that I had to furrow when we decided to pay off our credit cards. At the same time, it was my credit card with the most credit history. So, I kept it.

I have spent well over $100,000 on this credit card over the years. I have faithfully paid my annual membership, even when I have not used the card. I was committed to this card. I didn’t have any plans for a financial break-up. That is, until now. Continue reading

Posted in Guest Post, Rants | Tagged , | 16 Comments

Performance Update 31/50: To $1,000,000,000,000 and Beyond!

My main goal is to build a portfolio of $1,000,000 in 1500 days with no debt*, starting from 1/1/2013. Every month, I provide an update on my status. My goal for 2015 was to get my portfolio up to $874,353. Because we saw exceptional returns in 2013 and 2014, I have already accomplished this. Let’s have a look at July.

___table2015

One trillion is a huge, strange looking number:

1,000,000,000,000

I had to triple-check the amount of zeros to make sure I had it correct. I just don’t write out numbers this big with any regularity. More on 1 trillion in a moment.

July Performance Update

July was a fantastic month for the 1500 portfolio. I started the month out at $999,668 and ended at $1,044,913, for gain of about $45,000. At one point, I was up to $1,070,000, but couldn’t hold it.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 8.06.08 PM

See you in a while DCC. Chart from Personal Capital**.

My great month was due to some of my stock holdings. Continue reading

Posted in Performance | Tagged , , , | 39 Comments

10 Questions with Cash Flow Diaries

Today is the 14th edition of our new periodic guest post series called 10 Questions. We have a list of 17 NEW questions we pose to fellow financial bloggers, and they are free to pick and choose 10 or answer all of them. Let us know if you would like to be featured in a future edition of 10 Questions. (If you have already answered the first set of 10 questions, please feel free to answer these new ones.)

Today, we feature Cash Flow Diaries. Just like me, Mr. CFD works in information technology:

The company is great and the pay is decent but the thought of working for someone else and repeating the same thing every single day is mind boggling.

Also like me, I smell a streak of independence. Unless it’s Charlie Munger or Warren Buffett giving the orders, I’d rather not be told what to do either. Always remember, the best boss is no boss at all…

www.cashflowdiaries.com

Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.Tell me about your blog and why it’s great.

Cash Flow Diaries was born on May 22nd 2015.  It is still in its infancy stage and I’m still learning how to:

  • Find the perfect diaper – Making changes and tweaks for the look I want it to have.
  • How and when to feed it – How often to make posts and when they should be posted.
  • Keeping it healthy so that it has a successful life – Learning all the tips and tricks of how to keep the internet gods happy. (SEO, Search Engines, Social Media, etc.)

My blog’s focus is on Finance and Real Estate.  It’s designed to show you how I will reach Financial Freedom by writing about all my experiences and sharing what I have learned and will learn during this journey.  It’s full of awesome information on turnkey rental investments and other financial tips and tricks I have acquired to get me where I’m at today.  These are the methods by which I will reach financial freedom.

If you don’t know what turnkey rental property is you will want to read this. What is a turnkey rental property?

What goals do you have for your blog, short and long term? Continue reading

Posted in 10 Questions | Tagged , | 23 Comments