This is the 70th edition of our guest post series called 10 Questions. It also will be one of the last. Everything must come to an end and 10 Questions will say ‘”Good bye!” at the end of 2016. If you’ve already sent me your answers or told me that you’re going to be doing so, don’t worry; I’m still going to publish you.
This week is something a little different. Still money-ish but today’s featured blog is about the science behind making smarter decisions, how to analyze a problem to come up with the best solution. Making smarter decisions isn’t just learning from your mistakes – it’s creating a better decision making process to avoid some of those mistakes.
MSD also offers Decision Coaching for those large life decisions that can really change your life.
Without further ado, here is MSD!
What post are you most proud of and why?
The post that has been shared more than any other on my site is about coffee! It was really fun to write and it was the first time I focused on entertainment and adding in some “education” and not the reverse.
My most commented on post is a reflection on some of my teenage decisions that helped shape my life.
Many of my other posts are pretty educational and focused on specific decision-making topics including real estate, rental properties, careers, employment, and education.
Do you enjoy writing?
I took a long time off of writing almost anything after my dissertation. It’s basically paying tuition to write a book that you then have to defend to others. I love being able to write in a more conversational tone and through stories on the blog though! And that’s what I enjoy about reading other PF blogs like yours too. Finally, no APA formatting…
1500 Days is about early retirement. Do you have early retirement dreams? At what age do you think you will retire?
The crazy thing is that my brother got me started reading FI/ER blogs years ago, but I never really realized where I was in the process. As a teacher, the norm was to just keep going to school until you reached the magical retirement age. Last year, my brother finally convinced me that we were “there” and in June I turned down my full-time job to “downshift” into an early retirement at the age of 49. So I didn’t really dream – I just kind of woke up I guess!
When you are 90 and look back on your life, what do you hope you have accomplished?
I have lived a wonderful life so far and I never take that for granted. I hope that I can focus on giving back more in retirement. At 90 – I hope I will still be positively affecting the lives of as many people as I can, in as many ways as I can.
How do you handle people with different views on money, ie spendy people?
I try not to judge other people for the decisions they make and I never really talk much about money, financial independence, or politics. If someone asks, I will share my philosophy and tell them a few key phrases to search to learn more. I think most people think it is some kind of “scheme” though. We definitely spend more time (and laughs) with friends who share our beliefs about spending.
Did your parents teach you about money as a kid? How so?
My parents definitely taught us about money – and more importantly, showed us the work ethic that it takes to be successful. They worked blue-collar jobs and managed five apartment houses while we grew up. We had everything we needed and some of the things we wanted. Just not everything. And that was the most important lesson of all.
What is your favorite style of beer – and what is your favorite beer in that style?
Is the lightest color draft beer available a style? But I do go for the new “fruit” beers too. It makes it feel a little healthier you know. And anything with a fun name like – Frog Hollow Pale Ale or my husband’s favorite – Naked Dove Berry Naked Beer.
What do you do for exercise?
My husband and I walk a lot now and kayak too. I have also run two marathons in the last ten years (Chicago and the Marine Corps) and I swam year round through college. I even coached high school swimming with Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s mom when he was little!
So what the hell is the 4% rule and SWR and why are they are all these PF blogs so focused on that?
When I first started reading PF blogs I spent a lot of time just learning. All of the acronyms and rules felt like some kind of advanced math class (and I was good at math!) One thing that was very confusing was the lack of discussion of pensions. I will get a pension in five years and my husband gets one now. The 4% rule and safe withdrawal rates take on a whole new meaning with a pension! I just wish I understood that sooner!
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