Money Mindset

  • FI Needs the RE!
    The (ability to) retire early part is the primary thing that makes the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) community different from all the other personal finance approaches. We CAN retire early, and we as a community should own it. The following chart illustrates how FIRE principles compare to that of other, non-FIRE personal finance voices: … Continue reading FI Needs the RE!
  • Frugality Increases Happiness
    And as a corollary, frugality does not mean deprivation, suffering, or unhappiness. Spending more does not equal more happiness just as spending less does not equal less happiness. While frugality is core to how we achieve FIRE, it does not have to mean a life of deprivation. The FIRE community is too creative for that. Setting … Continue reading Frugality Increases Happiness
  • Is The Stock Market Becoming a Ponzi Scheme?
    The convergence of the widespread use of 401k and similar retirement accounts coupled with the rise in index fund investing has created a Ponzi scheme-like dynamic with the stock market over the past 30+ years.. What is a Ponzi scheme?  From Wikipedia, a Ponzi scheme “is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays … Continue reading Is The Stock Market Becoming a Ponzi Scheme?
  • My Top 10 Accounting Principles for Everyday Life
    Accounting helps businesses track and organize financial information so business leaders can make informed decisions. Similarly in personal finance we all implement some level of accounting to help manage our finances to track, budget, spend, save, invest and file taxes. In a past life I managed multi-million dollar businesses with complex financial statements and taught … Continue reading My Top 10 Accounting Principles for Everyday Life
  • Has the FIRE movement lost its way?
    In a recent episode of ChooseFI podcast (a favorite of mine), a visiting host (Katie, from talked about buying “a very nice car [a pre-owned Porsche Macan with 8,000 miles].” She was quick to acknowledge that this decision was “breaking the cardinal sin of FI/RE” but the main ChooseFI host, Brad, quickly said that … Continue reading Has the FIRE movement lost its way?
  • Calculating Functional Net Worth
    Net worth is a key measure of building wealth. I have been calculating my net worth since 2011 so I can see my progress over time, and it’s a really useful tool. Many people are familiar with calculating their net worth: you add up the value of all of your assets (e.g., stocks, bonds, real … Continue reading Calculating Functional Net Worth
  • The Meaning of “Millionaire”
    When host Regis Philbin asked his game show contestants and audience “who wants to be a millionaire?,” he tapped into a belief many of us learned as children, that a million dollars was the pinnacle of financial success.  I grew up on the rural eastern side of Washington State, and many people I knew were … Continue reading The Meaning of “Millionaire”
  • Taking the Leap — Living The FIgh Life
    On August 28, 2020 at 5:47 pm, at age 52, I declared my financial independence (FI), packed up my personal belongings and left my GS-15 job at the Department of Defense after 9 years of civil service and 20 years of active duty. How was I feeling? As you can see from the below video, … Continue reading Taking the Leap — Living The FIgh Life