I’m back to sharing this weekend after taking weeks 14 and 15 off. It was never my intention to share every week, but I read some great posts and I’m happy to highlight them whenever I can! In addition to building my habits, I put “first things first” the last few weeks (Covey’s Habit #3.) Steve from ThinkSaveRetire’s reminder that It Is Okay to Be Selfish came at the right time! It’s hard to help others if you don’t have your act together yourself. 😉
We decided to come home from our vacation condo a day early because of some flooding back home (and a flood in the rental house we are planning on downsizing into!) Our 22+ year tenant is moving out next weekend and we’ve never had any flooding at this house before. Couldn’t it have waited one more week until the house was empty?!
In a few hours, we’ll know the extent of the damage and I’ll write a post about it soon! Real estate has been good to us, but it can also be quite an adventure. And dealing with problems like flooding from 1500 miles away is what I was worried about when I wrote the post, Would Selling All of Our Properties Be a Smart Decision? Maybe I jinxed us with that post…or maybe this is some kind of sign? Not a good time to contemplate that now. We just need to keep stress low and clean things up!
Speaking of real estate, there were some great real estate/housing posts the last few weeks!
Chris at Keep Thrifty wrote a post about how remodeling their home showed them how much house their family really needed and used. I won’t ruin it by sharing the answer here – but look at the pictures and read his story. How much of your house do you use? We plan on downsizing by almost a third.
What percent of your gross income is used for housing? If you want to be financially independent, Sam at Financial Samurai suggests 10%. That is MUCH lower than most people would ever consider. There are some great comments on this post too. Many commenters seeking FI are working toward that 10% too!
Mr. Fire Station also wrote a post about housing and how choosing an expensive home can prevent people from retiring early. He provides examples and talks about the choices people make based on what they value. Coach Carson (Chad) wrote a post with a similar focus – Dream Homes vs. House Hacking. He points out that “the long-term financial consequences of your housing choices are incredibly large compared to other financial choices” and shares examples and data.
If you didn’t catch Jim (JL) Collins’ most recent investing post, don’t let the Sell, Sell, Sell, Sell title scare you! I’ve read all of Jim’s posts (more than once) and I’d strongly suggest his site if you have any investing questions. His book, The Simple Path to Wealth is definitely a great read too. You can see my review of The Simple Path to Wealth here.
Income taxes were due this week and we owed a bunch of money (not a surprise though!) I hate to wait too long to file, so I hit submit a few weeks back. I was surprised when our taxes were rejected! Luckily Turbo Tax shows a “reject code” and I figured out that my son had hit a wrong button when he filed (and I didn’t catch it!) So we ended up amending and extending returns last week.
But we paid what we owed and met the minimum spend required on our two new Chase Sapphire Reserve cards before Tax Day (to avoid late penalties). We should have 200,000 Ultimate Rewards in our accounts soon! We did pay a fee to pay our taxes by credit card but it was well worth it! I won’t try to explain it. Go Curry Cracker does a much better job than I could do in this link! And if you have a blog or small business, check out his recent post on business taxes too.
Did you see that Mr. 1500 is finally FREE? He wrote a great post announcing how he has left his days of formal work behind (he doesn’t like the term “early retirement” and I don’t either.) Then there was more great news! Physician on Fire may not be totally free yet (although he could be) but he will be designing his lifestyle around part-time work starting later this fall! The math behind his downshift to part-time work is fascinating. I strongly encourage a read to see how he is maximizing his working hours!
Have you ever tried the FI Laboratory (that helps you chart your journey to financial independence/early retirement) at The Mad FIentist’s website? He’s done an awesome upgrade to his website too. Check out the new layout and his most recent post or catch a podcast too!
Early retirement (leaving formal work, downshifting – whatever you’d like to call it) was on our minds this week too. With only 49 more days of full-time work left, I didn’t bring any school work on vacation with us this week. And that was a first. I had a little bit of work to do for my two part-time gigs (hard to even call it work), but I unplugged from my “real” job. No emails, no calls and no paperwork.
We did what we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. Without a schedule. And it felt good. No…it felt GREAT.
And I hope you have a great weekend too!