Browse Author: ROMT

Dumb Financial Decisions: My Long Commute

Wasting Money
My Long Commute Burns Up The Benjamins

A well-known episode of the animated television series South Park is entitled “Simpsons Already Did It”.

In the episode, Butters/Professor Chaos tries to find a way to destroy the town of South Park. To his dismay, he discovers every one of his ideas has already been a plot on the long-running animated television series The Simpsons.

As an aspiring blogger on early retirement and financial independence, I’m finding the corollary in this world is “Mr. Money Mustache Already Did It”.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Pay Attention to the Little Things

Sandwich
Mmmmm… sandwich!!!

Last month, our friends at Rockstar Finance challenged readers to avoid eating or drinking out for an entire week.

As someone who has purchased his lunch on roughly 99% of the working days of his career, I decided to give the challenge a try.

And you know what?

I was successful, and the world didn’t end.

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How Learning About FIRE Has Changed My Life

ROMT Logo Square

It has been a couple weeks since I started this blog, and a few months since I began learning what FIRE was all about.

But I have been pretty serious about personal finance for almost a quarter of a century.

After getting my first job out of college, I had disposable income for the first time in my life.

Of course, I also had a lot of expenses I conveniently didn’t have to deal with while I was living with my parents.

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Smart Financial Decisions: Chase Freedom Credit Card

As I have become more involved in the FIRE community over the past several months, it’s been hard to avoid articles about optimizing one’s use of credit cards.

Initially, I was skeptical. It seemed like the primary focus was travel hacking, which didn’t do a lot for me.

I am not a big traveler.

I am a middle-aged man, with a full-time job, a long commute, a wife, a dog, and two young children.

It’s a challenge for me to find time to travel to the local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and grocery store, much less exotic locales around the world!

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Dumb Financial Decisions: The Water Heater

While I like to think I am an intelligent person, who usually makes good financial decisions, like everyone else, I make mistakes.

The @#$%^&* Water Heater

When our family bought our home in 2011, I encountered something I had never experienced before: the previous owners rented the water heater from the local utility, and paid them on a monthly basis for the privilege of using it.

This seemed odd to me, as although water heaters are expensive, most are priced well below $1,000. The furnace, the central air, and even some of the kitchen appliances were more expensive than the water heater, and they weren’t being rented.

There must be some benefit to renting the water heater, rather than owning it, I thought to myself. Perhaps if the water tank failed and leaked all over my basement, the utility would be responsible for the damages as the owner?

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The Easiest Money You Will Ever Make

What if I were to offer you an investment providing a guaranteed return of 50% or more?

Immediately.

You put in $1.00 today.

And it instantly turns into $1.50!

Or in many situations, $2.00!

You might suspect I was up to financial chicanery, a la Bernie Madoff.

But everything I am going to discuss today is completely legitimate.

And taking full advantage of this opportunity may be the one of the most important things you can do to begin securing your financial future.

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Welcome to Retiring On My Terms

Welcome to my blog, Retiring On My Terms.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to be up front about what I believe are three key requirements to achieve financial independence and/or early retirement (FIRE):

Earn more.

Spend less.

Productively invest the difference.

I recognize this view is nothing revolutionary.

So why should I read what you have to say, you ask?

Great question!

Like every writer, I bring a different perspective than others to solving this equation. I hope parts of my background resonate with you, and that my postings make you want to read more.

I am married, and in my mid-40s, with two elementary school aged children. My wife has worked as a stay at home mother since our first child was born.

I work full-time. Besides my paycheck, our only income sources are interest and dividends. We own no rental real estate, and we don’t have any side hustles.

We live in a relatively expensive area of the United States. Although we generally purchase conservatively, our spending levels are less Spartan than those of many other FIRE bloggers.

I have a different perspective on investing than many others. I believe much of the conventional wisdom you have heard is correct. But I don’t think 100% of your portfolio should be in index funds.

I intend to retire from the full-time workforce before I turn 50, and before either of our children will be college age. We intend to pay for a significant portion of their college expenses, if that is the path in life they decide to pursue.

I hope you enjoy following our journey, and look forward to your thoughts.

Thank you for reading!

Disclaimer and Disclosure

Retiring On My Terms is for informational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors. You are responsible for your own decisions. Before making any financial decisions, you should consider your own financial circumstances, and consult with a professional advisor.

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