Another quarter of pandemic life is behind us, but life’s certainly not back to normal. New cases of COVID-19 are climbing around the country, and it seems like the dreaded “second wave” could emerge over the coming months. We’re also just weeks away from the U.S. presidential election. Regardless of whether President Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins, the result will ultimately have an impact on our personal finances and pursuit of FIRE.Continue Reading
My employer recently went through a round of layoffs. While my job was safe, many of my colleagues, and millions of Americans, have lost their jobs over the past several months. COVID-19 cases continue climbing in many parts of the country, massive social changes are taking place, and what seems like one of the most important presidential elections of my lifetime is just four months away.
The world has changed a lot in 2020, which has caused us to rethink our plans around our pursuit of early retirement and financial independence.
Part of me has been tempted to use the massive uncertainty as the impetus to walk away and focus on what’s most important to us.
But the more rational part of me thinks it would be crazy to abandon a good paycheck until we have a much better idea what life in the United States might look like in 2021, 2022, and beyond.Continue Reading
Three years ago, The Green Swan blog introduced a metric called the FIRE Prowess Score.
“FIRE Prowess” went viral among those seeking financial independence and early retirement in 2017. Many financial bloggers, including yours truly, wrote about our FIRE Prowess Scores back then.
Since I’m close to finishing up our taxes, I’ve pulled together the information needed to determine our score for 2019. I’ve been keeping thorough financial records for years, and enjoy tracking how our “FIRE Prowess” has changed over time. Thanks largely to last year’s great stock market returns, our FIRE Prowess improved significantly over the past twelve months!Continue Reading
I recently wrote about how the strong U.S. stock market enabled the ROMT family to achieve our long-term net worth goal earlier than expected.
That achievement naturally could lead readers to wonder:
“So ROMT, if you think you’re financially independent, why haven’t you retired early?”
It’s a great question, and one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately!
There are several reasons why I haven’t pursued early retirement, even though our net worth says it might be possible:
The U.S. stock market finished the decade on a strong note, with returns of 8.5% for the S&P 500 during the fourth quarter of 2019. For the full year, the S&P 500 climbed 29%, its best performance since 2013!
Those great returns helped our financial situation improve more than expected over the last three months of the year. As a result, the ROMT family achieved one of the three financial goals we set on our path towards financial independence and early retirement!
A couple years ago, I wrote about how much money we saved by making a few simple phone calls.
One of those calls was to our cable company, which offered me a discounted rate for two years when I threatened to cut the cord.
Unfortunately, two years have now come and gone, and our monthly cable bill recently climbed when our discounted rate expired. Continue Reading
After a great first half of the year financially, the third quarter of 2019 was less eventful for the ROMT family.
The S&P 500 climbed 1.2% during Q3, which helped offset our spending being a bit higher than normal, as we took a few trips over the summer. Although our progress slowed from the pace we set earlier in the year, we continued to move closer to each of the three goals we are tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income.
As I noted in our latest Quarterly Financial Scorecard, we’re getting close to making financial independence a reality.
We’re now two years away from my target early retirement date. And barring a major downturn in the stock market, we should hit our net worth goal early next year.
But even in a best case scenario, that means we still have another 24 months of long commutes, late nights, countless meetings, office politics, and stressful deadlines ahead.
When we last reported on our finances at the beginning of the year, the results were not good. The worst quarter for the stock market in almost seven years resulted in our net worth moving in the wrong direction for the first time since we started posting our Quarterly Financial Scorecards here at Retiring On My Terms.
Fast forward three months, however, and we seem to be back on track.
The S&P 500 Index returned more than 13% during Q1 2019 – it’s best quarter in nearly a decade! While the U.S. stock market is still a bit below the all-time high set last September, the strong returns so far this year have been great for the ROMT family. We made progress over the past quarter on all three of the metrics we are tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income.Continue Reading
I’ve been earning income for over 30 years, and maintaining copious financial records for close to two decades.
As a result, I’ve accumulated a lot of information on my finances.
Most of the time, that information sits in a filing cabinet or on my computer’s hard drive.
But every once in a while I actually use it.
As we get closer to financial independence and early retirement, I’ve spent more time thinking about passive income. Since this blog has literally generated less than a penny per hour in earnings, passive income for the ROMT family consists primarily of interest on our savings and dividends on our investments.Continue Reading