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Traveling Keeps Me Young

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Traveling Keeps Me Young

I turned sixty-seven this year. Sixty-seven! Yet, I don’t care, because traveling keeps me young. I highly recommend it  if for no other reason than it will force you to step outside your comfort zone and your daily routine, firing up those old grey cells. When a person travels, learning something new or solving a range of unexpected problems is unavoidable.  Don’t believe me? Try navigating the transportation system in a foreign country that doesn’t speak English.  It can be challenging, especially for Americans that hail from regions where public transport is rare, almost nonexistent. Add to the dilemma that many Americans expect people to accommodate them by speaking English, when that’s not always possible, the very thought of using subways, city buses, trams and such can bring on a case of nervous hives. Yet, it’s these kinds of new experiences that an aging population often lacks. I contend that’s one reason we grow old mentally, often before our time.  I’m not talking about Alzheimer’s. I’m talking about growing old because we think old. Every day being just like the last can be comforting, but repetition encourages “old lady” or “old man” syndrome. You may know one of those people. They worry about trivia, fuss about their health and generally have lost a good part of the zest for life that makes being alive —fun. And, you don’t have to be sixty-seven to fall into that trap. I’ve met many a younger person that don’t welcome learning new things....

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Let’s Talk About Retirement

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in Blog | 2 comments

Let’s Talk About Retirement

Let’s talk retirement. Shall we? What’s your plan for retiring? Can you actually afford to live where you currently live when you retire? I retired earlier than most people. I believe it was largely possible to do so because I met my financial goal to live debt free with the lowest overhead possible. It certainly wasn’t because I’m rich. It took a heaping amount of common sense, perseverance and the willingness to face reality to reach my financial goals, however. It’s fairly common knowledge that many of the moneymaking industries are centered in major cities these days and that those less prosperous regions of the US were the most negatively affected by globalization, automation and the tech boom. Farming and manufacturing were both hard hit industries, unfortunately, and probably will never recover their former glory. My daughter lives in LA and as a single woman in a gentrified part of West Hollywood, she pulls in a good salary plus has started her own side business which is also making her some serious cash returns. She’s providing a service for people who can afford to pay her top dollar. She’s perfectly located at this particular time of her life, her moneymaking years.  It’s fair to say that many educated young people are often forced to migrate to these cities to make a decent living. This phenomenon has often been compared to the Industrial Revolution of the last century which turned the work world upside down and forced people to rethink...

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Stuff, Things and Freedom

Posted by on Jan 21, 2018 in Blog | 0 comments

Stuff, Things and Freedom

Stuff! The very sound of the word in my ears conjures up a mental picture of boxes, closets, drawers, garages, storage units and car trunks crammed full of junk. You know what I mean. Among the clutter, there may be one or two items that you actually could use if only you could locate them, but alas they stay buried, hidden from view by a pile of debris. Most of what we ordinary people hang on to in life are worthless pieces of shit. Unlike the rich, we have no heirlooms, jewels or paintings of great value. We have mountains of plastic and cheaply made goods from China, instead. And, although there’s no sin in hoarding, often burying ourselves alive in a mountain of junk, it definitely can create unnecessary problems. Once upon a time, I sold 98% of all my worldly possessions in order to travel the world. For the next few years, I did just that. I lived everywhere but nowhere, enjoying the freedom that normally is reserved for some sixteen-year olds except I had a little money in my pocket. It was wonderful. Eventually, however, I came back to the US, bought a small house again and believe it or not eight years later, a pile of junk has reappeared. Where did it come from? How did this happen? Although most of my junk is in my garage and it hasn’t taken over to the extent that I can’t park my car in the garage, it...

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Traveling a Different Financial Path Part 2

Posted by on Jan 16, 2018 in Blog | 2 comments

Traveling a Different Financial Path Part 2

Welcome to part II of Traveling a Different Financial Path. First, let me begin by stating my longterm goals for what I consider to be the road to personal freedom. I have continuously sought ways to live debt free with the lowest possible overhead. I feel at my most secure financially when my overhead is so low that if my husband and I fell upon hard times, we could survive on two part time jobs at minimum wage. That pretty well sums up economics 101 according to Teresa.  In part two of this short series, I hope to explore the mortgage situation in the US and housing in general. Clearly, there are parts of the country where owning a home is out of the question for many. The big metropolitan cities on both coastlines are getting far too pricey, for example. Yet, we need shelter of some kind. Can we find a way to beat the system even with these housing challenges. How do we bring our overhead down to the lowest possible if our housing, renting or buying, becomes an unmanagable proportion of our monthly expenses? What can we do? Speaking with hindsight that eventually influenced my decision to buy and where to buy, my number one piece of advice is that if you’re going  to buy a house do it in an affordable part of the US. Younger buyers may not be able to live in the house full time or even at all for some years,...

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Traveling a Different Financial Path

Posted by on Dec 15, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Traveling a Different Financial Path

Everyone who knows me also knows that I’m about as unconventional as they come. I’ve been traveling a different financial path for a long time. The feature photo was taken about thirteen years ago. It was my first long-term trip abroad and my last home away from home on that trip before I returned to the states. I was new at the whole vagabonding experience. Living everywhere but nowhere was the biggest adventure of my lifetime. How did I manage to retire so early and travel at such lengths, even living abroad for up to eight month stretches on a tiny income? People think I’m rich or that I inherited a tidy sum or that maybe I won the lottery, but that’s as far from the truth as you can get. My lifestyle was and is uconventional because I make loads of unconventional choices every day. These choices are often in direct opposition to what I see almost everyone else doing, but I don’t care. I want something quite different than what many of my friends and acquaintances seem to want and that’s okay. My financial goal has always been to have no debt while living with the lowest monthly overhead possible. Americans now have the highest credit-card debt in U.S. history It’s upon those two goals that I base all of my financial decisions. If I earn more money, that’s okay, but not if it’s so I can support a higher monthly overhead. Believe it or not, if...

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