Our Best Resource – The Library

When we were working we used to spend a lot of money on books, to the point where our house was over-run with books. This isn’t something I regret as having access to reading, books and knowledge is an important part of a child’s development. It was not unusual for us to buy 3 or 4 books a week, either new or second hand from half price books.

One of the areas we tightened up on was our book buying habit (obsession?). Which means our making much more use of our local library.

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It’s No-school-vember

During November there are a lot of days off school, between three days for Thanksgiving, three days for teacher conference plus a couple of teacher training days our children are only in school for just over half the month.

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Your Most Important Savings Mechanism

Saving for retirement is hard. luckily for most people in the US there is a tax advantaged way of contributing that requires little to no work from your self.

If you work for a large employer in the US there is a good chance you have access to a 401K retirement plan; this amounts to about 80% of all working Americans. However only around 40% of workers with access are actually contributing. Of those who are contributing the average balance is around $100,000 but the median balance is only just over $25,000. These numbers add fuel to the narrative that Americans are not saving enough for retirement.

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House on FIRE

For most people their largest asset is their house, for people on FIRE there is no difference. We were lucky that we bought our house in Houston at a low in the market, so this meant when we sold earlier in the year we made a good profit. We could then buy out right here in Portland.

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October Financial Update

Its Autumn! Living here in Portland, October definitely felt more like fall than Houston ever did. The leaves are changing, it’s chilly in the morning and everyone seems to be getting excited about the various upcoming holidays. October is also in the Pacific Northwest when the rainy season starts. w\We were lucky this year that we actually had quite a dry month, this year’s Halloween was supposedly the first dry one in 10 years.

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It’s Health Insurance Week – Part 2

As I discussed last week, as of January 1st we are likely moving to an ACA (Affordable Care Act) approved plan. We saw that using a representative set of plans from Kaiser for our family of 4 the annual premiums would be somewhere between $11,000 and $18,000. However this doesn’t include any relief due to the premium tax credit (PTC).

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It’s Health Insurance Week

For those in the US who are self employed, work in small business, or FIREd, this is a big week as open enrollment in the ACA (Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare) starts on Wednesday. A couple of days ago the 2018 details were released, so we can start perusing options now in order to sign up. We fully anticipate the ACA website to experience high-load crashes the closer we get to the December 15th deadline, therefore it is in our best interests to investigate the options and sign up sooner rather than later.

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A FIRE Family Can Live Anywhere

One of the big advantages of living the FIRE life is that you can live basically anywhere you want to. We moved from Houston to Portland and approached our move in a methodical way.

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Monte Carlo or Bust

I have been looking at some Monte Carlo simulations this week. For those unfamiliar with them, they allow you to take your portfolio and input factors such as withdrawal rates, inflation and portfolio make up. The software then runs something like 10,000 scenarios and gives you an idea as to whether your portfolio will run out before you do.

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FIRE Life : The Pros and Cons

The two questions/comments we are asked most often are, “Wow, you are so lucky” and “What do you do all day, don’t you get bored?”

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