Giveaway Day #4: Package of Career/Productivity Books!

Giveaway Day #4: Package of Career/Productivity Books!

great career and entrepreneur books

Getting closer to the end of giveaway week! But still two solid days left of spreading great resources back into circulation 😉

This time around – we focus on career and productivity books.

But first, yesterday’s lucky new owner of those frugality books! –> Lily @ Congrats, friend!! Drinks on you if we ever meet up in real life! 😉

Onto Giveaway Day #4:

Bundle of 4 Great Career Books!

career entrepreneurial books

All the saving and investing and classical finance tips are great, but without a solid job and income coming in, it’s kinda hard to put into practice 😉 So up for grabs today are a handful of books to help you climb the ladder faster, and advance your productivity along with it. Both at your job, and in life in general! Here’s what we’re giving away:

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie — “Dale Carnegie’s rock-solid, time-tested advice has carried countless people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives. One of the most groundbreaking and timeless bestsellers of all time, How to Win Friends & Influence People will teach you: six ways to make people like you, twelve ways to win people to your way of thinking, nine ways to change people without arousing resentment, and much more! Achieve your maximum potential—a must-read for the twenty-first century with more than 15 million copies sold.”

The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan — “The ONE Thing has made more than 400 appearances on national bestseller lists, including #1 Wall Street Journal, NewYork Times, and USA Today. It won 12 book awards, has been translated into 30 languages, chosen as one of the Top 5 Business Books of 2013 by Hudson’s Booksellers and one of Top 30 Business Books of 2013 by Executive Book Summaries… In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to cut through the clutter, achieve better results in less time, build momentum toward your goal,  dial down the stress, overcome that overwhelmed feeling, revive your energy, stay on track [and] master what matters to you. The ONE Thing delivers extraordinary results in every area of your life–work, personal, family, and spiritual.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey — “One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.” Also from Wikipedia: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, first published in 1989, is a business and self-help book written by Stephen Covey. Covey presents an approach to being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls “true north” principles based on a character ethic that he presents as universal and timeless.”

The One Minute Manager by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson — From Wikipedia: “The One Minute Manager is a very short book by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. The brief volume tells a story, recounting three techniques of an effective manager: one-minute goals, one-minute praisings and one-minute reprimands. Each of these takes only a minute but is purportedly of lasting benefit.”

***Links and bios above are (mostly) from Amazon, and point to the latest updated books – not the exact editions being given away today which you can see in the pics. Links are affiliate links.***

Want these? Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter,
and then answer the following question:

What’s a great hack you’ve done in your life or career lately??

As always, share your answers below or via email, and we’ll pick the winner by 5pm EST *TODAY*, and then announce it in tomorrow’s last book giveaway… Which is going to be a nice grand finale up in here as we got a handful of packages to give out!! 🙂

Hope you’re finding some good ideas, even if you haven’t won anything yet!

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Giveaway Day #3: Bundle of Frugality Books!

Giveaway Day #3: Bundle of Frugality Books!

frugality books

Hey hey! Another day, another package of books to give away!

This time around – the ones that can save you money and bring out your inner minimalist/ frugalist 🙂 Two of which come from blogger friends!

But first – yesterday’s winner of the investing books…  bum bum bum dee bum bum bum… Ellie Falls! Enjoy!!! Don’t forget about us little people when you hit the millions!

Now onto today’s package for sale free:

Lot of Frugality Books!

great frugality books

Got some famous ones up in here like The Gazette and Frugalwoods‘ new book, along with some other oldies but goodies for your money saving pleasure… More info and details below!

The Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn — “Having discovered that frugality is good for the bank account and the environment, Amy Dacyczyn started a newsletter for skinflints in 1989. Within a year, 50,000 cheapskates had subscribed to The Tightwad Gazette. Now Amy has collected all her wisdom into a book, and it’s as good a deal as you’ll find in these inflationary times.”

Meet The Frugalwoods by Elizabeth Willard Thames — “Meet the Frugalwoods is the intriguing story of how Elizabeth and Nate realized that the mainstream path wasn’t for them, crafted a lifestyle of sustainable frugality, and reached financial independence at age thirty-two. While not everyone wants to live in the woods, or quit their jobs, many of us want to have more control over our time and money and lead more meaningful, simplified lives. Following their advice, you too can live your best life.”

50 Simple Steps You Can Take To Improve Your Personal Finances by Ilyce R. Glink — “The hardest part of attaining personal financial freedom is getting started. Ilyce R. Glink makes it a snap. The smart, simple strategies presented in 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Improve Your Personal Finances let you take immediate control of your money. With her trademark wit, friendly style, and crystal-clear examples, Ilyce Glink helps you set financial goals and reach them.”

The More of Less by Joshua Becker — “After a casual conversation with his neighbor on Memorial Day 2008, Joshua Becker realized he needed a change. He was spending far too much time organizing possessions, cleaning up messes, and looking for more to buy. So Joshua and his wife decided to remove the nonessential possessions from their home and life. Eventually, they sold, donated, or discarded over 60 percent of what they owned. In exchange, they found a life of more freedom, more contentment, more generosity, and more opportunity to pursue the things that mattered most.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: You might recognize this one from an article we ran last year 😉 –> “Maybe the life you’ve always wanted is buried under everything you own!”]

Penny Pinching by Lee and Barbara Simmons — From back cover [1993] — “Penny Pinching is back — revised and updated with dozens of all-new cost-cutting strategies you can use to lower expenses in just about every spending category, without lowering your standard of living. Whether you are at the supermarket, buying a new car, or planning a vacation, here are hundreds of easy-to-follow practical tips that will help you save money without sacrificing the good things in life.”

***Links and bios above are from Amazon, and point to the latest updated books – not necessarily the exact editions being given away today which you can see in the pics. Also – links are affiliate links.***

Want these? Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter,
and then answer the following question:

What’s one thing you did to save money this month?? How much?

Drop your answers below, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning as we do our next giveaway… Just make sure they’re in by 5pm EST today! And that you have a U.S. address so it doesn’t cost me $50 to ship! 🙂

Bundle #4 coming up tomorrow… For you hustlers out there.

working gif
[Gif by Jesse Luo]


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A great blog post that tackles the stigma attached to a bad credit history and how you shouldn’t have shame about your financial situation! Via @myfabfinance Definitely recommend giving it a read! #personalfinance #RealMoneyTalk

from Twitter

June 19, 2018 at 10:12AM
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Giveaway Day #2: Bundle of Investing Books!

Giveaway Day #2: Bundle of Investing Books!

investing books bundle

Welcome back! Day #2 of our week of book giveaways, and up for grabs this time around is a bunch of great *investing* and financial planning books.

But first, let’s announce the winner of yesterday’s personal finance Classics!

The lucky winner is… Mark R.! BOOM! Congrats! Although really everyone won by seeing so many great $$$ tips yesterday, eh? 😉 Don’t forget to pass these books forward when you’re done with them, Mark, and keep the faux Money Library going! The only library that never gets its books back – hah!

Now to today’s docket:

The Investing Books Bundle!

great investing books

A mix of classics for ya, along with some newer books that have since hit the shelves… One even with an autograph included 😉 Here’s what we’ve got:

The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle — “The classic guide to getting smart about the market. Legendary mutual fund  pioneer John C. Bogle reveals his key to getting more out of investing: low-cost index funds. Bogle describes the simplest and most effective investment strategy for building wealth over the long term: buy and hold, at very low cost, a mutual fund that tracks a broad stock market Index such as the S&P 500.”

The Index Card by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack — “When University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack interviewed Helaine Olen, an award-winning financial journalist and the author of the bestselling Pound Foolish, he made an off­hand suggestion: everything you need to know about managing your money could fit on an index card. To prove his point, he grabbed a 4″ x 6″ card, scribbled down a list of rules, and posted a picture of the card online. The post went viral. Now, Pollack teams up with Olen to explain why the ten simple rules of the index card outperform more complicated financial strategies.”

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham — “The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham’s philosophy of “value investing”—which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies—has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.”

The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards — “The fact is, in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there. That’s because a great financial plan has nothing to do with what the markets are doing, what your real estate agent is pitching, or the hot stock your brother-in-law told you about. It has everything to do with what’s most important to you….This book will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.”

***Links and bios above are from Amazon, and point to the latest updated books – not necessarily the exact editions being given away today which you can see in the pics. Also – links are affiliate links.***

Want these? Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter,
and then answer the following question:

What was the worst investment you ever made? If you’ve never invested before, what’s the worst financial mistake you’ve ever made?

Share your answers below, and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow morning! Remember – you have to have a U.S. address and make sure to be entered before 5pm EST when I’ll be randomly drawing the name – I don’t work nights anymore! 😉

See ya back on Day #3 of our book giveaways tomorrow… And sorry for blowing up your inbox if these don’t interest you!

explosion gif


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Do you think young people are planning for their financial future? Or does life just get in the way which makes it more difficult for them? @vancouversun

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June 18, 2018 at 03:18PM
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A Week of Giving Away #Money Books!

A Week of Giving Away #Money Books!

classic money books

So two years ago I came up with this bright idea of starting a Personal Finance Library where I’d mail books back and forth to whoever wants them (for free), but after further research and certain naysayers telling me it’ll never work, I’ve decided to table it for now until I can prove them all wrong 😉

I even had the perfect domain picked out for it and everything! –> // Which I still own, so the dream lives on!!

But alas, this currently leaves me with approximately 30 books sitting on my bookshelves not helping a damn person, so today I’d like to change that and put them into the world 🙂

For the next 5 days, I’ll be giving away a *package* of books each day, and the only rule is that if you win you have to PASS THEM FORWARD when you’re done reading them. Cool?

Each package will contain anywhere from 3-5 books around a certain theme, and all you have to do to enter is be signed up to our newsletter and answer that day’s question.

And it starts right now!!

Package Giveaway #1: Personal Finance Classics!

classic money books covers

We’re going OG today and starting with some of the most popular books in the personal finance world over the past handful of decades. Here’s what this package contains:

Your Money or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin — “For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin’s guidance… Whether you’re just beginning your financial life or heading towards retirement, this book will show you how to: get out of debt and develop savings, save money through mindfulness and good habits rather than strict budgeting, declutter your life and live well for less, invest your savings and begin creating wealth, save the planet while saving money, and so much more!”

Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill — “In Think and Grow Rich, Hill draws on stories of Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other millionaires of his generation to illustrate his principles. This book will teach you the secrets that could bring you a fortune. It will show you not only what to do but how to do it. Once you learn and apply the simple, basic techniques revealed here, you will have mastered the secret of true and lasting success.”

The Automatic Millionaire, by David Bach — “The Automatic Millionaire starts with the powerful story of an average American couple whose joint income never exceeds $55,000 a year, yet who somehow manage to own two homes debt-free, put two kids through college, and retire at 55 with more than $1 million in savings. Through their story you’ll learn the surprising fact that you cannot get rich with a budget! You have to have a plan to pay yourself first that is totally automatic, a plan that will automatically secure your future and pay for your present.”

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki — “Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert’s story of growing up with two dads — his real father and the father of his best friend, his rich dad — and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explodes the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you.”

***Links and bios above are from Amazon, and point to the latest updated books – not the exact editions being given away which you can see in the pics. Also – links are affiliate links.***

Want these? Make sure you’re subscribed to our newsletter,
and then answer the following question:

What’s the most classic financial tip you’ve ever been told? Or do yourself?

Share your answers in the comments below or by replying via email if you’re seeing this in your inbox, and we’ll randomly pick the winner and announce it at the start of tomorrow’s giveaway. You have until 5pm EST today! GO GO GO!

You can enter as many of these giveaways as you’d like this week, but you DO have to have a U.S. address or else it would cost more than the books are worth to ship them to ya ;( But maybe you know someone in the U.S. you could give them to if you win?!

Good luck!! And remember – you have to pass these forward after you’ve read them!

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10 *Downsides* to Early Retirement

10 *Downsides* to Early Retirement

thumbs down

[Please welcome back to the site today, John, aka “ESI,” from ESI Money and Rockstar Finance! We’ve lured him back after two years of retirement to share the negative sides of the early retirement coin (big thanks to reader Bill who prompted this!), and we hope this gives you a more fuller perspective on life after pulling the trigger… Since retiring early – or at all – isn’t always amazeballs!]


Last year I wrote a guest post for Budgets are Sexy titled 10 Things I Didn’t Expect in Early Retirement. The post detailed ten awesome things I had discovered about early retirement since taking the dive months earlier.

The article was picked up by Business Insider and created quite a bit of publicity. Its message is popular with a broad audience so BI runs it again every now and then. When that happens, a new wave of readers visit this site as well as mine.

A recent re-run of this post brought a new reader here who left this comment:

I know this is an old post, but I just recently found it in my news feed. I retired 9 months ago at age 47, and I have the same 10 surprises with little regrets, too. This is a great summary of how I currently feel.

But it’s NOT all just good surprises and there can be a dark side, so I would hope you could balance the positives with a few negatives to paint a clearer picture. Maybe you could do another post with a list of the potential downsides? I’m not talking about money concerns here: the top of my list is social isolation.

After receiving this comment, J. Money forwarded it to me and asked if I was up for a “one year later” post covering some early retirement drawbacks instead of the positives.

While I have not experienced much of any of the downsides associated with early retirement, I have followed the subject closely for years and realize there are some. With that said, I’d like to share ten early retirement downsides to consider as part of an early retirement decision. I’ll also include ways I’ve overcome some of these, plus suggestions for avoiding them.

And while the commenter wanted to focus on non-financial issues (and social isolation specifically), there are significant monetary downsides to early retirement. Leaving these out would make the post incomplete in my opinion, so my list will include both monetary and non-monetary downsides.

With that said, let’s get on to the list (in no particular order)…

#1. Loss of Income

Let’s face it, the reason people go to jobs they (generally) dislike and put up with all the politics, long commutes, brutal hours, and so on is because of the money. Very few people would “keep working even if they didn’t pay me.” Therefore, the loss of income has to be listed as a big downside for almost all early retirees.

Just the thought of losing an income is enough to stop potential early retirees in their tracks. My parents are an example of this. They would like to retire (not early, mind you) but my dad just “keeps thinking about all that money I’ll leave on the table.” At this point I’m not sure he’ll ever retire because he fears the loss of income too much.

Of course, anyone can plan to combat this issue through several means:

  1. Knowing your retirement spending needs
  2. Saving enough to cover expenses (i.e. drawing down assets to pay for retirement)
  3. Investing assets to generate income (real estate, dividend investing, etc.)
  4. Building in margins of safety into your financial plan.

But all of these require planning, self-control, and at least a basic understanding of personal finances. Many Americans are not so keen on any of these much less all of them.

To be honest, I considered this downside myself before I retired. I made a great salary for most of my career. During my 50’s alone I was set to cash in big-time. But the truth was, I already had enough a DECADE before I actually retired. I finally discovered that I could stop accumulating assets and move on. That said, I still wonder from time to time how I might have spent that few extra million dollars I gave up.

#2. Reduced Social Security Income

My financial plan is based on zero help from Social Security. If I get one penny from the government it will be more than I’m planning on.

But for those who need Social Security to retire early (or perhaps need it later in retirement), retiring early is going to put a huge dent in what you’ll receive.

Here’s a somewhat understandable explanation of how Social Security benefits are calculated:

All workers paying FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) and SECA (Self Employed Contributions Act) taxes for forty quarters of credit or more on a specified minimum income or more are “fully insured” and eligible to retire at age 62 with reduced benefits and higher benefits at full retirement ages, FRA, of 65, 66 or 67 depending on birth date.

Retirement benefits depend upon the “adjusted” average wage earned in the last 35 years. Wages of earlier years are “adjusted” before averaging by multiplying each annual salary by an annual adjusted wage index factor, AWI, for earlier salaries. Adjusted wages for 35 years are always used to compute the 35 year “average” indexed monthly salary. Only wages lower than the “ceiling” income are considered in calculating the adjusted average wage.

If the worker has fewer than 35 years of covered earnings these non-contributory years are assigned zero earnings. If there are more than 35 years of covered earnings only the highest 35 are considered. The sum of the 35 adjusted salaries (or less if worker has less than 35 years of covered income) times its inflation index, AWI divided by 420 (35 yrs x 12 months/yr) gives the 35 year covered Average Indexed Monthly salary, AIME.

So if you work 35 years, your total is based on those years. If you work less than 35 years, your total is based on the years you worked plus zeroes averaged in for the years you didn’t work, dramatically lowering your benefits.

As an example, let’s say Joe worked 35 years and averaged $50,000 in income those years. His Social Security would be based on that $50k average.

Now let’s say Joe’s twin, Jim, retired early. He worked 20 years at $50k and the other 15 years at $0. Jim’s Social Security would be based on an average of $28,571 (($50k * 20)/35).

So if you’re going to need all the money you can get from Social Security, retiring early can be a significant downside.

#3. Healthcare Insurance Issues

Between my websites I have interviewed many millionaires over the years.

I changed the questions several months ago, and this was a recent question I added to the list:

Are there any issues in retirement that concern you?

Almost every single one of them mentions health insurance. And these are millionaires! If they are worried about affording medical insurance, how does the rest of the world stand a chance?

Retiring early further aggravates the issue because there are limited options prior to Medicare.

Insurance under the Affordable Care Act is not affordable for most people with even an average income. Others don’t like the criteria imposed by alternatives like health sharing ministries, are concerned by their ability to pay, and/or don’t qualify (they often mandate the insured avoid several activities that are known to cause health issues, like smoking).

We have used a health sharing ministry since I retired, pay a fraction of what we would under the ACA, get better coverage, and have seen it pay out for us. I know many others who have similar testimonies from other health sharing companies.

Some other options that have worked are healthcare coverage locked in by time of service (like in the military, or provided to teachers in some school districts), one spouse keeps working to provide insurance, or taking a basic job just to cover health insurance (for example, with Starbucks).

However, there are few alternatives and all come with as many problems as solutions. It’s clear why millionaires and any other early retirees would be concerned about this downside.

#4. Mental Decline

You’ve probably heard the phrase “use it or lose it.” Well, it appears that this could be the tagline for our brains as well. And early retirement could be just the thing to turn our minds to mush.

Consider this from the UK:

New research shows that brain function declines rapidly as soon as people stop work and put their feet up.

A major British study which tracked 3,400 retired civil servants found that short-term memory declines nearly 40 percent faster once employees become pensioners.

It appears that the lack of regular stimulation takes a heavy toll on cognitive function and speeds up memory loss and dementia, researchers warned.

In other words, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

It’s a wonder that the retirees of old survived past a couple years with all the leisurely pursuits (like TV, bowling, etc.) they pursued after quitting work.

Obviously there’s a great solution to this: Keep learning and growing. Try new things. Challenge yourself.

Most of the early retirees I’ve met aren’t sitting at home eating Twinkies and watching Game of Thrones for the fourth time. They have passions and pursue them. And many of their interests include brain-enhancing activities.

The past two years being retired have allowed me to participate more often in many activities that challenge my mind, including:

  • Reading more than ever (I’d include listening to podcasts here as well)
  • Buying a business and growing my personal site (EDITOR: Hope you’re enjoying it, buddy ;))
  • Managing my rental properties (limited time since I use a property manager, but I still need to stay sharp to keep them on their toes)
  • Playing more chess
  • Traveling more and learning along the way

And there are many other ways to keep your mind sharp. Here’s a piece from Harvard listing 12 ways to keep your brain young. Most of them have to do with getting and staying physically fit.

Of course, if your idea of retirement is lounging all day in front of a computer watching cat videos, you’ll probably have problems.

The key is that you need a plan to USE your brain so you don’t lose it.

#5. Physical Decline

Put this one in the “use it or lose it” camp as well.

Unfortunately, that’s not the only physical problem for early retirees. Here’s a summary of the issues from the Harvard Medical School:

A new salvo comes from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. They looked at rates of heart attack and stroke among men and women in the ongoing U.S. Health and Retirement Study. Among 5,422 individuals in the study, those who had retired were 40% more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working. The increase was more pronounced during the first year after retirement, and leveled off after that.

The results, reported in the journal Social Science & Medicine, are in line with earlier studies that have shown that retirement is associated with a decline in health. But others have shown that retirement is associated with improvements in health, while some have shown it has little effect on health.

In their paper, Moon and her colleagues described retirement as a “life course transition involving environmental changes that reshape health behaviors, social interactions, and psychosocial stresses” that also brings shifts in identity and preferences. In other words, moving from work to no work comes with a boatload of other changes. “Our results suggest we may need to look at retirement as a process rather than an event,” said lead study author J. Robin Moon, who is now a senior health policy advisor to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

These changes may be why retirement is ranked 10th on the list of life’s 43 most stressful events. Some people smoothly make the transition into a successful retirement. Others don’t.

Understanding how retirement affects a large group of people is interesting, but doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how it will affect you.

That last point is key. The results above are general, not specific. The group overall has these results but any given individual may be significantly better or worse off.

Basically, if you have plans that will keep you busy in retirement and you hated your job in the first place, retirement is probably going to be great for you.

If you have no idea what you might do in retirement, it might be rough on you (and your health).

Personally, retirement has been a huge win for me health-wise. I now have the time to workout six times a week and walk 15,000 steps a day. I hired a trainer and kept him the first year of retirement (I now have enough routines to keep me busy) and he whipped me into the best shape in my life.

So it’s like much of life: If you have a plan for positive change, retirement can be a great time filled with better health. If you have no plan and simply let life “happen”, it probably won’t turn out well.

#6. Loss of Social Interaction

Now we get to the issue brought up by the original commenter. Retiring often severs relationships (especially those around work) which is quite hard for many people. And much of the research above will back this up — loss of social interaction is a bad thing.

Personally, this is zero issue for me because:

  • I grew up as an only child to a single, working parent. Much of my childhood was spent alone and I actually like it that way.
  • My key relationships are with my family — both my immediate and extended family. Retiring early allowed me a year at home with my daughter before she went to college. It allows me to take two walks a day with my wife. It allows me to go to the movies with my wife and son in the middle of the afternoon (on discount day, of course). It allows me to call my mom more often and chat for longer. It allows my dad to visit without me having to dole out limited vacation time. In other words, the social interactions that are most important to me have vastly improved in retirement.
  • We retired in Colorado and when you retire here, people come to visit you. We have so many visitors every year. And we can actually spend time with them since I don’t have to work!
  • I see people in other places — the gym, at church, at neighborhood events, etc. If anything, I do MORE of these things since I’m not exhausted by work commitments. I remember not going to many neighborhood parties because I was too mentally exhausted from work or had to work the next day. Now I don’t have those concerns.
  • Work relationships were never my main social connection. Sure, I spent the most time with people at work, but it wasn’t like they were my family. They were great and I developed some close friendships, but I didn’t see work as a social club. It was WORK.

All that said, I know many people get lots (most? all?) of their social interactions from work and from friendships related (directly or indirectly) to work. So retiring early can be pretty hard for them.

To this group I’d offer the following ways to get their needed social connections:

  • Join a club. Cards, cycling, singing, whatever. Do something you like that involves others.
  • Go to a gym. My wife takes classes at our gym and has made several friends there.
  • Visit a church. Hey, they are supposed to be friendly to you, so take advantage of it.
  • Volunteer. Non-profits can use your time and experience.
  • Be more neighborly. Get out and meet your neighbors. Check out Next Door as there’s always something going on. If there isn’t, organize a 4th of July BBQ or Christmas party and invite everyone. We have both of those in our neighborhood, plus someone usually rents a bounce-house for Halloween which is the place all the grown-ups congregate to chat while the kids raid the neighborhood.

I could go on, but you get the idea.

Now if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t make friends easily, let me suggest you learn to do so. That’s a double win: it will be a challenge for your mind that will also satisfy your need for social interaction. 🙂

#7. Loss of Identity

I think it’s no secret that for some people what they do is who they are. Then when the job is over, they don’t know who they are any more.

They have spent 30 years at something that’s taken the majority of their time, effort, focus, energy, and whatever else they have. When that goes away, what’s left?

This is a tough issue for many and the only way through it is to find new activities to replace the time and meaning they got from work. These could be recreational (hobbies, traveling, etc.), volunteer (church, non-profits, etc.), or even occupational (a part-time job to help them feel productive again.)

Even so, if a person’s identity is so closely tied to a specific job (doctor, lawyer, teacher, etc.) and that’s gone, then it may be hard for them to get over the loss. If this is you or someone you know considering retirement, you may want to think long and hard before you retire early.

As an alternative, you may want to seek professional help if you think this issue will present a real challenge for you.

I liked my job, but it never defined me. I was a husband, father, and simply a person well ahead of being a business executive, so I never really dealt with this concern.

I also think this downside was more common in the past when people worked in one industry or for one company their entire working lives. As that has changed, I believe those who connect so closely with their profession for it to be a major retirement issue has declined as well.

#8. Boredom

I know. This sounds like an angsty adolescent. “I’m bored!”

This is a downside that’s similar in cause to the last one: it impacts those whose work is such a large part of their lives.

For some people, work is their life. They eat, sleep, and breathe work. As such, they develop few (if any) outside interests.

Once work is gone some lose their identity, some grow bored, and some experience both.

Of course the solution to this is to develop some outside interests. And better yet, these interests should be considered/explored prior to retirement to see which ones stick and which ones aren’t of interest.

I worry about my dad being bored. Most of his life has been about a few things: work, watching TV, and a trip out to eat/shop once a week. I have never seen him read a book and only occasionally look over a magazine. He has no hobbies. When work is gone for him, what will he do? It’s a very good question.

Even if your interests are a bit broader, boredom can be an issue. You can only watch so much TV, play so much golf, and read so many books. You have to have other interests or retirement will be B-O-R-I-N-G.

On the other hand, if you have a list of things you’d like to do or try, then retirement will be a blast.

Here are some of the things I’ve added since I retired:

  • Exercising more
  • Spending more time on my websites (including buying a new one)
  • Traveling more. I’ve been to Grand Cayman, DC twice, Seattle, Portland, Dallas, and home to see my parents three times.
  • Two-times daily walks with my wife
  • Volunteering at church (I’m an usher)
  • Spending more time with Colorado visitors
  • Cooking more. I grill at least once a week these days.
  • Get out into nature and hit the trails. There are many options here in Colorado.

And my list is still full of things I want to do. Here’s a sample:

  • Learn to sail
  • Learn to scuba dive
  • Hike Pikes Peak
  • Complete The Incline in less than an hour
  • Find a board position for a non-profit
  • Write a book or two (maybe)
  • Visit at least one Caribbean island each year

And there’s more… Plus it seems like every time I take one thing off the list, I come up with two more to replace it!

#9. Spouse Overload

In many households (either one spouse at home and the other one works or both work) the couple is used to spending significant time apart.

When one retires and joins the other at home (or they both retire and join each other), the couple could be thrust into close contact for several hours each day. It’s different for sure. Is it better or worse? That depends.

One of the most frequently asked questions I got when I retired was, “What does your wife think about you being home so much?”

My wife LOVES it. We take walks more than ever, we travel more than ever, we talk more than ever, and on and on.

And we still have our own interests, so it’s not like we’re joined at the hip 24/7. It’s been a big win for us.

But if it’s a problem for you or your spouse (or could be), then you’re going to have to deal with it. Have some conversations prior to retirement. Many of the suggestions above (developing new interests, friends, etc.) will lead to time apart for spouses which could be helpful.

Now if you hate spending any time with your spouse or vice versa, then I’m not going to be able to help you with that one. That is for a completely different post…

#10. Lack of Challenge/Purpose

For many people, their career is their purpose in life. They work. That’s what they do. It’s what they were “meant” to do. Once they retire their purpose is… what exactly?

For others, work is a challenge, they are type A’s that need a mountain to climb. Then when they don’t work, their mountain is… what?

I can’t really identify with the first group. Work was never my purpose in life. If it is for you, I suggest you consider finding a new purpose before you quit. Someone with no purpose is not going to be a happy camper.

I do identify more closely with the second group. For me business was a great big challenge. The scores were tallied in sales and profits and after every accomplishment there was another challenge waiting. Yes, I was a bit obsessive about it, but that’s what growing up poor does to some people — it lights a fire in them.

So I had to learn to channel that energy into other pursuits: developing my websites, getting in great shape, traveling to new locations, and so forth. I’ve seen others take new jobs that paid less but were more enjoyable. Still others have written books, started RV adventures around the U.S., or taken a position as a full-time volunteer.

In my experience, this downside can usually be overcome with simply a bit of thought and planning.

How to Avoid the Downsides

There are the ten downsides to early retirement. If you can think of some more, please leave them in the comments below.

Before I sign off, let me make a few general comments about these downsides:

  • If you plan well financially, the money issues go away.
  • If you consider what you’ll do in retirement and have plans to address the downsides, you’ll be fine. As someone once said, those who retire to something have good retirements. Those who retire from something usually have challenges. Make sure you have something to retire to.
  • The same traits (planning, being diligent, etc.) that allow someone to retire early are generally the same traits that can help them have a great retirement — as long as they put them into practice.

For me, the downsides have been almost non-existent. My biggest regret in retiring early BY FAR was that I didn’t do it much, much earlier when I actually hit financial independence. But I can’t turn back time, so I’m making the most of each day now. This is why my suggestion for everyone thinking about retiring early is “DO IT ASAP!”

And if you do retire and the downsides become too much for you, you can always go back to work if you leave the right doors open. As J. Money once said, if you’re smart enough to retire early, you’re smart enough to figure out your future.

ESI is the founder of ESI Money, a blog about achieving financial independence through earning, saving, and investing (ESI). He’s also the proud new owner of Rockstar Finance, after J. Money transitioned away to spend more time with his family last year. To see the first part of this Early Retirement Series, click here: 10 Things I Didn’t Expect in Early Retirement

[Photo cred: hobvias sudoneighm]


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Beautiful Rising. Creative Resistance from the Global South

Beautiful Rising. Creative Resistance from the Global South, edited by Juman Abujbara, Andrew Boyd, Dave Mitchell, and Marcel Taminato.

It’s on amazon UK and USA.

Publisher OR books writes: In the struggle for freedom and justice, organizers and activists have often turned to art, creativity, and humor. In this follow-up to the bestselling Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution, Beautiful Rising showcases some of the most innovative tactics used in struggles against autocracy and austerity across the Global South.

Based on face-to-face jam sessions held in Yangon, Amman, Harare, Dhaka, Kampala and Oaxaca, Beautiful Rising includes stories of the Ugandan organizers who smuggled two yellow-painted pigs into parliament to protest corruption; the Burmese students’ 360-mile long march against undemocratic and overly centralized education reforms; the Lebanese “honk at parliament” campaign against politicians who had clung to power long after their term had expired; and much more.

Now, in one remarkable book, you can find the collective wisdom of more than a hundred grassroots organizers from five continents. It’s everything you need for a DIY uprising of your own.

Zapatista Caravan, Chiapas and Mexico City, Mexico, 1994-1996

I keep on reviewing books about art and activism. The topic is all the rage right now. Unfortunately, many of the publications, discussions and events on the subject tend to stay at the surface of things, going for the spectacularly ‘subversive’, the in your face and the provocative. There are real gems here and there though. Beautiful Rising is one of them.

Beautiful Rising is not a ‘coffee table’ object. It’s a manual, a toolkit for citizens who dream of grassroots movements that are effective, creative and compelling.

As for the Global South, it “is not a place. It’s a way of talking about a diverse set of struggles: the uprising of the planet’s people against neoliberal policies, at least, and against the capitalist system, at most.”

The projects described and analyzed in the book come from Asia, Africa and Latin America. But they should inspire the rest of the world too. Wherever we live, we all have to contend with the hysterical aftermaths of the latest U.S. presidential elections, the rise of intolerance, the deepening of social inequalities, the destruction of our environment as well as various systems of repression and discrimination. Although some countries and people have it far worse than others, of course.

Banksy, Sorry, the lifestyle you ordered is out of stock in London, December 2011. Photo via creating clever

The authors of Beautiful Rising have identified five types of tools for social change that should be mixed and matches, customized and combined according to every specific context:

Stories: accounts of significant actions and campaigns, with an analysis of what worked, what didn’t and why.
Tactics: the various types of creative actions and the potential risks they entail.
Principles: the sets of rules to follow and/or adapt in order to design successful actions and campaigns. Because there’s method and methodology even in disobedience.
Theories: the section zooms out on concepts that provide a foundation context and help us understand how the world works.
Methodologies: the practical bit with strategic frameworks and hands-on exercises to help assess your own situation and tailor a campaign.

Beautiful Rising is an energizing ode to civil disobedience. The stories of creative popular struggles might not all have a happy ending (many do though!) but they demonstrate that citizens have determination, imagination and humour, even in the face of brutal intimidation. As for the lessons to be found throughout the book, they build a picture of a South that needs solidarity not aid (or “NGO-ization” as the authors call it.) There’s a lot we can learn by listening to one another.

Here are some of my favourite stories from the Beautiful Rising toolkit:

BoxGirls Kenya, at Kariobangi Community Center. Photo: Adam Daver

After Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008, when many young women were sexually abused and traumatized, the organization Boxgirls Kenya used boxing to provide young women with an antidote to the shaming, stigma and fear that followed the brutality they had experienced. The sport is used as an entry point to discuss difficult topics related to sexuality and to violence against women.

The office also support girls with counseling, sanitary towels and, for those who can’t afford food, the opportunity to participate in a small feeding program.

The Vula Connection

Infographic showing the African National Congress (ANC) communication network during apartheid. Infographic: Ariel Acevedo | CC BY-NC-SA

At the height of the anti-apartheid struggle, South African freedom fighters and hackers created an encrypted communication network that connected the leadership in exile with operatives in South Africa.

Traffic mimes in Bogota. Photo

Faced with a corrupt traffic police force as well as chaos and deaths on the roads, Bogota mayor, mathematician and philosophy professor Antanas Mockus fired 3,200 traffic cops and offered them the option to be retrained and hired back as mimes. 420 accepted the offer. They dramatized road maneuvers and mocked reckless drivers using only white gloves, expressive gestures and face paint. Traffic fatalities drop by over 50 percent.

The Ugandan women who strip to defend their land, Apaa village, Uganda, 2015. Photo

Female elders in northern Uganda invoked powerful cultural taboos by removing their clothes in front of two government ministers who were attempting to evict people in Apaa Village by force, grab their land and sell it to a South African investor who was planning to use the territory for elite sports game hunting.
To block the ministerial convoy, the community put up a roadblock and local women stripped naked in front of government ministers, soldiers and policemen. The move invoked a powerful cultural curse in Uganda where it provokes deep shame to see a woman the age of one’s mother naked.

Israeli activists were arrested for holding “Welcome to Palestine” signs at Ben Gurion airport. Photo: ActiveStills, via electronic intifada

Israeli authorities can deny tourists the right to visit Palestine if they state their intention to do so at the border. To protest Israel’s border policies, activists launched Welcome to Palestine, a campaign during which hundreds of international solidarity activists staged a “fly-in” at Ben Gurion airport demanding to visit Palestine.

In 2011, the first year of the action, more than 300 people from different nationalities took part. After arriving at the airport, activists peacefully unfurled “Welcome to Palestine” banners. Israeli police ripped down the signs and arrested activists. In 2012, following a “diplomatic” campaign by the Israeli government most of the 400 people worldwide who were set to fly to Palestine were denied boarding at their departure country.

The local and international media coverage exposed the Israeli regime of discrimination and repression.

Sofia Ashraf, Kodaikanal Won’t

In 2015, South Indian rapper Sofia Ashraf and Vettiver Collective turned Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” song into a protest against Unilever’s mercury poisoning at its thermometer factory in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu. The environmental crisis has affected the health of workers and is still polluting local soil and groundwater. Ashraf’s video went viral, giving 15 years of local campaign the international media coverage it needed. Intensified campaigning and a boycott of Unilever products forced the company to do the previously unthinkable: compensate Kodaikanal workers.

Sign in memory of the Black Panther Traffic Light’s effort to protect school children against traffic incident. Photo: Eric Fischer

Tired of waiting for a traffic light to be installed near a historically “black” public school in Oakland, armed members of the Black Panther Party escorted children across the street before and after school until authorities finally intervened and installed a traffic light on 1 August 1967.

Alexandre Orion, Ossario, 2006

The walls of the Max Feffer tunnel in Sao Paulo were covered with grime and soot from engine exhaust. Thinking he couldn’t be arrested for cleaning a public space, Alexandre Orion selectively cleaned parts of the walls through reverse graffiti. Local authorities had no choice but to clean all the walls in the tunnel, which had been Orion’s plan all along.

Freedom Summer activists sing before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964. Photo: Ted Polumbaum Collection/Newseum, via

Photo on the homepage: Adam Daver, via Positive Magazine.

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June 13, 2018 at 11:30AM
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Save Your Dimes, Enjoy Better Times!

Save Your Dimes, Enjoy Better Times!

dime saver book - 1950s

Check out this gem I just picked up at an antiques store!!

A “Thrifty Savers Book” – with slots for adding 30 dimes into!

dime saver book open slots

And super clever marketing to boot, haha…

When you fill this Dime Saver, visit the FIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS and open your account — put those savings to work for a safe profit!

dime saver bank book

Imagine the days when $3.00 was a lot of money? 🙂

Actually, I’ll tell you – it was back in the 1950’s/early 60’s (the $10,000 FDIC part gave it away), and running it through a handy dandy inflation calculator tells us that $0.10 back then had the buying power of roughly $1.04 today.

So really, it’s “Save a dollar, become a baller!” haha… And comes out to about $30 to open up your first account, which is more typical to today’s times.

I had fun coming up with a bunch of other slogans though before I knew the updated value… Feel free to steal these if any banks are watching right now 😉

  • Save your nickels, stay out of pickles!
  • Save your quarters, become $$ hoarders!
  • Save your halves, avoid being sads!
  • Save your fives, enjoy living before you dies!
  • And the ultimate crowd pleaser… Save your twenties, get lots of honeys! 😉

truman show bow

If only banks cared for our well being as they at least pretended to back then – womp womp…

Fortunately though, you don’t need savings booklets to get going these days – automation has taken over and allowed any of us to save, save, save without lifting a finger, finger, finger! It’s a beautiful thing!

And almost anyone can spare an extra $30/mo too. So if you’re not hip to the game yet, I challenge you to create your first auto. transfer for exactly that – $30. After a year you’ll have $360 without accounting for interest/compounding, after five you’ll have $1,800, and after ten you’ll have $3,600! Or divert it to investments and you have a good shot at doubling it – without noticing a blip in your lifestyle! And really isn’t that what we all wish for?? Not hating our lives while we’re being financially “responsible”??

Saving really can be as easy as plopping dimes into a booklet or just setting it and forgetting it. A lot of things change over the years, but the basic principles of finance do not! Spend less than you earn and bank the difference – that’s really it in a nutshell.

If you don’t believe me, check out this book on “thrift” circa 1875:

thrift book

(Free on Kindle or at // Blog post on it here.)

Stash those dimes, enjoy better times indeed!

It’s not that complicated!

For further reading on years gone by:


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