Read These Printed Instructions on How To Be Rich As Fast As Possible!

 

Thank you for visiting the RetireEarlyLifestyle Blog!

This post is no longer live, but if you want to know more about financial independence, world travel and medical tourism, please visit our website.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

Thank you!

 

 

Posted in All Things Financial, Book Store | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How Divorce Cases Between Same-Sex Couples are Handled Today

 

Thank you for visiting the RetireEarlyLifestyle Blog!

This post is no longer live, but if you want to know more about financial independence, world travel and medical tourism, please visit our website.

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

Thank you!

 

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts, Legal Matters | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Arizona Day Trips – 3 Awesome Hikes in the Southwest

Guest post by Mitch Stevens. Read the entire article here.

It’s a well known fact that Arizona is beautiful, often breathtakingly so. From the fascinating Sonoran Desert in the south to the red rock country near Sedona and the Grand Canyon, the state features a staggering diversity of landscapes, perfect for day trips and adventures.

  1. Mt. Ajo – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

As a trip leader and interpretive guide, Beth Krueger knows the desert. She once spent four days camped at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, located between Arizona’s Ajo Mountains and the Mexico border.  While most hikers avoid summers in this part of the world, it’s Beth’s favorite season. At this time of year, she can savor the fruit of the organ pipe cactus, purported to be the best tasting in the world. Organ Pipe is the only place in the United States where the organ pipe cactus appears – it’s rare here, but common in Mexico.

All of  our books lead to adventure. Don’t miss out on yours!

Beth and I collaborated on a late winter outing in the park’s nearly pristine desert wilderness. We marveled at magnificent organ pipe and saguaro cacti, extraordinary plants. The preserve is a showcase for flora and fauna that have managed to adapt to the extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and little rainfall that characterize this southwest region.

Ajo Sunset

Ajo Sunset

Together, Beth and I hiked 1.5 miles through dense stands of giant columnar cactus to the Bull Pasture overlook. There were exceptional views in every direction. In our immediate surroundings, smaller peaks, canyons, and other rocks formations; in the distance, majestic mountains. Before long, the boulders and rock formations that were part of the backdrop at the beginning of our hike were right in front of us. And after a few short, steep switchbacks with some loose footing, the route gave way to amazing rock outcrops, including windows, arches and a series of huge cone-like stone formations that were fun to explore.

After another mile of hiking walking on a ridgeline with stunning views, we realized the incredulity of the hike: a short but fun boulder hop landed us right atop Mount Ajo, the tallest mountain in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. We scrambled a short distance on the summit and more grand views emerged. A large, and colorful rock slab that looked like a spaceship and was covered in lime green lichen greeted us. It This made for a great resting spot.

For a brief cyber journey of this southwestern wonderland, turn up your speakers and enjoy Organ Pipe Magic.

  1. Rogers Canyon – Spirits of the Past in the Superstition Wilderness

Elisha Reavis dreamt of living live off the land in a beautiful place far away from the hordes of humanity. He realized that when he moved to a high mountain valley in Arizona’s Superstition Mountains, where he farmed, grazed and tendered an orchard. Ponderosa pines graced his ranch and a beautiful clear spring-fed creek watered the fruit trees he planted.

Arizona day trips

Arizona day trips

Five hundred years before Reavis arrived, the Salado peoples were eking out a living in Rogers Canyon and today, their fascinating cliff dwellings are visible from a hike just a few miles the Rogers Canyon trail junction.

Gradually, as we walked left from the junction, the landscape transformed from high desert grassland to riparian. There were huge, old sycamore trees, juniper, oak and mountain laurel. As we ventured deeper into the thick of Rogers Canyon, spectacular volcanic rock formations appeared. Different shapes seemed to be chiseled by the elements: a teapot, Queen Victoria’s crown. An immense boulder was perched precariously high up on the canyon wall.

We arrived at the Salado cliff dwellings. These well preserved ruins, constructed over 600 years ago and located in a huge cave above the canyon floor, were the highlight of our day. At one time, as many as 100 people lived there in more than 65 rooms, when it was constructed over 600 years ago. Most of the ruins have all but vanished but there is still a lot to see. Even from the ruins, across the canyon was a sight to behold. Impressive spires of volcanic rock, glowing in late afternoon sun and studded with trees and shrubs, appeared to march up the opposite canyon wall. The entire scene was framed by buff colored rocks comprising the cavern itself.

Because the ruins are fragile and irreplaceable; the forest service asks that hikers tread lightly and respect this magnificent place.

  1. Adventuring at Nankoweap

For hikers wanting to experience raw adventure and avoid crowds, the Nankoweap trail at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is one of the most enjoyable and epic treks in the southwest. Spectacular geology and out- of- this world views are the calling cards of this magnificent place.

The trail was originally constructed in 1882 by Major John Wesley Powell, the one- armed civil war veteran and explorer who is credited with leading the first group of men down the Colorado River and through the present day Grand Canyon in 1871. The trail was created so that Charles Doolittle Walcott, a geologist in the Powell party, could easily access the canyon and study its rock layers.

Nankoweap

Nankoweap

The first three miles of the Nankoweap Trail are a delightful romp through a high elevation forest of ponderosa pine, juniper and aspen. Then almost suddenly, the trail takes on an entirely different character as it plunges off the rim of the Grand Canyon to continue along a ridge-top. Arriving at Marion Point, we came right into contact with the geology that makes this part of the Grand Canyon so incredible and unique. The rock layers date as far back 300 million to 750 million years ago. rock layers reached far back into our planet’s past from 300 million to 750 million years ago.

Unbelievable panoramas unfold from that point. The visible green ribbon along Nankoweap Creek lies 2,500 feet below and the forks of the creek extend far back toward the plateau, each separated by colorful rocky ridges and lofty buttes. The most striking of these is Mt. Hayden, a distinct and slender 400 foot Coconino sandstone spire at an elevation of over 8,000 feet.

Should the Grand Canyon be included on your bucket list? Most certainly. The spectacular and uncrowded Nankoweap trail is one of the best ways to experience the raw and unspoiled grandeur of this most magnificent gorge, one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Posted in Guest Blog Posts, Heart Song, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financials with a Reader: “I Have ‘X’ Amount of Money. Can I Retire?”

Q&A with a Reader 

Greetings,

I found your website from Andy’s video he did with you a month or so ago.

I liked your comment about “Take the amount of money you need to live annually and multiply that by 25… that is the amount of money you need in your retirement”

So, I’m curious what the dollar amount of your savings (investments) was when you “retired” at 38?

I understand that might be a personal question so, I’ll open my kimono (so to speak) — I ask, as I have $250,000 and am 48 however, I have a fear that if I were to “retire” now, that current “nugget” would not be enough to fund traveling like you both do. The money machine would not have enough initial fuel, kind of thing, yeh know?

FREE Newsletter, Subscribe HERE

For the sake of argument, assume I would live with the same annual expenses that you both have.  Is it enough, in your opinion?

Or maybe the better question would be, When you both turned 48 (after traveling for 10 years) what was the amount you had in your investment portfolio that made you say, “We’ve done this for 10 years and are still 100% comfortable doing this for another 10, another 20… forever… because our investments have grown __X___ and our balance is __Y__”

Thank you for the help.

Keep up the great work and advice on your website.

Best,

~Mike

Mike,

Thanks for writing. To learn if you have enough money today you need to know how much you are spending today – then multiply that number by 25. Basically with that formula, you are taking out 4% per year for expenses and invested in roughly a 60-40% stock/bond portfolio. With this allotment, your account should grow.

When we retired 26 years ago we had about $500,000. Since then our account has grown out pacing inflation and spending.

In your case with 250K you could spend $10,000 per year or $27.00 per day.

We monitor our spending and net worth daily so that we know where we stand in real time, and offer a spreadsheet in Your Retirement Dream IS Possible for that purpose.

I hope this helps you and good luck.

Regards,

Billy

Billy.

Thank You!  I really appreciate it. The $10,000/year number is an interesting one as it’s also approximately the amount that a 72t distribution would give me…

Did you make use of that against your retirement account(s) so you didn’t have to pay any pre-59 1/2 penalty from 401k/b, IRAs?  Or were you smart enough to roll everything over into a ROTH?

Of all the stuff that’s on the ‘net, including YouTube channels about retiring, expats, etc., no one (at least that I have found) is sharing these simple calculations.  I would think this simple truth would be very valuable to people who think and/or say the things you mentioned in your article from Levinson Law … “I wish I could… like you…”

Thanks again Billy.  I really appreciate the feedback and your honesty about what it took for you, guy.

Live the Dream.

Best,

~Mike

Mike,

At 55 I used rule 72T to extract the amount equal to my future social security distribution. Then once I hit 62 and started taking SS payments I turned off the spigot and continue to let the IRA grow.

We have written about all of these topics on our site. If you search our site using the search box you can find many.

Regards,

Billy

Posted in About us, All Things Financial, Q & A From our Readers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comparing Comitan, Mexico and San Cristobal, Mexico

Q&A with a Reader

Piles of fruit and aqua frescas, Comitan Market

Piles of fruit and aqua frescas, Comitan Market

Dear Billy and Akaisha,

We just wanted to thank you for your newsletter “Retire Early Lifestyle.” It is so wonderful to read and we can glean so much information from it. You travel to places my wife and I want to visit such as: San Cristobal, Panajachel, Guatemala and Comitan just to name three. We are retired (older than you guys) and are planning on coming down to Mexico or Guatemala to live. We have watched the Solola market youtube several times and it is so interesting. I love videos of this type showing you wandering around a market.

Just a couple of questions if you don’t mind. Between Comitan and San Cristobal, which is your favorite town? Is it possible to find a fairly inexpensive apartment to rent in Comitan or maybe stay at a hotel at good long term rates for six months? When you visit Comitan do you fly to Tuxtla and catch a bus to San Cristobal and another to Comitan? Have you been to Oaxaca and what do you think of it? Do you think one could find a place to live in Solola or would perhaps Panajachel would be a place to live?

Reduce your cost of living. Pay less for medical care. Find better weather. Create a healthier way of life.

We are retired and can pick somewhere in Mexico or Guatemala to live in the near future, perhaps the end of June, 2016. We have looked at Chapala but it seems so crowded with Americans and Canadians.

Once again, thank you for your informative newsletter. No hurry on answering these questions.

All the best to you,

Michael and Patty

Streets of San Cristobal, Mexico

Streets of San Cristobal, Mexico

Hi Michael and Patty,

Thank you for taking the time to write and thank you for your kind words regarding our newsletter. We appreciate it!

You asked us which, between Comitan and San Cristobal, is our favorite town? – They are different in several ways and let me explain.

Comitan is a very Mexican town, with Mexican tourists. It is safe and very family oriented in terms of restaurants, things to do, and attitudes. It is also very clean, the weather is moderate (chilly in the winters) and the town is nestled in the mountains of Chiapas, so you can see mountain views when you walk through the Old Town.

There is no indigenous population to speak of (there are the Tojolabal who are Mayan but not really many of them around) to give contrast, or to influence the souvenirs and markets. I don’t think you would find many Gringos there at all and you would need to speak some basic Spanish, I think, in order to feel comfortable and at least to make some sort of social contact. It’s an up and coming city, complete with a Wal*Mart, shopping malls and movie theaters. There is decent public transportation.

Ruins at Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico

Ruins at Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico

I’m sure you could find a reasonable rate for either an apartment or for a long hotel stay. You would just need to negotiate and work it out with the owners.

San Cristobal is far more touristy with new people coming and going constantly. It is much cooler than Comitan and they have a lively Mayan population whom you will see every day and integrated into the market scenes and tourists shops. In terms of apartments or hotels for long term stays, yes, I believe that would be easy enough to work out. You could get by with less Spanish, but knowing some would be useful.

San Cristobal is in the mountains of Chiapas also, but as I mentioned, it is much cooler.

We prefer Comitan over San Cristobal, mostly because we don’t really like the cold. We stay in the Old Colonial section of town which is far more “cutesy” than the regular parts of the city. San Cristobal is more international with the tourists coming in and going out and they are from all over the world. They have a spirited bar and restaurant scene.

In terms of how to get to Comitan or San Cristobal, you could fly into Tuxtla as it is the closest airport to these towns, and then take a shuttle, a combi or a bus to Comitan or San Cristobal. I believe most of these transport options go through Comitan before they get to San Cristobal. And of course, you can get to San Cristobal from Comitan if you decide to see them both.

Yes, we have been to Oaxaca and we have really enjoyed it. It has a energetic and beautiful Zocalo (Plaza) and nice restaurants, markets and bars. The Monte Alban ruins are very close by and are a must see. It’s a little more pricey in our experience, but really worth visiting, and I think you could find an apartment or hotel which would allow you to stay longer term.

Young Mayan girl, Guatemala

Young Mayan girl, Guatemala

As to whether or not you might like to live in Solola or Panajachel, I would definitely say to choose the Lake Atitlan Area over Solola. Panajachel and all the towns on the lake are much prettier, and have better weather than Solola. The way that Solola is situated, it tends to get (very cold) fog in the early afternoons and have a drizzle which takes the view away from the lake below. Pana and the towns on the Lake are warmer, sunnier and have more attractive personalities as villages than Solola. Most certainly, get to the Lake, find a hotel or apartment and then visit any of the other dozen villages around the lake. Go to Solola if you need certain kinds of medical care or perhaps some computer equipment, but otherwise, stay at the Lake.

If you are considering a visit to Guatemala, then take a look at our Guide to Guatemala.

I am hoping that you speak some Spanish, but if not, you can easily take lessons here at several towns on the Lake. I would also wait quite a while before purchasing property, and visit around to see which villages speak to you the most.

Hopefully this answers your questions and if you have more, feel free to write again.

Take care, and stay in touch.

All the best,

Akaisha

Posted in Housing, Q & A From our Readers, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Financial Discussion with a Reader

Q&A with a Reader

Hi Billy and Akaisha,

Hope all is well!  We traded emails in the past but it’s been a while.

I bought your ebook years ago and have ready many articles since (among many other books).  They inspire me to produce more now to prepare for an early retirement.

I am 38 now with a healthy nest egg and income outside of my W2.  I feel financially free which gives me a better attitude about my work because it’s a choice.  It allows me to be more bold and actually produce better. So in a nutshell I’m doing well and feel great knowing at any moment I could hang it up.

Free Newsletter, Subscribe HERE

So, here’s my question:  I have 3 kids from 5 months to age 4.  We plan to homeschool them up to High School.  At what point is a safe point to call it quits and focus on family?  Should my goal be a nest egg plus a certain level of passive income?  I don’t plan on funding college for them but would like to help out a bit if needed.  After my mortgage college seems to be the next biggest upcoming expense.

Thoughts?  Any simple spreadsheets you can share?

Andy

Hi Andy,

You certainly are in the sweet spot…congratulations. Yes,it cannot hurt to have other streams of income…right? I am sure you’ve thought about any tax issues regarding this.

Regarding your children, here’s a couple of thoughts. You could open a Uniform Gifts to Minors account for each of them and contribute annually. The bad news is that they have control of the funds at the age of 18 and may or may not be responsible enough to handle them.

Another option is to create a trust for each of them. Put 10K in today and forget about it. You could set it up so that they do not receive the accounts until they are ….say 35….by then those accounts should be worth a tidy sum and by not letting them have access before that age, you skip the “wild years,” “first marriage” – yes it happens – and other irresponsible behavior.

But first check with your tax adviser and attorney before taking my word on these suggestions.

Regards,

Billy

Thanks Billy,

I suppose it doesn’t hurt to put a chunk away for each kid now and stick it in some index EFTs.  Can’t image what 30 years would do to 10k in today’s money.

So as far as a nest egg and passive income goals…what do you think there?  I estimate we spend about 60k a year as a family today.  So as long as my passive income is above that I should be solid?

And what to do with the nest egg, a combo of index EFTs?  I’m sure you shy away from specific advice (totally understandable) but maybe you have something like a goal range or broader strategy to share?

Andy

Andy,

My guess is that 10K invested in SPY or VTI would create well over $1 million. Never know but based on historic returns that’s about right.

Yes…as long as you have more income than outflow you should be fine.

I use a combination of DVY, SPY, VTI and DIA. Being 30 you have a ton of time on your side to ride out the never ending market cycles. My being 63 is a little different as long term is getting shorter by the day for me. But I believe these ETF‘s are solid holdings.

Billy

Posted in All Things Financial, Q & A From our Readers | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Financials, of Course

Q&A with a Reader 

Billy and Akaisha,

Your articles continue to inspire.

So far, at 65, I have not withdrawn money from my IRA. All situations are different, but have you always used your IRA comfortably without fear? I don’t have a financial adviser (who would be objective) at this point, but do recognize that having saved money, it may take one to convince me to go in the opposite direction to use funds. I am taking SS, but someone pointed out that at this age, I should use my savings without worry.

Best,

Paul

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. 

Paul,

I do not know your specific situation but you will have to take money out of your IRA once you reach 70.5 years. Here is a calculator you can use to get an idea what you are dealing with regarding a tax hit or not.

http://apps.finra.org/Calcs/1/RMD

Thanks for writing and good luck to you.

Regards,

Billy

 

Posted in All Things Financial, Q & A From our Readers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Top Trends In Baby Boomer Travel

This post has expired.

For more information on Financial Independence, World Travel, and Medical Tourism, please visit our website, RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Thanks! 

Posted in Guest Blog Posts, Travel Tips and Insight | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Ready to get out of the Rat Race

Q&A with a Reader 

I’m going to be 61 this year, and I’m ready to hang it up.  I do not have a lot in retirement because of divorce and  a little cancer scare, but still kicking, hate my job and ready to say quit.  I have a couple of options, like moving into a room with my kids in an area that I really like. And, yes I would like to become a gypsy.

Are you doing Obama Care for health insurance ??  I could sell my house and put that money into an account that could earn interest income. I have already talked to a financial guy about that.  Did you do early retirement at 62 for social security? That is another thing I am debating about.  Have to get out of this rat race.  I have no problem being a minimalist.

Yes I would pay off my car and one other account, then be debt free if I sold the house.

What are your thoughts??

Thank you.

Vicky

Reduce your cost of living. Pay less for medical care. Find better weather. Create a healthier way of life.

Hi Vicky,

You bring up a lot of good questions and I think, given your personal flexibility, you could have several options that might work for you.

If you would like to become a gypsy, renting a room out from your children could be the best of both worlds. From there you could travel for weeks or months at a time. You could house sit all over the world or just in the US and Canada, if foreign locations worry you. But if you do go overseas, that could also be your answer for medical care, at least until Medicare kicks in for you.

We have utilized medical tourism for decades and it’s our primary means of getting care. We are not on any plan from the Affordable Care Act and we stay out of the country for the required amount of time to not have to pay the penalty. You could consider your choices in this area of your retirement life and then decide what you would like to do – apply for Obamacare, live overseas for the required amount of days, or go back and forth from your children’s home and pay the penalty.

If you decide to live overseas for a greater period of time, you might consider going car free. I realize that living in the US without one’s own vehicle it is more of a challenge than it is overseas, but there are certainly cheaper ways to obtain transport than owning a car. You might research this topic so that you have all the information available to you to make a clear decision. Even paying a girlfriend, taking a taxi, utilizing Uber, using mass transport, bicycling, walking, etc. are all cheaper than the expenses of maintaining a vehicle.

We did decide to take Social Security at age 62 and you can read about it in our article on this topic. This may or may not work for you, depending on what you choose to do in your retirement. – Getting back to house sitting as a housing option, this would save you thousands of dollars a year in housing costs, and being car free would do the same. So your spending could be different than you might have already thought about. I don’t know what your financial adviser said, but you may be able to purchase stocks and obtain dividends for your income, which might be more than simple interest on your money.

Things to think about.

Do you track your spending now? Do you know what you need annually to cover your costs?

I hope these suggestions are useful to you and if you have further questions, feel free to write again.

Wishing you all the best,

Akaisha

Posted in All Things Financial, Housing, Q & A From our Readers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Truths of Early Retirement

This post has expired.

For more information on Financial Independence, World Travel, and Medical Tourism, please visit our website at RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Thanks!

Posted in All Things Financial, Guest Blog Posts | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment