Tag Archives: how to retire early

Slideshow of our Trip to Portugal

It seems like our trip to Portugal last summer was just yesterday. I finally pulled together a slide show of pictures from our stop in Lisbon, Portugal, I hope you enjoy it.

Lisbon, Portugal

LisbonPortugal

Brought to you by aMemoryJog

If you are looking for an app to organize all of your website passwords, take a look at aMemoryJog. It has a unique feature that allows you to erase all the passwords stored in aMemoryJog if your phone is lost or stolen. You can use the web or iPhone version, or better yet, you can use both together as they automatically sync with each other. It’s free, why not download it now?

Download aMemoryJog

Meet some Financial gurus that know a bit about Life Style Freedom

First of all, I am not a financial guru by any stretch of the imagination, but I love personal finance and enjoy reading inspirational stories about how others have paved their way to financial independence.

Most people who retire early are seeking life style freedom. They want to be able to plan their day as they wish. If they feel like playing golf, hiking, biking or taking a road trip somewhere, they just get up and go. If they want to vacation for a month or more, they can do it. If they want to work full or part-time on a job that is fun for them, they just do it.

We achieved life style freedom by selling our software company in 2009 but not everyone has a business to sell.  So do you have to own and sell a business to achieve life style freedom? No, there are people that had jobs with average salaries that saved their way to life style freedom. Let me introduce you to a few of them.


Mr. Money Mustache

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Mr. Money Mustache (Pete)

Although he goes by the name Mr. Money Mustache, his real name is Pete and his last name he wants to keep anonymous. He retired at 30 years old on a nest egg of about $600,000 of which he saved by stuffing away about 75% of his paycheck into savings. He is now a multi-millionaire.

He started the Mr. Money Mustache website to share his financial prowess with others and offers a free discussion forum where like-minded people swap advice about money, investing and creating life style freedom. If you like personal finance, I highly recommend visiting this website.

Website: http://www.MrMoneyMustache.com 


Robert and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Bob and Robin Charlton

Robert (Bob) and Robin retired at 43 years old the old-fashioned way, they saved their way to retirement. Although the couple averaged only about $89,000 in combined salaries per year, they amassed almost $1 million in savings over a 15 year period.

Bob recently wrote a book about early retirement called How to Retire Early (click here to see it) and it is one of the top-rated books in the Retirement section of Amazon. It takes you through a journey of exactly how they accomplished it. It is very transparent and incredibly motivating. We met Bob and Robin a few years ago after we retired. We share a love of travel and they document their travels on their personal website.

Website: http://www.WhereWeBe.com 


Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

Billy and Akaisha owned a restaurant and decided to ditch the working grind at 38 years old. After accumulating savings in their dual career jobs and selling the restaurant, they had a net worth of about $500,000.

They have been retired now for over 25 years and their nest egg is larger than when they retired. They live on about $30,000 per year and travel the world most of the year.  Their website offers financial advice and documents their world travels.

When we started planning our early retirement, I read Billy and Akaisha’s book called “The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement” and it offered motivation and pragmatic advice regarding retiring early. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend taking the time to do so.

Website: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com


How much does it take to Retire?

So how much is enough? First, try to reduce your monthly expenses as much as you can by following advice from the people above. Once you have that down, take your monthly expenses and make them yearly (multiply by 12) and then multiple that number by 25. For example, if your monthly expenses are $3000, your annual expenses are $36,000. Multiply that by 25 and it means you need $900,000 of investments to retire.

This is called the “safe withdrawal rate” or the “4% rule”. Click here for a really good article that explains the 4% rule in more detail.

Now, do you need all of that to quit a job you hate and take a cooler job that you enjoy? No. Let’s say you only have investments of $500,000 and your yearly expenses are $36,000. You can safely withdraw 4% of your $500,000 per year without ever running out of money, so that means you can withdraw $20,000 per year. So if you wanted to ditch your job and get a more fun job (maybe a part-time job) where you clear $16,000 per year, you could safely retire with the $500,000 in investments.

Are you nuts?

OK, I now hear you saying “Are you crazy? How can I (or we) save $900,000? I have almost no savings at this time!”. Bob and Robin Charlton also had no savings in 1992 and decided they wanted to change their life. So they embarked on a 15 year journey to save money and they retired with almost $1 million in the bank in just 15 years. Read the full story here.

Brought to you by aMemoryJog

If you are looking for an app to organize all of your website passwords, take a look at aMemoryJog. It has a unique feature that allows you to erase all the passwords stored in aMemoryJog if your phone is lost or stolen. You can use the web or iPhone version, or better yet, you can use both together as they automatically sync with each other. It’s free, why not download it now?

Download aMemoryJog

2014 In the Rear View Mirror

I can’t believe that I retired over 2 years ago. When this August 1st came along, I didn’t even realize that it was my retirement anniversary until I remembered it a week or so later. As I did last year, I wanted to share a review of 2014.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, or Happy whatever-holiday-tradition-you-follow!

Early 2014

We brought in the New Year in Fort Collins with our boys (Cameron and Ryan). We got to learn more about Fort Collins and spent some quality time with the boys. Cameron and I skied Breckenridge and had a great time.

Horsetooth Reservoir

Horsetooth Reservoir

Cameron skiing

Cameron skiing

In February, we returned to Florida with much warmer weather than we had experienced in Colorado. We took some day trips a couple hours away to visit Port St. Joe, Apalachicola, and Cape San Blas. I spent my time fishing and golfing on warm days.

Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas

Sunset on Scenic 30A

Sunset on Scenic 30A

Spring 2014

For Spring Break, we returned to Fort Collins.  Now that it was warming up a bit, we were able to hike and cycle the numerous scenic trails.

Cycling the Poudre Trail

Cycling the Poudre Trail

Hiking Fort Collins

Hiking Fort Collins

We also got out and explored the Fort Collins breweries. While visiting the local brew houses, we met some new friends (Doug and Julie) — they are also into craft breweries.

Pateros Creek Brewery

Pateros Creek Brewery

Tour of Funkwerks

Tour of Funkwerks

Summer 2014

Our youngest son, Ryan, decided that he wanted to take the summer off and transfer from Colorado State University to the University of Florida. Since he was taking the summer off, we decided to travel to Europe for the summer. Our oldest son, Cameron, was working during the summer, so he stayed in Ft. Collins. This was the first time we had traveled with Ryan since we retired, it was a great way to spend the summer.

Paris, France

We spent 2 weeks in Paris, renting a small apartment just down the street from the Arch de Triomphe. We explored all that the city had to offer, visiting all of the major attractions and taking excursions to the French country side, visiting wineries and chateaus.

Chateau De Chenonceau

Chateau De Chenonceau

Back entry to the Chateau

Chateau

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Spain

After leaving Paris, we flew to Barcelona, Spain.  We stayed in Spain for about a month and was able to visit Montserrat and Costa Brava.

Costa Brava

Costa Brava

Montserrat

Montserrat

Park Guell in Barcelona Spain

Park Guell in Barcelona Spain

Barcelona Beach

Barcelona Beach

Our Spain trip was scheduled around the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, where we had front row seats from a balcony overlooking the festival. It was incredibly fun.

Ryan all dressed up

Ryan all dressed up

Running of the Bulls

Running of the Bulls

We capped off our visit to Spain by visiting Valencia, Madrid, Laguardia, and Bilbao.

Valencia Spain

Valencia Spain

Flamenco Dancing

Flamenco Dancing in Madrid

Laguardia Spain

Laguardia Spain

Incredible castle view

Incredible castle view – Laguardia Spain

Italy

After leaving Spain, we headed to Italy. We started our travels in northern Italy, visiting Milan and Lake Como.

Duomo in Milan

Duomo in Milan

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

Lake Como

From here, we headed to the Italian Riviera which was probably our favorite area of Italy.

Vernazza

Vernazza

Monterosso

Monterosso

Italian Riviera - Monterosso

Italian Riviera – Monterosso

After leaving the Italian Riviera, we headed south to Rome, Tuscany, Pompeii and Capri. The blue grotto in Capri was stunning.

Rome

Rome

Tuscany

Tuscany

Pompeii

Pompeii

Capri

Capri

Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto

Portugal

Our final stop in Europe was in Portugal. We did not stay here very long but in hindsight, we should have stayed a few more days to take it all in.

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

Fall 2014

After Europe, we spent about a month in Fort Collins then headed back to Florida. Ryan came back with us so that he could take a Physics class as he awaited his acceptance to the University of Florida.

Ryan and I decided to challenge ourselves to cycle 50 miles on the bicycle (I did the challenge in 2013 but he wanted to try it as well). He and I trained hard and completed a 45 mile and 50 mile ride a week apart. We finished the 50 miles in just 3 hours, 45 minutes quicker than when I did it by myself in 2013.

With the great weather we’ve had in Florida since our return, we’ve been boating, swimming, fishing, and spending lots of time outside. It has been fun having Ryan with us for a few months. He starts at the University of Florida in January so we will miss him.

Huge Jelly Fish

Huge Jelly Fish

Paragliders on the beach

Gliders on the beach

End of 2014

We are spending December in Florida. Cameron and Ryan will be here for Christmas so we will get to spend some great family time together.

In the Fall, we purchased a piece of land pretty close to the beach in Inlet Beach (about a mile from where we live today). We are planning to build a home on the lot, hopefully beginning in the Spring or early Summer.

We haven’t planned our next travel adventure yet, but we will definitely take a trip somewhere in 2015. Maybe Greece, Malta, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, or Finland? Not sure, but they all sound great!

Slideshow of our Trip to Italy

Fall is in the air and I am starting to reminisce about our summer European vacation, specifically about Italy. What’s not to love? Tuscany, the Italian Riviera, Lake Como. Alright, here are some slide shows so that you can join me in my day dreaming and general procrastination.

Milan and Lake Como

We started our Italian adventure in Milan, the fashion capital of Italy. Since Lake Como is less than an hour train ride North, we made our way there to look for George Clooney — they say he has a house there but it was elusive. Enjoy the slide show.

LakeComo

Italian Riviera

Probably one of our favorite stops in Italy was the Italian Riviera.  Situated on the west side of Italy, it includes the towns of Manarola, Monterosso, Riomaggiore, and Vernazza. We spent most of our time in Monterosso but we felt we could have easily spent another week here, it was really beautiful.

ItalianRiviera

Tuscany

We spent a few days in Florence and the Tuscan town of Chianti. We had a Chianti wine tour that was our favorite winery we visited during our European trip. We discovered a new love for Tuscano, a great Italian wine.

Tuscany

Rome

This was our second visit to Rome but this time we spent more time than before. It is really cool to see the ancient Roman architecture through the ruins although we thought the ruins in Pompeii were more spectacular.

Rome

Pompeii

You know the story and probably saw the movie — Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was devastated by the volcanic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Because the ash covered the city, many people and animals that were killed in the eruption were preserved in a cast-like plaster and you can still see the position they were in when they died. A little creepy, I have to say, but interesting still. We not only visited Pompeii but we also hiked up Mt. Vesuvius afterwards to see the crater left by the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii

Capri

Capri is an Italian island just off the coast of Naples. The architecture bears some resemblance to Greek architecture because they were early settlers here. One of the big attractions of the island is the Blue Grotto. It is a beautiful cave that you take a canoe into and it glows blue from the light emitting into the cave. Very luminescent and cool.

Capri

Slideshow of our Spain Trip

Summer is coming to an end so I wanted to pass along some of the pictures we took while in Spain this Summer.  Simply click the slideshows below and ready your dancing shoes — you will experience an electric slide of pictures.

Barcelona

We hung out in Barcelona for a little over a week, visiting Montserrat and Coasta Brava during our trip. Barcelona has lots to offer, from Gaudi-inspired architecture to incredible coastal views just north in Coasta Brava. Enjoy the slideshow.

Barcelona

Valencia

We boarded a train and in just over 2 hours we arrived in Valencia, directly south of Barcelona. As soon as we arrived, it felt like we were on a beach vacation. The vibe was more laid back, the prices were lower and seafood restaurants dominated the seaside boardwalk. We only stayed here a couple of days but I could see spending lots more time in Valencia.

Valencia

Madrid

We visited Madrid for just 2 days but it happened to land on our youngest son’s (Ryan) birthday. To celebrate his birthday, we scheduled a Flamenco dance show and it turned out to be one of our favorite events of our trip.

Madrid

Lagrono and La Rioja

We had heard that La Rioja was the Tuscany of Spain and it was true. It had rolling hills and was dotted with award winning wineries. The wineries here are small and mostly family owned. It was the first time we have ever tasted wine right out of the wine vat — and it was a treat.

LaRioja

Bilbao and the Guggenheim Museum

On our way to Pamplona to see the Running of the Bulls, we had an extra 2 days to kill so we dropped by Bilbao to see the Guggenheim Museum. It was the most contemporary museum we visited on our European trip with an incredible exhibit that was an audio experience like no other. It was filmed in an old mansion and had 8 wall-sized screens showing a different musician playing their part of a song that came together as a harmonic experience that involved all the senses.

Bilbao

Running with the Bulls in Pomplona

Our entire trip to Spain centered around the week in Pomplona where the Running of the Bulls takes place. Most of us are familiar with this Spanish tradition so it was a real treat to witness it first-hand. It reminded us of New Orleans during Mardi Gras — a festive atmosphere with people partying all hours of the day and night.

Pamplona

Latest Escapades and my latest blog: 2 Hour Appreneur

For those of you that follow this travel blog, I wanted to let you know that I just started a new blog called the “2 Hour Appreneur“.  The new blog is the result of a new experiment I am trying out. For the last year, I have been infatuated with mobile apps and people who build them.

Since I love business and life hacking, I thought I would perform an experiment to determine if a person can start a business building iPhone/iPad/Android apps and work only about 2 hours a day doing it. During this journey, I will document everything along the way.

If you are interested in this topic and would like to get an email each time I post to it, go to http://2hourappreneur.wordpress.com, scroll to the bottom right of the page and look for something that says “Follow Blog via Email“. Enter your email there and you will receive the blog automatically when I post a new one.

I started this blog about 2 weeks ago and I already have 533+ followers!  Wow!

What Have You Missed So Far?

I started the blog about 2 weeks ago and have posted 2 blogs so far:

What’s Going On With Us?

Lynn and I are still in Fort Collins, Colorado hanging out with our boys, visiting breweries, hiking, cycling, and working out. Here are a few recent pictures from our escapades:

Hiking in Fort Collins

We found a cool hiking trail called “The Devils Backbone”.  It is a moderately easy trail, taking about 1.5 hours to complete.  It ascends up the side of a mountain with an incredible view of the valley below seen through a natural hole in the rock formations, called the “Keyhole”.

Keyhole

Keyhole

Katie enjoyed the hike but was sore the next day

Katie enjoyed the hike but was sore the next day

Singletrack trails

Singletrack trails

I also found a hike at Shields Ponds that slinks next to the Poudre River, circling back by a working farm. I took this picture of a old truck that was still being used on the farm today. Very cool.

Old truck on working farm

Old truck on working farm

Cycling

We found a really long cycling trail in Windsor, just a few miles from Fort Collins. It is snakes along the Poudre River and runs through cattle farms, neighborhoods, and nature preserves. I am not sure exactly how long the trail is but my guess is that it is around 25 to 30 miles one way. Lynn and I purchased road bikes recently and have been trying them out on these trails.

Cycling the Poudre Trail

Cycling the Poudre Trail

Scenes along the bike trail

Scenes along the bike trail

Exploring New Breweries

We have also been exploring new breweries. In my last blog post, I talked about the huge population of breweries in Fort Collins. It is true, here are a few more.

C.B. & Potts

C.B. & Potts

Pateros Creek Brewery

Pateros Creek Brewery

Pateros Creek Brewery

Pateros Creek Brewery

Funkwerks Brewery

Funkwerks Brewery

Tour of Funkwerks

Tour of Funkwerks

Beer Menu on the Big Screen - Mayor of Old Town

Beer Menu on the Big Screen – Mayor of Old Town

The Mayor of Old Town Brewery

The Mayor of Old Town Brewery

Freedoms Edge Brewery

Freedoms Edge Brewery

Update on the App Development of aMemoryJog

As many of your know, I blogged about developing a web based product and an accompanying mobile app that allows you to track all your passwords, loyalty cards and just about anything else that is easily forgettable — putting all of that info at your fingertips.

The web version of this is done and I am getting several hundred people downloading it each month. I subcontracted out the app development and it should be selling for the iPhone in the Apple App Store in July or August. Here is what it looks like. If you haven’t done it yet, download a free trial here. The iPhone edition will have both a free and paid edition, so you could use it for free once it hits the App Store in a couple of months.

aMemoryJog - Web and iPhone versions

aMemoryJog – Web and iPhone versions

What’s Next for Us?

Lynn and I will be heading back to the Florida for May to enjoy the sun and surf before summer begins. We are planning a summer trip to Utah to visit some of their incredible state parks, a trip to Greece in the fall and a trip to Ireland for Thanksgiving. Lots of exciting days ahead!

Finding a Post-Retirement Muse

Eliminating Post-Retirement Boredom

In my March 8, 2013 blog, I talked about how I stumbled onto an idea when we stopped at a hotel and forgot my Hilton’s rewards card. As I was checking in, they asked me for my loyalty card number and I could not remember it. I thought man, if I could have that info on my phone I could easily retrieve it and not miss any loyalty points. That spawned an idea to create an app that could house all my loyalty cards, website passwords and any other personal information that is useful to have at my fingertips.

Well, I just finished the first version of this. It is called aMemoryJog because it literally jogs your memory if you forget passwords, account information (bank, credit card, loyalty, frequent flyer accounts), or anything else you have a hard time remembering. For me to be comfortable using it, I knew it had to be secure, so I implemented 256-bit AES encryption, the same level of encryption most banks use.

If you want to try it, point your browser to http://www.aMemoryJog.com and click the Free 30 Day Account button. This version works from your web browser, so you can use it from your PC, Mac, iPad or any other tablet. You can even use it from your smartphone but I will be creating a smartphone optimized version for the iPhone, Android and Windows phones in the near future — a version that will make using it on a smaller screen much easier.

If you are just curious how it works, watch the YouTube video: http://youtu.be/26flOLCj6uk.

Why Start Another Business?

You may be wondering why I would start another business after I just retired just over a year ago. In short, I wanted to stay mentally sharp, occupy my time between traveling and hobbies, and generating additional cash to further fund our retirement never hurts.

Have you ever read the book by Tim Ferriss called “The 4-Hour Workweek“? If not, you should pick it up, it is a great book. It talks about how to optimize your workload to gain maximum efficiency with the least amount of time spent doing it. He talks about creating a “muse” — a business that is so optimized that it requires minimal effort. So that is what this project is for me — my muse.

When I started thinking seriously about doing this, I jotted down the goals of my muse:

  • It must be inexpensive to start
  • It must have low overhead
  • It must be accessible anywhere in the world, because we like to travel
  • It must allow me to work and play as little or as much as I like (I have lots of hobbies and love to play)

A software business fit the bill perfectly.With a strong software architecture and programming background, I could do all the programming. With no need for a physical office, my overhead costs would be low. If it ever becomes too much work, I know I can easily outsource the programming and/or support.

Other Early Retirees With Muses

As we were working towards early retirement, we were inspired by a couple of early retirees. The first was Billy and Akaisha Kaderli (http://retireearlylifestyle.com/). They retired at the age of 38! After traveling extensively for a couple of years, they began to amass tons of travel knowledge. So they wrote a series of books to aid other early retirees and travelers. Their book The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement is a great read. So this is a labor of love for them and their muse.

Another example is Robert (Bob) and Robin Charlton. They retired at 43 years old. After a few years of retirement, they wrote a book called How To Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less. What a great book, and this is their muse.

What’s Next for Us?

We will spend the next few months visiting our boys at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado, spending Christmas, New Years, and most of January there. I plan to ski on some of my favorite Colorado mountains, spend lots of time with our boys, and mountain bike as much as possible. As inspiration strikes, I will begin working on the iPhone version of aMemoryJog with hopes of finishing that by early Spring.

How to Retire Early

I don’t normally promote other people’s books or wares but I have a friend (Bob and Robin Charlton) that just published a book entitled “How to Retire Early: Your Guide to Getting Rich Slowly and Retiring on Less“.  This book is sensational.

Sensational Book

I’ve known Bob and Robin for several years now and they are a great couple.  They retired the old-fashioned way at only 43 years old – they saved almost a million dollars in just over 12 years. And they did not have huge salaries — many of you will make more than they did during their working years.   I am not nearly as frugal as they are, but it is amazing what can be done to retire early if you really put your mind to it.

Enough said.  If you want to be inspired by a couple that bares all with a financial transparency that you have never seen before, you have to read this book.  They are fully open about what they had, how they made their money, and how you can do the same to retire early.

It is on sale at Amazon, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/How-To-Retire-Early-Retiring/dp/1482653729/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365809963&sr=8-1&keywords=retire+early.

Enjoy!