Avoid early withdrawals in early retirement // Roth conversion ladders, IRS rule 72t Substantially Equal Periodic Payments SEPP, early retirement savings

Avoiding Early Withdrawals in Early Retirement // Don’t Think of It As One Big Pool of Money

Some possible fighting words today, as we delve into the question of whether it makes sense to think of both taxable funds and tax-advantaged retirement funds as one big pool of money. Why does it matter? Because there are a bunch of potentially huge downsides to withdrawing traditional retirement funds early through Roth conversions or rule 72t distributions (or different approaches that exist in other countries). Fortunately, there’s another great option if you’re willing to do a little more math. Continue reading Avoiding Early Withdrawals in Early Retirement // Don’t Think of It As One Big Pool of Money

There's no such thing as a risk-free life // risk tolerance, low risk tolerance retirement, false dichotomy

There’s No Such Thing As a Risk-Free Life

For years, I labored under the cozy illusion that there were “safe” choices in life and “risky” choices. And of course I was drawn to the ones that felt safer. Until I saw with my own eyes, in my own finances and my own life, that sometimes the safest choice of all is actually the most risky. And that realization changed everything. Continue reading There’s No Such Thing As a Risk-Free Life

Investment Returns, Conservative Projections, Low Growth, Early Retirement, Retirement Planning

The Case for Conservative Early Retirement Investment Projections

We’re all getting conflicting signals right now: From financial analysts predicting lousy returns for the foreseeable future, and from early retirees reporting how they’re beating their projections every quarter. We could take away two very different lessons from this dissonance: that we need to make sure our plan is extra solid and based on low projected returns, or that we’re probably overthinking it all and working longer than we need to. We have an opinion on this (always do!), and share why we’re taking the more conservative approach, because: recency bias. Continue reading The Case for Conservative Early Retirement Investment Projections

You can love your job and still want to retire early // You can retire if you love your career, if you feel fulfilled by it, or any other good reason!

You Can Love Your Job and Still Want to Retire Early

In the last several months of contemplating leaving work, while doing a better job of saying no and setting boundaries (woot!), I’ve come to realize something: I truly love what I do. Bad news for a soon-to-be early retiree, right? Not at all! You can definitely love your job and still want to retire early — no insanity required! Here’s why. Continue reading You Can Love Your Job and Still Want to Retire Early

What Has Surprised Us Most about Pursuing Financial Independence

Maybe this is true for most of us, but we tend to focus on what’s right in front of our faces. On the journey to early retirement, that means thinking about how we treat our money now, and not always thinking back about how we used to relate to it. But today we’re taking a little look back to see what has surprised us most about pursuing financial independence, both financially, and in terms of our mindset. Continue reading What Has Surprised Us Most about Pursuing Financial Independence

Imperial Palace, Tokyo Japan

Does Anyone Who Is Seriously Awesome at Their Job Retire Early?

A question we ask ourselves all the time is: Do we just want to retire early because deep down we feel bad at working? Even though we’re nothing close to bad at our jobs — we’ve very good at them — we’ve never quite been able to muster the right attitude to do them with total commitment. Which makes us wonder: for those special few who are seriously incredible at their jobs, would early retirement even enter their minds? Come share your theories! Continue reading Does Anyone Who Is Seriously Awesome at Their Job Retire Early?