I Can’t Believe What They Teach My Kids

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A 5th grade mind is a terrible thing to waste.  Ok, any mind is a terrible thing to waste....  I think it's great that our schools are trying to teach kids about money.  Too many people grow up to adulthood without any fundamental understanding of how to achieve financial stability and, eventually, financial freedom.  But, like everything else in life, the devil is in the details... sometimes the lessons are just wrong.   The Devil In The Details Just ...

How To Avoid Negative Social Security Returns

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I recently calculated the rates of return I earn on Social Security, along with a range of returns for other Gen Xers.  But that's an overall average return - an average for everything I pay in over my career.  What about my next dollar?  How much will I earn on my future contributions?  Physician on FIRE made me wonder what returns people get in Social Security's top benefit tier.  I tried to answer these questions by running some scenarios using ...

Book Review – B.S. Incorporated by Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss

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 Sometimes you come across something so unique, you just have to shout out about it.  I just finished reading a book I really adored: BS Incorporated by Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss.   What's So Great About It? This is kind of the "Office Space" of novels.  It's about all the insane things we do in Corporate America, and the insane ways we do them.  It's all so ridiculous, and yet so very true.   I could easily imagine the ...

Why Elon Musk is Wrong – Work Will Never End.

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Like a lot of folks, Elon Musk believes that artificial intelligence will bring social disruption, massive unemployment, and general dystopia.  I say Mr. Musk is wrong.  Now, I don't mean to throw shade on one of the most successful business-fellas of our time.  Elon has proven prescient about a lot of things.  But fears that robots will cause massive, long-term unemployment are unfounded.  For sure, they will cause a revolution of change and a number of disruptions.  Your ...

A Corporate Adventure: Bold Phrases!

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When you're in the trenches of Corporate America,  sometimes you need to keep your seat belt buckled.  Because you hear people say some pretty amazing shit.   I need to document some of this stuff while I still can... before I escape from the, um...  trenches.  As an accountant, my nose is usually buried in spreadsheets.  But when I get out, I can see just how far all this corporate speak has gone.  And, the news from ...

What Makes You Happy?

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Ah yes, the eternal question: What makes you happy?  Being happy is, after all, the ultimate challenge in life, the holy grail.  Everything we do to make money or to gain power, status, or success - is ultimately because we seek happiness.  It is the reason behind everything we do.   I am certainly no trained psychologist or philosopher.  And I can't possibly cover the range of views, studies, opinions, and ideas on the topic of happiness.  But, I AM ...

Health Care During Our Family Gap Year

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When we tell people we are going on a Family Gap Year to South America, one question they often ask is "what will we do about health insurance?"  The better question is "what kind of health care will you have, and how will you pay for it?"  In the U.S., many of us think of health care and health insurance as co-dependent.  But, health insurance is largely a U.S. phenomenon.  Most people around the world don't need it, and ...

Social Security Rates of Return for Gen Xers

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Every few years I get a statement from the Social Security administration about my future Social Security benefits.  As a Gen Xer and an accountant, I've long known that my Social Security is not very secure.  I likely will face reduced benefits, because the Social Security system is projected to only have enough funds to pay 75% of benefits by 2035.   But, despite that, I was curious what kind of return can I earn on ...

Early Retirement Is Dead! Long Live Early Retirement!

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That's it folks! It's time to declare the untimely demise of  "Early Retirement".  The future is unsettled.  Early Retirement Dreamers can no longer stake their future on unreliable statistics and uncertain projections. Early Retirement is dead! Long live Early Retirement!  OK, perhaps I'm being a bit dramatic.... and perhaps not. The 4% Rule Ever since the Trinity Study was published in 1998, Early Retirement Dreamers have used the now famous "4% Rule" to gauge roughly how much money ...