Saturday, June 30, 2018

Weekly Retrospective....

What I’m reading:  The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

What I’m listening to:  Stacking Benjamins podcasts....

What I’m working on1H2018 Summary and 2H2018 Goals….

Where I’m succeeding: My ‘Dad Game’ (thanks, Lars) ….

What I’m grateful for: Family ….

Quote that has me thinkingIf you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.” – Ray Dalio

What I’m excited aboutThe second half of this year….

What I’ve been pondering: Starting a non-profit ….

Friday, June 29, 2018

Nostradamus and Tattoos.....

I recently read about AGX stock and how it was trading at less than $35 a share, after being valued at almost twice that a year ago. So I went out last week and bought some. Much to my surprise, it’s up more than 15% this week. I’ll be buying more on Monday….

And while walking the beach this past week, I observed a lot of tattoos; some really cool, some not so much….and I even got multiple compliments on my dog tags tattoo. However, my favorite one said the following:

For Those I Love, I Sacrifice

Well said….

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Grant Cardone quote....

Hahaha….love this one (so will you, Paul)…

“You sleep like you’re rich. I’m up like I’m broke.” – Grant Cardone

Fishing Trip....

Our catch on the left (along with some fresh to the market shrimp), combined with grits and baked potatoes made for an excellent homemade dinner….

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Workout Tips...

Some reminders for those of you, like me, who are trying to stay in shape as we get a little bit older….

·       Machines over free weights: For larger muscle groups, like back, legs and chest, move to machines to avoid joint problems that arise from stability issues free weights can create

·       Use your body: Make the most of bodyweight exercises, which also develop more of your stabilizer muscles (see previous bullet point) – planks, pushups, pullups, lunges, etc. are great to begin with

·       Time under tension: Keep the targeted muscles under tension longer to get the desired results

·       Walk: Nothing burns more fat calories without potential muscle loss than a simple walk

·       Strict form: Nothing derails progress like an injury – better to lighten the load with good form than risk being out of the game due to nursing avoidable muscle trauma

·       Stay hydrated: Muscle is 70% water, so drink plenty of water to power your workouts

·       Diet: Get plenty of protein and good fats, and increase your carbs on workout days (required to transport protein to your muscles)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Roth IRA versus Traditional IRA…

I was talking to a friend today about the differences between a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA and which one each of us preferred. You can invest $5,500 into each one every year ($6,500 after the age of 50). An Individual Retirement Account, or I.R.A., is an account set up with a financial institution that allows you to save for retirement with tax-free growth in a tax-deferred account.

The main benefit of the traditional IRA is that you can deduct taxes for your annual contributions (an annual savings of around $1,320 if you’re in the 24% bracket I am in, or $1,560 after the age of 50). The account then grows tax-free until you start making withdrawals in retirement.

For the Roth IRA, you cannot deduct taxes on the contribution each year, but the account also grows tax-free and you do not have to pay any taxes when you draw on the account in retirement (an added benefit is that you can withdraw contributions without paying a penalty before the age of 59-1/2).

Due to eliminating debt and being able to live on less income when I decide to retire, I am going for the tax write off at 24% now, while hoping to stay in the 12% tax bracket in retirement, meaning I’ll withdraw money being paid from from a higher tax bracket now at a lower rate in the future. However, for folks in a lower tax bracket, and especially those not paying any taxes, a Roth is likely the better choice.

Of course, tax laws and situations change, but for now, this seems like the smart choice for me…

Sunday, June 17, 2018

2017 Financial Retrospective....

I started down the path of F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence, Retire Early) at the beginning of 2017 after years of only halfway committing to this lifestyle. Fortunately, after spending our first several married years in the military accumulating debt, we immediately started setting aside a portion of our pay after entering the civilian world, which gave us a leg up on retirement, despite continuing down the normal American path of consumer debt. So, this past year, with our oldest having graduated nursing school and our youngest graduating high school, my wife and I decided to go all out for 12 months to eliminate all our debt and set ourselves up for a better future. And we made it, house and all, in only 10-1/2 months. Additionally, we continued to make our regular investments, dramatically increasing contributions the last month of the year thanks to having no debt at that time. The full breakdown (100%) of our net worth increase (28% overall) in 2017 follows:

·       Main retirement account: 48% (it was a good year for the stock market)
·       Debt elimination (house and all): 36%
·       Personal/company investment contributions: 17%
·       Home value: 7%
·       Personal savings: -8%

Full disclosure: Part of our commitment to getting out of debt meant that we cashed in all of our (non-retirement) savings except for $1,000 and threw it at our debt last January. And while we made up the majority of that by the end of the year, we still ended up a tad short.

While 2018 has started off a bit slower due to the stock market being shaky, prepaying insurance (great discounts for doing so) and paying for a wedding, living without debt opens the door for huge increases in savings/investments, along with opportunities to find tax shelters for our money (FSA for the family and 403 (b) for the wife).

See previous posts on what we did to accomplish this goal, as well as asking any questions you might have.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Marcus Aurelius Quote....

Thanks, Kadar….

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not truth.” – Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Weekly Retrospective.....

What I’m reading:  The 10 Pillars of Wealth: The Mindset of the World’s Richest People by Alex Becker

What I’m listening to:  We Study Billionaires podcasts....

Where I’m failingNon-profit planning …. still ….

Where I’m succeeding: Leading ….

What I’m grateful for: Friends ….

Quote that has me thinkingAbove all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

What I’m excited aboutMe and Lenny getting back in the homeless biz …. It was fun hanging out together today and seeing opportunities to serve …

What I’ve been pondering: The next four (4) point (.) five (5) ….

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Continuous Improvement Blog...

Everyone please check out and subscribe to my friend and (long distance) co-worker Kieran Lenahan’s blog on everything near and dear to my heart; including self-improvement, reading, team-building and helping those less fortunate. His blog and writing are also way better than mine….

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Jan-May Financial Update...

After starting off the year poorly due to pre-paying insurance and a stupid tax, we’ve done considerably better with regards to sticking to our budget and are almost spot on approaching the midway point.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Alternative Workouts....

My buddy, Ragnar (not his real name), from my old Army days is an expert at finding alternative workouts while living Life@Sea....