There’s no Excuse for Making Excuses

Florence Nightengale

I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse.
— Florence Nightengale

I am back once again, after another rather long hiatus. I have an excuse, though: since my last post, I have:

  • Gotten married (to an amazing lady, I might add)
  • Had my honeymoon
  • Changed jobs
  • Bought a house
  • Sold my old house
  • Moved from the East Coast to the West (with four dogs!)

That’s a long list of big life changes to have going on all at once, am I right? So I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s perfectly understandable that I’ve let a few things fall through the cracks — like writing for this site. Right?

Well, actually, no. That’s a bunch of crap. Because since my last post, I’ve also managed to find time for:

  • Video Games
  • Netflix
  • Random Web Surfing

So in reality, my excuse is pretty lame, which is hardly surprising. Most excuses are. [Click to continue...]


Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

It seemed like such a good idea at the time

Many people take no care of their money until they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
— Johann von Goethe

Let’s take stock. I have encouraged you to envision life after reaching your financial goals. I have suggested both to those who want to get rich and to those itching to retire that they may want to examine their motivations, and reconsider their goals.

So what should your answer have been? What should your vision of life after meeting your goals have looked like? It’s a reasonable question, but I suspect my answer will frustrate many of you. [Click to continue...]


Hi, Mr. Hacker!

Home of my latest hacker buddy

Security is, I would say, our top priority because for all the exciting things you will be able to do with computers – organizing your lives, staying in touch with people, being creative – if we don’t solve these security problems, then people will hold back.
— Bill Gates

Is it a sign that you’ve arrived as a blogger when you start getting regular brute-force hacking attempts from overseas?

I just blocked my third hacker IP address in as many weeks, this time from the beautiful Netherlands. Last week’s was from the Ukraine, so I’ve made it out of former Soviet states and into Western Europe!

A little note to my fellow bloggers: WordPress sites are notoriously insecure. I highly recommend a plugin called Limit Login Attempts. It won’t solve all of your security issues, but it will at least help to put an end to some of the easiest, most low tech hacks.

So much for that little sidetrack. Regular programming to resume shortly.

P.S. To my fellow engineers: Yes, I am well aware of the irony of Bill Gates being the source of the above quote.

1 comment

So You Want to Retire

Fishing early morning
Image by H. Koppdelaney

My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
—Steve Jobs

If I were to place a wager, I would bet that most people who read this site, when envisioning life after achieving their financial goals, imagine a secure, comfortable retirement — one that preferably will commence as soon as possible. If this description fits you, I’m going to have to ask you another seemingly silly question:

Why on earth would you want to retire?

Retirement may seem great at first blush, but after about a month of goofing off, I’d personally be bored as heck, and go out hunting for ways to be productive again. Wouldn’t you?

You might also want to consider the fact that early retirees have a nasty habit of dropping dead. Theories abound for why this might be, but I suspect that having responsibilities lends a sense of purpose to your life that keeps your will to live strong and healthy. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why people with pets live longer as well.

So, just like the folks who are itching to get rich, if you truly are anxious to retire early, I must ask you to examine your motivations. Why do you want to retire? [Click to continue...]


Champagne and Caviar

Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson, by W. J. McAuliffe, published in Mate's Illustrated Guides: Taunton (Bournemouth, : W. Mate & Sons, Ltd., 1907)

Money often costs too much.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you imagined reaching your financial goals, did you envision yourself driving a Lamborghini to your gigantic mansion in the Hamptons? If so, you don’t just want to become financially independent, you want to get rich.

That’s right, there’s a big difference between being financially independent and being rich. A million dollars, for example, will get you somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 per year in passive income, according to the conventional 4% rule. That’s plenty enough for financial independence with a very nice middle-class lifestyle, but you’re not going to be rubbing elbows with Diddy in your Manhattan penthouse on a mere million. Felix Dennis would call you “comfortably poor.”

If you’re aiming for the penthouse lifestyle, you’re going to need more. A lot more. Let’s face it, being a millionaire just ain’t what it used to be! [Click to continue...]