Spa Day at the Health Clinic


“If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything” – Count Rugen

Eat well. Exercise. Brush your teeth. Cultivate a positive outlook. Get plenty of rest. Everything in moderation (including moderation.)

Along with a regular medical exam, these preventative practices are the foundation of a strategy to live a long, healthful life.

We do a respectable job of taking care of ourselves.  Vegetables are eaten in abundance. With no car, walking and biking helps us build both health and wealth.  (Recently I’ve increased the intensity by strapping an 8 kg little boy to my chest.) We have no employer imposed requirements or deadlines, so distress is low and eustress is moderate.

We also practice awareness, paying attention to our bodies.  I’m fairly certain that when I can easily bike 900 km up and down mountains that I’m unlikely to have cardiac problems.

But of course, sometimes things happen, which is where the regular medical exam comes in.

Continue reading

Posted in Health | Tagged , | 32 Comments

Exposure Therapy


History Rhymes

I wanted to throw up.  My body flashed hot and cold, and I could feel the blood thumping in my temples like giant drums.  My thoughts raced like wild fire, a tempest out of control.

I kept thinking about what I could do with the $1,000 I had just lost in the stock market.  I could have paid down more of my student loans.  I could be that much closer to eliminating the PMI on my mortgage.  I could just have it in my bank account as an emergency fund.

It would take me weeks of work to regain that money after taxes and normal cost of living.  What was I thinking putting my money in something risky like stocks?  Stupid, stupid, stupid!

My life was over.

Continue reading

Posted in Finances | Tagged , | 61 Comments

The Go Curry Cracker Endowment Fund

Retirement Ahead – Do You Have Enough Gas? (photo credit.)

When a sign on the highway states Next Gas Station 167 Miles, the ride is a lot more enjoyable when you know there is enough gas in the tank. “I think we can make it” doesn’t quite cut it.

The 4% Rule tells us if our Retirement has enough gas, but we don’t know if we will coast into the next gas station on fumes or if we have enough to drive across the entire country without refueling.

As life expectancy continues to increase and the ERE movement sees people expecting 60+ year retirements, there is need for an improved withdrawal plan.

In this post I outline my own thinking on how to ensure our portfolio lives longer than we do.

Continue reading

Posted in Finances | Tagged , | 47 Comments

How I Made $102k in Real Estate and Am Poorer For It

Welcome to Seattle.  You Should Buy a House.

In Y2K I arrived in Seattle for a new job and immediately set out to buy a house.  I have no idea why; I was just following the rules society had laid out.

I had just received an offer on my Chicago area house for 178k.  Houses close to work started at $550k.  I was experiencing major sticker shock.

Price forced me to widen my search to nearby commuter communities, where I found a great looking house in a nice neighborhood.  It had easy highway access, a nice view from the upstairs office, and was barely in my price range at $292,500.  Nearby was a newly constructed office park that would attract potential future buyers, and an elementary school in a good school district was a 5 minute walk up the hill

With a 20% down payment of $58,500, I had just purchased the biggest house I could afford, the smallest house in a good neighborhood.  Remaining in my bank account was a lonely $20.

Continue reading

Posted in Finances | Tagged | 125 Comments

Renters For Life

Photo credit, turkeychik -

Photo credit, turkeychik

“Beep you, you beeping beep!! I’ll kick your beepity beep!!!”

Hmmm, who is that? I don’t recognize her voice

“I ain’t lying, I can’t have you be talking to my Momma like that”

That’s Carl. Good for him standing up for his mother.

A few weeks earlier Carl had introduced himself by handing me a burger across the hedge separating our houses. He and his buddies were cooking out in the back yard and tossing back a few cold ones on a fine summer day, celebrating his release from prison. He had just moved in with his Momma while he got his life back on track

“Beep you Carl! You can’t have her treat me like this!”

That must be Carl’s new girlfriend. Classy

*BAM!!!* A door slammed, followed by the sound of crying and a car racing off. Then silence.  This would become a regular occurrence.

Continue reading

Posted in Finances | Tagged , | 146 Comments