How Did I Ever Have Time For A Job?

Jr Adventurer

We were in the land of traffic jams and strip malls this summer, visiting family and friends who work for those big tech companies.

Over a glass of wine (or was it a bottle?) a friend popped the question… “So, you think you would be interested in working again? Our team is hiring… you could easily get a big salary and a juicy stock package.”

“Hmm, that sounds interesting“, I replied. “But I just don’t think I could find the time.”

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To Europe and Back Again

Paris (photo credit)

About a year ago we flew from Asia to Europe to begin a 4 month tour. We spent a month each in Spain, Italy, and UK/Ireland, and a handful of weeks in Portugal, Czech, Germany, Denmark, and Iceland. This was a big chunk of Jr’s 16 countries visited in his first 16 months.

Notably absent from this list of countries is France. And it has been an awfully long time since I’ve had a good croissant.

To rectify this terrible situation, in a few weeks we are flying to Paris. We’ll be there at least 2 weeks, after which we will eventually make it to the other slighted countries.

I was pretty excited about how we saved $10k+ on our previous trip. But this time… we did even better.

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Fewer Dividends, Please

Dividends in a Bull Market (photo credit)

Over the first few years of early retirement I noticed a disturbing trend… dividends were increasing at a much too rapid pace!

Between 2012 and 2017, the dividend payout of VTI / VTXAX grew at an annual rate of more than 9%! The growth rate on our portfolio was even higher (14%+) which brought annual dividends from $28,139 in 2013 to $36,760 in 2015. Annual inflation over the same period was only about 1.5%.

While dividend growth investors were most certainly overjoyed, I was busy reducing our dividend income.

Please, corporations of the world… stop paying so many dividends.

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Social Security Return on Investment

What is the ROI of incremental Self-Employment taxes?

By taking GCC truly global and incorporating overseas, we can completely eliminate Self Employment taxes.

Although this is only one of many factors to consider, these pesky payroll taxes take 15.3% of every dollar of profit we make on this little blog. All else being equal, I would rather pay $0 than $5,000+.

But of course, all else is not equal. Fewer dollars paid in Self Employment taxes will result in smaller Social Security checks down the road. (Checks? I’m definitely dating myself.)

Even though I know Social Security is generally poor value for early retirees… since I won’t even change brands of toothpaste without a little research, I guess I better do the math.

What is the actual return for continuing to pay (now optional) Self Employment taxes?

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Retire Early.

Travel the World.

Let's do this.

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