Award Travel Series: Alternative Redemptions for Miles & Points

The travel industry has experienced a gigantic upheaval since the onset of COVID-19. Stock markets are down 25-30%, jobless rates have reached unprecedented levels, and airlines have come to a screeching halt.

Since it is unclear when things might return to “normal”, and many can benefit from cash now vs travel later, here are three ways to cash out your points for immediate value.

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F.I.R.E. Damage

As poor an acronym as it is(*), F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early) has become widely known, inspiring many to spend less and save more.

Not everybody thinks it is a good thing, however, and we are probably guilty of setting a bad example – indolent, hubristic, aggressive, patronizing, flippantly roaming the globe in luxurious fashion…

… so when the economy struggles and the stock market implodes, I am unsurprised that some headlines and individuals are excited for the opportunity to say, “I told you so” or to predict “the death of FIRE.”

Are early retirees at risk of serious F.I.R.E. Damage?

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The CARES Act

This weekend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed into law, with the intention of providing relief to taxpayers affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). I imagine this is but one of many stimulus/emergency relief efforts to come, and the details will undergo much scrutiny in the coming months.

This is a massive and wide-reaching law. I’ve done my best to summarize the parts that I think will have the greatest interest or impact to early retirees and aspiring early retirees, although it will affect nearly everyone.

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