Tag: Early Retirement Extreme

What’s the best investment?

Over the weekend, having recently returned from our overseas odyssey, I was thrilled to attend the opening of Hope: From Robe to Riches. The brainchild of my dear friend, and one of Enrichmentality’s first believers, Dr. Joanne Sullivan, the exhibition is currently on display at Gum San (金山) in Ararat. And it’s an  exhibition that got me thinking about the concept of investment.

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Am I too late for early retirement?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading – and thinking – about retirement for a new project. In the last few posts, we’ve looked at net worth (including your home), and retiring. But what is the difference between ‘traditional‘ and ‘early‘ retirement? In this post – the 100th post on Enrichmentality! – we’ll tackle this question.

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Do you want a 15 hour work week?

We arrived in Milan, Italy yesterday, hungry. All throughout the flight, visions of plates overflowing with pasta danced in my head.

Upon landing at the airport, we took a bus straight for the city. On the way, we fervently started looking up Italian restaurants – and, no surprise, there were over 6,000.

But all of them were closed.

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How can I escape the herd mentality?

The herd instinct is ‘a mentality characterized by a lack of individual decision-making or thoughtfulness, causing people to think and act in the same way as the majority of those around them’. It’s a familiar term in investing, where investors are influenced by the positivity – or negativity – of others, and their behaviour then feeds into the market, perpetuating this cycle and sometimes leading to bubbles or crashes.

But the herd mentality I want to talk about today is the one that is much bigger than the stock market, and permeates almost all of our money (and other) decisions.

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Are you cheap or frugal?

‘I love your shoes!’ How should you respond to such a compliment? With gracious acceptance? With modesty?

It’s probably the influence of my time spent in Japan, but my usual tendency is to downplay any compliment.

‘Oh, these? They’re only cheap! They were reduced to $20’

For me, responding to compliments with a simple ‘Thank you’, as is common in many European cultures (including Hungary, where I am now located) goes against the grain.

Complimenting ‘is a complex sociolingustic skill’, says Holmes (cited by Grossi), and in Japanese society, a desire for modesty generally outweighs a desire for agreement (Leech, cited by Pohl). Using Japanese norms in Australian society has sometimes surprised – or even annoyed – those I’m speaking to. ‘Don’t say that!’ they respond with utter horror, ‘I don’t need to know how much they cost!’ highlighting the taboo of talking about money.

There’s a stigma attached to the word ‘cheap‘, especially when applied to a person. Something that is cheap is meaningless, to feel cheap is to be embarrassed. No one wants to be a cheapskate – someone who is labelled as ‘stingy’ and ‘miserly’. But just like the word ‘budget’, should ‘cheap’ be viewed so negatively? Surely saving money – or at least, not wasting it – is a good thing?

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Where do I get started buying a house?

Buying a home – especially your first – can be both exciting and terrifying. How can you ensure that your search for the house of your dreams doesn’t turn into a house of horrors?

When my husband and I bought our first place, we felt in the dark – and came close to making a pretty big mistake. Fortunately, we learned a lot from the experience, and things worked out well in the end – we found a place we loved that suited our budget, paid off our mortgage in under 5 years, and that was what started our journey to financial independence.

But before we look at what you should do when getting started buying a house, let’s take a look at what to avoid: Continue reading “Where do I get started buying a house?”

How long can I travel for?

Sitting on the bus from Cork to Dublin, I got to thinking about a recent discussion I had with fellow traveller and blogger Elizabeth the Island Enthusiast about the different ways of calculating how long you can travel for – whether for a quick jaunt, extended – or even permanent – travel.

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Are your finance resources past their use-by date?

I love words, language, and reading – and most of all, books. New or old, I love them all.

But when it comes to books spouting financial advice, it pays to check the publishing date, just like it pays to check the manufacture and use-by dates on packaged foods.

So how are financial books like cases of wine with sour milk?

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What will you do with your freedom?

What interests you about the concept of freedom? No matter what our money goals, those of us fortunate enough to earn more than is required to satisfy our basic needs are generally aiming for some kind of freedom. Freedom from working as much, or at all, the freedom of your next holiday, of finishing your study, of whatever.

For me, it was the millions of little things.

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Whose dream home is this anyway?

Imagine going to McDonalds and seeing someone – let’s call them Bobby – order a Family Favourites Dinner Box – four boxes of fries, four burgers, four Cokes, and a box of nuggets. It’s such a calorific meal, that even when shared between four people, each serving still contains over half of your entire daily allowance of kilojoules in a single meal. Bobby sits there, eats a tiny fraction of the meal, just enough to make up a single serving, and then throws the rest in the bin.

Why? It’s not like there weren’t plenty of smaller options on the menu. It’s not like there wasn’t a homeless person out the front who might have enjoyed a meal. It’s not like it was the least expensive option available – in fact, it was one of the most expensive.

If Bobby told you it was to look successful and fit in, you would most likely be perplexed.

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