When is Enough, Enough? Working After Financial Independence

Why would anyone continue to work for money after they’ve achieved financial independence? In this episode, Eric and Jason discuss this common practice, including why Jason and Lorri currently have part-time jobs post-FI. Topics covered include de-risking retirement, charitable giving, skill-building, and more.


Show Notes

Essential Background:


Have you checked out the Two Sides of FI Discord server? If you’re not familiar, this is an instant messaging social network. Ours is meant to be a community for viewers of our show, as well as a space to discuss all things relation to FIRE. It’s totally open, free of charge, and is anonymous as you’d like. This makes it a safe space to talk about financial topics you might otherwise be sensitive about sharing. Come check it out and see if it fits your interests! There are both desktop and mobile apps available.

Did you know Jason resumed blogging? To be notified of his future posts, please consider subscribing here. He’s also archived his old blog, which documents the first two years after he retired from his career, and started even before Two Sides of FI began. Get more information on those archived posts here.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Retiring With $2M: Here’s How We’d Spend It

Love it or hate it, budgeting is an essential part of financial success. In this episode, Eric and Jason share their own financial details using a simple, model budget and offer tips for making budgeting a less daunting task. See the show notes below, which include the full details of our budgets.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

This is a copy of Eric and Laura's budget fitted to the model described in the episode.

Eric + Laura’s Budget (click to enlarge)

This is a copy of Jason and Lorri's budget fitted to the model described in the episode.

Jason + Lorri’s Budget (click to enlarge)

Essential Background:

Die with Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins, is discussed often in the FIRE community. As Eric shared in this episode, it’s intended as a “practical guide on how to get the most out of your money—and out of your life”. If you like the aim of prioritizing memorable experiences far ahead of simply accumulating money for later in life, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

Lumpy spending in retirement is another commonly discussed budget issue. Sinking funds are only one way to think about these occasional – and sometimes very large expenses. In the Reddit post “Budgeting for ‘one time expenses’ in retirement” and the comments, you’ll find some thoughts on this topic.

Eric mentioned Empower (formerly Personal Capital ) for summarizing his portfolio performance. We both use and really like this free tool for tracking investment accounts, understanding asset allocation + rebalancing opportunities, and monitoring net worth. Empower employs a simple account linking process to make it a more automated experience. Give it a try risk-free! (affiliate link; free program )

In this episode, Jason mentioned that he uses the software called YNAB to budget. What is YNAB? You Need a Budget is a popular budgeting tool for many in the FIRE community. If manual spreadsheets aren’t your thing or you’ve struggled with budgeting in the past, this may be a good solution. YNAB has a generous, free 34-day trial so you can see how well it works to help you understand and control spending. (affiliate link; no credit card needed )


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Am I Failing at Early Retirement?

Has your shrinking retirement portfolio left you considering part-time work to ease your anxiety? Inspired by a blog post from Go Curry Cracker, we discuss BaristaFIRE, time freedom, what it means to be “unemployable”, and what work we might consider post-retirement. Be sure to see the links below for the show notes and to the blog post referenced in the video.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Failing at Early Retirement, a Go Curry Cracker blog post, was the inspiration for this episode. As we discussed in the video, in the article you’ll learn how author Jeremy took on some seasonal part-time work as a UPS driver, and what he learned from the experience.

We talked a lot about BaristaFIRE in today’s episode. The linked post from Financial Samurai is a comprehensive look at this path, and is a good primer for those seeking more information. In addition to the financial calculations provided in the article, there are numerous supporting tools available online including this BaristaFIRE calculator from Walletburst.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a great IRS program for US taxpayers who qualify for free federal tax preparation. If you’d like information on VITA including how you can volunteer like Jason is doing, be sure to see the IRS Tax Volunteers page.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Never Run Out of Money in Retirement – Use This Free FIRE Calculator!

Show notes may be found below the videos, all of which are also available on our Safe Withdrawal Rate series playlist.

Part 1: Walkthrough of the SWR Toolbox

Do you want to avoid the biggest retirement risk? This simple to use tool will let you model your safe withdrawal rate and help ensure you don’t run out of money. In this walkthrough video, we teach you how to use this powerful, flexible, and FREE tool created by Karsten Jeske. Using the SWR Toolbox, you can ensure that you have a personalized plan that works with your own financial situation.

Part 2: Eric + Jason discuss how they’re using the SWR Toolbox and how Jason is struggling to spend as much as he can safely do in early retirement

How much money can you safely spend in retirement? In part two of this series on safe withdrawal rates, we discuss the #1 tool we’ve found to help you answer that question. Topics covered include the SWR Toolbox, our thoughts on Social Security, the challenges of spending in retirement, and how to get comfortable with increasing your withdrawal rate.

Part 3: Walkthrough of the CAPE-Based Rule tab in the SWR Toolbox

Do you like the idea of a portfolio withdrawal strategy that can’t run out of money? This walkthrough video is the third part in our Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) series, and teaches you how to model a variable withdrawal strategy based on the CAPE ratio. Using this powerful and FREE tool created by Karsten Jeske, you can design a personalized plan that works with your own financial situation.


Show Notes

Download the Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR) Toolbox

  • The Safe Withdrawal Rate Toolbox is available via Karsten Jeske’s Early Retirement Now blog. The current version can be downloaded via Part 28 of the SWR series. This is also the post where the revisions to the calculator are described. To see the history of this tool, you’ll need to go back to Part 7. We found reading both posts to be essential to really understand how the tool works. Please ensure you follow the directions in the video to make your own copy of the tool. There’s no need to email Karsten to request edit rights!

Essential Blog Posts

Safe Withdrawal Rate series: This is the landing page for the 57-part SWR series (it will surely continue to grow) for which Karsten is best known. Be sure to start with the guidance he provides on how to navigate this great but expansive content. Many essential topics are covered in the series and not all of them involve deep dives into math! While we think all of his posts are interesting, you’ll find guidance below about the specific articles we think are most important to the topic of this video – in addition to Parts 28 and 7 listed above.

In Part 3 of this series, we covered the CAPE-Adjusted Safe Withdrawal Rate tab in the Toolbox, and described what the Shiller CAPE is. For those who want further details, there’s ample material available on Karsten’s blog for you to review. In addition to the introduction to the feature provided in Part 28, Big ERN recently wrote several posts concerning a new “better” CAPE ratio – i.e. CAPE model 2 in the SWR Toolbox. This article introduces the concept, while the next, “The 4% Rule Works Again! An Update on Dynamic Withdrawal Rates based on the Shiller CAPE – SWR Series Part 54” dives into details on how the SWR Toolbox employs this factor to model a variable withdrawal strategy. To go a level deeper on the foundations of this approach, including how to evaluate these types of strategies, you’ll definitely want to read Part 18: Flexibility and the Mechanics of CAPE-Based Rules.

Sequence Risk is more important than your average return rate. Surprised? Be sure to check out Part 15: More Thoughts on Sequence of Return Risk. As mentioned in the video, SWR is overwhelmingly determined by the first 10-15 years of portfolio drawdown.

Are you the kind of person who wants all the gory details about the math underlying the SWR Toolbox? If so, you won’t want to miss Part 8: Technical Appendix. It’s got all the information you need to fully understand how Karsten’s approach works. There are also some good references at the bottom of the post on related material found elsewhere.

Did you know we’ve spoken to Karsten twice before? “What the FIRE Community Gets Wrong” was the first time he came on Two Sides of FI. We covered a lot of ground in this episode about safe withdrawal strategies – so much so that we also released a follow-up video called “Karsten Spoke, We Listened. Here’s What We Learned”. These two episodes are popular with our audience for a good reason and are definitely worth viewing for anyone interested in SWR strategies.

Our second conversation with Karsten also featured Fritz Gilbert (from The Retirement Manifesto), in a continuation of their debate about the merits of bucket strategies. In “What’s Wrong with This Popular Retirement Strategy?” we covered a lot of ground that you won’t want to miss!

Other Show Notes

cFIREsim (or  Crowdsourced Financial Independence and Retire Early Simulator) is a very popular and powerful FIRE calculator created by Lauren. We found a lot of value in this tool throughout our FIRE journey, and clearly many others do as well. In the developer’s words, “What can cFIREsim do? At its core, you can enter information in the a few simple inputs and return the basic simulation. At its most complicated, it can determine your portfolio success based on 80 individual portfolio adjustments, multiple types of inflation, multiple types of market returns, and graphically show you the results. There are many options to choose from outside of the ‘Basic Inputs’ “, including a number of variable withdrawal strategies under “Spending Plan”.

Variable Percentage Withdrawal (VPW) is another method besides CAPE-adjusted WR for allowing market conditions to influence the amount you take out of your portfolio in drawdown. As mentioned in part 2, VPW is popular among some adherents the Bogleheads approach to investing. As you’ll read at this link, this method “adapts adjustments to portfolio withdrawal amounts to the retiree’s retirement horizon, asset allocation, and portfolio returns during retirement… to allow the retiree to spend most of the portfolio using return-adjusted withdrawals. By adapting withdrawals to market returns, VPW will never prematurely deplete the portfolio.”

stickK is the app Eric mentioned in Part 2 to help track adherence to a goal – like keeping to spending your planned withdrawal rate. Created from a behavioral economics framework, stickK allows you to create “Commitment Contracts, [which are] a binding agreement you sign with yourself to ensure that you follow through with your intentions—and it does this by utilizing the psychological power of loss aversion and accountability to drive behavior change.” We’ve not tried this yet but this is a pretty appealing (an a little scary) idea!


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

What’s Wrong with This Popular Retirement Strategy?

Do you worry about running out of money in retirement? How do you draw down your assets without tanking your portfolio? Eric + Jason talk with FIRE bloggers Karsten Jeske and Fritz Gilbert about the bucket strategy. Is it a reasonable withdrawal plan or nothing more than a gimmick? They discuss alternative approaches, how to generate a retirement paycheck, and the role of cash. Whether you’re interested in FIRE or on a traditional retirement path, you can’t afford to miss this episode!

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background

START HERE:

The 2023 bucket strategy showdown began with these two blog posts by Fritz and Karsten: “Is The Bucket Strategy a Cheap Gimmick?” (Retirement Manifesto), and “Discussing FIRE Bucket Strategies with Fritz Gilbert” (Early Retirement Now). These articles provide essential background to the debate about the utility and validity of the bucket strategy!

Fritz Gilbert’s Content

  • How To Build A Retirement Paycheck is the first of (currently) four great posts on Fritz’ implementation of the bucket strategy, which we discussed at length in this episode and also in prior videos. The other articles in the series are linked here too, including one he mentioned in this episode, “How to Build a Bond Ladder”.
  • A Strategy For Buying Into A Bear Market is a post which shares what Fritz learned from the 2008 financial crisis and how he’s managing today’s market volatility.
  • In this episode, Fritz mentioned his post “A Step-By-Step Guide for Your Annual Financial Update”. Within you’ll find his guide to an annual review, including a checklist he developed along with links to spreadsheets to help you implement your own process.  
  • In 2021, Fritz recently wrote a book called “Keys to a Successful Retirement” which captures the many lessons he has learned on his retirement journey so far. This is a great read for all current and future retirees. It goes far beyond the financial, and leans heavily into the social and emotional aspects of retirement, just like his blog. Highly recommended!
  • Freedom for Fido is the charity that the Gilberts started, whose stated purpose is to:
    “Free the dogs who live on chains in the North Georgia Mountains. We are a charity which provides free fencing and dog houses for low-income residents of the Blue Ridge area.” To learn more about this passion project, be sure to check out this link,

Karsten Jeske’s Content

  • Safe Withdrawal Rate series: This is the landing page for the 56-part SWR series (now; it will surely continue to grow) for which Karsten is best known. Be sure to start with the guidance he provides on how to navigate this great but expansive content. Many essential topics are covered and not all of them involve deep dives into math!
  • Has Karsten written about the bucket strategy before? Yep! In 2021 he posted Part 48 in the SWR series, “Retirement Bucket Strategies: Cheap Gimmick or the Solution to Sequence Risk? “. Be sure to check it out for all the details, including the financial modeling he referenced in today’s episode.
  • Portfolio rebalancing is an essential part of both strategies discussed in today’s video. This key topic is addressed in Part 39 of the SWR series. Rebalancing isn’t a panacea for sequence risk, but it’s certainly an important element to consider. As we’ve discussed previously, being consistent + avoiding market timing is essential.
  • A topic we didn’t hit on today but have talked about extensively in the past is Karsten’s Safe Withdrawal Rate Toolbox. We will be talking more about this powerful, free downloadable tool very soon. In the meantime, Part 28 is the post where the revisions to the original calculator are described and the latest tool is linked. To see the history of this tool, you’ll need to go back to Part 7 of the series.
  • You may have Karsten mention that Jason is using his CAPE-Adjusted Safe Withdrawal Rate strategy. Big ERN recently wrote several blog posts concerning a new “better” CAPE ratio. This article introduces the concept, while the next: “The 4% Rule Works Again! An Update on Dynamic Withdrawal Rates based on the Shiller CAPE – SWR Series Part 54” dives into details on how his SWR Toolbox can use this factor to model withdrawal rate in retirement. More on this topic soon!

Others Weigh In

Slides from this video:


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

My Next Phase of Early Retirement Won’t Include This…

Year two in early retirement was very different for Jason than year one. It’s common that the honeymoon stage of retirement is followed by disappointment and a search for meaning. In this episode, Jason and Eric discuss a recent project Jason abandoned and what stage of retirement they think he’s in. You’ll hear his approach to guarding his free time, what Eric fears most about retiring early, and more.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Jason took his blog down, but an archive of all his posts is available for those interested. At the same page you’ll see an option to subscribe, which will ensure you are updated of any future writing or projects he takes on.

Essential Background:

Robert Atchley’s Six Phases of Retirement was an important element of our conversation in this episode. While not the original 1976 manuscript, the article linked here is a good summary of the concepts Atchley wrote about. If you are interested in the original text, “The Sociology of Retirement” is available from Amazon. On a related point, this blog post from Can I Retire Yet by Chris Mamula is a good deep dive into the six phases. It’s a worthwhile read.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

My FIRE Budget Didn’t Account for This

Are you worried about neglecting to budget for key expenses in early retirement? Even if you put good effort into creating your FIRE budget, it’s easy to miss some very important items. In this episode, Jason and Eric discuss these commonly forgotten or underestimated expenses, including healthcare costs, taxes, dealing with inflation, and more.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

  • Have you seen our two prior episodes on healthcare? The first, “Healthcare is my Second Highest Cost in Early Retirement” captures our comprehensive conversation about retiree healthcare that we had with an HR benefits expert. The second, “Don’t Let the Cost of Healthcare Break Your Early Retirement Plan” picks up where the first episode left off, digging into ACA subsidies, selecting plans, and considering the total cost of care.
  • In today’s video we touch on the topic of supporting family members including adult children. This isn’t the first time we’ve touched on the topic of our kids. In fact, we put out a two-part series of episodes on issues relating to children in the past (part 1 and part 2).
  • Towards the end of today’s episode, we talk about the utility in consulting with fee-only financial advisors. if you missed our earlier video titled “We Each Hired a Flat Fee Financial Advisor. Was It Worth It?” you’ll definitely want to check that out. This link will take you to the show notes for the episode, which includes a link to the video as well a number of associated resources.

Budgeting for lumpy or future, unplanned but eventual expenses can be tricky but is also essential to do. This article on Fritz Gilbert’s (Retirement Manifesto) own approach is a great resource to get started. In this method, he budgets for large spending down the road (like a replacement roof for a home) via sinking funds. Have a look at this and see what you think about his approach.

XY Planning Network was mentioned in this episode as an option for finding a fee-only financial advisor. As described on the site, their member advisors ascribe to fiduciary and CFP® standards, earn no commissions, and require no minimum assets. They have convenient filters to allow searching by advisor specialities, including those with FIRE experience. Many work under multiple fee models, including advice-only, which can be a good source for one-time consults without any

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are an IRS-mandated specific sum of money that you must withdraw from traditional IRAs or an employer-sponsored retirement account each year. This article from Fidelity provides a simple introduction to the topic. At the time we filmed this episode, RMDs were required to begin at age 72. However, the recently passed Secure Act 2.0 will raise the age to 75. This article from Kiplinger covers this change and other revisions to RMDs you’ll want to know about.

What are the longest US runways? Well, it turns out that Bangor Airport doesn’t make the list after all. However, according to Wikipedia it is “the first major American airport encountered by airliners approaching the United States from the east and the last for airliners heading towards Europe. It is more than two miles (3.2 km) long and an uncluttered airspace, it offers a place to land in case of bad weather at an airplane’s destination, bomb threats, or passengers who prove unruly or are discovered to be on the TSA No Fly List.” So the runway there is still really long and pretty important!


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Finding My Way in Early Retirement: A 30 Month Check-In

What is early retirement really like? In this episode, Eric checks in with Jason two and a half years after he left his career behind. They discuss his recent financial moves, the impact of inflation, how Jason spends his time, and what’s truly important to him.

Show notes may be found below the video


Show Notes

Essential Background:

Do you have a copy of our free Rebalancing Calculator? This simple tool can help you make your own decisions about buying and selling in order to rebalance your portfolio. This is the calculator that Jason referenced in today’s episode.

Buying Treasury Bills and Notes at your brokerage is one of the financial moves we discussed in this video. This article by Harry Sit (“The Finance Buff”) is a really great summary of how you can do that yourself. The well-written post goes through all the details and includes walkthroughs of the process at each of the major brokerages.

Tax Loss Harvesting is a concept we’ve discussed on the show before. This Investopedia article is a good summary of the topic. In brief, TLH is an approach by which investors can sell an asset at a loss, reducing the total amount of capital gains taxes due from the sale of profitable investments. You can then use the sale proceeds to purchase a similar asset or security, maintaining your asset allocation.

CAPE-Adjusted Safe Withdrawal Rate – We talked about this idea in the episode without much explanation. As background, we interviewed Karsten “Big ERN” Jeske previously about safe withdrawal rates (SWR) – this is definitely content you will want to check out if you haven’t before! Subsequent to that conversation, Karsten wrote several blog posts concerning a new “better” CAPE ratio. This first article introduces the concept, while the next: “The 4% Rule Works Again! An Update on Dynamic Withdrawal Rates based on the Shiller CAPE – SWR Series Part 54” dives into details on how his Safe Withdrawal Rate calculator now can use this factor to model withdrawal rate in retirement.

The Series 65 Exam is “designed to qualify candidates as investment adviser representatives. The exam covers topics that have been determined to be necessary to understand in order to provide investment advice to clients.” If you’re interested in more information on this test and the curriculum it covers, you’ll want to check out this link. Here’s the Kaplan exam prep course that Jason has been taking.


You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Our Most Impactful Purchases, Tools, and Hacks Under $50 (Part 1) and $250 (Part 2)

Show notes may be found below the two videos

Part 1 (Under $50)

Can low cost items – or even free things – truly impact your quality of life positively? In this episode, Eric and Jason talk about some of their favorite purchases under $50, as well as some tools and life hacks that have done just that. Topics discussed in part one of this series include apps, books, games, outdoors essentials, and organizational tools.


Part 2 (Under $250)

How big of an impact can a single purchase under $250 make on your life? In part two of this series, Eric and Jason talk about some of the best things they’ve bought in recent years. Topics discussed include travel, outdoor gear, concert tips, kitchen aids, and more.


Show Notes

Below you’ll find each of our lists broken out by price point, with links out for further information on most items. In addition to our “Under $50” (Part 1) and “Under $250” (Part 2) lists, we’ve also shared some of our favorite subscriptions – a topic we didn’t have time to cover in these two episodes.

Under $50

Jason

  • Apollo (Reddit client) app (free for basic; $5 for Pro)
    • Sadly, this app ceased to function on Jun 30, 2023 as part of a response to changes that Reddit rolled out that impacted 3rd party apps.
  • Video Games
    • Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($10) – Tee K.O. is a simple, very fun party game. Multi-platform
    • Moss ($20) – Puzzle platformer for Oculus Quest (and others). Immersive, beautiful, fun
    • Beat Saber ($30) – Best rhythm game! Can mod + add custom tracks too! Multi-platform
  • Wine Folly: Magnum Edition, The Master Guide ($20)
    • A great wine reference guide for all levels; easy reading, beautiful graphics

Eric


Under $250

Jason

  • Dutch oven – Lodge enameled ($75)
    • With this and a santoku knife (also <$250) I am 90% the way there
    • I made all the classic Oaxacan moles with this and many soups, etc.
  • Altra Torin 5 sneakers ($100-150)
    • Essential for me to be able to do all the long walks
    • Never had “expensive” sneakers before. Most comfortable I’ve had.
  • Reading glasses ($150)
    • Could be easily under $50 if you can use drugstore readers vs. a prescription.
    • These have been a huge benefit given aging + how much I read.
    • Do better than me: Don’t fight it! It was a huge game changer getting these.

Eric

  • Experiences / Travel
    • Premium Concert Tickets – Our goal is to be close enough to catch a pick from every show we see. Could be substantially more $ depending…
    • Guided tours while traveling
    • PreCheck $78/five years (Chase Sapphire card covers the cost)
  • Merino shirts / underlayers ($80 – 110)
    • temp regulating, odor resistant, versatile for traveling you can wear in many different situations.
    • Not all are made equal: I like Proof 72-hour shirts (size up: 87% 16.5 micron merino wool, 13% nylon, can machine wash + tumble dry). Nylon keeps it from shrinking which can be a problem with 100% Merino
    • Smartwool 250 underlayers ($110) 100% Merino, midweight
  • Apple Pencil 2 ($129) – Sort of a cheat as it requires an iPad, but I use my iPad Pro every. single. day. It’s an essential pairing with Procreate an entire art supply warehouse at your fingertips.

Subscriptions

Jason

  • Audible Premium Plus audiobooks ($15/mo) – Eric agrees and is also a subscriber!
  • Learned League trivia ($30/yr)
    • An invite-only competition that is self-described as “the greatest web-based trivia league in all of civilized earth, and one of the most glorious activities of mankind”
    • Incredibly fun, very competitive, and keeps my mind active! How tough does it get? Jeopardy stars like Ken Jennings and James Holzhauer used to compete in the higher tier of the league yet never won a LL championship!

Eric

  • Apple Music – ($10/mo)
    • Threads into my workday routines and focus
    • Over 100 million songs and 30,000 playlists, ad-free
  • Adobe Lightroom + Photoshop – ($10/mo)
    • Using Lightroom and Photoshop for image organization and editing has improved my technical skills, understanding of color theory and composition, and is a necessity for marketing operations, communicating ideas to my YouTube channel’s audience, for creative projects in my architecture business, and documentation of family travels.
    • The photographer’s plan via Adobe’s Creative Cloud is only $10/month and I use it daily.

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.

Tax Strategies on FIRE: Financial Independence / Retire Early

Do you worry about taxes and how they impact your financial goals? Whether you’re on a FIRE path or retiring traditionally, there are many critical tax topics to consider. In this episode, Jason talks with financial planner and CPA Sean Mullaney, creator of the FI Tax Guy blog. We talk about common tax misunderstandings, the power of solo 401k accounts, Roth conversions, and tax loss harvesting.

Show notes may be found below the video

Note: The discussion is intended to be for general educational purposes and is not tax, legal, or investment advice for any individual. Eric, Jason, and Two Sides of FI do not endorse Sean Mullaney, Mullaney Financial & Tax, Inc. and their services.


Show Notes

Essential Background
If you’re not familiar with Sean’s great blog, “The FI Tax Guy: The Tax Efficient Path to Financial Independence“, you’ll definitely want to check it out. He’s been posting there for over four years, so there’s a wealth of information available. We’ll link to some essential content below, including a few articles we referenced in this episode. In addition, Sean also has a YouTube channel.

Sean’s book: “Solo 401(k): The Solopreneur’s Retirement Account” – Navigating retirement for solopreneurs is not easy—strategically save with the Solo 401(k). If you’re self-employed, saving enough money to retire can feel complicated when you wear both the employer and employee hats. Get educated and empower your retirement with Solo 401(k). In this book, Sean Mullaney, a financial planner and licensed CPA, cuts through the complexity and boils down what solopreneurs need to know about saving for the future. The Solo 401(k) plan allows self-employed entrepreneurs to reduce taxes and strategically save for retirement. This guide will give you the valuable insight you need to create, navigate, and optimize your own Solo 401(k) plan with tax planning you may not have considered.

Key Posts From The FI Tax Guy Blog:

  • FIRE Tax Strategies for Beginners – Are you new to financial independence (FI or FIRE)? Are you steeped in financial independence, but confused about tax optimization? If so, this is the post for you. This post works on the 80/20 principle: sure, there’s a ton of knowledge, expertise, and hacks out there, but often times 80 percent of the benefit can come from 20 percent of the knowledge. 
  • The Special Tax Loss Harvesting Opportunity for 2022 – There is a tax loss harvesting opportunity in 2022 that has not existed in recent years to the scope and scale it exists today: tax loss harvesting with bonds and bond funds. In most recent years, many bonds and bond funds have not had significant built-in-losses. 2022 is different: now there are plenty of bonds and bond funds in taxable accounts with significant built-in-losses. 
  • The Advantages of Living On Taxable Assets First in Early Retirement – The FIRE community loves the accumulation phase. Build up assets towards the goal of financial independence. Questions increasingly creep in when it comes to the distribution phase. Members of the FIRE community wonder: what do I live on when I get to retirement? This is particularly true when one reaches early retirement prior to age 59 ½. In this post, Sean discusses the options and the reasons he believes that for many, the best assets to live off of first in early retirement are taxable assets.
  • 2022 Year-End Tax Planning – In this post, Sean shares the primary tax planning items for the year 2022 as he sees them. Topics covered include tax loss harvesting, Roth conversions, tax gain harvesting, HSA contributions, RMDs, and more.
  • The Four Backstops to the Four Percent Rule – We’ve talked plenty on 2SFI about the 4% Rule (of thumb) and what our own strategies are with respect to withdrawal rate. This post adds a wrinkle to the discussion: the four backstops to the 4% Rule for early retirees. What if worries about the adequacy of the 4% Rule for early retirees can be addressed by factors outside of the 4% Rule safe withdrawal rate? And what if those factors quite naturally occur for early retirees?  Read on to get Sean’s thoughts on why this may be the case.

You can find information on the tools we mention in each episode along with additional information in the Resources section of this site.