Article Roundup October 2023

All month I’m constantly reading. Be it various FIRE and personal finance blogs that I subscribe to, random things that pop into my feed, or suggestions from these aforementioned blogs. I keep a list of all of the stuff that I encounter throughout the month then filter those down to the best or most interesting which get included here.

The focus of these roundups is mostly on FIRE but other personal finance or other content I think could be interesting to the readers of this blog. If I got it from another blog’s roundup I try to give credit when I can.

With all those caveats out of the way, let’s get into it.

I think this Money With Katie post touches on one of my big points when I write for this blog: find what works for you. It talks about a lot of the ways one can approach some of the sacrifices suggested to strive for FIRE. Even more so it stresses the importance of making these decisions for yourself and not because someone told you to. I’d highly suggest giving When Sacrifice Outweighs Your Reward a read.

Sometimes it’s important to go back to basics. The White Coat Investor does just that with their post The Secret to Being Rich is to Not Buy Anything. As always, minimalism and FIRE go hand in hand, and it’s good to keep that in mind.

This Escaping Avalon post takes a look back at the basics of the whole idea FIRE, namely that we can cut expenses and still be happy, or to put it in the way I mostly deal with it, eating rice and beans really isn’t that bad. This post was found via Accidental Fire’s own roundup. 

The White Coat Investor takes a common conundrum savers end up with, having a huge sum in their 401(k) when it comes time to start taking distributions from these accounts. They also discuss the situations where you shouldn’t max out your 401(k).

I thought this White Coat Investor post was a good reminder that everything you see on the internet, especially financial advice, may be incorrect. Even this blog shouldn’t be taken as perfect advice. While I strive to give good, factual information I’m sure I have, and will continue to, make mistakes. Make sure you’re taking steps to verify any information you find out there.

When it comes to debt, I’m like a cat with the vacuum cleaner. However, this White Coat Investor post about allocating resources was fairly interesting. I’d give it a read.

While I cite 5-7% as my expected average yearly real returns over the long run (a fairly common range other’s cite, in my experience), this A Wealth of Common Sense post digs into a lot of the reasoning and data behind why that (or a different number/range) may be your answer.

First, I love demographics. I always like taking a look at the ways different people interpret the same data set. They do some of this in this A Wealth of Common Sense post.

This A Wealth of Common Sense post explores some of how market performance means different things depending on one’s individual situation. Bad returns and downturns are better for people just starting to invest, for instance.

Financial Fives had a wonderful post talking about how side hustles may not be all they’re hyped up to be. I found a lot of my own opinions mirrored within it. This post was stolen from Accidental Fire’s own roundup.

Can I Retire Yet takes a deep look at a very interesting question. When was the last time you changed your mind? I thought the post was great. As for me, the last time I changed my mind was probably at work. My job is to try and figure out why things broke. Sometimes my initial thoughts on why something broke change in light of new evidence. But as for this blog, it was probably in the goals that I set for each year and how they weren’t working for me. I’ve never been great at setting those SMART goals, a year is a hard time to plan for. However, as we’ll see soon when I set next year’s. I’ve come up with a way to break goals into smaller parts, part of it is taking that SMART framework, part of it is in lessons learned from goals that didn’t work.

I’m still a decade or more out from ending my accumulation phase. But I do occasionally wonder what it will be like when I reach the end, less so in the “I can’t wait way” but instead in the “what will it be like?” way. Will it be liberating? Will I miss work or being able to add money to my accounts? Will I panic at the first post accumulation drop? How can I avoid falling into the endless loop of “I just need to work 1 more year?” His Her Money Guide takes a moment to reflect on their own experiences from finally reaching that goal.

I must be weird for someone when it comes to my dream house. I’ve got a rough idea of how much it will cost; $200,000 or so in 2023 dollars. This Money with Katie post, takes a look about how finding the prices for those houses that we love to look at online may actually increase our misery.

I’m essentially uniformed when it comes to any of the big shake ups in the crypto world. I did my research and decided that crypto wasn’t for me. But I thought this post talking about risk (and some of the errors we can make when thinking about risk) and the whole FTX explosion from Of Dollars and Data was interesting.

Physician on Fire takes a look at the advantages of renting over buying. As someone who plans to rent, barring landing in a more permanent location and the prices making sense, until hitting FIRE. I agreed with a lot in this post. However I would like to note that renting is not perfect and not without disadvantages there are a lot of factors to consider when thinking about renting versus buying.

Want to see some of the numbers used behind using a more flexible approach to a withdrawal strategy, this Physician on Fire Guest post is a great start. While I think flexibility can be part of your planning, as I said in that post, I think it should be to help ensure the success of a robust plan and withdrawal rate in the case of extremely bad situations rather than to increase your withdrawal rate.

This Physician on Fire post takes a look at some of the questions you should ask yourself before you retire. I thought they were some great things to consider.

Retirement Researcher takes a look at how risk changes with stocks over time. After all, conventional wisdom is that investment risk decreases as time increases. This post took a good look at some of those underlying reasons.

I’ve never attended one of those free investment dinners. Although if one was offered I’d go for a free meal, with the provision that I would not buy a single thing offered there without a lot of  research, just like any other change I’d make with my money. Wealthy Accountant went to a few and took a look at the good and the bad takeaways from each.

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