My Favorite Financial Independence and Early Retirement Resources
Over the last few years, I've spent more hours than I'd like to admit poring over every piece of financial planning information I could get my hands on. I wanted to learn to get the most out of my paycheck, increase my income, increase my savings, do more of what I love, and be ready to live on my own terms when I decide to hang up my uniform for the last time. With that said, I want to share a few of my favorite resources that I have found over the years:
- reddit.com/r/personalfinance: This is a good, general place to get started learning about personal finance. It is a very active message board where people ask lots of basic questions. You can learn a lot here about how to make some of the more basic changes to get yourself from throwing money away on nothing to starting to see real value come from your money.
- reddit.com/r/financialindependence: This message board has been one of my favorites. There are a lot of people here who want to retire early after achieving financial independence. These are the kinds of investors I try to emulate while using my military specific financial methods.
- mrmoneymustache.com: Mr. Money Mustache is one of the premier FIRE bloggers on the internet. He talks some about the methods of FIRE, but what he's really great for is learning about the lifestyle. If you read his blog from start to finish, you will want to cut back on the unnecessary extravagances in your life, no matter how much you think you love them now. His blog also has a fairly active forum attached to it.
- gocurrycracker.com: Check this blog out for a family who lives off of their investment returns while traveling the world. This family of three has been on the road for years after an extremely short career. It's inspiring and they have some good discussions on taxes and slow travel planning.
- Bogleheads.org: One of the best, if not the best, resource for learning about investing and financial planning on the internet. Based on the teachings of the founder of Vanguard, John Bogle, this website has both an extremely active forum and an extensive wiki that you can get lost for hours in while reading about different asset allocation strategies or financial instruments. Go here and learn.
- biggerpockets.com: This real estate investing podcast, blog, and forum has tons of great knowledge available. The hard part is sifting through the lucky breaks and guys trying to make a quick buck from the true investors. But when you find them, you can learn a lot for free here.
- The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham: I listened to this book on Audible over the course of a couple of weeks. It opened my eyes to just how little I knew about selecting good securities and how much of my previous investing had not been investing at all, but speculating. It did not change my commitment to index investing for retirement, but I am going to use the resources in this book to start building a long term investment portfolio of value stocks in my taxable accounts.
- The Millionaire Next Door by Stanley and Danko: I first read this book when I wasn't even a teenager yet. I credit reading this book with establishing my interest in personal finances. There are some aspects of the book that are now dated (buy your truck by the pound?) but overall it is still a very good read that will remind you that earning more isn't enough to make you wealthy.
- Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin: This book drills into your head how you are selling your life in exchange for money. It teaches you that you can turn this paradigm on its head and start buying your own freedom with money. It also does a good job of teaching the true benefits of frugality. It's not about seeing your bank account grow larger, but your quality of life and free hours per day increase! I think her writing is a little bit too preachy for my tastes, but I can't deny that this book is a must read for anyone who wants to achieve FIRE.
- I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sehti: This book was an easy and quick read and is completely worth it for a young person who wants to learn the basics about money management along with some awesome secrets about negotiating. Too many young people think that the price on the tag is how much you're supposed to pay for things...THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO PAY! Many of the same techniques are useful for other negotiations, like salaries and home sales.