Retire Early Helen Blog

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How did I retire early?

To many people, retiring early is their dream.  It means that, one day they will be able to quit the rat race, and live the life they want.  Some described the retirement life as 3 NOs:  “No clock, no boss, and no worry”. How to get there?  What should I do in order to retire early?  These are the questions many people ask.  I retired in early 2015,...

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My Book “Dad’s Bicycle” and Life in China

After retiring in 2015, I always wanted to write something about the place I grew up.  I wanted the world to know about that remote village in northern China, as that’s part of who I am.  Finally my mini-memoir “Dad’s Bicycle” was published on Amazon last year. The village I grew up is totally different from Beijing or Shanghai.  The life there is still primitive.  There is no...

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Why is retirement so distant to many Americans?

Once upon a time, part of the American dream was to work hard for one company for many years, get the decent pension after retiring in their late 50s or early 60s, and enjoy their golden years.  Now this pretty picture is gone.  I guess the word “pension” is probably going to disappear from the dictionary very soon.  The reality is very bleak. Social Security is totally a...

16

Lending money to a friend or relative

Are you willing to lend money to your friend or relative?  One day, you might get a call from a cousin.  He wants to borrow $2500 for a used car.  His old car was wrecked last week.  He could not get a car loan due to insufficient credit or income.  What are you going to say?  “Oh, I don’t have that much money.” Or “Sorry, I can’t lend...

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Save it or spend it?

Assume John Doe is a sales associate.  He worked so hard this year, and far exceeded his sales quota.  His employer was happy, liked to keep him, and gave him a nice year-end bonus of $4000.  John rushed out at 5 PM, couldn’t wait to go home and share this exciting news with his family.  After lots of laughter and hugs at home, he had to decide:  “What...

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Why I’m learning Spanish?

Have you watched the UniVision on TV?  It’s a Spanish channel in US, and is carried by some cable providers.  I’m always fascinated and curious:  why the people in those programs are so happy?  What are they laughing about?  Why are they talking so fast?  Are they in a hurry?  This is the start point I decided to learn Spanish. I started four years ago after leaving the...

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Do you go shopping on Black Friday?

The holiday season starts this week.  Black Friday is at the corner.  Every year, Black Friday started earlier and earlier. Since 2012, Black Friday kicked off on Thursday for some stores.  Wait a moment, now Friday becomes Thursday!  Is it confusing? “Grandma, could you cook the turkey faster?  I got to go shopping at 5 PM.”  “Can I bag my turkey and pie?  I’ll eat on the road.”...

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Why Helen retired early?

If you could stop working tomorrow, would you want to do so? For those who say no, they are the super lucky ones.  They love what they do, and feel fulfilled and rewarded.  Going to work every day is excitement, not a duty.  I really envy them.  During the last 20+ years as an engineer, I met quite a few who were just like that.  It is fun...

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Hello and welcome to Retire Early Helen

Hi, I’m Helen.  I retired at 49, and had my dream come true.  Do you want to retire early? Ten years ago, I was often questioning myself: Is it even possible to retire early?  Do I really have to work till the age of 70?  How can I get to the point, when I don’t have to worry about the long commute, endless tasks and stressful deadlines, so I...