Retire Early Helen Blog

8

One superpower I wish I had

Bill and Melinda Gates sent out the 2016 Annual Letter: “If you could have one superpower, what would it be?”  Their answers are: more time, more energy, and to be able to fly.  That’s more than one wish.  Even billionaires don’t know how to count 1, 2 and 3 (just kidding).  That’s why I don’t want to be a billionaire. I thought about it for a long time:  what...

28

A story about my childhood friend Jane

This is a true story.  It’s about one of my childhood friends.  To protect her privacy, I’ll call her Jane. Jane and I grew up together, in a village in northern China.  We started playing together long before the primary school.  We were in the same class in the primary school (5 years) and middle school (2 years).  Our families lived on the same street, and just half...

12

Use Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Wisely

Are you a homeowner?  If yes, probably you noticed that, the value of your home went up lately.  Today we are going to tackle the details of the Home Equity Line of Credit, abbreviated as HELOC. Sometimes it’s simply called ELOC. Knowledge is power.  Next time, when you are in the bank, the banker may want to drag you to his/her office with all smiles, and try to...

8

Wasted food, wasted money

Did you see the Hot Dog Eating Contest on the TV?  The guy ate more than 70 hot dogs, and became the champion. When I saw it, my first impression was:  what a waste of food and money!  Can we donate those hot dogs to the kids in the schools? My second impression was: where are the table manners?  I’m not saying they should use forks and knives...

10

An early retiree’s worries

Did I say worries?  Should early retirement life be the utopia? I retired in April 2015, at the age of 49.  The first week after retirement was very unique.  I was up in the air pretty much the whole week.  Everything was exciting, and refreshing.  I walked even faster during the daily workout. After one week, the reality set in.  And my daily routine was formed. If things...

8

Lessons I learnt from the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis

Ten years ago, the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis rocked you, me and the whole world.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) peaked to 14,164 on October 9, 2007, and hit the bottom of 6,507 on March 9, 2009.  DJIA dropped by 54% from the high of October 2007. I was very scared.  In less than one year and half, my investment portfolio had dropped by more than half.  It...

2

2018 – a new financial start

Happy New Year!  I hope you had a great holiday. New Year means a new financial start.  Now it’s the time to take a fresh look at your finances, and see what can be done better in 2018. You might ask:  why do I have to do that?  It’s because money can’t take care of itself.  You have to be on the driver seat, and take actions to...

0

Celebrating New Year’s Eve and Friendship

The clock is ticking, and 2018 is on the way.  How are you going to celebrate the New Year’s Eve? The New Year’s Eve reminds me of the beautiful movie “Waterloo Bridge” (1940) starring Vivian Lee and Robert Taylor, and the theme song “Farewell Waltz – Auld Lang Syne”.  In China, the song was renamed into “Long Live the Friendship”.  And the movie was translated to “Hun Duan...

2

Wrapping up 2017 – Roth IRA Conversion and Book List

2017 is almost done.  Did you have a great year? I look forward to 2018.  The New Year always brings me hope and excitement.  Part of the reason is that, I love spring.  It’s the season when it gets warmer, flowers start blooming, and trees and grass become green. I have retired for 2.5+ years.  Life has been very good.  One day I was at a doctor’s office. ...

0

My English teachers – Jimmy and his wife

I feel very lucky I had so many great teachers all those years.  They inspired me, and guided me to the right direction.  I want to say:  “Thank you, my teachers.  You made a huge difference to my life”. Today I like to share some of the stories.  This is about my English teachers Jimmy and his wife (sorry I forgot her name). Jimmy enjoyed teaching and smiled...