Category Archives: Travel

How To Retire Early

A lot of people are curious about this topic. A lot of people wish they could do it. Only a few are.

Retiring Early is deceptively easy, but it takes a lot of what I would call personal development. You have to have the self-discipline necessary. You have to do the emotional work that goes along with it….

How to Retire Early

  1. Work to Make Your Money – This is the only way to do it unless you end up inheriting or winning a ton of money. You have to work to make money. And it actually doesn’t matter how much you make. People have retired early with high and low incomes. It just takes a good strategy to help you retire early.
  2. Be Efficient with Your Money – And by efficient I mean you need to live, or learn to live, frugally. This means that you live below your means. You must make the most of what you have so you won’t need any more than is necessary and you won’t waste your time or money.
  3. Save Your Money – If you spend everything you earn you won’t ever be able to retire. It seems like most people are able to eventually save 10% of there money if they work at it. Many are able to save more. Some are able to save substantially more. Upwards of 70-80%. The more you save the earlier you can retire.
  4. Spend Your Money – Get yourself to the point where you buy only necessary things with the most value. With value equaling a good return for your hard earned money. Buy the least expensive housing, transportation, and food that will meet your needs. Spend your money on educating yourself about how to retire early and live the lifestyle you desire. Refuse to spend money on things that will not improve your life.
  5. Invest Your Money – Money that isn’t doing anything is just paper. Once you have saved and invested enough money (capital) to have the earnings (returns) support your lifestyle, you have successfully retired. This is the concept of a 401k, pension, etc. You no longer work for money, you have Your Money work for you!

Noticed how I capitalized “Your Money”? I do this to emphasize the fact that you are the only one who will get yourself to early retirement. You have the ability to do it. The more you learn, the more able you will be to retire early.

Good luck! Please comment with your success stories below!

Resources: Stories & Learning Opportunities

  1. Joe Dominguez retires at 31
  2. Paul & Vicki Terhorst retire at 35 to become Perpetual Travelers
  3. Billy & Akaisha Kaderli Retire at 38 to also become Perpetual World Travelers
  4. Jacob Fisker Retires at 32 and starts his new work educating people how to retire early themselves.

China, Ambassador Jon Huntsman, and Sidney Rittenberg

Last night I had the privilege of watching a live teleconference with The U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman, and hear Sidney Rittenberg speak live courtesy of The National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Rather then offer up my own opinions on the evening, I will just list some of the major points made by both parties.

Jon Huntsman

  1. The U.S. debt to China has never really played into the trade discussions he has with China.
  2. Since China has allowed the their currency to float (reference), we have seen on average a 1% appreciation of the Yuan per month.
  3. With the 2001 entry into the WTO China has started to go by the rule of law, instead of the rule by man. They are using the current laws to help establish their case in many instances.
  4. We only got to see about 15 minutes of the telecast because the uplink from China died, but the moderator happened to mention that he thinks we might see Jon run for president eventually. (sidenote: Jon has already served in numerous government positions, including Governor of Utah, so this could very well prove true.)

Sidney Rittenberg

  1. Sidney is probably one of the only Americans left alive who has met every Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.
  2. His take on yuan appreciation is that it doesn’t matter a whole lot. And that more jobs depend on trade with China then in putting tariffs up.
  3. He states that China is much better off today then when he was because of the new regime. He states that your average person in China used to have a life expectancy of 32 years, but today life expectancy is 73 years old.
  4. He cited Colin Powell as saying, “There system (China’s) works better for them then our system works for us.” I haven’t been able to find a published source of this. His main point here was that we shouldn’t assume we know what’s best for China.
  5. 800 million cell phone users, 400 millions internet users, something to think about.
  6. China has to figure out how it will switch from government investment to capital investment.
  7. China also has to find ways to allow for more free speech and freedom of the press. He says that this is the valve that lets off the steam in any country. They are better off letting this go. He says any young Chinese person can find out anything they want to on the internet anyhow.
  8. Government must also protect whistle blowers to help end the corruption.
  9. There is a great disconnect between central government policy and it’s execution in the local governments.
  10. Most Chinese aren’t worried about the central government as they are about getting the local despots off their backs.
  11. Chinese have a lot of freedoms. The only freedom they don’t have is the ability to criticize the government. Local government despots are the biggest violators of human rights. Not the central government.
  12. Quotes Wen Jiabao as saying that political reform has to come before economic reform. Told a story of how Wen Jiabao was traveling through the countryside with the local officials and said he had to get out to “commune with nature” He then used the opportunity to run over to the local village to get the true story from the villagers. He asked questions like were they receiving payments for the fact that their spouse died in the war, etc…
  13. General consensus in China is that Tibet is ungrateful for all the investment China has put in Tibet. The Dalai Lama has stated that the 17 point agreement they worked out with China would work if everyone followed it.
  14. Law now requires 2 companies, a foreign and a domestic one, to audit a Chinese company. Deloitte is one of the biggest companies doing this now.
  15. If you want to find a Chinese partner to do business with look for the 3 C’s: Character, Competence, and Connections. Do your Due Diligence.
  16. Recommended books on doing business in China: Jim McGregor’s One Billion Customers, Mr. China by Tim Clissold, and Beijing Jeep by Jim Mann.
  17. Mentioned that Christianity is welcome in China because Christians tend to be good law abiding citizens.

Most of Sidney’s remarks revolved around the idea that we need to cooperate with China and find common interest through dialogue. And that we should avoid all the press that attempts to demonize China.

With China gaining power and influence over the world, it pays to keep abreast of current events going on. I will continue to talk about some of the more interesting things happening in China so please subscribe to keep updated. Thanks!

Simon Black – International Investor

I just wanted to take the time to mention a very intriguing new website I found.

It is called Sovereign Man and it is written by a guy named Simon Black who does a daily report from the field (currently Nigeria) about economics, investing, and international business.

I love the site, and I have subscribed to it.

It is a whole let better than reading the normal international business news sites like CNN.

It is a much more intimate look into what’s happening in the local economies of a bunch of different countries and it is well worth the read if you are doing any kind of international investing at all.

Check it out, it’s well worth the visit…

Sovereignman.com

Gary Arndt on Traveling the World

This is one of the best interviews I have found in awhile, especially because he ends the interview saying that for people to have authority on a subject they need experience, they need to stop talking and just do it.

The Post is Titled – 70 countries in 3 Years

World Travel is something I’ve always been interested in. Although something I am not super passionate about because of the time and money investment. Currently I have traveled in all 48 U.S. states. Canada and Mexico. And I just recently made the trip to Machu Picchu in Peru. Maybe I will write about my travels more now that I have been inspired by Gary.

Alaska and Hawaii are on the to-do list within the next 2 years.

If you want to find a guy passionate about world travel this is the guy. This interview is worth watching even if all you do is skip to the end. The link to the Huffington post about the twenty things he has learned from traveling around the world is also a very valuable read.

I have to agree with Gary, at some point you have to stop talking about it and just do it!