The Science and Art of Delayed Gratification

I like my marshmallows golden brown and gooey inside.

I am not a financial wizard and certainly no expert in the area of investing.    No, the real driver of our modest success in growing net worth comes down to one simple behavior.

We are millionaires because we have mastered learned the art of delayed gratification – And You Can Too!

A person’s ability to put off a reward for the promise of receiving an even bigger reward in the future is known as delayed gratification.  It is not difficult to understand why this skill is extremely important in the context of building wealth and achieving financial independence.… Continue reading

Risk Management in Early Retirement

As our financial independence date draws closer, I have found the idea of taking the plunge into early retirement an interesting exploration of my risk tolerance.   Although information and education can influence one’s thinking, I believe a person’s tolerance for risk is very much a function of who you are.  Some people are natural risk takers, while others, like me, at least when it comes to money,  tend to err on the side of caution when given the opportunity.

In the early years of our journey to financial independence and retiring early (FIRE),  it has been easy for Mrs.… Continue reading

Life is short – Do you really want to spend it working?

A relative of mine recently visited us in Asia for two weeks.  She works a normal kind of job.  Nothing fancy or high powered.  She is paid by the hour.  Dreads some aspects of work, loves other parts, but for the most part just does what she needs to do to bring home an income to keep the household going.

About a week into her visit, she pulled me aside and said, “Mr. Zero [no, she doesn’t really call me a Zero], I am worried about you.  You are obviously doing great, but the amount that you work is just not right.”

A typical week for Mr.
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October Update and an Exhale

Well, it’s been five months since my last post.  Rather than rattle off a litany of excuses, let me just say that my work has continued to expand in scope to the point that most days (and nights) there isn’t much of me left for anything else.    I have seen some posters on various FI blogs discuss their reluctance to pull the plug on a good paying, stable job.  While I understand the sentiment, this year has done nothing but solidify my desire for something different.

Exhale slowly, Grasshopper.

Thankfully, despite a particularly rough five months, there were some bright spots!… Continue reading

What’s a day worth to you?

Tiananmen Square Beijing- Entrance to the Forbidden City.

My marathon of travel has continued through May. One of the most enjoyable aspects of being an engineer is having the opportunity to solve problems. As I have moved up the ranks in my company, opportunities to personally lead difficult problem solving activities has decreased significantly, but on rare occasions, when the problem has large financial or customer implications, I get tapped on the shoulder to do my thing. For the last 6 weeks, that is exactly what I have been doing.

I originally traveled to Beijing for a quick three day stop to check-in on my team who was already on the ground troubleshooting the issue.… Continue reading