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Old 08-28-2016, 04:02 PM   #21
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Congrats, Fuego. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog too.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:23 PM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
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Originally Posted by Sycamore View Post
You mentioned you started your blog on a whim, and that you're now able to cover most of your expenses with the blog and writing/coaching work.

When did you start thinking about turning your blog and affiliated work into an income source? Also did you do all your web design yourself?
I monetized the blog very soon after setting it up. Basic stuff like adsense and some affiliate advertisers. The first couple of months didn't make much but it took off from there. First a few hundred per month, then $1000 sometimes, then consistently $1000+, now it's averaging $2000-3000+ even though I don't post nearly as much (1-2x per month lately).

My goal starting out was to throw some advertising on the blog to pay the hosting fees and I hit that goal after the first couple of months.

I'm a real web design novice and only had to do a few bits of somewhat challenging coding (as in high school level lol). The tweaking/coding part is interesting and was something I wanted to get into during retirement anyway, though I honestly haven't coded anything on the blog for about a year (other than looking at raw html when preparing a new blog post).

I use Wordpress which is basically plug and play blog "software". You pick a theme, drop it in place and then load plugins to add features. Some people really make their blog pretty and add a bunch of features but I haven't spent a lot of time on that.

To get up to speed on the technology behind blogging, I spent a weekend watching youtube videos and reading online before buying a domain name and server access and starting my blog.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:33 PM   #23
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So not to be a nit-picker, but in those 3 years have you actually had a year where you and your DW together did not earn the annual spend for your family? In fact you might actually have a surplus of earnings from work.

It's great that you are enjoying life more and enjoy what you do..but you don't have the RE part of FIRE down to a science. At your age delaying drawing down your nest egg is a big deal!
You're right - we've made more every year compared to what we spent. In 2014 (first full year of retirement) we spent $33k and DW made at least $50k take home (blog made <$10,000 IIRC). 2015 we spent $25k and DW made the same $50-60k-ish take home (blog made $28k IIRC). So far in 2016 DW made $5+6k take home then quit in early February. I haven't checked the blog $ total this month but it was around $25k through sometime in July or August.

Unless the blog falls apart, it's likely that the blog income stream will provide a surplus net of expenses going forward. Add in the dividends from our investments and our money market accounts keep growing slowly.

I haven't had to sell anything from the portfolio yet, and in fact keep making large solo 401k contributions to shelter the blog income from taxation.

It's a little surreal and completely unexpected, but I'll take it while I can.

As far as the ER lifestyle, I'd say I'm doing a pretty good job at it. I "work" at my blog or consulting a few hours per week on average and it's mostly fun and always fulfilling (something I rarely felt at my former job). Otherwise I wouldn't do it. It's let to a lot of social interaction both in real life and online. Lots of meetups of local FIRE types both here in Raleigh and when we travel. TV appearances, podcast interviews, guest speaking, etc. YMMV of course but this whole blog thing kind of rocks and opened a lot of doors. Will I run the blog forever? No idea there but I'll keep paying the server bills till it gets boring, then probably move on to something more entertaining.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:10 AM   #24
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Ha, I do think you are "busted" on the title 3 years of FIRE, retired people do not make large contributions to their 401K account...they take money out!


keep up the good work, I think a combination of your unusual story, your honesty about sharing numbers and the fact that you aren't always chasing the dream of bigger and better,is what makes your blog a big hit.
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:23 AM   #25
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Ha, I do think you are "busted" on the title 3 years of FIRE, retired people do not make large contributions to their 401K account...they take money out!
Guilty as charged, your Honor. I'll turn in my official ER badge when I find the time. This vacation planning, video game playing, and leisurely walking through the park thing takes up significant portions of my day, so it's hard to squeeze in official ER administrative responsibilities.
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