• My Early Investment Journey

    While I am sitting comfortably today, writing about my journey to early retirement, the initial days of my investment years were not without their share of issues. Let me explain in a bit more detail. When I first started out, I had planned to do a SIP of a certain amount every month and planned on increasing it every year. The increase in SIP I planned at that time was to match up with the inflation rate. The thought process was that if I was just average at work then my salary increments will match up with the inflation for the previous year. At the time of planning my early retirement in 2011, the inflation stood at around 8%, and consequently my projections were to increase SIP by 8% every year.

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  • My Talk On Early Retirement

    I gave a talk on Financial Planning for Early Retirement a few weeks ago at my previous work place. It was well received with more than 100 attendees. I was actually not planning to give a talk. I casually wanted to visit the old office and visit some folks over lunch. But they wanted a talk, so I had to quickly make some slides. Fortunately, most of what I wanted to say was already available on my blog. Made some slides based on my experience and blog and gave a talk on June 14, 2019. I enjoyed giving the talk and hope my colleagues enjoyed it as much. There was a sharp spike in the number of visitors to my blog and LinkedIn page a day or two after the talk.

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  • How Much Should I Invest?

    While having a conversation with one of my friends, it occurred to me that the current calculators are not sufficient to figure out how much to invest per month while increasing the SIP every year to meet your retirement goal. Lets say, you have an age in mind at which point you want to retire. And you want to know how much you should invest every month of every year until you reach your goal. Throw in a twist, which is that you want to increase your investment every year by some fixed percent. There is no calculator on this blog that will tell you how much you should invest every month. Naturally I thought there should be one, and here is that calculator. Hope it helps you reach your goal. Here are some instructions on how to use it.

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  • Tax Deductions

    As I am doing taxes for the recently concluded financial year, I am realizing how much of tax saving one would be forgoing once you retire :). Without income there is no more section 80C deductions, no more savings from interest paid towards home loan via section 24, no exemptions for HRA under section 80GG. These things only hit you once you retire. Of course I went into retirement knowing that, so nothing to worry, but you don't realize these until you do your taxes. During your earning phase, every paycheck is a reminder for saving taxes and claiming as much deductions as possible.

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  • One Year Into Retirement

    It is now exactly one year since I retired on June 29, 2018. Incidentally, this also happens to be my 50th post on this blog! It was a fun journey so far. While I cannot say if this will continue into the future, there are some exciting times ahead. Everything is going almost exactly the way I planned. Still, since I haven't yet gone through a bad market cycle, I don't yet know if my financial planning will stand the test of time. One thing I realized is that no matter how much free time you create, it will get filled with something and you always feel like you are busy (at least that is how it is for me). I did not have a single boring day in the past year in retirement. Most days are uneventful, so it is not like there is something crazy happening everyday. Yet, I haven't felt like there is any free time. So what happened in this one year in retirement?

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  • Motivation Towards a Goal

    Early retirement is possible. It is certainly not easy, but it is simple. Of course, it needs a lot of sacrifices today, for a better tomorrow. You need to save a lot which means your expenses have to be very less to have any meaningful contribution to your retirement kitty. Heck, retiring at 60 with enough corpus to last your whole life is in itself a difficult task. How can you even save for your early retirement. It all comes down to how deeply you want to retire early. It does not just apply for retirement, but anything in life. If you want something very desperately, it automatically tunes not just your conscious, but your subconscious self to work towards it. At that point, none of what you are giving up, or all the hard work you are putting in will feel burdensome. It just feels like a flow and before you realize, you have hit your goal. So ask yourself, is your desire to retire early really strong? Make it a goal only if you have the strongest urge. A goal without enough motivation is hard to realize.

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  • Updating OS in Google Compute Engine

    A few days ago, I decided to update my Google Compute Engine instance which was running an older Debian version. This was the same instance that is hosting this WordPress blog, so I had to be careful not to break anything lest I lose all the data and/or the service can be down. This post is a recount of my journey through the update process because I found some interesting things about Google Compute Engine (GCE) and how things can break if you are not careful and how things can go very smoothly if you plan properly.

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  • Am I Financially Ready To Retire?

    Here is an alternative take on whether you are financially ready to retire. In this post, I want to help you determine if you are ready to quit with nothing but a simple calculator and just one formula. You don't need to predict expenses, inflation, rate of return etc, and as such, this method is not as comprehensive as the How Soon Can I Retire calculator. So take it with a pinch of salt and use it more as an indicator of whether you are ready to retire or not. Also note that this is only to check if you are financially fit to retire and has nothing to do with your emotional state of mind. Some may have a lot of money and yet cannot retire due to various other reasons (including not knowing what to do post retirement, fear of boredom, peer pressure, family disapproval, social status etc).

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  • Upgrading my Router: Asus RT-AC58U vs Tenda AC10

    This is the continuation and the conclusion post of my previous post. So if you have missed it, head on over there first. As you know, I have decided to upgrade my old TP-Link router with Asus RT-AC58U. Initially I was extremely happy with the performance although it was running a little hot. The performance and coverage was just great. But things turned south as soon as I tried using it as a NAS. While I know that the processor on the router will not be powerful enough as a dedicated NAS, it performed quite poorly in my opinion.

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  • Upgrading my Router: Asus RT-AC58U

    My aging router has been causing trouble for a few months now and it was time to upgrade it. I tried a couple of routers and thought I should do a quick review comparing them in case it helps some one because at the time I was taking the decision, there wasn't a good comparison between the two. So the story begins about 6 months ago when my old TP-Link TL-WR740N router was evicting devices, or not letting new devices connect after a certain number of devices have connected. I don't know the maximum number of connections it can handle, but I think anything beyond 12 devices is giving it the fits.

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