500th Post Contest

I’m still in shock that we got here already.  This is my 500th post and we still have a few weeks until this blog’s birthday.  Where does the time go? (Beyond the obvious writing a lot of posts).

Well it’s been fun so far and to celebrate I’m giving away $50 of books of the winner’s choice.  If you win you get to tell me what you want and I’ll send it out to you (If you need ideas check out the book review category on the side bar).

To win you can enter two different ways:

1) In 50 words or less, describe the best financial advice for those wishing to retire early in a comment on this post. (Thanks to Tim for having a good idea, he gets a bonus entry).

2) For all you blogger’s out there you can get a second entry by linking to this post from your blog.

A maximum of two entries per person (one for a comment and one for a link, with the exception of Tim who got the bonus entry for the idea for this contest he can have up to three).  Winner will be chosen by random number generator and contacted by email (so make sure you leave a valid email address with your comment and/or have a email address on your blog).  Contest open to everyone with a mailing address.  Contest closes on Oct. 24, 2008 at 8pm CST.

26 thoughts on “500th Post Contest”

  1. I’ll go first, here are as many quick and important financial tips as I can fit in 50 words (ordered by importance):

    Have goals. Pay attention. Budget. Avoid debt. Live below your means. Ignore ads, stop watching TV. Pay off credit cards. Save an emergency fund. Buy used. Buy in bulk. Shop around. Eat at home. Brown bag it. Learn to invest early & regularly. Maximize RRSPs. Sell on Craigslist. Reduce energy.

  2. My financial advice to someone who wants to retire early would be to start early, maximize your income and keep your expenses low.

  3. I recently read Sonja Lyubomirsky’s The How Of Happiness where I was introduced to the concept of hedonic adaptation. Definitely an “ah ha” moment for me … earning more money will never be the answer; the best single thing we can do is give our budgets a long hard look and begin cutting out all the unnecessary spending. Keep life simple and instead of wasting money on “treats”, invest!!

  4. Determine your monthly spendings and allocate a fixed percentage of this amount to savings, with no exceptions. The higher the percentage, the earlier you’ll be able to retire. Compounding is your friend, so start ASAP.

  5. Ask yourself why. Why do you need cable, cellphone, highspeed internet, expensive cars, processed foods, bank fees, new toys, vacations, fast computers, iphones, and everything you think you “must” or “deserve” to have? To understand yourself will give you the insight and meaning to achieve your goals.

  6. There are two categories in life: Wants and Needs. Allow yourself a small want from time to time and invest the rest. What you invest in isn’t as important as ensuring you invest. Asset allocation and dollar cost averaging help diversify risk, but the import thing is to invest habitually.

  7. Congrats on 500 posts!

    Plan conservatively so you can stay retired. Avoid (excessive) leverage.

    This market has really stress-tested people’s worst case scenario plans. Someone close to me leveraged his retirement investments to boost his returns. But he never counted on a 40% downturn in the market and a subsequent nasty margin call…

  8. Retiring early: What’s really working for me is thinking of purchases in terms on how many hours I need to work for them, and how much I’d have to have saved to perpetuate them (cable wasn’t worth the $12K I’d need with a 4% return rate, but internet was!)

  9. First, have a vision of what you want your retirement to look like. Know what matters to you. From this vision, set life goals. With a vision and life goals to guide you, setting and achieving financial goals is easier – because your life has purpose.

  10. I think the greatest tip is to start doing something today, anything. No matter what the plan is, no matter what the goals are, get moving. Inaction is no plan. Large goals are always achieved by starting and will always fail if that first step isn’t taken.

  11. Set goals, don’t believe the hype that says you need X dollars to retire, figure out what will work to meet your own goals. Live frugally and ignore the Jones’, spend less than you earn and invest the rest. Learn from the past, everything works in cycles, don’t be greedy.

  12. Congrats on your 500th post!

    To retire early, I plan on the following: simplify my lifestyle to live frugally, make a plan to save aggressively and invest intelligently and cheaply, and lastly to stick to the plan.

  13. Hey Tim – congratulations on the milestone. My best advice is to set up a monthly budget – the rest will fall into place naturally if you take it seriously. You’ll look for ways to save, stretch a dollar, and project your savings until it becomes natural.

  14. Congrats on the 500th ! My advice is to track financial progress, to stick with a choosen strategy and to read from the ones who retired early or about to (quite a few blogs indeed).

  15. The best one is to have goals and to READ them at least once a day and whenever you have a decision to make. We are so forgetful and often let the ‘thrill’ of the moment take over. However if you keep your goals up front, it will motivate you to keep going or at least help you to make a conscious decision of what you might be giving up.

  16. Both saving and reducing expenses can be turned into an entertaining game/challenge.

    Buy things that you enjoy and that won’t lose their value (used quality over new junk).

    Invest in friends.

  17. Congratulations!

    As for the advice….
    Recognize needs and wants; Plan to satisfy needs; Set a small amount of money aside for discretionary expenses; Research investment options based on risk tolerance; Diversify investments, maintain focus and rebalance infrequently (maybe, yearly).
    If plans go asunder, learn from experiences and act accordingly (like delaying retirement or working part-time).

  18. I would have to say the best advice is one that is often repeated: live within your means. Often people forget that an important part of investing is saving (so you can invest) and the sooner that happens the better.

  19. Congrats on your blog.

    Advice to retire early:
    Be greedy when others are fearful and put a higher importance on savings, compared to “useless” spending.

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