Where to Go From Here?

Dear Reader,

I apologize for the drop in the frequency of posts and the quality of my writing for the last month or so.  I was little overwhelmed from the new day job and really needed a solid break from everything, which I did manage to do during my vacation in July.  Unfortunately this blog got the short end of the stick during it. By quirk of fate I was also reading a few books regarding life planning and doing lots of thinking about what do I want from life.  I was defining what is working, what isn’t working and what would I change next.

So while I’m not totally done that process yet I am getting closer to defining what I do want to keep and this blog is firmly in that camp.  So while I get back into the routine of writing more and paying attention to the quality of the writing I thought this would be a good time to ask you for your opinion.

What would you like to see from this blog?  Please feel free to name topics, posts you would like to see an update to, excel tools or even short ebook ideas.  Heck I’m even open to the idea I should just finish switching this blog over to a group blog by picking up a few more regular writers since we are half way there already.  Frankly feel free to ask for the moon if you like, I may not be able to do it, but you can ask for it.  Or if you find it easier feel free to outline what isn’t working for you on this blog.  I’m open to any and all feedback that is constructive.  You can either leave a comment on this post or send me an email at candian.dream.free.at.45[at]gmail.com.

Thanks again for your patience during this period.

Tim

10 thoughts on “Where to Go From Here?”

  1. I’ll be upfront: I love this blog. I really, really love it. Why? Mostly because I can feel how “real” it is. I’m no website expert… don’t know how many visits your site gets, or how you could get more, but it really works for me.
    – Your posts (if you include guest-posts) are more frequent than is the norm;
    – The stories are real-life (or seem to be -Dave’s unwi$e sister rooming with him and wife, haha!);
    – It has both: (1) useful information (the Archives are a great resource for younger/not-yet-financially savvy readers) and (2)actual everyday “what I’m doing” info, which adds a “peeping Tom” aspect that is inherently interesting to people;
    I guess I’m hinting at the fact that the site seems pretty good to me right now, as-is.
    I would love more guest writers. You do have to choose and vet carefully though.
    Fortunately, “Early retirement and Happiness” can encompass quite a bit!
    From specifics: Example(1): I personally believe I save thousands of dollars and am cruising earlier to my dream retirement. Why? Don’t laugh: because I bought a Hyundai Elantra, new, in 2005, while my kids were still small and I am still driving it righ now… haven’t put A SINGLE PENNY in repairs on it… ever! It still drives superbly, despite my wife’s engine-destroying car-driving manner. This Korea beauty is not even close to dying after all this time. I WANT to buy a new car… but I can’t justify it -this one keeps going and looks brand new. = big savings;
    To general: Example (2): The hardest part of living within your means, imo, is the consistency part, over the long term. Sure you can be strong for a few months… a couple years. But hard to apply this over the course of years. A solution I’ve found: replace the “high” of spending, with a “high” of working out (physically, that is) and being fit. You DO get a high… and you DO get something in return for what you spent(in “effort”): a belt notch; a faster mile; bigger biceps; a look from that girl in the corner office that never looked at you before; health!).
    Anyway… back to my point: I love, love, love the site Tim. Thanks.

  2. Well Tim, my suggestions are:

    You’ve done a lot of hard work on your blog and the past articles are great for those new to early retirement planning. The guest posts are great, and the blog seems to have taken on a life of its own, and certainly has changed direction a few times.

    Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to let your baby go… add more writers, or open it up to everyone.

    Right now it’s no longer a blog about your personal retirement, but more about getting to a point of financial independence so you have the perception that you can walk away from any job you want.

    Blogs in and of their very nature are about the author, their perspective, and their personal journey. Perhaps you’re at a point where you need to focus your energy as much as possible on your family, and about generating cash and passive income that allows you to get to your financial independence goal as quickly as possible. If the blog aligns with that goal, keep on a WordPressin’, if not, let it go.

  3. I think you cover a good range of topics right now between ye. You don’t need to post every day (or even every week) if you don’t feel like it, your audience is here whenever you feel like posting something.

  4. I echo the thoughts above.

    What I would like to see more of though is guest posts of people who are actually living the dream of early retirement with their stories of how they did it and in particular a breakdown of their ongoing monthly costs.

    I understand not everyone wants to share their personal financial details but for those that do – it would be a helpful guide to what costs to expect so that those of us striving to reach financial independence at an earlier age could plan better.

    Love the blog and visit it daily. Keep up the good work.

  5. Your blog is from the heart and I enjoy reading your guest posts as it often brings in a new perspective. I agree with Steve. It would be great if you could find a blogger who 10 years further down the road. Ideally, it could be someone who has just “retired”.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your blog over the last year and even took a 4 month break from writing on my own blog. My blog felt like it was becoming a full time job and I was not enjoying it anymore so I took a break and changed the direction from self finance to my personal journey to early retirement. It’s your blog, you do what works for you.

    I would post every two to three days. Quality over quantity, that’s what I always say.

  7. I’ve followed this blog closely for many years, though I don’t post comments very often. This blog was largely responsible for setting me on the ER path – needless to say its had a large impact on my life goals. For the past several months I’ve noticed a change in Tim’s mantra – ER by 45 doesn’t seem to be the most important goal any more. Instead, more topics seem to focus on happiness with your job, working part time in retirement, etc.

    The “Life 2.0” post many months back really seemed to symbolize what this blog is evolving into. So perhaps a start might be a rebranding of the site along those lines? Whatever the case, this place is amongst my favorite haunts on the net and I will contine to visit often (and maybe post more on my progress towards ER and FI).

  8. Good points by Jon_Snow. I live in the US where early retirement or retirement at all look unattainable to people who never dreamed this would be the case. So the idea of “retirement” does appear different than it did a generation ago when that term meant the cessation of all paid employment.

    I retired one month ago at 53 but am keeping an open mind about part-time work, not because I have to work for financial reasons but because I may choose to work for life satisfaction. If I do work, I will still consider myself retired. So the meaning of retirement is evolving. As SupportSpy mentioned, adding a retired blogger or two who could discuss both satisfaction in retirement as well as financial issues would be interesting.

    Thanks for your contributions, Tim. I enjoy your blog.

  9. Tim, I have enjoyed following your blog and am thankful you gave me a chance to make a guest post in early 2010 about my ER at 45 back in 2008.

    Despite the jittery financial markets in the last few weeks, I am still doing just fine.

  10. Thanks for all the feedback everyone. While I didn’t ask for what to keep in the post, you did provide some excellent ideas on where to take things from here. I will do my best to add a ‘mature’ voice to the blog if I can manage it going forward.

    Tim

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