About RTW


image byMister GC courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

image byMister GC courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Hello!  Thank you for visiting my blog!

I am a 67-year-old guy who loves hiking and who basically stumbled into financial independence and early retirement when I was 53. If I knew then what I know now, I could have freed myself from wage slavery much, much sooner. And that is the whole point of Retired To Win. To share with you what I have learned and what I have done that could help you become financially independent sooner than later. And hopefully sooner than me.

I have done smart things and I have done dumb things. And I am sharing those things through this blog so you can, hopefully, benefit from my experiences. This includes my investing, spending and financial planning strategies and decisions. Both what has worked for me and what has not. Both the good and the bad. And even some of the ugly.

My Story in a Nutshell

I left home at 17 to live on my own. In time, I ended up getting college degrees in business management (at age 36) and in marine science (at age 42). But, really, I learned to do my jobs on the job. That included — in chronological order — working as a lab technician, advertising copywriter, scuba diving instructor, short order cook, telephone bill collector, bookkeeper, telephone solicitor, sales rep, advertising account executive, marketing branch manager, marine researcher, regulatory lobbyist, technical writer, and — for the last 10 years of my working life — chief executive officer of a nonprofit organization. Along the way, I was sole owner or partner in 2 small publishing companies, one advertising agency, a specialty industry trade show, and a one-man marketing consultancy.

I have lived in 16 cities in 8 different states. I have rented a lot of apartments as well as a couple of houses, and owned with my wife 5 different single-family homes. At times, I have made a lot of money; at other times, barely enough to mention. I have sued and been sued. I have gone from being bankrupt in my late 20’s to reaching an 800-plus FICO credit score in my 50’s. And it all culminated in my attaining debt-free financial independence at age 53.

And Now I Am All FIREd Up

I am now at a place in my life where it’s all overwhelmingly good. I reside in a Reasonable Cost of Living Area where homes don’t cost a fortune, and where taxes and insurance costs don’t eat me alive. I live in a very comfortable single-family house with a minimal mortgage that I can pay off any time I wish. I have built up my passive income and trimmed down my basic living expenses so that my incoming cash covers those basic living expenses about 3 times over. And that means that my time is now all mine to enjoy with way more than enough discretionary surplus income to enjoy it.

The articles that I post in Retired To Win tell the story of how I navigated my financial ship to reach this great way of life. They cover the what, how and why of the personal finance strategies and tactics that I have used, still use, and keep tweaking to improve.

And its my hope that those stories and this blog help you to also reach a great free-from-jobs way of life. So… let’s get started!

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  1. Congratulations on your early retirement. I wish I had been more thoughtful in my earlier years and prepared to retire early. I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    1. Thank you, Yvette. If you subscribe to the blog, you’ll always know when there’s a new post to read. 😉

  2. Being retired as long as you have makes you an invaluable resource for those of us about to take the plunge into retirement. Seems to me answering those critical questions
    1) how I chose where to retire
    2) what do I do with all that spare time
    3) do I downsize?
    4) can I make it on what I have?

    1. Thanks so much, Ray. I guess I’m on a mission to help people successfully earlier retire. It’s something I am passionate about.

  3. Congrats on being Fired up. Being able to spend your time freely without stressing how much time you have for yourself is priceless. I am on track to be free in 8-10 years, and I am in my 30s. I hope my plan to be free works out. Good luck to you and your readers.

    1. And good luck to you, EL. If your plan works out, you’ll be earlier retiring a decade before I did. Can you spell E-N-V-Y?

  4. I just added your blog to my list of regular sites to read. My goal is to retire in 6-8 years; unfortunately, I am getting started later in life (52). I wish I had joined the “retire early” crowd earlier in life. Anyway, I just became debt free (including mortgage) and putting as much in retirement accounts as possible. I look forward to reading your blog in detail. Thanks!

  5. Hi! I’m a new fan of ‘Retired to Win’!!!! I found you via MMM, whom I just discovered about two weeks ago….
    Unfortunately, we have not lived as frugally as we should have in the past, but are trying to “win” now! My husband and I have been married nineteen years (we are both in our early 40’s), and we have seven children. I have been a stay at home Mom since our second child as born, and we home school. We live in a smaller home that was built in 1955. We call it our Gingerbread House :) We have zero debt…..no mortgage, no car payments, no debt of any kind. My husband works hard to support our larger family. We just recently maxed out his 401k (meaning we put in as much as the company will match). We are currently building up a good size emergency fund/savings account, and then we will probably contribute to a Roth. My husband will get a very small pension from his employer, and his 401k savings now is such a tiny amount, I won’t mention it here. I’m proud of us for where we are now (especially compared to our friends), but I’m disappointed with where we are now compared to other’s following MMM or ERE forums…….if only we had known about all of this sooner. Anyway, pardon my rambling. I love to read the details of people’s lives, and thought you might be interested also.
    I just wanted you to know that your blog has been such an inspiration for me! Please continue writing and sharing your wisdom!

    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Laura. It’s much appreciated.

      And, believe me, you are way ahead of a lot of other folks. Just check out some of the “horror story” case studies on the MMM blog or forum and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, you’ve got a good sized hill to climb… but you don’t have to dig yourself out of a deep hole first! :)

      Good luck.

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