Denali Northern Expenditure

Month: July 2016

Fireworks over the beach

June 2016 Plan Update

June was AMAZING. We just got back from our big adventures last night and I’m excited to catch up on all the comments today! We flew to Seattle on June 2nd, spent five days with Mr. T’s family on the Puget Sound, and then Mr. T and I ditched the kids with them and headed to the United Kingdom. We flew into London where we spent a week, then we drove through Stonehenge, Avebury, Stourhead, Bath, and over to Cardiff for a few days. From there, we zig-zagged up through Wales to the Lake District, drove over through Yorkshire, over to Whitby on the coast, up to Northumberland, and finished up in Edinburgh. From there we flew to Paris for the last 3 days and then back to Portland (my family) where we met up with our children and enjoyed a family reunion on the coast.

There will be more on the trip coming up in a few lessons we learned on the UK and London on a budget, but for those who care, I’ll mention a few things here.

early retirement

The Blessings of Freedom (Repost)

Today’s post is a repost from last year when the blog was brand new and had a handful of readers (hi Mr. T!). We’ve returned from overseas and are now in Oregon at the same family reunion we were at last year. I’m reposting this because I think it’s an important topic and I feel like it’s worth repeating to new readers. We’re lucky and we know it. Happy Independence Day, friends. Our June plan update will be coming at you on Wednesday! Stay tuned!

Every 4th of July my large extended family meets at the Oregon Coast for a big family reunion. The kids perform, the adults chat, and everybody eats. A lot. The dessert table is spread as full as the food table (Mmmm… Peanut Butter Balls!). It’s a glorious occasion that has been happening for about seventy years. The event begins with a parade through the room of the kids with tiny American flags while we sing patriotic songs. Because of this tradition, the 4th of July has always been an important holiday to me. It is a celebration of family, freedom, and the country in which we enjoy those things.

This year, I thought about this early retirement journey we just embarked upon, and how these blessings in our lives allow us to do that. The reality is that early retirement is not attainable for a lot of people.

Military Reservist

Roth IRA Challenge: Reserve Military Service

Today, while we’re flying back from the UK/Paris, I would like to introduce you to my friends over at Ditching the Daily Grind. They are lucky enough to be able to MOVE to the UK next month! (I’m thoroughly jealous, obviously!) We’re delaying our June plan update to next week, so stay tuned for all those travel costs we’ve incurred! But for now, we get an awesome spin on the Roth IRA Challenge all about U.S. Reserve Military Service. Mr. DTG gives a thorough, fascinating look at the possibilities. After you read his post, go read their blog and wish them safe travels on the new adventure!

I’m not the type of person to live with regrets, but one thing I wish we’d done earlier is open Roth IRAs and fully max them out.  Until a few years ago, we were intimidated by the stock market and our only real investments were our Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) accounts, the U.S. federal government’s version of a 401(k).  I can’t help but think of the tens of thousands of dollars in potential investment gains we left on the table.

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