Early Retirement

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Zen Meditation: The Quiet Mind

By Keith Taxguy / February 28, 2016 / 7 Comments

Several years ago my office building was burglarized. Two young men used a tire iron to break a window and enter the building. Tax offices do not have a lot of stuff worth stealing so they settled on two monitors and an old safe with an empty coffee can in it. People pay their bill by credit card or ACH in the majority of cases; a few still pay by check and cash comes in during tax season and is removed each day.

The young men caused thousands of dollars in damage for the massive haul of two monitors worth maybe $20 each. (New monitors are under $100.) So what were they geniuses looking for? Well, it seems they remembered I had a soda machine outside my building a decade ago and they assumed I moved the machine inside the building. Yes, they burglarized my building for some of that lucrative soda machine money.

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Why I Work Too Hard (and So Do You)

By Keith Taxguy / February 26, 2016 / 11 Comments

Back when I was in high school I started down the road to OCD, I mean toward being a wealthy accountant, by recording everything I did. Every penny that came in and every penny that went out went into the columnar pad. Tracking my progress was so important to me I refused to go to bed at night unless the “books balanced”.

Once I reached adulthood I continued recording my financial progress and expanded it to other areas of life. For decades I have recorded my daily electrical usage. No fancy devices are used because that would cost money and you know how we feel about spending money around here. Except for vacations, I can tell you how much electricity I used on any particular day for the last twenty years or more. (In the near future I will share how my electricity usage obsession helped me reduce my utility bill 80% for the farm and 65% for the office.)

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How to Retire Younger than Mr. Money Mustache

By Keith Taxguy / February 21, 2016 / 12 Comments

Several years ago while surfing the web I ran across a guy called Mr. Money Mustache, written by some crazy guy out in Colorado*. His claim to fame was that he retired at age 30, to which the Internet Retirement Police took him to task, claiming he did not ‘really’ retire at age 30. Not me. I sat back in my chair and wondered: What took him so long?

Fast forward to last weekend where my 21 year old daughter, Heather, complained about issues with her supervisor at work. It was the perfect opportunity for me, dear ‘ol dad, the Wealthy Accountant, to share some golden nuggets of truth.

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Retire Early With Rental Properties

By Keith Taxguy / February 19, 2016 / 15 Comments

People serious about early retirement turn to rental real estate to turbo-charge the process. Saving and investing can get you to retirement fast. With real estate you can go from zero to retired in a few years. It does require careful planning to make it work.

There are three steps in successful income property ownership: buying right, management and taxes. Over the years I have seen many people lose money, even go broke, due to rental properties. I have also seen ordinary people make more money than doctors or lawyers with real estate.

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Communication

By Keith Taxguy / February 7, 2016 / 1 Comment

The first week of tax season is in the books as I write this. Most tax seasons bring the same problems with a few notable new ways to mess up a tax return. New employees frequently bring bad habits from previous jobs we work hard to break. A new CPA in my office has reminded…

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Buying Stuff Just to Throw it Away

By Keith Taxguy / February 3, 2016 / 12 Comments

Out in the boondocks where I live the garbage is picked up every two weeks; recycling once per month. Until a few months ago this arrangement worked well. Garbage was placed in a large barrel the garbage truck could automatically empty into the truck hopper. Recycling was placed in blue plastic bags with paper and cardboard placed in either a box or tied in a bundle. A few months ago the system was changed for recycling. Bags were replaced with a blue barrel the same size as the garbage barrel. I understand why the change took place. Under the new system the recycling company could run the route with only one employee. The truck has a lift (like the garbage truck) to grab the barrel and empty the contents.

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Early Retirement, Accountant Style

By Keith Taxguy / January 21, 2016 / 4 Comments

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof or at minimum a darn good explanation. The Internet Retirement Police have attacked my peers over the years so my effort in this post is to provide a short definition of what “retirement” means.

For many people retirement is a beer in one hand, remote in the other. To a Wealthy Accountant (WA) this is not retirement, this is death. If your idea of retirement contains only a beer and remote you are dead, your body only forgot to stop breathing.

I am sure you have heard an older retired person say, “I am busier now that I am retired than when I was working.” I hear the same thing in my office. The retired people telling me this are alive, smiling and bouncy. These are happy people. The others, the ones that check out when the pension kicks in, age a decade in only a year or two. They have no reason to live. Retirement is akin to a nursing home or prison. At least in prison they let you out an hour a day. Some people barricade themselves in their home and quarantine themselves to a small area with a TV for days, weeks, even months at a time. And we wonder why their mental faculties decline.

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My Side of the Desk

By Keith Taxguy / January 15, 2016 / 12 Comments

Will Durant, the great 20th Century American philosopher and historian wrote in the Preface of his Story of Civilization: The Age of Napoleon:

“By the middle of the twentieth century,” says the Encyclopaedia Britannica (XVI, 10a), “the literature on Napoleon already numbered more than 100,000 volumes.” Why add to the heap? We offer no better reason than to say the Reaper repeatedly overlooked us, and left us to passive living and passive reading…

And so it is with your favorite accountant. According to a “personal finance blog” Google search there are around 96,100,000 results. Surely a few of the entries are not personal finance blogs, but many are. So why add to the heap? Will Durant was 90 years old when he wrote those words; I am 51 as I contemplate them.

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