Don’t Forget To Look Up Sometimes

Don't forget to have fun
Simple pleasures

Ok, I'm back from my 28-hour break! Thanks to so many for encouraging me to continue. Boy did it feel amazing to unwind after publishing my post on shutting this site down. Just the act of not responding to a single comment allowed me to recharge my empty battery by a couple percent. I'm feeling like a billion bucks now!

Oh, and around 888 of you told me I published my post on April Fools' Day. What a coincidence! Well, not really. I would be a real fool to shut this site down when I already pre-paid for a discounted full year of hosting because I'm frugal like that. I also have financial obligations to a sponsor as you'll see in the very next post.

Besides, ~74% of my traffic passively comes from search engines like Google. Therefore, I could theoretically not publish another word for at least a year before I notice a greater than ~26% decline in traffic. Go internet! You so amazing. 

Make Sure You're Having Fun

Speaking of business, I was reminded of something very important on April Fools' Day. Hobbies are no longer as fun once they feel like work. For seven years, like a juggernaut, I've been methodically writing, publishing, editing, reading, and responding to folks. FS started as a hobby, and I lost my way once I lost my job! Ironically, the larger this site got, the less free I became because I felt my obligation to help others growing. When you are in a position to help, help you must.

To be quite frank, as soon as I published my post on quitting I felt a HUGE sense of relief. The feeling was exactly the same feeling I had when I walked out of my employer's door for the last time. No more pressure to prove my worth. No more dealing with unreasonable people. No more kowtowing to the man. No more faking joy during times of misery. I also felt a great sense of excitement about what was coming next even though I also feared the unknown. I truly hope all of you can one day experience this fearful yet exhilarating sensation.

Everything I wrote in my goodbye post was true, except for the quitting part. I don't plan to quit until I reach the 10-year mark in 2019. Then who knows. I firmly believe a huge part of success in everything is sticking around long enough to see what pops out of the ground. Many of you smartly suggested I just cut down my posting schedule to just once or twice a week. That's a no brainer solution.

We all better have some fun doing what we're doing or else what's the damn point? It would be a travesty to look back on our lives with regret because we did only what we were supposed to do and not what we really wanted to do. Whether you make mega millions or get paid peanuts doing something you love, so long as you are having fun, you're hedged against any sort of financial disappointment!

What Did I Do During My Time Off?

After responding to about 70 e-mails (e-mail subscription for posts and e-mail subscription for newsletters), I decided to go play tennis at 8:30am with a buddy. He also read my post on shutting down, and I'm not sure if he realized I wasn't being serious about quitting. Between each point, I kept experiencing this deja vu moment where I was reliving the first days of early retirement in 2012. It felt exciting to be free of responsibility again!

After tennis I took a shower and went to my club's dining room to eat some brunch. There I was, sitting with a bunch of 65+ year old folks eating a Manhattan clam chowder and reading the Money section of USA TODAY. I took a picture to commemorate retirement from my retirement job.

First Day Of Retiring Post Blogging

After I was done with brunch I drove home to do my taxes of all things. I had already spent three hours filling in all my information the day before and was ready to e-file but the software said I had a bug. I spent another three hours trying to fix the bug to no avail until I talked to my father who experienced the exact same thing! He told me he was able to get someone live to resolve his issue. Inspired, I got on an e-chat with a tax preparer and she helped me out in a jiffy.

You see, part of solving impossible problems or reaching goals is realizing other people have solved them too. It wasn't until Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile in 1954 did a wave of others start also breaking the 4-minute mark. I plan to continue showing what's financially possible on FS.

By the time I got done with my taxes, it was 3:15pm. I drove all the way back downtown to the Bay Club at Golden Gateway to play another couple hours of doubles with some friends. It's free guest day every first Friday of the month where they also serve alcohol and food! As an early retiree, you get to know about all the good deals around town.

A bunch of us sat in the hot tub until about 8pm with our beverages until it was time to go. After all, I had to get home to write this post before I passed out from a marathon day of booze and exercise.

Having a lot of freedom feels amazing, but everything gets old after a while. I long to have a purpose every day. The purpose can be as simple as applying touch up paint to my window sashes or helping out a personal finance consulting client with their financial plan. So long as there's something to do, I'm happy. Don't you feel the same?

Don't Forget To Look Up Sometimes

It's really hard to not get caught up in whatever we're doing and miss all the other amazing things that are happening around us. I remember sitting on my balcony in Hawaii typing away not even realizing there was an amazing double rainbow gracing the sky until I was tapped on the shoulder to look up. Double rainbows don't last long, but I was able to get this shot.


From now until 2019 I promise to lead a more purposeful life that's much more balanced. I will work on not taking anything personally from those who lash out. Also, I plan to keep on going no matter what. Maybe I'll cut the posting frequency down to two times a week when I start getting burned out again. But I certainly won't just leave everybody high and dry!


  • There's a great many of you who read, but never comment. Don't be shy! If there's a problem you have that I cannot address, I'm sure someone from the FS community can help.
  • I love to hear your stories of progress. They motivate me to keep on writing. Your stories also help keep me grounded.
  • It's easy to take people for granted. It's even easier to take free things for granted.
  • Never quit until you're absolutely sure all avenues are exhausted. Burnout is inevitable if you do something long enough. Quitting cold turkey often isn't the best solution. Take a break. Reduce your output. But whatever you do, don't get rid of all the effort you've put in up to now.
  • Having a community is wonderful. We should all find ways to support each other. At the same time, let's not forget to take care of ourselves once in a while.
  • It's hard to stop doing what we've been doing for so long. If we're not careful, we'll wake up one day and wonder where all the time went. Let's enjoy the present down to the very minutes.

Related posts:

What Does Early Retirement Feel Like? 

Overcoming The One More Year Syndrome To Do Something New

It's Impossible To Stay Retired Once You've Retired Early

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About The Author

94 thoughts on “Don’t Forget To Look Up Sometimes”

  1. Pau hana Sam! Glad your back. If you haven’t been to Indian Wells to watch the ATP tour you are missing out. It’s a beautiful place to watch tennis. I was there a few weeks back. Anyhow keep up the great posts. Keep playing tennis. If you make it down to So Cal let’s hit. I’m still banging away at the young age of 56. Still surfing (longboard style). Oh yeah, took an early retirement a few months back. I am very fortunate in that I have a pension and a great 401k I just rolled over. Mahalo!

    1. Wonderful!

      Was just down in Palm Springs for the Indian wells tourney a couple weeks ago with friends. Rented a house and enjoyed the experience! Off to the French Open in May.

      Thanks for your invite!

  2. Hi Sam, now that your back in the saddle can you update your beginning of the year prediction for the market this year?. You were a true visionary when the markets started the year in a sustained (relatively) downward trend. Now that it’s recouped back to basically even / net positive do you still hold the same prediction?. I realize its only the end of the first quarter but I didn’t expect the chart to show complete recovery already (rather than a lower high, followed by a lower low, followed by….etc.)… did you?. Interested if you feel anything has changed or just wait.. its coming.

    1. I make no changes to my -1.4% prediction on the S&P 500 and a significant softening of the property markets in places like NYC, SF, LA, Miami. I hope I’m wrong, but the good times of easy money are over for now.

      I’m trying to get 50/50 stocks / bonds and save as much cash as possible.

      What do you think about the markets?

      1. I predict +5% S&P 500 with cautious optimism.

        On the one hand there seem to be many more market dangers out there than normal(Fed, Trump, Bernie, ISIS, China bubbles) on the other hand the market has been incredibly resilient in spite of drama/fear in each. As we know, the market abhors drama/fear.

        I have no strong conviction in my prediction (or yours) and when I don’t I tend to sit pat with my 60/40 allocation with the exception of dramatically increasing cash but for a different reason than you (pending retirement)

  3. I love the bit about “retirement from retirement dinner.” Still has me laughing:) I don’t know why but that statement just made me really happy for you.

  4. It happens all the time to me too. I get so focused on my goals that I forget to stop and do something.

    Now what I do is force myself to take vacations ever couple months and I take a half day a couple times a week to spend with the family. It helps keep me grounded.

  5. Glad you are back. I am a long time lurker (many years) and was encouraged to both start commenting and start blogging. I am a big fan of sites that only post around once or twice a week as it means that I can really read ALL the articles (on an ongoing basis). When I go away for a week and come back to find 10 unread articles I cant justify the time to read them all. Reading the articles also leads to knowing the author better. It is interesting to read the comments from people who have never actually read other articles. I think your engagement ring post was one that really stood out for a lot of random comments.

    Anyway – hope you do keep going (and would be happy for a lower frequency). I have learnt a lot and been encouraged often. Thanks!

  6. Hi there! I just found your website and I have to say I’m enamored! I thoroughly enjoy your articles. They are informative, instructive and best of all, challenging. I just upped my 401k to max out my contributions after reading one of your articles. I love that you give actuals for goals as far as net worth and where you should be! Your strategies are challenging in the right ways. So much better than most of what I’ve found which is typically a rehash of obvious advice like “make your coffee at home” and “cut out your monthly manicure.” I already make my coffee at home and get exactly 0 manicures per year. Yours is the heavy hitting, long term advice I’ve been seeking. I am sorry to see that I am catching you on the tail end of things. I hope you’ll stick around, even at a reduced output! Regardless, I am having a good time digging through your archives. Best!

  7. After reading this post, I am commenting on your article for the first time. I have been receiving your newsletters and reading them during my lunch break at work, but have never felt the urge to comment on any of them until now. I talk about everything you write with my friends and family but this post really hit home from me. The fact that it was about lifestyle and not a new investment or cashflow stream really made me think about how I am setting myself up to live my life. I am 25 and am engineer working for a company, but am constantly looking at what you have done and figuring out how I can take the next step, or prepare myself to take the next step. But you made me think about why I want that next step for the first time rather than what the next step may or may not be.

    So I wanted to say thank you and welcome back!

  8. Good grief, will I always be this gullible? I fell for it hook line and sinker. (I get that from my Dad, thank goodness I’ve learned some of Mom’s sharpness).

    I am extremely relieved that this site is not going away. It is one of the few sites I follow religiously because there are so many like-minded people; people who are searching and trying to make a better life for themselves as well as helping the other guy up; people I don’t meet too often in my day to day life.

    I think that fewer postings may help with the feeling of burnout. BTW i love the pics. I have only seen a double rainbow once in my life! One day, I too will have that luxurious life, to sit and just be in the moment!

  9. What’s up Sam,

    I was kinda bummed when you wrote Shutting down for now because I really enjoy reading all your insightful posts and it really helps me stay on track. I am one of those who reads but never comments. Love what you do man it motivates and inspires many more than you think.
    I’m currently deployed in Afghanistan right now and I show all my buddies out here about your posts and they have nothing but great things to say about you and how you achieved everything you did. Glad you’ll be sticking around, I’m a big fan of your work.


  10. Sam, you’re back! It’s been so long!

    Definitely slow down a bit if the blog is burning you out. Like you said, what’s the point in all of this if you don’t enjoy it?

    Great shot of the rainbow! A picture opportunity like that comes along once in a never. It must be symbolic of something good. There’s good fortune (a “pot of gold”) at the end of that rainbow for you, perhaps?

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  11. NY Real estate investor guy

    Glad to have you back Sam! You have every right to take a break as I can imagine the pressure to continuously churn out informative and thoughtful subject matter on an almost daily basis. First time poster, have been checking out this site for around 6 months or so. Am around your age (37) and interested in personal finance, investment strategies, lifestyle discussions etc. all of which you address here.

    I’ve been wondering if you can post your thoughts concerning strategies for RE investing during the end of (or nearing the end of perhaps ???) an upward RE appreciation cycle. My gut is to not make any decisions (selling is tempting when the value of assets are at a peak). The post would be geared towards those who are already invested in RE and have a decent amount of experience (I’ve been buying commercial properties for 10+ years in the NYC metro area). You’ve undoubtedly covered the gamut of topics but this one is something I haven’t seen and would be interested on what your thoughts might be, especially since you’re invested in a global city that’s done very well in property values. I know your “never sell” mantra and I also believe that’s a solid long term strategy but It’s also difficult to even buy since things are so expensive. Thanks for the great info thus far and I’m really happy you decided not to hang up the gloves for now!

  12. Have you ever thought of volunteering for one of the big tennis tournaments (US Open, Indian Wells or Miami Open?). I just finished watching the weekend games at the Miami Open with 1 of their vacation packages where you get VIP car transportation to and from your hotel. The drivers of these SUVs (Lexus sponsors them) are volunteers. I really enjoyed meeting these volunteers (some of who have done this for years) and hearing about their experiences. Most of them are tennis fans like myself and yourself. They say it’s the best way to meet tennis players, coaches, umpires etc….After finding this out, I felt bad for the drivers who had to pick up the lowly tennis fans like myself. :) They don’t know who they’re going to pick up until they get a call for the next assignment.

    Since you’ve already done the Uber thing, I think you’d be the perfect volunteer driver!

    I am for sure going to try to volunteer for one of these tennis tournaments once I become financial independent like you!

    Special K

  13. Hahaha it’s like you instagram’d your food.

    I think you hit on a very important point there, if you’re ‘retired’ from a job where you’re not in control, why would you then steer your life/work towards something that you don’t enjoy either? I enjoy reading your posts not because they’re well written, but because it’s clear you care and are passionate in them. It’s quite easy to tell when someone is just doing something for the sake of doing it (or doing it for money), not for the enjoyment of it.

    Any of us with a blog / website need to personally enjoy what we’re doing otherwise we replace no-fun at the office with no-fun at home!

    Although it takes a lot of time and energy, I’m really enjoying running a website, even if it’s only 4 months old. There’s something very therapeutic and releasing about it, it’s fun just to share your thoughts with the world.

    I can only echo what others have said, if a once-a-week schedule would work for you, then I’d encourage you to do that. A great many people take inspiration from your words, particularly your new words as you (& everyone) grow and change with experience, therefore what you say now is built on even more life-experience than your posts 2 years ago.


  14. Oh you sneaky bastard! I read the article today and didn’t even notice its April 1st date. But I’m glad you’ll be sticking around :)

  15. Sam,

    I was relieved to see confirmation that this was mostly an April Fool’s joke. I was equally glad to see that some of the undertones in the 4/1 post were truth-driven.

    With this particular post, you were able to articulate something that I have had difficulty explaining for a while – I, too, am happy, as long as I have something productive to do. That is largely the reason why I launched my blog. I have also realized how much I missed writing.

    Thanks for all you do!

  16. Sam, Thanks for latest post. I was surprised to see it after your shutting down note. I have to speak to a graduation class at my college and Alum and I think I will share some of your sentiments. Hard work pays off by you have to enjoy the ride. Keep up your inspiring work and thanks for sharing it with us.

  17. I’m also a first-time commenter and glad to see you are back. I’ve been a fan of your site for about 1.5 years and I’m making progress toward FI because of your insightful posts. I love how you challenge your readers to step outside the “comfort zone” that is the “rat race” and strive for something more meaningful. It has been a wake up call for me, even before this post. My only complaint is that I didn’t find your site sooner! Thank you Sam!

  18. Haha good to have you back man, long break there ;)..
    Really great effort there & nice reflections as well

    Maybe next time you can take a longer break :P ha

  19. wow, that was a long vacation! LOL. We were going somewhere so to take my mind off my husbands driving I checked my emails (hey, it’s better than me telling him to slow down, don’t drive so close to the backend of that car, … stop sign, geez I must get on his nerves lol). I started reading your new entry started laughing at the first sentence. NEXT TIME don’t take so long to get back to us lol.

    Thanks for your blog, I enjoy reading it.

  20. I was quite relieved to see this e-mail in my Inbox as your blog is the only one I read. I always appreciate how thoughtful and logical your posts are, and that you write about some of the more nuanced aspects of personal finance and topics that are relevant for working professionals. Keep up the great work!

  21. I think it’s in your blood to hustle, get the word out, and excel in what you do, whether it be financial consulting or perfecting your entries. Thanks for the motivation, and getting me to put my presence online.

  22. I’m happy to hear you plan on continuing for a while yet! I don’t always agree with what you have to say, but I definitely check your blog several times a week for these posts! Please protect yourself, you can’t help anyone else if you’re out of commission. Broke Millennial just made a similar post, but her solution was to hire help. Perhaps a vacation? I know Blonde on a Budget had a couple guest posts while she was dealing with an injury and unable to post.

  23. Sam – We are lucky that someone with your intelligence, financial background, and dedication is willing to share. I have been reading now for several years and check your site daily. Glad you’re back!

  24. Aliyyah @RichAndHappyBlog

    “Never quit until you’re absolutely sure all avenues are exhausted.” – What great advice.

    Also, I agree that having a sense of community is so important. That’s what I’m trying to create with my blog too. So far, I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback. We’ll see as the months go by how consistent and engaged my audience is.

  25. Sam, since you asked about updates, here’s mine…been “retired” now coming up to 3 yrs after a layoff with package. Wasn’t sure it was possible until I came across your FI site, other sites and did calculations along with talking with Vanguard team member. You are correct, you need a purpose every day. I have a personal project for now, while my wife continues to work, hoping for her layoff soon, meanwhile helping with healthcare benefits.

      1. Regrets? None. Well, I wish my peers were as aggressive in savings and as frugal in living as we were. But I assume the market returns over the years wouldn’t be as good if others didn’t participate in keeping up with consumption. I never held a mortgage, only took out a loan for my first new car. Unfortunately, no kids.

  26. Dr. J @ MedSchool Financial

    Sam, its awesome that you took some quality time to yourself. Reflecting is both a wonderful and necessary thing. I’ve enjoyed and followed the blog for a while now, and your determination has made Financial Samurai what it is today, and a part of your legacy you’ll hopefully always enjoy.

    MedSchool Financial is now just crossing over the 7 month mark, and I will continue to write along side 2-3x a week and help keep up the momentum/motivation with all.

    Have a great weekend man and happy to hear you got some exercise in as well, I am just getting back from a run, and it makes all the difference.

  27. Glad you are sticking around — I’m taking you up on you invitation for silent readers to comment. Perhaps you or someone reading will have an opinion. How do you feel about investing in Land (cropland & ranch land). Do you think it is better or worse than real estate?

    1. Hard to say. I’ve never invested in raw land before. I don’t have enough money to not have yield on an asset that could cost a lot. Then again, I invest in stocks that have no yield. But they are liquid. If an asset is illiquid, I want a yield.

  28. Sam,

    I can relate to a lot of what you say as I myself am a hard driving workaholic perfectionist type like yourself. The thing that kind of bothers me from what you say, along lot of people senior to me say is to just slow down and enjoy it life is too short ect.. I feel like this a pervasive mindset everyone tells themselves and their friends to cope with the shortness of life and time. Humans are fundamentally no different than any other types of life on this earth except were consciously aware of our emotions. Everyone subconscious drive is to store and exert energy towards the things that are aligned with our self-image, certain biased we possess and life experiences. I’m not hating on the need for hobbies and time to reflect on nature and other things of beauty, but I feel like most people are trying to prevent the enviable fact that we cant control time and how fast life goes by. I believe a lot of what society tells us by enjoying things and life is also the source of a lot of our unhappiness because nature doesn’t follow those same rules ( people die, disasters happen, unfairness in the world, competition, selection). Being out of balance and typing your articles while almost missing the rainbow in Hawaii is probably one of the biggest reasons why you got to where you are in life (financially) but you also probably missed out on some things a lot of the people who only work 40 hours a week got to experience but they don’t have a retirement home in Hawaii at the age of 40. Getting burnt out, making great sacrifices, being out of balance only increases most people’s odds of financial success coupled with a great deal of luck and no sure guarantee. At the end of the day what ever happens in life happens and you can only control so many things, you only have one shot to make it financially, ( or spiritually, socially) and it’s tough for 99.99% of people to achieve all three in one place which is why it probably better to focus on the one most imporant to you in an “out of balance way” until they achieve it and then go after the others if time permits. I would argue its near impossible to do when everyone around you has the “Yolo” mindset when really were lucky to even consciously conceive time and the ability to have fun and admire things. If your out of balance trying to achieve what your truly care about you should go after it without worrying about time and failure because that’s the risk we all take being human and its nothing personal but the laws of nature. But know if you come out on the other side I’m sure it’s the sweetest feeling which you can probably attest to. I’m curious to hear back

  29. Welcome back. I am also a newer blogger, inspired by your success and knowledge sharing. It took me 9 posts in 3 weeks to get my first article picked up by the media (cited as a source in the Daily Mail), which was mostly thanks to the information learnt on here and yakezie.

    You create a lot of great content which helps many people around the world. Keep it up.

  30. Distilled Dollar

    Glad to see you’re back!

    There were a surprisingly large amount of lessons, both financial and non-financial from these last two posts. Keep up the great work!

  31. Thanks for sticking around, Sam!

    I’ve been reading for a while, but have only decided to leave a comment after reading your post on Chinese society. Interesting perspective, indeed, and I hope that you keep using your voice to do what you do!

    Maybe I’ll run into you the next time you visit Hawaii. Someday soon, hopefully!

    Best regards,

  32. Welcome back

    Some times I get so caught up in where we want to go that I forget to live in the moment. My double rainbow was out on the ice this year fishing with my dad, popping a hole through 2 feet of ice with some beer and the sun out is a great day!

    Thanks for putting into perspective on a random Saturday

  33. linda albarran

    Thank you for reconsidering. Your posts are such a blessing. Forget all those negative comments that you receive and continue forward. I look forward to your posts.

  34. Welcome back! I never post but I’ll give it a shot. I’m on the path to FI and my biggest obstacle is housing prices in Los Angeles. What to do??? It’s almost near SF levels down here. Could use your advice, Sam!

    1. Pretty open question Jim! Hard to say without knowing everything about you. I really think housing prices will flatten over the next several years. I also think you need 20%+ down so you don’t have to pay PMI insurance. Finally, you need to believe you’ll be there for at least 5 years, if not 10 years.

      But I do say, there is so much value in the middle of america. if you can build some online income streams or request a transfer, homeownership becomes so much easier.

  35. I am glad you’re back.
    I seriously thought you were going to shut this down for awhile.
    Take regular breaks, we all need to recharge.
    Thanks again for the motivation and inspiration.

  36. Love the blog Sam, keep up the stellar work! I’m a former 4.5 USTA player with an aching back from serving. I started playing Pickleball and can’t say enough good things about this new sport. I was recently at the National Tennis Center in Flushing and the construction has come along quickly. You will see an updated viewing experience your next US Open visit.

  37. Love your comment about taking a retirement from your retirement job! Can’t wait until I’m in the same position :).

    I find it interesting how you’re fancy in some ways, like belonging to a tennis club and living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, but yet you explain that you get satisfaction from applying touch up paint to window sashes.

    Now matter how much money you have, the little things can provide the most satisfaction.

    1. And also pulling weeds in front of my house after a week long rain storm!

      You also get used to everything you have too (house, car, lifestyle, etc). It’s just human nature. But I will always enjoy progress and doing something purposeful

  38. Oh look, it’s a picture of Sam frolicking in the wilderness (probably laughing) after playing all of us like fools. Just messing with you. hehe.

    –We all better have some fun doing what we’re doing or else what’s the damn point? It would be a travesty to look back on our lives with regret because we did only what we were supposed to do and not what we really wanted to do.


    –Having a lot of freedom feels amazing, but everything gets old after a while… …So long as there’s something to do, I’m happy. Don’t you feel the same?

    Definitely. There are people out there that literally do nothing every day, and are bored out of their minds. I believe life is all about balance. Do too little, and feel worthless. Do too much, and lose your sense-of-self. To me, the key is to find something to do that you feel at-one with and can be yourself.

    –Never quit until you’re absolutely sure all avenues are exhausted. Burnout is inevitable if you do something long enough. Quitting cold turkey often isn’t the best solution. Take a break. Reduce your output. But whatever you do, don’t get rid of all the effort you’ve put in up to now.

    +1. I have realized I tend to have hot and cold spurts to my work- sometimes I nail it, other times I am just drained from all the work I put in to ‘nail it’. I think this is perfectly natural though, but it can be difficult to be like this because the rest of the world tends to work in a ‘steady flow’ type of state.

    1. The first picture encapsulates joy perfectly imo. I was up at my friends house in Sonoma doing the airplane on one of his lawns. Behind me is a tennis court, and out yonder is a pool. I was so happy!

  39. I’m a long-time reader, but this is my first comment. Yours is my very favorite financial blog (and I read a lot of financial information online daily). I was saddened yesterday to think I might never welcome you onto my laptop again. You were with me every step of the way to my retirement (at age 60) last year, inspiring me to leave my employer of 35 years with a severance package better than I could have imagined. I look forward to your writings and am so glad I found your site (linked within a blog of someone I no longer follow). I should have realized it was an April Fools joke considering your wry sense of humor (eg, how to marry a rich man). But, your reasons for shutting down were valid, and so I just wished you well. Remember that for every one criticism you get, there are hundreds (maybe thousands) others who respect you and value your opinion. Thank you.

      1. No regrets at all, I had mentally checked out years before, and just went through the motions until I felt I had saved enough FU money to last the rest of my life.
        My next major decision is whether or not to start collecting SS in a few months when I turn 62, which would cause me to lose ~3k per year in ACA tax credits, plus nicely reduced deductibles and copays. Or, delay until I turn 65 and start on Medicare. If I delay, it will take until age 77 to break even with the higher SS payout, after which I’d come out ahead long term. I’m leaning toward the delay, but sure hate to let the Govt keep all the money I’ve paid in for 3 years longer than I have to.

        1. If you feel healthy, then go for the delay. Losing $3K a year in ACA tax credits is a lot. How did you get that ACA tax credit in the first place?

          I know some people who regret not having left work sooner. Any thoughts on that?

  40. I hoped it was a prank and I kept checking back to see when you would come back and change the title to Jokes On You. This morning I started to get worried.

    You can’t retire yet. I earned $135 in dividends in March (a new record for me) and I have a long way to go until I retire and I still need a lot of help and inspiration.

  41. Thrilled to hear you’ve decided to stick around, Sam! You’ve been an enormous help to me and so many others. Thank you for all that you do.

    – Stephen

    1. Ditto!!!! I was SOOOOO sad when I read you were shutting down….I actually felt like I had to mourn a bit yesterday. But I’m glad you’re back! Your advice is so appreciated!!!

  42. Getting To One Million

    Glad you were just joking about stopping the blog. This post is great and I can’t wait to have those same feelings when I kiss my job goodbye. The one thing I’ve done differently is to “downshift” with my job which means to not strive to get promotions and to not want to climb the corporate ladder. I made that decision for all the reasons you listed such as pressure to prove my worth, no more dealing with unreasonable people, no more kowtowing to the man, no more faking joy during times of misery. I still work and but chose to stay at the secretary level and to keep my expenses down to be able to stay at that level and still save to get my one million. I’ve been a secretary for 20 years with the same company and I enjoy seeing others get so stressed out trying to get ahead while I’m not.

  43. PhysicianOnFIRE

    Glad to have you back, Sam!

    That’s a heck of rainbow shot you captured. Glad you had a wide angle lens to capture the whole thing; thanks for sharing.

    What would be the blogger’s equivalent of the 4-minute mile? Has it been done yet?

  44. So realistically: you wanted to quit, felt like quitting, and pretty much quit, but it was the extreme disbelief from the commenters that changed your mind? I don’t buy that you weren’t serious because that post felt very genuine. I understand that writing is extremely hard work – especially to the degree of detail that you try to put into every one of your posts. I respect the grind.

    At any rate – glad you’re keeping on! I agree that we need a small dose of “success” everyday, and you just don’t get that from laying around.

    1. I had a mini-break and it felt wonderful. I was never seriously intent on quitting, BUT, not spending hours responding to all comments felt like a vacation. It was nice to take a break.

  45. Hi Sam- what an idiot I am. Forgot it was April 1! I am really REALLY happy you’re back. I’ve been following your blog for at least 4 years now- maybe longer? And I really enjoy your writing and what you have to say. You’re a very generous and kind person imo.
    I’ve also recommended your site to many many people-especially young people. I’m 62 now and I wish I’d had some guidance and education on $$ in my twenties and thirties. Or even my forties and early fifties! Luckily my husband and I were pretty good savers. Not such great investors tho.
    If people leave negative or mean comments please don’t take them to heart. They are jealous or just mean spirited people.
    I am however a bit disappointed and sad that I once did reach out to you at your email address almost two years ago about selling a property here in Los Angeles. You never responded. Nada zip.
    Anyway best of luck to you. And I will continue to recommend your site to people.

    1. Wow, 4 years is a long time! Glad to have you since 58 :)

      I must have missed your e-mail a couple years ago. Did you have a really nice intro and butter me up? That helps! I get a ton of e-mails with help requests. Feel free to e-mail again if you have a question.

  46. Love the double rainbow shot!
    2019 seems just around the corner.
    From what I’ve read of your posts, i’m guessing maintaining BALANCE is harder for you than any of your financial achievements, and it’s probably the same for many of the driven, motivated FS readers.
    I’ve been working on it since taking a long look in the mirror at 29 and realizing that guy would grow up to be miserable if he didn’t learn to chill the f*** out! Now, 14 years later, I still have much to learn, but I’m looking forward to looking back with a smile.
    I wish the best for you in your journey!

  47. PatientWealthBuilder

    Sam – I just want to let you know you have encouraged me to start my own blog. My Alexa Ranking Challenge post is scheduled to come out this week. I admit, your 4/1 post did have me confused for a little while. I really like your approach to building a network of bloggers and others who are interested in similar topics. I’m already learning a great deal from you and others in the network. I wanted to let you know about a little progress I’ve had – I was able to drop my Alexa Rank from 24M to 6.7M this week. I’ve also created a goal for my blog and I believe I’m working on my first Whale Post. We’ll see. Have a great weekend and welcome back from Retirement.

  48. I’m glad you could reflect on what you want to do and not go with the flow. You have been inspiring to try to punch out early and do your own thing, make sure you are doing what you love. As for me, that moment is coming, thank you.

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