Did I Give Up a Six-figure Salary to Pick Trash?


Not every day is filled with exciting travel.

Since quitting my job, we spent half of this summer on the road traveling to new places like Colorado, and Nova Scotia. We got to take in breathtaking views, enjoy new cuisine, and got introduced to fun local activities with Airbnb hosts. We’ve been able to visit more family and friends – some of whom I hadn’t seen in a decade.

But to be honest, not every day has been filled with exciting travel. Being at home and having more time also means more projects keep coming up. Prior to quitting, I had been cultivating quite a few FI lifestyle hobbies, and now they are devouring every minute of my time. I thought I would be spending the summer in our hammock relaxing and reading books, but it’s been quite the opposite. A lot more of my time has been spent gardening, chopping wood, and doing home renovations. Most days, I’m exhausted. Everything came to a head the other day when I was disposing of some construction debris. When I got to the dump, I came to the realization that not everyday is going to be filled seeing new places, trying new food, and fishing. No, some days are even better.

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Garden: September – Holy Frankensquash


A harvest in September

A few years ago, I started saving seeds from our garden to save money. When I planted them, I got a surprise. My saved squash seeds produced something completely unrecognizable. I never took squash sex ed, but quickly learned that squash of a same species can cross pollinate to create a new cultivar.¬†Each plant has male and female flowers that are pollinated in our garden by bees. I don’t control the bees, and they are promiscuous with all the plants in the garden. The fruit from the cross pollinated plant won’t have any change in the first year. However, seeds from that fruit will produce an entirely new type of squash.

Since I don’t control the pollination, I no longer save my own squash seeds. But each year some rogue plant will come up that I don’t have the heart to snuff out. I let the little bastard grow up to see what sort of creation they might become. This year, there were a couple of squash plants that escaped my hoe. They must have taken on some hulk genes, because they went ape shit. Over the two weeks we were in Nova Scotia, they inundated half of the garden. The good news is these Frankensquash have been good producers.

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Screw the Roth, Max Your Pre-Tax!


You don’t have to go to the Caribbean for your tax shelter.

It’s no big secret that large corporations hate paying taxes, and corporate accountants are very good at utilizing all available loop-holes to avoid doing just that. One common trick corporations use is moving their profits offshore to a tax haven. This can be done by selling all their patents to a subsidiary in a tax haven country, then paying that subsidiary for “using” its intellectual property. Might seem shady, but right now moving profits around like this is perfectly legal.

In most cases, these companies will keep the profits offshore until they see an opportunity to bring money back without paying high taxes. Even if they need cash, they will resort to taking out loans or selling stock to raise cash before paying the 35% corporate tax they owe the US government. They are further incentivized to do this because in 2004, the US Congress enacted a repatriation tax holiday for corporations. For a limited time, corporations were given a 5.25% tax rate for repatriated profits. They were able to keep 94.75% of their money, rather than paying 35% and walking away with 65%.

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Take a Picture, It’ll Last Longer


1976 Demm Smily

“Hey, were you at the concerts in ’76?” asked the welder as I approached.”Nope,” I responded. “Man, that was the best, they were just giving you drugs, now you have to buy ’em.”

I was not yet born in ’76 but I’m not sure this guy knew his age either. He was a rough, scraggly looking bastard missing a few faculties. I entertained him though – I was there to do business. I had called this guy earlier in response to a classifieds ad for a $350 running moped.

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How to Retire Early – It’s About the FI Lifestyle


Make sure to take in the scenery on your journey to FI

The key to achieving financial independence is all about lifestyle. People get the impression that in order to live cheaply, you have to be a hermit and suffer through budget cuts. They go on a financial diet in hopes that one day they will be financially free and the sheer bliss will outweigh all the years of suffering. But just like a diet, depriving yourself will only be tolerable for a small period of time before you relapse.

The journey to financial independence is a long one, and life is short. I would not recommend anyone make themselves miserable for decades of their best years with the hope things will be better one day. Having a FI lifestyle doesn’t mean depriving yourself, it just means leading a more exciting and fulfilling life that is not dependent on spending large sums of cash. Instead of living in a cardboard box eating cheap ramen to save money, one should pursue financial independence by honing a lifestyle that is based on living well for less. Continue reading

You Won’t Expect What We Found: Bay of Fundy to Maine

We were thoroughly enjoying our stay on the lower part of Cape Breton Island. I could have stayed longer at our cottage on Bras d’Or Lake, but it was time to explore the Cabot Trail. So we packed up the Prius and hit the road again.


Eastern side of Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail follows the coast around Cape Breton Highlands National Park. We knew we were getting close when we started to see mountains rise up against the Atlantic ocean. It was cold and rainy, but the rocky cliffs against the grey ocean made for epic views.

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It’s the Local Life for Me in Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia always sounded alluring – remote, cold, and untouched. It looks close on the map, but at 14 hours away from CT we couldn’t spare our precious vacation time to go explore during our working years. Now with unlimited vacation days, it was time to pack up the Prius and hit the road.

Driving Through Nova Scotia

Driving through Nova Scotia

We did minimal planning for this trip, only booking the first stay just across the border in Canada. We had no idea what we were in for and decided it would be best to get into Canada and ask the locals where to go. After randomly looking at towns just across the border, we found an Airbnb in St. Andrews. We knew nothing about the town, but at $44 USD a night, the price was right.

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