Money

The Year Ahead….

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Retirement planning requires making our best effort to project far into the future. That is hard, if not impossible.

The reality is that we are constantly changing as is the world around us. We need to plan, but understand that our plans need to be adaptable.

My own needs, desires, and interests continue to evolve. As such, I’ve been contemplating where writing this blog fits into my plans.

Today, I want to share some exciting news for me personally and what my plans are for the blog this year….

A New Job

Last year at this time, I shared that I was beginning a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) education program. I completed the program and passed the CFP® certification exam last November. That left me pondering what comes next.

A decade ago, I started writing after having a horrible experience with a financial advisor. I wanted to become a consumer advocate, educating ordinary people about the massive conflicts of interest inherent in financial advice and teaching them how to do things themselves. 

The more I interacted with readers online and spoke with people about personal finance in the “real world,” the more obvious it became that many people need help navigating our complex financial world.

It is easy to be a critic standing on the sidelines. I want to enter the fray and improve things. So I am joining the team at Abundo Wealth.

This is an exciting opportunity for me. I’ll gain mentorship and the experience required to complete the CFP® certification process. The company is completely remote and I’ll work part-time. I’m confident this project will allow me to maintain the lifestyle I’ve worked so hard to create while providing the opportunity for professional growth and an outlet to serve others.

At the same time, I will add value to their team in multiple ways. My unique experience, ideas, and insights will help them serve more clients in better ways. I will also use my platforms and ability to create content to shine a light on this company that is trying to revolutionize the way financial advice is delivered, with transparency and low costs.

The one downside of this new project is it will leave me with less time to write this blog. This brings me to the second piece of news….

A Familiar Face Returns

I was contemplating what my new opportunity meant for the blog. I considered hiring (and managing 🤮) writers to create new content, writing sporadically and letting the blog die a slow death, selling it, or just shutting it down completely. 

None of these options were appealing. This blog means a lot to me. It is my home on the web and it has changed my life in a number of ways.

Reading it was instrumental in designing my own path to financial independence and early retirement. Since coming on as a writer and then taking the site over, it’s given me a platform to pay that forward.

Writing also provides a way for me to clarify my thinking and get feedback on my ideas. I’m consistently amazed by the knowledge of readers of this blog and honored that you would spend your valuable time and attention here. I appreciate reader feedback, whether confirming my ideas or respectfully disagreeing and sharing different perspectives.

I’ve missed sharing the duties with site founder, Darrow Kirkpatrick, since he decided to step away from the blog to focus on other creative projects. I wanted to invite him back, but also wanted to respect his wishes to pursue other paths in his own retirement.

So I was pleasantly surprised when he recently approached me about starting to write for the blog again this year. It took me about two seconds to say yes, and about two minutes for us to work out the details.

What to Expect

I honestly don’t know what the long-term future holds for the blog, Darrow, or me. The beautiful thing about financial independence is that you have many paths open to you, and you’re not bound to any by the need to make money. 

The hard part is that ultimately you do have to make choices. The paradox of choice and the challenges that accompany it are real.

I continue to have a passion for increasing financial literacy, helping people learn to use their money to empower themselves, and build the lives they desire. Exactly how and how much I want to do that remains to be seen.

I have made the following commitments for the next year. I will:

  • Work 10 hours/week with Abundo, where I will focus on working one-on-one with clients as soon as I can get up and running. 
  • Publish weekly content on Can I Retire Yet? for the remainder of the year.

The weekly Monday publishing schedule will include:

  • Two new original articles per month. Darrow and I will each write one.
  • A “round-up” article every other week. With my new projects, I’ve found I have been reading more than ever, but having less time to synthesize information and write detailed long-form content. Increasing the frequency of the “Best of” posts that I traditionally have posted monthly will enable me to share more of what I’m learning, with less time commitment from me to write and edit.
  • Finally, that leaves a few months where there will be a 5th Monday to fill. This is where I am reaching out to you….

Share Your Ideas

Over the past couple of years, I’ve worked with readers to turn what started out as private email exchanges that I found interesting into blog posts to share publicly with other readers.

In 2021, a reader, J.C., shared his experience of retiring just before the 2008 stock market crash.

In 2022, another reader who wished to write anonymously shared why he doesn’t think you should ever retire.

They were among the most read, shared, and commented on posts on the site those respective years.

If readers are willing, this year I would love to share more of your stories. 

  • How have you applied ideas shared on the blog to improve your life?
  • What are you doing or have you done differently or better than us that others can learn from?
  • What are we getting wrong? What have you read on the blog that you (respectufully 😉) disagree with and how can we learn from your perspective?

If you are interested in sharing your story, leave a comment or send me a private message.

I am excited to go down these new paths in 2023, and I’m honored to have you go down them with me.

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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at chris@caniretireyet.com.]

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