Monday, September 26, 2016

Early Retirement, and Where Our Property Taxes Go

Early Retirement, and Where Our Property Taxes Go
Last week we got our property tax bill. And just like every year, I was strangely excited to open it. I know this means I'm an odd duck, but there's a part of me that likes seeing how my tax dollars support the local government. It makes me feel connected to my city.

Plus, there's the fact that our property taxes benefit from a cap: they can only increase 5% each year no matter what happens to property values. But there's no limit on how much they can fall. So when we purchased our home in 2010, our property tax bill was a preposterously low $872. They continued to fall each year until 2013, hitting a low of $762, as the assessments seemed to lag behind the property value trends. Then, as property values in Arizona fully recovered, our tax bills only increased 5% each year. So, somehow, our taxes are lower now than they were at the depth of the real estate crisis of 2009 and 2010, even though our home is worth double what it was back then. Ain't local government grand?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Always Be Frontloading?

Quick apology for the hiatus. We have a new puppy, Cayenne, who is adorable and is pictured there on the right, but also wakes us up four times a night to go outside and pee, and who needs constant supervision all day, and has already given us two scares with the vet. So we're sleep deprived in the Done by Forty household, and all our attention is going to the pup, and to life, and to sneaking in short naps to stay sane. But back to the blog...

As you've surely found out by now, we've stolen all the ideas we use for financial independence. The concept itself we got from Mr. Money Mustache. We learned how to invest in index funds from Jim Collins. We learned that living with our parents well into our forties was okay from Joe and O.G at Stacking Benjamins. So, I borrow from the real experts. But what do you expect? I majored in English, not Finance.