Monday, August 28, 2017

Three Years Out: Are We on Track for FI?

Three Years Out: Are We on Track for FI?
Two weeks ago, I turned thirty seven. It's a weird feeling, getting old. I don't feel old. I feel like the same person, minus a little softness around the tummy and a hairline that isn't quite where I left it.

And yet here I am, older, supposedly an adult; not some kid trapped in a man's life, still playing kickball and board games and drinking too many beers on a school night.

As each year comes, we hit another milestone on our path to financial independence. We've only got three mile markers left before the big four-o. Will we make it?

Let's see what the Mad Fientist's laboratory says.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Iceland's Ring Road in a Kuku

Iceland's Ring Road in a KukuOn our recent trip to Northern Europe, we were able to use hotel points for all the countries except for one: Iceland. A friend had suggested that we try driving around the ring road in a van, and we immediately fell in love with the idea.

We always stay in hotels or AirBNBs. Why not a van for a change?

We started reaching out to rental companies to see if we could score a deal in exchange for writing a review. (Full disclosure: we received a discount on the rental, and some free items for the van, like sleeping bags, pillows, and a GPS.)

Kuku Campers was the first to write back, and they had the added bonus of being a funky, cool company, to boot. See that picture to the above? That's our van. Adventure Time!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Taxes, Behavior, and Regressive Incentives

Taxes, Behavior, and Regressive Incentives
As the latest attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have recently failed, it seems that Congress is moving on to the next item on their agenda: tax reform. I guess that's why I keep stumbling on articles suggesting drastic changes to the tax code: like eliminating the mortgage interest deduction.

My main beef is not with any specific deduction in our tax code. (Though the mortgage interest deduction is curious, to say the least.)

Rather, I think our system of deductions runs counter to the goals of our progressive income tax system itself. Looking at most of the incentives, the more you earn, and the more tax you pay, the more you benefit from the programs.