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Does Early Retirement Impact Happiness?

The answer might seem obvious to you (yes?) but it’s not always so clear. I know a lot of folks who retire and find themselves listless and not knowing what to do next.

But there are others who have a laundry list of things they’ve always wanted to do and are thrilled they now have the time to pursue them!

So the answer is quite personal, but still worth seeing how others are navigating it.

The blogger behind Accidentally Retired has been tracking his happiness for about three years with his Happiness Tracker Spreadsheet, and armed with that data he takes a look at whether this retirement impacted his happiness.

Happiness Revisited: did early retirement have an impact? [Accidentally Retired] – “If there is one large lesson I have learned in the last year, it is that though my happiness has continued to improve, I still have to choose to do the things to make me happy. FIRE affords you the freedom to stack great days together, but you don’t have to be retired to get the benefits of focusing on happiness one day at a time:”

The lesson here is that if you’re interested, get the free tracker sheet and give it a shot.

This next post might be a little too “Inside Baseball” since it’s about a massive wealth management firm buying a robo-advisor, but I thought it was interesting to see how the pros view the actions of even bigger businesses:

Why Is UBS Buying a Robo for $1.4B? [ThinkAdvisor] – “Welsh saw it as ironic that Wealthfront had set out to “disrupt advisors and traditional wealth management via technology” but has now “sold the business to a 160-year-old bank and wirehouse — just the people they claimed were evil and had targeted to disrupt.”” I don’t know enough about the industry to even guess but I was surprised, much like some of the experts quoted in this piece.

I found this next video super fascinating – Wendover Productions explains How Long Haul Trucking Works:

Collections are often about the people who collect them, not the collection itself

The only NFTs I own are a few NBA Top Shot, the digital version of a sports collectible card. Basketball is my favorite sport to play, one of my favorite to watch, and I’ve been a long suffering New York Knicks fan… so I “get” why someone would get into NBA Top Shot and sports related NFTs.

I don’t fully “get” the other NFT projects just like I don’t get collectors of Hummel dolls, Beanie Babies, paraphernalia from your favorite band (Beatles!), etc. But I “get” why people do it and that’s good enough for me.

Here’s an alternate explanation that also makes sense to me:

I Collect Cashflows [The Reformed Broker] – “I collect shares of businesses. Been doing it since my late teens. Not always successfully. I use a certain type of non fungible token called a stock certificate for this. I never lay hands on the certificate, it’s in digital form, living somewhere in the multiverse. A company called DTC makes sure the shares I’ve bought are the shares I get. And then I hold them. Sometimes I will trade them for digital dollars that I also don’t ever see or touch, but then soon after I am trading those dollars for another pile of virtual stock certificates. People will say “You’re crazy, why would you want to buy a fraction of a company you will never touch and hold in your hands?” And I’m like “You just don’t understand.””

This next post is good advice on security:

How to keep your money, investments, and cryptocurrency secure; preventing hacking, phishing and other nefarious scams [Accidentally Retired] – “I want to preface all this by saying that even if you are doing everything correctly, there is still going to be some level of risk that you take simply by using the internet. This is similar to the type of risk that you take every time you get into a car. But nevertheless, the risk is still there.”

Alicia Keys – Songs I Wish I Wrote (LIVE at the 61st GRAMMYs) is a really fun video and shows just how some artists, especially Alicia Keys, are truly next level:

Bitcoin for Bogleheads?

A compelling case for crypto and why even Bogleheads should think about it. (note the allocation percentage)

Bitcoin for Bogleheads? Bogleheads should consider a long-term investment in cryptocurrency [Accidentally Retired] – “No one should be investing all of their assets in crypto. But as Boglehead, I want to be exposed to everything that the markets have to offer. This includes cryptocurrency that cannot be currently captured only through Indices.”

A Bad Solar Storm Could Cause an ‘Internet Apocalypse’ [Wired] – “SCIENTISTS HAVE KNOWN for decades that an extreme solar storm, or coronal mass ejection, could damage electrical grids and potentially cause prolonged blackouts. The repercussions would be felt everywhere from global supply chains and transportation to internet and GPS access. Less examined until now, though, is the impact such a solar emission could have on internet infrastructure specifically. New research shows that the failures could be catastrophic, particularly for the undersea cables that underpin the global internet.” That can’t be good.

Check, Please? How New York’s restaurants suddenly got so expensive — and why that’s probably for the best. [Grub Street] – “The food-service research firm Technomic pegs typical annual menu inflation at around 2.5 percent, accounting for natural fluctuations in costs of goods and labor. But according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices at full-service restaurants have risen 4.3 percent in the past year, the largest 12-month increase ever recorded.”

How McDonald’s really makes money – fun video!

A beautiful way to think about decluttering

Do you struggle with decluttering?

This mindset towards it might be the very thing that “clicks” for you (because it did for me):

The Joy of Decluttering [No Sidebar] – “When I was in high school, I owned a puffy vest from The Gap. The color was a shade of powder blue, with vertical elastic ribbing on the sides. (They literally ‘don’t make them like that anymore.’) It was a staple of my wardrobe at the turn of the millennium. It carried me through school days, to hike in the woods, and to spectate evening high school football games. It even had pockets! In the year 2000, who needed a coat when you had a puffy vest!? I wore mine constantly….until one day, I didn’t wear it anymore. At all.”

The Best Items to Resell for Profit [Flea Market Flipper] – “I started doing a little bit of research on eBay. I noticed a consistent pattern; the larger items listed on eBay with freight shipping as an option were selling quickly and for much more money than the local sales. This is where I had my “aha” moment.” I love how a side benefit of this is that they are keeping things out of the landfill.

Choosing, tracking, and data visualizing all of the happiness [Accidentally Retired] – “A few years ago, I started tracking my happiness using Jim Collins’ system that he devised and spoke about on The Tim Ferriss Show. And, last month I launched the Happiness Spreadsheet, so that you too can track your happiness. If you track your happiness long enough using this method, as I have, then you will eventually start to see the patterns in your good days and bad. From there you can start to make some tweaks.” Brilliant.

Do you want to be happier?

Skip this post if the answer is no. 🙂

20 Ways To Be Happier in Life [The Retirement Manifesto] – “The last year has been tough on all of us. With that COVID thing floating around, increasing tension between political classes, Social Media run amuck, etc, it’s time to take a break from all of the negativity. With that in mind, here are 20 ways to be happier in life, based on my personal experience.”

Create life mantras and goals, to enjoy life and increase happiness [Accidentally Retired] – “A few years ago, I started to create a Life Crafting notebook. It was created simply using the Notes app on my iPhone to jot down things I wanted to remember to better my life. My Life Crafting notebook now includes various different tidbits of things that I wanted to remember to enact in my life. Everything from Life Mantras, and goals, to date night Ideas, to quotes I like, and key highlights from books I have read.”

((Real personal consumption expenditures: Durable goods: Recreational goods and vehicles+Real personal consumption expenditures: Recreation services)/Real Personal Consumption Expenditures)*100

The growing share of spending on recreation [Federal Reserve of St. Louis] – “The FRED graph above shows the percent of real personal consumption expenditures devoted to recreational goods and services. Between 2002 and 2019, this share has almost constantly increased. (The sole exception being the dip between 2008 and 2009, during the Great Recession.) To be precise, the share of recreational expenditures has increased 57%, which is worth more than half a smile.”