Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:
From Darrow at Can I Retire Yet? – The issues surrounding a retiree getting a mortgage without the usual w-2 income for banks to rely on
From Paula Pant at Afford Anything – What she’s been up to and a rousing discussion of the advantages of not having to work
From Actuary on Fire via Think Save Retire – AoF details the train wreck of his portfolio and his plan to remedy the situation. If you read nothing else this week, read this.
College Girl Detectives – Taking the initiative to solve cold cases
From Mrs. ONL – How to defeat the notion that somehow FI and RE are going to solve all the problems you’ve spent a lifetime creating for yourself
Until Next Time, FIRE On! – Oldster
A few things I read this week that I thought were especially thought-provoking:
From Our Next Life – How they calculated their “Enough Number”
When I was younger I used to love to travel. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity in my life to do some extensive international travel (again, mostly when I was younger). However, with the frequency of terrorist attacks seemingly increasing (the recent attack in Barcelona being a prime example), I thought I’d look at how dangerous it is currently for an American to travel in this world.
The seed for this inquiry was planted earlier this year. My family and I were in Orlando over spring break and while there we met a lovely family from the U.K. These folks visit the U.S. regularly, and travel to other international destinations several times each year. In the course of conversation I mentioned that I’m not sure this is the time to travel internationally because of all of the terrorist activity one hears about, and they found that funny (and a very American concern). They had been in places where incidents had taken place (not right in the locale, but in the region) and steadfastly believed that despite what the news would have us believe, the world (at least the places you would travel to) were no more dangerous now than they have ever been.
A couple of posts ago I talked about the Oldsters buying a house. It has been a while since we’ve been in the mortgage market so, though I try to pay attention to these things, I was a bit surprised at how low mortgage rates still were. We’ve been seeing a lot in the news over the last several months about the Fed raising interest rates, and they have nudged them northward a bit lately, but generally, rates are still very low. But for how much longer?
There is a logical, perhaps even mathematical, connection between mortgage rates and rental property demand. Think about it, the higher the mortgage interest rate, the higher the monthly payment. The higher the payment the smaller the group that qualifies for a mortgage. If one cannot afford to buy a house, then they must rent. Hence, higher mortgage rates should translate into higher rental income. Of course things are never that simple. Each market is different and an over saturated rental market might take longer to see the benefit of higher interest rates, but in general, the theory should hold true. Continue reading
I live in a fairly rural area of the country. I remember when we got a Wal-Mart; it was very exciting. But when Sam’s Club opened a store in our area, you’d have thought we’d died and gone to heaven. When it first opened, the wait to get to the membership desk could take an hour. I’d not seen people wait so long to pay good money, in order to be permitted to spend more money, since my last trip to Disneyland. Continue reading