Gone for Summer, an important note on comments and random cool stuff that caught my eye

Beach St. John's

Courtesy of Noelle Hancock

(more from Noelle at the end)

The time to disappear for our summer travels has come. Happy Time! But it will get quiet here around the blog. So…

This important note about the comments:

From now until September I will be unable to answer your investing questions in the comments. So please don’t post them now. If you do, you might miss the answer by the time I get to it come September. In the meantime, you might consider continuing to read the posts and the comments already there. The chances are very good that your question has already been asked and answered. If not, post them come Fall and I’ll do my best to help.

Other comments are welcome as always!

Our Summer

It has been busy like hell these past few weeks.

June 30th we are moving and so have been going thru the packing and purging leading up to when the truck arrives to haul away our, hopefully fewer, things.

Regular readers will remember we sold our house a couple of years ago and moved into our current downtown loft apartment. It is in a 200 year old refurbished mill building. Brick walls, high ceilings, wood floors, exposed heating ducts. A very casual, industrial vibe we’ve enjoyed greatly. It even has a bonus room in a former staircase that fits my office needs perfectly.

But one of the reasons we love now being renters is, it is far easier to indulge our restless spirits. It’s time for a change and change is easy when all you have to do is let your lease run out, pack and hire movers. Plus the purging inherent in moving keeps the clutter from trapping you.

We are going to a building only a couple of blocks away, so we get to keep the same neighborhood. We’ll still be walking distance to the cafes, restaurants and theater we’ve come to enjoy but in a more upscale, elegant apartment. We’ll be on the 8th floor facing West with a river view. We are told the sunsets are spectacular.

This is actually the building we first had our eye on two years ago. At the time we needed more space but now the second bedroom, we kept mostly for our daughter’s visits, can become the office.

She, in turn, is headed for South East Asia for two years with the Peace Corps. She’ll be teaching English. Since the Peace Corps strongly discourages volunteers from leaving their host countries to travel home, we will be traveling there instead. New adventures!

To make matters more interesting, the apartment we want isn’t actually available until August 24th. Which, since we travel for the summers, works out rather well. Specifically, like this:


Jake indulging in one of his favorite hobbies

  • June 29th I take Jake the Wonder Dog to stay with his pal Smitty in the New Hampshire countryside. Jake doesn’t like moving days or hotels.
  • June 30th the movers load up our stuff and take it to storage.
  • Meanwhile, our daughter gives away the last of her stuff and leaves her apartment in Massachusetts.
  • We meet up here:


Wentworth by the Sea

This is one of the grand old hotels scattered around New England that were built at the turn of the last century. They fell into disrepair but now most have been beautifully restored and refurbished. Not cheap, but we had been meaning to treat ourselves one day anyway. And we have almost two months of rent to play with!

  • July 3rd we put our daughter on the plane to LA and exotic points beyond for the next phase of her life’s adventure.
  • That same day we retrieve Jake and head west to Wisconsin and Shamba.
  • We’ll spend the rest of July at Shamba on Lake Michigan as we did last summer.
  • From August 1st to the 24th we’ll…
  • …well we haven’t figured that part out just yet. 🙂
  • August 24th we move into the new place, where we should be fully settled by October when…
  • …I head back to Ecuador for the Chautauquas and the side trip to the Galapagos Islands.

While at Shamba I hope to finish the final rewrites and polishing on the book. The manuscript is currently out to readers and fact checkers, and with their input in hand I should finally have it done. Of course, there are many more steps between finished manuscript and published book. But it is getting there and should be out in the next few months. I’ll put up a post when it is.

So have a wonderful summer and to get started, here for your amusement and edification are some random cool things that have caught my eye of late:

Socially Responsible Investing This is a question that regularly comes up in the comments here and the link is my pal Darrow’s interesting take.

barvarian castle

“I want to go there”


Lonely Houses

cabins abandoned-waiting-for-owners-to-come-5

Abandoned cabins

Body switch magic


Dave Barry reviews Fifty Shades of Grey: Best book report ever!

Bridge between walls

Mysterious Bridges

Understanding the economy video, by Ray Dalio

Pushing the lions off their kill Awesome demonstration of what courage can do. It’s amazing the lions don’t think, “Oh look. More meat. And it’s coming right to us. Gotta love the service on this savanna!”

How many mutual funds routinely rout the market?

50 reasons we are living thru the greatest period in history

Milky-Way what we can see

Where are our interstellar neighbors?

AI — If you’re going to be interested in this, you already know what “AI” is.

A History of Time


“If you’re constantly thinking you need a vacation, maybe what you really need is a new life”

Why I gave up a $95,000 job to move to an island and scoop ice cream

Hand Stand

Courtesy of Noelle Hancock

See you in the Fall!

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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.
  • Vanguard.com


  1. beth says

    I had better hurry and get my financial act together. You are doing more travelling this summer than I have done in my entire life and I need to get rid of debt before I can even think about doing any travelling.

    Have an amazing summer and post lots of pictures when you get back because my budget means I am limited to travelling vicariously through others.

  2. Zita Santi says

    Dear Jim, I’ve been meaning to write a comment ever since I subscribed to your blog, just to say, how much I love reading your articles. They are so interesting and even though I am ‘dumb’ as far as investing is concerned, I do still enjoy them.
    Bravo like they would say here in Italy!!!
    Wishing you and Jane, “Happy Holidays”

    P.S. Hope you have a guest room in your new place, cause I intend visiting next year !!!!

    • jlcollinsnh says


      Wonderful to hear from you and here on the blog, no less. I didn’t know you were a reader.

      We’ll always have a place for you!

      Ciao, baby!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure, Darrow…

      It is a great review of Ethical Investing.

      Yep, renting has its plusses! (As you know) 🙂

  3. Done by Forty says

    So much to love in the links here. I especially liked the 30 minute econ video, the 50 reasons to feel lucky, and the last story about the woman picking up sticks at 31 and moving to an island.

    Look before you leap is fine and all…but just be sure to actually leap. Nothing sadder than living your whole life on the ledge.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Those were three of my favorites, too.

      I also can’t get over those guys pushing the lions off their kill. Wonder who the first fellow was who thought that would be a good idea!

      “…just be sure to actually leap.” Well said!

  4. Jaketucson says

    Happy travels! Love these types of posts. One of our regular babysitters just graduated and is also off to the Peace Corps in Cambodia! Maybe she and your daughter will meet at some point.

  5. Paula R. says

    Have a great vacay! it sounds like you’ll have a hell of a time! For now, I will live these experiences through you until my time comes! haha 🙂
    Thanks for the links!

  6. Stockbeard says

    Those cabin/lonely house pictures are awesome.

    I’m totally with you on the renting opinion: To me, I love the freedom of easily switching to the next place pretty much whenever I feel like it (give or take 12 months). My wife disagrees with that though. She’s worried that we could reach old age without owning a place that we can call our own, and that frightens her.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Sometimes I think, when I’m old (er) and my traveling days are done, I might again buy a house.

      But then I think, why would I want the hassle of maintenance when I’m old (er)?! 😉

  7. Jonathan says

    Good luck and happy traveling! I just found your blog from Mr. Money Mustache, and now I find we’re practically neighbors- I’m across the river at the city limits. A lovely place.

  8. FI Monkey says


    All of us should aspire to be more like you. The kind of traveling you’re doing is incredible. I keep telling myself I should just set a month aside to go take my kids somewhere, but I’m going to wait for my youngest to be a little more self sufficient before we attempt such insanity.

    Enjoy your trip. Already looking forward to your return.


  9. Kyle says

    Didn’t know you were traveling to Wisconsin, We should meet up. I know your schedule is probably packed but I can entice you with plenty of home brews. I’ll be in down town Milwaukee July 18th serving my home brew at the Firkin Beer Festival.

    By the way, I know its been awhile but my offer remains if you would like some help on your site.
    I could even take a copy of the live site offline and show you what could be done.

  10. The Bob's says

    Have a great time this summer with all your adventures. See you in Ecuador this Oct. over that cup of coffee. 😉 Enjoyed the blog post. Take care Jim and Fam.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hey Bobs…

      Thanks! We’re having a great time and the Chautauqua in Ecuador will be here next time I blink. 🙂

      Looking forward to seeing you there!

  11. Matt says

    Just want to say thanks for such a wonderful resource! I’ve been captivated by your blog since I discovered it yesterday and as someone who feels like he has the basics of responsible saving down, your next-level financial independence advice and techniques are much appreciated.

    Incidentally, I recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps in Zambia and although it was a tough decision to voluntarily forego 27 months of lost earning potential (and compounded interest!), I wouldn’t have traded the experience for the world. Best wishes to your daughter on her new journey.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Matt….

      I’m glad you found your way here and your kind words are appreciated.

      She has 23 months to go. So far she’s finding it a challenging, difficult, frustrating and wonderful experience. 🙂

  12. Yankee21 says

    Happy Easter Mr. Collins. First time, short time. Hope your days are finding you like Noelle’s, minus dinner in the shower. Best wishes to you and yours.

      • Yankee21 says

        Haha, Thank you Good Sir. Figured to save the pleasantries. And please don’t take that wrong. I am deeply grateful for the light emitted from the sun on this path we have begun to trek simply.
        I do hope Mr. Bogle is posthumously awarded, his work is rightly deserving Sainthood and much more…
        Rather than choosing a more popular post for my greeting, thought I would bring you back to one of the many gems you have throughout your blog, of which one day, when my girls can understand responsibly the essence of Noelle’s article, I look forward to talking with them about, along with of course, “how you failed your daughter” and much more. Yes, The big guy not only made one mistake but two! My son was planned, he knew I would need some help I guess. Thanks for everything and hope the ice fishing is going well. Best Wishes Good Sir and will this sell on VTSAX start already! or not, no matter, will be sleeping in the Mint soon. Warm Regards, Y21, I like it.

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