Happy Thanksgiving!

This is going to be a short post today. With the Thanksgiving holiday around the corner, who wants to think about Safe Withdrawal Rate research, when you’re digesting vast quantities of turkey breast, turkey legs, fillings, and beer? So, on a lighter note, I want to say Thanks to all the folks who have made blogging such an enjoyable experience over the last year!

Specifically, …

Thanks to the visitors from 171 different countries!

About 80% of visitors come from the U.S., but let’s not forget all the visitors from abroad! We covered pretty almost all of North and South America and Europe. Folks in Greenland, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and a few dozen other countries have other things on their minds than early retirement simulations, but I’m sure we can entice some of them to stop by in the future!


Thanks to everyone who nominated this blog for the Plutus Awards!

In early October I almost fell off my chair when I saw this small niche blog was among the finalists for the 2017 Blog of the Year Plutus Award. Together with so many heavy hitters in the PF world! How amazing is that?


In the end, we didn’t win. The trophy went to the excellent Well Kept Wallet site. Well deserved and congrats! But thank you, thank you, thank you so much to all of our faithful readers and subscribers who submitted their ballot and voted for the ERN blog!

Big Ern finds out he’s among the “2017 Blog of the Year” finalists!

Thanks to everybody who’s sending traffic to the ERN blog!

  • Number 1 referrer: Search Engines! Pretty amazing, because I consider myself a complete SEO (search engine optimization) novice. But if you go to Google and start entering “early re” then there it is: “early retirement now” is already a recognized Google search term suggestion. Two spots higher than “early response pregnancy test!” I hope this doesn’t mean that the early retirement online community is crowding out the more, ahem, person-to-person interaction in today’s society!



Thanks to everybody who’s leaving feedback!

We got close to 2,000 comments so far in 2017! Well, almost half of them are mine because I try to respond to almost all of them. I get tons of comments and suggestions via email as well. Thanks to the seven volunteers so far in the “Ask Big Ern series” where I work out case studies on safe withdrawal rate calculations! Pretty much every post you see here week in week out has been in some way, shape or form inspired by feedback from the readers! Thanks for your support and inspiration!

So, have a wonderful and healthy Thanksgiving weekend everybody! Enjoy your time with family and friends. Safe travels if you’re on the road!

20 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Please, you should have won blog of the year for either the SWR Series or the passive option income information. Both are amazing insights packed full on actionable information. Hands down best FIRE site around! Keep it going! Actually I was looking into SEPP as a way to access funds. The most simple calculation was using the IRS life expectancy rates to determine the WR. Would be interested to see you analysis on that. (http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/72-t-distribution-calculator.aspx)

    1. Also, maybe you can tie the put selling to the glide path at the start of retirement. The 2 of them would seem to be the perfect match. As you are prepared to increase equity exposure you sell puts to generate income and if need be gain the exposure if the market falls. So in a way you really don’t lose as you need the exposure for the glide path anyway.

    2. Thanks for the confidence. That made my day!!! Let’s try another run for the Plutus next year! 🙂
      Glad you mention the Put writing strategy. Might be too exotic for a general audience! But the SWR research has definitely found a lot fans in the PF world!!!
      Thanks for the SEPP link. That must be the best calculator I have ever seen! I hope that I will never have to use it because we’ll have about 2/3 of our assets outside of retirement accounts. But I think combined with a Roth conversion ladder the SEPP will be a nice alternative for folks with a portfolio too heavy in 401k/regular-IRAs.

      1. Yes, although the roth conversion will still incur the 10% early penalty if done before 59 though. So for those too heavy deferred accounts (me 2/3 tax deferred), the SEPP is really the only way to avoid the 10% penalty. I guess the key with the SEPP though is to have a couple of accounts and maybe only SEPP on one as the issue is once started you have to continue till 59, but then again if you are too heavy on tax deferred accounts then again it might make sense to start getting it out. I wonder can you do a ROTH conversion and a SEPP?

  2. Thanks to you, ERN. Your comprehensive approach to the whole FIRE picture has added immense knowledge to my own FIRE journey. Now, go eat til you are miserable and watch football!

  3. Congratulations on your blogging success, ERN! While I also cover a lot of financial topics on my website, I have never invested in building my audience and don’t know the ‘ABC’ of SEO or any other internet marketing techniques. I derive pleasure from putting good content out there, and enjoying feedback from accomplished bloggers and financial experts. I am glad that my SWR research independently led to practically similar numbers are your exhaustive research did. That gives me confidence to use my 3.27% figure! Keep up this great work, ERN and may you win more accolades in the blogging world! Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving holiday.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving ERN, and wanted to say thanks for being on my “must read” list. I’ve learned so much from every post.

    Not sure what the criteria were for the Plutus awards, but in my book you’re the winner. The detail / intellectual rigor in your case studies is not exceeded anywhere else.

  5. Hey!! Happy thanksgiving to you too! Your blog has been a great inspiration for my boyfriend and I who are just starting our FIRE journey (from Sweden, heyyyya taxes ftw) and it is very cool to have blogs like yours to browse through to see that the goal is actually achievable 🙂
    Keep it up!!
    Freddie, http://www.thefireviking.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.