I hope I don’t disappoint anyone by revealing that my real name isn’t Ern. Or Big Ern. But I am a big guy, at 6’6″ (just under 2 meters), which explains why the name “Big Ern” stuck! My real name is Karsten. I am originally from Germany but came to the U.S. in 1995. Initially as an exchange student at Purdue University and then for my Master’s and Ph.D. in economics at the University of Minnesota. After graduating, I got my first “real” job at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and I also did a number of side gigs/hustles: teaching both undergraduate and Ph.D.-level economics at Emory University in Atlanta. In 2008, I moved to San Francisco to join the research department of a large investment manager. I recently notified my employer of my plans to retire early and I will slowly transition out of my job by June of 2018. Stay tuned for updates on this blog!

I am married to my beautiful wife Kristal who is also an immigrant. She’s from the Philippines originally, and just like me, she’s become a U.S. citizen after spending many years in this country by now. Our four-year-old daughter Kati is the sunshine of our lives and definitely one big motivator for us to retire early and spend more time with each other. So, my wife has also just quit her job as a nurse (RN) and she will join me on this journey.

Our Blog

In the large spectrum of existing Early Retirement blogs, where is our niche? We hope that people will enjoy our views on everything financial. Sometimes we read other blogs and we have something intelligent and new to say, but by posting in the comments section, not many people will get to see it. We like to create a permanent record, share our views with a hopefully larger audience and get feedback and suggestions for our journey to Early Retirement. Some of the topics we write about:

More info

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4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi, I enjoy your site. We’re close to becoming FI and will probably stay working just a bit longer (maybe a year or two) since our we don’t hate our jobs and like our company. We just have to deal with the corporate BS but it can be a lot worst. I sense many bloggers going public in 2018! Awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thanks for stopping by. Sorry, your note landed in the spam folder initially. No idea why. But I guess comments on the “About” page face higher scrutiny from the akismet anti-spam software.
      Anyways, glad we could connect. I saw your blog already and enjoy your work. Yes, 2017-18 should see a lot of folks finally pulling the plug!
      Stay in touch!

      PS: I now closed this page for comments. It seems that the spam filter just filters out even legitimate messages on the “About” page.
      If you want to contact us please do so via the contact tab or leave a comment after one of our blog posts, 🙂
      Mr. ERN


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