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Her clients come to her for a simple, reliable assessment of what to expect, and what to take action on. Our lives lately have looked slightly less than, er, adult. Some days we wonder why there are no grownups here to tell us what to do, instead just leaving us alone to do as we please with no structure whatsoever.
We are scared. Just as anyone doing something big and at least a little bit risky should be. Do the roller coastering markets have you concerned about the your early retirement plan? Sequence risk is by far the biggest risk early retirees face, and that risk can come from market crashes, long-term mediocre returns and even rising health care costs.
Fortunately, though, we can all put ourselves in a good position to head off that risk, without lengthening the timeline to early retirement, by making some smart choices with asset allocation and behavior. And not just to one point in time, but to many! Sounds wacky, right? We think we did this wrong in starting out our early retirement with too many things, including three trips, a long to do list, and a mad scramble to get out the door to our first big international trip to Taiwan. Or maybe we did it exactly right by accident?
We achieved early retirement and financial independence as DINKs dual income, no kids , and of course having kids would change a bunch of things. So tell us, what did we miss? After we realized that we would work in early retirement, we also realized that we needed an easy way to decide if an opportunity that came along was actually work we wanted to do.
Tell me how it went! Come enter! Contrary to popular lore, there are lots of early retirees and aspirants who are like us — NOT naturally frugal, and not naturally the most disciplined about money.
Today, a love letter to the atypical ones among us. Plus we talk about the challenge of projecting our income and revisit the benefits of keeping income low for health care purposes. Well, we did it! We retired early! The very last Monday of our working careers. The whole point of our early retirement was to be able to say yes more, and some of the things we really want to be able to say yes to, money aside.
I asked it of myself constantly as a kid, and I never really stopped even as an adult in a career.
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Which might partially explain how I got on an early retirement path. We officially have so few work days left that we can count them on our fingers and toes. Um, yeah, about that. How this point in time feels so different from what I expected. When we first moved to Tahoe, we ran the heat at what seemed like a reasonable cool temperature, 62 or 63 or so, but then got a three-digit natural gas bill that started with a 4.
Which means that we need a new set of systems to ensure our financial success, especially given our status as anti-budgeters. Just as we have a mission in early retirement to figure out what we want to do when we grow up, and to adventure more, we also have a mission to be more charitable, both by volunteering and by giving money directly to important causes. Which may seem harder when we have less cash flow coming in. But there are some good ways to build charitable giving into your retirement financial plan, including with a donor advised fund.
Spoiler: We loved every second. But that all ends now! Come meet the real humans behind Our Next Life. So many of us, upon learning about early retirement, dive in headfirst, and discover this community full of people working toward the same goal. And along the way, we adjust our baseline based on the people we meet here, and we might even forget that we are the outliers, not the normal ones. Check out our plan for living beyond our budget — and then let us know what we missed! Give it a read and then let us know what you think!
Can I just keep typing exclamation points and have that count as an intro? Come see where we are, and then share your Q3 progress with all of us! First up, an examination of the joint urges among FIers to DIY our lives and finances, but also to optimize as much as we can. Check out the DIY swag I made just for the lucky winners, and enter your guesses for where we live, what we do for work, and any other fun facts you want to throw out there. Good luck! The financial aspects of the early retirement journey are well trod at this point: reduce your expenses, save at a high rate, invest in assets that create passive income, blah blah blah.
Read on for plenty of evidence. With only about three months left to work — forever! But we also wonder, what are we forgetting? Come chime in! There is plenty of financial advice out there, including some very prescriptive advice about how to achieve financial independence or virtually any big goal you can think of.
The only problem is: that advice, while great for some, is guaranteed to be bad advice for others. We have. Better pay, more empowering conditions, parity, diversity, you name it. The later years are also so much harder to predict — more variables, a longer time horizon, more unknown unknowns. I blog about money, of course, so I think about it a fair amount — though less than when I was more obsessive in checking our balances and updating the spreadsheets. But I […]. Best of all, there are definitely some big picture conclusions that apply to all FI bloggers. Whether you blog or not, come check out what we learned about you guys.
Bonus: more charts and pictures than ever before! Which means, very few substances are good or bad for us no matter what. Instead, what matters is how much of them we take. What might be the problem, however, is the dose. Today is officially day in our countdown of workdays left before we pull the ripcord and end our careers. Which is exciting! How things finally got real, and the unexpected feelings that came with that.
Things have been moving quickly in the health care debate, which many of us on the verge of early retirement have been eyeing closely. Just this week, the latest Senate proposals to reform the Affordable Care Act and the later proposal to repeal it altogether were withdrawn. So where does that leave us all? What do we know? And more importantly, what do we still not know about health care and costs for early retirement? The place we call home is a place lots of other people call their vacation destination, and that makes for some interesting dynamics. A look at our new and revised definition of early retirement, and how the freedom to fail has helped us get here.
And while these things do make life easier, the question is: Is an easier life actually good for us? Is it good for our long-term brain health? And if we go into that beginning with a limited set of options, and no ability to change our course, we could be setting ourselves up for a less-than-ideal future. I spend a lot of time talking about the nobler aspects of early retirement like how it will give us time to do more volunteering. But can we all be honest? Then after we pull the plug, we have a different set of things to do. Are we missing anything?
Let us know! It is a natural thing to want to save money, and those of us pursuing huge financial goals innately find the idea of saving even more powerful. Today, recognizing when saving money is actually spending money, and how to keep the focus on the saving itself. We love that more and more people are talking about prenups these days more financial transparency between partners is great! The world is full of rankings telling us where the best places are to retire, but they tend to focus a lot on state tax rates and weather, even though surveys say that people care less about taxes and weather than other factors like overall cost of living and health care quality.
This post explores the health care quality factors we should all be weighting more heavily in deciding where to live in retirement, including some factors that none of the rankings take into account. But most of all, we want to hear from you guys on this one — what do you think all FIers have in common, and can anyone become an FIer? Come weigh in! Some possible fighting words today, as we delve into the question of whether it makes sense to think of both taxable funds and tax-advantaged retirement funds as one big pool of money.
Why does it matter? Because there are a bunch of potentially huge downsides to withdrawing traditional retirement funds early through Roth conversions or rule 72t distributions or different approaches that exist in other countries. And of course I was drawn to the ones that felt safer. Until I saw with my own eyes, in my own finances and my own life, that sometimes the safest choice of all is actually the most risky.
And that realization changed everything. Which is all nice in theory, but does that principle stand up in the real world? With this blog as our guinea pig, we put our ideals to the test. We have an opinion on this always do! In the last several months of contemplating leaving work, while doing a better job of saying no and setting boundaries woot! Bad news for a soon-to-be early retiree, right? Not at all! You can definitely love your job and still want to retire early — no insanity required! Think of your mission statement like a compass or GPS that helps you find your way if you ever start to wander off the path.
On the journey to early retirement, that means thinking about how we treat our money now, and not always thinking back about how we used to relate to it. A question we ask ourselves all the time is: Do we just want to retire early because deep down we feel bad at working? Which makes us wonder: for those special few who are seriously incredible at their jobs, would early retirement even enter their minds? The electronic timed tickets purchased online in advance save you time with fast-track security checks and no need to queue at the Eiffel Tower ticket offices. If you booked a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower, almost all tours included timed tickets with priority access as well.
Note that even with a pre-booked ticket, there is no guarantee of priority access as security protocol procedures are subject to change at any time. You can avoid queuing at the ticket booths by buying your ticket ahead of time online. Tickets can currently be purchased up to 60 days in advance and include a pre-booked timed access slot for the lifts.
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Pre-booked timed tickets include priority line access to the elevators. They will get you out of waiting in the ticket line, but you will still have to wait in line to board the elevators with the rest of the pre-booked ticket holders. We would recommend planning to be at the Eiffel Tower for at least 1. These are average times of visits for visitors provided by the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower has two major restaurants, a champagne bar, and several other self-service eateries and snack bars. It is currently being renovated and is closed until May Reservations needed. In the evening the ambiance is more formal, with a wine list and 3 course menu featuring classic French dishes. Reservations recommended.
The Champagne Bar is located on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower. Here visitors can enjoy a glass of bubbly while looking out over Paris. Reservations are not possible here but lines here are generally not long. The second floor has a macaroon bar that offers a rainbow of macaroon choices. There are free restrooms on the esplanade, first, second, and top floors of the Eiffel Tower.
There are baby changing facilities on the esplanade, first, and second floors. There is also the champagne bar at the summit.
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The Eiffel Tower was not built with accessibility or wheelchairs in mind, but modifications have been made to make the tower more accessible. For those with mobility issues, all floors can be accessed via elevator. There are steps from the ground to reach the second floor. The stairs are obviously not recommended for those with mobility difficulties. Visitors with wheelchairs can visit the first and second floor via lift, but wheelchair users are prohibited from visiting the top floor for safety reasons.
Disabled toilets are available on the esplanade behind the East pillar , first, and second floors. Most of the eateries and shops are wheelchair accessible as well. While many walking tours will take you around the outside of the Eiffel Tower, only a few include tickets and a visit to the Eiffel Tower.
Here are a couple of good options:. We have enjoyed visits to the Eiffel Tower in the morning, afternoon, and evening, and we can say that there is no bad time to visit. In the morning and afternoon you can really take in great views of Paris. In the evening the tower is illuminated with a beautiful yellowish glow and you can see all the city lit up from above. Sunset is a beautiful, but very popular, time to visit the Eiffel Tower.
If you prefer a quieter and less crowded visit, we recommend visiting either in the morning or the evening after dark. The least busy times are generally am to am and pm to pm. The Eiffel Tower is normally open days of the year, but the top observation decks occasionally close for maintenance in the winter and for weather related reasons.
Although unusual, it has also shut down several times in recent years for terrorist threats, strikes, and riots. You can find out about any planned closures on the official Eiffel Tower website. There are two different main areas in the Eiffel Tower: the 2nd floor observation deck, which is meters feet above Paris, and the summit observation deck, which is a staggering meters feet above the city.
Opinions vary on which is the better view, and both are well worth seeing. The second floor gives you a better view of Paris and its landmarks. You are still low enough to see some of the nuances and details of the surrounding buildings and areas. This is our preferred viewpoint.
This is the highest viewpoint in the city and all the details below blend together, making it more difficult to make out individual landmarks. The effect can be dizzying! Every night 20, bulbs twinkle in tandem alongside projector spotlights to create an amazing sparking light show. The light show occurs every night, on the hour, from sunset until am. The shimmering display of sparkling lights lasts 5 minutes, except for the last, 1AM show, which is 10 minutes long. The last show of the night is also the most dramatic because the yellow lights that illuminate the tower itself are turned off, giving the twinkling lights a backdrop of darkness.
The best way to view the Eiffel Tower light show is actually at a distance, not from the Eiffel Tower itself. You can watch the show from anywhere in Paris where you can see the Eiffel Tower. You can also get a nice view from the Montparnasse Tower. Because it is such a popular attraction, avoiding the crowds at the Eiffel Tower can be tricky.
There is almost always a crowd. That said, there are a few things you can do to work around the crowds:. The area around the Eiffel Tower can be very pricey, as hotels here are popular and in high demand. Hotel room prices can vary dramatically depending on the time of year. Looking for a room or apartment? Check out these great Paris listings on Airbnb near the Tower. Another good value option is to stay with a local using a service like Homestay.
We used Homestay in Paris and had a terrific and unique local experience. The 60 acre park is a great place for a picnic, stroll, and photos in the shadow of the mighty tower.
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It is also known for its living garden that covers parts of the museum. A popular family attraction, especially on a rainy day. It is housed in a 18th century mansion, once the home and studio of Rodin, and here you can see some of his most famous works, like The Thinker, in addition to some beautiful gardens. Laurence and I have both visited the Eiffel Tower multiple times.
My first experience was visiting the Eiffel Tower when I was 16 years old, my first trip to Europe. I was visiting as part of a tour arranged by a community college and it mainly consisted of college professors and students. We visited the tower and had dinner at the 58 Tour Eiffel on our first night which was an amazing experience. It is a strange thing to see one of the most famous landmarks in the world in real life. It is something that almost everyone in the world has seen in books, in films, and on posters, so it is both a familiar and an awe-inspiring site.
Each time we come here we seem to notice something new, whether it is an architectural detail, an exhibition, or a new angle. The stairs not only allow you to avoid the elevator lines and buy a less expensive ticket, but they also allow you and perhaps force you to get a better sense of the size and pay attention to the architectural details. All those rivets! The views are the main reason people visit but be sure to walk around and explore what else you can discover on each floor.
Make sure to stop at the first floor if you have time as it generally has exhibitions where you can learn more about the tower and you can walk across the transparent floor. Although the actual structure of the Tour Eiffel has changed relatively little since its creation, security issues have changed the nature of the visit here. During our first visits to the Eiffel Tower, you could simply walk underneath and around the tower without going through any sort of security. On our last visit, we had to wait for over 40 minutes in line just to get through the perimeter security.
If you come here during a particularly busy period without tickets, you could spend 3 hours in various lines before reaching the 2nd floor. So I would definitely book your tickets in advance if you plan to visit by elevator to be able to join the priority line for the elevators.
Or join a tour or take the stairs. This is why we keep coming back! Below we provide tips for photographing the Eiffel Tower from both inside the Eiffel Tower as well as from a distance. When you get inside the Eiffel Tower, there are two types of shots to go for: close up shots of the structure and shots of the Paris cityscape from the various levels of the tower. Classic shots are from different angles underneath the structure. On the 1st level, you can get shots of the structure from a lower level and also see through the transparent floor to the people milling around on the esplanade.
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Once you are on the observation decks of the 2nd floor and summit, you can focus on the cityscape shots. Whilst tripods are as of last check allowed through the security at the Eiffel Tower, they are generally not recommended if you are planning to go up the tower as there is often not much space to set them up on the observation decks. For the best pictures from the tower you should check the weather before visiting.
A cloudy, misty day might look dramatic from the ground, but it will likely just look gray from the viewing platforms.