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Please Welcome Our New Staff Writer

by Mike Collins on January 10, 2014 · 13 comments

in financial independence, staff

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Hey Everyone,

welcome staff writerPlease welcome our new staff writer – Mike Collins. As some of you know, 2013 was a very good year for us, but one of things that didn’t go well was my time management. I felt like I didn’t have time to do anything. Being a stay at home dad took a huge amount of my time and I mostly worked on Retire by 40 at night. My mom was here for part of the year and that was great because I could go to the library to work a couple of hours every day. However, She’s back home now and it’s all I can do to keep up with the writing. Even with RB40 Jr. going to preschool 2 times per week, I still don’t have enough time to do everything I’d like.

This year, I’m getting some help on a few things. I have a writer and a VA for my other site, Midlife Finance, and it’s mostly on autopilot now. For Retire by 40, I want to bring on a staff writer to help out a couple of times a month. That will give me time to do some of the things on my to-do list and bring a little diversity to Retire by 40.

Check out my to do list and let me know if you have any suggestions for this site.

  • Clean up RB40′s look. Our theme is getting dated and I need to update it.
  • Revamp the about and start here pages.
  • Add a forum so readers can interact with each other more.
  • Optimize RB40 for speed. I need to remove and replace some plugins.
  • Set up a responsive theme so mobile users can have a good viewing experience.
  • Clean up some old articles and repost.
  • Buy a few new domains and possibly start a new site. I need another site for a complete portfolio – good, better, and best.

As you can see, there is a lot of stuff to do and not enough time to do them. Without further ado, I’d like to let Mike tell you a little bit about himself.

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

…I’m a man of wealth and taste (Sorry, I couldn’t resist channeling a little Mick Jagger).

My name is Mike Collins and I own, a personal finance blog where I talk about my efforts to build wealth and achieve financial freedom for my family.

I was really excited when Joe asked me to contribute to RB40 because of all the personal finance blogs out there, I think Joe’s most closely fits my own ideals and priorities.

No, I will not be able to retire by age 40, at least not if you’re talking about the traditional definition of retirement.  But the idea of sitting in a rocking chair with nothing to do all day doesn’t appeal to me anyway.  Instead, I’d rather focus on a more fluid definition of retirement…one in which I support my family through semi-passive streams of income rather than slaving away at a corporate job.

Corporate Life

I’ve never really enjoyed corporate life and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.  While I wouldn’t say I hate my job, I don’t find it very rewarding either.  I’m just so sick of office politics, cost containment, and pathetic raises.  Salary increases barely keep up with the cost of living, so the only way to get ahead is to move further up the ladder.  But I’ve learned that each rung you move up brings more responsibilities and more demands on your time…which is the opposite of what I want!

I don’t want to sit in a corner office looking at pictures of my family.  I want to be with them.  I want to be there for my kids and enjoy them while they’re still young.  I want to have the freedom and flexibility to help my kids with their homework and surprise my wife by taking her to breakfast while the kids are at school.  Corporate life just isn’t compatible with what’s important to me.

Of course, since I have a family to feed I can’t just quit my job without a plan.  So right now I’m focused on becoming less and less dependent on the salary I earn from my day job and developing new income streams that don’t require constant oversight.

Passive Income

I’m a big fan of stocks that pay dividends because they generate passive income as long as you own the stock.  My portfolio is pretty small right now but one of my goals is to continue acquiring quality dividend stocks (and reinvesting those dividends) until they grow enough to throw off a steady stream of income.

The other part of my plan involves building online streams of income through my blog and some other smaller web sites, as well as offering freelance writing services.  To me, an online business is perfect because there are very low barriers to entry and you can build it up around your own schedule.

What kind of articles can you expect from me?

Joe has given me free reign to write about whatever I like, but I would expect I’ll write mostly about my efforts to manage our finances, build new income streams, and achieve financial independence for my family.

As a father of three young children I know all too well the challenges faced by the average American family.  My goal is to help you make smart financial choices so you can have the freedom and time to do what matters most to you…and hopefully keep you entertained along the way.

It’s going to be a fun ride!  Please feel free to drop me a comment below and stop by my blog to say hi so I can get to know you a little better.

Mike Collins is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance topics. He’s also a husband and father of three children who keep him very busy.  You can read more about his quest to achieve financial freedom for his family at

Photo credit: Flickr notashamed

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

moneystepper January 10, 2014 at 3:51 am

Hi Mike, I look forward to reading your articles in the future.

I completely agree with your definition of retirement!


Mike Collins January 10, 2014 at 8:11 am

Thanks MoneyStepper…I’m looking forward to contributing!


EL @ Moneywatch101 January 10, 2014 at 6:14 am

Big moves for you Joe, looking forward to reading some of your posts Mike. Maybe you can join me in the Retire by 48 movement. ( Not a blog, but my desired age to retire)


talkcarinsurance January 10, 2014 at 6:47 am

Hi Mike, good luck. You are my kind of a person and looking forward to reading your articles. I never felt comfortable with working for someone else and always started something new. Some worked and so didn’t work but I always tried new things and gave my hundred percent. What I like to do and learn more is how to manage my finances. I seem to do the wrong thing all the time. Basically, I don’t know when to hold and when to fold. That is what I want to learn.


Mike Collins January 10, 2014 at 8:12 am

Thanks EL…48 is certainly more realistic for me than 40.


Dear Debt January 10, 2014 at 8:13 am

I’m looking forward to the changes at Retire by 40 and see what you have in store. Welcome, to Mike as well!


Done by Forty January 10, 2014 at 8:51 am

All the best with the changes, and I’m looking forward to hearing a new voice here.


payitoff January 10, 2014 at 9:44 am

yay welcome Mike! you said the same thoughts that run in my head. more income means more responsibility means higher position, means lesser time for yourself and your family.. which is the total opposite of what i want. im looking forward to your posts and get more inspiration from you and Joe.

Thanks Joe !


Mike Collins January 10, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome!


Dividend Mantra January 10, 2014 at 8:28 pm


Welcome aboard! As a fellow dividend (growth) investor, I can appreciate your investment strategy and overarching goals. I hope you continue to find opportunities to invest in high quality companies. And I also look forward to seeing your posts here at RB40.


Congrats on your success and the ability to have a little more time for yourself and your family. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Best wishes.


Bryce @ Save and Conquer January 11, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Nice to meet you, Mike. I can empathize with your desire to earn more, but not have to move up the ladder at work. I told my workplace that I do not want to be promoted to upper management. I am most happy being a senior engineer, creating hardware designs that are used in outer space, taking those designs through the manufacture and testing phases, and seeing the hardware actually fly. If I were further promoted, I would have to manage more people, and work less on design. Not my cup of tea.


Little House January 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Welcome, Mike. This is one of my favorite blogs and I look forward to reading your contributions!


Our Fine Adventure January 13, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Welcome Mike! Looking forward to reading your contributions on RB40!


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