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Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and enjoyed some quality time with your loved ones. We stayed home, relaxed, cooked, watched TV, and ate all day. It was great! We haven’t had a relaxing day like this since last Thanksgiving. We’re not planning to go anywhere on Friday either. We’ve not brave enough to face the Black Friday crowd.

Thanksgiving was great, but there was one dramatic episode with RB40Jr. He found Mrs. RB40’s old harmonica and he was having a grand old time playing with it. The problem was when he went to the restroom. Suddenly, we heard “I dropped it in the toilet!!! Wahhh!!!” It turned out he was trying to hold the harmonica in his mouth while he’s urinating… Actually, that’s hilarious. This will be a great story to tell every Thanksgiving. He’ll never live this down. Anyway, Thanksgiving is the time to reflect and be thankful and I’d like to share what I’m most grateful for this year.

Rental rehab is almost over

Whew, the last 2 weeks has been pretty crazy with the rental rehab. I haven’t done manual labor like this since high school, when I worked in my parent’s small restaurant. Now I see why it’s so tough for manual laborers to side hustle. You don’t have much energy left after 8 hours of physical labor. I just wanted to eat and rest. It was much harder to blog than after a full day in the office.

It’s almost over, though. The flooring guys will put down the last (3rd) coat of finishing on the floor on Friday. Then I’ll finish up the painting and touch up on Saturday. I’ll reserve Sunday and Monday for final clean up. I need to put in doorstops, hang up a mirror, touch up the paint, and put the shelves back into the closet. I’ll have to put off replacing the bathroom sink until the next turnover. There is no time left. I’m really looking forward to going back to the old routine of being a stay at home dad.


I’m very thankful for my little family unit. RB40Jr is a great kid and we have a ton of fun together. He was going through the “punching everyone” phase, but I think that’s passing. He went a whole week without punching anyone! Even his teacher was amazed.

My mom is also here for an extended visit and I’m very grateful for her help. She is babysitting junior while I work at the rental home. I would have had to hire out the whole rehab job if she wasn’t here to help.

Of course, I’m most grateful for having an incredibly supportive wife. Mrs. RB40 is the best. We have many of the same goals in life and we’re working toward them as a team.

It’s too bad my dad and my brothers aren’t here this year. It would have been nice to have the whole family here. On the other hand, I’m very glad none of us had to travel this Thanksgiving. It sounds like a nightmare with the heightened security.


I’m very grateful everyone in my family is relatively healthy. Life is much more enjoyable when you’re healthy.

Financial security

We are very fortunate to be financially secure. I had decent income for 16 years and invested a sizeable portion of it from the beginning. Mrs. RB40 has been making good income, too and her job is very stable. We have been very lucky to build our wealth from the ground up without any long term disruptions. Sure, there were recessions and stock market meltdowns, but all that worked out because we are long term investors.

I don’t feel wealthy because we live modestly. However, I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to weather most financial setbacks. We have diverse streams of income and we could draw upon our savings if we need to. Even if Mrs. RB40 lost her job, we would be fine for quite a while.

Freedom to work

Lastly, I’m extremely grateful for the freedom to work on what I want. I’ve been a stay at home dad/blogger for over 3 years and I still love it. I just reread a Thanksgiving post I wrote in 2011 and I could smell the desperation for a 4 day weekend. I’m really glad I don’t feel like that anymore. Mrs. RB40 helped make this possible and I hope she can join me soon. She plans to retire by 2020. Our passive income can’t cover our living expense yet, but I think we will be there in 5 years.

That’s it for today. I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Have a safe shopping trip if you’re braving the crowds.

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Michael @ Financially Alert November 30, 2015, 2:28 am

    Haha, love your RB40Jr. harmonica story Joe! Too funny.

    Hope you enjoyed the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend. Time for some Cyber Monday fun. 🙂

  • Merlion November 27, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I am thankful that I can afford to work part-time and choose to work only when I want to. I am also grateful for my family, friends and my health to enjoy sports. It was sunny and a balmy 75oF here where I live and I spent the day outside with friends playing pickleball. Thanks Joe for your blog and everything you do to help us along our path to being financially independent.

    • retirebyforty November 28, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Your life sounds just about perfect. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment and happy holidays!

  • Smart Money MD November 27, 2015, 3:37 pm

    I feel anxiety every single year when my work schedule is made to determine who works on Black Friday after Thanksgiving. I can’t wait for the day I stop worrying about having to depend on a work schedule to decide whether I can visit family on holidays. Good to know I have a goal to work towards.

    • retirebyforty November 28, 2015, 3:05 pm

      My brother is an emergency room physician and his schedule is pretty crazy. We’re going to visit him this Christmas and I hope he has a day or two off. Happy holidays!

  • Justin November 27, 2015, 7:54 am

    Happy Thanksgiving! Wealth, freedom, flexibility, family. Plenty of stuff to be thankful for this year!

    • retirebyforty November 27, 2015, 11:24 am

      Thanks, I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend also.

  • Mike Drak November 27, 2015, 6:52 am

    Joe your comment “I don’t feel wealthy because we live modesty” really struck a cord. Whenever I start thinking like that I remind myself of the story about the Mexican Fisherman. It reminds me about what is really important and what is not.

    • retirebyforty November 27, 2015, 11:24 am

      Right. I don’t need to feel wealthy. Life is already great. There is no reason to struggle so much.

  • Pennypincher November 27, 2015, 3:32 am

    The old “I dropped something in the toilet!” scene, every parent dreads. Sounds like RBjr40 was multitasking.
    A three or four day workweek is so very civilized for everyone. What a better world it would be.
    Saw a great greeting card the other day. The cover said Retirement. Inside it read: Best job I’ve ever had! Congrats on finishing the rental unit in record time. Impressive!

    • retirebyforty November 27, 2015, 11:23 am

      He was devastated. Mrs. RB40 cleaned up the harmonica. I hope she did a good job because that goes in your mouth…
      I didn’t finish everything I wanted to do on the rental. That’s okay, though. We did plenty already.

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