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The Retire By 40 Value Proposition


Last month, Financial Samurai challenged his blogger friends to reflect on their sites and write down their value proposition. Your time is valuable I would like to be helpful and entertaining in the 5 minutes you spend here. There are millions of sites around the world and we need to differentiate Retire By 40 to maintain quality and to grow. I would like to go over the reasons why I think you should keep coming back to make sure they are in line with what you expect. I need your feedback on this post and would really appreciate a comment.

The Retire By 40 Value Proposition

The retirement journey. The first and foremost reason for this blog’s existence is to keep track of my journey toward an early exit from a corporate career. There are thousands of personal finance blogs, but only a few are focused on early retirement. Many of my posts are about the incremental steps needed to leave the corporate job and I think many readers enjoy reading about the ongoing effort and progress. I write encouraging posts like Go It Alone and also explore the opposing view with Don’t Quit Your Job to Follow Your Dream. I believe this is helpful to readers who are thinking about a career change or early retirement.

Frugal lifestyle. Let’s face it, we all need to work toward being less dependent on our day job. The corporations only care about you as long as you can contribute to the bottom line. If there is another big downturn, we need to be ready to face more layoffs. The RB40 family is better than the average American family at being frugal and it’s a big part of my early retirement plan. Some people are better at making money and some are better at saving money. As one of the latter, I try to inject some personal experience and personality into our frugal posts. We cook at home, share one car, and are spending much less than we make. All these steps will help with early retirement.

Passive Income. Spending less is only the part of the game plan. We built up our saving and are converting a large part of that into passive income through rental properties, dividend stocks, P2P lending, and more. I have a good job and earn a good wage from the corporation, but passive income will lead to financial independence. Here is a recent post on how to start making passive income to get you going.

Collaborative efforts. I want to learn from you and enable you to share your experiences. I am learning so many new things through comments and private emails which will help me on my journey. In my HARP 2.0 post, there are many comments from home owners going through similar experiences and quite a few very helpful readers. I will probably have to add a forum to the site to further increase collaboration.

Baby. I think many readers enjoy reading about our cute baby and seeing his progress. Is this true? 🙂

retire by 40 baby

The perfect picture for the high school graduation party

Post retirement. My plan is to quit the corporate job and become a stay at home dad for a few years. After that, I plan to work for myself and never go back to a corporation again. Quitting the corporate job is only the first step. Many people quit their job, but eventually go back to work. Staying out of the corporate world will be huge challenge and will be a large part of Retire By 40’s future.

In conclusion, Retire By 40 takes all of the above and wrap it up in an easily digestible package. Any one of these topic by itself can be found scattered all over the internet, but here the readers can follow an average Joe’s progress and be inspired to plan for the future. Retiring by 40 is not easy, but keep cheering for me and I’ll get there. Let me know if I’m on the right track with the blog! What can I do to improve your experience here?

Thank you for stopping by!


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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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{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Forest June 12, 2012, 6:06 pm

    You provide good strong writing on a range of subjects that interest me, a lot of value there for us readers :). Keep up the good work.

    • retirebyforty June 13, 2012, 7:36 am

      Thanks Forest!

  • Darwin's Money May 17, 2012, 7:35 pm

    Plenty of value here for me to keep coming back, keep it up!

  • SavvyFinancialLatina May 17, 2012, 8:28 am

    I just turned 22, and enjoy reading your blog! I love it because it gives me hope for the future, and it also allows me to start strategizing my PF goals. 🙂

    • retirebyforty May 17, 2012, 10:38 am

      Thanks! I’m glad I can help a young person. You are way ahead of many people. 🙂

  • Christa May 17, 2012, 6:54 am

    My favorite part of your blog is Baby RB40! Reading how you incorporate raising a baby in with your plan to retire early is really inspiring — maybe because my own baby days are drawing so near!

    The biggest takeaway that I’ve gotten from reading your blog is that I need some passive income. When I get to the point where I can buy investment properties, I intend to do so. So definitely keep the passive income posts coming!

    • retirebyforty May 17, 2012, 10:38 am

      Thanks! Baby RB40 is a lot of fun. I will try to feature him in more posts.

  • Elaine Colliar May 17, 2012, 5:03 am

    I love that everything slots together – that family and finances and goals and musings all make up a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    So many people focus on the “being frugal” side of the equation – you have it so right that the other components (increasing revenue) are what make you dream a possibility.

    But I confess – I am now sorely tempted to craft my own “Value Proposition” – not just for my site …. but for my life!

    • retirebyforty May 17, 2012, 10:37 am

      That’s a great idea. I need to work on the value proposition for my life too. What can we add value to our world?

  • do my writing homework May 17, 2012, 3:49 am

    I’m wondering what your employer think when he’s reading your blog – which is awesome, by the way! Passive income and personal development opportunities are probably the most important things after the early retirement. And I really want to travel then!

    • retirebyforty May 17, 2012, 10:36 am

      Hopefully my boss is not reading this blog yet. 🙂

  • Kim May 16, 2012, 6:32 pm

    I enjoy learning about passive streams of income and look forward to posts on those topics.

  • [email protected]&More May 16, 2012, 4:36 pm

    I just recently started following your blog but you seem on track to me! I enjoy the posts and try to apply what works for me 🙂

  • virginia May 16, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I really enjoy your blog. You are a good writer and have similar goals to mine. I don’t think I have seen you actually share the details of your finances though and I think you should do that if you have a PF blog.

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 3:51 pm

      What kind of financial details would you like to see? I don’t think a net worth post will really add much, but maybe I can do one in the future. I think my monthly cash flow posts are very informative and it shows how we deal with our finances.

  • Broke Professionals May 16, 2012, 11:47 am

    Of course I want to see more of that beautiful baby! Getting that glimpse of your family life makes you more relatable, human, and less of just an anonymous blogger.

    I also love reading about your career/retirement goals. I know it’s unlikely that I’ll be out of the workforce so you, so I guess I enjoy vicariously sharing in your situation through those posts.

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 3:49 pm

      Cool! I will add more pictures then. 😉

  • Frugal Portland May 16, 2012, 11:32 am

    this is great. I come back to your blog because your writing is so honest, and it’s refreshing to show someone really struggling with big lifestyle decisions.

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 3:49 pm

      Thanks! I am having a big struggle. It’s tough to walk away from a nice stable paycheck.

  • Matt May 16, 2012, 10:22 am

    Joe, I really enjoy your site. I read 4 financail blogs daily (would read more but limit myself becuase of my work habit) and yours is one of them. I am most interested in 1. your personal stories about your journey, 2. The passive income generation and real estate investing, 3. And the problems/joys of raising a child while planning and executing early retirment.

    Opportunities for improvement? maybe add a forum where like minded individuals could further discuss their own journeys and help one another. Not a necessity but could be an interesting social experiement. and you might get a blog post or two inspired by the side conversations.

    keep it up!

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 3:48 pm

      Matt, it’s an honor to be part of your final 4! 🙂
      Thanks for the feedback. I will work on more personal stories.
      I don’t know how to create a forum and will need to do some research or hire someone. It is going to take time, but I will get started on it.

  • RichUncle EL May 16, 2012, 9:08 am

    I like the idea behind the value proposition and I am considering doing the same on my site. I have enjoyed reading some of your post since I am a new to your site. I appreciate all the honesty and the way you can share in full detail your financial snapshot as of now. Keep it up.

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 3:47 pm

      Thanks for the feedback!

  • Financial Samurai May 16, 2012, 8:23 am

    Joe, you could be the first blogger to take up my encouragement for everyone to write their own value proposition!

    I enjoy your journey, always wondering what’s next. It’s like a good book, and something I’m incorporating on my site as well.

    Perhaps once a week, a personal story, with other types of posts in between.

    I think you can go deeper into your value proposition and talk about your background, education, experiences etc.


    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 9:48 am

      I’m surprised that more people didn’t take up your challenge. I always try to add more personal touches, but I’ll work on more personal stories as well.
      Thanks for the suggestions.

      • Sam May 16, 2012, 6:48 pm

        I’m sure if I entitled it, “Google Loves Value Propositions”, I’m pretty sure the majority of bloggers would write one. Ive had some great discussions with Googlers, and writing one is a no brainer.

        It’s funny how people can’t recOgnize it’s value!

  • Kurt @ Money Counselor May 16, 2012, 7:50 am

    Joe, I enjoy your blog, and I particularly enjoy our openness about you and your wife’s thought processes as you approach your retirement goal. Voluntarily giving up a well-paying job is not an easy decision, and one few would make, I think! To me it’s interesting how you work your way to the day you actually turn in your resignation, and how you and your wife decide that’s the best long-term decision for your family.

    Also, I’m curious: Is your employer unaware of your blogging life? If not, what’s its reaction to your lifeplan?

    • retirebyforty May 16, 2012, 9:46 am

      It is very difficult to walk away from a well paying job. The employer doesn’t want you to leave if you have been performing well and it’s hard to cut off the stable paycheck.
      I’m semi anonymous so the employer does not know about my blog. If they dig hard enough, I’m sure they can find out, but I’m sure they have more pressing problems.

  • John @ Married (with Debt) May 16, 2012, 6:31 am

    I’m a fan of early retirement, and you are right, there aren’t that many voices in this arena (when compared to straight personal finance blogs). Your message is focused on building the life you want, not on how to keep your head above water in a system that is designed to keep you working until age 70. For me, this is why I return.

    • retirebyforty May 17, 2012, 10:35 am

      Thanks for the input. I’m glad I picked the right niche when I started blogging. 🙂

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