The Biggest Rock

No doubt you heard of the Big Rocks metaphor in setting priorities, focusing attention, and managing one's time. It says you should focus on things that make the biggest difference and not get distracted by small things. When you put big rocks, pebbles, and sand into a jar, you should put the big rocks in first, followed by pebbles, then sand. If you put sand and pebbles in first, your big rocks won't fit. In personal finance we face a lot of decisions. Some of them are big rocks; some are [...]

Opportunity Cost and The Concept of Enough

I didn't expect my previous post on early retirement and opportunity cost to be controversial. I thought it was just a matter of fact. There is an opportunity cost in everything; early retirement is no exception. Pointing out the opportunity cost is [...]

Proactively Protect Your Account Against Fraud

This post brought to you by Chase. The content and opinions expressed below are that of The Finance Buff. At work, we have some visitors from another country. While chatting with them at lunch, I heard they were very careful with using their bank [...]

Deathbed Regret And The Puritan Work Ethic

By now you probably heard of the story of deathbed regrets. Bronnie Ware was an Australian hospice nurse. She worked with many patients during their last days. She summarized her patients' deathbed regrets in a blog post, which she then turned into a [...]

Cheer For The Second Best

We all want the best in everything, the best vacuum cleaner, the best smartphone, the best investment allocation. Many businesses make a good profit in helping people figure out what are the best: Yelp for restaurants, TripAdvisor for hotels, CNET [...]

Early Retirement and Comparative Advantage

I sometimes hear that one way to achieve early retirement is by lowering your required budget in retirement. If you can live on $25k a year after you retire, you only need to accumulate half as much as you do when you must have $50k a year. When you [...]

2016 and 2017 HSA Contribution Limits

The contribution limits for various tax advantaged accounts for the following year are usually announced in the fall, except for HSA, which come out in the spring. The IRS announced contribution limits for Health Savings Account (HSA) for 2017. Due [...]