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“Should I Invest In Real Estate?  Or Buy Stocks?”
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“Should I Invest In Real Estate? Or Buy Stocks?”

A reader writes: "My spouse and I are in our late 60s and we've wanted to buy an investment property near our home for a long time. Our current home is almost paid for and we have no consumer debt. "I'm looking to make a move on the condo purchase with IRA funds, but have not done it yet. Looks like if I rent it ...

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Don’t Buy a Home on Active Duty
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Don’t Buy a Home on Active Duty

A reader writes: "My spouse and I don't have a house to use as a tax shelter. We are transferring to a new duty station on the coast for 22 months and I am seriously thinking about buying a house there. Why throw away money on rent when we can buy and have a mortgage of about half of our housing allowance? It's in a ...

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Seven Benefits of the VA Home Loan
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Seven Benefits of the VA Home Loan

This guest post is from Randy Prothero, a Hawaii real estate agent and team leader of “The Prothero Group” at Island Style Realty, an Oahu Real Estate Team. The VA loan is a government-backed, but privately lended, home loan available to veterans or those currently serving in the military (including active-duty ...

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Extreme home improvement: DIY photovoltaic array
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Extreme home improvement: DIY photovoltaic array

Local solar? Last week's post on photovoltaic systems presented the finances without much engineering. We had a guest post this week on more photovoltaic "rent vs own" decisions, but this post will focus on the construction. When I describe the system that we built, our choices were mostly driven by finances. ...

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The Bright Side of Solar Power Purchase Agreements
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The Bright Side of Solar Power Purchase Agreements

I recently signed a Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and had Ten Photovoltaic (PV) panels installed on the roof of the GubMints Home. I have been 'kicking the tires' of rooftop solar for about 2 years now, soliciting bids once every 6-10 months. Until recently, most of the bids involved an outlay of anywhere ...

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Book Review: “Rent vs. Own”
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Book Review: “Rent vs. Own”

When you're striving for financial independence, does it really make sense to rent instead of owning your own home? One of the hidden costs of serving your country is relocating all over the world. The moving process is hard enough: my spouse and I have 19 duty stations between us, and we spent more of our careers ...

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Guest Post Wednesday: “Thinking of Retiring Abroad?  Buy Homes in Costa Rica! Check Out A ‘Dual Guide’ On What You Need to Know!”
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Guest Post Wednesday: “Thinking of Retiring Abroad? Buy Homes in Costa Rica! Check Out A ‘Dual Guide’ On What You Need to Know!”

"Are you thinking of retiring abroad to enjoy ‘the good life’ after decades of dedicated, back-breaking labor, and you want to know how Costa Rica real estate is doing?" (Editor's note:  Today's Guest Post Wednesday features an unusual spin on financial independence.  The expert who's interviewed for this post spent ...

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Guest Post Wednesday:  5 Benefits of VA Home Loans
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Guest Post Wednesday: 5 Benefits of VA Home Loans

This guest post is brought to you by Tali Wee of Zillow.   (If you're interested in writing a guest post, please see our guest posting guidelines.) Veterans and active-duty service members who are considering purchasing a home should evaluate the significant advantages of Veterans Affairs home loans (VA loans). ...

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Save Money by Fixing Your Own Plumbing
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Save Money by Fixing Your Own Plumbing

Everybody wants to save money to reach financial independence, but it's even more challenging to avoid unnecessary expenses. Sometimes "spending avoidance" requires sweat equity, training, and experience. Other times you can avoid expenses with a little knowledge and good habits. The trick is to find the balance where ...

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So you want to be a landlord.
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So you want to be a landlord.

    Another content-heavy, link-filled post to get you through the weekend! I recently read a Reddit question that also describes how servicemembers turn into landlords: I'm in the military, eligible for a housing allowance based on my rank and typical rent levels for this ZIP code. I see the following ...

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Covering a Mortgage in Retirement – How Not Paying Off Your Mortgage Can Lead to More Financial Flexibility and a Larger Investment Portfolio
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Covering a Mortgage in Retirement – How Not Paying Off Your Mortgage Can Lead to More Financial Flexibility and a Larger Investment Portfolio

Conventional wisdom claims that retirees shouldn't carry debt. If you're going to enjoy retirement then you want to minimize your non-discretionary expenses and maximize your entertainment! discretionary spending. However, military retirees (and retirees with annuities) have the “unusual” situation of highly ...

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