Archives for June 7, 2018

Airbnb vs. Hotels Price Comparison Chart

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

airbnbMary Meeker is a partner at famous venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Many people follow her annual presentation about internet trends, and you can view the entire 294 slide deck here.

It’s a lot of information, but there are some interesting links that she makes that relate to personal finance. For example, you can start with the observation that housing costs are an increasing portion of household spending:

Next, you might notice that new houses are getting bigger while the number of people living in them are actually shrinking:

Finally, the success of Airbnb shows that there is a ready supply of people willing to rent out part of their property to help pay for the mortgage. The fact that it’s often cheaper than hotels helps the demand:

Airbnb can estimate your income as a host if renting out a private room, in-law unit, or entire house. You can share a spare room in your apartment or do a pseudo-“home swap” by renting out your whole home the next time you’re out of town. You can open your space for one day or all year.

I like how Airbnb helps connect people displaced by natural disaster and those with open rooms. Right now, they are helping to shelter people affected by the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii.

We stayed at Airbnb’s in Europe and it was great for a family with little kids. We could cook simple meals in the kitchen and eat around a real dining table. You felt more like a local family. If you’ve never stayed at an Airbnb, you can get $40 in travel credit towards your first rental with my referral link. I believe I will get $20 of credit after your first booking. Thanks if you use it.

Before booking, I would definitely read review and look for a “Superhost” if possible. Here is a NY Times article with Airbnb tips from a former Superhost.

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (Book Notes)

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

retirehappy

After finishing the book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski, I am surprised at how unique it is. After all these years, this may be the first book I’ve read that directly explores the non-financial aspects of retirement. There are no historical rates of return, compound interest charts, or income strategies. Consider:

  • How will you create meaning in your life?
  • What activities will you keep your mind and body in top shape?
  • Who will you spend your time with?
  • What kind of environment do you want to surround yourself?

I’ve already written about two interesting points inside: Listing 10 activities you’d like to do in retirement, and the differences between a retirement activity and a job. Here are the rest of my book notes.

On going back to some form of paid work after official retirement:

A research study released in 2001 by Cornell University psychologists found that, particularly for men, employment after official retirement is beneficial for their psychological wellbeing. Those who retire from their primary career, but then find some sort of other work, are the happiest and suffer the least depression. Surprisingly, the researchers didn’t find much difference for women who go back to work after retiring versus those who don’t. No reasons were given for this important difference between the sexes.

On separating yourself from your job:

Many professionals miss their personal career space and some have been known to rent office space after they have retired to maintain their routine and sense of importance. They’ll tell their friends “Call me at the office,” just so they have a place to go.

For most of us, who we are, is based on what we do. If we become too dependent on this mind-set and our job ends, we lose our sense of identity. So before, or soon after retirement, we need to redefine who we are in a positive and meaningful way. Recycle yourself.

To help with this separation, try listing your five best traits that have nothing to do with work. Here are some possible examples:

ambitious
well-organized
hard-working
creative
kind
passionate
generous
joyful
loving
spontaneous
connected to others
good sense of humor
peaceful
inner happiness
spiritual

On figuring out how to spend your time instead of work. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What gift do I give naturally to others?
  • What gift do I most enjoy giving to others?
  • What gift have I most often given to others?

Some people don’t need any help in this area. They are ready to sail around the world, then bike around the world in reverse, and so on.

However, many others do need some help creating a fulfilling retirement. This book can help. Perhaps you keep on working because you can’t imagine retirement, or you have already retired but find yourself in a funk. The initial “I’m finally freeeeeeeee!!” has worn off. You might even be a little depressed from the social isolation or lack of structure in your life. This book can help.

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