Why the Billable Hour Creates Bad Incentives

The standard model of attorney compensation at big firms is to pay attorneys a fixed salary with an expectation that the attorney will bill at least 2,000 hours a year.  If the attorney does not meet the target, the firm will lose profitability and the attorney might lose job security.  If the attorney meets or exceeds the target, then they might be eligible for a bonus in excess of their salary.  In the past few years, associate salaries and bonuses have been pretty healthy.   Continue reading

Seeds of Doubt?

We’re in Bali right now and so far it’s been a bit underwhelming to put it kindly.  Maybe it is our preconceived notions, but there doesn’t seem to be much to do or interesting to see.  But that being said, we just got here and have a month to explore the region.  I hope things will get better when we leave the touristy areas and get to Lombok and the Gili Islands.

Per a recent post, I’ve been thinking more about buying a house when we get back.  But it starts to feel more and more like a financial stretch possibly indicating that we are not as FI as we need to be… Continue reading

The Math Behind Geographic Freedom

It sucks to admit, but we really feel priced out of the SF Bay Area.  Even when I was working, I always felt like rent and home prices were just too darn high.  I suppose it makes sense due to all of the high-paying jobs, but we were never really fit for the rat race and keeping up with the Joneses.  But the Bay Area is still a great place to live.  The weather is nice year round — not too cold in the winter and not too hot in the summer.  Plenty of good food and natural beauty.  Very diverse and well educated neighbors.  Plus our families are based there.  That’s a combination of factors that’s hard to match anywhere else.  It’s with a bit of a feeling of defeat that I’m looking at other places to settle down. Continue reading

Mindset to Thrive

Lately, I’ve been struggling a little bit with the transition from paid employment to FIRE.  I’m used to not having to think about money rather than trying to make our savings last forever.  I came across a helpful post from Financial Samurai, which discussed abundance and scarcity mindsets.  I realized that I’ve gone from an abundance mindset to the scarcity mindset.  I don’t want to have to scrounge every last penny like a survivor of the Great Depression.  Instead, I want to thrive because I have a positive mindset about what I can accomplish.

Going forward, I’m going to brainstorm ways to maintain an abundance mindset while living a fulfilling life.  I don’t want to become lazy and unmotivated in FIRE.

First Impressions of Cambodia

We’ve been in Cambodia for almost two days now so this post contains some of our initial uninformed impressions about the country.

We flew into Siem Reap from Bangkok.  Siem Reap is the second largest city in Cambodia after the capital Phnom Penh.  SR is a popular tourist destination because it is where the Angkor Wat temple complex is located.

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Angkor Wat

We were struck by the poverty almost immediately upon leaving the airport.

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Going Mobile

My brand new computer decided to die on me earlier this week.  The power wouldn’t turn on no matter what I tried.  I realize how dependent I am on technology now that it is not available to me.  I am not sure whether I will get a replacement immediately… In the interim, I will try to do all my blogging, photo editing, personal finance management on my phone.  Quite a tall order.

We went on an interesting adventure in Bangkok trying to get it fixed, before giving up.   Continue reading