Dave at Mauder.com

I’m Dave, and I’d like to help escapees from Corporate America navigate the exciting, yet often daunting, world of earning extra income after an early retirement. With the (re)launch of Mauder’s Money Matters, I want to share my knowledge with early retirees who, like me, are looking for ways to earn a little extra income and make their “golden” years shine even brighter.

Since 1990, I’ve been fully immersed in the field of IT (Information Technology), working across various roles from programming to systems engineering. I’ve played part in the tech evolution, implementing, supporting, and optimizing computer systems, and solving complex problems. But my passion for finance and entrepreneurship always simmered just beneath the surface.

I want to share with you how my diverse professional background meshes with the financial insights I’ve gained over the years. It’s not just about having a steady career and saving/investing wisely; it’s also about the thrill of pursuing side hustles and the financial freedom they can bring.

After a fulfilling 34-year career in IT, I’ve finally retired at the age of 55. This isn’t the end, though; it’s a new beginning. My attention now turns to online affiliate marketing, a field where I’ve tasted success and now have all the time to master. I can now channel all my energy into guiding early retirees like you to make informed decisions for a prosperous and active post-retirement life.

The Path to Financial Independence: IT Expertise Meets Entrepreneurial Spirit

Laptop with money coming out

I’ve spent a good chunk of my life working in the world of IT. Over thirty-four years, I’ve watched the tech landscape evolve, and I’ve evolved with it. But my professional life has never been just about bit, bytes, and data storage. I’ve always had a penchant for entrepreneurship, and over the years, this has taken many forms.

While working demanding IT roles, I dipped my toes into various side hustles, each one teaching me invaluable lessons about business, resilience, and adaptability. I tested the waters of network marketing, managed vending routes, tried my hand at affiliate marketing, and steered the ship of several traditional business endeavors. These experiences, while not all wildly successful, were stepping stones that enriched my understanding of the business world.

One particularly enlightening venture was online affiliate marketing. It was a tough nut to crack, but the challenge fascinated me. Although I never hit the jackpot to the extent that I could leave my IT career behind, I found success and enjoyment in the process itself. Combined with disciplined saving and smart investing, these entrepreneurial efforts complemented my day job and laid the groundwork for financial independence.

Flash forward to the present, I have closed the chapter on my IT career after launching and, ultimately, selling a prosperous short-term log cabin rental business. That endeavor was a real game changer. It taught me about the power of passive income and the potential for growth in areas I’d never imagined. Now, I’m retired and ready to dive deep into the world of making money online through affiliate marketing.

Having ventured through corporate jungles and entrepreneurial pathways, I want to share these experiences with my peers. I’ve been there, done that, and now it’s about guiding others in their pursuit of financial freedom. Especially for retirees looking to supplement their income, I’m here to show you that it’s not just about the extra money; it’s about the satisfaction and pride that comes from engaging with innovative ways to grow your nest egg.

Beyond Bytes and Business: Dave’s World of Hobbies and Interests

Image of money and hobbies

I like to think that there’s a lot more to me than just my professional background in IT and my business endeavors. That’s why I’d love to share a bit about what makes me, well, me. Outside the hustle of professional life, my hobbies and personal pursuits have always kept me grounded and given me a sense of fulfillment.

For instance, I’m an avid outdoorsman, embracing every chance to hike, bike, kayak, canoe, or spend a little time fishing, especially in scenic places that stir the soul. Nothing beats the serenity and challenge of nature for me. It’s my personal sanctuary away from the glowing screens and buzzing devices.

In retirement, I’ve found that these interests aren’t just pastimes; they unlock opportunities for extra income. They remind us that financial acumen can come from our passions, not just our professions. In fact, in addition to this website, I’m also building another online business with a focus on nature and outdoor adventure in the area I currently reside.

So, I’m here to help you find that same synergy between enjoyment and financial benefit. My journey has shown me that retiring doesn’t equate to slowing down—it’s about changing gears, finding new avenues, and appreciating life’s different rhythms. As we explore these pursuits together, my goal is to help you turn your hobbies into potential sources of income, making your retirement not just comfortable, but exciting and purposeful.

Feel free to connect with me and let’s navigate the thrilling road of early retirement together. Whether it’s turning your hidden talents into a thriving online business or simply seeking advice on how to manage this exciting phase of life, I’m here with the tools, the experience, and the passion to assist you. Let’s embrace this journey with zeal and make every moment—and every dollar—count.

My Timeline…

  • 1968: Born in Northwest Ohio. I’m a Gemini. ♊
  • 1980: Introduced to my first computer, a TRS-80, by my nerdy cousin Gary who had an electronic wonderland in his basement. I was hooked. 🤓
  • 1983: Parents bought me my first computer, an Atari 800 XL.
  • 1985: Saved up some allowance, sold the Atari 800 XL to my sister, and upgraded to an Atari 130XE. Still 8-bit, but had 128KB of RAM! Holy crap, that was cutting edge technology.
  • 1986: Graduated high school. Sold the Atari 130XE and bought another computer with a 16-bit 80286 processor.
  • 1987: Joined the US Navy.
  • 1988: First child born. It’s a girl! 👧
  • 1989: Honorable discharge from Active Duty Navy, entered the Naval Reserve for the next 6 years. Enrolled in college and officially launched my new career in IT. Started out majoring in computer electronics but changed to applied business with a major in computer programming.
    • Got back on the BBS’s and learned 16-bit computers are for losers. Sold the 286 and bought a 32-bit 386SX. OK, the CPU was 32-bit, but the data bus was still 16-bit. It’s all I could afford at the time.
  • 1990: Got married and second child born. It’s a boy! 👦 Started first real IT job – computer operator and quickly moved to a programmer role. Got rid of the 386SX computer and bought a 486.
  • 1992: First and only paycheck from Microsoft. Maybe I’ll share that story in a blog post one day.
  • 1995: Honorable discharge from the Naval Reserve.
  • 1996-2006: What the heck happened here?? Did I get sucked into a black hole? I guess just a bunch of working/furthering my IT career and being a husband & father. Nothing to see here, move along…
  • 2007: Bounced around to various IT/tech jobs since 1989. Always expanding my skillset, and my income. But it was starting to look bad on the resume and decided I need to “settle down.” 🙂 Started working for a multi-billion dollar tech company. Oh, and I got Lasik surgery.
  • 2008: Mom passed away. 🙁
  • 2012: Dad passed away. 🙁
  • 2013: First grandchild born. It’s a girl! 👧 Built our first family log cabin in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
  • 2015: Second grandchild born. It’s a boy! 👦
  • 2016: Moved from Northwest Ohio to Hocking Hills, Ohio and launched a log cabin rental business. Built two log cabins. Got lured away to a new company/job by an x-coworker.
  • 2017: Third grandchild born (on my birthday 👦🙂 🙂 🙂 ). It’s another boy! Grandkids are fun, but dang, three is enough and I wish they’d stop moving so much and making noise & messes! LOL!
    Hated the company I joined last year and, after a 16-month “sabbatical”, returned to the same tech giant I joined in 2007. Built two more log cabins, now we have five.
  • 2018: Turned 50. Ugh! But hey, I feel good and that’s what counts!
  • 2019: Broke ground on a new home. Sold our oldest rental log cabin, now we have four.
  • 2020: COVID-19 Pandemic. Are you kidding me?? Best year ever for our log cabin rentals. Did better this year with four cabins that we did the previous 3 years with 5 cabins, despite being shut down by the local health department from March 23rd to May 4th.
  • 2021: COVID-19 Pandemic still going. Are you kidding me??? Cabin rentals doing even better than 2020. I guess we have a pandemic-proof business. 😎😷 My wife finally got her first new Jeep despite working there and building them for 20+ years — a firecracker red Gladiator.
  • 2022: Fourth AND fifth grandchildren born. Twin boys! 👦👦♊ Sold the cabin rental business. It was a nice exit!
  • 2023: My manager of 16 years got fired, he was with the company over 20 years. They told him it was because he got paid too much. So much for loyalty! Corporate America SUCKS!
  • 2024: Finally retired “early” from my lifelong career as an IT Professional. I retired at the beginning of the year at age 55, and will turn 56 in June, so it’s not super early. But it has been my goal for 20+ years to retire in my mid-50’s and be able to do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want.

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