C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Augustus
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Augustus » Sun Jul 31, 2016 11:32 pm

Re: chicken, not sure if you have the space, but you could use a slow cooker to make some awesome roast chicken, and lots more. It might be an ideal solution for you, no exhaust, low power usage.

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vexed87
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby vexed87 » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:11 am

Been nice to catch up on your journal C40, congrats on the house sale, quitting and travels. Looking forward to more of these gorgeous photos!

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:22 pm

Thanks everyone for the compliments :-D :-D :-D

@Jacob and Dskla - I think I'll skip the rings for now. Thanks for the idea and offer.


So, I played Monopoly with my friends a few days ago. Today after checking for dividend increases among the stocks I own, I was inspired to make this:

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YESS!!!! Ha ha HAAAAAA

I forget which companies' increases I noticed. I suppose I could make one for about $2,000 capital gains from selling out of an ETF this month. I could get pretty annoying with these if I really wanted. Dividends. Capital gains. Insurance subsidies from the government. $0 tax rate. Finding/making stuff for free. :-D :-D

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:33 am


-------------------------------------------
AUGUST 2016
-------------------------------------------


SPENDING: $1,700
    * Bike $790
    * Food: $300
    * Gas: $210
    * Van Insurance: $134
    * Dating: $80
    * Entertainment/Hobbies: $80
    * Miscellaneous: $80

My road bike wasn’t working well on roads with washboard bumps and deep/soft gravel. I was checking Craigslist for the cities I would be going to and found a good cyclocross bike in Spokane. It works way better for non paved roads, grass, singletrack, etc.
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Spending Vs. Possible income:
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INVESTING

I moved my 401k money into a Traditional IRA. Here’s the asset allocation I decided on for the money:
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Here is the forward dividend income, after getting most of the 401k rollover money invested. I lowered my theoretical income because with these new purchases, I’m not getting as much yield as before. That was sort of an assumption error from before. The stock prices were going up a lot and I was still using the same theoretical yield.
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The last thing to do is to get my pension money in there and invested too. That will get me another $1,500 per year bump, bringing my dividend income to about $16,000 per year. The main purchase left is the REIT fund, and maybe prices will drop and I’ll get a bit more yield.

Don’t ask me many questions about my asset allocation choice :-P. I don’t have good reasons for what I chose. I expect to get $6,400+ dividends per year in the traditional IRA. I’ll probably be converting about $9,800 to my Roth IRA each year. So I just need another $3,400 per year, which I expect I’ll get by selling whichever of the funds went up over the last year, or if they go down, by using the cash (S.T. bonds) portion. If the stocks and gold just keep going down and down, I have enough cash in there to last for 12 years. So I should be able to avoid selling at stupid times. The question is – will I decide to invest the rest of the cash after drops?




TRAVELS

Still going wonderfully.

-- Went west through northern Washington
-- Hung out in Seattle a couple weeks (half of that with an old friend and half in the city itself). Seattle is cool. I could spend a whole summer in the city. I like it because the water blocks off the city edges so there isn’t sprawl or much reason to leave the city once you’re in it. Real estate is too expensive. One woman I went out with had a TWO MILLION dollar house, with huge property taxes.
-- Went camping and hiking in Olympic National Forest
-- Came down to Portland (Also visiting old friends and bumming around the city)

These are not in chronological order.

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FREE CAMPSITE! Spent 4 days here
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(this was in northern Wyoming)
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FREE MOVIE!
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FREE BEACH! I spent three afternoons here.
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What’s next? I’ll be in this area in September and into October. I’m expecting to go down through that string of national forests in the right side of the ellipse.

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theanimal
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby theanimal » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:17 am

Phenomenal photos.

Are there any downsides to van living so far? Anything you weren't expecting or are having trouble with?

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:10 am

Nice! You got a lot of cx bike for $790.

Real estate is too expensive. One woman I went out with had a TWO MILLION dollar house, with huge property taxes.


It's funny how house prices in a place can go up by 5%+ for years on end and the city still finds a way to spend all the extra money.

Don’t ask me many questions about my asset allocation choice :-P.


Sorry. 10% Gold?

If you are in the neighborhood I recommend the McKenzie River Trail: http://mckenzierivertrail.com/. The Deschutes River Trail in Bend was also cool if I remember correctly: http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/17917. You can hike or ride either one, though I'm not sure a cx bike is going to have enough tire for the McKenzie.
Last edited by Gilberto de Piento on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cmonkey
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby cmonkey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:10 am

Great update as always. You seem to be moving through the PNW pretty quickly, what are your plans after? Are you spending the winter up in that area?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby sky » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:16 am

Very nice!

I put together a map that will take GIS information from government servers and show Federal Land Ownership. It is helpful in finding free camp sites in National Forests and BLM land.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php? ... icland.txt

If you click on Hybrid, you can toggle the Federal Land layer on and off. There are a few layers not displayed that can be turned on. You have to zoom in to 20 km or less to see the Federal Land layer. The green is US National Forest Service land.

bryan
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby bryan » Thu Sep 08, 2016 10:10 am

Be sure to check out the Oregon coast! A bicycle tour north to south is great. Tons of hiker biker sites and you can park your van up in Astoria no problem. Take a bus back to Astoria at the end. Lots of hiker-biker sites. Best beaches I've ever seen; some great rides.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:21 pm

theanimal wrote:Phenomenal photos.

Are there any downsides to van living so far? Anything you weren't expecting or are having trouble with?


So far, very little. Fewer than I expected. I worry about the van being broken into or especially stolen, as that would suck big time. I should get around to installing a kill switch and maybe a GPS tracking device. Some things take more time - like putting my curtains up and taking them down often - that takes a few minutes each time. Finding places to park and sleep in cities at night takes some time, but it's easy. The time it takes to manage living in the van is less than it took for living in my house (and my house had almost no problems).

- Cooking and eating is easy (for me at least. I cook simply).
- Hygiene is easy
- Pooping and peeing is easy

I suppose if I was working out of the van and needed to wear clothes without any wrinkles, that could be annoying. But that could just be another thing like the above that are easily solved (clothes that don't wrinkle? I already have shirts with small patterns that don't show wrinkles). Maybe an Iron would be usable with my electric system. Doesn't matter for me anyways.

Gilberto de Piento wrote:Nice! You got a lot of cx bike for $790.

Don’t ask me many questions about my asset allocation choice :-P.


Sorry. 10% Gold?

If you are in the neighborhood I recommend the McKenzie River Trail: http://mckenzierivertrail.com/. The Deschutes River Trail in Bend was also cool if I remember correctly: http://www.mtbproject.com/trail/17917. You can hike or ride either one, though I'm not sure a cx bike is going to have enough tire for the McKenzie.



Yep. That’s 10% of the traditional IRA, which ends up being 5% of my total invested capital.

Those trails both look great! Thanks :-D I expect to spend time in Bend. And I’ll be in the general area of the McKenzie trail. From what I can see on google images, i’ll be comfortable either.




cmonkey wrote:Great update as always. You seem to be moving through the PNW pretty quickly, what are your plans after? Are you spending the winter up in that area?


Yeah. I’ve been hanging out with my friends while the weather is nice. I plan to go south as it gets cloudy up here and follow the sun down to San Diego along the Pacific Coast. I expect to be moving slower from here on out.




sky wrote:Very nice!

I put together a map that will take GIS information from government servers and show Federal Land Ownership. It is helpful in finding free camp sites in National Forests and BLM land.

https://mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php? ... icland.txt
…..


Wow! WOW WOW! That’s a great map. I looked at it a bit so far and I think it could be very helpful for me. I can already see how useful it will be for finding hot springs.







bryan wrote:Be sure to check out the Oregon coast! A bicycle tour north to south is great. Tons of hiker biker sites and you can park your van up in Astoria no problem. Take a bus back to Astoria at the end. Lots of hiker-biker sites. Best beaches I've ever seen; some great rides.


Ughh.. I know. That sounds wonderful but it won’t be in the cards this summer. One of the biggest problems I’ve had so far while traveling is finding and hearing about so many more cool places than I can see. In Montana/Yellowstone I decided I’d spend all next summer there. Then I saw I could do that in eastern Washington, or even inside the city of Seattle, or probably Portland, or certainly Idaho. Shit… The western US is so big and wonderful that I’m finding out about all kinds of amazing things that I’m not doing.

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cmonkey
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby cmonkey » Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:00 pm

C40 wrote:Ughh.. I know. That sounds wonderful but it won’t be in the cards this summer. One of the biggest problems I’ve had so far while traveling is finding and hearing about so many more cool places than I can see.


Sounds like freedom overload!! :D :lol:

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:31 pm

cmonkey wrote:Sounds like freedom overload!! :D :lol:


Yeah. What a problem to have :D

zb2
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby zb2 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:50 pm

just wanted to say that your journal is super inspiring and the photos are awesome. thank you!

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:27 pm

zb2 wrote:just wanted to say that your journal is super inspiring and the photos are awesome. thank you!



Thanks buddy :-D

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Did » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:06 am

Read journal from start. Wonderful. Congrats. We lived on the road 8 months and felt all emotional looking at pics. it is such a fabulous life and one you can only understand if you live it for a while. if you have an instagram ac please pm me so i can follow along. get 50k more to do so and u can make a living from it. well done and keep posting.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:32 am

Did wrote:Read journal from start. Wonderful. Congrats. We lived on the road 8 months and felt all emotional looking at pics. it is such a fabulous life and one you can only understand if you live it for a while. if you have an instagram ac please pm me so i can follow along. get 50k more to do so and u can make a living from it. well done and keep posting.


Thanks Did :-D

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:41 am


-------------------------------------------
SEPTEMBER 2016
-------------------------------------------

TOTAL SPENDING: $2,145
    * Health Insurance for 4 months: $1,111
    * Hobby/Entertainment: $527
    * Gas/Van: $300
    * Food: $300
    * Other: ($93) (From $180 auto insurance refund)

Hobby spending includes $300 for a new camera Lens. I expected to sell two of my current lenses and I would come out ahead, but I’m going to hold off on selling them for a while.

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Had a lot of dividends this month because all the dividend mutual funds now in my traditional Roth pay on the same month.


TRAVEL NOTES AND PICTURES:
I was in and around Portland nearly all of September. I spent a lot of time with my old friends that live there. I did a LOT with them. Day trips. Hikes. A camping/hiking trip to the coast. A trip to a hot spring. Nights out in the cityy. Van/house projects. Etc… I also met up with George the Original one (who took me on a hike along and through one of the rivers he fishes, showed me his awesome garden, and gave me the biggest onion I’ve ever had) and Zarathustra (who kicked my butt in Scrabble and gave me some really good beet soup).

I’ve finally left Portland, and I drove through Oregon and Northern California quickly. It was getting cold and I wanted to get down to warmer latitudes. I only spent a couple days in San Francisco, and I’ll be going through LA and San Diego in the coming 2 months. If you live in those cities (or along the way) and would like to meet up, let me know.

I didn’t take many pictures in Portland, and I haven’t processed the pictures from Oregon or Northern CA yet.

My buddy helped me add these shelves in the van:
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From a dayhike:
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Haystack Rock At Cannon Beach (Yep, the one from the Goonies)
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Hike – Falcon Cove
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Going to the beach in Oswald west state park
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In Astoria, shot from “The Column”
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The coast, near Manzanita I believe
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Writing a letter:
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DELAY TAKING MY PENSION MONEY?

The value of my pension is just a bit over $50k. This 10% of my net worth. I’ll be taking the cash and investing it myself rather than getting an annuity. For however long I do nothing, the pension value grows at a guaranteed 3% per year. Give what fee like currently high stock valuations, it crossed my mind to leave the pension alone, and cash it out at some point in the future. I could consider the pension to be the cash portion of my asset allocation. Given that I expect interest rates to rise eventually, I don’t expect the cash and cash-like portions of my portfolio to increase in value. 3% is higher than the yield on 30 year bonds right now. I don’t know how long it will take to get the pension money once I tell them I want it. I assume I could get it within a month.

Any thoughts on this idea?


I suppose that’s it for this month’s journal update. There are other things floating around in my head (nothing major), but I don’t feel like writing about them at the moment. I think I should change how I write my journal posts a bit – and either stop making monthly posts and instead post whenever I feel I have something significant to write about, or, I should write into the file I use to compose my as the month goes on – when things pop into my head. I have things come to mind, but sometimes I don’t feel like writing about much when I write this monthly update.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby rube » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:47 am

Getting 3% annually and seeing this 10% as a cash buffer without any risks looks pretty good to me.
Unless you really see a good opportunity, I probably would just let it sit for now.

Regarding the monthly updates: sounds familiar, but please keep posting, even if irregular and in a different format!

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby jennypenny » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:30 am

DH has a pension that also gives a guaranteed 3% that he is eligible to cash out after age 50, and we had always planned on doing just that. When he turned 50 this summer, we did the math, looked at other options, and decided to let the pension ride.

We were told we have the option of cashing it in once per quarter and it takes 6 weeks to get the cash. We were also told there was a minimum tax withholding, so you may want to ask about that too since (I'm assuming) you're managing your income/tax level carefully. You might not owe taxes and wouldn't want them to withhold them.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Gilberto de Piento » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:10 am

Is all of the pension yours to take? Sometimes if you withdraw a pension before a certain age the company keeps "their" contribution.

Great pics! Glad you are having fun.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby vraxxos » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:47 am

If inflation is 1% and the money is compounding at 3%, then I think you'd be best leaving it there, especially if there's penalties.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Augustus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:41 pm

Re: pension
Sounds like you need to understand the penalties and rules for withdrawal before making a decision. I researched what it would take to do a 401k -> ira -> roth ira this year and there are a bunch of rules for it. I was prevented from doing anything because I still do work for the company occassionally, and you can't move anything around while you're doing any work for the company that set it up unless it offers in service roll overs. Other things to consider are how it is taxed, do you have to pay income taxes on it when you withdraw principal (you are not allowed to withdraw earnings in my case)? If so then it is in your best interests to time it correctly. As it seems that you will have a lower income tax rate while you are vandwelling, it would make sense in that case to take the cash out now, as you probably have a 0% income tax rate in the near future, versus later down the line where you may be in 15% plus income tax bracket if you decide to start working again to purchase a house or something like that. If you try to cash out later when you are working you might lose 15%+ due to bad timing.

All of this may be moot since I don't know what kind of pension you have, but food for thought.

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Viktor K
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Viktor K » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:27 pm

Hey C40, congrats on the ERE! When I first joined this site I started reading your journal from the first page. I thought when I first started reading that this would be something to keep track of, so it was really surprising and awesome being able to read all the way through your last day at work! I still want to hear more about the van life and I think it would be awesome to keep reading updates about your travels. You've only just started! I don't know if you've seen my journal, but in order for me to reach my ERE goal I either need to more than double my income, or cut spending by 70%. One way we've talked about doing this is by moving into a van. The only catch is that our online income is starting to ramp up and relies on video calls! Could you please tell me your thoughts/experiences with reliable internet signal in the van? Do you think one could reliably video call (over the internet) while taking advantage of vanlife?

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:05 pm

I should've clarified a bit better on the pension: I'm only asking about this from the perspective to asset allocation methods. I believe I fully understand the important rules relating to my pension and tax laws.

My pension is simple, the current value is ~$50k. All of that is my money. There is no penalty for taking the money now and no reward for waiting, other than the 3%/year growth.

Now that I've stopped working for the company, I have three options:
1 - Take a cash payment (the full $50k). I'd put this straight into my Traditional IRA, and this would be the last amount added to that T. IRA and would be used to balance up to my desired Asset Allocation.
2 - Start annuity payments. It's a flat $ amount every month for the rest of my life. I've done the math to compare this with option 1 with conservative market returns over 50+ years and option 1 looks much better. Before triggering #1, I'll recheck the math and reconsider some potential reasons to take #2. (But I'm pretty sure #1 is where I'll end up)
3 - Do nothing. The value grows at 3% per year, I assume compounding at least monthly.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:18 pm

Viktor K wrote:Hey C40, congrats on the ERE!

....I don't know if you've seen my journal, but in order for me to reach my ERE goal I either need to more than double my income, or cut spending by 70%. One way we've talked about doing this is by moving into a van. The only catch is that our online income is starting to ramp up and relies on video calls! Could you please tell me your thoughts/experiences with reliable internet signal in the van? Do you think one could reliably video call (over the internet) while taking advantage of vanlife?


Hi Viktor. Thank you :) :)

I have been reading your journal, and I meant to post there after seeing just the first couple posts (I like them), but I'm bad about posting in other people's journals. I do need to catch up on your last few months though.

As for internet and video calling:

I use a super cheap, and sort of "ghetto" internet arrangement discussed Here and Here. 3G is too slow for reliable HD video calls.

4G data is fast enough. The potential issues are:
1 - Data caps. I assume video calls would use a lot of data.
2 - Data speeds vary by area and time of day. I've been in a lot of different parts of the country over the last 4 years and seen this first hand. In some cities/areas, the internet just sucks. This is a problem for me now with the 3G, and it was a problem for me before when I had a work phone with unlimited and never slowed 4G data. The infrastructure in some cities is great, and in some it totally sucks. In the great ones, you can get full speed all day long. In the bad ones, I can't get full 3G speeds any time of day, and during peak hours I may only get enough data for text (like 50kbs/s). This slow data applies wheter you have 3G or 4G or whatever (there may be some prioritization, but when I had the unlimited 4G - probably the highest priority, it still was unusably slow).

So anyways - a 4G data plan MIGHT work for you if you live in a city with good infrastructure and if you don't need a ton of data. Otherwise you'd need a reliable WIFI landlined source. I don't know much about that, but I know someone who might: Akratic. I hope he doesn't mind me sending you his way. I believe his wife does video calling for her work, and they've traveled a ton, so they may have experience with what you're thinking about.


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