C40's Journal

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

Postby C40 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:08 pm


-------------------------------------------
December 2016
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Places:

Spending: $1,700
  • Health Insurance (Full year 2017): $415
  • Van Insurance (6 months): $193
  • Clothes and outdoor gear: $385 (mostly clothes for cold weather)
  • Food: $325
  • Gas: $108
  • Chair: $85
  • Other: $200

Income: $2,994
  • Dividends: $2,759 (I get many more dividends in the 3rd month of each quarter)
  • Pension Increase: $134
  • Shirt Sales: $99
  • Website income – Amazon: $2
Last edited by C40 on Sun Jan 08, 2017 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:12 pm


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First 6 Months of Retirement
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I’ve been keeping myself busy with travels and friends and various pursuits of leisure. I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I’ve gotten in better shape physically. I’ve been happier. I’ve had less stress. My creative output has increased. I’ve certainly had some “is this all there really is to life? ughhh” thoughts, but, in a good way, I think.

I’ve read that it’s pretty common for people to increase their spending for a little while after retiring - particularly those who launch right into long term travel… Well, me too. I’ve been a naughty boy:

Image
I expect this will be my main financial chart going forward. It’s just a comparison of my spending and income, and keeping a running total of the difference. The income shown here is a rolling 3 month average in order to smooth out the income and the surplus/deficit.

It’s not all that bad. I bought some expensive camera gear in October. I spent more than usual on gas in August and September. I spent more than usual on health insurance in September and December. If all goes as planned, my spending will be quite low in 2017.



Here are some more details on my spending:
Image


Image
The fixed costs were high in September and December from paying health insurance premium. In September I paid for the rest of 2016, and those were expensive because my income in the first half of the year prevented me from getting subsidies. In December, I paid premiums for all of 2017. I (expect to) get a lot of subsidy because of my low income. Thanks Obama.


Image

Looking forward, I expect lower spending on hobbies, gas, and fixed costs. I’m hoping to spent $500-$1000 in many months. Maybe even below $500 a few months.

George the original one
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby George the original one » Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:34 pm

It is surprising how little you have spent on gas! This tells me you're not needlessly zipping around at a location and probably using your legs.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:09 pm

Yeah. I try to minimize my driving by staying put in one place. Also, ideally, I try to only drive in one direction. If my general direction over the next couple months is, say, eastward, I'd ideally only drive east. No back and forth stuff. Not having to drive to and from work each day makes a huge difference.

I'm expecting to not buy ANY gas at all in January. I'll be moving around much less this year than I did over the last 6 months. I see some people living in vans who zip around the entire country each year, and I don't really get it. Well, some of them only have a limited amount of time for their vandwelling, so I can see that. But others do it when they don't have that kind of reason. It's a lot more work to drive frequently, and find new places to camp, and so on. Another victory for the "Do nothing" strategy. Just stay put and relax. Now that I've slowed down, I expect most of my driving (aside form while I'm in cities) will only happen when I've ran out of water or food.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:32 am

Image
New blog post:San Diego: Notes on the City
It's supposedly "America's Finest City". But is it though?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby BRUTE » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:01 pm

C40 wrote:
-------------------------------------------
December 2015
-------------------------------------------


bryan
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby bryan » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:32 pm

C40 wrote:San Diego: Notes on the City. It's supposedly "America's Finest City". But is it though?


It's not in my top tier list of US cities, at least.

$415 insurance for 2017? What an ERE boon!

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby wheatstate » Tue Jan 10, 2017 3:06 pm

Congrats on a great year. Your website is filled with success. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to learning about Baja 2017.

When you said dating in San Diego was rough post election, it made me think of this article.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4059800/Pity-husbands-Los-Angeles-sex-therapist-claims-city-s-Hillary-supporting-women-lost-libido-Trump-won.html

EXCLUSIVE: Pity the husbands of Los Angeles - sex therapist claims city's Hillary-supporting women have lost their libido over Trump victory
Kimberly Resnick Anderson claims the agony of seeing their beloved Hillary Clinton defeated has sapped the libidos of the women of Los Angeles
Sex therapist claims the 'Trump bedroom effect' is still running weeks after his victory over Hillary Clinton
One man told her his wife knew he supported Trump and 'she wants nothing to do with me in the bedroom. It's as if I am suddenly the enemy'

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:27 am

Image
New blog post:The Most Interesting People in San Diego
Hint: It's Ego and his wife. Seriously.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby Ego » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:51 am

Hah! C40 was being polite. We're in bed before nine pm most nights.

I was about to puke at the end of that hill and C40 - on his fatter tire bike, mind you - pulls up next to me and says in the most relaxed voice ever, "That was a good warmup...." At that point there wasn't enough oxygen getting to my brain to both say something and remember what it was I said. Whatever it was, I am sure it was laden with curses.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby cmonkey » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:23 pm

Haven't mentioned it yet, but nice looking blog!!

C40 wrote:I’ve certainly had some “is this all there really is to life? ughhh” thoughts, but, in a good way, I think.


So is retirement all you dreamed it would be? Still recommend it to the rest of us poor cube dwellers? :D

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:53 pm

Yeah, highly recommended. It's within 90% of what I expected. I suppose I should write a thoughtful post on what it's felt like, the things I didn't entirely expect, and so on. Mañana.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby mxlr650 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:34 am

@C40 I am really late to the party, but anyways, congratulations!! It is great to know you are enjoying life!

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:38 pm


-----------------------------
2016 Summary
-----------------------------



Yearly Summary: General

  • I was working full time at the start of the year
  • I finished converting my van around 3/8/16 and started focusing on the last house work needed to get it ready to sell
  • I moved into my van 3/26/16
  • I got my house ready for sale around 4/10/16
  • The house sale finalized at the end of May. That day I called my boss, told him I can’t work full time any more, and started negotiating a part time work arrangement. The next day I left St. Louis.
  • On 6/10 I started part time work
  • By the end of June I had decided to quit. I told my boss so on 6/30
  • My last day of work was 7/15
  • I set off for adventure on 7/17
  • Nearly died on 8/21 (**details below)



** Ok, just kidding about that one



Yearly Summary: Financial

Net worth evolution:
  • Start of year: $443k
  • After quitting: $535k
  • End of year: $543k

This gives a pretty clear summary of my finances over the past 6 years.
Image
(In this chart, my post tax income from work is shown as either spending or saving. The blue investing numbers represent investing income plus realized and unrealized capital gains)



Long term net worth evolution:
Image


On a shorter timeline you can see the growth slow after quitting. If I worked the rest of the year I’d have another $30-40k. Right now I’m glad I quit when I did.
Image


Now I have my net worth projection at 3% growth per year (but my results are likely to be less accurate vs. the projection before, because the savings component is gone)
Image



Yearly Summary: My Investing Performance

Ok. Here’s the embarrassing part. Look how much I suck at investing:

Image
The numbers for my performance aren’t 100% accurate, they’re more like ‘back of the napkin’ estimations. But they are pretty close. I like to believe that the main reasons for ‘poor performance’ compared to the index are:
  • I was using the Permanent Portfolio for the first couple years. That strategy had worse performance those years than it normally does vs pure stocks
  • My 401k fund choices sucked
  • I hold some cash

Of course, it’s surely not that I suck at investing, right? Now that the first two reasons are gone, I expect my 2017 performance to be much closer to VTI. When I did a comparison about a year ago, my post-tax investing accounts (the ones I can control fully) outperformed VTI. So… we’ll see.



Here’s a look at my investing not going as planned:

Image

When I quit and converted my 401k money to income producing stocks in a traditional IRA, I didn’t get as much income as I expected. I think the main reason is that stock prices went up faster than the dividends in recent years and I wasn’t adjusting my expected yield downward. Also, I’m using index funds in my Traditional IRA and I believe the yields aren’t as good as individual stocks. So over time I believe I could convert the index shares to individual companies and get a bit more yield.

I’m not worried by either of these investing stumbles. Low spending creates resilience. I can easily spend less than my current income. I expect my hobby income to increase. With my spending low, it only takes small successes for hobby income to cover all my spending.

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C40
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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:52 pm

Image


New blog post:Joshua Tree
I camped a few days in Joshua Tree National Park. Didn't do a whole lot. Jut one bike ride and one hike. Got this nice picture on the hike:


Image

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby _JT » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:36 pm

The blogs that seem to do the best in the FIRE/lifestyle design niche offer a lot of transparency around finances, in my experience. People want to read your story and dream about how they can achieve it, and seeing the actual hard data helps with that I think.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby bryan » Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:52 pm

C40, I read in some other thread you went to the RTR. How did it go? I just saw Bob's vlog where he thinks it has really gotten out of hand (too much noise, at least): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlNVW2ZUqvg

Do you think the (to use @BRUTE's categorization) "hipster" van-dwellers should start their own dessert rendezvous?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:10 pm

bryan wrote:C40, I read in some other thread you went to the RTR. How did it go? I just saw Bob's vlog where he thinks it has really gotten out of hand (too much noise, at least): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlNVW2ZUqvg

Do you think the (to use @BRUTE's categorization) "hipster" van-dwellers should start their own dessert rendezvous?


I'm still at the RTR, parked right in the thick of things, near the main gathering area and fire pit. It's been really quiet. Every day. Yeah, some people were singing songs around the campfire a few nights, but not loudly. I've seen some guys here and there strumming a guitar quietly. I've heard ONE person playing music on a radio, one morning. He's camped out near the edge of the group and it wasn't very loud. Of all the noise occurring here, it's like 5% music and all the rest is people talking, driving, working on their vans, running generators. I don't know if Bob has some kind of complex about music or what. My guess is Bob got a lot of anxiety from having so many people here wanting his time. There are like 500+ people here. A lot of them come here wanting to thank Bob and spend time with him, and he doesn't have time for that. Plus he's organizing the daily seminars and often or always leading them. I think he's not used to so many people hassling him and was on the edge and the one "fuck you" from somebody was way harder to take than it would've been on a normal day.

Then other people on the internet (99% of which, it appears, are not even at the RTR) pile on and make it look way worse than it is. In reality, this place is almost as quiet as a meditation retreat. It's 7pm right now and sitting in my van, I can barely hear anything other than the traffic on the interstate a mile away. Pretty much every person here is being super nice.

All that said, I would also enjoy going to a gathering with more young people (hipsters). The average age here is about 55. So far I've talked with three people who having thrilling life stories.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby BRUTE » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:22 pm

out of how many total talked to?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:38 pm

BRUTE wrote:out of how many total talked to?


Probably 60 total, but short conversations with most. And medium or long conversations with, I don't know, 15-20.

Most of the people I talk to do have interesting things to speak about. Sometimes it's just the specifics of their rig. Sometimes it's a related hobby (like a guy I spoke with today who has a little teardrop trailer with a weird paint scheme, and when I asked about the paint he confirmed/explained it is WW1 plane logos, and then when I asked more told me about the model airplanes he builds (like 10 ft wide, with motors, that fly) and the specific materials and processes used to build the WW1 airplane bodies.... That guy's in the "interesting conversation" group, but not in the "thrilling life story group")

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby RealPerson » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:05 am

C40 wrote:"thrilling life story group"


Would you want to share a synopsis of some of those stories?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby C40 » Sat Jan 14, 2017 12:55 am

RealPerson wrote:
C40 wrote:"thrilling life story group"


Would you want to share a synopsis of some of those stories?


Here's some things off the top of my head, with all three guys mixed together. (Average age of them is probably 65 or 70):
- Retired at age 30... 40 years ago
- Unashamedly self-centered, with a contagious positivity that makes people want to be around him.
- Has a knack for 'getting the gold out of people'. Gave me good advice on getting people to open up / share their stories / get past small talk
- Drummer for many different bands. Jazz groups that toured Europe (and when 'they' ran out of money, they started paying him in cocaine), and for some punk band, and for The Cockettes (as I understand, an all male and all gay (except for him) group that did something like male burlesque shows in the 70s in San Francisco) and more...
- 75 years old and in wonderful health. Surfs a lot and also treads water to photography surfers. Nearly got into a fight recently while surfing, with a 19 year old who kept cutting him off. The 3rd time the 19 year old cut him off, he forearmed the guy and knocked him off his surfboard... Then he says to him "Ok, since i started it, we can go back to the beach and you can choose: fists or knives"
- Has a ton of old travel adventure stories, many of them starting with some interesting details such as: "I was parked out next to the military base in my 1958 Porsche.. You could sleep in one of those if you recline the seat and put your feet into the trunk. And I had a girl with me. A tiny one, that way she could sleep with me in the same seat..."
- "Well my drug of choice is LSD...."
- Got hired and flow all over the world by Sports Illustrated to photograph Formula 1 races
- Was a professional boxer
- Said he was a Gigolo for a while
- All three were in the military, though they didn't talk about it other than brief mentions (and I didn't ask, as their own personal stories were more interesting)
- Lives in Mexico, right near some big surfing beach that gets huge waves. Has this really cool Toyota pickup with a camper on the bed and travels up and down the western coast fairly regularly, surfing and photographing surfers along the way (they buy the pictures, and pay him to make paintings of the pictures they really like). They know/like his work enough to email/call him and ask when he's coming to their area again.

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby thrifty++ » Sat Jan 14, 2017 2:20 am

Wow the RTR sounds like a place which collects random intriguing types. What does RTR stand for by the way?

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby bryan » Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:52 pm

C40 wrote:In reality, this place is almost as quiet as a meditation retreat.


I thought it would be the case.. which is why I was so surprised by that video and the comments.

I'll keep my eyes out for an alternative (hipster) RTR.

thrifty++ wrote:What does RTR stand for by the way?


Roll Tide Roll. (or in this context... Rubber Tramp Rendezvous)

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Re: C40's Journal

Postby thrifty++ » Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:42 pm

Bryan - thanks for the clarification. I now have visions of Into The Wild flashing in my mind.

C40 - have you thought about taking a stop in Slab City? I watched it in Into the Wild and watched a documentary by Vice on it. Been fascinated by it ever since. However it looks trashy as all get out.


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