Early Retired: The First Month

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
CS
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by CS »

Hi George,

Are you sure that your IRA conversion will count as part of your MAGi for Obamacare? I thought after reading on the health insurance thread (or some research because of what I learned there) that Roth conversions don't count.

Opps. Now I realize that post was from a year ago. How did it go with the Roth conversion and the Obamacare issue?

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

@CS - this year I cashed in long-term capital gains to meet the minimum income. Next year I'll cash in savings bonds. Then I'll be looking at the Roth conversions. What definitely was resolved in the thread was use of municipal bonds to reduce income to qualify for a subsidy when your income is too high.

cmonkey
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by cmonkey »

George the original one wrote: Sometimes my wife just tells me what to do, LOL!
Congrats on one year. It's really great that you two were able to retire at the same time.

You post so much in the garden log, I feel you should start a journal. :D Speaking of which, I am finally getting some quality garden therapy in this year. I flipped my 4'x4'x4' compost pile today. Looking might fine.

LiberateMind
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by LiberateMind »

Congrats on the anniversary!! Seems you are enjoying your retirement. Hope you would start a journal some day soon.. :-)

CS
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by CS »

George the original one wrote:@CS - this year I cashed in long-term capital gains to meet the minimum income. Next year I'll cash in savings bonds. Then I'll be looking at the Roth conversions. What definitely was resolved in the thread was use of municipal bonds to reduce income to qualify for a subsidy when your income is too high.
Good to know. Thanks for sharing.

steveo73
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by steveo73 »

Congratulations on the one year anniversary. I love reading success stories.

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

The Second Year

Still haven't missed employment at all, yet am continuing with the part-time gig even though I sometimes fail to motivate myself.

Administrivia
Car accident at the end of August (other driver cited for causing it) gave me a non-contact concussion and totaled our 9-year old Hyundai Sonata. Which meant we went shopping for a new car a year or two sooner than planned. New car is a 4-cyl Subaru Outback with which we're getting 31.7 mpg over the 4000 miles we've traveled so far this year... 3000 miles were the first month and thankfully we've slowed down! Sonata was usually returning 27-28 mpg and had nowhere near the towing capacity of the Outback.

Finances
Taxable investment accounts have 3.5-5.25 years of living expenses (not counting the income it generates) and we have 3 years to survive until I can draw my retirement pension. There are 3 months of living expenses in the checking account. Plus some number of years expenses in Roth IRAs that we can tap in an emergency. Internet & phone bill is now $210/mo; most of that is for the satellite & cellular internet access because we consume bandwidth and there's no cable or dsl available out here in the woods.

Activities
Gardening was awesome as documented in the gardening thread. Learned a few more things about getting a good continual harvest in this grey coastal climate. New greenhouse worked very well until it blew away in an October storm, so will construct a new one with the salvaged panels. Expansion of garden beds was completed.

Fishing on the coast this year has been sour. The past two years of El Nino & record hot days have really clobbered the fish returns. Trout fishing in the mountains was fair. The surprise was catching (and releasing) a spring chinook salmon high up on the Clackamas River, above where the Collawash River joins the Clackamas.

Online racing has declined as 3 leagues I joined last year closed their doors. To back my interest in creating cars/tracks for online racing, I spent a weekend at the Portland historic races this summer.

The largest herd of elk to visit our yard happened just last week. I took the old man trip to pee at 2:30a and happened to look outside since the moon was bright enough to light up the yard (even through our overcast skies). Counted 34 elk grazing away, none laying down & sleeping. Maybe they had slept earlier? They mostly left by 3:30a, with only a handful still hanging around. I had to tap on the window to discourage one cow & calf elk from sampling the shade garden by our front porch.

Health
My weight increased 10 lbs in the past year. Last year's foot pain continued for several more months and I never did visit a doctor for it. Which was stupid because, in hindsight, I probably had a broken bone. My wife became lactose intolerant when she accidently double-dosed on some medication.

It is worth noting that my brother (turning age 74 soon) and his wife have had some minor medical bills & related unexpected travel this year (e.g. <$5000). When you're close to the financial edge, this is stressful. I think he has suitable reserves to handle a few bouts like this, so likely the stress he has is a question of whether these expenses are the new norm for him.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Sounds like things are going well! Since you like fishing, have you thought about shooting an elk?

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Gilberto de Piento wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:16 pm
Since you like fishing, have you thought about shooting an elk?
Surprisingly not economical when you consider the price of the license, tag, & odds of success... unless one poaches and discounts the odds of getting caught.

Smashter
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by Smashter »

George the original one wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:37 pm
My wife became lactose intolerant when she accidently double-dosed on some medication.
Whoa, I've never heard of something like that. This should probably be discussed in the microbiome thread, but do you know if this had something to do with killing off massive amounts of gut bugs? Are you willing to say what the medication was?

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Smashter wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:22 pm
Are you willing to say what the medication was?
Sorry it's been a long getting back to this, but wife has totally forgotten. It was either an iron or calcium supplement, both having been prescribed.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Looking at my taxable portfolio last week and just not liking the investment options, I suddenly realized I only have 2.5 years until receiving my pension from my former employer. So... went the "sleep well" route & decided to pull 2.5 years of expenses and stick it in CDs. And that leaves another year's expenses still invested in a few stocks.

Smashter
Posts: 367
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by Smashter »

Re the medication -- no worries, thanks for sharing. My quick bit of googling didn't reveal any instances of those supplements causing lactose intolerance. This is another great example showing how much there still is to learn about diet, medicine, and health. Fascinating.

TheFIminator
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by TheFIminator »

I continued working as i did not want o change my life completely and overnight. I also enjoy what I do, so why not continue to make money out of it.

The best part was the feeling of relief and the weight off the shoulders. No more was I going to work to get money to survive, I now have options!

George the original one
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

George the original one wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:16 pm
And that leaves another year's expenses still invested in a few stocks.
And then I went down a rabbit hole on July 15 and forgot to update this thread. The 2.5 years of living expenses is still safe, the IRAs & Roth IRAs are still intact, but... well the spare year of living expenses has been spent on a needless luxury.

I was going to wait another year or two before spending this money, but have to blame Trump and talk of tariffs and couldn't wait. What happened was I started to research a new car for autocrossing. It's been 12 years since I autocrossed. My boundaries are that the car needs to be "economical", needs to have room to carry carry a set of race wheels, and I've already had enough convertible experience that I wanted a solid roof over my head. A little research showed that my first choice is always at the bottom of its class (Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ/etc.), the new 2019 Hyundai Turbo Veloster R Spec was not yet available, and the Hyundai Veloster N still isn't available. VW GTI is always 2nd place in its class and always above my budget, the latest Honda Civic was probably above my budget, which left the dominant Ford Focus ST with hefty discounts because American production was halted in May.

My desired Ford Focus ST color and option package were still available in the Willamette Valley, but likely to sell fast. Or I could wait a month+ to see how the Hyundais do with looming tariffs. Decided I didn't want to lose the window of opportunity and glad I bought then as the color & option package are all gone from Willamette Valley dealers. Portland buyers, in particular, have bought over half the remaining inventory since July 15! Still a reasonable selection in the Puget Sound area, where they still have 5 of my color and option package available, though only 2 are configured exactly the same as mine.

Result is that I'm having a good time playing with "Pepper". Good to see a few familiar faces at events who know/respect my driving talents and always fun to surprise other people by "coming out of nowhere" with fast times. Heading up north to see how I do against known national-level competitors even though I haven't got race wheels yet (75% used set is on the way from North Carolina, bought for 60% the price of new, but it won't be here until next week). Pepper isn't quite as economical as "Blueberry", our Subaru Outback that has lifetime 32.1 mpg, but she's close enough on the highway.

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Tyler9000
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Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by Tyler9000 »

Awesome car! The Focus ST was on my short list as well when was looking for a hot hatch. I love the color and wheel combo -- looks great. And personally I love how a little car like that can be both really fun to drive and very practical at the same time. Nice choice.

George the original one
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Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

Thanks!

I'm amazed that one can buy a new 150-155 mph car as cheaply as this. I've had it to 90 mph once, accidentally going uphill when someone I tried passing in the passing lane thought they'd give me a fight. I'll probably do a track day with it in the future, but not this first year.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

The Third Year

Between my wife & I, we're down to only two out of our ten closest friends who have not exited employment. None of the retirees has had a crisis of boredom. One friend remains unemployed since 2012 and doesn't appear to be looking, living with his mother.

I'll now be posting here very little as my visits are growing more infrequent. PM's will definitely be answered.

Activities
Gardening continues. Think I'll skip potatoes the next couple years due to wireworm. Looking forward to fully productive apple trees.

Fishing on the coast this year was even more sour than last year as salmon season closed 2 months early due to poor fish returns. The low returns are a direct result of the very hot 2015 as the majority of this year's returning salmon were hatched then. We can expect similar results next year since 2016 was also very hot plus the ENSO cycle is poised to go back into El Nino and the "north Pacific blob" has already returned. The good news is that despite 2018 record number of highs in the Willamette Valley, the coast was cool (I think we only had a couple days over 80F).

Health
Health holds steady. Had a nasty cold/flu the past couple weeks that required sudafed to clear out the sinuses.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by George the original one »

The Fifth Year

Apparently I never updated last year, oops!

Two days ago was my official retirement date for the pension, for which I filed back at the end of July. Eagerly looking forward to the first check, I double-checked the terms and discovered that it won't arrive until 92 days (why 92 exactly?!?) from the date of retirement rather than the date of filing. Oh, well, glad I'd reserved enough cash.

Activities
Fishing was awful last year (result of 2016 hot spell) and is finally bouncing back this year as ocean conditions improve. I've hooked two salmon so far this year; one got away and the other was a really nice wild coho, so had to be released.

Back in June, I revisited Tygh Valley (specifically Jordan Creek in the White River Game Management Unit) which was a favorite rainbow trout fishery of mine in the '80s. Think I haven't been there since '91? The 4wd rigs have chewed up the dirt road to the point where I abandoned any hope of getting the Outback the second mile for the last couple of favored fishing holes. This is a classic case of the tragedy of the commons since I had driven a VW Rabbit Pickup on that same road in 1980 with no trouble and you know how little ground clearance one of those has compared to the Outback. I've basically forever written off this lovely stretch of creek canyon. The bonus was the tick I discovered the next morning, burrowed into my shoulder and drowned during my bath.

Gardening has surrendered time to the autocrossing. I got off to a good start gardening this year due to COVID-19 shutting down so many other activites, but then autocross started happening in June and... <poof>, the garden went to tatters. Didn't close the garden gate in early October and one night the elk made a mess of about 1/3rd of the espalier apple trees.

Autocrossing is going very well. I managed to visit all 13 clubs in Oregon & Washington last year, won season championships in two clubs, won the Mountain Master event at Mt. Bachelor for the second year, and set a new G Street Fall Enduro record in Siskiyou Sports Car Club's annual event after just barely missing the record for the Spring Enduro. This year I won a season championship in one club and placed 7th of 10 in the other club after moving up to the "Pro" level (1st four spots are all national champions). COVID-19, however, wreaked havoc to my plans for attending west coast national-level competitions and then the Oregon forest fires wiped out a few more opportunities, like the Mountain Master event.

Health
We both are a little worse for spending too much time on computers & lack of exercise this year. Wife has lost her mother (July 2019) and a close friend from high school days (July 2020). Avoiding COVID-19 is pretty straight-forward when living an already isolated lifestyle and this county has had very few cases. Autocross clubs follow COVID-safe procedures and it's an outdoor sport.

The Future
Who knows what 2021 holds in store for autocross? I had planned on upgrading the car's suspension and drivetrain to compete in a higher category after Nationals next year, but if COVID-19 suppresses travel again, then I may just pull the trigger early.

sky
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Re: Early Retired: The First Month

Post by sky »

5 year fist bump

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