Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Where are you and where are you going?
Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:46 pm

@Seppia:

Thanks, I am actually planning on going one more round with my boss to see if I can set the job up in a way where it could work out. He has been receptive to my requests in the past and I do make a lot of money for the amount of time that I work and the amount of flexibility I have. There is a way that this job could work for me (and for my boss too I think), but it's not setup to work that way and the inability to make binding agreements with my boss makes it impossible for me to set it up this way. I need to figure out a few simple constraints to request to make it work and then make sure I enforce them.

Determining the "market rate" is very difficult to do when considering that we are both running businesses out of there and that there is a very large positive cash flow that also involves sharing the house with an ever changing cast of random strangers. I could make the argument that I should pay anywhere from no rent to the full mortgage pretty easily.

Calling myself a nerd considering present company is a bit of a misnomer. I am really nerdy in that I spend a lot of time in my own head, read a lot and am very analytical. I think I have below average social skills, but I'm probably in the top 10-20% on this forum. I'm also really good at friendship and do really well with people who I have a reason to talk to (like a shared interest or mutual friend). I'm not good at approaching strangers, fostering rapport or smoothing over awkward situations. I'm also not good at getting people to do things that I want them to do. So, saying that I'm some horribly awkward nerd is not 100% accurate, but saying that I'm a bit of a nerd (I am also of nerds, both of my parents are engineers and my sister is a mathematician) and that I'm weakest on social skills is accurate.

@Fish: Thanks for the huge compliment! I am no where near as smart, thoughtful or well-written a @ebast though! He is one of my favorites as well. I've always wanted to be a writer but didn't pursue it because I wanted to be a musician more and both careers seemed difficult and time consuming. I'd love to find a job where I got to do some writing. My GF is a professional writer and, while she said that she thinks I could be a writer, she also said I'd need a lot of work. This is pretty much confirmed whenever she edits anything I've written. Part of the reason I wanted to write a blog was to get better at writing. She edits my "blog posts" and always gives me a note for improvement in a specific area.

Doesn't a 3% SWR imply a 3% annual return if you are not withdrawing, over a long time horizon? If not what would it imply?

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by prognastat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:57 pm

As far as I'm aware 3% SWR refers to being able to withdraw 3% of your initial stash inflation adjusted annually and the rule being that for pretty much all historically available data there is 0% failure. Of course based on the average market returns in the US stock market.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:14 pm

That's my understanding of it too. If I'm assuming a 3% SWR based on historical data, but I don't withdraw anything, shouldn't that translate into a 3% compounding interest rate? We could call it the "safe growth rate" or something. Is this incorrect?

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by prognastat » Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:44 pm

Good question.

I'm not sure if you could/should. It might be possible to use it for projections, but given that the 3% is based on surviving the very worst markets it might not be the most accurate prediction(unless you happen to start your projection right as the worst time in the market is repeated or worse). However it would be the most conservative with almost being guaranteed to have at least that amount projected in your actual account at that point and probably far more.

I would say for projections of growth that the average over the lifetime of the market would probably end up closer, but run the risk of falling short though.

In the end though you know what the actual returns are as you progress with your stash so it really doesn't matter what it is until you actually start drawing down.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:34 pm

I just realized my mistake, which Fish highlighted. A 3% SWR assumes you can eat principle as long as you can remove $x/ year without dipping below $0. A 3% return assumes that I'm not eating principle (equivalent to a PWR). This would be a huge flaw in my plan, except that I'm leaving myself on the hook for adding the equivalent of a 3% return (+$2000) per year until I'm more confident in my abilities as an investor and feel comfortable that I can probably achieve at least a 3% real return.

Since I'm doing Semi-ERE anyway I can always make up the difference with income if I lose confidence in my investments, until I'm forced to fully retire (arbitrary assumption so that I can do the math) at 65.

Thanks to @Fish for pointing out the flaw and for @prognastat to working through this with me.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 895
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:25 am

Wow, nice update!

In case you care to know, during our IRL meetup I very much felt a warm "salesman" type vibe. So, unless this is new, you may not need much work in that realm. The thing about this skill (btw I agree listening is a huge part of this, so if you actually enjoy hearing other peoples stories you have a huge advantage) is that it translates indirectly into virtually every avenue in life. So much is gained by having people want to please you.

Congrats on the financial goal! Although, my feelings on these things are changing rapidly, partially because of my interaction with you on here. I'm very much coming to realize how any financial goal is really an arbitrary line in the sand. None of it matters unless some tangible life changes are made as a result of meeting the goal.

I'm staying far away from giving anyone relationship advice anymore, so I'll just wish you the best of luck on that.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:32 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:25 am
In case you care to know, during our IRL meetup I very much felt a warm "salesman" type vibe. So, unless this is new, you may not need much work in that realm. The thing about this skill (btw I agree listening is a huge part of this, so if you actually enjoy hearing other peoples stories you have a huge advantage) is that it translates indirectly into virtually every avenue in life. So much is gained by having people want to please you.
Thanks, I felt the same about you. I think some of the credit you are giving me should actually go to you as you were very engaging and easy to talk to. In general I am exceptionally good at talking to people who I 1) have a reason to talk to and 2) have a natural rapport/ connection with. I am comically bad at initiating conversations with strangers and fostering any sort of rapport. I think my most improved skill is listening, which before I started thinking about I was kind of intermediate/ sort of bad at. I've been trying to focus on listening to people more, talking less about myself and starting conversations with strangers whenever I can.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:25 am
I'm staying far away from giving anyone relationship advice anymore, so I'll just wish you the best of luck on that
Haha, I'm not trying to pressure you into relationship advice, but I'm a real stubborn bastard when it comes to advice, unless I specifically ask for it or you have some shockingly new angle that I haven't considered at all. You don't have to worry about giving me advice that I follow and then get angry about if it doesn't work out. If I'm not convinced that it was 75% my idea, I'm not going to try it.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:57 pm

I said in my last journal entry that I need to enact some changes and I've been implementing some and I'm already a lot happier.

I talked to my friend about moving my recording studio into his practice space and he agreed to do it. This will cost an additional $225 per month, which is a pretty big addition to my current spending. During the course of our meeting he asked me if I was charging for recording and I explained the record label I am starting to him. His response was "so you are going to do all the leg-work and only get paid on the back end," to which my response was "yes, you know I only work with the laziest brokest motherfuckers of all time." He then opined that I should charge between $500-$1,000 up front and could do this without offering any extra services or time, without taking any less $$ off of the back end and with a clear conscience. I decided I'm going to try to charge all of my recording clients enough to cover the cost of the studio plus maintenance for my gear, some of which has started breaking. I doubt I'll get 100% covered, but I think getting at least 75% covered should be easy.

Speaking of the record label, I finally submitted the changes for the contracts I need back to the lawyer who I hired to write them. Getting the contracts made really sucks and is taking forever, but I'm excited to start this label.

My girlfriend and I wrote a chore list out and, low and behold, we are actually responsible adults and, once clear responsibilities were assigned, shit is getting done without fights. One fight we were having is her wanting to pay for people to do shit while I wanted to DIY everything (even though I'm often out of my league). The major project she picked was getting the house painted, which lead to the discovery that our house is rotting and has termites. Luckily the termites aren't too bad and the painters knew a good carpenter. She agreed to me paying for the greater of 1/2 the cost of materials or 1/3 the cost of the carpenter. I don't think either of us are 100% happy with this, but it is a compromise. I've been really worried about the house for awhile as it's a new construction and several things have gone wrong already, so I'm glad we've finally got someone who is obviously skilled assessing it.

My job has been a lot better recently. I took a week off and went to Mobile, which is always nice because I can't be called in. It's been a bit slower recently and one of the part-time people who took a sabbatical is back, so hopefully I'll be working less. I've had some success on the new job front. A friend of mine started an air bnb maid company that pays $20/hr and I'm taking a cleaning test for him on Thursday. I'm doing this 50% because I think its funny, but it's also work whenever you want and I'll be able to bike to all of the jobs. I ran into one of my previous bands 5 devoted fans on the street and she is working at a pizza restaurant near my house where the pooled tips + salary generally average around $18/ hour and she said she can definitely get me in and that I could definitely work only 1-2 shifts per week. I went to a party and talked to a few people about becoming a social worker. I'd work for an organization that helps the homeless find housing. I also talked to someone who runs an after school video-production program for kids. It looks like I'd probably be qualified for the social worker position and might be able to start running an after school program in audio production. I always forget that the way to job search in New Orleans is to go to parties/ bars and tell people you are looking for a job.

I hung out with one of my old studio buddies and he reminded me that I used to live like a fucking animal and not give a single fuck about anything except kicking ass and taking names all day. I really don't want to go back to that lifestyle, though sometimes I do miss the pure savagery of it all, but it was useful to be reminded of who I was at another point in my life as I launch some new endeavors and leave behind some old ones. I'm still trying to grapple with the fact that I have more than 12x as much money as I had when I quit my job, traveled for 3 months and then moved to a city where I knew no one to live on the couch of someone I'd only met once AND that I only have to work part-time one day a week to cover my current expenses (until I quit my job in favor of a more agreeable, lower-paying profession).

classical_Liberal
Posts: 895
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:16 am

Glad you put your foot down wrt the on call work. That's just annoying as hell! A double congrats on getting the recording stuff going, I think you'll end up being much more happy/inspired with that type of work if you can get it to generate regular income stream. Sounds like you're finding plenty of alternatives too.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:01 am

I read theanimal’s journal and I realized I am living my life like a fucking pussy. Damn you Alaska!

Jason
Posts: 2176
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jason » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:53 am

Maybe this will allow you even more flexibility in your polyamorous pursuits.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:55 am

I wrote a song that has lyrics for the first time and then played it live on piano, an instrument I am not good at. I am also bad singer. I have a HUGE ego about music because I have sincerely tried to be a good musician for so long. I haven't been that nervous before a gig since I was 16. In the minutes before playing I thought I was going to cry and vomit at the same time. I realized I need to be doing more terrifying stuff more often.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 895
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:01 am

How'd the performance go?

Jason
Posts: 2176
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jason » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:43 am

I am curious as well. Not so much the music but if he ended up puking out of his eyeballs.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:02 pm

From a musical stand point the performance was an unmitigated disaster. I didn't anticipate having to sing into a microphone and I couldn't see my left hand so all of the bass notes were fucked up, which throws everything else off. It really screwed my friend I coerced into accompanying me on lead guitar, though I was able to hit the bass notes during his solo when I could see my hand. I did pull off the piano intro that I wrote which was stretching my piano skills a little bit, which I was proud of. I also forgot the lyrics during one part and I am an objectively terrible singer.

The song was funny however so I got a lot of laughs and hi-fives from all of my much more talented musician friends who watched me make an asshole out of myself. Luckily, I've fucked up on a stage so many times that I know this was a victory and not a defeat. It is generally better to be charismatic and terrible or objectively excellent than mediocre at these kind of things and thankfully there were two other performers who were just o.k.

I did get drunk afterwards and wake up with a disproportionately bad hangover, which did result in me vomiting the following day. I accidentally ate crab at a party right before the show so I'm questioning whether or not that played a part (I am a vegetarian) because vomiting from drinking for me is very rare.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:45 pm

I'm in the middle of a work orgy and I'm making a note of how much it sucks. I worked for 9 straight days, had yesterday off and then worked again today. I'm currently off tomorrow (though available to work at the hospital so who knows) and then back on for 4 more days. There is a good chance I will work 17 of 19 days by next Wednesday. My life is completely ruined. My house is very messy, my girlfriend is having to do all of the household chores, I am drinking too much, I haven't touched an instrument or exercised since I started (luckily some of the work is a little bit physical) and all I can do on my days off is sit around my house and get high. This is a sincerely awful way to live and I'm really glad I opted for semi-ERE instead of balls-to-the-wall make money 'til ya drop and then stop early retirement. Lest the post be too negative, I took the extra work (running sound for a small stage at a music festival) because I felt I hadn't challenged myself enough recently and I am not very good at live sound. I'm doing a really good job on all fronts and I should be able lock down this gig every year until I don't want it anymore if things continue to go half as well as they have.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 895
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu May 02, 2019 12:50 am

You, sir, are an embarrassment to semi-ERE! I demand you take a full month off after the musical festival!

On a more serious note, congrats that its going so well! It's probably nice to remind yourself of what the full time grind is like every now and again, lest you become tempted to start working more. As a matter of fact, it's probably a good idea for anyone in semi-ERE to do something like your last few weeks every year or so as a reminder of the life we escaped.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Fri May 31, 2019 12:05 pm

Life Update:

Moving my studio out of my house is the best thing I've ever done. It may slow down my progress towards early retirement, but it's a massive lifestyle improvement and I'm getting way more work on music done.

I worked another 3-day festival and discovered there is a job called "patch person" which is right below the monitor engineer and still considered part of the audio team. I have essentially done this before, but no one told me it was a bonafied job with clear responsibilities and a very small amount of prestige. Once the monitor engineer filled me in on my responsibilities I was immediately awesome at it. I'm going to try to pick up more patch person gigs, which may eventually lead to monitor engineering gigs (the downside of the promotion is it's not initially much more money but way more stress). So far I've picked up one more festival over 4th of July weekend.

The past month has been crazy, I've worked a ton and my sister paid me a visit and I'm also involved in starting no less than 4 bands and working on 3 recording projects. I'm totally slacking on all of my DIY related ERE responsibilities. My garden is a mess, I haven't mended a sock in months and I haven't improved in a single area that I'm not already pretty good at since Mardi Gras.

Summer in New Orleans is pretty much awful because it's so hot and everyone is broke. The upside is the annoying tourists mostly evaporate and work slows down. I'm looking forward to establishing a new practice/ music production regime in my new studio, getting these bands off the ground for the start of tourist season and getting back into some ERE related generalist skill improvement. I also need to start looking for a new job. The hospital has been slow and there is usually a fat end of year bonus, so I'll likely stick it out until the end of the year unless it gets really bad again or I find a really great new job. I've arbitrarily decided that I'll quit with no back up by my 36th birthday in slightly under 4 years, unless I have an extremely compelling reason not to. If nothing changes and I pursue this "coasting to semi-ERE" method should be a little more than 50% of the way towards my full retirement number.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Tue Aug 13, 2019 11:51 pm

I'm currently buried under a mountain of free music work that I've agreed to do over the last 2 years. I'm working on finishing a classical album, which is a fucking disaster that I can't wait to have finished; an all trombone album, which is ... an all trombone album; and a punk rock album. I tracked the punk album a few weeks ago. I'm also in the process of starting a few bands. The upshot is trying to finish all these projects has made me switch my routine. Instead of focusing on goals that are never-ending in nature (when will do I "know how to play the drums" and does that mean I can finally stop practicing?), I've been focusing on finishing projects and using working on my more nebulous goals during breaks. I've also been saying no to more things and trying to be more realistic about what can actually be accomplished in a day. Ideally, once I un-bury myself from all of these other projects, I'll spend about an hour working on learning drums and piano, about an hour transcribing music and a few hours working on a project with a definite end (either a show or record release).

I got a new partner for my record label and we finalized the contracts a few weeks ago. We've been having a lot of meetings and *hopefully* we'll be releasing our first material by the end of the year. I've decided that after this year I will do one free record from start to finish every year, which I'll release on the label. I'm open to releasing projects I don't fully engineer/ produce, either because they are already mastered or because the band just wants me to mix the projects as well.

I'm trying to figure out what to do with my studio. Making a record in the space I'm currently in was pretty rough. I have the equipment to do a full band recording, but I'm interested in spending a lot of time working on my own material and improving my musicianship, which usually doesn't require the amount of gear that I have. The ideal thing to do would be to find some like-minded individuals who'd provide a space in exchange for being able to use my gear, possibly with some light assistance. In exchange, I'd get a place to park my stuff and some studio time. I don't think this is really going to happen though.

I've been really busy and haven't been putting enough effort into finding a new job. Part of the problem is my current job isn't so bad. I'll go a month with a pretty light schedule and then get hammered for a few weeks straight. The other problem is, I'm not particularly sure what I want to do. At this point, I'm close enough to the end of the year, that I'm going to stick it out until January for the bonus. I still need to be putting more effort into seeing what jobs are available and applying for them.

I've been slowly (and painfully) working on learning how to invest. So far now grand insights, I still feel like I have no idea what I'm doing (all my money is currently sidelined). I'm also working on learning some more math skills and what I might want to apply those towards and about ecology and ecosystems. My garden this year was a failure except for the basil. I'd like to get back to writing my semi-retirement blog in this very journal, but I won't even begin to hope to have time until I finish all of the mixing projects I'm working on.

Reflecting on recent posts by @wolf and @black_son_of_gray, I've realized I need to stop worrying about retiring or hitting my number at all. It's far more important that I spend my time working on things I consider to be important, interesting and enjoyable and contribute to my web of goals, than working towards a goal that I'm not sure I even want. I do still plan to continue to save money and learn to invest because I am nowhere near decoupling myself from the money system and I will also need to retire someday.

Jin+Guice
Posts: 365
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta

Post by Jin+Guice » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:21 am

The Decrease in Current Dollars Saved for Every Dollar Earned in Semi-ERE:

Yesterday while I was walking to the grocery store, an ERE question came into my mind. If I make and spend $1 in retirement, how much less can I save?

I'm fond of pointing out that for every $1,000/ year you are willing to earn and spend in retirement, $33,000 less dollars can be stashed for retirement (assuming an ~3% SWR). Extrapolating so deeply into the future has always bothered me though. I have no idea how many thousands of dollars 53 year old me will be feel like earning or how many dollars 83 year old me will be capable of earning. So I was wondering, how much I can not save if I earn $1 today?

Let's make an assumptions. I am assuming that I can retire for exactly 60 years with 33 years of spending saved.

Thus for every $33 I have saved I expect to withdraw $1/ year for 60 years or $60 total.

If I earn and spend $1 in retirement I can now save $33/60= $0.55 less.



So....who cares? If $0.55 generates $1 of income, why would I prefer to earn the $1 later and not just earn $0.55 now?

From a traditional FIRE perspective (i.e. all earning are done in an "accumulation phase" and all draw down is done in a "retirement phase"), this just justifies your position. However, I think it's a useful calculation for the semi-early retiree*. The inverse of this calculation is also interesting. $60/33 = $1.82. For every $1.82 you think future you might be willing to earn you can save $1 less. What I'm really trying to get at is the trade-off. By working extra today and giving up guaranteed freedom, you get future you $1.82 for every $1 you earn and save. However in giving future you an extra $0.82 of freedom(/$1 saved), you are running a lot of risks, perceived and otherwise. Are those risks worth it to you? I don't know, but now you know the payoff.

*For the purpose of this post I'm assuming that semi-ERE consists of an accumulation phase working a highly-paid job and then a retirement phase working lower paid jobs and/ or part-time. This is different than my usual definition, which is somewhere between the two goals posts of "work no more than 40 hours a week for 5 years or work no more than 5 hours per week." I think the definition I'm using in this post closely approximates the experience of those who were initially working towards traditional FIRE and are now considering semi-ERE.

So if you think future you might be willing to earn $10,000 somewhere in your 60 year retirement, you can save $10,000*0.55= $5,500 less. If you think you might be willing to earn $100,000 (which seems like a lot, but it's only $5,000/ year for 20 years), you can save $55,000 less. And if future you is willing to save $60,000 you can save $33,000 less, because this is actually just the exact same thing as earning $1,000/ year for 60 years, it just doesn't matter when in the 60 year period you earn it. The math geniuses here are probably like "duh, something something linear equation, something something" but, I find it useful to play with the numbers and see what they have to say.

Post Reply