My literal retirement scoreboard

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unemployable
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My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:53 pm

About a week ago I was dumpster diving and found several packs of adhesive letters and numbers, many of them unopened. This gave me the motivation I needed to create a literal, physical scoreboard tracking my assets and expenses.

I've wanted to do this for awhile, partly because I've long had an interest in changeable manual signs -- sports scoreboards, gas station price signs, movie marquees and the like -- and partly out of a simple extension of my obsession with finances in general. I'm also hoping having these numbers to stare at will motivate me to accumulate more wealth and keep my withdrawal rate down: What gets measured gets improved, as Peter Drucker put it. It's not what I call perfect but for now it does the job.

A trip to Walmart got the whiteboard, some index cards for sticking the numbers onto, some plastic holders I cut into a size that will hold the numbers on the board and a binder to keep the unused numbers in. Total cost around $13. I had a few different ideas, such as sticking magnets on the back of the number cards, that weren't implemented. I'll be looking for a better solution to display the numbers such as "tracks" they can be slid into or plastic that holds them more firmly in place. I also put a fair amount of thought into exactly what data I would display and track and how to arrange it.

Image

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Any unconventional design choices are probably intentional, including punctuation on some cards and using letter I's for 1's. Having enough digits isn't an issue; I wanted to get a bit creative. This is also why I didn't just simply, you know, write on the whiteboard with markers. I took it outside to photograph because the lighting was better.

Some explanations:

The top row is the current "fiscal" month and my liquid net worth as of the end of the last fiscal month. It includes both taxable and retirement accounts, but not consumable goods (car, personal effects), things that don't have an immediate tangible value (valuables and collectibles, many of which I'm trying to sell) or things I have no immediate ownership of (future promised work, inheritance). I rent so there's no housing value in here. This will be updated at the start of every month.

The "PER MO" number on the second row is the monthly equivalent of a 4% withdrawal rate, or the net worth divided by 300. The "PER DAY" number is the per-month number divided by 30.5. This will be updated with the net worth number.

"INC" and "EXP" are the current month's income and expenditures. Income is everything received during the calendar month. I include stock dividends when they're paid, but not anything reinvested such as bond or mutual fund gains. I also won't include proceeds from stock or bond sales, which would come out of net worth. My reasoning is threefold: (1) Dividends are a recurring cash flow which I use to cover expenses (2) it's always how I've mentally accounted for them and (3) it's my goddamn scoreboard.

Expenses are "fiscal month" expenses, that is, everything that I pay immediately (cash) or will come due at the beginning of the following month (rent, credit cards which cut off during the current month). After about the 16th this number gets locked in. After that all expenses will roll over to the next month. I count everything in the fiscal month they're paid, and don't amortize, for example, car insurance.

"NET" is per-month minus (expenses minus income), or the absolute amount by which I go over or under a 4% withdrawal rate. "WD RT" is the current month's running annualized withdrawal rate, calculated as (expenses minus income) times 12 divided by net worth. If "net" is negative the withdrawal rate will be greater than 4%, and if positive will be less.

The last two rows will update throughout the month, as I receive and spend money. Not sure I'll update them every day, but sometimes I need things to do.

I'm open to ideas to include different metrics or to calculate something differently. The board's full, so something would have to come off, most likely the "per-day" spending amount, if I add something. If you want to criticize my exclusion of dividends in withdrawal rate you can do that too, but I might not listen. If the entire idea is something people like I hope to post periodic updates.

Jason
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Sat Aug 18, 2018 5:38 pm

I guess this finally answers the dreaded "What would it look like if John Nash took a job at an Exxon Mobil station" panel question.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:41 pm

Yeah, that's in my nature.

Jason
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:37 am

If it works for you, that's all that matters. Although "A long interest in changeable manual signs" does explain your username as well as the existence of shallow graves filled with boxing ring girls if they happen to start popping up in your neighborhood.

I'm curious though. If you ever dive into a discarded Jumbotron, are you taking that home? Because I think that would actually be cool putting your numbers on that.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:48 am

I like it, but I think you should track or post a couple other things that aren't directly related to personal finance.

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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:34 am

Further to that idea, if this is only for you, maybe put the Peter Drucker quote at the bottom for inspiration. If this is for an audience, then change the quote each posting to keep us interested, otherwise its like reading updated election results. If you aren't retired, then I would add an ETA with an "On or off track." Although seeing that you are like Greg Louganis with this shit, I'm assuming you're done. Now, if it was me, well it wouldn't be me because I don't have any interest in changeable manual signs, but let's say I suffered a major head trauma and inexplicably woke up with an interest in changeable manual signs, I would write stupid shit on it like "If Jesus saves, why is He still working" and track things like CSDLP (current Suo Divorce Likelihood percentage) or give forum posters dumpster ratings like 1 dumpster means I'd leave them in the dumpster, 2 dumpsters I'd take a break in the dumpster to read what they have to say or 3 dumpsters I would take them out of the dumpster and trade them with other dumpster divers for potentially lethal drugs, 4 dumpsters means I'd bring them to the recycling center for spare change or 5 dumpsters means I'd take them to my empty refrigerator box if it's still there when I get back.

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daylen
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by daylen » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:41 am

@Jason

Your posts literally get me to lol sometimes.

Jason
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:37 am

(@) Daylen

That's nice to hear, especially from someone I'd give a 4 dumpster rating.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:12 pm

Jason wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:37 am
I'm curious though. If you ever dive into a discarded Jumbotron, are you taking that home? Because I think that would actually be cool putting your numbers on that.
I think I'd rather have a Solari board than a Jumbotron.
7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:48 am
I like it, but I think you should track or post a couple other things that aren't directly related to personal finance.
Like what? The scope of my little project here is to track assets and spending. If I cared about, say, the number of fake friends I had I'd join Facebook. I have spreadsheets fr other stuff, just like normal [/s] people.
Jason wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:34 am
Further to that idea, if this is only for you, maybe put the Peter Drucker quote at the bottom for inspiration. If this is for an audience, then change the quote each posting to keep us interested, otherwise its like reading updated election results.
Isn't the point of all the journals here for people to provide their own "updated election results" and how it relates to their goals and philosophy? If not, how are others' different from mine?

I'd have to come up with some other quotations from time to time, and they'd be written by hand. (And I take pride in my handwriting, FWIW. Maybe I'll post some of those pics sometime.) But I'm not dismissing the idea at all.
give forum posters dumpster ratings like 1 dumpster means I'd leave them in the dumpster, 2 dumpsters I'd take a break in the dumpster to read what they have to say or 3 dumpsters I would take them out of the dumpster and trade them with other dumpster divers for potentially lethal drugs, 4 dumpsters means I'd bring them to the recycling center for spare change or 5 dumpsters means I'd take them to my empty refrigerator box if it's still there when I get back.
I try hard not to get that wrapped up in bulletin board communities. I've made that mistake in the past and find myself approaching that point from time to time.

Jason
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:54 am

Putting the whole how to best utilize changeable manual sign issue aside for a moment, although you have not yet reached "multi-millionaire owning three townhouses but seen daily pushing supermarket basket filled with discarded soda can neighborhood recycling lady" status, you are a self-attesting dumpster diving guy worth nearly half a stick and I am genuinely curious about how that all works if you ever wanted to address it.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:22 am

The dumpster in question is next to the town recycling bins. So I go there occasionally anyway and I've been looking for packing materials (boxes) to ship stuff I'm selling on eBay. They must have been cleaning out the whole office because it was full of lightly-used office supplies and it was hard not to notice.

Jason
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by Jason » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:24 am

The board is surprisingly clean for something found in a dumpster.

I guess my question is "was this dumpster dive opportunity an outlier or just the most recent finding in an on-going dumpster dive strategy." I do know that people get a head start on the hauling companies on large pick up days.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Mon Sep 03, 2018 1:34 pm

Closing the book on August. Not a bad month considering it tend to be one of my higher-expense months. I already have some income for September, although net worth will be slightly lower due to declines in international stocks.

Image

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:55 pm

September's numbers. I got rid of the "Per Day" figure because it didn't add any value over the "Per Month" figure and because it isn't as if I go into the grocery store or on Amazon and think, OK, I only have $50.71 to spend. I replaced it with what I for now call the age of my fiscal death, although I reserve the right to change the name to something more catchy. It is a conversion of money to time, the age I will be when I run out of money. Assumptions are I have only my current net worth to spend (no additional work income, Social Security, inheritance, etc), I keep spending at recent withdrawal rates and my net worth achieves a zero real return (keeps pace with inflation, but never does any better or worse). Basically it's the reciprocal of my withdrawal rate added to my age. For a withdrawal rate I want to use a several-month moving average to smooth out spending. We start at "79 10" which means I will be fiscally dead at the age of 79 years, 10 months. That's longer than anyone on my dad's side of the family lived (including Dad), so yay I guess.

I needed something to do with the big black numbers anyway.

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classical_Liberal
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:50 pm

Two thumbs up on the "fiscal death"! Both name and concept.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:11 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:50 pm
Two thumbs up on the "fiscal death"! Both name and concept.
Thanks. I've thought a lot about the conversion of money to time -- that's essentially what one's withdrawal rate represents. Among other things, if your fiscal death is younger than you'd like it to be, "get richer" isn't the only solution. You can also get older. Or if your fiscal death is well beyond what you can expect for your biological death, you're clear to spend more money.

It's a simple concept that some ERErs may consider trivially obvious, but it resonates with me especially well. Perhaps because right now it's so close to my expected biological death. Or maybe I just like conceiving of my finances this way, similar to how I find more meaning in the "rule of 300" than in the "rule of 4%".

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7Wannabe5
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:07 pm

Unless you smoke, highly unlikely that you will only survive to 79, and the older you get while remaining healthy, the greater your expectancy becomes. For instance, some calculators already put me at 93. However, I do like the concept. Funny thing is that I have met a few men who suffered mid-life fiscal death which led to physical renewal. Like in addition to Time and Money, there needs to be something like Vigor-Initiative, but how to measure?

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:51 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:07 pm
Unless you smoke, highly unlikely that you will only survive to 79, and the older you get while remaining healthy, the greater your expectancy becomes. For instance, some calculators already put me at 93.
Fair point but I'm not certain life after 90 or so is worth living. Saw it with couple relatives, this time on my mom's side.

Fiscal death turns out pretty easy to model, especially when compared to biological death. By the way, biological death is your retronym of the day.

OK, here's my biological death model: Everyone on my dad's side died around 78, with a standard deviation of about half a year. Everyone on my mom's side lived well past 80, including all of the men, with most of the women living well into the 90s. (Mom is 77.) Splitting the difference and accounting for my suspicion that a slight majority of my genes come from Mom, I'll set my death clock at 86 for now.
However, I do like the concept. Funny thing is that I have met a few men who suffered mid-life fiscal death which led to physical renewal. Like in addition to Time and Money, there needs to be something like Vigor-Initiative, but how to measure?
I can certainly vouch for an inverse relationship between the amount of one's wealth and the immediate motivation to create more of it. In fact I have quantitatively tracked other things I've done in life, such as the mountains I've hiked and different places I've been, which may qualify along some interpretation of vigor.

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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by prognastat » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:42 pm

My grandmother is 93 and still going strong, she still lives in her house alone and though she no longer drives her car so needs help with being driven to places further away she still is able to do most things such as go grocery shopping and take care of herself. So it doesn't have to be that way.

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unemployable
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Re: My literal retirement scoreboard

Post by unemployable » Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:23 pm

October's over and a couple funny things happened. First I had a relatively decent amount of income. Second my net worth took a hit from the stock market, to the tune of about a year's worth of living expenses. I had been basing my calculations on my net worth at the beginning of each month, so was worried they would look better than what I actually face.

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So I ran the numbers using my month-end net worth (Oct 31) as well:

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It affected my annualized withdrawal rate by four basis points -- less than that even, due to rounding. So I'm disinclined to worry about this effect unless we have a 2008-level collapse. However, I did dial back my fiscal death by a few months. I don't quite have a strict formula for this yet, as I feel the need to have a longer history of data before adopting a formal model. (I do have a rough idea of my annual earning and spending going back to when I quit work in 2010, but no convenient monthly numbers in the way the scoreboard shows it.) Compounding this will be that between December and April I will be living rent-free while I "winter" on the Gulf Coast and may have an accumulation rate rather than a withdrawal rate during this period. You know, like the working world has.

In other scoreboard related news, I'm beginning to run out of the smaller numerals and have started to do things such as make 7's by taking an X-acto knife to an L. (I change the numbers each day I have income or change the estimate on my expenses.) I can do this for most digits but 5 and 8 will be troublesome.

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