C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Tyler9000
Posts: 1631
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:45 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Tyler9000 »

I'm a little late to the party, but congrats on both the new adventure and also the newfound clarity. Very exciting!

anomie
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:13 pm
Location: midwest, usa

Re: C40's Journal

Post by anomie »

congratulations C40!

SimpleLife
Posts: 771
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by SimpleLife »

Wow, so sudden. Thought the pt gig was good. Alas, congrats, enjoy your freedom.

Have you considered other states for cheap housing? I've seen some 700sf houses for 20k here and there. Small town with little economy, but if you're FIRE...

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2416
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

@Simplelife - yeah. I've seen that houses are generally a lot cheaper in the southeast. One of my vanlife phase goals is to get a better idea of how much I would like/dislike living in certain parts of the country (and things like distance to major cities, proximity to cool outdoor stuff, etc.)

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2416
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »


-------------------------------------------
JUNE 2016
-------------------------------------------

TOTAL SPENDING: $938
  • * Registration / Drivers License / 6 mo. Insurance - $328
    * Gas - $231
    * House – final utility bills - $137
    * Food - $93
    * Dentist - *75
    * Household stuff - $35
    * Clothes - $32
    * Date - $7

It appears my bare bones monthly spending could look like: (avg. monthly numbers)
  • * Van registration and insurance - $50
    * Health Insurance - $50
    * Gas - $50
    * Food - $200
    * Household - $30
    * Phone/Date - $5
That’s only $385! So if I really want, my spending could be very low. Most months will have much more on top of that for more gas, hobby stuff, and van maintenance/repairs/upgrades.


WORK

I wrote this part of my journal post a few weeks ago:

“I’ve gotten approval to work part time for at least the rest of the year. The plan is to work two weeks per month. There are very little changes to my benefits. Health and Dental insurance remain and cost the same. The only things that change are those based on working time (years, of service, rate of vacation accrual, etc.) and those just scale with my working hours. They will actually accrue at 75% because my schedule is a 75% work rate, but I will use 25% vacation. This gets me the most money while working 50% of the time.

I got started in the second half of June and have had one week off so far.

I think I’ll continue this until I feel entirely ready to quit. I imagine that may come quite soon.”



That last sentence happened on my first week off. I had my first week off with my part-time arrangement and went camping. A few days of slowing down was all it took to be ready to quit. The main reasons I want to quit now are:
  • * To have total flexibility of location and time (while having 1-2 weeks off a time was way way better than working full time and having only weekends, it still sucks compared to full freedom and being able to meander around the country without making it to certain major airports by certain dates)
    * I was just tired of working. Since I was close to quitting before, I’d spent about a month counting weeks and days with a concrete end date in mind. I hate working like that. My motivation at work was really low and I was waking up in the morning and wishing that I would just skip out of work that day.
    * I have “enough” money. I’ve met my retirement target. I’ve completed basically all the actions on my “before quitting” list. So I was asking myself “What are you waiting for?”. The answer had been that the extra money woud be nice, and that I didn’t yet feel totally ready. (Once I got to feeling ready, the money alone doesn’t feel worth it). This part made me think of a Marcus Aurelius pick that Jenny shared in the Meditations book club thread: ”You boarded, you set sail, you’ve made the passage. Time to disembark” (He was actually writing about dying, but it felt relevant to my situation)
    * I have some doubts in the back of my head – things like that the van will have some catastrophic failure and that it could end this van phase, and that I should make the most of it while I’m doing it. (This is not a valid reason and I don’t think it factored much into my decision, but I was still thinking it, but I still would like to dive in fully and make the most out of this while I’m doing it. Continuing work definitely does feel like a half-measure in regards to embracing this phase of life)
    * If I’m going to quit anytime soon, I might as well quit while it’s still the summer and I can spend time up in the north. (In the winter my location options will decrease a lot)

So on Monday, instead of doing any other work, I sat at a picnic table in a park to update and send the resignation letter I’d drafted about a month ago. My last day of work will be June 15. This week I’ve been working in a factory, next week I have vacation, and my last week I’ll be in St Louis working at our office.

After sending the letter, I’ve felt a bit lighter. I’ve been noticeably happier, but haven’t felt huge moments of exuberance. I’m very much looking forward to my first weeks of not working.

This week has been my last work in the factory (which is much more difficult than working in the office) and during the breaks when I have time to think to myself, my motivation level has been super low. I’ve told a handful of people here and the reactions typically fit into one of these categories:
  • * Someone immediately getting it and generally saying “oh man, that’s awesome!” (and usually noting that they’d do something different, but they fully appreciate the freedom)
    * People not saying much of anything at all. I can’t tell whether it’s because they are going deep in thought about their own situations, or having some cognitive dissonance, or thinking “you’re a fucking idiot”, but they don’t say anything negative
    * People (generally only ones who know me) that say “wow” and “that’s crazy!” a lot. They generally ask a lot of questions about living in a van, but also (eventually) note that they wish they could stop working too.
Since I told my boss the reason to work part time was to help my family, I’ve been walking sort of a line of what I tell people.



PLANS

I’m going to spend next week in Colorado again – some of it in Denver and some out camping. Then after my last week of work I will probably start heading northwest. I want to get out to Portland and Seattle and spend time with my friends out there before it gets all rainy. Now that I’m quitting, I’ll be able to get out there in time without having to rush a lot. Next summer I plan to take my time in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, etc. So I won’t worry about missing things as I go through this time.


CAMPING PICTURES


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image



CHARTS

Image

Image


INVESTING

I had about $65k to invest after I got the money from my house. For now, I just bought a mix of PEY and VPU. I bought them near the bottom of the little Brexit dip. The yields on these aren’t all that great. Over time I’ll sell off chunks of those to purchase individual stocks. I can push the total yield up over $8,500/year of dividends. I’ll start my IRA ladder in 2,017 and expect to sell off some of my post-tax stocks to help fund spending for the 5 year waiting period.

Image


COMPLIMENT FROM A FRIEND

Before I left town, I went over to spend the evening with some old friends. They’re a married couple – the man a lawyer and the woman a doctor. One of their other friends was also there. We had been talking about the van and how I built it, and at one point after mentioning that they’d had me shoot their wedding pictures, he said to his friend “yeah, C40 is a renaissance man”. That gave me a real warm fuzzy feeling inside.

bryan
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan »

That last $50k comes the fastest, huh?

Great pictures, and as always, love the graphs.

$50 for health insurance? wow! That's great.. so does it mean it's a silver plan, subsidized? Do you qualify for (want) medicaid?

I may be able to RE earlier than I thought (I have been keeping track of a "Spending minus perks" and using that as my RE spending; one item it includes replacing is full price healthcare insurance at $450/mo, instead of subsidized insurance). Well that's a pleasant surprise.. now I just need to forget about it and not put it into my spreadsheets (yet) in order to stay conservative and get up to $500k like you before thinking about pulling the plug for good..

GandK
Posts: 2018
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by GandK »

I love the photos.

Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1440
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

Congratulations! I'm excited for you! Have fun!

This seems like an "out west" adventure, but if you find yourself in the "upper midwest" send me a pm and maybe we can meet up for a ride.

cmonkey
Posts: 1791
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by cmonkey »

I also love the photos. If you ever want to make some passive income, look into selling those photos!

I see your 'pension' value dropped off this month...what happened with that? I only ask because I also have a modest pension and I'm wondering what I'll do with it when the time comes.

George the original one
Posts: 5108
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: C40's Journal

Post by George the original one »

Excellent pictures!

@cmonkey - I think the falloff is just the graphing software since the other lines also have a falloff, but the pension is lower & thus more noticeable with a shallower angle.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2766
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by IlliniDave »

Wow, I'm behind the times. Congrats on the transition! Love the camping photos too. I can see, being surrounded by that, why you made the call you did.

Matty
Posts: 78
Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:47 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Matty »

Nice work man! Interesting to see how perspectives can change with just a few days on the other side.

Wishing you all the best in your future adventures. I look forward to seeing where they lead!

Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Dragline »

bryan wrote:That last $50k comes the fastest, huh?

Great pictures, and as always, love the graphs.
Yes, the pictures are most excellent. It's amazing the beauty and entertainment that nature often provides us for the mere price of our attention.

On the money observation, this is the magical consequence of compounding. There is a famous quote by Hemingway from The Sun Also Rises that looks at this in reverse: “How did you go bankrupt? Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

Such it is the same in accumulation of assets. Once you are half way there numerically, you are getting close. One you are 90% there, the end is around the corner.

Igotgoals
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:18 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Igotgoals »

Congratulations, C40. You've worked hard to get where you are and I'm happy for you.

vraxxos
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:36 am
Location: UK

Re: C40's Journal

Post by vraxxos »

Inspiration journal, I congratulate you on reaching your goal.

By the way - gorgeous photos - what are you using to take them?

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2416
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 »

Thanks everyone!

bryan wrote:
$50 for health insurance? wow! That's great.. so does it mean it's a silver plan, subsidized? Do you qualify for (want) medicaid?
$50 per month is about as low as it gets, with the subsidy optimized (which I very vaguely remember as being around $12-$16k income per year). I need to (re)check to confirm that my IRA to Roth IRA conversions count as income for that. I may need to pay more to have a plan where I'm actually covered in states besides South Dakota. Also, for your planning, don't expect this to last forever. I think that without the subsidies, cheap plans are over $200/month.


cmonkey wrote:I also love the photos. If you ever want to make some passive income, look into selling those photos!

I see your 'pension' value dropped off this month...what happened with that? I only ask because I also have a modest pension and I'm wondering what I'll do with it when the time comes.
Yeah I need to look into selling the photos more. I think some of the methods of selling photos are very saturated and it might be difficult to do so. I imagine that getting some traction may require a lot of social media exposure and maybe some aggressive marketing (things I'm not sure I want to learn about). I've considered doing a few different types of portraits, and while those can't scale up well, they would be pretty quick and easy money.

And yeah, the values on the chart drop to zero for the future months. After I quit, I can take the current cash value of my pension and move it into an IRA. (The annuity rates are a horrible deal for me)

vraxxos wrote:By the way - gorgeous photos - what are you using to take them?
Thanks. Some of them were taken with a 10 year old DSLR (Nikon D90), some with a Panasonic point and shoot, and some with an iPhone. In most cases, fixing it up in photoshop is key to make up for some of the ways an image sensor is inferior to an eyeball, and in some cases to make it look better than real life.

bryan
Posts: 1052
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan »

C40 wrote: I may need to pay more to have a plan where I'm actually covered in states besides South Dakota. Also, for your planning, don't expect this to last forever. I think that without the subsidies, cheap plans are over $200/month.

...

Yeah I need to look into selling the photos more. I think some of the methods of selling photos are very saturated and it might be difficult to do so. I imagine that getting some traction may require a lot of social media exposure and maybe some aggressive marketing (things I'm not sure I want to learn about).

Let us know how the health insurance evolves. I am aware of the decent silver plan prices for a healthy young person and it ain't cheap.


For photos, have you heard of https://www.eyeem.com/ ? Seems good. It should rely less on establishing yourself before being able to sell anything.. though it is companies doing most of the buying so your successful subjects may be a bit more restricted..

zarathustra
Posts: 158
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:15 pm
Location: OR

Re: C40's Journal

Post by zarathustra »

I am soooo happy for ya, c40!!! Congratulations! I look forward to hearing about the journey both physical and psychological of your first 6 months - a year out of work. I anticipate lots of ups and downs, but what do I know? :)

LiberateMind
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:18 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by LiberateMind »

Congrats C40!! Looking forward to your adventures..

BRUTE
Posts: 3803
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE »

wow, that's crazy!

brute is very impressed. by the pictures, the van building, the absurdly gorgeous landscape, and by C40's moment of clarity that caused him to quit. it was very interesting to see and discuss the options at the end of somebody's working life.

godspeed.

Post Reply