C40's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
James_0011
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by James_0011 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:52 pm

@tophatfox

There is also the risk of unexpected expenses popping up with a kid. My friend who is mentally ill is currently in a private treatment facility - I know for sure he’s not paying for it, and I’m assuming it’s costing his parents tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars...

Not to mention the cost of college, etc...

User avatar
TopHatFox
Posts: 1598
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:07 pm
Location: NY; 23

Re: C40's Journal

Post by TopHatFox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:56 pm

Hahahahaha, random projection - you know you live in Westchester when. Folks on the street and buses here look graver than death, especialy the parents... I don't really know how they make ends meet tbh...

James_0011
Posts: 390
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:00 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by James_0011 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:45 pm

I hated living in white plains. I dress in thrift store clothing and had a women come up to me at a bus stop and offer me $10 one time lol - I guess she thought I was a bum

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:38 pm

James_0011 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 6:22 pm
@c40
Have you considered renting in a few cities to try them out?
Not really.

I've tried out a handful of cities by being in them for weeks or months in my van. For me, that's a much quicker way to get to know a city than living in an apartment, because I'm 'out and about' a ton, and specifically looking at parts of the city, the people, etc.

If this all works out with my sister, I'll go ahead and have my home base there. While it may not be perfect and may not be what I would have chosen, doing this would entirely remove the question and complexity of deciding where, thus making the process simpler for me, and giving me more time to focus on doing stuff. Having it on my sister's land would have the additional benefit of keeping it simple for me, and of me not having to worry about leaving it vacant if I want to go off on some adventure for a month or a year. I think these benefits would more than make up for it maybe not being in the exact place I would have chosen.

N.C. doesn't seem perfect for me because there are so many damn trees, and because of the humidity. And ticks? But these are small things (as long as I don't get limes disease). I was in Asheville long enough to know that it seems good enough. Really the important thing related to the city is the people -- are there enough of the right kind of people there for me to find 'my people'. I think Asheville will work well from that perspective.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:34 pm

2017 YEAR SUMMARY

Here are the numbers. I will probably make another post with other information about what I’ve been up to the last couple months, now, and future plans.


This was my first full calendar year since retiring

In short:
  • Income: $21k
  • Spending: $12k
  • Saved: $9k



INCOME: $21,400
  • Dividends: $15,846
  • Pension growth: $1,636
  • Tax Refund: $2,983 (Essentially work income from last year)
  • Hobby income: $948
I think I also have a small amount of realized capital gains. I reinvested all these and am not really considering it spendable income. The tax on these will be small or none.

About half of the income was in post-tax accounts, and half in retirement accounts. 2018 will be my 2nd year of moving $10k from my Traditional IRA to Roth IRA, so in 3 or 4 years, I’ll have $10k per year available to pull out of the Roth if I want. So far, through low spending and the tax refund, I haven’t had to sell any stocks in my post tax account in order to fund spending.

I had quite a lot of unrealized capital gains in 2017, and my net worth jumped up by $60k for the year.





SPENDING: $12,219
  • Hobby/Entertainment: $4,952
  • Food: $3,453
  • Transportation (mostly Gas): $2,913
  • Home (Van): $627
  • Clothes/Other: $467
  • Household goods: $340
  • Hygiene/Health: $187
If I’d been pinching pennies, I could have quite easily spent $7,500 or less for the year and still traveled around a lot.


Details of Hobby/Entertainment spending:
  • Photography equipment: $1,542 (it was $3,506 purchases minus $1,964 from selling equipment)
  • Tattoo: $650
  • Tea, Coffee: $771 (majority is coffee gear)
  • Coffees shops: $300 (mainly for electricity, internet, change of scenery)
  • Dating: $417
  • Bicycling gear: $228
  • Travel: $168 (side trips to N.C. and Toronto)
  • Outdoors gear: $137
  • Internet: $87
  • New cel phone: $65
  • Whiskey: $54
  • Pens/writing: $35
  • Electronics: $28
  • Other/misc: $470




A BUNCH OF CHARTS:


Income details:
Image



Image



Image



Image



Living in the van caused a big drop in the ‘home’ expenses
Image
(The cost of building the van, about $10k, is mostly included in the 2015 number)



Comparison of spending and income for this year, including a running surplus:
Image
(This chart does not include the $3k tax refund, which bumps the surplus up to $9k)



Image
YAYYY $600k!


A longer timeline of net worth
Image


The ol’ SWR needed chart
Image



Image

sky
Posts: 802
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:40 pm

How would you compare quality of life, pre- and post retirement?

Pre- and post van dwelling?

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:12 pm

@sky - I will come back to that later. I've just moved in with friends to take a break from traveling, and this will give me more perspective on the question.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:18 pm


-------------------
JANUARY 2018
-------------------


It’s been another good month at C40 industries.

I drove all the way from the tip of Baja Mexico to Portland, OR. 2,100 miles. That attributes for most of the gas cost below.

I was feeling ready to take a break from traveling in the van. The possibility of helping my sister build an earthbag home, plus a small one for myself on her property, had be all excited for a while. But her and her partner are not so sure they want to settle where they’ve just moved to, so that house building probably won’t be happening soon. So, instead of going to do that, I came up to move in with my friends in Portland for a little while. Not exactly sure what I’ll be doing next. I’m thinking of moving on from the van travels to something else, or just something to take a significant pause from it. More to come on this later.




CHARTS


Image

Image





PICTURES


Here are a few pictures from Mexico. I haven’t gotten around to sorting and editing them all, much less making a blog post about it. But here’s a few of them:


Image

Image

Image

Image

sky
Posts: 802
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by sky » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:28 pm

Very nice, thank you for posting those pics. Excellent camping spots.

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 pm

Would love to read a retrospective of your vanlife. Very timely for me as I plan to be in the van again by July.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm

C40, your journal is an inspiration and practical goldmine for information on the van life.

As Brute and akratic have detailed, the travelling gets old and you start to crave something meaningful. I understand the resistance to the standard middle class life of course, but I think it’s possible to deal with society on your own terms.

I hope you never went thru with that vasectomy. You can meet a fellow ERE-er or someone who can easily adapt to the ERE life. You can homeschool children. I would imagine someone raised with ERE ideals instead of having to come to it on their own would be a formidable Renaissance human. I myself have resisted the breeding impulse for financial reasons but I recognize a day will come when I want someone to inherit my empire.

Imagine putting the same care into crafting a small impressionable human as you did into outfitting your van. I imagine the feeling would be sublime.

Keep trucking!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:46 pm

:) Hi Mister Imperceptible.

Yeah, I'm definitely sorting through the "what lifestyle do I want to design now" question, relating to travel speed, having roots, relationships, etc.

You can sleep easy; I haven't gotten that vasectomy yet. Mainly due to a combination of laziness related to going to a doctor/surgeon, and it just not feeling urgent.. My reasons for not wanting children are not really related to me not wanting to spend money on them. It's just that I don't feel any desire to raise a child. I'm not 100% sure why I feel that way, but I am 100% sure that I feel that way. I'm at ~middle age now and am maybe about as mature as I'm going to get, so the chances of my feelings changing are getting slimmer and slimmer. Getting really bored with life might be the only thing that would change my mind, (doing/trying a bunch of different things, thinking "there's got to be more to life than this" and trying out progenation to add some spice to my life. Doesn't seem like a very good reason, but it's probably a better reason than most people for having kids. Probably won't happen though.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3069
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by BRUTE » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:42 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:02 pm
As Brute and akratic have detailed, the travelling gets old and you start to crave something meaningful else.
there is no meaningful, only distractions.


User avatar
Frugalchicos
Posts: 148
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:18 pm

Amazing pics and congrats about the 600K. Your growth and progress are always very inspirational!

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:39 pm

SPENDING:

January: $881. Included $560 of gas driving from Baja Mexico to Portland Oregon.
February: $956. Bought a new phone, joined a gym, bought a bit of clothes.

Here's an update of my spending vs. income since retiring:

Image




MEXICO PICTURES:

Here are a few more pictures from Mexico. I’ve been very slow with sorting through and editing them:

Image

Image

Image

Image





UPDATE:

I've been living with my friends for nearly two months now. It's nice being in a house, and spending a lot of time with them. But it's quite an unproductive environment for me. I haven't made much progress in deciding what I want to do next or on researching the details for the options I'm considering. I've started to do better on it more recently.



PLANS:

I'm not totally over van traveling, but I am feeling ready to start getting on with what's next. The options I'm currently considering are:

1 - Buy some land and build some type of small home. Depending on location, climate, and laws, may be some kind of 'alternative' construction method. (like earthbag, yurt, cabin, tiny house, etc.). The things I like about this option are the potential permanence of the property, of having my own little realm for growing things and whatnot, and being able to build a home that is as small as I want it. (though I need to do more research, it seems there is some chance I'd build it even smaller than I want in order to avoid zoning/permit/whatever laws. There'd be a lot to sort out here including what region of the country (just considering U.S. for now), how close do I want/need to be to a city, how much property, what is desirable for me, laws in that area, construction method, etc.... The big potential downside of this is if I buy property outside of a city/town and I spend too much time by myself or get annoyed with having to drive in and out of town to socialize.

2 - Buy a house, most likely one that needs some work. Fix it up. Then maybe sell it, or live in it, or rent it out (and maybe build a second dwelling on the property if there is room and it's allowed, maybe a tiny house on wheels that I could take somewhere else if/when I sell the house or just when I decide to). I’d like to learn more home remodeling skills, so this could be a project I enjoy. Could also make some money and allow me to spend more or live in more expensive cities later. Could be better for social life living in a city. Could still do option #1 later, and if I do also build a tiny house, just move it out to the land.


3 - Go live in southeast Asia for a while. Could be really cheap. The adventure aspect of it is not all that enticing for me at the moment. I have concerns that I would not be satisfied with the socializing/relationship options, as I’d likely be meeting travelers, ex-pats that float around, and the locals that speak english.



I’ve started trying to find books to learn about options 1 and 2. For option 1, I’m having a difficulty finding books that I’m looking for, ideally covering the subject of buying land, building a house, and some homesteading stuff overall (including region selection, assessing property, etc.) Most of the books I’m finding seem to be for people already living out on some land/farm. And there are books about building. So I guess what I’m missing is info on region selection and property buying. If anyone knows of good resources for those, please share them. (Prefer a book. if not that, a dense and thorough blog).

User avatar
bryan
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 2:01 am
Location: mostly Bay Area

Re: C40's Journal

Post by bryan » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:19 pm

What phone did you buy? I am thinking of getting a newer one myself.

You don't think all three of those plans sound kind of boring?

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:58 pm

An iPhone SE. Verizon has the prepaid version on sale for $160, probably to clear them out before the SE2 comes out. I had to buy one month of service for $45. I think I may keep paying monthly until I go back out in the van and then just use my 3G MIFI for service.

I wanted to buy another BLU R1 HD for $60 (through Amazon Prime) but they got rid of that Amazon Prime special. If I had it to do again, I'd buy the BLU R1 HD for $100. The iphone is faster and more stable but the bigger screen on the R1 is nice, and the iPhone touchscreen doesn't work that great (maybe just (partly) because the screen is small and using apps designed for larger screens)

About the boring - No. You're joking, right?
Last edited by C40 on Mon Mar 05, 2018 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Posts: 487
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Mar 05, 2018 4:52 pm

The Book On Flipping Houses by Scott was useful when I flipped a house. The info is scattered around online too.
Compact Cabins and Compact Houses by Rowan might be good to read if you were building a small house. It's mostly layouts, but he talks about building it modularly too.

patrickza
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:24 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by patrickza » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:44 am

Your Mexico pictures are stunning. Any reason you didn't stay longer? How about heading further south? My wife and I spent a short time in a campervan in central Chile and Argentina, stunning mountain and lake area. That's what made me want to move into a van when I pull the plug in a couple of years time.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3444
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:04 am

I think Bryan means that you maybe should try to think of something that almost nobody has attempted before, since you have the freedom to make such an attempt. Some suggestions off the top of my head:

1) Buy or build a personal submarine and attempt to make a profit from harvesting teeny pearls from the mollusks invading Lake Huron.

2) Recreate the 1897 solar steam engine design of Frank Shuman.

3) Invest in maple syrup leases and spend next spring on northward hike with the season, tapping and boiling over campground fires as you go.

RealPerson
Posts: 699
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: C40's Journal

Post by RealPerson » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:39 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:04 am

1) Buy or build a personal submarine and attempt to make a profit from harvesting teeny pearls from the mollusks invading Lake Huron.
I don't know about the Lake Huron part, but a personal submarine has been done. Some Danish guy built a personal submarine, invited a female reporter on board for an interview and then she disappeared. Turned out her killed her, cut her in pieces and tossed her overboard or something. Living underwater apparently does funny things to a person's mind. Maybe Jacob can chime in with the Danish connection. Hopefully not a family member!

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 3444
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: C40's Journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:26 am

@RealPerson:

Egads! Still, I don't think personal submarine dwellers have as bad a rep to overcome as solo van dwellers.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:16 pm

I definitely like getting suggestions...

I think ~'doing something no one else has done' has no particular appeal to me. I don't have much desire to be special or a trailblazer. I think I have fully accepted that in the grand scheme of humanity my life will be meaningless. Uniqueness and progress are cool, but I don't currently value them enough to spend a large chunk of my life trying to obtain/create it.

Of course, that could change. If I pinpointed some specific opportunity within a realm I'm already focusing on, that could be interesting to pursue. But... in many cases I may actually prefer to learn things that are already well understood and documented, so I can learn them quickly and learn/do a wider variety of things over my life. Also, in general I think I'm more interested in working on the puzzle of how to create the 'best' life for myself (of which, in my current priorities, does not need to include pieces of uniqueness or progress for humanity)

....

People in vans have also recently tarred the vandweller reputation slightly. Remember that guy that went to a baseball field in Washington to shoot up a team of republican congressmen? Yeah, that guy lived in a van.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2007
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: C40's Journal

Post by C40 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:29 pm

Also, if any of you young lone-wolf type single men want a motivational 'day in the life' ERE story, here's what I've done so far:

- Woke up naturally at 7am.
- Made lattes for my room mates before they go to work, wish them a good day, and make one for myself
- Watched a video of a sporting event I missed live this weekend. Had a big breakfast.
- Drove into the trendiest part of the city to spend four hours in the bedroom of a 25 year old woman (who works evenings). Have wonderful sex, lay around in bed talking about life... more sex.... Ask her about a book on her shelf with a particularly interesting title, hear her say it's her favorite book, and accept her offer to borrow it.
- On the way back to my van, stop by the Levi's store to try on jackets. Figure out which style and color I like and make a mental note to buy one online when they are 50% off.
- Go to a park on a hill overlooking the city and spend a couple hours sitting in the sun and reading the book. Look up out at the city, hearing it's continual hum of traffic and whatever, and think to myself "god damn, I'm glad I didn't have to go to work today". Get a text from the girl, thanking me, telling me she has a strong post-sex high and is dancing around her apartment listening to Madonna.
- Duck into a coffee shop for a couple hours to wait out the rush hour traffic before going home.

Post Reply