Rube's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:17 am

@Nickhalden: yes, the challenge is also here that you never know exactly what you might want to do 10 or 20 years from now and how much it will cost. Preferable, if you do it ERE style it will of course bring you money instead of taking it away, so maybe that it what I should keep in mind ;-).

@Herp, thank you. No promise, but I will try to continue to make updates now and then.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:47 am

Health
Pain in back/leg still ongoing. I hope it won't become chronic. I have taken action but need to do probably more, already going on for 9 months.

Work
Tomorrow will be my first working day again after our holiday. Some domestic and overseas traveling coming up soon.
Countdown on original target is now only 47 weeks, but this might change, i.e. become more. It is now mostly THE date I declare myself that any additional working is simply optional.

Finances
The expensive holiday is now fully paid and enjoyed. I expect/hope to come to slightly lower monthly expense averages in the next couple of months.
TTM Savingsrate is still around 71%, expect to get it to 72% in the coming months. Net worth is probably around 715K.
Free available cash (liquid savings) and net cash flow from the rentals are going steady, nothing special here. Ehm, well it is kind of special as I would not have dared to dream about this 7 years ago, but now it has become kind of normal.

I am in the process of selling a domain name. I have it already for 17 years or so but I am not actively using it. In the bigger scheme, even compared to our monthly savings, it is peanuts, but it is very easy money and still a sizable amount.

Holiday
It was great. As a family we will have some great memories of this holiday.

AOB
DW might get a job offer for another job. Even though we don't know for how long it would be she might take if the offer is okay. I noticed the holiday helped me to get inspired and interesting again in other activities. It helped me in trusting I will re-gain sufficient interests after/when I would quit my job.

Rules & actions
Inspired by certain things I read lately and the time to think things over during our holiday, I want to make a personal guideline of rules and actions to live by.
Starting with:

(soft) Rules:
Keep things simple
Trust/Follow intuition

Actions
Read books - 1 per week (Week 35: to finish "How the best get better")
Exercise - min. 2 times a week

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:23 pm

This month (next week actually) this journal is going on for 6 years. Although we were financialy speaking not in a bad position back then, we're in a much much better position today. We're not acting differently though. It just "feels" better and we know we have more/different options. And we will likely use those options in some way in the near future. The changes over the years went gradually, it is really a journey.

Main topics since last update:

Health
Pain in back/leg became worse. As in extreme. And then it went away for 90%. Still a bit pain now and then, but this feels so much better, it makes such a different.
I didn't went to the gym for the last 4 or 5 weeks orso...it really becomes extremely hard with work lately. And I am wondering now if I trained too hard/incorrect for my injury... I will probably go back again to the gym when work (traveling) is slowing down a bit and start with some other/light excersizes.

Work
Work is busy. Have been traveling overseas and within Europe. Even typing this on my phone now while traveling for work late evening somewhere in Europe. I was able to meet some people from the ERE forum during on of my trips which was very nice.
On one hand I like to be busy and have some pressure, I get things done and learn new things. On the other hand there is little time for doing much else. It is ok for another while. Countdown on original target is now at about 40 weeks, after which I declare w2 is optional.

Finances
TTM Savingsrate is still around 71%. Net worth will be around 735K end of month. Domain name was sold and I received the money.

House
We're already looking for a new house for a bit over a year. 2 times it didn't worked out for various reasons and 2 times we we're outbid. It is a difficult market and time is getting tight (want to move before DS goes to the next school, before I/wife quit because of the mortgage and a few other reasons).
We have increased our efforts, hopefully we will succeed and we don't need to give in to our whishes too much as this is a major piece in our "planning" for life.

AOB
DW did not get the job offer. Actually no message at all. Very strange but we don't really care.

No changes:
(soft) Rules:
Keep things simple
Trust/Follow intuition

Goals
Read books - 1 per week (Week 35: to finish "How the best get better") FAILED
Exercise - min. 2 times a week FAILED

FAILED miserable on these goals. I have too admit I can't combine certain goals with the current work and family life/chorus. House hunting has also more priority (see above) and takes quite some time.

Overall ok, just going steady.

Will
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:23 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Will » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:11 pm

Hi Rube, how are you comfortable with buying a house in the current market in the Netherlands? Is it because you can sell your existing house and then basically break even? If your new house will be more expensive it seems far from the right time now.
We have been considering buying our first house for the last 1,5 years but the market only seems to get more crazy over time.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:04 am

Will wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:11 pm
Hi Rube, how are you comfortable with buying a house in the current market in the Netherlands?
Hi Will, house prices are high, but interest is (extremely) low. So while I would have preferred it the other way around (so you can buy cash) I am still kind of okay with it. We expect to be selling our current house for quite a bit more then a couple of years ago, but won't make up for the increase of our to be future house. We won't buy in the most expensive parts in the Netherlands though. Also, we prefer not to wait till the "right time", because we have our own planning when we want to do things that are important to us and the market doesn't listen (align) to us.

As this is all very personal, I can't say what is a good decision for anyone else, but in al circumstances I keep 3 things in mind: balance sheet, cashflow and risks (=probability x severity) of different scenarios in mind and how those risks possibly can be mitigated (resilience). The outcome for us is that I think it is still acceptable (if we can find a house to our wishes).

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Rube's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:59 am

We bought a house last year. We assume that we may have overpaid by 30% of the "true value"*, but it was worth it to us to be able to make this move. Who knows, maybe by the time that we sell (many, many years from now) the market may be irrational enough to offer us 30% too much, again.

*Of course it's very hard to determine what the true value is, anyway. Because the value of a house is partially determined by the value of the ground that it sits on, and that can be more or less valuable based on how many people desire to live in that specific area.

That said, Rube, here is the perfect house for you guys: live like royalty :lol:

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:00 am

@DG thnx for helping us in our search, but I guess I need to send you our list of whishes :? :lol:

We visited 2 places yesterday and probably will send an offer for one of the places. We won't be willing to offer asking price (too much for us) so I do expect they won't accept but who knows...

J_
Posts: 623
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:12 pm
Location: Netherlands/Austria

Re: Rube's journal

Post by J_ » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:04 pm

Hi Rube: for real estate (housing) choice my rule was/is: superb location, everything within walking/cycle distance for parents and kids (incl. scholing and sport), as quiet (free from traffic and aviation sound) as possible. "nature" within walking distance. Just fitting space-wise.
I suppose yours are about the same?
For the rest: I admire your way to set goals; be as brave to reach them!

McTrex
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am
Location: NL

Re: Rube's journal

Post by McTrex » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:34 pm

Rube,

Are you looking in a specific area?

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:58 am

@J_ yes, very similar. Except for the one we're currently looking at, as it is actually too big (but we would renovate it such that we do not use all the space). We made the offer, but no news yet.

@MCTrex, roughly within the triangle of Apeldoorn, Doetinchem, Almelo, but we do have some specific wishes that comes with it. You know perhaps something for us?

McTrex
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:35 am
Location: NL

Re: Rube's journal

Post by McTrex » Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:50 pm

Well, we live in Ermelo and I believe our location fullfills all of J_'s rules. So I thought maybe you'd be interested in looking around this area.

Will
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:23 am

Re: Rube's journal

Post by Will » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:43 am

rube wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:04 am
As this is all very personal, I can't say what is a good decision for anyone else, but in al circumstances I keep 3 things in mind: balance sheet, cashflow and risks (=probability x severity) of different scenarios in mind and how those risks possibly can be mitigated (resilience). The outcome for us is that I think it is still acceptable (if we can find a house to our wishes).
That's a good way to think about it. Also good that you are buying in a still relatively affordable part of the Netherlands, at least when I compare it to where I live (Randstad). As an illustration: I remember that 1,5 year ago, my GF and I went to visit a house which was for sale. We both concluded that 220k euro was too much for that specific house, also because I had a temporary contract at my job and we weren't sure we wanted to live there for a longer time period. At this very moment there are comparable houses in the same street being sold for 300k!
In hindsight, we should have bought the house. But I am not willing to take the risk now.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:17 pm

We agreed verbally on a house. It fits most of J_'s requirements, though it is a bit larger then we needed and we had to compromise a bit on a few of our own wishes. And it is expensive! Well this is subjective ofcourse. But to me it is too much money. But money is still cheap nowadays...so all houses are too expensive in my view. Still this was the best option for us, we think...
Now we need to arrange everything to make the deal happen.
Because of the higher as planned price, it might mean that I stay a bit longer with the current job to be able to save some more. But we'll probably review that again closer to the original target date, summer 2019.


Edit: forget above, did not went through (again).

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:59 am

Another quarter passed, time for an update.

Housing:
It looks like we gave up our house search, at least the one where we would move 1-2 hours from our current place. A number of factors lead us to this decision which means a change of plan(s):
A)we move to a house near our current place (max. distance: biking distance to school for DD & DS).
B)we stay where we are and will renovate/remodel the place.

Working:
Either way, with the current housing plans we have no immediate urgency to stop working because it is too far from the office or because I need to immediate renovate it full time in order to live here.
So....I probably won't quit this summer, but will start taking my leave days, as I have many collected from previous years, so that I effectively will work 4 days a week from September till end of the year.
By the end of the year I will ask to officially change my contract to 4 days a week and will work for max. another 6 months (till summer holiday kids). Then, DW, will quit also, so that we could enjoy a long summer holiday with the kids. This is summer 2020, 68 weeks from now.

It might be/look like the One More Year Syndrome, but I think this will be the best plan for us for now taking all things in considerations.

Finances:
Expenses and savings are more or less on auto pilot. Still crazy to save so much, almost 10K monthly, but we're at the point it is normal, just number and graphics in excell. Looking to find more rentals, despite the difficult/high market.

Maybe another time more details, when I am not typing on my phone. Or if any specific questions let me know.

J_
Posts: 623
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 4:12 pm
Location: Netherlands/Austria

Re: Rube's journal

Post by J_ » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:00 pm

Hi Rube, it can be brave to reconsider. And for now it gives you peace of mind.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:13 am

52 weeks - 365 days - target
I will try to post more regularly now I am really starting to count down. Well, I am doing that actually already for a while, but it is getting more serious now :o .
I will do this both for myself as to show the proces I am going through for others.

Working to get everything setup and make use of the possibilities while we still have the opportunity. Like using the low interest rates. And therefore.... we bought 2 more apartments. Transfer will be later this month. It took quite some time to find interesting deals. They might still not be super great, but I believe they are ok.

I am working to optimize our balance-sheet and our expenses and income. Part of this is getting long fixed interest rates for our mortgages, keeping a large and (fairly) liquid buffer and create sufficient margin between monthly income from the rentals and our expenses.
This is all a balancing act considering risks, opportunities, wishes, feelings etc. between now and say 40 years down the road. Because this is impossible....you need to make assumptions. Anyway, I might post more about this later and show the numbers and balance sheet I am aiming for.

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Lemur
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Re: Rube's journal

Post by Lemur » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:10 pm

Rube...if you could describe your health issue a bit more (I haven't read your full journal) but it sounds like what you're describing is a herniated disc in the lower back. I only know this because the symptoms you've listed was equal to this injury that I had myself (pain in lower back + pain down right leg). This happened almost 9 years ago...I got surgery...and still deal with some symptoms. So yea it appears to be chronic for me.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:40 am

Hi Lemur, thanks. I probably neglected to tell this in my journal, but after about 14 months of pain, and a couple of rounds where it slowly was getting better and then suddenly getting worse again, the pain is gone finaly and completely since around January. The first month this year it still felt "vulnerable", but now not so much anymore. I am cautious though with running and heavy lifting. The last couple of times it came up, I did a lot of walking, in the beginning cautious, slowly, but long walking to make sure the muscles in my back didn't get crazy painful stiff. I still don't know exactly what it was, according the physical therapist last year it was not a hernia, but I still doubt myself between a hernia or the piriformas syndrom. In any case, I know my back is a "weak" spot, which I need to take (more) care of to prevent it becomes chronic. It is so easy to take pain-free and a healthy body for granted that it is easily to forget about the maintenance. I'm sorry to hear it became chronic for you, wish you the best.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Tue Jul 02, 2019 6:05 am

52 weeks - 364 days - target
Working at home is great, but...already for a while I find it quite difficult to concentrate on the work. I won't write too much about, you never know if the employer finds out....That said, I still got an absolutely praising review from my manager not too long ago. So I guess, I feel I can do perhaps do some more, but people are still very happy with the results of my work. So, perhaps I shouldn't feel guilty/care too much about it and ignore the imposter syndroms(?) feeling that I have now and then.

Exspenses of June came in at 2788 euro. The TTM is now 3224 euro. After some time where expenses where creeping up, it now went down again. Very good to see and this also confirms me, if needed we can lower costs further/again by spending less on non-necessities like holiday, days out etc. However, as long as not specific needed I am okay with moving expenses from year to year a bit. Especially when it is due to some costs that won't last much longer then say 10-12 years (kids, holidays with kids etc.).

Net worth end of June around 926K euro. It increased a lot because I increased the value of the real estate after the appraisals I got done. Actually I think I the appraisals are still quite conservative from a couple of reasons I won't go into detail here. In any case, I am happy with this. This month we will have some 1 time costs related to buying the two new apartments. So I expect we come in around 910K end of this month and around 1 million next year (364 days!).

Yesterday I got in an online conversation with someone about Real Estate. One of the topics was his goals, which turned out to get to a free monthly net cashflow of about 40K. He had this goal because he didn't want to have a standard life, he wanted to great life. And he was too young to do "nothing". And with money you can also buy time. He gave the example of when going on holiday and you need to wait on a plane that leaves in an inconvenient time, so you are tired when arriving etc. So instead he was envisioning to be able to just take any plane which enables him to sleep and be rested upon arrival. And...for that you need money! On one hand I was intrigued by his goals and he started me thinking about my own goals. But I was also surprised about his view on money and and his (imo) bad example why you need (so much) money. Still most people connect money to be materialistic and luxury things they need to be happy and have a great life.

rube
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: Rube's journal

Post by rube » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:09 pm

52 weeks - 363 days - target
Busy and long day at work. I also had to visit and arrange something for the new apartment. Contractors/flippers are always difficult to deal with and in the end it will cost me more money, sigh. Well, another day passed, closer to target and the weekend. Step by step.

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