Elegant's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Hankaroundtheworld
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Feb 24, 2014 4:50 am

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:47 pm

Hi,
30 years old !! Man, you got a whole life in front of you. Why do you not try to step out for a year, travel around the world, and experience the ERE feeling, and if you feel after a year that you want to create some new business, you have all the freedom, even if you want a wage-slave job, you are young enough to get back in the game. I would say, this is a low-risk adventure, go for it !!!
cheers, Henk

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:25 am

@steveo73 Thanks. Your perspective is interesting. I guess I should be more grateful for what I have.

@DG Yes, I share some of henk's concerns and can relate to them, although I'm 18 years younger than him which of course affects this in a way.

Regarding my failed application and that being the best thing ever happening to me, I think you're right. The more I think about it the clearer it becomes that "this was not meant to be", as if someone is trying to push me out of the rat race by force.

What scared me after I got rejected were my initial thoughts.

I thought: F**k, what have I done? Why did I announce my resignation from the current work place? What am I doing to myself? I have such a comfortable life, good steady paycheck, car and food paid for by the work place ... am I really going to throw all that away because of some blogs and books written by Americans miles away, who don't know me, my lifestyle or the social norms in my country?

Well. After much thought, the answer is yes. The ideas are universal. Freedom is universal. I can retire. I want to retire. No job perk is worth my time, my freedom and my mental state. No amount of money justifies submitting my soul to the torment of evil, toxic people whose ass I have to kiss. My needs are so small I can live very well on even 10% of my salary. I saved enough money to never need to work again.


@Henk - Actually I'm 29 :) That concept, "low risk adventure", is an insightful way to look at it, thanks! I do appreciate the fact that I'm rich in time. There's a fantastic post by the blogger Monevator that lingers on that specific point. Hell, I'm going to retire before Jacob did! I wish to learn more foreign languages in Europe, so this will probably be my next adventure. I want that year off to clear my head and think about the future.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:48 am

elegant wrote: Well. After much thought, the answer is yes. The ideas are universal. Freedom is universal. I can retire. I want to retire. No job perk is worth my time, my freedom and my mental state. No amount of money justifies submitting my soul to the torment of evil, toxic people whose ass I have to kiss. My needs are so small I can live very well on even 10% of my salary. I saved enough money to never need to work again.
Hurray!!! :D

I am curious how it will all turn out for you.

By the way, do you know of any people living in Israel who have retired at an early age? I know some Dutch ones (for example the couple who wrote the Dutch version of the "Your Money or Your Life" book, plus recently a new book appeared by a journalist who now also promotes financial independence after he first promoted paying off debts and the mortgage). So I do have some examples. (And I'll have Henk :-) ). How about you? Any people who could be an example for you?

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:16 am

By the way, do you know of any people living in Israel who have retired at an early age?
Early retirement is uncommon in Israel.

It is also not viewed favorably, unless you're a young hi-tec enterpeneur whose company got bought by google/facebook/etc (we got many of those as the norm here is to go to school-go to the army-go to university-create a start-up-sell the start up).

In other words, retirement is only "allowed" if you acquired millions of $$'s, otherwise you should keep working so you could pay for a mortgaged apartment (private houses in central Israel are so expensive they're out of reach for most) and a car.

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:15 am

March 2014 update

In 206 days I will quit my job for good. Excluding weekends, public holidays and my paid vacation days, that leaves me 125 days of office torment.

I hope I can pull this through. As retirement is drawing near, my motivation sinks to negative territory. Every day I show up late and leave as soon as possible. I try to do as little as possible. I'm being hostile towards everyone so they wouldn't want to come near me and give me tasks (which I find a surprisingly effective strategy ;) ).

I realize this could backfire, I just cannot play this fake ass game anymore. I could easily do that when I was younger, more motivated and ambitious. Not anymore. At the ripe age of 29 years old, I see ambition as a vice (thank MikeBOS for this insight) worse than pride. Ambition makes people do horrible things.

Extreme Early Retirement is no longer an amorphous concept. It is the very reality I'm about to experience. I am worried and thankful at the same time - a strange sensation I have never felt before in my life.

Is this what a prisoner feels right before he's being paroled, having served a 30 years long sentence?

Finances

Exchange rate: 1 ILS = 0.29 USD, 1 USD = 3.49 ILS

March Income:
Paycheck: 9962 ILS (2854 USD)

Total Income: 9962 ILS (2854 USD)

March Expenditure:
Building Maintenance: 600 ILS (172 USD)
Electricity: 109 (31 USD)
Water: 38 (11 USD)
Eating Out: 169 (48 USD)
Groceries: 103 (30 USD)
Snacks, Coke, and other forms of sweet poison: 60 (17 USD)
Barber: 60 (17 USD)
Internet: 100 (29 USD)
Gas (*): 100 (29 USD)
Bank Fees: 120 (34 USD)

(*) Usually this is paid for by work, but I got stuck with no fuel in the Jerusalem - Tel Aviv highway and had to call emergency refueling service.

Total Expenditure: 1459 ILS (418 USD)

Savings Rate
This month: 85.36%
This year: 76.4% (target: 90%)
Total money spent this year: 7098.5 ILS (2033 USD)
Total money earned this year (after tax): 30070 ILS (8616 USD)
Money left to spend in 2014 (20,000 ILS challenge): 12,902 ILS (64.5% left)

ERE Net Worth Update
Global Stocks - 147,762 ILS
Israeli Government Bonds - 66,394
Israeli Money Market Fund - 342,182 ILS
Checking Account #1 - 11,496 ILS
PayPal - 1,302 ILS
Index linked savings account - 41,878 ILS
Tax deferred account #1 - 98,600 ILS
Tax deferred account #2 - 66,330 ILS

None-ERE Net Worth
Long term retirement account - 3,473 ILS
Checking Account #2 - 5406 ILS
The apartment where I live - ~950,000 ILS

Total ERE net worth: 774,487 ILS (221,916 USD)
Total net worth: 1,727,961 ILS (495,117 USD)
Monthly net worth growth: 3.51%

Estimated SWR:
Austere lifestyle (1,000 ILS per month): 1.54%
Current lifestyle (2,000 ILS per month): 3.09%
Above average lifestyle (3,000 ILS per month): 4.64%
Consumerist lifestyle (4,000 ILS per month): 6.19%
Extravagant lifestyle (5,000 ILS per month): 7.74%

elegant
Posts: 93
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Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:29 am

I have just filed a form stating I will not be extending my service beyond October 2014.

When asked to state the reason, I wrote "personal circumstances".

There's no going back.

I hope this is not the biggest error of my life.

I must overcome my fear of freedom.

Rickardo
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Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:06 pm

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Rickardo » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:32 am

hope all goes well! i'll be very interested to see how your first year goes, looking forward to the updates, both good and bad.

Hankaroundtheworld
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Hankaroundtheworld » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:47 am

Congratulations indeed! you are more brave than I am, and I am also very interested to hear from your experience after October !

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:16 pm

I believe this is not the biggest error of your life. I believe this is a huge opportunity for you to explore life, or other ways of living it. You will be free. And that is scary, but it is also an invitation to make your life better than what it is now. Plus you'll have some months to prepare for this, too; I think that's good.

I have no experience with this... I'm still working...

But I do have experience with saying goodbye to a job for a new job opportunity; and I can tell you that that is also scary, and that you also wonder whether you made the right choice. That new opportunity was the PhD program, and I'm now struggling with it to finish it. Maybe I did make the wrong choice, back then? But still I can see so many things I learned and experienced only because I dared to give up the old job and try something new. (Of course I don't know what would have happened if I had continued at my old job).

It is scary, and there's risk involved, but there is a high probability that you will create a different life for yourself, and one that you like better than your current one.

(PS. While you may not be able to return to this old job now that you've said goodbye to it; you can ALWAYS find another job that requires you to work for them for 40+ hours per week, and if necessary, you can also give away all of your money so that you feel the "urge" to work again... ).

elegant
Posts: 93
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Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Thu May 01, 2014 4:50 pm

April 2014 update

This month I've had something of a positive black swan. To make a long story short, I've been offered a management position in yet another government organization with a notably higher salary.

Nothing is certain yet and naturally the post will be offered to other candidates, but I believe I can beat them.

Even though I could do with a far smaller income I'd be stupid not to give it a shot. Yes, this is most likely a boring, administrative job where you have to manage about 10 people, but given my young age (29) and the fact that it could cushion my retirement significantly I think I should consider this.

Finances

Exchange rate: 1 USD = 3.4585 ILS

April Income:
Paycheck: 10045 ILS (2904 USD)

Total Income: 10045 ILS (2904 USD)

April Expenses:
-Food: 369.4 ILS
-- Groceries: 65.7 ILS
-- Snacks & Soda: 48.9 ILS
-- Eating Out: 254 ILS
--- Shawarma x 3 - 114 ILS
--- McDonald's x 2 - 85.8 ILS
--- Pizza - 28 ILS
--- Bagels - 27 ILS

Cell Phone bill: 134.52 ILS
Internet: 99.78 ILS
Barber: 60 ILS
Bank Fees: 50.35 ILS
Parking Fees: 13.10 ILS

Total Expenses: 727.15 ILS (210 USD)

Savings Rate
This month: 92.76%
This year: 80.49% (target: 90%)
Total money spent this year: 7825.5 ILS (2262 USD)
Total money earned this year (after tax): 40115 ILS (11599 USD)
Money left to spend in 2014 (20,000 ILS challenge): 12,111.44 ILS (60.5% left)

Net Worth Update

Total ERE net worth: 793,409.71 ILS (229,707.50 USD)
Monthly growth of net worth: 2.13%

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Carlos
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Carlos » Thu May 01, 2014 5:30 pm

The good think is either way you will be just fine, in fact better than the toxic workplace you are in today.

If you get the position you can cushion your ERE fund and if not you are okay financially. Best of luck surviving until October.

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Dragline
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Dragline » Thu May 01, 2014 5:45 pm

Yup. Carpe diem. You can always switch gears later if you can't tolerate it.

DutchGirl
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat May 03, 2014 1:20 am

Interesting, that new job opportunity.

Funny how sometimes (I guess not always...) new opportunities arise when you're willing to let go of the current situation. I should try that one day ;-)

elegant
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Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Sat May 03, 2014 3:02 am

@DutchGirl yes, it is true!

Seems like scarcity \ unavailability is a powerful magnet for humans.

Kind of like when you enter a relationship after a very long time of being single. You then get approached by strangers who suddenly feel attracted to your as you become unavailable.

In Hebrew we have a specific word to describe this, I don't know the proper English word :)

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bigato
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by bigato » Sat May 03, 2014 12:27 pm

Those news are awesome! Reading them remembered me how my own situation has been feeling in the last 8 months or so. I was almost finishing to pay the small loan I've made to buy a 2.5 acre rural property where I felt that I could guarantee a great percentage of the needs of my small family that currently is composed by me, my wife and some pets. I also had (still has) a small city property that if sold, could pay for the remaining debt at the time, and still be enough for some upgrades and restorations on the rural property. There was also some money in an special account that I could withdrawn in the very unlikely event that I would be fired from the job. That would last about 50 months of our expenses if we would not produce anything in the rural property at all, and also not produce any income at all. My wife had just finished her graduation and was also able to have some nice jobs as teacher (not high paying, but very low stress). I was living close to a bunch of very nice relatives who I am sure would be more than willing to support me and/or help me if I would need it for some reason. I and my wife were (and are) quite healthy and potentially productive. I had a handful or two of skills that could be used to produce income if I wanted to, and that only counting skills that I would have fun exercising. Some would produce some small income, some higher, but most of them with a nice degree of satisfaction in the process. Anyway we were living on about a single minimum wage income for all of us, so mostly any single job would be enough. I also felt connected to the community where I was living, because I knew that I could be useful to people and they would pay back somehow.

For the first time, my life started to feel very, very resilient. Except that the kind of job I had, where I was spending 6 hours a day monday to friday, was less than optimal given my personality. Maybe it was also related to the personality of the people in charge there; I mean, maybe I could even like the kind of job, given management was a better fit for my personality. Or maybe the people there just sucked as human beings. It could be me, but I don't believe I suck so much as a person really. But also it was not that bad because I had learned to cope with it quite well. Life was good. I felt safe. In a couple of years or less I would have enough to even pay expenses from investments income alone. The financial safety, or financial independence if you will, felt pretty much like a solved problem. It was only a matter of time.

That was the moment when I came to know of a job opportunity in a the big city doing something that I love (programming). I was able to secure the position and life pleasure has been skyrocketing since then. Things are only getting better and a whole new world of interesting goals is opening up on the horizon.

Sorry that it is sounding like a post that should be on my own journal instead of yours, but I felt like it was connected somehow. I wanted to say that based on my recent experience combined with my reading of your journal and personality, I forecast that you have all the chances to become wildly successful in your next move, whatever that may be. I was earlier listening to a Tim Ferris podcast with a guy named Kevin Rose, where Kevin was asked what he though there is in common among people who are very successful and that do very great realizations. His answer was, it is related to fear. Or the absolute lack of it. There are those smart guys who eventually get rich from investments, or from selling some startup for google, or whatever. Suddenly, they have all their needs met. They feel like they have nothing else to loose. But for some reason or some kind of personality, they are people who thrive on being driven by something with passion. One day they will have a crazy thought like, man, I would like to build a spaceship. Or, I want to beat google in their own game! They have all the money they'll ever need for their personal needs, some guys have also some millions to spare. And they will go for it, and some eventually will succeed.

Lack of fear really changes our attitudes. But I am not talking about of the dumb kind of confidence, that we are all too familiar with. Those guys with no sensibility at all, who are blindly driven to the end, who will be wildly successful or fail epically, but whom are very dependent on luck, timing and other factors out of their reach and out of their sensibility. But what we are living is a different kind of lack of fear and we are a different kind of person. The person with the most sensibility, that tends to utter pessimism, the most fearful person who has worked so hard to guarantee their safety. When they are satisfied with the support infrastructure that they have built to their life, if they are driven to some passion, they have all the chances to produce remarkable success. I feel that could be you.

DutchGirl
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Location: The Netherlands

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Sat May 03, 2014 12:59 pm

Ha, great that your language has a word for that specific situation! I believe my language, Dutch, does not. And I don't know an English equivalent either.

Good luck to you in the coming month, and may you make only wise decisions :-)

@bigato: that was a very nice read. Good luck to you too.

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:11 pm

May 2014 update

Not much to update, other than this has been a very bad month in terms of expenses.

I am unable to overcome my fast food addiction. Even though I'm still slim I'm sure I'll pay for it dearly in the future.

Other than that, I'm still counting the days (143, actually) to freedom. No news from that previous job application, either.

One interesting thing that I've noticed is that I may be developing a certain obsessive compulsive disorder towards cutting expenses, to the point I sometimes feel like an Anorexic teenager. I found out that the cables company has been charging my mother hundreds of shekels per months without providing the full services and I was furious. My mom couldn't understand why I was so angry, she said "this is pennies, relax" but it made my blood boil! I wasn't like that before I discovered ERE / latte effect, and frankly I agree with my mother that this kind of behavior might not be so healthy..

Finances

Exchange rate: 1 ILS = 0.29 USD

May Income:
Paycheck: 10045 ILS (2894 USD)

Total Income: 10045 ILS (2894 USD)

May Expenses:
Food: 585.58 ILS
-- Groceries: 144.68 ILS
-- Snacks & Soda: 81.2 ILS
-- Eating Out: 359.7 ILS
Cables - 214.04 ILS
Internet - 99.78 ILS
Hobby Related expenses - 479.55 ILS
Water and sewage - 53.06 ILS
Power - 111.78 ILS
Cell phone - 67.26 ILS
Toilet Paper - 34 ILS
Light bulbs - 20 ILS
Barber - 60 ILS
Bank Fees - 191.58 ILS
Gifts - 20 ILS
Misc - 20 ILS

Total Expenses: 1956.59 ILS (563 USD)

Savings Rate
This month: 80.60%
This year: 80.50% (target: 90%)
Total money spent this year: 9782.5 ILS (2819 USD)
Total money earned this year (after tax): 50160 ILS (14455 USD)
Money left to spend in 2014 (20,000 ILS challenge): 10,154.85 ILS (50.4% left)

Net Worth Update

Total liquid ERE net worth (as of June 4th): 817,808.55 ILS (235,679 USD)

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:25 pm

Lets try some graphics...

My total net worth, including my apartment and long term savings, is 1,797,130.71 ILS which today equals 519,101$

My debt is 0$

Image

My portfolio is in the process of looking like this

Image

I really like the 50:50 stock/bond model and I find it fits my future needs as an early retiree.

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:17 am

June 2014 update

114 days to go, lol. I can hardly wait.

No news from that alternative job I considered, guess they're not interested in hiring me. Fuck'em.

Dated a girl for the first time in 18 months. Reminded me how awkward / insecure I am when it comes to women. Told her about ERE however. She seemed intrigued. Looks like a good filter by which to sort potential mates, hehe.

Recent developments in the region are more than depressing. Been struggling to contain my anger and lust for vengeance. The more I think about it, the more I realize this place is too volatile from a long term ERE perspective. Great country, horrible neighborhood.

Financially, cashed out an old savings account that my grandfather started for me 15 years ago. It is about 40,000 ILS, enough to fund 25 months of living expenses..

Finances

June Income:
Paycheck: 12,168 ILS

Total Income: 12,168 ILS

June Expenses:
World Cup Betting: 750 ILS (yes, I should be banned from this forum)
Food: 456.2 ILS
-- Groceries: 178.5 ILS
-- Snacks & Soda: 18 ILS
-- Eating Out: 259.7 ILS
Internet infrastructure - 80 ILS
Internet provider - 99.78 ILS
Barber: 120 ILS
Pharmacy & Hygene: 154
Medications: 37 ILS
Parking: 7 ILS
Bank fees: 75 ILS
Cell phone - 71 ILS

Total Expenses: 1850 ILS

Savings Rate
This month: 84.8%
This year: 81.4% (target: 90%)
Total money spent this year: 11632 ILS
Total money earned this year (after tax): 62328 ILS
Money left to spend in 2014 (20,000 ILS challenge): 8076 ILS (40% left)

Net Worth Update

Total liquid ERE net worth (as of July 2nd): 829,993.66 ILS (242,263 USD)

DutchGirl
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:48 am

Moving from your area to another part of the world is an option for you. When you quit working, you could go abroad for a month, or for three months, and see how it feels to live somewhere else. I'm not sure whether you have ever lived somewhere else for a while, but for me it changed my perspective just a little bit.

... And again a very good month financially.

elegant
Posts: 93
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:19 pm
Location: Land of Milk and Honey

Re: Elegant's journal

Post by elegant » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:48 am

So today I was driving back home listening to some music when I saw a couple of missiles flying over my head. Luckily they were intercepted but I had to stop the car in the middle of the road and run for cover so that the debris won't crush my little skull

Kinda puts the horrors of commuting in perspective ;)

George the original one
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by George the original one » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:23 pm

I was wondering how things were going for you... yikes!

llorona
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by llorona » Wed Jul 16, 2014 1:33 am

That sounds frightening.

Is that a "normal" occurrence?

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Dragline
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by Dragline » Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:58 am

elegant wrote:So today I was driving back home listening to some music when I saw a couple of missiles flying over my head. Luckily they were intercepted but I had to stop the car in the middle of the road and run for cover so that the debris won't crush my little skull

Kinda puts the horrors of commuting in perspective ;)
Certainly does. Hope that Iron Dome keeps working for you. And that there is a cease fire.

Also puts random bombings/acts of violence into perspective for people living in other countries. The risk of getting killed by a terrorist in the US is down there with getting struck by lightning. Yet we're almost in a state of mass hysteria over it, and I would suppose many in the government and media would prefer it that way.

The average Israeli has a lot more actual risk, but has figured out how to live with it. Part of coping with these things is not becoming hysterical over them in the first place. That's what the perpetrators want you to do.

DutchGirl
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Re: Elegant's journal

Post by DutchGirl » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:13 pm

I'm thinking of you, too.

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