A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
cmonkey
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by cmonkey »

Nice photos. My wife is from Minnesota, I seem to remember that's where you are right now? It is pretty magical up there, especially as you go north.

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Very cool. It has been very good weather for roses in my neck of the woods this year, so I am spotting them brilliantly blooming among the tall grassy weeds on many of the abandoned lots as I wander around. Kind of like the last remaining ruins of some mid-20th century garden culture.

Igotgoals
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Igotgoals »

Your pictures are beautiful Dave. I can see why you want to spend your time there.

henrik
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by henrik »

IlliniDave wrote:Here's a picture of a sunrise from my place on a very cold morning.
Awesome! ffj seems to have a canoe he's not using very often, maybe there's a deal to be made here;)

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

Q2 2016 Summary

Obligatory Lumbering Introspective Essay and Thoughts on the Real Side of Life

This quarter and especially the month of June has been a time of contrasts. I started June on my first solo venture off-grid at my cabin. It's difficult to describe the feeling--almost like the evergreen scent of the Northwoods air cancels out gravity. I felt light, buoyant, and energetic. As I strove to leverage that feeling some pesky facts about my physical conditioning were thrust to the forefront. I've logged a lot of miles over rocky, uneven trails over my life and have fallen a total of three times. All three were on the same hike. It was the second hike of my cabin stay (the first being on the same trail to scout out a potential fishing hole). I don't know what happened--I suppose I'd just overextended myself that day after an earlier solo canoe jaunt in the wind and the aforementioned scouting hike. Later in the trip I made longer, much more vigorous/difficult hikes without incident, and so saved face. The ordeal was mostly embarrassing, but it is a stark reminder that there are risks to seeking adventure in lonely places. At minimum in the future I should probably tell the guys at the resort down the lake where I'm headed. Being stranded for possibly days on a little-used trail with a broken ankle and no one but me knowing where I am would probably suck a little.

The Minnesota trip was bookended by visits with my family in Illinois. It was the first time I saw my mom post-chemo. Her frailty took a lot of wind out of my sails. 2 weeks ago she had a follow-up scan which showed a tiny spot in one of her lungs--too small to diagnose (biopsy). So they're going to look again in three months. If it is something bad at least it is slow growing. The same week my sister was diagnosed as in remission. It feels weird seeing what I consider the big chapter of my life just beginning while people around me are fighting just to stay alive.

And here I end the month back at my now-tedious career in the oppressive Southeastern heat.

I've been pushing back on myself about my decision to turn the crank and watch the sausage come out until May of '19. Based on some of the ongoing threads it's pretty clear that I am not a "good" multi-webbed whatever level ERE-er. I still want a fat pocket full of cash in my toolbox.

The strangest thing of all is that I have a date tonight. Like, with a girl and everything. And one who's quite far on the young and pretty side for me. I see it as a much bigger risk to my future than Brexit, Peak Oil, and climate change rolled together into one large bugeye hairy-legged man-eating spider. The problem is that I've never misled her about my lifestyle and goals, and she still wants to hang around with me, so my standard passive defense mechanism failed (just be myself). On the surface I'm just a safe old guy with deep pockets who kindly offered moral support to help her see her way through rough times (wake of a really ugly marriage dissolution/recent divorce). Maybe it will stay there. Definitely it was a case of my mouth getting out ahead of my brain. If she has other ideas, however, I will likely capitulate in a matter of milliseconds. I mentioned she is good-looking, and in some specific respects I'm a very shallow man. :)

In the coming quarter I foresee a leisurely focus sprucing up the house/property. First up is the fence in my yard, just going section-by-section and making spot repairs and prepping for paint. I'm brushing up on some rudimentary carpentry skills and improvised mechanical engineering. It violates some of my deepest principals, but I'll also be working to improve the front lawn and landscaping.

My youngest daughter is planning to get married soon, sans ceremony and all (she suffers from panic attacks and doesn't want anything remotely close to a traditional ceremony). My prospective son-in-law is a decent guy. They say they want me to take them underwing to help them get started on a financial journey. I've thought at times, and friends have suggested, that I should hang out a shingle and give financial advice for a second career. I usually dismiss it, but if working with the kids proves fruitful I might give it more consideration as a 'side hustle'.

Now on to the dry stuff ...

Invested Assets and Net Worth

In the quarter total invested assets increased by $40,300 after contributions.

Net worth is up $37,500 for the quarter, and $113,800 over the last 12 months. Both numbers are slightly disappointing but it's been rough sledding in the financial markets. In the bigger picture I'm about 98% of the way to earning my second comma when it comes to a standard net worth calculation. It's possible to cross that plateau during Q3 2016.

Savings and Spending

YTD savings as a % of gross income: 55.7%, down from 60.4% as of end of Apr (I was off-grid and did not compute May numbers).
YTD savings as a % of after-tax income: 75.1%, down from 80.0% as of end of Apr (I was off-grid and did not compute May numbers).

June spending was $3,491 (versus $3,427 in May) both well above the target average of $2,416/mo for the year.

Average monthly spending YTD is $2,485 which is also above the $2,416 target.

May and June were "bad" months for spending. I don't feel like beating myself up about it too much. I traveled for almost 3 weeks, had some preventative auto maintenance that needed doing, had some repair/replacement expenses up at the cabin, and started a couple projects around the house in the gradual push to get it ready for sale.

YTD spending (excl. inc tax) as % of gross income: 16.6%, up from 12.7% as of end of Apr.
YTD spending (excl. inc tax) as % of after-tax income: 22.4%, up from 16.8% as of end of Apr.

ER Status

With 30 June as my first day of ER, I would expect to deplete 13.1% of my financial assets getting to my 70th birthday, compared to 19.5% at the end of April. If things proceeded exactly according to my nominal plan my average withdrawal rate from age 52 to age 70 would be 3.96%, and from 52 to 85 would be 2.33%.

June spending represents an equivalent withdrawal rate of 6.44%; YTD the equivalent rate is 4.78%.

Net of expected proceeds from downsizing my house I might anticipate around $1,858/mo of spending over several decades to be supported by my financial assets alone. Repeatedly I've mentioned it's about time to reexamine my personal austerity threshold (how low I think I could go before it hurts). However, I still have not done that.

Conclusion

Q2 2016 was an up-and down quarter. It provided reminders that "Just don't spend!" is not a slogan I am likely to live by in an ERE context.

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jennypenny
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by jennypenny »

So ... how was the date?

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

jennypenny wrote:So ... how was the date?
It didn't happen. Apparently the prospect of sharing dinner with me made her ill. My future remains intact. :D

futureminifatcat
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by futureminifatcat »

Please keep the lumbering introspection coming - I always enjoy reading your musings. Lots to learn from and, in some respects, to identify with.

Glad you got some time away to recharge before returning to ongoing work and family responsibilities. You have a lot on your plate with your mom and sister, your daughter getting married, and a job that isn't much fun. Sorry to hear the latest news about your mom (though it's good to hear the happier news about your sister). A very stressful time - hope you can keep finding ways to take care of yourself along the way.

And if things don't work out with the attractive woman that you mentioned, maybe others will come along soon. :)

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

At the Risk of Appearing to Gloat...

I got my second comma yesterday in the net worth column of The Big Spreadsheet. It's likely to be short-lived/temporary, but I'm still pretty happy about it given where I was physically, emotionally, and financially in early 2008. Pretty much reversed my fortunes. My mood is buoyant today, even though it's an irrational reaction.

Net worth is a dubious and fuzzy measure, but a popular one so I keep it. I use the standard Assets-Liabilities calculation I got years ago out of some personal finance textbook. The one adjustment I do make is I value my real estate at ~82.5% of today's assessed valuation. I'm not sure anymore why I started doing that, but I feel no urgency to change it. I don't make any adjustments to investment accounts in consideration of future tax liability, nor do I include present value estimates for SS or my retirement annuity, simply because neither of those adjustments show up in the generic computation.

I hope everyone here is charitable enough to indulge my little celebration. Constantly keeping things to myself IRL is hard.

cmonkey
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by cmonkey »

Congrats! I see nothing wrong with tallying and celebrating overall networth. Agree on the 'keeping things to myself' comment, although I do enjoy a good secret.

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C40
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by C40 »

Woo HOOO! Party time!!

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jennypenny
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by jennypenny »

Celebrate all you want! We get it, and we all know how persistently and meticulously you've worked towards reaching your goals.

saving-10-years
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by saving-10-years »

Congrats from over here too. Not gloating at all, justified pride in achieving a significant milestone through hard work. Keep on writing.

GandK
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by GandK »

Awesome. 8-)

7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Congratulations!!! All I got is a bunch of semicolons I keep forgetting to use.

George the original one
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by George the original one »

Never misplace your commas!

LiberateMind
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by LiberateMind »

Congrats on reaching this milestone..

Igotgoals
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Igotgoals »

That's fabulous! Great progress in a relatively short time. Celebrate away!

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave »

July 2016 Summary

IRL

Not much of great interest here. The date (with a real girl and everything) I mentioned last time happened after a couple of delays. It was a nice time but will not pose a threat to my bachelorhood. I've embarked on a lengthy writing project which should dovetail with some of what I want to do during ER. A large violent storm rolled through my corner of the Northwoods and a tall balsam fir fell on my cabin; another handful of other trees fell harmlessly. The upshot is that I'll have a clearer view of the lake now.

I feel like I should have something profound to say, but the well is dry this time. I have food, shelter, and a decent pile of money. Just turning the crank and making the sausage.

Invested Assets and Net Worth

During July total invested assets increased by $30,200 after contributions. Net worth is also up $30,200 for the month.

Savings and Spending

YTD savings as a % of gross income: 57.7%, up from 55.7% as of end of June.
YTD savings as a % of after-tax income: 78.3%, up from 75.1% as of end of June.

July total spending was $2,516 (versus $3,491 in June) which above the target average of $2,416/mo for the year.

Average monthly spending YTD is $2,489 which is also above the $2,416 target.

July was a pretty typical spending month--a couple of gotchas in the area of home repair and socializing kicked me over target at the end of the month.

YTD spending (excl. inc tax) as % of gross income: 17.0%, up from 16.6% as of end of June
YTD spending (excl. inc tax) as % of after-tax income: 23.1%, up from 22.4% as of end of June.

ER Status

With 30 June as my first day of ER, I would expect to deplete 8.5% of my financial assets getting to my 70th birthday, compared to 13.1% at the end of June. If things proceeded exactly according to my nominal plan my average withdrawal rate from age 52 to age 70 would be 3.86%, and from 52 to 85 would be 2.26%.

July spending represents an equivalent withdrawal rate of 4.55%; YTD the equivalent rate is 4.84%.

Net of expected proceeds from downsizing my house I might anticipate around $1,923/mo of spending over several decades to be supported by my financial assets alone.

Conclusion

Financially July was a good month for invested asset growth and pretty pedestrian for everything else.

Dragline
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Dragline »

Those are really impressive savings rates.

And its hard to be profound with the current heat and humidity. ;-)

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