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

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

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:12 pm

Shep wrote:
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:12 am
... I was wondering if you have watched Boss of The Swamp on youtube ...
Hi Shep,

I have not seen Boss of the Swamp but I'll check him out. Thanks for the link.

Yeah, there's the realization that the amount of wick left in the candle is getting shorter, but that's not one I dwell on too much. I tend to couch it more in terms of how I expect my physical ability to hold up against the kinds of things I want to be doing rather than hitting the end of the line. There's even less time left for me to be doing vigorous young man things! Fortunately the overarching trajectory is positive for me in the sense that there are things I am moving toward rather than negatives I'm fleeing, so the regrets are part of the richness of life instead of a hindrance to it.

Being around my age maybe you'll understand what I call the "assembly line". Growing up so much seemed preordained: you went to school, stayed out of serious trouble, maybe got a degree, got a job, wore a tie, etc., etc. I never gave alternatives a serious thought until I contemplated ER. In that paradigm the major part of life is the career part, and deliberately breaking from the script is a significant disruption which tends to magnify the change.

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 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:53 pm

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:12 pm
There's even less time left for me to be doing vigorous young man things!
I'm trying to emulate "Last of the Summer Wine" in that regard. Definitely am indulging a lot of the "I want to..." and "I don't want to..." sentiments of a kid.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:10 am

August 2017 Update

This entry comes whilst traveling. The last few days of the month were a little chaotic so I'm a little behind with all the numbers. Invested asset were up a little over $14,000. Another disappointing month for spending but I got hit with both some doctor bills and some overdue auto maintenance prior to my road trip. I think once I get everything tallied up it will push $4,000. Que Sera.

If I quit now my nominal estimates would be for financial asset growth of 10-11% between now and age 70, and accelerated growth thereafter. My approximate multiples are 37x (now to 70) and 50x (now to 80) average anticipated withdrawals. If things proceed roughly according to plan and I wait to 55 to bug out I project to be at 100x (age 55 to 80) anticipated average withdrawals.

I arrived in Illinois yesterday afternoon. My mom looks increasing frail, but less so than I was expecting from what I'd been hearing. She got the preliminary results back from a scan earlier in the week which are reasonably encouraging. The new drug appears to be significantly slowing the growth of the cancer, and apparently preventing it from spreading, and her quality of life is much better than with chemo. I suppose that's a win at this point: gaining more time with better QoL. She goess in to see the oncologist Tuesday so more will be known then. Dad's age is starting to show too. He's 78 now and I think things w/Mom are taking their toll. Still, he was able to complete the main grape harvest yesterday. I was supposed to participate but my trip got delayed due to my having to get some medical attention last week which caused a 2-day slip in my travel plans, and for winemaking the harvest window is very narrow and couldn't be delayed. Luckily he got some help from among my siblings and their SOs.

I'll probably head on up to the cabin Tuesday or Wednesday. Looks like it will be another solo trip. My brother has had difficulty nailing down some time off work. He started a new job this Spring and still being ineligible for paid vacation makes it difficult for him. I'm a little disappointed as I'd hoped to be able to share the cabin more, but going solo has an appeal as well. Photobucket is angry at me, and expects me to pay them to share pictures here, so I don't think I'll get to add any here.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:25 am

Q3 2017 Summary

Regarding Real Life

Today is my first day back to real life after 30 days of leave. Roughly speaking I spent 2 weeks with family up in Illinois and 2 weeks up at my Northwoods hideout. I had trouble settling into my edge-of-the-wilderness mindset. Back home my mom is still fighting the good fight, but the fight is taking its toll. My sister is showing some signs of improvement finally.

One of the nicer things about my cabin is that I always get a roomful of sunset. I spent many of those sunsets strumming a guitar and asking myself, "What are you doing?" For some reason my single-minded pursuit of ER has begun to feel like a dubious proposition. At the same time I do not want to continue working beyond the window I've identified.

Dull Numbers
September spending was about $3,400, my third consecutive fairly bad month. For the quarter I averaged about $3,870. Medical/dental bills, travel expenses, auto maintenance, yada yada yada.

Growth in invested assets for the quarter was a little above $22,000 for September and about $59,200 for the quarter. Growth in net worth for the prior 12 months was $205,900, which is the best 12-month growth I have on record. My invested assets are about 38.5x anticipated average portfolio withdrawals through age 70. If I look out to age 80 I'm just shy of 54x.

If I were to ER today and the future mimicked my nominal plan/forecast I'd expect growth of about 13.9% in financial assets by my 70th birthday.

My tentative launch date is 607 days from today.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:27 pm

October 2017 Update

Invested asset were up $15,700.

Although it is against my nature I decided to splurge a little this month. I bought a guitar whose neck was made from old growth sinker maple recovered from the bottom of one of the western Great Lakes (probably Michigan). Odds are the tree was harvested during the late 19th century from Minnesota, Ontario, Wisconsin, or Michigan. Perhaps felled by Paul Bunyan himself!! I just couldn't ignore the coolness of using a bit of Northwoods history dating back to its hay day for making music (to the extent I am capable). It was custom built for a guitar shop in Milwaukee by an extremely well-regarded builder and set me back a good bit; more than I ever thought I'd pay for a guitar. That plus ongoing expenses for sale prep of my house and a generally lax month for day-to-days left spending at around $6,800 total for the month.

Had Halloween been my last day before retiring I might anticipate about 15% growth in my invested assets between now and age 70 should the future replicate my assumptions. My approximate multiples are now 39.5x (now to 70) and 55.2x (now to 80) average anticipated withdrawals.

Autumn has finally come to my corner of the Southeast. Since we didn't have a drought or three during the summer it's much more of an all-at-once autumn than is typical. Usually the shedding of foliage extends from late summer until about Thanksgiving. This year it's only been in about the last week that trees turned--so color is much more concentrated than normal. That means I'll be probably be having a full dose of my usual fall melancholy.

I admit a small twinge of guilt over throwing money at a guitar, but it's done and now I have nothing to do but enjoy it. If nothing else it's prompted me to learn how to do all the setup and maintenance on it. It's such a unique and irreplaceable instrument I do not want to leave it with anyone to do that work for me, so it's yet another burgeoning skill that will do very little to feed me in a pinch, but as long as the world is going good it should bring a lot of enjoyment.

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

Post by saving-10-years » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:43 am

Congrats on the financial progress. Enjoy the guitar. I buy spinning wheels and some of these can be relatively expensive but when one comes in another goes out to help fund it (or _could_ do so). I look at it as research towards finding out what is the perfect match and how different wheels work. Sounds like you will really enjoy this guitar and learn new skills during ownership. A lovely companion to keep you company in your cabin?

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:59 am

I was recently thinking that there is room in the industry for a new Gordon Lightfoot. Global climate change should be bringing on umpteen events appropriate as subject for deep-voiced, melancholy, complex lyric balladry. Consider the purchase as an investment towards potentially lucrative new hobby-career.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:33 pm

saving-10-years wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:43 am
Congrats on the financial progress. Enjoy the guitar. I buy spinning wheels and some of these can be relatively expensive but when one comes in another goes out to help fund it (or _could_ do so). I look at it as research towards finding out what is the perfect match and how different wheels work. Sounds like you will really enjoy this guitar and learn new skills during ownership. A lovely companion to keep you company in your cabin?
Thanks. Yeah, I will probably tote it around everywhere with me. I brought my old guitar up with me this year and was happy I did.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:37 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:59 am
I was recently thinking that there is room in the industry for a new Gordon Lightfoot. Global climate change should be bringing on umpteen events appropriate as subject for deep-voiced, melancholy, complex lyric balladry. Consider the purchase as an investment towards potentially lucrative new hobby-career.
I've got the melancholy down at times. Complex lyrics I could do. Moderately deep-voiced. The balladry though, especially the implication of singing, that is something no one should hold their breath for. ;) :lol:

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

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:14 pm

I got a call at home last night, relatively late for my phone to be ringing. Looks like I'll be back to my old job assignment next week. Should make the next 1.5 years go by faster.

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

Post by jennypenny » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:49 pm

Were you trying to get the old job back or was it a pleasant surprise?

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:03 am

The original arrangement going back 2 years was that I was supposed to continue my old duties and just add some new ones at a low duty cycle. But inter-company politics and customer aimless machinations had fouled that up so bad I called FUBAR and assumed I was permanently put out to pasture. So what happened last week caught me completely off guard. I had finally grown to accept a work life of easy (albeit boring) wandering around the pasture until the end--so I'm not as thrilled with this as I would have been 18 months ago. But as they say, "$hit got real" all of a sudden, and it looks like I'm back in the band. I feel like I'm someone's fallback booty call. :)

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

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:45 pm

November 2017 Update

Invested assets were up $19,200 for the month. Spending was $2,204, marking the second time I've had a month come in below 1/12th of a 3% withdrawal rate based on my current invested assets at the time. Hopefully that occurrence will begin to be commonplace going forward.

Had 30 November been my last day before retiring I might anticipate about 16% growth in my invested assets between now and age 70 should the future replicate my assumptions. My approximate multiples are now 40.6x (now to 70) and 56.8x (now to 80) average anticipated withdrawals.

I forgot to put up a "vacation pic" from my recent trip to the Northwoods. Since this may be the penultimate status entry for this journal, thought I'd do that since all my linked pics from the past are blocked off thanks to photobucket (now they are spamming me to pay them for an updated account, ha!). The one I'll link was a finalist for my homemade Christmas eCard. Hope everyone makes it through to the new year safe, happy, and warm.

Image

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

Post by jennypenny » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:04 am

Does your company ever offer early retirement packages? It seems like you'd be in a position to take one if offered.

Love the pic. :)

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

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:24 pm

Hi jennypenny. Thanks.

In the last 10-15 years the only thing they've offered to my knowledge is voluntary layoffs, which come with a seniority-based severance (up to 6 mos. pay) but no consideration to bridge the gap to minimum retirement age (for those still below it, like me). Hence I'm biding my time until I get to 55 (minimum retirement age from employer's perspective) despite having the wherewithal to be FI. If they offered a real early retirement with at least a token incentive I'd probably jump at it.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:12 am

2017 Year End Summary

Well, I'm a few days late with this. From a financial perspective 2017 went quite well overall. I keep some financial projections I made in 2012 of my financial trajectory. I finished 2015 behind those projections. I finished 2017 ahead of them, for all intents and purposes at where I projected I'd be around the end of Q1 2019. And those projections did not reflect a substantial withdrawal to purchase the cabin.

IRL things were not so rosy, but not awful. My mom continues fighting the good fight, but the overall trajectory is still downward. Some of that is the cancer and its treatment, some is just the natural order for someone headed into their upper 70s. My sister had a lot of setbacks but there is light at the end of the tunnel there. Things at work have improved. A couple years ago I made up a plan to ready my house for sale starting 2 years out from leaving work, but I haven't really done much on that front. I just don't have the motivation for that and with 17 mos still to go at minimum, it hasn't become urgent. I'm starting to look at some trade-offs for working all of 2019 versus leaving at the end of May. I'm starting to think I might be better off spending a little more on my downsized retirement home to get into a bit better (safer) neighborhood. If working a few more months will get me there it might be worth it.

Yesterday at 1:00 a.m. my new granddaughter entered the world. Just before Christmas I learned I have another grandchild due in August of next year. Those events weigh heavily on me while wrestling with decisions to pull the plug. Not everyone agrees with me, but I still kind of look at families as units, even beyond the nuclear, and so I have no way of avoiding having to assess the consequences of my decisions a little more, I dunno, maybe holistically, in the context of family. It's the price of being an anachronism, I guess.

The numbers:

Spending for December came in at 2,424 making it the second consecutive month (third overall) where spending came in below my notional "SWR" based on existing financial investment assets alone. For the year, excluding income tax, I spent $37,500 compared to $31,500 in 2016. That's not good but it is still below what I'm targeting for spending post-ER. The increase was largely due to "hobby" spending, specifically guitar/music-related toys. With the Trump Effect causing a surge in my net worth I decided to lean forward and effectively cash in some profits and get an early start on my hobby music "studio". Since I started collecting comprehensive data in 2012 my all-in spending (including major home repairs/upgrades) has been around $3,100/mo, so I came in pretty close to that. Still, I hope to do better in 2018.

During December 2017 invested assets increased by about $16,700 and for the year by a little over $230,000. That's the highest 12-month total I've had and is the first year where investment return made a substantially larger contribution to growth than my ongoing savings. Net worth growth pretty much tracked invested asset growth. I don't bother to factor in any change in value of my real estate, but the tax authorities seem to think the value of those is increasing as well. My bank account balances were down slightly thanks to all my spendy-ness.

If I'd have walked away at the end of last year and the future followed my forward-looking assumptions I'd expect an increase of about 18% in my financial assets from now to age 70. Net of the anticipated proceeds from selling my current home/downsizing, my invested asset multiples are about 44X anticipated average annual withdrawals through age 70, and around 62X anticipated average annual withdrawals through age 80.

During the upcoming year I plan to significantly reduce my exposure to US equities in increments (as of this writing I've already made one move in that direction by selling off 10% yesterday). I don't buy into the, "If you've won the game, then stop playing" school of thought. I'll continue to play because that's what I do, but dialing down my risk seems increasingly prudent. Even though my intellect believes it is the right thing to do, I still find it difficult to sell against the Trump Effect.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:30 pm

Congratulations on the new granddaughter! I think your inclination towards an even more conservative take on your situation is natural. I received some indications over the holidays that I might soon be one step closer to possibility of grandma status because my DD26's BF might soon pop the question, and that has changed my plans a bit.

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

Post by jennypenny » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:11 pm

Congratulations Gramps! First one, soon-to-be two?

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

Post by Campitor » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:48 pm

Congrats on the granddaughter.

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

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:44 am

Thanks, Campitor, jennypenny, and 7Wannabe5.

Luckily even as my roster of descendants to worry about grows, so does the hammer in my toolbox--at the close last night a second comma was required for a tally of my stash (about a year and a quarter ahead of schedule), joining the one in my net worth. It's definitely in pencil and may not survive the day. It feels good but not anything like the big deal it appeared ten years ago as a fantasy to a embarrassingly cash-strapped recent divorcee. I only missed having it happen on the 10th anniversary of my emancipation by 7 days. But my new granddaughter was born on that day (just realized that while typing this) which is a trade I'll take.

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