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

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:15 pm

Henrik, I would most likely start with a canoe or kayak, but a boat would have it's advantages.

Hank, I've been incommunicado in this area before. I don't worry about jason popping out of the lake or a zombie invasion. If I had a stroke or something I'd be screwed, but a guy's got to keep living even if it means he might die.

Dragline, my only hurry would involve getting it in time to be able to let my dad enjoy it. However, you're right. It's best to wait. If I rush and act impulsively it's likely to turn out suboptimal. The idea I'm kicking around now is to find a way to spend my first ER summer there in the most cost-effective way I can and do some detailed explorations. The area has no shortage of options for living on the edge of the wilderness. That way I can dial in on what I really want and do some detailed valuation research. Hopefully they won't experience a robust recovery in their real estate market because best case I'll be approaching this with marginal resources relative to the market.

Thanks for the thoughts, guys!

George the original one
Posts: 4328
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by George the original one » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:03 pm

When it comes to vacation property, renting is definitely better than owning.

And I say this as someone who falls on the other side of that argument when talking about rent vs. own for a residence!

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 942
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:26 pm

Northern Wisconsin is a good choice if you are looking for solitude. I like the Hayward/Cable area and Bayfield but they may be more populated than what you are looking for. Get away from towns and you'll have remoteness. You should also consider the upper peninsula of Michigan.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:52 am

Hey George, well it'll be a vacation place for a few years if I pull the trigger early, but once I'm ER the "vacation" will be 6 continuous months every year or a little more. "Vacation" rentals in the area seem to average about $1000-2000/wk (though it's possible to do better if one shops around most likely). I'll be too old to spend that much time in a tent every year. :) I know that's a weak position relative to ERE.

Gilberto, Northcentral Wisconsin (Rhinelander/Eagle River area) is where I first caught the Northwoods bug when I was a kid. I definitely keep an eye open there because it would be preferable for other members of my family, but because Wisconsin is much closer to a much larger population base than NE Minn (Chicagoland, Rockford, Madison, Milwaukee versus Twin Cities and ??), prices seem commensurately higher.

Thanks for the suggestions though, I'll look into those areas. I'm pretty flexible in the sense I don't insist on absolute remoteness. I'm probably not quite a recluse/hermit. But I want to, at times, be able to hear the silence, if that makes sense.

Yesterday I had pretty much resigned myself to holding off on this until ER but was exchanging notes about it with my dad, saying, "You know, I really shoulda thought about and done something about this years ago." His response was, "Yeah, I know it's not an easy decision, but 'I wish I had' is a phrase that is haunting to an old man."

That was a pretty extraordinary thing to hear coming from him. Now I'm back into a bit of inner turmoil over this. I'll be busting out the Mother of all Spreadsheets today and starting a new tab to see what I could do and how it will change my future finances. Plans, much like money, are somewhat fungible with me.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:04 am

Now it's just time to decide ...

Don't read this if your tired of my hand-wringing over the cabin. What follows is a cathartic self-indulgence.

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between prudence and timidity.

I spend a lot of time in that gray area.

I seem to have three choices:

1. Forget the whole idea, or

2. Pay something on the order of $60K for a super-rustic getaway accessible only by water or on foot. this would cause me to forgo $150/month in ER income while adding about $8/month in property tax and an estimated $80/mo in lease fees for 30,000 sq ft of Superior National Forest land with 150 ft of lakefront. No electricity, no well, outhouse.

3. Pay something on the order of $200K (would require a mortgage if I did it in the next 2 years) for a more conventional cottage/cabin with road access, electricity, a well, septic. I would forgo $500/mo in FI income plus add about $210/month in property tax. I would own the ground, but would be under some legal restrictions regarding what I could or couldn't do on the property since it's shoreline property on a lake part of which lies inside a federally protected wilderness area.

I haven't researched insurance in either case but it should be modest--the main property value is derived from the number of feet of lake frontage associated with the property.

In both general scenarios I'm looking at about 400-500 sq ft of living space. In both cases heat comes from a wood stove.

The second option intrigues me because:

-more affordable,
-moderately more private
-there are opportunities to find "green" solutions to some of the challenges associated with lack of utilities. E.g., even so far north solar panels can harvest enough power to occasionally run a fluorescent light or two and operate a pump/inline water heater. It would be a fun challenge to create a bit more comfort with a low environmental footprint.

There are less green ways to take some of the edge off the option 2 experience using propane-powered devices or even a gasoline generator for occasional electric power.

The third option has its advantages too. Road access is a big relative plus, and I have no guilt about enjoying some of the creature comforts provided by electricity and potable running water.

I am also engaging in a lot of rationalization:

-real estate prices in the area are still substantially depressed and actually worsening since 2007-2009. But the proximity of the properties I'm exploring to the BWCA wilderness area and Superior National Forest as well as being lakeside on what I consider "prime" quality lakes means there's a better than 50-50 chance the property values will move back towards their pre-crisis levels over the next 10-20 years. So while I'm certainly tying up money, it should be recoverable, and it's not an absurdly remote possibility that I could make a profit.

This truly is something I've wanted to do since I was a kid, but for various reasons it's remained in the realm of wishful thinking. There is also a mid-life crises/facing the reality of entering my 50s visceral sense of urgency to this. But it's not a complete whim.

It comes down to the age old choice: do I want to take an amount of risk to make it happen, or play it safe and always wonder what if?

I'm really thinking it's time to grow a sack. I've been there and don that with the prudent thing. There's virtue in dancing with the one who brung you, but there's room in this to maneuver short of being imprudent.

And for the record, the fact that the real estate agent I contacted turns out to be exceptionally good looking and grew up on the lake that #1 on my list has nothing to do with my decision ;)

There's nothing wrong with wanting something to be there at the end of a guy's dreams.

User avatar
Chad
Posts: 3863
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Chad » Wed Jun 11, 2014 5:44 am

IlliniDave wrote: Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between prudence and timidity.

I spend a lot of time in that gray area.
I spend a lot of time in that same area for big decisions. Hell, I spent a lot of time in that area when I was just buying a high end blender (I mention this because Jenny just brought up the juicing thread), but I think it's good. It allows me to feel out if I really want it. Nothing wrong with taking your time, but don't take too much time. We only have a limited amount.
IlliniDave wrote: 1. Forget the whole idea, or

2. Pay something on the order of $60K for a super-rustic getaway accessible only by water or on foot. this would cause me to forgo $150/month in ER income while adding about $8/month in property tax and an estimated $80/mo in lease fees for 30,000 sq ft of Superior National Forest land with 150 ft of lakefront. No electricity, no well, outhouse.

3. Pay something on the order of $200K (would require a mortgage if I did it in the next 2 years) for a more conventional cottage/cabin with road access, electricity, a well, septic. I would forgo $500/mo in FI income plus add about $210/month in property tax. I would own the ground, but would be under some legal restrictions regarding what I could or couldn't do on the property since it's shoreline property on a lake part of which lies inside a federally protected wilderness area.
Keep in mind that you will be old some day and that super-rustic cabin might be great now, but no road might really suck when you are 70.
IlliniDave wrote: It comes down to the age old choice: do I want to take an amount of risk to make it happen, or play it safe and always wonder what if?

I'm really thinking it's time to grow a sack. I've been there and don that with the prudent thing. There's virtue in dancing with the one who brung you, but there's room in this to maneuver short of being imprudent.
The risk seems minimal, as even if you would sell the place at a loss it's probably not a huge loss. So, it might be time to grow a pair. I know it is for me. It's time for me to make some decisions either way, on my issues, and either do something or move on.
IlliniDave wrote: And for the record, the fact that the real estate agent I contacted turns out to be exceptionally good looking and grew up on the lake that #1 on my list has nothing to do with my decision ;)

There's nothing wrong with wanting something to be there at the end of a guy's dreams.
Could always look at a few more cabins.

henrik
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 5:58 pm
Location: EE

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by henrik » Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:36 am

I get the impression that you really want the remote cabin and came up with the more expensive third option just to make #2 the "middle" and "reasonable" one:)
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between prudence and timidity.
Yes!

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:31 am

henrik wrote:I get the impression that you really want the remote cabin and came up with the more expensive third option just to make #2 the "middle" and "reasonable" one:)
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between prudence and timidity.
Yes!
Actually the third option would be choice one, for the reason Chad mentioned above. As age increases the viability of the middle option could quite reasonably be expected to decrease.

I actually just realized that the middle option costs about the same as many of my friends are spending on their German cars these days. And I'm sweating it like it's an outrageous extravagance.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:42 am

Chad wrote:
IlliniDave wrote: And for the record, the fact that the real estate agent I contacted turns out to be exceptionally good looking and grew up on the lake that #1 on my list has nothing to do with my decision ;)

There's nothing wrong with wanting something to be there at the end of a guy's dreams.
Could always look at a few more cabins.
Haha, those last two sentences were meant to be separate thoughts, not connected, the latter pertaining to the entire process of expending financial resources this way. Maybe though, my subconscious is toying with me. :)

You're point about age is well-taken. And is why the third option would carry the day if I was in the next tier up in terms of wealth. Second option is akin to buying a luxury car. Option 3 is something I would need to think through.

If I wasn't concerned about the real estate market up there regaining its legs and pricing me out of option 3 in the reasonably near future, I'd go with option 2 for about 10 years, then upgrade to option 3 when my bones started to get weary.

tommytebco
Posts: 251
Joined: Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:48 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by tommytebco » Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:15 am

RENT FIRST! RENT FIRST!! RENT FIRST!!

This will fill out the dream. An
Many better ideas and sites may reveal themselves to you.
Just sayin'. It's your dream.
Tom

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:27 pm

All Coming Together.

From pursuit of mindfulness I've come to understand all of life happens in the present moment. All else is just electrochemical brain activity dredging up imprints stored in the past or creating fantasy futures that may or may not come to pass. Both are fine as long as we keep them in their place.

The only things I can do to affect the future are my actions in the present. I might wind up striking out, but if I do I want go down swinging, not standing there with the bat on my shoulder.

The path ahead scares me, but I'm going to take it anyway.

http://www.lifebuzz.com/jim-carrey/#!WZaIU


IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:28 am

Thanks for the link, sky. I still have some threads to pull regarding number 1 on my desired destination list before I move on.

I had a long chat with a friend from long ago last night. Neither of us knew it then, but we share a common passion about this particular little corner of the world where I'm looking to stake a claim. She gave me some rather strong (and convincing) encouragement for me to get my teeth into this and not let go.

I'm too rational for my own good, but even reason is failing me here.

User avatar
Chad
Posts: 3863
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 3:10 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Chad » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:42 am

IlliniDave wrote: I'm too rational for my own good, but even reason is failing me here.
My earlier rationale that one day you will be old and this should prevent you from getting the remote cabis is probably another over-rationalization of your situation. I thought about this when I initially wrote it, as it is reasonable to assume one day you will be old feeble. But, it's also possible that one day you will be old, but not feeble. Maybe the lack of feebleness would stem from living in a slightly harsher environment...say a cabin on a lake with few amenities and no road for an easy car ride to it.

By the way, I really liked the Jim Carey video. As a former accountant who hated it, I completely understand. Thanks.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:53 am

Chad wrote:
IlliniDave wrote: I'm too rational for my own good, but even reason is failing me here.
My earlier rationale that one day you will be old and this should prevent you from getting the remote cabis is probably another over-rationalization of your situation. I thought about this when I initially wrote it, as it is reasonable to assume one day you will be old feeble. But, it's also possible that one day you will be old, but not feeble. Maybe the lack of feebleness would stem from living in a slightly harsher environment...say a cabin on a lake with few amenities and no road for an easy car ride to it.

By the way, I really liked the Jim Carey video. As a former accountant who hated it, I completely understand. Thanks.
Well I wouldn't call it over-rationalization. I'm pretty sure I've used this line here: "You don't stop moving because you get old, you get old because you stop moving."

To an extent that is true. But only insofar as an 85-year-old man who stays physically active on a daily basis is probably going to enjoy a higher quality of life than an 85-year-old man who spends his time in a recliner watching Fox News and worrying about whether he should sell everything and buy gold and ammunition. But even the active 85-year-old is still 85 years old and not 19.

Seems like the obvious compromise is to go for voluntary simplicity while I'm a younger old dude at a place that later could be improved with a few hard-labor replacing conveniences.

I'm actually starting to rationalize in a way that is attempting to be justification...making the arguments to myself that I'm buying lakefront real estate in a market that was bludgeoned in 2007-2010 and has not recovered at all. Even if my vision for myself does not pan out the financial downside to me is not catastrophically low, the corresponding upside is potentially high, and the property could produce income. Usually trying to justify lifestyle expenses as investments is a dangerous fallacy, and the most dangerous phrase in investing keeps popping into my mind: "this time it's different...".

User avatar
Dragline
Posts: 4450
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Dragline » Sat Jun 14, 2014 8:57 pm

IlliniDave wrote:
To an extent that is true. But only insofar as an 85-year-old man who stays physically active on a daily basis is probably going to enjoy a higher quality of life than an 85-year-old man who spends his time in a recliner watching Fox News and worrying about whether he should sell everything and buy gold and ammunition. But even the active 85-year-old is still 85 years old and not 19.

Seems like the obvious compromise is to go for voluntary simplicity while I'm a younger old dude at a place that later could be improved with a few hard-labor replacing conveniences.

I'm actually starting to rationalize in a way that is attempting to be justification...making the arguments to myself that I'm buying lakefront real estate in a market that was bludgeoned in 2007-2010 and has not recovered at all. Even if my vision for myself does not pan out the financial downside to me is not catastrophically low, the corresponding upside is potentially high, and the property could produce income. Usually trying to justify lifestyle expenses as investments is a dangerous fallacy, and the most dangerous phrase in investing keeps popping into my mind: "this time it's different...".
As for the 85-year olds, the first one is my father and the second is already in the earth. He says the weirdest thing about aging is that almost everybody you knew earlier in life is dead.

That real estate is unlikely to be an investment in our lifetimes. Outside of a few places like Door County, houses/property in the Northern woods have been cheap and plentiful all our lives, and will remain so unless they find shale gas. It's full of old people who die and heirs that don't want to keep the property from Duluth to Rhinelander to Copper Harbor. The hey-day of that area was in the early 1900s. Beautiful place to live, but not an investment in terms of appreciation. Like most of territory of the US, actually.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:40 pm

Dragline wrote:
That real estate is unlikely to be an investment in our lifetimes. Outside of a few places like Door County, houses/property in the Northern woods have been cheap and plentiful all our lives, and will remain so unless they find shale gas. It's full of old people who die and heirs that don't want to keep the property from Duluth to Rhinelander to Copper Harbor. The hey-day of that area was in the early 1900s. Beautiful place to live, but not an investment in terms of appreciation. Like most of territory of the US, actually.
They're somewhat plentiful, cheap is relative I guess. They're cheap if your coming from a coast maybe, but expensive if you live in Flyover Country already. Number 1 on my list is the little northeast corner of Minnesota tucked in Superior National forest near the BWCA wilderness. Pretty desirable for those that have a bug for the area. I showed one to a friend who like me is smitten with the area. She lives in Seattle and was aghast at how little it cost (apparently much less than her second home they recently built on Vashon Island), but I had showed it to her as a lark because it was way out of my price range, listed at a good deal more than my current home is worth.

I think you're right. I didn't mean an investment in the sense that I'd expect to make big real appreciation gains (although it's possible), just meant that most if not all of the purchase should be recoverable so long as I'm not selling in a panic. So it's not like I'm dropping $80K-$100K on a car or something. I think the air is mostly out of the bubble there, so things should mostly float along with inflation in the future. The wilderness and the lakes have been about the only "industry" there since the early 20th century, so there's nothing left to really collapse and cause further problems.

Very happy to hear your dad is active and doing well at 85! I hope when that day comes (about 10 years) mine is doing the same. Happy Father's day to him, to you, and all the good dads out there :)

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:10 am

Before Sunrise on a Thursday

Reality is starting to catch up with me regarding my rekindled longing for lakeside solitude in the Northwoods. It's nice to imagine an IlliniDavid Thoreau retreat but when I begin to hedge in consideration of things like age, desire for others in my family/a few key friends to enjoy the property with me, desire to have liquidity commensurate with general residential real estate, etc., a different and sobering picture begins to emerge. Long story short, a property that meets all the requirements is going to gouge me for about $200K (1000 sq ft, running water, electricity, waterfront on a lake of average to high quality there), and even then there will be a substantial inconvenience in that the only properties that appear to be available that meet that meet all the criteria are water access (meaning there is no way to drive to them).

That $200k, while obviously an investment of sorts, if sunk in a second home will cost me $500/month in ER income on top of adding expenses. To do this without a large erosion in the financial margin I've planned for myself will require that either I get a second job for the next 5 years, or work about 2 years longer than I've been planning. Neither will be easy. So now I'm sharpening the old pencil to see if ER is workable on a thinner budget. An option is to forgo living alone while I winter 90 miles west of Chicago near my family (I'll be the snowbird that just doesn't quite understand the concept). Renting in Illinois versus buying could possibly help that out a little.

The more selfish option of buying a zero amenity shack remains.

It's odd, almost ironic, that the one time in the last 6+ years I've wished I had a "partner" is while stewing on this decision, which at it's core is about achieving a certain type and measure of solitude.

I've also started an accounting of the bits of my ER "dream" that I'll be giving up by planting myself in the Northwoods: gardening, working in my dad's vineyard, having the option to maintain part-time employment if it's something I want to do.

This is translating to some renewed vigor on the frugality front. Unfortunately I'm to the point that all the low fruit is harvested and grinding out a few nickels of savings takes quite a bit of effort, so I can't make a material difference in the outcome, but I'm improving my mental/emotional conditioning.

I've been practicing being deliberately nonjudgmental on an ongoing basis. I don't mean judging or not judging other people (fortunately that habit is one I never really acquired a penchant for), but rather I try to avoid dwelling on thoughts like, "Man, this chore sucks" or "This is the most stupid and awful meeting ever." Sounds corny, but it does help. There's a lot of power in accepting the present moment for what it is, rather than focusing on what it is not. Occasionally changing things is imperative, but most of the time for me, ongoing dissatisfaction is a choice. Slowly I'm learning to choose it less and less.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5442
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:05 pm

If you did option one, how many years could you realistically enjoy it? Twenty-five? Twenty? If you used it 20 years, it would cost you $4K/year including fees (assuming it had no value when you were done with it). Is it worth $4K a year to you? Or would you rather rent something for that much?

Spartan_Warrior
Posts: 1680
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:24 am

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by Spartan_Warrior » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:24 pm

Occasionally changing things is imperative, but most of the time for me, ongoing dissatisfaction is a choice.
Well said. That whole paragraph resonated with me. I'm still learning not to choose dissatisfaction too, but I think realizing that it is a choice is a large part of the battle.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:07 pm

->Jennypenny, if I went with the first choice in my most recent post and used it for 20 years of ER (25 total ownership if I bought this year), ending at 75, it would be about $8000/yr plus any additional associated costs. The more rustic option would be around $3400 per year, roughly. Based on a small sample size, lakefront leased rentals run about $1500/month (compared to half that for a generic place), and assuming I could rent seasonally, that would be $7500-$9000 per year, or $18,000 if they leased by the year. "Vacation" places seem to go about $1500-$2000/wk. So I'm already way behind renting before considering it's more likely than not I'll get most/all of my purchase price back plus inflation (assuming I spend 4-6 months up there each year). That's an interesting perspective though. Something on the order of $9-11K/year over the long haul should comfortably bound the cost of the more expensive option net of selling it at the end (including the lost $6K/yr ER income from the money tied up in the property), and maybe a little less than a third of that for the rustic option. Off the top of my head I'd say yeah it's worth it to me. But, I need to give that some serious consideration.

Edited to add the following, somehow it got left out of my first attempt:

The other half of the question is can I afford it. With all the sequencing going on with my retirement income, my worst-case year would be age 69 if I deferred both my 401 and SS to age 70, and I'd have a pre-tax income of about $2700/month that year, best guess. About half the annual cost above would come out of that (the reduction in passive income is already factored in). From 55-70 I'd average $3200/month. That seems doable, but again, it needs careful thought.

Good vantage to view it from. Thanks.

->Spartan_Warrior. Yep, that's my belief. I'm not making light of people who have legitimate struggles and truly difficult circumstances. But for me and I think a lot of others, I think a good deal of misery is self inflicted. The Zen guys have been saying that for a thousand years, so it's no great epiphany on my part.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
jennypenny
Posts: 5442
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:24 pm

IlliniDave wrote: The more rustic option would be around $3400 per year, roughly.
Sorry, I think I had the options mixed up. This is the one I was trying to price out per year. I thought it might be easier to look at it as a straight expense and not an investment or real estate, if that makes sense. I think most people could fit $3400 into their annual budgets if they really wanted to.

The other option of $9-11K is basically running two ERE-sized households. You might be able to sell it someday, so it's more of an investment. OTOH, the investment would probably benefit your heirs, not you, since you'd sell it at such an advanced age.

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a vacation home. I was just trying to give you another way to look at the numbers.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:00 pm

jennypenny wrote:
IlliniDave wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of a vacation home. I was just trying to give you another way to look at the numbers.
Oh, I understand and appreciate it. You know, the funny thing is once ER hits I'll probably start to think of the Northwoods place as real home and the place near my family as the vacation home, even though I'll probably spend a little less time there each year (a month or so less).

Only half the $12K would actually be out of pocket. The other half is in consideration of the 3% withdrawal rate I'll be forgoing. Still nearly an ERE annual living allowance, but I've never figured I'd do better than ERE-lite. And now with all these new plans, maybe Jacob should tear off my stripes, break my sword, and take away my second "E" (i.e., my E-lite).

I've thought about working the sale into the plan by way of doing SEPP withdrawals from my 401 and backfilling (figuratively) in my early 70s with the sale proceeds. I probably won't, but it's something I thought about. Most of my assets will probably benefit my heirs rather than me anyway. I'm not one of those guys who wants to give away his last dollar at a strip club an instant before falling over dead. At least not yet.

sky
Posts: 733
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am
Contact:

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by sky » Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:44 pm

I am constantly tempted by a second home. Beaver Island, Drummond Island, Ontonagon-Porcupine Mountains, Allegan Woods, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, Detroit (sorry, childe of the ghettoe here). All pretty low cost areas.

I'd kinda like to be a hermit. Luckily, my better half is making the location decisions, so we live in the best Lake Michigan beach town, only 2.5 hrs from da LOOP (So Haven). Sometimes I'd like to leave the vice and pain of the Michigan Industrial Complex, but then, I don't really fit in anyplace else.

IlliniDave
Posts: 1726
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstr

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 21, 2014 8:44 am

Hi Sky,

I have a bit of the "wrong side of the tracks" in my origins as well, although in my case it was wrong side of the river. Not a ghetto unless you wanted to call it a working-class ghetto. But it was a time of a lot of change as it was the flowering of the rust belt and a lot of us watched the quite viable way of life of our parents and grandparents begin to crumble.

I know what you mean about not fitting. I moved to the Southeast a couple years after school and never have felt at home here (that's no reflection on the people or communities where I've lived). So my plans are going back to where I grew up as a base, and spend my summers in the one other environment I've felt a connection with. The turtle retreats in his shell, I suppose.

Refinement

The process of corralling a lifelong whimsical dream and trying to funnel it through the present and into the past is an interesting one. In a way it's like what some sculptors and banzai practitioners do. To them the art is inherent to the media, and their job is to remove what is not necessary and draw forth the natural, desired form.

So I have this jumbled lump of memories and dreams from which I want to draw the key essence into the present (in other words, make real). It may be preposterous, but I want to make it a work of art as well. I didn't realize this until the last couple days, but much of my subconscious motivation to dispense with clutter and complication I now appreciate as an attempt to sculpt and prune my life into something if not beautiful, then at least not a first cousin to a landfill.

Back to my lump. In a crude sense it's like a crap-filled closet. Old stuff and unused new stuff tossed in a precarious heap. It must now be converted from a liability to an asset.

This whole line of thinking was kicked off by the mundane process of talking to the real estate agent. It became clear fairly quickly that while she intuitively grasped some of what I was after, much of it she just didn't get. I decided to spell it out in more detail to help her hone in on suitable properties and found that I could not come up with a specific unified description, only a list of disjoint thoughts, like I was digging through that crap-filled closet and tossing random items over my shoulder.

I determined I've got to step back, peer into my lump, identify its essence, then begin the process of pruning away the rest. I'm coming to see that ust having a piece of ground on the Canadian Shield where water laps the edge is not all there is to it. Then the aftereffects of my mindfulness quest kicks in. Really, my future life in Illinois and my future life in the Northwoods are not separate things--both must be cultivated together. That may be the subject of a ramble some other day.

All this has added some uncertainly to my quest while at the same time strengthening my conviction of its necessity for me. I also don't think I have the vision and wordsmith skills to capture this ex-ante and bring it into conscious thought. I'm planning to visit Illinois in August and will take a northward jaunt from there for a couple days to get boots on the ground and view some properties. I'll be relying on intuition to tell me what is right when I see it. Maybe a dangerous way to go about it. I'm expanding search parameters to compensate for some of the uncertainty, as well as searching for potential alternate solutions.

In the meantime I'll keep worrying the lump to see if I can't expose a masterpiece. I can't remember a time when intuition has grossly failed me, but the rational side of me still demands a say in this, and it wants to "see" what it is evaluating.

Also in the meantime I can now approach my moments with the encouragement of knowing the right path is to take the ho-hum of every day and bring out the humble, but beautiful, hidden qualities. That puts a bit of bounce into my step.

Post Reply