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

Where are you and where are you going?
jennypenny
Posts: 6133
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

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

Post by jennypenny » Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:23 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:18 am
Per my usual way of doing things I'll probably get all fastidious about this and make up goals and plans.
"Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and a spreadsheet." -- Teddy Roosevelt ;)

I'm only teasing because I always do the same thing.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Sep 01, 2018 5:50 am

Brief August 2018 Update

Spending for August was $3,325. Invested assets grew by $27,200. Don't like spending being that high. It was a 3-paycheck month so I had additional spending in the form of extra deductions for benefit expenses and extra contributions to my sinking funds for home and cabin "overhead" expenses. If I account for those and the payment on the new vehicle* I'd be around $2,300 which is okay but not great. I'm getting soft and have been a little more indulgent with the A/C, and efforts to improve my nutrition have sent my food expenses soaring. I'm still putting in gobs of overtime which hides the sloppy spending when it comes to the bottom line.

I happened to notice while plugging some numbers into my mega spreadsheet this morning that in most of my wealth accumulation numbers, including the bottom line, I am ahead of what the plan I laid out for myself several years back called for at the end of 2019 which is where it ends. If I was more confident in my ability to control spending I'd be pretty excited. As it is I'm giving strong consideration to continuing on at work until the end of 2020.

*I'm playing the differential interest game with the 0.9% loan they offered--If Dave Ramsey is standing there at the gate with St. Peter when that day comes, I am screwed. But until then I couldn't say no to squeezing out a coupla-three hundred extra bucks by keeping the money in a MM (currently at 2.1%) for as long as possible.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:08 am

EOY 2019 Summary

Happy New Year to all!

Well, been a while since I updated this, I see. Starting with the numbers:

Total spending for 2019 was $43,700. That's about $6,500 above 2017 spending. Most of that can be attributed to a new guitar, a new guitar amp, pitching in for Mom's funeral and interment costs, and some home repairs. For ER I'm planning for ~$51,000 annual spending. The 2018 spending growth is bothersome, but still within the bounds of the plan. Reinforces my instinct to plan conservatively.

Invested assets went down $55,400 for Q4 2018 and grew by $82,000 for the year. Both numbers are net of contributions, so for the year invested asset performance was down about $72,000. Unpleasant, but not disastrous (about -7%).

I took a trip back home for Christmas. It was my first trip back since my mom passed. It is true what they say about losses being felt most keenly during the holidays.

Over the last 3-4 months my main non-work activity has been fooling around with guitar/music. Although I got a break for the last ten weeks of '18, I expect to be back working overtime sooner rather than later. If I'm going to be here working anyway, might as well maximize the calendar time dedicated to it. By most standards my day-to-day life would be considered pretty dull. But I'm good with it.

I turn 55 in May which makes me eligible to leave my employer via retirement rather than just quitting. That gives me a bump in retirement bene's. After that it's just a matter of gauging when retirement resources cover anticipated spending needs with enough margin to let me sleep well at night. It's now looking like that might be the end of calendar 2020. Prior I had been looking at a time between 31 May '19 and 31 December '19. The wildcard in that is my dad. So far he's doing okay and having my siblings within 20-25 miles of him seems to be enough to keep track of what's up with him and lend a hand when required (not often). Still having trouble with my dumbass deadbeat nephew sponging off him shamelessly, but I/we can't make him do what we want with his money.

So mostly things are good. Still unrepentant when it comes to bachelorhood. Having that extra degree of freedom helps when making nonstandard long-term plans.

User avatar
prognastat
Posts: 968
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

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

Post by prognastat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:44 pm

Sorry to hear about your mother, and the holidays. Glad that though spending was a bit more than planned it's still within the limits you've set for yourself. At least the upside is that about all of those were one off charges or at least very infrequent ones.

I can definitely relate to the extra degree of freedom bachelorhood affords you in making nonstandard long-term plans.

Seppia
Posts: 879
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

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

Post by Seppia » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:56 pm

Good to hear from you again Dave, it’s always good to have a different kind of perspective on this whole ERE thing*

*while we are a very diverse bunch, you're different in approach and age to the “average” FI guy/gal

jennypenny
Posts: 6133
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

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

Post by jennypenny » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:13 am

Happy holidays, Dave. I'm sorry they were bittersweet.

Does your employer ever offer early retirement packages? DH is hoping to catch one from his employer after he turns 55 and maxes out his benefits.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Feb 02, 2019 7:50 am

January 2019 Update

Spending for the month will be high again. I don't have the final numbers but it looks like I'll come in just under $5,000. Some legal fees related to cleaning up my mother's estate in the irregular expense category were a significant contributor to that. In principal those fees should have been shared between me and my siblings, but for various reasons I'm the only one of us with the ability to pay them. This is providing a lot of motivation for me to invest a little more up front with my own estate plan so that my heirs don't have these same experiences. A lesser but still relevant overage came from some hobby expenses as I continue to collect music "gear". I've kind of settled on that as my around-the-house wintertime hobby for the short/medium term once retired. I'm going for some higher-end stuff with the thought that at least when it's time to set the stuff aside it will have enough residual value it can be readily sold (don't expect a profit from it, just a relatively easy liquidation).

Invested assets were up $64,800 for the month including contributions. I'm back up to my highest invested asset and net worth figures to date. Even though I'm far from desperate, declining totals, even when just slightly down, are a little disconcerting to me despite being a veteran of fluctuations. Unfortunately I had a little more sideline money than usual due to some tax loss harvesting I did at the end of 2018, so I missed a little more potential gain.

I'm a little over three months away from being officially old enough to retire (by my employer's definition). Once there I'm truly in day-by-day mode. I don't have the numbers in front of me but that will put me at a point where even with above-historic average spending it's reasonable to anticipate a withdrawal rate of under 2% (not guaranteed though). For various reasons I've started to converge on the end of 2020 as the leading candidate for my walkaway day. With moderately consistent economic conditions for the next 25 years That could put me at a sub 0.5% withdrawal rate. I'll just have to own being the Mr Creosote of the fatFIRE crowd.

One of the things that has me looking at sticking around a little longer is my future housing situation. My initial plan had me cost-wise downsizing homes aggressively. But I'm rethinking that. In parts that's due to observing my dad and his house. It was built in the 1940s and would be contemporary with my other low cost options. The amount of effort and expense required to get it up to saleable condition is daunting. I don't know what the heck we'll do when it's time for him to move out. Unfortunately my deadbeat nephew is still leaching aggressively so cash for Dad is in short supply despite a pretty solid pension.

Anyway I'm starting to look at homes of about the same cost range as what I'll get for selling my home here. That will get me something 30 years younger than what I'd been looking at, and located in a safer part of town (important given one day I'll be a little old man).

Another thing I'm thinking about is weather (not climate, just weather) since it's been in the news recently. "Back home" they did achieve the lowest temperature on record this week (-31F). That prompted me to look up some historic weather data and what I found surprised me. Despite the (taboo for me) climate stuff, weather-wise for that little spot on the globe it seems like the historic trend is that extreme low temperatures have been recorded primarily from 1975 to present and the extreme high temperatures were recorded primarily prior to 1950. That sort of changes some of the criteria I'd been thinking about for comfortable endurance of occasional extremes. Data is linked below for the morbidly curious. Unfortunately I have not found equivalent data for my corner of NE Minnesota (I'm considering that area for my golden years full-time residence after my family responsibilities in Illinois are over).

https://www.weather.gov/lot/Rockford_Te ... re_Records

For both hot and cold a well-insulated house with an efficient HVAC is a big plus, but if cold extremes are more likely than hot, I'm starting to think a garage is not only highly desirable, but an attached garage with heating would be a definite plus. I know in NE Minnesota most people have engine block heaters on their vehicles, which could be a compromise for a detached/unheated garage as long as it has electricity available, or even a driveway, but I don't think Illinois will see frequent enough/cold/enough extremes to warrant that. Mostly it would be a matter of personal comfort. So that tends to drive me towards houses built from the 1960s onward. Although they are nearly ubiquitous in that part of the country, a good basement with some potentially habitable space is another virtual requirement. The ground cools the space in the summer and warms it a little in the winter. So a hideout room with minimal airflow could help with surviving either cold or hot extremes during a power outage. Many older homes have basements that really don't lend themselves to any sort of occupation where newer homes typically have deeper basements that could be finished off (and often already have been).

Still a lot more to think about on that topic.

The day-to-day here and now is pretty routine. Work is again ramping up and I've again been asked to work (paid) overtime. It does cut into time for other things, but as long as I'm here anchored to a job for financial reasons, might as well maximize the the efficiency of the financial side of the equation.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

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

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:09 am

I hate to beat a dead horse iDave, but if you are concerned about large drawdowns maybe you should reconsider uncorrelated assets. I think Jack Bogle did a great job getting people to keep their nose to the grindstone and not shoot themselves in the foot overly managing their assets, but I do not think everything he said was gospel.

Your withdrawal rate is already so low. You don’t need historical rates of return from the stock market to have a nice retirement and pass along something to your grandchild.

With you and all of the other Boomers retiring, I do not think the next 25 years will be moderately consistent.

https://app.hedgeye.com/insights/72933- ... type=macro

https://www.macrovoices.com/

George the original one
Posts: 4718
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

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

Post by George the original one » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:36 pm

What would prompt you to leave the house with your car during an extreme cold spell? You won't be commuting to work and it seems like these plunging temperatures have had solid forecasts, so you should be able to do any last minute shopping in advance. If you have a medical emergency, you're probably better off calling an ambulance rather than trying to drive yourself.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:10 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:09 am
Your withdrawal rate is already so low. You don’t need historical rates of return from the stock market to have a nice retirement and pass along something to your grandchild.

With you and all of the other Boomers retiring, I do not think the next 25 years will be moderately consistent.
Heck, if the next 25 years provide near-historic returns I'll triple or quadruple my initial stake. I'm expecting tepid conditions and that is what I meant to be consistent (have to assume something to project forward) and why I'm gunning for such a low withdrawal rate. Seeing my balance decline, while disconcerting, isn't the end of the world either. If it happens, it happens. That said, my expectation is that I'll hover around 1/3 real estate, 1/3 stocks, and 1/3 bonds+cash. PP and similar is something I keep in the back of my mind and I may make a modest shift at some point. Right now I tend to think the an overshoot of the political pendulum is where the greatest danger to me lies financially (and perhaps physically as well). That has me thinking flag theory-lite.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

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

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:18 am

I think (hope?) you’re small enough to avoid any AOC target sights.

I think it’s a sad state of affairs when someone who has worked so hard and conserved so much and been really put thru it in their personal life has to feel their nest egg is threatened by political policy.

It’s like we’re at the casino and I just want iDave to take chips off of the table, while it’s still cheap to do so and a Republican is in office.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:30 am

George the original one wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:36 pm
What would prompt you to leave the house with your car during an extreme cold spell? You won't be commuting to work and it seems like these plunging temperatures have had solid forecasts, so you should be able to do any last minute shopping in advance. If you have a medical emergency, you're probably better off calling an ambulance rather than trying to drive yourself.
Loss of power is the one that springs most readily to mind, and being relatively unencumbered when it comes to looking after my elderly father. I grew up in the same area so it's not like life stops just because it gets cold. My temperament is such that hunkering down is an appealing response to bad weather but for those times when it's inappropriate reliable transportation is helpful. Not having to sit in and try to start a thoroughly frozen vehicle is just a creature comfort. Looking towards the potential of N. Minnesota year round, I've noticed that going a week or so with daily high temperatures below 0F is not rare, and negative mid-thirties F seems to happen yearly. Having options always seems preferable to being relegated to a single course of action.

User avatar
theanimal
Posts: 1204
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: Gates of the Arctic
Contact:

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

Post by theanimal » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:04 pm

In AK, almost all cars in the northern 2/3rds of the state have engine block, oil pan and battery heaters. There aren't many garages up here. It's really not a hassle at all, many leave their cars plugged in all the time or plug it into a timer. Heating a garage is quite the cost with it usually being a poorly insulated environment.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:54 am

theanimal wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:04 pm
In AK, almost all cars in the northern 2/3rds of the state have engine block, oil pan and battery heaters. There aren't many garages up here. It's really not a hassle at all, many leave their cars plugged in all the time or plug it into a timer. Heating a garage is quite the cost with it usually being a poorly insulated environment.
The potential rub is if I go with the old/cheap house then I'm likely looking at on-street parking making plugging in problematic. If I go newer I'm likely looking at an attached garage anyway, potentially insulated. In The Bush, MN, plugging in would be an easy option and probably the most practical, but I'm guessing I have at least 10-15 years before I'd be seriously thinking of moving up there full-time. Buying a house in N. Illinois is 2 years or less down the road, so I just need to get through a potential handful of really cold days (say < -20F) per decade.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:00 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:18 am
I think it’s a sad state of affairs when someone who has worked so hard and conserved so much and been really put thru it in their personal life has to feel their nest egg is threatened by political policy.
If they painted a portrait of the new boogeyman he might look quite like me, have to recognize that and deal with it. I have far fewer zeros left of the decimal than some, but the reality is that to seize additional wealth in the trillions, the grab has to extend well below the tippy tops.

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

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

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:07 am

All the more reason to put chips in the pocket.

User avatar
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4741
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:50 am

I think most of us are going to have to develop some sort of anti-fragile strategy to deal with the likelihood that the pendulum is going to continue to swing wide and erratic as primary conventional modes of coping with reduction of resource base compete for center stage. The tax code does allow, and likely will continue to allow, for many ways to avoid having your top lopped off if you engage in social spending within your own realm of dominance. Obvious example being setting up trust funds for heirs. Children of the uber-wealthy are often gainfully employed by the charitable foundations their families established.

General principle would be to ask yourself where conditions or opportunities will improve if perceived risk increases. So, for instance, instead of spending $3X on a garage, you could spend $X on a engine block heater AND a plow for your truck, and plan on picking up $2X with few small potatoes contracts for clearing private drives, while also providing yourself with better resource base for possible need for exit strategy. IOW, if you already have a shell, instead of doubling down on shell thickness, equip yourself with some talons and/or some wings.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1239
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

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

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:53 am

If you are concerned about being prepared for cold temperatures a woodstove and a month or two of firewood is a great backup for a furnace. I was thinking about this myself in the recent cold temperatures. Maybe in the next house.

I think you are on the right track looking for a place with an attached garage. Even if it is not heated they seem to stay warmer and it is safer for elderly people not to have to cross the snow and ice to get from the car to the house.

A remote starter and an electric garage door opener are also nice for old people. Open the garage door and start the car and let it get warm before going out.
Right now I tend to think the an overshoot of the political pendulum is where the greatest danger to me lies financially (and perhaps physically as well).
I checked in with Bernie and AOC and you are not currently on the purge list for either execution or reeducation. I'll put in a good word for you at party headquarters. ;)

Mister Imperceptible
Posts: 849
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:18 pm

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

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:18 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:50 am
if you already have a shell, instead of doubling down on shell thickness, equip yourself with some talons and/or some wings.
Love it

IlliniDave
Posts: 2435
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

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

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Feb 06, 2019 8:12 pm

So, there's sort of three different discussions here. Regarding the garage decision, I'm not worried about anything. I was just surprised that when I examined data that it was different from what I had assumed and somewhat subconsciously baked into my plan. The net financial impact of the different options (regarding the garage situation) versus it being a "don't care" initially is pretty minimal, 2% of net worth or so and I can work an extra three months if need be. However, the ability to travel on a moment's notice under the broadest set of circumstances probably fits under the definition of wings.

The wood stove is a decent idea, and one I've thought of. Might switch out my freestanding LP fireplace at the cabin. It throws of tons of heat but might be forbidden one day. So might wood stoves for that matter.

Regarding my investment strategy, I'm dialing back risk as I go, but no risk, no reward, and financial resources can be both wing and talon.

Regarding the politics, socialism has never been kind and forgiving toward their designated oppressors. Who I am as a person is nothing when compared to my immutable characteristics. If it goes beyond capitalism wearing a socialist Halloween costume and I'm lucky, I'll just end up broke living off government handouts. If things swing too far right that probably won't end well for me either, though for different reasons.

Post Reply