cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
jacob
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by jacob » Fri May 04, 2018 3:37 pm

You can always fill the pool with salsa and then .. okay, I haven't thought beyond this point. But it seems like a good initial step?!

A couple of years ago when our tomato+zucchini harvest was outproducing, I'd "perform" the following cooking:

2-4 pints of beans (black, kidney, .. whatever you like)
1 blender full of tomatoes + 5 cloves of garlic. Blend.
1 zucchini (size of a forearm, chopped into 1 cm^3 sizes).
1 large onion.

Proceed as follows: fry zuc cubes in oil in large pot until they start browning, then add onions and keep frying until they brown. Then pour already cooked beans on top (presuming you learned how to get the perfect chewiness) as well as the blended red/now pink tomato/garlic on tip. Spice up according to taste. Goes on top of carbs according to diet.

We ate this for several weeks. Monthly food budget was $50-70 for two adults at the time. Not entirely self-sufficient. I blame the evil cheese. Would have been less and healthier without the evil cheese.

light_bulb_moment
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by light_bulb_moment » Fri May 04, 2018 4:01 pm

Mmmmm. Evil cheese...

Jason
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Jason » Fri May 04, 2018 4:02 pm

ffj wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 3:13 pm
@jason

In the chicken world, the roosters are the pretty ones unlike the human world where the pretty ones are females. They will also attack you from behind when you least expect it.
So it's like the 1980's.

Thank you.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri May 04, 2018 5:31 pm

ffj wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 3:13 pm
@cmonkey

Looking nice. I planted 55 tomato plants the other day, God help me if they all live. ;)
Thanks. Haha, that's a lot. I think we planted about that many a few years ago and have since scaled back a bit. I'm pretty sure we didn't waste any tomatoes either! Hence why we have several hundred quart jars scattered around our kitchen/attic.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri May 04, 2018 5:42 pm

jacob wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 3:37 pm
We ate this for several weeks. Monthly food budget was $50-70 for two adults at the time. Not entirely self-sufficient. I blame the evil cheese. Would have been less and healthier without the evil cheese.
I sometimes wonder why I cannot get my food budget down from where it is, when we eat so much from our garden. Then I remember this. The evil cheese.....mmmmm...

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sat May 12, 2018 3:32 pm

Thinking About Taxes

So it's a given that we'll never pay federal tax again after I retire.

I think I've ALSO figured out how I can retire and pay zero in Illinois State taxes if we stay here for a while, which might be the case.

Illinois gives you exemptions for each federal exemption you claim in the amount of 2K each, so we get 4K off our taxable income.

I can harvest capital losses of 3K in excess of gains and offset our dividend income/IRA withdrawls.

Illinois also gives you a credit equal to 5% of your property tax, which for us would be 2200 * .05 = 110 / .0495 = $2,222.22 in additional income that is tax free.

So we are up to $9,222 in tax free income for Illinois, which is ALSO the amount of taxable dividend income I'll have when I quit. The other 5K I can take from IRA withdrawals and/or capital gains and harvest losses in my taxable account to avoid taxes. When I retire, I'll have about 260K in our single taxable account, which would require (at a minimum) 8K/260K = 3% of the account in the red each year. This seems entirely plausible for an actively managed account invested in individual stocks.

When we have a kid, add another exemption into the mix for a total of $11,222 in tax free income and then I only need about 3K in gains/withdrawals. If we have a second kid, it will be very easy to not pay taxes here.


A Problem?

The only "problem" I think I'll have is that I would not be able to withdraw much from my IRA accounts at this point, since anything beyond my harvested loss amounts would get taxed. When I'm done working, I'll have about 212K in retirement accounts. At 3% this is already earning 6-7K a year. It's reasonable to assume the accounts will increase by more than this.

One strategy is to keep my dividend income from my taxable account sufficiently low enough so as to maximize IRA withdrawals while staying under the Illinois tax radar. When I retire, taxable dividend income will be about 9K, but if I cut my yield in half, I also add 4.5K to the amount I can withdraw.

Another strategy to get the money out is to simply fund my HSA with equivalent withdrawals, but this is still just 7K per year. The transaction should be tax free.

Is it bad that I might not be able to get the money out tax free? They might be in run-away mode!

If we move to another state, this likely won't be as big of a problem.

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FBeyer
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by FBeyer » Sun May 13, 2018 4:50 am

jacob wrote:
Fri May 04, 2018 1:39 pm
...PS: Dandelions mixed with old newspaper make for great worm compost food. I learned that worms produce a lot better if some effort is pent on the carbon/nitrogen balance.
Are you feeding them only dandelions and newspapers while dandelions are available then? Or are you still adding kitchen scraps?
We've nicknamed our driveway the salad bowl becase we really can't be bothered razing all the weeds growing there. It would be great if we could actually turn it into actual worm food.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sun May 13, 2018 9:04 am

Well, there are no more exemptions under the new tax code, right? I wonder if IL will take that as an opportunity to wring more taxes out of you?

jacob
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by jacob » Mon May 14, 2018 7:07 am

@FBeyer - The worms get everything while it's available. Due to the population expansion, I've had to add another floor to the bin. It's made out of 2x4s and 2x6s, squares which are IIRC two feet on each side. They usually overwinter in my basement in a big plastic container (rubbermaid). This winter I handpicked them out and restarted them in the rubbermaid on a bed of wet newspaper and toilet rolls (the cardboard center)---similar to my original worm farm described in the blog post I once wrote. This was a good move. Before I'd just dump the contents of the compost, worms and all, into the winter container which did not work as well. Another thing I did was to dump some of them in the garden beds under a bunch of leaves I collected (held them down with sticks and withered plants). They survived that under a foot of snow and ate the leaves.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon May 14, 2018 3:19 pm

Kriegsspiel wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:04 am
Well, there are no more exemptions under the new tax code, right? I wonder if IL will take that as an opportunity to wring more taxes out of you?

Good point, I have not seen whether IL will eliminate them too. Ugh.

I realized after I had thought about all of this that a couple needs 16K in income just to qualify for healthcare subsidies anyway. If we have a child or two it jumps to 20K and 24K. So I'll probably end up paying some tax despite my best efforts.

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Fish
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Fish » Mon May 14, 2018 5:30 pm

cmonkey wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:02 pm
So we have decided we are selling our house and moving closer to family. This means small-ish town Minnesota. Think 10k-15K population.

The only problem we need to figure out is how to do it and when to do it. But we aren't getting younger, and DW's folks are approaching 70 already. :?
Is there any chance you could live with family for a few months/years(?) to 1) build savings, 2) get familiar with the area, and 3) validate your desire to live there? Might be too close for comfort though :)

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon May 14, 2018 8:40 pm

Fish wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:30 pm
Might be too close for comfort though :)
Definitely! ;) I also don't wanna seem like we "aren't making it" as dumb as that is.

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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Mon May 14, 2018 9:01 pm

cmonkey wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 3:19 pm
I realized after I had thought about all of this that a couple needs 16K in income just to qualify for healthcare subsidies anyway.
Isn't that supposed to be 24k for a married couple?

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon May 14, 2018 9:20 pm

George the original one wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:01 pm
cmonkey wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 3:19 pm
I realized after I had thought about all of this that a couple needs 16K in income just to qualify for healthcare subsidies anyway.
Isn't that supposed to be 24k for a married couple?
I pulled those numbers from a quick search, and it looks like they are outdated. I guess it depends on your state. In Illinois it is 22K for a couple and 28K if I have a kid. Minnesota has their own marketplace, so I guess I'll have to look into it.

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cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:15 pm

May 2018 Update

May was a pretty good month, but it's been really hot and dry here. The back half of May got up into the 90's and was very humid and miserable. Despite this our gardens are doing well. I think I've got the least bit of 'bare soil' ever and we are finally eating from our dirt again.

Grocery expenses were way too high and I don't know why other than I might have rolled some from April into May because I bought them on the last day of the month.

TTM Expenses look much worse than they actually are because all of our 'high spend months' seem to be clustered together. We spent 200 more this May than last, but still only spent $950. It's hard to beat a really good month!

We are chugging right along though!! 49% of our TTM is covered by FAI.

FI Investments ended May at 203K and net worth sits at $365K. I feel like we are getting into "serious territory" now that market noise is +/- one month of expenses on a regular basis. I think the biggest swing has been about 7 months of expenses.


401K Fees!!!

I'm becoming very disgruntled with the fees being charged in my new 401K. The rate looks like it's about 1.5%, of which .04% is the fund fee. The rest is the "intermediary fee" because "they are managing it for me". :evil: :evil: :evil: To put this in perspective, my balance last month was about 7.8K and they charged $10 in fees! At my last employer, I paid $2 (yes TWO DOLLARS) per QUARTER on a 60K balance!

I've been watching the increase each month and if this keeps increasing at the same rate in about 4 years I will pay more in fees than I'm saving in tax breaks if I keep maxing out the 401K (I put about 22K annually in between my deposits and the match I get). I don't know what to do about it either because there is no "cash" option. I'm sure they'd charge for holding cash too. :evil: Good thing I can roll it over at that point!



Expenses/Savings

Total Spend - $948.24
Total Savings - $6,861.14 ; 88%

Years Saved - 13.35
SWR - 7.49%

TTM Expenses - $15,266.70 (+ $204.25)
Total FAI - $7,536.03 (+ $261.01)


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