cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
7Wannabe5
Posts: 4947
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:11 am

I would note that she was the exact same height and weight as my daughter at birth, and she is now a smidge over 5'10." Maybe plan on very rapid rotation of wardrobe over the next couple years.

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:37 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:11 am
I would note that she was the exact same height and weight as my daughter at birth, and she is now a smidge over 5'10." Maybe plan on very rapid rotation of wardrobe over the next couple years.
Ha! Every day is proving to be a rapid rotation. Learning to use bibs.


Old man winter is proving to be an ass this year. Not only did the QC hit an all time low temp this morning of -33 F ( as in since recording began in the 1880's its never been colder ), but we are getting good amounts of snow.

Yes you are looking at 18+ inches of snow on that table and it's all from the last 10-14 days. :evil: As you can it's still snowing...

Image

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:25 am

January 2019 Update

I am ready to be done working. After 2 long vacations from work recently (holiday and baby time off), and also having a new baby in my life I'm ready to move on from work. Good thing we crossed a couple of good milestones this month!

We topped 20 years of expenses saved and fell under 5% WR, currently at 4.98%. FI Funds ended at 266K, up 11K, which is an all time high.

I maxed out my HSA this month so the FI Funds bump was only from market gains. Half of my FAI increase came from dividend increases!

Spend was slightly higher than I'd like, but we had the extended stay in Iowa City which contributed a bit to eating out and I had some car work to do. All in all, we are doing very well.

Work Update


The buddy who got me this job is leaving the company at the end of this month. He is massively overworked and now they are implementing a voluntary separation retirement thingy (just like my last company...) and he is freaked out by it I think. I don't think there's much risk to my job right now, but you never know.

The biggest pain will now be having to travel by myself a few times this year. I don't enjoy solo travel. I'm planning to do 3 trips this year and then stop going to them altogether as winter comes around again.

I think there is a chance I could ride his coat tails if he enjoys his new job and they are hiring on more people, particularly if I got let go for some reason. Who knows!

Expenses/Savings


Total Spend - $1,467.14
Total Savings - $5,564.81; 78%

Years Saved - 20.09
SWR - 4.98%

TTM Expenses - $13,240.14 (+ $145.35)
Total FAI - $9,388.19 (+ $121.00)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:28 pm

Now that bmonkey has been born and we are moving on from all the events of her birth, DW and I are turning our attention back to our desire to move away from Illinois back to Minnesota (despite recent weather). In fact, we are compromising more and more on what house we'd like to live in and have been looking at some more houses. We actually made an offer on a house last week, but someone beat us to the punch on signing the offer letter so that one did not happen.

We had looked at a place last October and really liked it except that it had some outstanding issues that prevented us from pursuing it. The primary reason was that it had electric heat and inadequate electric service for that heat. However, the current owners have now installed a gas furnace and ducting for the home and are putting in central air in the spring. So we are considering it again and might make an offer this week.

It hasn't sold so far because the house didn't have heat upstairs and no one can get financing on a house with no heat. Of course we are paying with cash so this isn't a problem. ;)

A number of huge benefits will be realized right away once we move. Our annual expense number will fall drastically. Property taxes on this place are 800 per year, compared to 2200 where we currently live. We also cannot have chickens so that's 250 saved. Grocery expenses will also fall a bit because there is a service in town which provides a whole butt-ton of surplus grocery store food for $20 a month.

So our projected annual expense would be - 13,200 - ( property taxes ) (2200-800) - ( chickens )250 - grocery savings ( 2200 * .3 ) = $10,890

Even adding in paying for water service and a possible bump in energy bills (it's a really really old house), we'll still be within spitting distance of 11K, but there are other things we can do to reduce expenses as well. This place is within walking distance of groceries, the library, a huge park and also family, so gas expenses are likely going to fall a bit.

This would mean that our current SWR/years saved jumps to 4.19% / 23.86 given the savings we'd get not including the grocery expenses. If I assume a 30% fall in grocery expenses, we'd currently be at 3.87% / 25.84 years saved.

I explained this to DW and she definitely got excited by the idea that just the act of moving would make us nearly FI.

Another huge piece of the puzzle here though is that we will likely sell our current house for more than what we'll pay for this place. I expect we'll unlock anywhere from 15K to 30K in equity, which would give us a huge boost as well.

In the end, the act of moving would let us hit 3% in the second half of this year. If we get the equity boost, it'll be in July (!!). If we do not, it will be in October. If we don't move, we'll hit 3% in early summer of 2020.

I still haven't settled completely on an end date, but March of 2020 is shaping up well. Given the reduced expense number we'd be at about a 2.4% SWR which would be more than safe for us.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:58 pm

Curious if you want to share the general area of MN you are looking at. The GF and I are considering St Cloud as a home when I quit later this year/beginning of next year. We like it thanks to the great public transit for a small city, all of the collegiate activities for culture. It also has all the benefits of rural, low cost housing, plus spitting distance to the Twin Cities metro.

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:14 pm

It's in southwest Minnesota, a town with about 5K people. PM me if you want to know the name.

There's no public transit, but it's fairly walkable. I've never been to St Cloud but DW likes the city. They have a pretty amazing garden near the university.

George the original one
Posts: 4745
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:53 pm

Congrats, sounds like the pieces are falling into place! Don't be disappointed if the home purchase/sale doesn't go according to plan because you know something will come along in the end.

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:26 pm

February 2019 Update

Some big announcements/news this month!

Baby

Baby is 5 weeks old!

She had her 1 month follow up for her heart yesterday. It didn't go as well as we had hoped. The hole in her heart has completely healed and they say it likely won't appear again, along with the obstruction it had caused, however, she needs monitoring for something else now. I had mentioned it a while back in one of my updates and totally forgot, but she does have a mild elevation in pressure in the arch of her aorta. They can't see anything with the echocardiogram because they can't get a good image, so they are going to take a wait and see approach and do a CT scan when she is older.

So we are now on monthly scans for the next couple months and bi-monthly until 1 year old. After that every 3 months until she is 3 years old. When she turns 3 (or there about) she'll have the CT scan and if it shows any blockage or bend in the arch, they are recommending surgery to fix it even if she is not showing any issues.

We also talked to them about transferring to Minneapolis for this when we move, so we'll get a second (and third) opinion before anything happens. I'm not convinced she'll need surgery but we'll cross bridge that when we get there.

Ultimately this has been a major blow to the happiness we've been experiencing, but it's not the end of the world. I need to figure out how to make the most of this and have it be a positive contribution to my life.

She is a super healthy and REALLY BIG little girl, in the 85th percentile for weight and height and growing like crazy. She's gained 2.5 pounds in the last 5 weeks and is holding her head up already.

I've never been more exhausted in all my life. ;)

Image


Minnesota

We are putting in an offer on a house either today or early tomorrow. Our expenses will fall as I outlined previously if we get it. Next month I will likely adjust our expense metric accordingly. Looking forward to this!

Both DW and I feel now more than ever that moving is the right thing to do. With the heart condition baby has we need and want the support of family and friends and are looking forward to living in a small town again. We are super excited to move!

The plan is to move in late May or June once the weather turns nice.

Work

As outlined in my last update, my work situation has changed a lot now that my buddy is gone. I'm now going to be traveling solo 3 times this year and will need to fend for myself at work. He helped me out a lot while he was here and I'm super sad he has left, but he has some important reasons for doing it including being super over worked. In the end, I only have 13 months until I'm out the door anyway. ;)

There also could be some cuts in the coming months as my employer tightens its belt. There is a lot of bloat where I work and I am not too concerned about being let go, but it's good to know I'll be FI later this year and not next (once we move).


Finances

We had a great month financially, topping 280K in FI Funds as of today. SWR of 4.74% and 21.11 years puts us in a very good spot.

If we close on the house in March, our SWR will drop well under under 4% next month. I almost feel like this is cheating my way to FI. :lol: :oops:

Our FAI topped 10,000 this month! It jumped a lot this month (the most ever actually), a combination of dividend hikes and investing in some REITs in my IRA which I maxed this month. I've decided that my post-FI taxable portfolio has a place for REITS as I won't be taxed on the income anyway if I can keep my income under 24K (plus misc stuff) annually. The result will be income that exceeds our needs by a lot.

Expenses/Savings


Total Spend - $817.76
Total Savings - $7,299.54; 90%

Years Saved - 21.11
SWR - 4.73%

TTM Expenses - $13,311.68 (+ $71.54)
Total FAI - $10,137.54 (+ $728.27)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

7Wannabe5
Posts: 4947
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:02 am

Darling!

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:41 am

Where's her tail?

It's good at least that you are financially secure enough to be able to do these things.

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:22 am

Alas this was my best trait and she got the mother's side.

We put the offer in last night. :)

prognastat
Posts: 1000
Joined: Fri May 04, 2018 8:30 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:19 pm

Good luck with the offer, hope it gets accepted. :D

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:20 pm

Thanks!

I've been getting estimates for home insurance and our current provider is quoting slightly less than our current rate. I think I can call and get it even lower though.

But I got a quote through Farmers and they are quoting me less than half my current rate. Not sure how accurate it is but if it is correct, that will drop our expenses by another $450 annually.

Seppia
Posts: 1008
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Seppia » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:25 am

My god that baby is adorable :)
Congrats on the progress and on the move to Minnesota.
It was probably the state with the nicest people in the USA by my recollection

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Mar 08, 2019 5:08 pm

Seppia wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:25 am
My god that baby is adorable :)
Congrats on the progress and on the move to Minnesota.
It was probably the state with the nicest people in the USA by my recollection
Thanks Seppia. Minnesota does indeed have nice people. :)


We bought a house!


We've spent the past week negotiating an offer on this house and as of today the offer letter has been signed by both parties. Closing is at the end of the month. We talked them down by nearly 6%.

Effective immediately our expenses are going down by a lot. Property taxes are dropping to ~800 annually, down from 2250 previously. Insurance is dropping to ~375 annually, down from 765 annually. Chicken expense is going away (although we might keep a couple of them, hehe). So going forward our plan is using an adjusted TTM Expense metric.


Once we sell our current house, depending on the equity we unlock, we will cross 3% in the range of July-September. If we don't sell it this year, we'll now cross 3% in November.

As a part of this move we are also looking into care options for bmonkey going forward and are looking into the Mayo Clinc system. They have a campus in Mankato, MN and we might be able to go there.

Balance Sheet Update

I've been playing around with investing in brokered CDs through my brokerage for the past 6 months or so and its been going well. There's a variety of CDs available at any one point ranging from 3 months to 10 years with interest payments ranging from monthly to at maturity. The monthly interest payments get put into my brokerage account and I can use them immediately. They can be auto-rolled into another equivalent CD once they mature. Also, ZERO fees.

Rates right now are 2.3% for a 3 month up to 3.2% for a 10 year CD. I've been investing in 3 and 6 month CDs.

The best part is that there are dozens of institutions to invest in, so you spread out the risk.

I've had a 23K CD with a local institution for the past 7 years or so earning 2.3%. I've started feeling uneasy about it because the money is just sitting there earning interest and giving me a tax liability, but doing nothing else. I cannot use the interest with the CD in it's current form.

So once it matures in a couple years, I'm moving it to my brokerage and investing in such a way that I can actually use the capital to live off of.

I'm now including it in my FI Funds/FAI values because it will be moving there in a few years anyway. There is the risk that rates might drop, but I've also been learning to invest in different bonds with my brokerage and these are an adequate alternative.

As of today, given the balance sheet update and reduction in expenses -

Adjusted Expenses* - $10,855
FAI - $10,646.15
FI Funds - 298K
SWR - 3.62%
Years - 27.59


This won't affect my end date at all considering I won't move it for a couple years, but due to other factors, Dec 31, 2019 is looking like my end date for this round of employment. I'll post an explanation and plan later this month I think.

* Adjusted Expenses are defined as Current TTM expenses - Old Property Costs + New Property Costs. I'm not including any other estimated savings we might have such as groceries and gas. Living in a small town I think we'll have some of this too.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:14 pm

Congrats on the house!

Obviously Mayo is one of the best healthcare systems in the world, so BMonkey's heart will be in awesome hands, should the need for intervention arise.

What are you going to do with your work in the mean time? Stay in IL until quitting or are you going totally remote?

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:18 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:14 pm
What are you going to do with your work in the mean time? Stay in IL until quitting or are you going totally remote?
Thanks!

I am 100% remote right now, so nothing will change actually. I've already talked to my employer and they are good with the move. :)

classical_Liberal
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:38 pm

Nice! I must have missed that in your journal... A ton of posts over the past four years! I kind-of speed read through all the dialog this morning. I remember reading the chicken and garden stuff before, it was so interesting and fun!

Anyway, if fate leads us to nearby geographic homes this year I'd love to meet up at some point.

cmonkey
Posts: 1768
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:08 pm

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 12:38 pm
Nice! I must have missed that in your journal... A ton of posts over the past four years! I kind-of speed read through all the dialog this morning. I remember reading the chicken and garden stuff before, it was so interesting and fun!
Yes, I have a lot of posts in this journal, not sure why, well over the 500 to FI rule. I wonder if I could get to 1K journal posts by the time I hit 3%... :D

We can certainly try a meet up!

vexed87
Posts: 1480
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by vexed87 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am

Congrats on the offer going through, and fingers crossed for a smooth transaction/exchange.

Regarding bmonkey, hope you guys are doing ok. It's really crummy to hear about the possible need for intervention. Luckily there hasn't been a better time to need it. We are worried our girl might have hydrocephalus, she awaiting scans to confirm/rule it out so we know exactly how you feel worrying about the what ifs. I think this is just what kids do to us, it seems with even good health, there's always something to worry about! :roll: :evil:

Post Reply