cmonkey's journal

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

Post by cmonkey » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:53 am

vexed87 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am
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:
It's true, there is ample opportunity to worry. I really hope your little girl is alright and it turns out good for you guys!

Locke
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Locke » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:14 pm

Hi CMonkey,

Congratulations on your daughter and your progress toward your goals! Children are the greatest treasure. I think we are roughly the same age with similar goals, and I always come back to your journal every few months or so to see the updates (and to make the comparison in FI savings). I think you might already know this, but I'm sharing in case you don't - Vanguard Prime Money Market account yields 2.46% after fees. I have been putting my emergency savings there, and there are monthly interest payments.

Locke

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:53 am

Locke wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:14 pm
Hi CMonkey,

Congratulations on your daughter and your progress toward your goals! Children are the greatest treasure. I think we are roughly the same age with similar goals, and I always come back to your journal every few months or so to see the updates (and to make the comparison in FI savings).
Thanks Locke! I checked your posts and see you posted back in Aug 2016 on my journal. Appreciate people following along! I always hope I can inspire at least one person with my ramblings. :oops: :? :D I'm always looking for ways to optimize our progress toward where we want to be. Bmonkey's condition has instilled in us a desire to do what we want now as opposed to later. Thus the move to MN among a lot of other stuff.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:43 am

Preparations!

In preparation for pulling the plug in exactly 9.3 months, I moved my 401K balance and future contributions out of VFIAX and put them into VBTLX. Our provider has pretty limited offerings and the next best was VUSXX, but the fee is higher and returns a little lower. Now that the S&P 500 has climbed back into nosebleed territory it seems appropriate to protect my balance.

Looking forward to not being charged $20 per month on this.

Money Buckets

I've also started pooling some money into different buckets in our brokerage. My plan is to use any capital gains and extra income that we get to fund a couple of accounts I call my Fun Fund and my Capex Fund. The Fun Fund will be funded 100% by capital gains that I harvest and will be used for any wants that we have that would fall outside of normal cashflow from our FI Funds balance. The Capex Fund will be funded by capital gains and extra investment income above what we need for normal living expenses. This fund will be used for future capital expenses - namely when we need a new car, roof replacement on the house, college expenses, etc...

I've settled into a pretty comfortable investment method over the last few years and capital gains do play a part. Although they aren't guaranteed, they are pretty certain to show up from time to time.

I harvest them when a few things coalesce -

1. A position appreciates to what I would term a 'significant gain'. This depends entirely on just how I feel about the position.
2. The yield on the position drops significantly below its historical average.
3. This is the most important - I have something else in sights to invest in that would give me more yield than the old position. This way I can invest the cost basis to maintain income at near the same level, while putting the gain somewhere else.

Frugalchicos
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:09 pm

Congrats on the baby and your FI achievements!

Interesting journal. :)

llorona
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by llorona » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:22 am

Bmonkey is adorable. Congratulations!!

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:52 pm

@Frugal and @llorona, Thanks!

We officially closed on the house in Minnesota as of today. Utilities are switched over and it's fully insured at half the rate of our Illinois home and taxes are 680 bucks for this year, which is actually too high because the house is classified as a 4-plex currently. It used to be 4 apartments in one house (it's pretty big), so this will change next year. The assessed value of the house will eventually trickle up as well as we paid more for the house than previous owners, but I think it'll stay under 1,000 annually.

In the next couple weeks I'll start interviewing agents for selling our current house. We are actively packing, giving stuff away, selling stuff and throwing stuff away. The plan is to utilize U-Pack to move everything instead of driving 900 miles round trip to haul stuff. The plan is be living up there around Memorial Day weekend.


We also got bmonkey's genetic test back today. She does have some genetic mutations but nothing that fits their models for this particular condition. So it sounds like she doesn't have PCD (she has absolutely no symptoms) which is awesome.

A few weeks ago I got pinged by an old co-worker asking if I'd be interested in coming back for a position they have opening, as they have new management and it seems the old BS might have changed. I ignored it, but today I got pinged by another co-worker. They are thinking of me! I decided to bite just for the hell of it and told them my conditions - 1099 contract only at a slightly higher rate than currently, 100% remote work with 1 travel event per year to the QC (I could just fly down). He informed me it was a salaried position only to which I responded I'm not interest in salaried, only 1099.

He then asked if I'd be interested in full or part time work...not sure where this is going, but with the travel requirements for my current job I may consider an offer.

It's been a good day. :)

SavingWithBabies
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by SavingWithBabies » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:49 pm

That is great news about bmonkey. And it's great to be wanted. Do you prefer 1099 for technical or ideological reasons?

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:57 pm

SavingWithBabies wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:49 pm
That is great news about bmonkey. And it's great to be wanted. Do you prefer 1099 for technical or ideological reasons?
I prefer 1099 because I'm not dragged down by the baggage of a corporate salaried position (i.e. performance reviews, etc...). Pay is generally higher as well, although you are responsible for all of FICA. But you can still stash away a lot in IRA, HSA, Solo 401K.

I have never worked on 1099 before, so it would be new to me. Taxes might be a pain. I might hire a tax pro as an insurance policy if I go that way.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:03 pm

March 2019 Update


March has been a month of pretty big changes for us. We closed on our house in MN as of March 29. This week I'm going to start interviewing agents for selling our current house.

Our annual expense metric is now an adjusted metric based on the assumption of selling our current house and those expenses going away. I also made the decision to move a large 23K CD that we have at another institution into our brokerage account so we can use it as FI Funds. These two changes resulted in a large convergence of our FAI and TTM Expenses. In fact they will possibly cross next month and will definitely cross in June.

I also included a new expense in our metric - one that hasn't been spent yet. Once we move we plan to get a membership to the local community center/gym. This is about $450 annually and so effectively nulls the savings from the house insurance being cheaper, but we will be healthier in the long run.

For March I substituted our new house insurance for the old, as this will be the amount we pay going forward. We also switched car insurance to get some more savings on the home policy.

FI Funds ended the month over 300K for the first time. We are at 310K.

I have 100% of the cash needed to bridge the Roth IRA Ladder gap. The plan is to invest it in a 4 year CD ladder this coming December.

Saying No at Work


I'm not sure why but this is difficult for me. My traditional response has been to seek work elsewhere, thus why I have my current job. I didn't want to do what they wanted me to do (PM work) and so I found another job. This time it's traveling every 10 weeks and originally it wasn't a huge deal because I had someone to travel with. Then I had a couple of freebies because the baby was born. I find travel very stressful even with a friend, and by myself it's much more stressful. I can do it, but it completely wipes me out and ultimately doesn't benefit myself nor my employer.

Instead of running from this I'm going to tell them that I'm not traveling. I think I have a good excuse anyway, given my daughter's heart problem. I am actually not comfortable leaving her and DW alone for a week.

Given our level of FI, I think I've earned the right to start saying no to things I don't want to do right?

Expenses/Savings


Total Spend - $1,156.29
Total Savings - $7,004.47; 86%

Years Saved - 27.13
SWR - 3.69%

TTM Expenses - $11,441.49 (- $1,870.29)
Total FAI - $10,820.58 (+ $728.67)


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classical_Liberal
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:13 am

cmonkey wrote:
Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:03 pm
Given our level of FI, I think I've earned the right to start saying no to things I don't want to do right?
Yes!

Congrats on the house! It'll be nice to wrap all that stuff up. Y
Your 12 mo spend has dropped a ton. Two plus a baby, those are very aspirational numbers.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:44 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:13 am
Congrats on the house! It'll be nice to wrap all that stuff up. Y
Your 12 mo spend has dropped a ton. Two plus a baby, those are very aspirational numbers.
Thanks c_L. It will be great to get the house sold and hopefully unlock some equity to use elsewhere.

I'm expecting we can actually get our expenses down further, there are some other areas of opportunity for expense reduction once we move. Namely - the 'near expired grocery' haul we can make for $20 a month. This is about 2 laundry baskets full of food that comes from stores that are trying to get rid of excess food. It's a great way to reduce waste and the food is usually good. I'd say 5% of it isn't usable/something we don't want.

Also, we can start walking and biking everywhere. The library is 2 blocks from our house! Walmart (with groceries) is 1.5 miles away on small town style roads.

Frugalchicos
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:15 am

Hey Cmonkey, congrats on the house!

I am curious about your investment approach since we have similar NW and goals? I currently have 180K with 90% in stocks and 10% in bonds. And 125K in a savings account that is pretty much US bonds. We also have another 65K or so in a 401K. Just asking since I am curious about how other people with similar goals are doing it.

We also think in using some of that 125K to buy a couple of fixer uppers in Spain and rent them (once we move). Doing so, we could be totally diversified and have some passive income on a monthly basis.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:34 am

Frugalchicos wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:15 am
Hey Cmonkey, congrats on the house!

I am curious about your investment approach since we have similar NW and goals?
Thanks Frugalchicos!

I am 95% stocks, 5% bonds/CDs currently, however, am shifting more toward something like 70% stocks 30% bonds. The bonds portion will be primarily in the GSE/Treasury category so that I can get some state tax breaks to bring my state tax down to zero. So bonds with Federal Home Loan bank and the Federal Farm Credit bank system among a few others.

My stock approach has been dividend focused, with more weight toward the higher yield stuff, but I've been burned a couple times and so have started drifting down in yield seeking. Focusing on companies that have strong cash flow, stable or falling long term debt and favorable long term prospects. I used to buy value-traps with higher yields, but don't do that anymore.

Frugalchicos
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Frugalchicos » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:07 am

Thanks for the info! We are also considering going something like 70-30...we can't really decide.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:19 am

Frugalchicos wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:07 am
Thanks for the info! We are also considering going something like 70-30...we can't really decide.
Ultimately, building out a SWAN portfolio is the best strategy. What lets you sleep well at night is entirely dependent on you. As for myself, a 100% stock portfolio would be a SWAN portfolio if it consisted of the right stocks.

My strategy is based on tax situations. For our case, we need to have 27.5K in annual income to qualify for the healthcare option I want, yet the MN standard deduction/excemption for a 3 person household is about 25.5K, leaving me with about 2K in income I need to transform into tax-exempt income - thus the need for state tax-exempt bond income.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:01 pm

Bmonkey had her next echocardiogram today and we got some news we were NOT expecting. Her heart is completely normal, all issues are gone. The cardiologist nonchalantly mentioned that what he saw last time could very well have been a reading from the pulmonary artery, which he failed to mention as a possibility last time...

In any event, they got a good picture of everything this time because bmonkey just slept and everything was bigger. Her aorta is totally normal and pressure is fine. We are going to have another scan done at 6 months old and then maybe every year for a couple years. Eventually she won't have any more appointments.

NO SURGERY!! :o :o :o

DW and I feel like we need to celebrate, but we don't know what to do! Anyone have any ideas?

7Wannabe5
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:20 pm

That is great new! Maybe order a heartnut tree to plant at your new home, surrounded by baby soft pink tulips intermixed with red veined sorrel?

prognastat
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by prognastat » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:22 pm

Congrats on the amazing news, hope it'll keep going this way.

Tyler9000
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Tyler9000 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:48 pm

Wow -- that's terrific news! As a happy new parent of a healthy baby girl, that sounds like a great opportunity to take a well-deserved nap. ;)

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