Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Where are you and where are you going?
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unemployable
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Re: 15 Days To Semi-ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by unemployable » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:41 am

Speaking from the "retired" side for nine years now, with a lower net worth and higher expenses, I say you have nothing to worry about. Welcome to ERE. :)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 620
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Re: 15 Days To Semi-ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:58 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 8:07 pm
May Financial Recap

Assets
$117,400 Rollover IRA
$20,100 401k
$212,700 Taxable
$21,160 Savings
$59,200 Roth IRA
$11,600 AG Holdings
$10,800 Vehicle Equity
$19,900 HSA
$9,500 AU Holdings
$482,360 Total Assets (-$12,140)

Spending
$550 Rent/Utility
$118 Grocery
$159 Gas
$343 Entertainment
$132 Travel
$27 Health
$10 Misc
$43 Gifting
$1,382 Total Spending

Income
$7,375 Salary
$220 Other
$7,595 Total Income

81% Savings Rate

$17,997 Actual Expenses, Last 12 Months (currently 26.80X, or 3.73% WR)
$14,400 - Actual bare-bone, last 12 months (currently 33.50X, or 2.99% WR)

Monthly Combined Tracking

$2,947 - Combined Spending
$9,197 - Combined Income

68% Savings Rate

Combined NW = $590,360 (-$14,140)
Combined Spending = $36,180 (based on last 12 months)
Combined WR = 6.12% (16.31 x annual expenses)

Musings

Financial and non-financial musings TBD tomorrow :)
I wanted to bump this for easy reference as my posts will become less frequent on the financial stuff.

@Seppia, thank you very much sir! I can't wait to buy you a nice Italian beer next summer, unless you make it to Poland in late June/early July :)

Thanks, @unemployable. I'm ready to do this, with some thoughts below!

Musings- Financial

May was obviously a bad month for equities. My bond allocation is small enough that it didn't do too much to offset the drop. I was flirting with the half mil mark at the end of April, now it looks like my next opportunity to crack that milestone will be at the whims of the markets.

Portfolio (excluding vehicle equity) on June 1 - $471,560, and that's what I'll be using for my starting numbers during this little experiment :)

3% is what I'll be using for the withdrawal ceiling - $14,146/yr or $1,178/month. That's the most I'll be willing to pull from my stache during super early FIRE.

4% is what I'll be using for my spending ceiling - $18,862/yr or $1,571/month. That's the most I'll be willing to spend annually during super early FIRE.

The caveat will be, that I may only fund the delta between my spending and my withdrawal ceiling with some sort of side income/hustle/PT work/barter/human capital.

Since I'll be using these numbers in 14 days, I would have to earn/come up with $393 a month if my desired spending level was the cap of $1,571 a month.

These will be moving targets, if the stock market crashes through the summer, I will adjust these down monthly. Similarly, if stocks perform well, I will adjust these upward monthly.

This insures I never go over a 3% WR and the stache should theoretically continue growing in the background.

Part time work/ability to earn money on demand is a VERY useful hedge against inflation and reduces reliance on the core portfolio strategy.

This strategy encourages part time/side hustle income in order to pay for *wants* like MTB's, gaming laptops, and extra travel/experiences. It prevents too much lifestyle inflation by capping spending at 4% of portfolio.

It almost ensures that over the next 3 decades portfolio grows in inflation adjusted dollars significantly. It also means that any years of additional work in the future, can increase lifestyle (monetarily) fairly significantly.

Goal will be to execute this for a few years and document the process here, possibly in a new journal.

Musings - Non Financial

May was a KICK ASS month. Very little work travel, a ton of PTO, great weather, and very active.

Morning Weight - 208 today
7 Day Average - 209.6

In May I,

Mountain Biked 107.3 miles
Ran 55 miles
walked 127.5 miles
Weight lifted 12 times
Lost 1 pound (yes I like to eat :) )

Have been able to spend a ton of time with SO, enjoying her super early morning work schedule to have the best parts of the day free to do as we please. Most meals have been cooked and consumed in the back yard. We have a ton of wildlife this year, including a family of Eastern Cottontails, a dozen species of birds, and two clans of squirrels, for which I hung feeders.

We've been driving a ton less, despite my high gas spending this month (trip upstate was 80% of it)

Managed to clean the throttle body on SO's car and it's been running great for the past two weeks (knock on wood).

Summer is here, and life is good!

Very excited to see how the next month plays out. Still undecided on what type of laptop to buy (and if to buy just yet).

I do know one thing......FIRE is looking mighty good right now. Even if it is on a shoestring budget!

Seppia
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Re: 15 Days To Semi-ERE - Backpacking, Thru-Hiking, Van-Living & Shenanigans!

Post by Seppia » Sat Jun 01, 2019 1:16 pm

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:58 am
Goal will be to execute this for a few years and document the process here, possibly in a new journal.
Please don't do it in a new journal, keep it here!
Separating the two journals will make it harder to see the shifts in attitude/worries/priorities, as you transition from a life of accumulation to a life of living off your assets
I think it will be super interesting to see.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Jun 02, 2019 6:59 pm

Really digg'en the title change!

I like the way you are drawing a line in the sand for withdrawals, at least initially, this will give you the psychological advantage of knowing you have capital for life. It'll also probably push you to try a few less lucrative/more enjoyable earning opportunities over the years. I really believe most people have a very unhealthy relationship with the idea of "work", as it's set up in the Western world. I would bet you find that you enjoy contributing to something much more when you can pick and choose activities on your schedule. This will be a win-win over the long haul.

I'd also give the advice to not be too "fixed" in your thought processes regarding withdrawals. You're absolutely correct that a quarter of a percent in WR makes a huge difference over 50+ years. But dude, 50+ years! Withdrawing a bit more for a year or two has very little impact, particularly if you are smart about the timing and/or about the assets you're drawing down. If you find a perfect life for awhile, and that means you need to pull a bit more, don't be afraid to take advantage. I absolutely guarantee things will eventually change, it will not be a 50 year thing. If you're actually lucky enough to find perfection for 50 years, you'll figure out a way to make it work.

Super excited to read through your transition!

EdithKeeler
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:06 pm

I love your description of your May—here’s to many, many more months and years like that. Congrats!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:51 am

@Seppia, done. I will keep it all in here for continuity! You bring up good points, and it will be interesting to look back on for myself as well.

@c_L, thanks for the advice. I will not allow myself to be a miser because I have to spend under $X. Luckily the 4% band is already above my current actual TTM spending. Without the hassle of a FT career, I'm sure that I will find creative ways to spend my time with low costs, and find income opportunities that don't feel like work. In a situation where I feel that I must spend beyond the 4% lifestyle inflation band, I would still need to bridge the gap between what I'm withdrawing (3%) and this new spending level. This is super easy! $250/week in income can raise my spending to $27k/yr by supplementing a 3% WR......my spending has NEVER been that high in a single year.....even a year I grossed $170k income......so I think that things are under control. Your post in another thread, paraphrasing Jacob on how people who are drawn and successfully execute ERE, are not likely to get bored or go bust in ERE......too many skills and practicing delayed gratification to let that happen.

Thank you very much @Edith, I'm sure it will come in ebbs and flows......but trying to be present and enjoy all of these little things in life is what my current focus is.

Musings

Finished the ERN Early Withdrawal Series last night. Makes me feel good about the core portfolio part of my plan, and extremely excited to figure out the other elements of designing my life now that the money piece is largely solved.

Things are going fairly well at work. I came back from 9 days of PTO to a lot of activity (the good kind in sales), and have a bunch of projects to keep me busy. While on vacation I also found out that the geography and vertical I am responsible for has changed, while yesterday I was told that I will most likely be reporting to someone new as well. Perfect timing :)

I got paid out one of the two bank churning bonuses I applied for in Feb/March, $225 for 10 minutes of work, not too shabby. Have another $400 one that should get paid out in late June/early July. This one took maybe 20 minutes to execute.

If all goes well, should have $24k cash cushion to start. The rest of my portfolio will be at 42% Domestic, 19% International, 10% Bond, 24% CD, 5% PM/REIT. Rebalancing only with new money or if equity portion drops/grows >5%+ out of wack. Current geopolitical and global economic risks make me happy to hold 34% in "fixed" income.

Happy Tuesday, folks.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 620
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm

I'm a little overdue for an update....not sure even where to begin.

Family/Travel
My travels this summer will be bittersweet, related to family/health situation between very aging grandparents and now my own parents.....I suppose it's a good thing I'm able to step away to help when needed. My grandparents need more help than my sick parents are able to provide, so I will step in and help fill the void.

Mental Health
It's been a fairly good month for this. The sun and weather has helped immensely, largely due to being outside so much. It's insane how much the weather can effect my mood and sense of well being. Getting a lot of exercise and physical activity helps quite a bit too. We're off to a good start in June.

Physical Health
Healed up nicely after another MTB spill a few weeks ago :)

Down to 206.6 lbs this morning, and feeling very good in the gym. Strength has been solid, and endurance for running and mountain biking has improved noticeably over the past 8 weeks. A 4-6 mile run feels very easy, even at sub 9:00/mile pace.

Last time I had visible abs I was 198 lbs, at which I have a 26.5-27 BMI! I'll get there in the next month or so.

Financial
Stocks have been moving up, irrationally in my opinion. Bad news has been good for the market, and as such I've lowered my equity exposure to 55% of portfolio. Still high by some standards here, but much lower than commonly recommended by folks in other FIRE communities for my age.

If the market stays flat through the end of the month, I may finish at an elusive milestone :)

Bigger Picture Stuff

I long for my homeland......which is very strange. It comes and goes, but for the last decade and a half, I've had this strong urge to permanently relocate to the EU, more specifically Poland, where my whole family is from. Even though I was born in the USA, I've always identified more as a Pole than an American......spending the past few days reading the detailed history of Poland has brought these thoughts front and center. It's quite an amazing history, and a miracle that we even exist on the map today!

The dilemma with that move would be quite large, though not insurmountable. My future spouse does not speak polish (yet). She would have a very hard time finding work, friends, and culturally may feel like an outsider. Heck, I would face many of those issues as well, though I speak the language extremely fluently, and can read with middle school proficiency, with my writing being pretty bad (spelling is hard, but I'm sure I could learn). The country right now, is going through some political turmoil, with a very conservative government, which has given the church way too much power. Taxation is high, wages are low, and overall quality of life is lower than the rest of Europe. Despite all of this, a ton of natural beauty, very low cost, and tons of family and friends make it appealing........I guess time will tell. Being able to split our time between countries and continents freely is something I can't take for granted.

Random Musings

This is a very fascinating time in life. Feels like a crossroads before many other crossroads. I'm extremely grateful for this community, and owe a lot to Jacob and the rest of the member here. The mindset shift over the past 4 years has been profound, the inspiration to look at life outside of the box tremendous, and some of the friendships forming feel like they will take a life of their own, outside of the forum. Look forward to crossing paths with many of you!

classical_Liberal
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:12 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
Feels like a crossroads before many other crossroads.
All you have to do now is keep walking! Super congrats to you for where you stand on the road today. You're the poster child for all the major themes of ERE, improved health, increased skills, increased income(as a result of those skills), decreased expenses... and of course FI in 5 years.

Quantummy
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by Quantummy » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:31 am

Congrats on reaching this crossroads and thanks for indicating you will continue to post here instead of starting a new journal.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:12 am

After you chill for a bit, I am excited to see what PT/side hustle you come up with/fall into and you transition into a more varied (is that appropriate phrasing?) life. Also, it's crazy how much the giant yellow orb in the sky lifts up a mood!

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Bankai
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by Bankai » Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:06 pm

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
I long for my homeland......
Yeah, call of the motherland is strong. I just came back from a 2 week trip to PL and I admit the country has changed tremendously over the last decade. When I was emigrating 12 years ago, it seemed highly unlikely I'd ever come back. Now, it's sometimes tempting. And polish history is amazing indeed.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
The dilemma with that move would be quite large, though not insurmountable. My future spouse does not speak polish (yet). She would have a very hard time finding work, friends, and culturally may feel like an outsider. Heck, I would face many of those issues as well, though I speak the language extremely fluently, and can read with middle school proficiency, with my writing being pretty bad (spelling is hard, but I'm sure I could learn).
Language - this is the biggest problem imo since Polish is one of the hardest languages to learn. However, many (most?) young people know at least basic English. Also, in the biggest cities, there are plenty of foreigners working and living so it's fairly easy to find fluent English speakers.

Work - native English speakers are always needed in private language schools. It's possible to get an English teaching job without any qualifications, however having TEFL or similar certainly helps. Not sure what the rates are, but working full time it's possible to make the average (polish) salary as a self-employed English teacher.

I don't think you'd have any difficulties finding a well-paying job in a corporation in a big city, considering you're bilingual and have a sales background. Would you really need a job though? You're close to 2m PLN which is equivalent of 40 years of average net salary in PL. With 3% WR you'd get around 5k PLN per month which is 1.3 x average wage or 3x minimum wage (net) allowing for OK middle-class lifestyle.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
The country right now, is going through some political turmoil, with a very conservative government, which has given the church way too much power.
PL is almost always in political turmoil. It's best to ignore politics and just live your life (unless war or revolution is on the horizon). Also, consider who's the president in the US or what is happening with the UK due to Brexit. Most places are in some kind of turmoil most of the time, PL just seems to have worse than average press and above average complaining population.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
Taxation is high, wages are low, and overall quality of life is lower than the rest of Europe.
Quality of life is lower than in the West, but the gap is slowly closing. On the other hand, with lower wages and still reasonable RE prices, your NW buys you a much better quality of life than in rich Western countries. Not sure how the taxation would affect you if you're living off your stash, however, income tax is not that bad in PL, it's all the additional taxes (health, pension, disability etc. etc.) that make total tax so high.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 pm
Despite all of this, a ton of natural beauty, very low cost, and tons of family and friends make it appealing........I guess time will tell. Being able to split our time between countries and continents freely is something I can't take for granted.
These are some strong arguments. They apply to me as well and reading what I wrote in this post I'm getting dangerously close to convincing myself to go back :D

slowtraveler
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:45 pm

I've been meaning to post here. A huge congratulations for crossing the mark and taking these steps. It's wonderful to hear how much better it is for you now with your increased freedom.

I've found those big choices on where to live make themselves in the end. You'll go back, you'll try the life there, and you'll know in your gut whether to stay or keep going.

niemand
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Location: Woop Woop, Australia

Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by niemand » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:51 pm

Imo, this is the most exciting journal of them all right now. Hope you’ll stay with us and continue posting during and after the transition! More power to you :)

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 1 - "The Transition"

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:43 pm

June Financial Recap

Assets
$124,600 Rollover IRA
$21,400 401k
$218,200 Taxable
$28,600 Savings
$62,200 Roth IRA
$12,200 AG Holdings
$10,800 Vehicle Equity
$20,900 HSA
$10,300 AU Holdings
$509,200 Total Assets (+$26,840)

Spending
$550 Rent/Utility
$74 Grocery
$50 Gas
$93 Entertainment
$300 Travel
$20 Health
$115 Gifting
$1,202 Total Spending

Income
$7,375 Salary
$1,944 Other
$9,319 Total Income

87% Savings Rate

$17,542 Actual Expenses, Last 12 Months (currently 29.02X, or 3.45% WR)
$14,400 - Actual bare-bone, last 12 months (currently 35.36X, or 2.83% WR)

Monthly Combined Tracking

$2,653 - Combined Spending
$11,297 - Combined Income

76% Savings Rate

Combined NW = $624,360 (+$34,140)
Combined Spending = $35,489 (based on last 12 months)
Combined WR = 5.68% (17.59 x annual expenses)

Musings

To come…..so much to update :)

slowtraveler
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Post by slowtraveler » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:22 pm

You're killing it. Good job man. I'll be there with you in a few years, but across the ocean in Asia.

Even though you're retired, you're still saving. That's awesome.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 620
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:16 am

@c_L, thank you sir. The past few weeks have been very eye opening. So many skills (unrelated to career) that I would like to learn, and eventually leverage to better my situation in life, whatever that may be. For now, one foot in front of the other.

Thanks, @Quant, I didn't realize how many people have been following along in the shadows here!

@sustainableHappiness, I'm also very curious, because I haven't got a clue currently. I can always get a PT job that's fun, but I'm craving something more.

@Bankai, you bring up some excellent points. After being here for 3 weeks now, I'm liking it more and more. Though winters are a different animal. My time has been spent tending to important family matters, while trying to make the most of the fact that I haven't seen some family/friends here in years. I've been documenting costs and logistics to figure out a true COL figure for us if we did pull the plug. A very real option is being global snowbirds, spending half the year in USA/Europe, and the other half in SE Asia or other warm LCOL areas.

@slowtraveler, thank you. Your own journey has been tremendously inspirational.

@niemand, thanks.....it would be 10x more interesting if I could share more details of the past 6 weeks, but the time and place for that will come.

@slow traveler, I'll be in Asia too :) at least Dec-April

I'm not retired yet, currently on a leave of sorts. Will explain at a later date, but for now I can't return to the states/ft work due to familial obligations.

Cheers everyone! The grass is in fact greener on the other side.

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Post by Seppia » Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:46 am

WE WANT THE MUSINGS!

:lol:


Great that you're enjoying this, when I read this kind of things I'm curious of what kind of effect it has on jacob.
It must be incredibily fulfilling to see how much good/happiness one has created.
Talk about being useful to society

slowtraveler
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Post by slowtraveler » Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:18 am

@2birds1stone

I always enjoy knowing my ramblings are actually helpful to some. Thank you. Can I ask what you found inspirational? I feel my journey is so unique and I've focused so much more on my own happiness than being inspiring so it's heart warming to know you find reading it utile.

@Seppia
I picture him having a warm smile at times as he sips a warm home made coffee.

Scott 2
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Re: Semi-ERE Experiment - Month 2 - "Limbo A La Mode"

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:39 am

I'm another following your story. The fact that you are a hard working (formerly :D), high earner makes it more interesting to me.

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