ERE Year 2 - Someone Call The Internet Retirement Police...

Where are you and where are you going?
ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by ffj »

@2birds

I actually corresponded with one of the moderators to no avail to fix their system. I was polite but firm in my views and received basically a non-answer in the replies. And no changes.

What was interesting was that at the time I was receiving a lot of encouragement from random people in private messages, and one in particular stood out in the assertion that all of the mods are friends and personal buddies of the founder, so they watch each other's back, but not in good way. I don't know if it is true but it has merit as a theory.

It's a shame however, as I really liked that site in the beginning, but I'll never recommend it to anyone ever again. It was such a nice gateway drug to ERE too. ;)

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

June Financial Update

Combined Assets
$710,000 (+$8,500)

Combined Spending
June - $1,448
Trailing Twelve Months - $24,624 (-$1,200!)

Combined Income
$0 earned income
~$850 in interest/dividends

Current Withdrawal Rate
3.5% (Portfolio = 28.8X annual expenses)

Musings
Individual May spending = $692, broken down for anyone curious;

$117 Grocery
$19 Transportation
$114 Entertainment
$244 Travel (Portugal -> Poland)
$74 Travel/Health Insurance (double billing this month as we get charged every 28 days)
$53 Health/Hygiene (Bicycle, foam roller, 24 hour gym pass)
$71 Misc (BT Speaker, bike lock)

Individually @ $13,463 - TTM Spending, 42.1X annual expenses, and a 2.37% WR!!

Spending was up from May, but still way lower than YoY for the month. Did NOT expect to get below a 4% household WR while traveling, but here we are.....individually I'm definitely in runaway mode. Dividends/Interest more than covered my expenses for the month.

Activity/Health

We walked way less in June due to traveling/quarantine etc. 170 miles in June vs. 317 in May.

It feels REALLY good to get back in the gym. Going to try a couple out here before picking one for the longer term.

Finally have a scale again, weight has been holding steady at 202-204 lbs, which for me is good. I know I lost some lean body mass and gained some fluff, but recomping while staying the same weight should be easy after not lifting for nearly 4 months.

more thoughts and musings tomorrow when I have more time, right now I'm exhausted after moving/stacking 2 full chords of wood that were dropped off at the Orchard.

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by classical_Liberal »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:12 pm
Combined Spending
Trailing Twelve Months - $24,624 (-$1,200!)
Individually @ $13,463
Still spending more than your wife! Get with the program 2B1S!!!!

Awesome financial numbers!

2Birds1Stone
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Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:16 pm
Still spending more than your wife! Get with the program 2B1S!!!!
Haha! I'm slowly catching up to her frugality. Doing a completely unbiased review of our spending since we left the state in March, I am spending more money on our shared experiences/indulgences. Simply because I have much higher individual assets/portfolio. We split the very basics of housing, cell phones, basic grocery staples, and travel/health insurance 50/50, but maintain our own finances/spending for other things. I tend to pay more when we go out, or splurge on some groceries or foods we don't consider part of our staples. It makes me happy to be able to do this, and let's her keep more of her monies for her own hobbies/interests. I know a lot of married couples instantly combine all finances into one pot, but I believe this autonomy over spending/managing our own money is beneficial for our relationship. No one has a chip on their shoulder over what discretionary spending the other has.

Right now we are really enjoying the "high life" and sparing no expense (within reason) here. I even had a $4 coffee here today, from a hipster coffee shop. That's like paying $12 for one back in NY if you consider local purchasing power. Last night we went out to a very good restaurant/brewery and ran up a $25 tab! After months of everything being closed it's felt good to enjoy a more normal nightlife/social life.

This is balances out because we have extremely low fixed costs right now. A barebone month for the two of us would look something like;

$200 - Grocery
$120 - Housing Co-op, Electric, Propane
$80 - Travel/Health insurance
$50 - Gym
$20 - Mobile plans w/ 15 GB Data x 2
$30 - Toiletries, paper goods, misc
$500 - Total per month for two people

It almost feels like we are cheating.....but the apartment sits empty when my parents are not here. My grandparents are getting much more socializing and help since we are visiting them several times a week, and helping with some lite cleaning, grocery runs, etc. My parents are very happy we are able to help their parents, and get use of the apartment. My grandfather is thrilled that he has someone to help with the orchard, and that someone is able to enjoy it.

We will be staying here till the end of October, and even if flights back to the USA are very expensive, it's going to be a super frugal year for us. Right now I see absolutely no point to go back to work in order to earn more money. This is a great feeling, and it took a while to internalize.

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by classical_Liberal »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:18 am
I know a lot of married couples instantly combine all finances into one pot, but I believe this autonomy over spending/managing our own money is beneficial for our relationship. No one has a chip on their shoulder over what discretionary spending the other has.
Interesting you should bring this up. The GF and I are beginning some basic talks about the "m" word. It's definitely still years off, but it's something that will probably happen unless we run into an irreconcilable difference over the next couple of years. I've had a few conversations recently with friends who married later in life, about how they handle finances. My GF and I are basically doing what you are; splitting food, rent, household costs, travel cost, ect. But still spend our own money on individual preference items, like clothing, or individual entertainment. This way we can't come down on each other when our lifestyle preferences don't exactly align. We've literally NEVER had a fight about finances, some small disagreements about the utility of paying a bit more for rent in nicer places, but always find a compromise. If we are going to try something different (would that even be wise given how well it's working now?), I'd like to try it before the "m" word gets more serious. I'd love to hear your opinion on the subject, given we are in similar situations with our partners from a net worth perspective.
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:18 am
Right now I see absolutely no point to go back to work in order to earn more money. This is a great feeling, and it took a while to internalize.
This is a huge mindset shift! Congrats!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Hmmmm, so a few thoughts* on the topic, which may or may not be helpful.....

First of all, I think you've participated in a few threads and discussions on similar topics over the years, as have I. I know I've posted (and since redacted) some of my own thoughts/struggles with my unique situation. People seem to be very opinionated on the "right" way of handling finances in a relationship/marriage, but I think it's possible for many "systems" to work. The circumstances of each individual relationship (1 vs 2 earners, kids or no kids, similar goals, similar spending habits, individual asset levels, trust, etc) can be so vastly different that it's impossible to predict what will work.

Personally, I would never completely combine finances with someone as a test run, so the "one pot" system would be pretty hard to test out before marriage. If your current system works, then I would keep rolling with it until you feel there is a need for it to change. Part of the relationship should be communication about money, and ensuring you're on the same page regardless of how you separate your accounts/income etc. In my own relationship and debate on how to handle things there were a few factors to consider. Since I was the higher earner, I felt it was important to consider the power imbalance of a % based system, where expenses were based on income. In our 50/50 approach, I made sure to never pressure my SO into a situation where she had to spend more money because I had higher means (ie renting a nicer place, choosing more expensive groceries, etc). I was also of the firm belief that by subsidizing her lifestyle, it would disincentivise her from pursuing her own career/income/goals/etc. I supported her through several job changes and income levels, and never pressured her to chase a job purely for money, but at the same time, did not encourage her down the path of being a kept woman.

Another commonality we share is that we are both (semi)ERE'd in some capacity, while our SO's have a ways to go. This is where I feel strongly that if I want to splurge on some shared experience, sweep her away for a few months (impacting her ability to earn) etc, then I should gladly pay or chip in more. If I do end up with some higher income type job in the future, then maybe I'll even cover a larger portion of our fixed expenses to allow her to build her own portfolio faster on a lower income. My wife knows she's going to have to go back to work sooner or later, when the cash we had earmarked for these travels runs dry. I support her in any career choice she feels like going after, and she's frugal enough that she doesn't need to make a lot of money in order to maintain a very impressive individual savings rate.

*please avoid quoting this post as I may redact in the future.

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by classical_Liberal »

Thanks for your Candor. I'm going to reply indirectly, but I think I'll make a journal entry in the next couple of weeks detailing my thoughts, leaving out your stuff. Please contribute to that, because I'd like to know your thoughts!

Keep living the good life man!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

TTM for July will be just under $13k...

67 months of detailed tracking in a simple chart.

Image

Hit the gym for the 4th time in a week today. Feeeeeels sooooooo darn good.

Weight is right at 201.5 lbs, so still a ways to go before I gain back some of the muscle lost during the first few months of pandemic.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Weight training has been going very well. I didn't realize how much I missed it until I got back into the routine. Looks like not as much muscle was lost as I had previously thought. Amazing what the human body is capable of. My appetite did increase over the past week, so that's something to be mindful of and not overeat, while giving my body enough calories/protein to recover from the resistance training.

The past week has been mostly spent with family, enjoying a bit of the city life. Last night I received an unexpected phone call from a friend, inviting us to go sailing on a lake this weekend. While the weather forecast is crappy, it should be a really good time. In addition to the sailing this weekend, wife and I are planning a week long trip to the Polish Tatra mountains for some hiking/mountaineering. Targeting the last week of July/first week of August.

Markets looks like they are finally realigning with the economy and pulling back a bit. Interested to see if we get a new bottom, or if things continue to stay decoupled.

Today is our 120th day of travel, and cost per day has kissed $50/day....which means $18,250/yr annualized for two people. Not bad.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Computer time has been cut by ~80% since we finished quarantine, and on top of that I haven't had anything valuable to share here...

Just some random musings

Settled into a bit of a routine now that we are acclimated to Poland. Today was the 10th time we've been to the gym since starting back up on June 29th. Slowly making progress with strength and endurance. Physique wise things are also improving, with weight staying right between 200-201 lbs very consistently. This is a good weight for me, another 3-5 lbs of fat gone and I would be sporting a six pack, not that I'm interested in that.

The weekend was spent on a large mountain lake, sailing with friends. We had quite the adventure thanks to a very sudden change in weather, a storm rolled in and we found ourselves scrambling to try to get back to the marina where my friends keep their boat. We ended up outmatched by the gusting wind, thunder, and sheets of rain. Ultimately my friend had to call a boat to tow us back. Strong thunder/lightning storms continued throughout the night, and we (4 adults, 1 kid) spent two nights sleeping on the (23') boat. A good time was had by all.

Looks like the markets continue their irrational climb, and our portfolio is almost back to new highs. My huge realized loss on EPR stung the most.....but it was a valuable lesson.

Can't believe that we are already halfway through July....

Started doing some research into how we can get health insurance for Nov/Dec while we are back in the USA. Doesn't look like we would qualify for any ACA subsidies due to our income last year.....not sure what our options are going to be, as neither one will have a job.

anesde
Posts: 173
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by anesde »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:27 am
Started doing some research into how we can get health insurance for Nov/Dec while we are back in the USA. Doesn't look like we would qualify for any ACA subsidies due to our income last year.....not sure what our options are going to be, as neither one will have a job.
Why not just stay until January? Spend Christmas in Poland and then get ACA when you return?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

anesde wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:51 am
Why not just stay until January? Spend Christmas in Poland and then get ACA when you return?
My wife needs to go back to the Dr in early November to get checked for permanent disability to her shoulder (the workers comp ordeal since last Nov). If they rule even a partial disability then the insurance company has 30 days to get thier own physician to assess her, then any other logistics to close out the case. So unfortunately we have tk be back in NY for at least a month. Not terrible timing from a family/friends perspective since we will be there for the whole holiday season, but need to figure out insurance. Our travel policy doesn't cover us in the US.

Frita
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by Frita »

How much would paying for your spouse’s medical appointment out-of-pocket cost versus two months of non-subsidized ACA?

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

It was a work injury, workers comp is covering everything regardless of our insurance situation.

Frugalchicos
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by Frugalchicos »

I think I got insurance through eHealth back in July when I was fired and didn't want to pay an extra ridiculous cost through Chica's job insurance. I believe it was like $65/month

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by classical_Liberal »

The boat weekend sounds like an adventure!
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Jul 15, 2020 4:27 am
Doesn't look like we would qualify for any ACA subsidies due to our income last year.....not sure what our options are going to be, as neither one will have a job.
ACA subsidies are based on current years income. Worst case, they don't believe you that income dropped so much and you get the subsidies as a tax credit at income tax time. The real question is whether you'll earn enough in 2020 to qualify for ACA and not medicaid? Do the math.

Personally, for two months and healthy... In your shoes I might even forgo coverage. Or at the most see if I can get a nonACA compliant temp disaster policy in the region you're staying. Or again, I hate to harp on this, but healthshare if you aren't antireligious. Either of those two options are much less of a paperwork headache vs trying to get ACA based on a qualifying event and with a huge change to income. Not worth it for only 2 months, but that's my opinion.

anesde
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by anesde »

No health coverage is obviously a very personal decision but I’ll second c_L’s comment. I didnt have any in August/September of 2018 when I was in between jobs and working on my rental house in NJ. Perhaps not the best idea but I personally decided to take that risk.

Everything is easier if you just move to Europe btw. I haven’t even thought about that or factored it into my long term calcs as its covered here.

I would probably opt for healthshare if I needed to be covered. Seems like the most reasonable pricing and unless you partake in anything blacklisted (I think not?) it would be worth it.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Thank you all for the thoughtful responses on the Health Insurance topic. It turns out that our travel policy will cover us in the USA for up to 15 days before they drop coverage.....we may just go the 1.5 months without insurance and then sign up for ACA for 2021 if it makes sense.

@c_L, I can realize capital gains or rollover some of the $150k I have in tIRA to Roth in order to manufacture the income. I planned on doing the rollover anyway since we have almost $0 earned income for 2020.

A little life update....

The past few weeks have been pretty awesome here in Poland.

Last Sunday night we partied pretty hard with my cousins and woke up on Monday morning, hung over. In the midst of this mental fog we checked the weather for the Tatra Mountains and decided to leave the following day for a 5 day/4 nights trip to do some hiking. We were able to book everything last minute and stayed at the same guesthouse as last summer. For anyone curious about prices, the bus tickets (5.5 hour ride!) were $10/pp each way, and the accommodations were $30/night with all taxes and fees included. The weather turned out even better than forecast, and we were able to hike 3 of the days, totaling about 50 miles. The town we stayed at is very touristy, but has a cool vibe and some amazing places to eat. We used the supermarket for breakfast/lunches and chose to eat out for dinner. Dinner for two, typically with an appetizer, beers, two entrees, etc averaged about $30/day.

We took the bus back Saturday afternoon and have been trying to figure out our next move here. One thing we really have to get done is my wife's application for residence in Poland. The original of our marriage license arrived from NY a few weeks ago, and we've been procrastinating. We need to go down to the government offices, get the correct application, fill it out (15 pages in Polish!), get wife passport photos, get our marriage license translated by a Polish sworn translator and notarized, and then go through an interview process (were we may have to hire a formal interpreter). If things go as we believe they will, my wife will get a stamp in her passport once we submit the application, stating that she's filed for residence, legalizing her stay here past the typical 90 days she would otherwise be allowed to stay. Once the application is processed, she will get either a 3 or 5 year temporary residency based on spousal law.

As of yesterday, we are back in the gym. There is a really great facility nearby that allows you to purchase 72 hour pass for ~$8 USD. This is far more convenient than signing a contract (even month to month), and works out to nearly the same cost. Training is going really well, and it's been a great outlet for me (physically and mentally).

Choose Your Own Adventure (Winter 2020 Edition)

Unless something unexpected pops up, either with Wife's residency or otherwise, we are still honing in on end of October/early November to return to NY. Covid and my DW Workers Comp case really threw in the wrench to our plans for the second half of what was supposed to be 12 months of uninterrupted travel. It looks like SE Asia will be off the table for Jan-March, so we are trying to come up with some backup plans.

The two best options right now appear to be a car camping/road trip starting after New Years and heading for warm weather until the northern part of the USA thaws out by spring, or hunkering down in FL for a few months (Tampa area were we have family/friends), and then attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail starting in late March/early April.

The second would be a bit risky, because it would mean that we wouldn't really settle down anywhere long enough for DW to attempt to find some employment until late summer/fall of 2021. Right now we have quite a buffer in our travel fund, but that will start to dry up by then, and she's not sure how close she wants to cut it before topping off the reserves with some paid work. I'm a bit more flexible here.

$$$

I'll do a full recap of July over the weekend, but preliminary our TTM spending continues to drop to <$24k/yr! We're really spoiled in that we don't currently have to pay any rent, and any accommodation costs through end of October will be completely discretionary. It will be really interesting to note how I/we react to that TTM spending trend reversing once we are back in the USA. Will I freak out without any earned income?

Markets continue their irrational climb.....if they stay relatively flat through Friday then we will have topped our peak NW from and end of month standpoint. I'm really kicking myself in the ass for not deploying some of the cash in my HSA/Roth IRA during the pullback, and just don't have the stomach to do it with current valuations.......Still have a LONG way to go on the investment side of things.

Occasionally I toy with the idea of looking for a job when SO returns to work.....I always had more appetite for investment risk when I was earning a steady paycheck, something to think about.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by Laura Ingalls »

Couldn’t you just apply for Medicaid in NY?

Or have you been getting disability income that would spin off too much income?

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE Year 2 - Geoarbitrage, Permaculture, and Nomadic Lifestyle Design

Post by classical_Liberal »

@2B1S
Sounds like life is continuing in its awesomeness for you. Last weekend I went out and hiked a segment of the North Country Trail (NTC) near me. There wasn't much of an elevation change. After 3 days of it my body hurt, all over :oops: . I'm sure I would get used to hiking for 10 hours a day, every day, but man, it was sure an eye opener on how tough those long, back country hikes can really be. Doing the AT would be such an accomplishment, well worth it IMO. Anyway, I'm sure everything will work out.

@LI
A general comment about medicaid. Medicaid is something people with assets have to be careful about. Each state has its own rules, and many have recapture clauses. So if you use it, there is a potential you have to pay full price for the services at some point in the future. It's really crucial to know the states rules and stay up to date on them if someone is using it. Also, most states have a unique to medicaid backdating policy. So if someone qualifies, income-wise, for medicaid, often times it will back date for 30 days to pay previous bills. So, it's possible, in a pinch, to apply for medicaid after the medical services are rendered or even during the process. As a matter of fact, most hospitals employ companies to come in and look at potentially eligible uninsured patients and help the with the medicaid process. This way the hospital can get paid. Again, I believe this policy varies state to state. Just one more cluster of things to think/worry about in US healthcare.

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