ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

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

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

@Laura, on top of what c_L pointed out, I would like to take advantage of low earned income in 2020 in order to do some Roth conversions in order to qualify for ACA subsidies starting in January. Additionally, it would be a nice way to pay almost $0 taxes on the conversion.

@c_L, I generally can't complain right now. Even my seemingly "big" problems are really first world inconveniences right now. Things have been relatively peaceful here, and despite our path being completely different than what we pictured 6 months ago.....it's been quite the adventure.

With that I have an update on the whole residency debacle for DW. Looks like it's going to be a no-go this time around. We got all of our ducks in a row and went down to the vovoidship (state) office of foreign affairs, spent 2 hours filling out the necessary paperwork, only to be told that a decision will take 4 months, during which time we would already be back in the states. The decision comes by mail (first class), which requires signature to receive. Even giving someone power of attorney to pick up the letter doesn't help much, because you have to bring the letter back to the same office, get fingerprinted, pay the fees, and then wait another month for the actual residency card to once again arrive by mail. Theoretically we could have someone pick up the letter with the decision, and wait till next spring to bring it down to the office, but by then DW will have formally changed her last name to mine, and have renewed her US passport, making the process start all over again anyway.......

On the bright side, we were told that currently Americans can stay in Poland as long as they want so long as they cross the border once every <90 days. So we will just have to make a border run before Sept 7th, and then we will be good to go until we fly back to the USA.

The biggest downside of not having her Polish residency, is that time in Poland doesn't count toward the 90 days we have to stay out of the EU before returning to other countries (ie Portugal). If she were a Polish resident, she could technically do 90 days in Poland OR outside of the EU to reset the clock on the rest of Schengen.

At least now we know what a mess all of this international law is =)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

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

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

July Financial Update

Combined Assets
$731,800 (+$21,800)

Combined Spending
July - $1,359
Trailing Twelve Months - $23,292 (-$1,300!)

Combined Income
$0 earned income
~$500 in interest/dividends

Current Withdrawal Rate
3.2% (Portfolio = 31.4X annual expenses)

Musings
Individual July spending = $651, broken down for anyone curious;

$160 Grocery
$6 Transportation
$228 Entertainment
$162 Travel
$37 Travel/Health Insurance
$20 Health/Hygiene
$16 Misc
$22 Gifts

Individually @ $12,553 - TTM Spending, 46.5X annual expenses, and a 2.15% WR

What can I say about the monies.....this is an all time high to close out the month.....and I never expected to crack 30X TTM combined expenses whilst traveling, but here we are. Individually if spending trend continues I may briefly cross below a 2% WR before it shoots back into the 3.5-4% range when we get back to the USA.

The USD dropped significantly vs. the Euro/PLN, so Poland is now ~10-12% more expensive for us vs. when we got here.

Activity/Health

We walked 243 miles in July, vs. 170 in June.

17 lifting sessions since June 29th as well!

Weight is holding steady ~202-203 lbs, which is exactly where I wanted to be.

Laura Ingalls
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:13 am

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

Post by Laura Ingalls »

I am not sure that Roth conversations and Medicaid would be mutually exclusive. 138% of poverty and the standard deduction of ~$24k for married filing jointly are nearly the same amount.

I would completely the conversation before heading to the US should be zero problems as long as you are confident that no matter unanticipated income shows up. The expected income for ACA is all just guessing anyway. Just say you had $23k in income for 2020 and expected $27 for 2021.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Thanks for the advice, Laura. It should really be a non-issue as we will be fairly nomadic in 2021 as well. Will figure out how much capital gains harvesting/Roth converting needs to be done in December.

Musings

I've really been enjoying the discussions in several threads/journals on the forums over the past week. It's given me a lot to introspect about, especially with a nearly blank slate upon returning to the USA in the fall. DW and I really need to explore the USA a bit before we could even remotely pick a place to settle down (even as renters). This is going to be an interesting project, because I haven't the slightest clue how we will approach it. Between Covid-19 and its inherent complications to travel, the whole fuckery going on with domestic terrorist organizations and the upcoming elections, and a slew of other factors, I would ideally like to sit this fall/winter out somewhere outside of the USA, but that is not currently an option with the workers comp/medical stuff DW has to be in NY for.

Been geeking out on off the grid/overlanding content on YouTube lately. If someone handed me $100k right now and held a gun to my head ordering me to spend it on something outside of investments (stocks/bonds/real estate/etc), I would love to build up a self sufficient adventure vehicle.

Still enjoying Poland. Itching to go back to the mountains in the coming weeks. We have to do a border run for DW to get around the 90 day limit for USA nationals in Poland, which means we can bring a newspaper and take a selfie on the Slovakian side of the Tatra mountains next time we head down there. A train to Ukraine would have been a cool option, but there is still a 14 day quarantine when you return from a non-EU country.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by Frugalchicos »

I heard you about the adventure vehicle... I day dream quite often about a VW t4. With all this stuff going on, the best we can do is sit and wait or hit the road and have some fun.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 12694
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by jacob »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 8:06 am
Still enjoying Poland. Itching to go back to the mountains in the coming weeks. We have to do a border run for DW to get around the 90 day limit for USA nationals in Poland, which means we can bring a newspaper and take a selfie on the Slovakian side of the Tatra mountains next time we head down there. A train to Ukraine would have been a cool option, but there is still a 14 day quarantine when you return from a non-EU country.
I presume you've researched this in detail. I was under the presumption that non-EU passports got 90 days (tourist visa) within a 180 day period and so had to stay outside of Schengen for 90 days to get back into [any] Schengen-country. The American expats I know would usually go to a non-Schengen country like the UK or the Balkans and live there for 3 months and then back again. Maybe the US has special arrangements with Poland?

RealPerson
Posts: 834
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by RealPerson »

@Jacob
I believe you are correct. I also know that there is little to no individual wiggle room for signatories to the Schengen agreement.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

jacob wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:46 am
Maybe the US has special arrangements with Poland?
Yes,

"
"IMPORTANT FOR THE US CITIZENS: Based on an exchange of diplomatic notes between Poland and the USA, since April 15th, 1991 the US citizens are allowed to enter Poland for any 90 days period without visa. The common rule 90 days of stay in 180-day period does not apply in this case. Longer stays require Polish National Visa, provided by the Polish Consulates abroad. In case of expected duration of stay exceeds 1 year, the applicants are to apply for a TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PERMIT in the Republic of Poland. Applications shall be submitted to the relevant Office of Wojewoda (Urząd Wojewódzki). For details, please check the Office of Foreigners "

This was confirmed by border police and ministry of foriegn affairs. Due to covid leaving Poland and returning via formal border crossings is tough due to quarantine rules (ukraine) but a crossing in the mountains with a selfie for proof with a current newspaper in the frame shall suffice (advice of local immigration officer =D).

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I did want to elaborate on the above, as I responded from my mobile phone will running errands this afternoon.

This special arrangement with Poland does mean that we cannot freely travel to the rest of Schengen until we have left the entire zone for at least 90 days, it also means that we need to leave Poland directly to a non-Schengen country, vs traveling through somewhere like Germany in order to avoid any issues with the rest of the zone and their interpretation of the law. One thing we've learned throughout our whole debacle (and it's been nothing short of that since we tried to get to Poland from Portugal back in May), is that despite all of the written laws, rules, and regulations, everything is very much up to interpretation and luck in dealing with the necessary authorities in each country.......so that being said, we will do our best to keep things completely legal and make sure our exit in Oct/Nov is as clean as possible to avoid any conflicts (real or perceived).

Also, a thank you for pointing this out, because otherwise you would be right. This is one of the very few exceptions to the normal Schengen laws.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Boring Money Stuff

Like anyone else significantly invested primarily in US equities, we are up a bit from our last monthly financial recap. Back to our previous high water mark of $740k combined assets. I stopped breaking down our holdings over a year ago, but wanted to capture a snapshot as a reference point in case things go haywire moving forward.

Thanks to c_L and his bucket approach, I've been tracking our finances in three buckets;

Short Term (6-24 months)- ~$36,000 (cash, checking, high interest savings)
Medium Term (2-10 years)- ~$186,000 (CD Ladder)
Retirement (10+ years)- ~$518,000 (tIRA, Roth IRA, 401k, HSA, I Bonds, Ag, Au, Brokerage Account)

It's not lost on me that many of the funds in the "Retirement" bucket could be tapped immediately, but that wouldn't be fun. J+G made a post in my journal long ago about how getting stuff for money is less fun. We don't want to rely fully on our WR to survive. Thus, we don't want to tap any of our tax advantaged accounts, nor our taxable brokerage account, unless it were an emergency.

This gives us ~$220k in working capital to bridge the gap between now and when we are ready to draw down retirement assets.

Current AA = 43% Equities, 25% CD Ladder, 14% Bonds, 13% Cash, 5% Ag/Au

The current plan is to keep living off of the 1st bucket, and before it dries up try to find some way to replenish it, without going back to a soul sucking job. These funds should easily last us 12-18 months, and possibly longer if we find a suitable PT/seasonal solution to work.

The Second bucket is doomed in the current low interest rate environment, as those CD's maturing will be rolled into <1% earnings...losing purchasing power to inflation, have to figure out a better strategy for this bucket.

The third bucket, is where 100% of our equities sit, and should theoretically grow above inflation, and cover our age 55+ spending without any issues. Even if it takes ~25-30 years to double in real terms (assuming 2.5% real growth), coupled with 50% payout of SS, we will be in a very comfortable spot.

That just means the next 25-30 years will be an adventure, and far from the "live a life of leisure off of 3-4% WR, and do nothing for the rest of our lives" that many in the FIRE community aspire to. We have the working capital to take on some interesting projects and reinvent ourselves several times over.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

#GiantMeteor2020

I've been in a real funk the past few weeks. Besides the occasional distraction of novel experiences, my mind keeps drifting back to what a shit show this year has turned into.

It sounds pathetic, but I feel somewhat defeated. Such grand plans were laid out for this year, and between C-19 and my wife's health issues, we've haven't really been able to do most of what we set out to. On one side, we feel very lucky to have escaped our jobs/geographic location before the shit hit the fan in March, but on the other we feel like our plan failed. The hope was to get a long trip out of our system, and root down somewhere for a year or two so DW could go back to work for a while. Now the labor market is shit, we don't really know where to try to stay within the USA, and due to her bum shoulder, returning to her old job is not really an option.

The worse part of this for me, has been a fear that I will have to go back to my old industry/career, and be the sole breadwinner again. Purposefully read through my old posts from ~1 year ago to remind myself just how miserable and burned out I felt. I've actually gone as far as updated my CV, and flipped that little switch on LinkedIn that lets recruiters know you're open to new opportunities. While I used to get BLASTED by inbound messages seeking out my skill set, it's been crickets for the past two weeks. I've found myself perusing job listings at companies I once thought would be a good fit for me, from a culture/product/service standpoint, and the listings for jobs I would be interested/qualified for have disappeared. So despite not really *needing* to work, I've felt a dread that if I chose to go back to work in some capacity, to float the household unit until things became clearer with C-19, the election, international travel.......I may not even be able to find a job.

This is all crazy as I try to look at it through the ERE lens. Looking back on this excerpt from post a year ago;
2Birds1Stone wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:32 am
without practical application, money alone does not create any slack in the system. Meaning, if I'm too afraid to leverage X years of expenses in portfolio value to actually do something other than maintain current trajectory, it's basically as if that money didn't exist (barring any real emergency that could be solved with money). My coupling to the financial system, specifically my income is almost non existent for basic subsistence.
Yet this fear has crept back in.....I'm wondering if my scared self is just looking for *something* that I can feel in control of, some sort of stability or known. Right now everything about our lives is completely up in the air. We don't know how/when we will get back to the USA, except for the fact that DW has to be in NY in November for the medical evaluation, and that can take up to 6-8 weeks. We have no clue where we go from there....since the second half of our trip is a bust, and she was planning on going back to work to build up her savings and get us employer healthcare coverage in March/April of 2021 anyway, yet it doesn't look promising right now. I don't want to taint the rest of our time here with these thoughts, but I can't help but stress/worry about the next 6-12 months.

/endrant

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by Frugalchicos »

It seems we had similar feelings the last few days. We had a lot of expectations and felt pretty excited about our move and everything changed (or just got put on hold) because of Covid. On the other hand, I can tell you we are very fortunate and are in a position a lot of people can't even dream of. All this is just temporary, we just need to chill and try to adjust to what life is giving us at the moment.

Try not to think of all the stuff you might need to do or have to go back to do because everything is screwed up. My advice is to try to enjoy this time since if/when we have to go back to work, we will regret not taking advantage of it all.

Cheers and keep it cool buddy.

Smashter
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by Smashter »

Sorry man that sounds tough. I am not actively searching, but I am in sales, and I constantly come across interesting looking opportunities. From what I can tell the labor market is not shit. I really think someone with your skills, drive, and resume will be fine!
Don't know if you ever use BuiltIn, but they have a solid job board. Here are a bunch of remote AE opps: https://builtin.com/jobs/remote/nationw ... -executive

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by classical_Liberal »

You need what? 30K a year to support your family? I can find you 20 jobs tomorrow that'll do it on less than FT.

Methinks the real problem here lays somewhere in between finally accepting that 2B1S doesn't ever have to work again (hence need a new form of purpose) and that it feels good to be in demand in your field (which isn't happening anymore because you haven't been networking).

Anyway, no matter the reason for feeling down, I'm sorry you're feeling that way.

JollyScot
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:44 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by JollyScot »

Yeah 2020 has turned out to be a punch in the face for a lot of people. We were lucky in that we moved just before it all happened so missed this as a "big" issue. Although the result is we have stumbled into another different round of issues.

From someone who has had a couple other punches in the face over the last few years all I can say is don't panic and just work your way through it. You'll come out the other side with extra strengths relative to what you had going in. Might not be the ones you wanted, but such is life.

If you are feeling yourself circle the drain, take a breath and try to make some concrete plans. Figure out a cheaper cost base on return if you think it is a worry. Start some kind of side anything that will make money.

If you do need the healthcare item then find something with that benefit as a core. Based on your net worth and path to it. You both have sufficient discipline to manage a more difficult than wage slave scenario.

Enjoy the life experience for what it is. Even though I can totally understand getting frustrated at life trampling all over your plans. You can forgive yourself for not seeing this one coming.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1135
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

@Frugalchicos, I try to remind myself daily as to just how lucky we are in the grand scheme of things. These are nagging thoughts/ruminations that I consciously have to pull myself out of. The logical part of my brain understands this, but the emotional/subconscious side forgets. Going to double down on trying to enjoy this crazy ride.

@Smashter, I completely forgot that you were in sales too. That's a wonderful resource you shared, and I was not familiar with it. I'm sure that if push came to shove I could find some sort of sales job again. I guess I'm latching on to jobs in the same pay range that I was in the past few years of my career ($250-300k OTE with a 50/50 split of base/IC). I'm bookmarking the board but going to try to avoid looking for work until I really *need* to.

@c_L, you're absolutely right, there are underlying causes to these feelings that I haven't been able to completely flesh out. Back in the USA I would say $30-36k/yr would be right on the money. Here in Poland more like $20-24k/yr. It all depends on what kind of lifestyle we end up settling into. Using a 3% WR, the $30k/yr would require a $1M nut, or what we have + some PT/seasonal work. I would best describe what I'm feeling right now as creeping anxiety. It's a combination of known unknowns, and unknown unknowns.

@JollyScot, I really appreciate your perspective. This will definitely serve as a valuable lesson and as long as we can grow from it, it's not all bad. For now I think I need to avoid looking for/thinking about a J-O-B, because it's the biggest trigger for my anxiety.

Musings

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who chimed in with thoughts/advice. Some of these things are impossible to discuss with my family/friends in real life, and I'm eternally grateful for this community. After reading your responses and sleeping on it, I've come to realize that the best thing to do will be continue to live in the moment, decompress a bit more, and take things as they come in the fall. NYS has expanded UI benefits, and if all goes well I should be able to continue claiming upon my return, so long as I'm in NY. That will be at least a $400/week buffer to ease the pain of whatever we decide to do for health insurance. Hopefully I can lean on you guys for advice regarding living situation and future plans when the time comes. For now, I hope everyone stays healthy and safe, and I'll be checking in on Monday/Tuesday with our regularly scheduled programming.

Smashter
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:05 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by Smashter »

Dang, you were killing it! For some reason I thought you were more in the 60k base/120 OTE range. That's more in line with the roles I know are available. So you could be right that the market has chilled for salaries in your old range.

Sounds like you’ve got a great plan as of now, excited to follow your progress.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1938
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by classical_Liberal »

A theory.

I think in newly attained (semi)ERE we tend to experience our emotions a bit more strongly than we are used to, coming from salaryman territory. We're used to being so busy that it's pretty easy to put that depressive, or joyful feeling on the back-burner to get shit done. Now we have the time, but maybe not the inclination yet, to fully experience these things. It can take me a bit off guard sometimes. Waking up amazingly joyfull for the day ahead of me, free from drudgery. OTOH I can get into a depressive funk pretty easily too, like, why bother getting up if I don't have to do anything.

bluecollarmusician
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:02 pm

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by bluecollarmusician »

I think @classical_liberal has basically #nailedit in his last two posts.

Frugalchicos
Posts: 394
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:23 pm
Contact:

Re: ERE Year 2 - Choose Your Own Adventure - Geoarbitrage and Nomadic Lifestyle Edition

Post by Frugalchicos »

@CL - Pretty good summary buddy. You should be our psychologist. I think it is the uncertainty and lack of goals what make us crazy. We are just not used to chill.

Post Reply