Gus' road to retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Mon Mar 27, 2017 1:40 pm

Missed a month there. I went to China to visit inlaws, and then did my taxes, all of which were depressing. Going to China makes me appreciate living in the US. I miscalculated on my tax estimations, and I owe an additional 12k on top of what I thought I had earmarked, that sucks. I did an awesome job deducting business income, but did not factor in the increase in personal w2 income now that my wife is working, thus her income is taxed at ~30%+. So that sets me back a bit. They both set me back a bit, I'm effectively at 120k in cash, so negative 12k from where I was in february.

Oh well. I can pay it, it's a 2 month setback at my current savings rate. I'll spend more time working on personal income tax deductions this year and I should be able to write off/eliminate the extra taxes for 2017.

This coming year is going to be pretty sucky in a lot of ways. My wife is going to do her masters degree in a night program, which means I'll have a lot less help raising our 2 year old daughter, and my wife will probably be pretty stressed and that's bound to leak out and affect our relationship. I'm on board with it long term, it will boost her income quite a bit, I imagine she'll be able to double it over the next few years and get into the 80-90k range.

We are also contemplating financial masochism via a move back to southern california. We both are sick of cold winters, and the job market here is lackluster for our professions. I have a lot more competition here because there are simply too many programmers where I live, it's pretty crazy. My wife as an accountant is seeing the same thing. There are lots of jobs, they just pay very poorly because they typically get ~150 applicants or so, most of those get weeded out, but you're still competing with at least 50 legitimate candidates which means it's an employers market. Those two factors combined have convinced me to go back to socal, where I can make triple the hourly rate and negotiate much better. A lot of businesses here want onsite work, which to me is a joke, they want all the benefits of an employee with none of the disadvantages. For me, to go onsite all the time would wreck my business, I can't service multiple clients if I'm in someones office every day, so it's just not a working business model.

Anyways, wife has a year to go on the masters. California will suck housing cost wise. My plan is to hit it hard for a few years, save 100k for 3 years to pay down a significant chunk of mortgage, then go back to cruise control working a few months a year.

Finances
Assets:
260k primary house market value, less transaction costs if I sold it
10k - subaru
10k - subaru
90k in equity in a rental property
42k in IRAs (vanguard 500 index)
120k in cash accounts
Total:
532k

Liabilities:
100k mortgage on rental property

Base Monthly Expenses (not including emergencies):
200 - home ins/taxes
300 - my food/gas/misc
150 - baby food, clothes, diapers, etc
60 - family cell phones
40 - gas
80 - electricity
110 - water,sewage,etc - flat rate lowest tier from the city
80 - business class internet
55 - car ins
700 - health insurance
1100 - nanny
100 - misc
50 - drs
200 - entertainment - movies/dining/museums/family day trips/etc
Total: 3225

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:52 pm

So I'm on my retirement test drive, hopefully for the next 5 months. I haven't worked since 5/19. Gotta say I'm loving it and have no desire to find work yet beyond a little self doubt and herd mentality here and there, but then I just go over the numbers and see that everything is going according to plan.

I'm not FI yet, I figure I've got another 3-4 years of hard work before I get there. My definition of FI is that my wife will also be covered by my passive income and will no longer need to work. I've scaled back the nanny, and my wife is contributing her half, my passive income the other half, and the bank account is stable. Hooray!

One big thing I've found is that I hate to be on the computer haha, there's so much else to DO!

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:29 pm

Still not working, yay! Other than wife's tuition, spending is the same as income (wife's job + passive income), yay!

Oddly enough I've entered a sort of depression, I did not expect that. I have lots of time to think, and I must have put some of my self worth in working/running my business, and I notice that despite my best intentions I can fritter days away which irritates me and makes me disappointed in myself.

On the other hand, I don't miss working at all. If I plan out my day a bit to accomplish things that are important to me, say reading some astronomy articles or practicing piano, I am obscenely happy.

I still don't feel like I have enough time in a day.

Zanka
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 2:33 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Zanka » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:47 am

Great journal! it takes a while to shift your mindset im sure, but you seem to be the kind of person that enjoy learning and finding solutions. Im sure you will find your own path forward.

For me, meditation have been huge.

wolf
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by wolf » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:46 am

Hi Augustus. Just found your journal and reading it. Your journey is interesting so far and I do appreciate your experiences with self-employment, freelancing. I am als looking forward to read more about your recent "retirement" experiences because I think I can learn some lessons here. Thanks and I wish you all the best with your sad feelings. As Zanka have said also, meditating works also for me. But I guess you do also know your best practices.

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:49 pm

Thanks guys! Mostly I was just surprised that it happened. Without distractions the highs have been higher and the lows have been lower.

In other news, we just got back from Hawaii. I figured it would cheer my wife up since she's so stressed out with the master's and a full time job, and me too :). It worked, but spending was higher than anticipated. It also made me realize that I really want to live near the beach again. I lived in socal for many years and left for a lower cost of living. The lower cost of living has been great, but I miss the ocean and the weather. I'd love to live in Hawaii but I think costs would be even higher than socal due to the crazy cost of food and goods. I surfed for the second time and def want to make it a hobby, all the fun of skiing without the lift fees and freezing cold.

My cash holdings will be down to 112k this month, ugh. The vacation was mostly paid for by a small contract I picked up and knocked out in a couple days, but my wife's tuition is a serious drain, 18k this year, 12k left for the rest of the program next year. I plan to go back to work in January or when savings hits 108k. I'll bump the bank account back up, and prep for a move back to California. I am really hoping we get lucky and the markets cool down in the next 3 years, even a 5-10% dip would be really good for housing costs and I can lock in a lower monthly payment. Once we buy down there I intend to never move again.

I've been pondering whether to pay off a house down there or to invest elsewhere and use the income to pay the mortgage. Surprisingly enough it seems like you come out ahead by buying rentals out of state to pay the mortgage in CA, plus at the end of 30 years, you have double the property.

wolf
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by wolf » Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:47 am

Augustus wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:49 pm
I've been pondering whether to pay off a house down there or to invest elsewhere and use the income to pay the mortgage. Surprisingly enough it seems like you come out ahead by buying rentals out of state to pay the mortgage in CA, plus at the end of 30 years, you have double the property.
I think the decision depends on the outcomes of both options. You should decide for the best option with the highest outcome.
Which one is that?

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:30 pm

Back to Work...
I had a contract come my way that will let me save about 100k in a year, and it's probably at least a year long contract, so I'm not going to turn it down. I am both sad and happy.

I've REALLY enjoyed not working. So much so that I was very tempted not to take work until January 1. Fall has always been one of my favorite seasons, I was looking forward to cooking seasonal favorites and getting into a halloween mood, I enjoy doing scary movie marathons, 1 a day for all of october, plus reading spooky books. Doing that with no interruptions would have been very meaningful to me. Who knows, maybe the contract will fall through.

On the other hand, I have heard from many people in my industry ([contract] computer programming) that it is slowing down and/or the job market is contracting. It's mostly a matter of timing, we are planning to move next May, and my worry was that I'd be stuck trying to build up a cash buffer for the move and that I wouldn't be able to find anything in the historically slow months of January-February to do that. Right now I am seeing far fewer call backs than I was when I last actively looked a couple years ago and this is typically the busy season.

By my calculations, I need 300k more in savings to meet my definition of FI, and this contract gets me 33% of the way there in one year, in theory I'll be FI in 3 years or less if this pace continues and/or I can speed it up by picking up multiple contracts and juggling. I'm in the home stretch!!!! My passive income after a year on this contract will be $2325/month as I'll be able to pay off the rental (100k mortgage on it) or if the market is willing put the money into a new rental property as long as it earns the same percentage of ROI. With a final 200k, if I can find one more property with an ROI that matches my current return of between 5.6-7.8% on my rentals, I'll have roughly 3400-3500/mo in passive income, and I'll be DONE.

That is very exciting!! It's been an intangible goal to me for many years, just something that I believed in but never really felt tangible proof of, and being only 3 years away at this rate puts it in to a new light. I can do this! I am really close! Technically, if I used the money I have ear marked for a down payment on the next house we plan to live in, I could be reaping $2325/month right now. That much passive income is very encouraging and makes me feel like all this work has been worth it. It's not quite where I want it to be yet, although I could support my family on that if push came to shove, but it's a sizeable monthly income, and it's permanent for the rest of my life provided that we don't enter some kind of major economic depression scenario.
Last edited by Augustus on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:38 pm

MDFIRE2024 wrote:
Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:47 am
Augustus wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:49 pm
I've been pondering whether to pay off a house down there or to invest elsewhere and use the income to pay the mortgage. Surprisingly enough it seems like you come out ahead by buying rentals out of state to pay the mortgage in CA, plus at the end of 30 years, you have double the property.
I think the decision depends on the outcomes of both options. You should decide for the best option with the highest outcome.
Which one is that?
Pros and cons to both options, a paid off primary home reduces risk, but owning rentals out of state provides a better financial return. The danger of the out of state rental scenario is that the properties out of state will lose value for some reason and no longer cover the mortgage of the home in California. I think it's ultimately going to depend on what the market looks like when I have the cash to either invest it or pay off the home in California.

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:44 pm

And... I just signed the contract. Small chance of it falling through, but high chance it wont.

My plan is thus:
I think that I can FIRE in 2 years if I try hard enough and things don't go wrong. 2 years of this contract would net me 200k at my current savings rate, if I supplement it with side work I think I can bump that all the way to 300k. I plan to begin looking for more client work in January, and in the meantime I plan to finish off some ecommerce applications I've been writing. The goal is to get the applications generating a monthly profit of 1,000 within a year for the long term. The client work I think I can do 50k per year pretty easily, if the past is any indicator. I just dislike client work, I'd rather be selling a product directly to customers, I believe it will be less annoying.

The other half of the challenge is keeping my spend at current levels. The time off has been great as it has allowed me to tidy my spending up. These are my current monthly expenses:
Base Monthly Expenses (not including emergencies):
200 - home ins/taxes
300 - my food/gas/misc
160 - baby food, clothes, diapers, etc
55 - family cell phones
40 - gas
100 - electricity (year average)
110 - water,sewage,etc - flat rate lowest tier from the city
80 - business class internet
55 - car ins
500 - health insurance
700 - childcare
100 - misc
50 - drs, baby has to go a lot
200 - entertainment - movies/dining/museums/family day trips/etc
Total: 2650

This is a substantial improvement over the months before I took time off. If I can keep the expenses at this level and avoid the trap of more spending now that more money is coming in, I can save 100% of the after tax income from this new contract, and any other contracts I take on. Probably boosting my savings rate to around 70% or 80% of after tax dollars, I haven't run the numbers.

When we move back to California, the housing costs will rise, but the increase in passive income will cover it. I am projecting that with 3 rentals (I currently have 2, and plan to purchase 1-2 more with the new income) I will have roughly 3400/mo in rental income. This will cover almost all of the base expenses listed above and the increase in housing costs. When my daughter turns 5 in 2.5 years and starts public school, the childcare costs will drop to 300 or less per month at which point the 3400/mo of passive income will cover all of the base expenses. It does not cover 1 time purchases or emergencies or vacations, so I will still need to work to fund those, but I believe I can achieve my goal of 3 months a year of work.

Woohoo!

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:44 pm

Augustus wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:44 pm
My plan is thus:
I think that I can FIRE in 2 years if I try hard enough and things don't go wrong.
Well that plan didn't last long. My wife's boss was a jerk, she started having trouble sleeping at night because of him, so we agreed she should quit and focus on her master's. So that drops from 100k per year of savings to around 60 or 70k, as I am now covering her groceries gas etc, as well as her half of the shared bills. Bummer.

I am hoping I can find a second contract to cover that extra expense and keep a 100k savings rate, but who knows. I feel like 40% of a person now that I'm back to work. The big picture, mindfulness, etc are a lot harder to keep ahold of. I don't want to get too busy and lose more of myself, but obviously the faster I can save the sooner I can claim my version of retirement (3 mos of work a year).

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:09 am

On the plus side, I found an old retirement account and it had more money in it than I thought, my net worth has hit 570k. My swr is 6.something% I'd be more excited if I didn't think we were hanging by a thread over a 10-20% correction. Still, great news!

I've been on the prowl for a second contract, I've got one bite and a few nibbles, but nothing signed yet. Will keep looking.

I've been enjoying watching globe trekker travelogues lately, and came across a great bukowkski quote, which is cool considering I've never thought I'd like bukowkski, it's always good to see there are surprises in what you thought was already known.

"We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing."

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:03 pm

I've decided to pivot. For years I have wanted to write some applications and sell them. I think now is the time. I've got a year or so runway with the current contract, and I am going to try to bootstrap a small business selling my own software products, instead of selling my time. The contract market seems pretty crappy right now, there are contracts out there, and I've talked with a dozen or so businesses interested in contracting, but they all demand full time onsite, which to me is ridiculous, given that I've been full time offsite for the last 8 years, and I'm currently working a pretty decent offsite one right now. It is compounded by the fact that we moved out of california a few years back, and the local culture is much more fulltime onsite oriented. I have seen a few gigs come through that aren't but the wages are less than half what I can make in california, and we're moving back next year, sooo, now is an ideal time to get that software business up and running. I've got financial runway, and I've got time, well, part time at least, the current gig takes about half of my day. I think that this is my make or break for this idea, I've talked about it for years, I've made a few thousand bucks in a few half assed attempts, but I've never made it a long lasting viable source of income, and I need to either put up or shut up and close the book on this instead of kicking around ideas that I never put into practice.

This is a time of transition. For the last 8 years finding good offsite contracts has been easy for me, not so anymore. It seems to be an industry change, as the other 3 or 4 people I know who do the same thing are also having trouble, same story over and over, full time onsite only. So, things are changing. The good news is that I am also changing. When I'm done with this contract, I should have about 2200 in passive income. My wife should also be back to work and contributing 2200 to our household expenses. So I'll have around 4400 per month coming in, maybe more, I'm being conservative on the rental income. Unfortunately, my own rent will be around 2800 in california, yuck. Total expenses including rent around 5800. So that leaves a 1400 per mo shortfall where I have to bring in more money. In 3 years that will drop by 1000 per month when my kid enters kindergarten and we stop paying for daycare, leaving a 400 per mo shortfall. So I'm closing in on a time where I wont need so much income from contracting, and I won't be so reliant on it.

In the longer term, my wife wants to work the next 10 years so that she can buy a rental with her own money. I plan to acquire one more (purchase price $200k, pay off half and let tenants pay off the rest) or put an equivalent amount in securities, as well as buy a home in CA and get it paid off over 15 years. That would see us sitting around 3000 per month in expenses, with over 3000 a month in passive income when we hit 45. The expenses will probably be less, and the income higher in reality. 2000 in expenses is pretty easily doable, and 3500 in income should be reasonable as well. But I try to aim for worst case scenarios.

Considering all of those numbers, my goal is to work hard on this current contract for 1-2 more years, then after that no matter what I'm going to switch to 50% on 50% off, contract work, ideally 6 months on 6 months off until I save up enough for the last 2 real estate purchases. If I can get the software business up and running then I stop even sooner. Paying off the CA house over 15 years is relatively easy, I just need to pay an additional 15k or so per year, which is 2 months of contract work. I'm planning on working about least 3 months a year regardless until I hit my 50s, the 3rd month is for fun money after I make the final rental purchase. A 3 month on, 9 month off work schedule seems like a nice life balance to me.

Who knows if any of this will pan out :) The other scenario is that I bust my ass full time for the next 4-5 years to get the final accumulation finished and then coast after. But I'd rather switch to a 3-6 mo work, 9-6 mo break scenario each year, even though it'll take 10 years instead of 4-5. There's also the scenario where I REALLY bust my ass, find and juggle 2-3 contract gigs, and make as much as I did at my peak. and finish in 2-3 years. But honestly, that is soul sucking. My out of this world dream ideal outcome is that the software product business actually works, and I make a good 5k per month, and then I stop working for other people altogether, except for fun money a month or two a year. It is actually kind of fun to do a 1-2 month kick ass contract gig, you learn new stuff, meet new people, and it's not too long to become unfun before you can quit.

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bryan
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by bryan » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:10 pm

Dooo it! Kick ass!

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:25 pm

It's been too long. @bryan I appreciate the encouragement! I think half the reason I haven't posted is because I've been dealing with a series of setbacks and haven't made as much progress on my apps as I'd wanted. I was hoping to finish my online degree in December, but I didn't finish until this week. The contract I started in September has gone down hill, and I found a replacement last month, which has led to me juggling more than I want, which should calm down mid next month as I wind down the first contract. Then we're planning to move in June, and I need to prep that by getting rid of things like baby furniture and things I haven't unboxed since our last move 3 years ago. Anything I haven't used I'm getting rid of or selling if it's worth my time.

Overall, I'm making progress or holding ground, but I'm sad I didn't get farther in my apps than a foundation that can consume some e-commerce apis and do some mvc basics. Still, it's a start. I'll plan to pick it back up in July once things settle.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:48 pm

Hi Augustus, I finally got around to reading your journal after receiving some valuable input from you in multiple community threads. Awesome journal. Glad you are making so many strides. I hope you can work thru your recent setbacks. Hopefully your wife doesn’t torpedo your budget with “clothes purchases necessary to compete in the workplace.”

Curious, where were you before moving back to SoCal? I’m guessing Denver, by the Subaru purchases, and the unwillingness of many Californians I have known to leave the western US, because after all “the west is the best.” :roll:

I repeatedly advise my friend in SF to buy rental real estate in a low cost of living area, and remain a renter in California. I wouldn’t want that state hammering me for income and property taxes. Also, you yourself have acknowledged how the Chinese have bid up the real estate there to unsustainable levels. His objective is to get to $200k (he is ALL IN on FAANG stocks), so he can make a 20% down payment on a $1mil house. Any strategy where success means getting an $800k mortgage seems like a bad plan to me.

Where are you moving to?

Augustus
Posts: 395
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:15 am

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sat Apr 07, 2018 9:19 pm

@MI Thanks! It inspired me to take a walk down memory lane. Too many setbacks lately which is annoying, in the past 6 months I've paid out 30k for higher education, 4k for a tax mistake my accountant made, and 5k in medical bills. All of which depressingly means I've saved a grand total of 4k since January, and am -18k since 2017... Ugh... At least it should all be over now.

It did remind me I need to start back up on my reading list though, I really enjoyed that in the past. I'm currently on an astronomy kick revolving around Sagan's Cosmos book.

We're near Denver, but I don't like to be too specific considering I've revealed my net worth :) we're moving near LA, a bit south. Yeah the real estate is ridiculous in California, from what I can currently see you come out ahead by renting. The good news is that interest rates are causing prices to tumble a little. Apparently people actually have no interest in the objective value of a home, only their max monthly payment. I think the housing market in CA is going to take a serious dive, based on the reasoning that for the last 4 years prices have been ridiculously high because of the low interest rates and the bit about people only caring about max monthly payment amounts. It means that if interest rates rise, people who bought in the last 4 years won't be able to sell their homes for as much as they bought them for. Even a 5-10% dip in price, on a 700k house, puts people 30k+ underwater. You'd need an interest rate rise + a job market tightening for a major drop, and I think both are likely in the next few years. But we'll see... In the past 4 months I've seen a 20-30k drop in peak prices, which coincides with the interest rates ticking up. I'm shooting to buy in the next 2-3 years mostly because I hate moving, and I never want to move again. But I'll plan to pay it off very, very slowly because you make a better ROI with real estate out of state than you do paying off in California. In theory if I get one in a dip I'll lock in a lower monthly payment than average rents over the same period.

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:08 pm

After rereading my journal I irritated myself because I realize that I flip flop a lot. A good friend pointed that out to me once, and I laughed at how right he was with his examples. But, I'm going to flip flop again :)

I read MMM's latest piece on confidence and money, and it really struck a chord with me. I think he's right, I'm not going to just quit working or making money when I "retire." So I don't need to plan as if I'll never make another dollar again. Which means I don't need to obsessively save to hit a 4% withdrawal rate, or less, because it's overkill.

My ever shifting retirement plan has always stayed constant in one respect: that I'd work 3-6 months a year. Because of this, I think I ought to slow down on accumulation, and just enact the plan, now.

I'll set a much more modest accumulation goal, 20k per year over 15 years. That still gets me my rentals, I just get less compounding. But it still covers the eventual cessation of work in old age, if I ever decide not to earn another dime, which I think is unlikely. One older gentleman I really respect was running his small architectural firm in his 80s, he only took work he liked, didn't work too much, and enjoyed the hell out of life.

One thing I've noticed again and again, is that early retirees often keep accumulating after they cut the cord, to the point where they have way more than they need, and their wealth starts getting a bit ridiculous, because it just keeps growing, and they could have "retired" sooner.

I'd rather start enjoying the rest of my 30s now, instead of stressing over building the perfect income stream. So, I plan to finish out this contract, and then take time off again. I think my hardest challenge is going to be saying no to contract extensions or new work. The accumulator in me always says don't pass up the opportunities that drop in your lap, take the money now, since you may not get one later, etc, etc. That's what happened last year during my test drive. Although granted I've had a really high burn rate with my wife's masters and medical bills, so I think it did end up being a good idea.

I'm not saying don't accumulate or don't worry about the future. But I am saying, if you get 60% of the way to your 4% or whatever you like for swr, you can probably start taking it easy. I hit 570k nw, and I feel like regardless I'm going to go north of 1M net worth, because I hate debt and I hate negative savings rate, that alone coupled with a 570k nw and an average 4% compounding rate means I hit 1M. 1M nw is kind of obscene, and embarrassing in it's own right because it's overkill.

Anyways, here's hoping. I'm done juggling multiple clients, and I'm looking forward to my next time off period when my current contract ends around November. Cheers!

P.s. after completing my bachelor's.. finally.. and being so sick of it at the end that I had to force myself to sit down and type the last paper and not get up until I finished because if I did I'd never come back.. I've decided that hey, why don't I study nursing?! Because that sounds fun right?! Humans are weird... We'll see. I've also variously thought about dedicating myself to being a musician for a few years too... A la https://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2722

Forcing myself to master the guitar for the next 7 years sounds awesome. Maybe I'll grow my hair long too :lol: I mean how cool would it be to switch from Enterprise corporate bull shit and soul sucking meetings to start being that guy who plays guitar in a bar for money..

suomalainen
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by suomalainen » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:08 pm

Sounds like you've come around to your own version of money is a solved problem. Congrats and enjoy a newly designed life!

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:20 pm

suomalainen wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:08 pm
Thanks Finn! I had read that thread before, but did not grok it, or at least did not internalize it. Now, I grok. I completely get what you said in the thread about the starting line thing. It bothered me for a long time that I was constantly waiting to reach the goal, and that I was living not the best part of my life while waiting. When I made my realization above, specifically, that I would overshoot by a ridiculous margin my financial goals if I continued to earn money after reaching FI, and I realized that I could stop obsessing over accumulation right now, it felt like a tremendous stress had been removed from me. It's hard to enjoy life when you feel like you're behind.

I am trying to come to terms with what my change of plans means to me. It makes me laugh, because I started thinking, what does it mean now that I'll work 3-6 mos per year? I reacted with: OMG 6 mos off is not enough free time per year! I don't know exactly how I'll feel until I actually follow through. I took 3 months off last year, and I dreaded going back to work at the end, like an angsty teenager, it felt like the end of summer vacation. So I wonder if I'll be satisfied in the future if I continue to work. I remember having nothing set in stone for me to do each day during my time off, and I STILL felt like I didn't have enough hours in a day, and I was still very greedy and protective of my time overall.

That said, in theory, it does seem like 3-6 mos of work would be enough balance. If I had 6 mos off, would I still feel averse to working? If I had 9 mos off, would I still dread it? If I worked 1 year on and 1 year off would that feel better? I really don't know. During my time off I entered a completely different state of mind that I cannot enter while I'm working.

One other interesting experience I had when I took time off last year was that I had stocked up on what I considered to be retirement supplies before pulling the plug with work. I then proceeded to have ZERO interest in these things I had bought, i.e. video games, books, plans for adventures, plans for what I'd do on my first day/week/month with no work, etc when I was actually not working. They were a fantasy I had concocted while working, that did not apply in the mental state I entered when I stopped working. So now I realize that I just wont know how I'll feel about working, when I stop working, and the only way to find out is to...stop working.

When I stopped working I found that what I enjoyed most was spending about half a day learning something or building something, and half a day for nothing, as well as a few days that I called fuck all days, where I had absolutely no plan and no goals. If I went too far in either direction, i.e. i became too focused on productivity or enrichment, or I became a couch bound lazy ass, I started to get depressed.

Anyways, all this points me in the direction that I should indeed start taking time off now to see what will actually float my boat when I really am completely FI. Maybe I should try alternating amounts of time off. 1 year off, 1 year of work, 3 mos of work, 9 mos off, etc.

It may well end up that I will be very unhappy working at all haha, it's impossible to say until I take enough time off to see if the drive to work comes back to me. In that case, I could go back to hardcore accumulation mode and finish it up in a few years. But, if I do have a desire to continue working in "retirement," then I definitely want to avoid the overkill accumulation scenario. It seems inefficient to accumulate past 1 million, which is what I'd be on track for if I continue to want to work during retirement according to my currently theorized plans.

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