SustainableHappiness Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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distracted_at_work
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by distracted_at_work » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:40 pm

I too battle the productivity dragon. Few things have the power to cause such anxiety and dread like an unproductive weekend. I'm really glad to read you are winning the fight. What would you say has caused the shift in attitude?

Our of curiosity, what video games?

(....My productivity dragon most often battles with my video game escapism addiction.)

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm

Hmmm...I don't know if it isolates to 1 thing, but its a combination of, redefining my definition of productivity, eg. 1 hour of playing with my son is still productive, 1 hour of reading is still productive, in that vein 1 hour of video games sometimes is still productive. This has been spurred by the fact I am no longer working full time or studying at school (which equated productivity to work completed). Studying some Eastern philosophy, Tao te ching, The Tao of Pooh, The Te of Piglet, anything by Thich Nhat Hanh. Having a child...You don't realize how "little" you can do in a day and still feel like your day was completely full. Typically our accomplishments are akin to, "walked to get groceries, no one died today".

Typically I am a strategy guy, RTS (Dawn of War, Starcraft, Age of XXXXX) or turn-based (Civilization, Heroes of Might and Magic) on PC anyways. For console I do anything, but really like RPGs (Final Fantasy). However, the days of spending 50 hours playing through one are probably over.

For now, I am sticking to PuzzleQuest 2, it is simple, and I can play it for 1 hour on a Saturday morning, get my fill, be done and go on with life.

Video games are awesome. But there is no denying that they are created to stimulate you just the right amount and therefore tend to move towards addiction. I've been limiting myself to playing board games with friends lately (past 3 months) for my "gaming" fix (except the occasional PuzzleQuest as mentioned!). This means I get to be social and I actually find it a way better experience/feeling afterwards.

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Bankai
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by Bankai » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:06 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:34 pm
...Civilization... Heroes of Might and Magic... spending 50 hours playing through one...
Did you mean 500 hours?

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:07 am

@Bankai, Truth.

7th Week Off
- Signed Baby SH up for swim lessons…sweet
- Workouts went well
- Helped gather and move around wood supplies for in-laws for Winter
- Worked for my old employer for 1 day this week as they needed some help…no pay, but got a free lunch and happy feelings for helping out. Will be helping out again at least 1 day next week for lunch
- Taught class
- Didn’t move any other side hustles forward
- Still reading Plato’s Thaetetus for challenge and The Map of Stars for fun

Most Interesting Thing
Experienced a weird emotion about this forum in that I wrote something, realized it could be mean and then removed it. This doesn’t sound weird, but it signaled to me the importance I place on the forum as a spot for social interaction since the emotion of not wanting to harm either my own reputation as well as others feelings was so high. My guess this is likely because my level of social interaction has declined by about 8 hours a day since leaving work. I had no idea that becoming more emotionally involved in an online forum might be a consequence of that. It worries me, but I think with some habit tweaking I can reel it in. It also shows I need to join some sort of club, or organization where I can talk to people on a regular weekly basis if I was to fully RE.

suomalainen
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:55 am

House selling update?

Been following this with interest, particularly the emotional side of it / how your risk tolerance changes with the baby / how your risk-adjusted view of things changes / etc and what you end up deciding to do when the paternity leave ends. I have an opportunty to go back to a higher-paying/more demanding job and I have had the thought to take months off in between jobs. Not sure if that would be energizing for the new job or demoralizing (wage slave -> free -> wage slave). As I've been thinking about this opportunity, came across this gem that accurately describes me too!
SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:25 am
This feels solid and good decision making, however I have been told that I am "like a fart in a windstorm", so we'll see where the wind blows next.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:28 pm

8th Week Off
@suomalainen, glad this is of interest and useful, it helps in my journal online vs offline internal debate. 2 months off has been a very interesting and fulfilling experience in understanding the lifestyle my family and I are aiming for. It’s also helped me understand I have no fear of getting bored, I have no issues finding more income (in the current business climate), social repercussions are limited with my current, “scaling back hours to take time off with family” narrative.

- Sold our T.V. last night to a friend that was over for $20…been thinking about doing this for a while and we were a bit drunk and the topic came up and BOOM. We haven’t watched a full show/movie since our baby was born and only about once a week prior to that. It felt like it was time to move on from that old addiction.
- Finished The Map of Time book. It was entertaining, however decidedly mediocre overall, with some cool ideas/storytelling
- Worked out to schedule, gained 8lbs since ending work based on new exercise and eating program. Typical training day involves, Bike ride, run or walk to gym with DW and baby, 4 mins of 10s-20s rowing sprints for warm-up, 3 sets of power clean and press 1 dumbbell each side, 3 sets of 1 legged squats, 3 sets of wide grip pull-ups, 3 sets of dips, 3km wind sprints or bike as fast as possible home.
- Got a new phone from work
- Found out I’ll be getting a new car through work soon even though I am off (sweet)
- College strike in Ontario is over, so I am back to work for both classes. Students were piiiiissed this week. I was also slightly upset since I was still getting paid for not doing work as I was not part of the union (sweet)
- Booked flights using aeroplan travel hack miles for Florida hot weather time in 2018 (sweet)

Real Estate Update
- We’re going to make excessive amounts of money on top of my conservative model that I built 3 years ago forecasting ~$50-60K capital gains after expenses…This makes me and DW happy. However, as they say, it ain’t over till it’s over. i.e. the houses are sold.
- Severance finalized last $2k in expenses paid to professional services, surveys deposited
- First duplex goes up for sale Monday at a higher price than I would’ve calculated using a viable capitalization rate for the area (5-7%), however the realtor (a family member) was correct in saying that we had nothing to lose since we are in no rush to sell
- 1 tenant has given 60 days’ notice after being told it was going up for sale since they have children and need security in where they are living…Understandable, but unfortunate since it might go empty for a month or two if it doesn’t sale right away
- Second house will wait a bit since the tenant is sick and I don’t want to put them through that stress right now, plus I feel like it would add more work than desired to have two houses up at the same time right now
- Excited to pull out of this investment at a peak and leave real estate behind for a while

Most Interesting Thing
Discovered a family of 3 older people was living in the woods beside our house while out for a little hike. I asked our 74 year old landlord if he knew anything about that and he proceeded to call the cops on them and their tent got slashed by a bylaw officer. I was torn, because on one hand I don’t care if someone lives in the woods and I feel like their lives just got ruined a little more than they already were, on the other they had strewn garbage everywhere which was really shitty.

Key takeaway: if we ever live in the woods, don’t throw garbage everywhere.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:57 am

December 3rd Update
8.3% SWR
12.02 Numbers of Years in Hopper
25 Ultimate FI Goal
0.35 Years accumulated per month on average
0.04 Years accumulated this month

Very, very spendy month on both mandatory and discretionary expense fronts. However still managed to grow net worth by just over a thousand bucks, despite our significantly reduced incomes…This is very promising again!

Crazy Mandatory Expenses
- $1600 emergent plumbing to replace on galvanized steel piping in the basement of one unit with copper…this same house went up for sale this week…shit timing. Fortunately when we bought the houses we had thought this would need to be done 2 years ago, so we were mentally prepared.
- $1700 to lawyer and surveyor for final severance expenses

Crazy Discretionary Expenses
- $300 in Christmas gifting…Content with about $150-200 of this spending (mainly RESP contributions or gifts for 6 nieces and nephews), however the other half I view as undesirable and silly gift-giving practice for people who neither want or need whatever we are giving them…hopefully this is changed next year (typically a multi-year process to work on changing established traditions without emotional trauma to participants)

Without the first two expenses, we would have upped net worth by most than $4K this month, with a non-passive income of only $2.9K. !!!

Most Interesting Idea
With 3 months of financial performance while only working ~10 hours per week and generally really enjoying this experiment called Life. DW and I are seriously considering trying a more alternative lifestyle instead of going back to me working 9 to 5 after parental leave. This was the thought process and outcome.

SH Ideal
- A good financial decision (i.e. inexpensive with low depreciation and cash outflow)
- Build a stronger community connection with neighbours
- Income generate about 10 hours per week, either as just teaching, or a hunter-gatherer mode of income generation and have at home flexibility where possible
- Continue all positive habits we have (eating well, exercise, outdoors, blablabla)
- Make 2nd baby within a year

Mrs. SH Ideal
- SH be home with babies and Mrs. SH until they go to school if possible
- Live beside a lake
- Stay near family and friends
- Start business as a Doula (labour coach)/RN, for scalable business
- Make 2nd baby within a year

We been perusing different options and have settled on becoming Junior Snowbirds until the kids hit school age (4 years from now)! No one will understand what we’re doing, but it’s going to be awesome. Hopefully it looks something like this.

- SH stops full time work with the aim of remote or contract work making >$10K per year (easy)
- Mrs. SH starts business
- By park model trailer in Canadian park in our current area for ~50-60K cash with full access to swimmable lake with free kayaking, canoeing, etc. + trails, forests, etc.
- Live in park for ~9 months of year
- Figure out what to do during 3 winter months when park shuts down (either move to a Florida park near grandparents or some other alternative)
- Expenses estimated to drop by roughly $400-500 per month

This idea blew our mind when we realized we have the means and mindset to accomplish it…We are keeping it under wraps from friends and family until we are actually going to pull the trigger, as there is a real chance it won’t happen. However, taking a break from work for 5 years to raise our kids seems like a really good decision, then when they are in school for 7 hours a day we can just focus on making some more money then. In the meantime we’ll probably be sitting at a sub-7% SWR which I view as acceptable to pull the plug on with the intent to work a little still.

Who knows, maybe the market will keep kicking ass and we’ll hit 4% without even trying. Either way, in our plan our SWR doesn’t even affect us.

Whew…long entry. Keep on rockin’.

suomalainen
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:15 pm

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:57 am

Most Interesting Idea
With 3 months of financial performance while only working ~10 hours per week and generally really enjoying this experiment called Life. DW and I are seriously considering trying a more alternative lifestyle instead of going back to me working 9 to 5 after parental leave. This was the thought process and outcome... No one will understand what we’re doing, but it’s going to be awesome... This idea blew our mind when we realized we have the means and mindset to accomplish it.
This is awesome! Good luck! This is the primary reason I come to this forum - to see examples of people who have the courage, skill and motivation to break the mold and live an atypical life. Most people in the real world shit on the idea of doing it differently. This place is a respite from that.

classical_Liberal
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:21 pm

Yes! Great idea for you two and the kid(s)!

I don't how how burnt your wive is with nursing, but in the US getting an "as needed" aka "PRN" job with a hospital is pretty easy. It's just like substitute teaching, if they have needs they let you know and you can pick up or decline shifts per your whims. It's a great part-time gig as in the US two 12 hours pickups a month can cover the full cost of rent on an apartment (wages pretty stable based on COL in geographic area). Having that as a back-up to her business would make your plan even more robust.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:47 pm

10th Week Off
@suomalainen and classical_liberal, thanks for the kind words. As you'll see below a positive development this week may have already shifted the breeze for this fart. As for the RN burnout, my wife literally cringes when she thinks about going back to work at a hospital now... However, she is considering seasonal flu shot clinics, casual doctors offices, casual retirement home-esque jobs in a similar vein to what you've described.

This week exemplified the apocryphal Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”. The past 3 months have been wonderful doing very little and essentially having an existence lacking flare. Then along comes Week 10… This was Tuesday:

- Engaged in and evaluated a highly energetic series of roleplays for a Sales course for 3 hours with no breaks pretending to be an aggressive asshole in the Buyer role (this is more energy intensive than it sounds)

- Then received first phone call of day -> turns out the hot water heater was the issue, not the galvanized pipes. Dollar Cost - $1000, Emotional Cost - Anger at Plumber for misdiagnosing and replacing half the pipe anyways

- 5 minutes later received second phone call of the day -> We received not 1, but 2 offers for our house. Due to the competing offers, one of them actually came in over our asking price. To put this into perspective I’ll provide a few numbers. We paid $290K for both houses 3 years ago. We just sold (as long as conditions clear) 1 of the 2 houses for $272K. At a conservative valuation of the second house at $240K this means $222K (ex. realtor 4%, legal fees and capital gains tax) of profit….!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dollar Value – Upwards of 150K net worth increase, Emotional Cost – on verge of shitting pants

- 10 minutes later had to move quickly to a meeting I’ve been trying to get for a month with a Chair of Business at the school I teach at. Meeting goes exceptionally well, presumably because I am firing on all cylinders at this point. Chair tells me they potentially want me to teach more (9 to 12 hours per week), which is like best case scenario because I could pull in like $40K with these hours and basically do what I am doing now (i.e. lots of time at home and a little work I enjoy) indefinitely, with some savings and great pension…!!!!! Dollar value - ??? Emotional Cost – Need new pants

- 15 minutes after that, realize that 10 month trailer park and snowbirding dream is unrealistic if I want to be within walking/biking commuting distance of the school. Emotional Cost – “Fuck, I am a fart in a windstorm”

- Rest of Day – Meet realtor, counter offer with different conditions same price, get offer, realize that we’ve likely just surpassed our FU money goal and selling the next house will solidify that and shoves us towards FI territory, laugh, cry.

That was Tuesday. I realized at the end of Wednesday, that Wednesday (and almost every day for the past 3 months) although much more mundane, was a better day than Tuesday because it revolved around my wife, my son and whether or not I did a workout that day. I also got indigestion Tuesday night and didn’t sleep well.

May you live in UNinteresting times.

Edit - I also realized it exemplified #firstworldproblems.

CS
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by CS » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:09 pm

Congrats on your investment paying off. Now what to do... snowbird, or work?

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

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:03 pm

Congrats on the real estate!!

Back in the day, I worked in montages and fancied myself a bit of a local real estate expert (Minneapolis, MN market). I'm no longer in the area, but have family & friends there. Hence, I still get an earful regarding everyone and their brothers real estate deals; which then forces me to look at listings to get an idea of whats going on. It's a totally new market in that area, certain properties (condo's/townhouses/multi-units), in specific areas ("good" urban neighborhoods and third tier suburbs) are well above the 2007 peak! Whereas single family houses from the 50's-80's in 1st and some second tier suburbs seem to be pretty flat, maybe 10-20% below 2007 peak. There are, of course, outliers, but its interesting where the demand currently sits.

Re the teaching... Congrats again, but this doesn't surprise me at all. Competent, educated, and relatively social individuals (yes, its a compliment!) will see this type of serendipity in early retirement if they stay attuned to their interests. A 4% unemployment rate and a shift towards "gig" jobs simply multiplies the frequency of such opportunities. At least this is my theory, one you are anecdotally proving for me :D ... Thanks!

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:39 am

11th Week Off

@CS, Hmm… if the decision was just snowbirding or work it’d be easy. Snowbirding. However with the new option of permanent semi-retirement in a part-time job I currently enjoy, it makes the decision a lot tougher…Actually it wasn’t that tough, DW and I have talked about it over the past week and a half and it’s clear that the part-time work is a simpler path from a day to day basis. We’ve had success in the past via simplifying our lives so we are going to go with the simpler option for the time being. The downer of this decision is that upon hitting school age, our children will become a bigger anchor to a single location unless we decide to try home schooling.

@C_L, funny in this forum “gig” jobs are valued, in conversations with relatives “gig” employment is frowned up. I guess it depends on who’s expecting loyalty from who.

- Purchased 2 25lb weights of kijiji, I was doing more and more work-outs at home as the weather has grown more and more snowy, I’ve become more skilled at workout methods and the baby has become more useful at acting as a work-out partner…i.e. he is less fragile and more giggly. If the next month goes well, I am going to kill our gym membership ($20 a month for DW and I)

- Deal firmed up for the house, $10K taken off price due to galvanized plumbing, knob and tube electrical and a few other maintenance issues…no big deal, this work would have cost us more than $10K and we still laugh when considering the purchase price

- Christmas parties and gatherings begin this week! Went to a going away party of old colleagues for a friend who is moving out West. Great time seeing everyone although I only stayed for a few hours till about 10:30 as I have begun to value sleep over many other experiences since the baby came and it was a long drive home

- DWs employment questions may solve themselves via networking. She reached out to the school I work at asking about nursing program practicum aides/teachers almost a year ago and they finally reached out to her about opps that may be becoming available, would be a great and flexible very part-time job

- Had to return Plato to the library after renewing twice, about half-done Parminedes, but decided I wanted a break so left it at the library and got out some kick ass time travel fiction. It had been so long since I read fun fiction that I read the first book “All Our Wrong Todays” in 3 days…worth it, will get Plato back out in the New Year

Solid week.

SustainableHappiness
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Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:41 am

Oh and learned something new about real estate. If you attempt to give the other party cash via cheque as a method of reducing the purchase price while unlocking some cash at the get go, the lawyer is legally obligated to tell the bank this and they will reduce your mtg amount by the corresponding amount...I know this because we (and the buyer) almost tried to do something illegal until we were told, no no no no.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:03 am

Week 16 of the Semi-FIRE Experiment

Net Worth Numbers Update:
I won’t be updating this again until the second house sells. 2nd house just got listed this week and we’re going to Florida for a sunny trip away from -20 degree weather for a couple weeks. This also gives us a bargaining position where we won’t accept offers until after 2 week’s worth of showings, theoretically generating multiple competing offers upon our return. Returns are looking even higher than expectations from my last post, as we have listed the second house for once again higher than my conservative estimate. We will probably land between a 5-6% withdrawal rate.

We are semi-FIREd! With the same amount of work we did in the past 4 months we can cover our expenses and our money will just continue growing = retirement inevitability. Covering our expenses also means we won’t be invoking the 4% or 3% rule anyways, since we won’t be touching our pile of money at all or very little (hopefully). We are both content with leading a productive life (i.e. continuing to work a bit) as long as we enjoy what we are doing with our time and so far 10-15 hours of work a week is my sweet spot, so that’s what I’ll aim for. DW will start up her business and run with it. More resilience is built in by the fact we are willing to go back to work in a more full time role if needed once all kids are school age and since we’ll be keeping skills relevant with a side hustle or two, the job market isn’t scary.

Baby Stuff
Holy crap, our baby is 5 months old! This means:
- 2 swim lessons (kinda interesting being the only dad in the pool)
- 6 teeth (wtf???)
- Rolls both sides back to front, front to back, trying desperately to crawl, wants to move so bad
- Laughs and chuckles sooooo good and gets more and more fun to play with
- We are talking about another baby sometime in the near future

Work
- Not working at all yet this semester, took teaching off to go to Florida for a couple weeks and to participate in a 10 day vipassana retreat
- Not working at all is as big of an adjustment as moving from 40 hrs to 10 hrs per week was, I’ve felt the urge to go to an office for the first time since being off (this idea was quickly squashed by going for a 1 hour walk at 10 am)
- Potentially going to sign on as a digital marketing contractor for 10 hours a week in the next month or two, give that a go as long as they’ll have me and see if I can learn some more location independent skills

Fitness
- Crash and burn
- After 2 weeks one 3 different beds with less activity then normal (more sitting) and a couple bursts of activity with my nieces and nephew I threw out my back for the second time in my life over the Christmas holidays…soooo brutal
- Learned that my SI Joint (connects back to hip) on my one side is basically frozen and that why I’ve had a bulge in my back on the one side for a few years now (never caused much pain so I didn’t care) and why getting my back and core stronger may be counter intuitively making the problem worse
- Going to physio twice a week and doing the prescribed exercises has helped a lot, my mobility is back and I don’t hobble, however I know the underlying problem will take a while to fix (will miss work benefits when my parental leave ends!)
- Being broken sucks, especially when our lives revolve around activity
- Did my first work out in a month a couple days ago and its always amazing (depressing) to me how fast muscle is lost and strength drops…

Misc.
- Being broken has made me read a lot, Immortal Architects (cool), John Dies at the End (f-ing hilarious), This Book has Spiders in it (f-ing hilarious), The Interminables (cool), The first 11 Lives of Henry August (really interesting and cool)…All this fiction has been really great
- We are moving towards the idea of changing apartments (currently in a basement apt with no yard) to a townhouse with a yard (no other tenants). This is both a kids based and personal happiness based decision (DW is really pushing for it). It’ll likely raise our rent a couple thousand $ a year, which I am not excited about, but it seems like a good life decision until something proves us wrong

This Month’s Big Idea
Although I knew this intuitively, this month really threw the fact that financial independence only solves a set of life issues into my face. Health is not guaranteed with FI, relationships are not grown through FI, the question of where to spend your time is not solved through FI. I am also confident in saying DW and I have moved into a stage of personal finances where the number is background to the lifestyle we desire. FI is now so much a habit (plus we are good at making money) the next question is, ok, now how about the rest of life?!

suomalainen
Posts: 300
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by suomalainen » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:55 am

SustainableHappiness wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:03 am
This Month’s Big Idea
Although I knew this intuitively, this month really threw the fact that financial independence only solves a set of life issues into my face. Health is not guaranteed with FI, relationships are not grown through FI, the question of where to spend your time is not solved through FI. I am also confident in saying DW and I have moved into a stage of personal finances where the number is background to the lifestyle we desire. FI is now so much a habit (plus we are good at making money) the next question is, ok, now how about the rest of life?!
Amen to this. Personally, I have found that once you get to three kids (mmmmmmaybe two), “the rest of life” gets swallowed by the kids. They just chew up time, money and energy. Some days it’s wonderful and some days it sucks ass. I was reminded of this yesterday at a town-hall style meeting at work where one of the business leads said he was a recent empty-nester (in August) and he and his wife really enjoyed the time to “reconnect and rekindle” and “to learn a few things about myself”. He then said that the kids were back home for the holidays and when they left, he was way more exhausted than at any prior holiday season! When you’re in the thick of it, you sometimes don’t notice the energy requirement because you habituate and it becomes “what’s normal”.

Anyway, best of luck in filling out your cornucopia of life! You seem to have a great start with a lot of options ahead of you!

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:33 am

Thanks suomalainen! We're are still planning on having 2+ children, and hoping that our existing positive financial situation will help with the child-related sucky moments (i.e. we hopefully will only have a few mental burdens at a time to worry about).

Already with only 1 baby, I already understand how much time becoming an empty-nester would free up. For some people I could see it truly f-ing up their mental health if approached pessimistically (or unproductively? I don't know the right word).

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:34 am

Week 19 of The Millenial Downshift

I have decided if I begin a real life blog someday for shits and giggles because I enjoy writing it’ll be called, “The Millenial Downshift”.

5.9% SWR
16.86 Numbers of Years in Hopper
25 Ultimate FI Goal
0.56 Years accumulated per month on average
4.85 Years accumulated this month

As the numbers show, finally completing the severance and selling off one of the houses confirming it’s book value has dramatically increased our savings. This is also taking into account a conservative estimate on the value of the second house which is up for sale now as well. My hope/guess is we can squeeze another year or two of savings out of the sale, although the tax man will be taking a year or two back come 2019 (damn!).

Since we are and will be sitting on loads of cash from these sales, I put 90% of the proceeds from the first house into our respective tax sheltered accounts after the recent 10% correction, felt like a good time to buy in for the long haul and almost maxed out our account limits for the year. Hopefully this was not a mistake, but since they are locked in, I will not worry about it now that the action is done. This also means we will get a large income tax break this year as our final year with lots of income…However next years capital gains as mentioned above are going to be brutal, but luckily they are only taxed at half the rate and we will be making significantly less income than this year anyways.

Other financial
- Potential small private lending agreement came up, however loans are taxed at a full income rate which sucks…will see what happens and what rate we’ll set if this does come up

Sunny Vacation
- Went to Florida for 2 weeks to visit some of my wife`s family. So kick ass, it confirms that we want to go to hot places during the winter months next year as well…plans are forming to have a longer stay next year already
- Warmth and sun made it amazingly easy to go outside with our baby, right now in -20 Celsius it requires about 20 minutes of prep to get him and us bundled up enough to go for a walk and another 10-15 to unprep…not very fun
- Saw a crap load of alligators, so cool
- Hung out with all retirees and it was fun to see how busy people could be without jobs, gardening, pickle ball, tennis, shuffle board, bingo (which I hated), ice cream socials, etc. etc.

Future Semi-ERE
- Taking on a contract for 10 hours a week in digital marketing, fully remote, pay-cut, but not a big deal…excited to see how this opportunity works out, 10 hours a week would be perfect!
- Continuing to network to secure more teaching gigs, discovered the college I work for may be running a new Sales program, would be cool to get on the ground floor of the project
- DW has begun her training for her new business. She is very excited and consequently anxious about the opportunity, but she is going to be great!

The Big Idea
We are doing well. That is this month’s big idea. We are moving towards things we enjoy and freeing up a lot of time to spend with our current and future children. Since our son’s been born and we’ve moved into the Semi-ERE mindset our lives have changed very radically and we are still sitting in comfortable territory financially with a lot of wiggle room to F up before our income level is any concern.

Keep on rockin’.

SustainableHappiness
Posts: 176
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:39 pm

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by SustainableHappiness » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:00 am

Week 21 of the Downshift

Real Estate
2nd property still up for sale, not moving like the first one as the Canadian RE market has slowed down overall with interest rate shifts and new downpayment laws. Can you believe the gov't actually wants people to SAVE some money before buying a house now??

Not stressed, but I would like that whack of cash in my bank account instead of in a 70 year old house.

Hustlin'
10 hours per week digital marketing confirmed.

More hours of teaching have also opened up, however I am not moving into a situation where I'll be around a 35 work week which seems kinda dumb, however of that 35 hours, only ~15 will require me to be physically located somewhere and at a certain time, the rest I can do whenever, wherever. I think this Summer will be a good test of whether or not this is enjoyable and conducive to low-stress and family time.

Both jobs are a high level of independence and feed into each other where when I get experience and knowledge from one it'll help me be better at the other. I will also be making significantly more money than anticipated and be growing savings substantially, especially since the teaching gig is public sector and therefore has a ridiculous dollar for dollar matching defined benefit pension.

The Big Idea
Looks like this Semi-ER/Downshift experiment might just turn into a Try a New Career experiment. Oddly even though my hours of work is inching back up towards 40 hours, neither my wife or I are sad about it right now since there is so much flexibility built in and I actually enjoy teaching (TBD on the marketing). Will need to re-evaluate if this Summer is too much work and pull back on hours if it is. It's only 4 month contracts so can always change it up in September.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: SustainableHappiness Journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:13 am

It's awesome to see another anecdote of the semi-RE working so well. After getting relaxed, scratching their itches, people seem to find good flow with more enjoyable work. You seem to have found it very quickly! Very happy for you and the family.

I'm just finishing up from a month on the road from south (Gulfport/Biloxi) all the way to southwest (Tucson). Having the better weather is a huge bonus after being stuck in horrible Midwestern winter. I can see why people snow bird, my mood is significantly brightened. A month or so in Florida every year sounds like a great plan!

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