Reading through my entries to date, my thought process has very much been a cluster f**k. I’ve been taking many of the correct actions, but I have been running away from my current life, rather than running towards a defined goal. The good news is that much of this has been clarified in recent months. The bad news is that a defined timeline has not been set. I have been holding off writing, hoping to declare some specific’s to hold myself accountable. Recent events have taught me these specifics will likely not fully materialize. I’m very much going to fly by the seat of my pants. That OK though, such things are the spice of life!
What I know:
This journal is relabeled classical_Liberals Semi-ERE. I want to document how a late comer to ERE can save enough FU funds in short order to fly-by the seat of his pants in a more enjoyable life without having to waste too many remaining healthy years to reach full FI.
I have fallen in love with my GF
My greatest financial fear (which is directly related to my experience in the medical field) is growing old to a point where body or mind can no longer provide what I need to survive in relative freedom. I now have sufficient assets to ensure that never happens.
My current work assignment is tolerable. I find it a mix of boring, annoying, but occasionally rewarding and challenging. This is far superior to my last couple of assignments and really is as much as one can ask for in nonself-directed paid employment.
My GF was surprised to find out she will likely not be extended in her current contract due to a management shakeup. This means we may have to live in separate cities again, not ideal as we had planned to move in together this summer.
My contact at acceptable hospital/job is currently through end of August and could be renewed as long as March 2019.
GF is younger and does not have substantial savings, but enjoys her work very much. She has shown an amazing proclivity towards changing her financial habits over the past six months. Frankly, she’s shown me up in many aspects of ERE.
Will GF remain OK with my semi-ERE while she works her ass off to catch up? (see plan below) As of now she’s “super sure” she’s OK with it. As months go by with me having a more laid back lifestyle I fear there may be tension.
The (flexible, known unknowns, not sure how it will play out) Semi ERE Plan:
An agreement has been reached in which we will remain in the Midwest for as long as I can extend my current contract. After which I will begin my Semi-ERE and the GF will begin her road to financial security by accepting high paid contracts across the US. We will migrate 3-6 mos at each location. The locations will be her call, based on pay, job desirability, and location desirability.
Initially, I will likely take 6 mos of decompression time, take some shorter roads trips around our location(s) and explore. I will also attempt to move our household up a wheaton level
(from 4/5 to 5/6). We have become rather avid hikers and enjoy outdoors, Ill scope out some wicked W/E day hikes for us, scout out potential “home base” areas for future phases of plan, etc. After decompression I will cover my expenses through combinations of occasional travel nurse contracts or local PRN positions (currently not my favorite, but will reevaluate after a break), gaining ground on ERE Wheaton level, and other interesting wage-jobs or business opportunities as desires/serendipity unfolds.
I know, I know. Very nonspecific income generation ideas, but this is how I want it... Freedom to choose. Feel free to criticize. However, I can easily cover all expenses with ½ time $15/hr job or about 3-400 hours of nursing per year. I have had work experience in a variety of fields, I’m very confident I have the ability to fund my expenses with intermittent enjoyable wage work in the near term.
We intend to take a two year international slow travel sabbatical. This is the main motivator for my GF to become financially secure and it’s also something I have always wanted to do. I currently have funds for this, GF is likely 2-4 years of Phase I away. She needs to stamp out some minor student loan debt, save enough for old age nest egg, then stash for this sabbatical.
We are both very aware, after reading much on the subject, wanderlust tends to wain after a couple of years. If this occurs, we will move to Phase III. If this lifestyle remains very appealing, we will likely return to US earn additional funds at breakneck speed to allow for a long term ERE slow travel lifestyle.
Time to find a “home base”, where we can settle into a more relaxed Semi-ERE lifestyle. Each of us have high paying, recession resistant, high demand for the foreseeable future, medical experience. This can easily be parlayed into part time positions, working 1-2 days a week to cover all expenses while we allow previously saved assets move us to the realm of complete FI. Maybe we’ll do something completely different for income, or maybe our ERE Wheaton level momentum will move us to total FI.
Financials: How is this going to work?
12 month rolling spend rate is now down to $1320 mo. This excludes a one-time, large charitable donation and is also reflective of GF and I maintaining separate households. I anticipate a $200-$300 a month drop once we combine household, but this will likely be partially offset by ACA premiums for my ongoing health insurance. In any event, I don’t like using fake, “what if” numbers, so for now all calculations are based on annual spend of 16K.
I’ve broken my assets into two buckets, both mentally and with tax advantaged accounts. Both will continue to grow for as long as I work at my current location.
Bucket one is my pre-60 semi ERE bucket: Currently at about 5.5 years of expenses. This is my buffer- bucket. I will fund 6 mo decompression and two year slow travel sabbatical from here.
Pretty Pie Chart showing it’s stable value allocation.
Bucket two is my post 60 FI or traditional retirement bucket: Currently at about 7.4 year’s expenses.
Same pretty pie showing the growth allocation of this fund.
I’m adding about 3K per month of income to the pre-60 buffer, and about 2.5K to the post-60 retirement. Quit date still unknown.
I have some breaks points set in the 60+ bucket in case it hasn’t reached certain growth levels at certain ages. I may need to top it off. Again, I’m OK with that as this is Semi-ERE. My assumptions are 4% real annual over 20 years, fairly conservative, but probably not enough for many on here. I’m Ok with that. At current levels this means 16 yrs expenses at 62. 20 years expenses at 67 if I have been lucky enough to stay active and earn my keep until that point. It also assumes complete draw down of my buffer bucket.
Other things going for me at traditional retirement age:
At 67, without additional earned income, I’m eligible for $2000 in SS benefit. Even at 50% payout, with a 25% spending increase for medical, this brings a WR at at 67 to under 3%.
Odds of a high five to low six figure inherence is very high (not going to discuss specifics), but not calculated.
High probability of adding at one more year of expenses to both buckets before execution.
This allows me to sleep at night, I feel debt to future me is paid. Let the Semi-ERE experiment begin!
GF and I went on an extended weekend road trip to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Cost of trip was $80 in gas, $7 for a campsite one night (winter rates still applied), plus food, but we would have had to eat anyway.
Free entrance to park with $80 annual national parks pass, free camping second & third night on nearby national grass land (the free site was much better!)
This park is loaded with wildlife. A few pics from the Day hikes:
Bison are all over this park. Some are very curious and will actually walk towards you in isolated trail areas. This can be a bit disconcerting given their size! We had three of them essentially following use for awhile. They kept their distance at about 20 feet and got skiddish when we stopped and turned towards them. They are shedding their winter coats, this guy totally ignored us.
Wild horses are a bit harder to find and much more jumpy, we had to sneak up on these guys very, very, quietly
Badlands landscape is beautiful and makes for great hikes.
Special thanks to @2B1S for continuing to shame me into making posts on this journal!