Gus' road to retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Wed Mar 13, 2019 3:41 pm

In the spirit of photo posting, I am currently working at the beach. Behold:
Image

Not a whole lot to report at the moment. I did my taxes, and I can honestly say I am feeling very pro Trump right now, that 20% automatic deduction was really convenient. I have just enough money leftover to buy a van office that I had anticipated paying to the IRS. I've been spending too much on cool books and knick knacks lately, I bought a 3d printer! My wife is teasing about how I'm buying random stuff. But after my best friend died, I'm feeling a lot more urgency on the live for today side of things. I would be really pissed off if I accumulated all this money and died before I could enjoy it. So I'm kind of thinking I'll take that tax windfall and buy the van. But first I'm going to make sure the IRS actually accepts all the deductions my accountant says I can get, I got screwed by that once when the IRS disputed some of it.

Mostly I guess I'm just reevaluating life. My buddy's death has been a huge wake up call. I am having a very hard time motivating myself to do things I don't want to do. Things like not spending on frivolous purchases are also less appealing to me. Don't get me wrong, I shouldn't drop below a 50% savings rate, but I don't care if it's 50% instead of 60% if I'm getting some goodies I've been delaying gratification on for years. Like that van office and the 3d printer. Those have been on my bucket list for years, I've just resisted the impulse. I had never planned for anyone to die before 50. Now I see that that is entirely possible and I could be next, so I'm seeking some balance between delayed gratification and enjoying the hell out of life.

SavingWithBabies
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Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:45 pm

Did you pick up a filament or resin one? And have you downloaded Fusion 360 or do you use something else? It's a really fun rabbit hole!

classical_Liberal
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:53 pm

SoCal may be expensive, but I just had to drive 2000 miles to see anything similar to your "office environment". FML :roll:

Edit to add: You still have that unused third bedroom :?: :P

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:58 pm

@SWB: It's still waiting to be unboxed :( Soon! I have been trying to figure out what to print first though. My daughter wants a unicorn, and I want a Han Solo in Carbonite. Wife still thinks I'm ridiculous. Filament, monoprice entry level printer, $189.

@CL: You may get impaled on unicorns if you try to live in my house, fair warning. Just wait until I get my van office dude! I am SO STOKED. It's super cramped to work in a car, but necessary for conference calls and power source, protip: waves are loud. I'm thinking I'll pick up a solar power "generator" off amazon to avoid having to run the engine to power my measly laptop. Bonus, surfboard fits inside the van so I don't need to worry about some jackass stealing it (apparently that is a thing).

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:44 pm

I ate too much ice cream tonight because of your post in the Getting Old Sucks thread. Went for a 45 minute swim at the Y. Then remembered your post and pulled into a Stewart Shoppes. Mint Cookie Crush and French Vanilla were on sale. I ate 3 bowls of ice cream.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:01 am

I am experiencing regret.

prognastat
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:19 am

I'm right there with you, we had a pot luck yesterday and I decided to go off keto and indulge in all the carbs. Ate bout 3 plates of pizza, cake, pie, donuts and more. It was great in the moment, but it didn't take long for both regret and also feeling terrible(tired and sore) set in. At least I guess it's a reminder of why you shouldn't be doing it regularly.

SavingWithBabies
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Location: Midwest, USA

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:45 pm

@Augustus Thingiverse is tons of fun. So many things. Best part is realizing some random odd need and finding someone already did the work to make it or something similar. I'm now on my second printer -- still have the first filament one and am going to keep it but my quest for printing really small things lead me to the resin-based printers so I've had one of those for a month (included in last months budget but my wife wasn't too crazy about my decision to buy another one -- went on sale for $370 or so).

@prognastat If you haven't yet, try Fathead pizza. I waited until last week and finally tried it. Way easier to make than I had realized and really good. I'm going to make it again but try rolling the "crust" really thin to make it more of a cracker crust style. Guilt-free keto pizza that is actually good.

prognastat
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by prognastat » Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:39 pm

I haven't had that particular kind of keto pizza so far. Have had some made with cheese and riced cauliflower that was pretty good, though I assume one made with almond flour would probably turn on more on the crispy side. Only downside is almond flour is so much pricier than regular flour. Though I guess if you compare it to eating out pizza either delivery or at a restaurant it's affordable.

How have you felt about switching to resin based?

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:54 pm

@prognastat Resin has been interesting. I didn't expect the resin to smell so strongly. It is much more of a hassle to work with liquid and it's toxic too of course. For the smell, I ended up spending another $120 or so on an activated charcoal filter, duct fan, duct and motor controller. Apparently, this is the same equipment marijuana growers use! That worked really well -- I put the printer in an enclosure and suck the air through it and vent out the charcoal filter back into the same room. I'm still getting used to working with the liquid. The fine detail is amazing but if I didn't need/want it, I definitely would prefer using a filament printer.

prognastat
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by prognastat » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:03 pm

Has the increase in print fidelity been worth the added hassles you encountered?

What kind of prints has it been most valuable for?

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:35 pm

@prognastat I think so. I'm not 100% sure yet. I want to print N scale things so 1:150 or 1:160 scale. With this resin printer, I can print a 10.5mm tall person and have some detail which is a bit mind blowing to me. It's not super easy because you have supports and such (with it printing upside down hanging down figuring out supports is still tricky for me). So I'm using it to print non-functional models although I do want to try printing some small model train trucks so I can insert some commercial wheel sets and make my own train cars. And similarly print some locomotive shells (the shells clip onto a commercial base that has the electric drive train). So for now I'm tinkering while improving my CAD skills and trying to figure out a way to make this hobby break even in costs.

On the forum/Facebook groups, it seems like most resin printer owners are table top gamers doing miniatures, dentists printing dental things, jewelers printing items to cast and the model railroad/diorama people.

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:58 pm

In a few days I'll be starting my second time off period as my current contract ends. This one feels different than the first period of time off, the first one was all planning and anticipation, most of which came to naught. All those things I had thought I would want to do while working, I did not actually want to do when I was free.

I've gone the opposite route this time, the only ambitious and set planning revolves around a road trip to visit my parents. I'm going to bring my 4 year old along while my wife visits family overseas. There will be camping. I'll be looping through Bryce and Zion canyon on the way. As with all things involving young children it will probably be one part tedious agony and one part thrilling adventure and added excitement since it's kids first exposure to a road tripping, camping, beautiful scenery, etc. I have only one real project on the trip, and that is to view the milky way with my own eyes, which I am sad to say I've never done before. So during my stop over in Bryce Canyon I'll plan to wake up in the middle of the night and sit outside for a bit and ponder the cosmos and my place in it.

I find that I don't really care about my finances all that much anymore, as long as the general trends stay solid. I've been spending a little too much lately, I'll definitely need to curb that while I'm not getting any income. But I'm ahead of my projections for the year, like way ahead. I'm hoping I'll have a burn rate of about 2000/mo while I'm not working, with wife and rentals each contributing 1/3 of the expenses.

I've been surfing A LOT. I bought some surf racks and am going to nix the van idea for now. The surf racks solved the major problem of transporting a surfboard on a freeway safely, I was using tie downs before and it felt like the board was going to fly off which would have been a total fiasco. Surfboards are really good at catching wind, it's like strapping a wing to a car, and doing that with tiny little fabric straps was a harrowing experience, despite manufacturer assurances to the contrary. The new ones have steel straps with a fabric layer around them and are secured to the car with metal mounting brackets and metal bars.

The last time off period I achieved the most enjoyment while reading books, devoting whole days to contemplation. I don't know how long this time off period will last, I've already had to pass on two potential gigs citing vacation and a mismatch of project start dates. Ideally I'd get 3 months off, if it goes past the 2-3 month mark I'll probably go into "oh shit" mode and start aggressively seeking projects. I have a feeling this one will be a short one though, so I need to be careful not to fill it up. I did buy a waterpark pass though, one of my lamentations in my youth was not being able to go on enough waterslides, so there will be several days devoted to a grown ass man riding down waterslides and sitting in a lazy river all day all by his lonesome.

Apps are proving to be annoying right now. Launching the first one was cool, getting some paying customers was cooler, but now I have to support it, which I HATE. Even worse, I'm supporting people who are using it for free. It's good, because it's taught me a lot and highlighted several major bugs in the app and the app foundation that I built. It's bad because it's soul sucking to work for free for people who don't value your time at all. I have one more major stability bug to fix, and after that I'm shutting off the free version. From here on out it's paid only. Overall it was good to do the free version, I'd have felt a lot worse if I had all paying users and then the service went down. When something is free, you get what you pay for, and I don't really care if it went down for free users. What's really funny is that the unpaid users are the most disrespectful. I did lose a paying customer already though, which sucks. Some free version asshat brought down the entire backend API by abusing the crap out of it, and one paying customer cancelled over that. Oh well, it's a good learning experience. I've got to rearchitect the way the backend system works and place more limits on what users can do, which is going to be a lot of work, but when it's done I'll have a really solid foundation from which to build all future apps, and wont have to worry about outages as much. So in a few months, it should just be forward progress again. Going backwards/being stuck in a rut fixing existing functionality is really disheartening, but it has to be done. Eyes on the prize: in a year or two I'll have another solid income stream and even more freedom. If I can get that final 1/3 of expenses taken care of, I'll never have to take another client project again unless I want to.

bigato
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by bigato » Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:18 pm

would mind telling what type of app it is?

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Mon Jul 01, 2019 8:54 pm

@bigato: Generic marketing automation app. Boring by design, I want to be as non mission critical as possible to avoid frantic midnight phone calls.

On a general note:
One more day until freedom!!! I see much surfing and reading of books on my near future. My general plan is to surf 3-4x per week in the morning after dropping kid at school, then setting up on the beach with an umbrella and picnic and books and cold brew tea and coffee and work my way through a couple text books and video courses. One on astronomy, one on how to read and write Egyptian hieroglyphs, the latest Neal Stephenson novel, and a super cool history of Area 51 with a bunch of recently declassified materials and interviews with former employees, the atomic bomb stuff is fascinating, good mental visualizations, it's hard to grasp on a visceral level the power in those. Also on deck are The Girls of Atomic City, a Vanderbilt biography, First Frontier (a neat history of natives and colonists with lots of detail), and some others along with a bunch of old natgeos, and some scifi which I've never gotten around to like The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

It's going to be a great summer!

Choice quote from area 51 book on nuclear tests:
What Leghorn witnessed horrified him. He watched Baker's underwater fireball produce a hollow column, or chimney, of radioactive water six thousand feet tall, two thousand feet wide, and with walls three hundred feet thick.
It's really hard to grok what an atomic bomb is, the power it takes to lift that much water that thick that high is almost incomprehensible to our little brains I think. I don't think the generation at the steering wheel today has any idea how terrible they are, which is frightening. They've fallen off the radar of the 24/7 news cycle.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:38 pm

Enjoy your summer! The reading list sounds like something I would enjoy.

Augustus
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:03 am

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:38 pm
Enjoy your summer! The reading list sounds like something I would enjoy.
You too! Are you funemployed now? Today was my first day of freedom. I felt like it went by waaaay too quickly, which I distinctly remember feeling the first time around as well. There's so much I want to do!

I'll have to put together a list of the reading backlog, it's pretty bitchin if I do say so myself, I went on a book buying binge after friend died. Napoleon, Tecumseh, lots of 1800s us history, Soviet era, general science, tons of first hand Egyptian archeological accounts, Francis Drake, pirates, Magellan, etc. I'd be pissed if I died before I enjoyed some of this money.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:20 am

No, two more months! It's really getting to be a drag, but I do have two weeks off at the end of July. Sept can't come soon enough for me.

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

Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by Augustus » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:22 pm

I've reached a new place in my head that I've never been before. I'm content. Worries, the future, proving myself, have all become "meh." I deal with things as they come, but they don't stress me out anymore. The numbers are on autopilot and have become boring, I've even gotten to the point where I forget the specifics of my money goals, and I have to do some arithmetic to be sure that everything still checks out, and it does. By the end of next year I'll be at the finish line of the marathon I started ~10 years ago wrt to accumulation (1 house to live in + 3 rentals + a little extra in stocks). It feels good that the money has become "just numbers" and is no longer my primary concern, I existed in spreadsheet dreamland for many years, it's internalized, but, and I think this is important, the numbers are just there to assist me, they are not the primary purpose. So I'm glad I've reached that feeling of not really caring about it anymore, other than general trend lines and round number big goals.

I think this may be the happiest moment of my life, which is saying a lot! I'm actually kind of sad to go on my road trip, because I've been enjoying myself so much right here. I've heard the idea thrown around that you should make your life a sort of vacation, instead of dreaming of vacationing for 2 weeks a year, or dreaming of FI, you should be building your life in such a way that you're on a perpetual "vacation." I call it maximizing joy. This is my primary focus now.

This is pretty much how I feel right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2UVsyVLLcE minus the drinking, but there is definitely a sound system and some dancing around the house barely clothed. Each day, I drop my kid off at school, go surfing or some kind of physical activity to get my body nice and relaxed, eat a nice lunch, and then after I've done whichever tasks I want to do to feel productive, I get to my most enjoyable part of the day, which consists of sitting in my easy chair, reading books, watching the clouds pass by, the palm trees blow, and contemplating existence. I hope this never ends.

classical_Liberal
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Re: Gus' road to retirement

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:45 am

Life, for you, sounds magical! Just remember to suck off this tit of contentment for as long as possible. Life will eventually throw a curveball, so don't do anything to shorten the best of times. Congrat's man!

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