My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

spoonman wrote:... I am in the process of selling my house (I'll post something about that one of these days), so I am trying hard to find a good place to live. ...
Ahh, I'm excited to hear about the details! I'm hoping that you are either going to be fast tracking your plug pull date (was it 2016/2017?) or that you don't have to take that awesome bus anymore, lol. Either way I am sure your decision will be a good one.

I can tell you anecdotally what happened to me when I faced a multiple tenant offer situation with the corp rental (the previous time it was up for rent), and what really swayed my decision.

The first prospective tenant saw the place and during the viewing, she decisively wanted the place. She was already living in the building, and she worked for a law firm within a 5-10 walk from the property.

Slam dunk right? What's not to like? I mentioned I saw her as a strong tenant, and was thinking she will be the one.

Despite really wanting to close the deal after the showing (ie. start the paper work process) I had previously booked another showing for another tenant later in the day.

I told tenant #1 that I had another showing, and would give her a decision after that, no firm commitment or offer was made.

The second tenant saw the place and during the viewing, decisively wanted the place. Unsolicited, she then proceeded to hand me a package, with her credit rating info, employer and past references.

During the small talk of both viewings, I was able to extract that tenant #1 was moving from a roommate shared cost 2br situation (in the same building) to my rental (ie. a JR one bedroom), and that tenant #2 was moving from a full 1BR to a JR 1BR.

I.E. Tenant #1 was upsizing, and Tenant #2 was downsizing.

It was also casually extracted that Tenant #1 didn't have all her own furniture, and that Tenant #2 lived around the corner in another building (with all her furniture).

IE. Tenant #1 would have significant capital cost expenditures on move, Tenant #2 had no additional capital cost expenditures.

I did have some inclination to go with #1, because she was the first, but logically thinking things through, #2 was a better tenant. I also got a better 'feel' for tenant #2 (during the viewing she demonstrated more maturity and gave me a much better impression of mental and emotional stability) and a large part of it had to do with her preparedness with documentation. The situation (unconsciously) transfers in my thinking that I wouldn't have any issues with cheques, signing documents, etc.

Additionally during the viewing I told tenant #2 that I already had an offer from tenant #1, and that tenant #1 was a strong candidate that has a high likelihood of going through.

Tenant #2 really argued her case and actually pleaded why she would be a better tenant.

When I chose her, tenant #2, she was extremely grateful and happy.

I also did tell her exactly what I thought that indeed she was a very impressive tenant, and that she had changed my mind.

This made the landlord-tenant relationship a really good one from start to finish, as the relationship was built on mutual respect.

It never really crossed my mind to try and pit the two against each other and look for a higher rate, because again, the relationship would have started on a tenant who had to overbid. But that's just me, a good strong tenant is much more important that maximizing the bottom line.

Getting a really good tenant pays off in the long run in terms of headaches and stress. I'd much rather have a tenant I like with less headaches and less $$, than I tenant I don't like with more headaches and more $$.

Given your situation @spoonman, I'd think you'd make a very strong tenant (ie. professional job, downsizing, low expenses, etc) especially because I think you would 'beat' your 'competition' on paper and probably in person too. If you find the right landlord and property I suggest you try some of the tactics that swayed me!!

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#046 10/18/2013 Pen palling

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#046 10/18/2013 Pen Palling and Applied Classic Introversion

Does anyone here wish to pen pal with me?

My email is:

I don't care if you are male or female, married or single, young or old, black or white, hetero or gay.

I only care that you can either relate or connect to aspects of my journal/journey/life. That's it.

I don't care if this request sounds juvenile -- shoot me.

And I don't really care how trivial or small your message may be. It may be like:

"Yo Itchy, Wassup? My gold fish died last night and I'm feeling in the dumps, Nemo meant soo much to me! can I tell you about it?"

The other day I had a 1HR conversation with an 86 year old lady I never met before in our co-op laundry room. She told me fascinating stories about her sons and her life during her youth. I told her my plans to travel and retire in two years. She told me life is short and go forth! It was just a very satisfying social interaction which among many other things, prompted me to write this entry.

Basically, just a correspondence of the one on one kind of things in friendship that is not suitable in forums.

I'm a classic introvert (in the Susan Cain-Quiet sense) but I lived a good portion of my life learning to be adept at extroversion, so small talk vs deep talk on a one on one doesn't bother me.

If this interests you, please do give me an email (do not reply here). Regardless if I get 1 reply or 10 replies, it will be confidential and won't be written about here or on the forum.

My objective is just to form deeper connections with like minded people and hopefully build mutual social support for one another.

I've received PMs from other posters, and I just wanted to thank those peoples for reaching out. Please feel free to email me if you feel inclined to do so.

Social Complexity and Scalability of groups

In a previous chapter in my life, when I lived a much more extroverted existence, the larger and more complex my social life would become, the more bogged down and cluttered I felt. Stimulus overload.

Being an introvert and having my brain take in so much social cues and inputs made me not like socializing, at least in terms of how it was constructed in my life. This ofcourse was the exact opposite to my extroverted friends, where they lived by the motto "more is more". I term this the "social hording" epidemic.

At the height before when I was on Facebook I had three hundred facebook 'friends', and I also did quite a lot of social organizing. Socially, my life began to feel like an episode of the show Hoarders. Keeping and holding onto every social acquiantance, such that someday, it may come in handy.

When I quit Facebook and began to transition my life out of Extroversia things became much more real and clear. Much less pretenses and things became more genuine. Thoughts became more independent as well. (There were the obvious tradeoffs ofcourse as I don't want to make it seem like it was all roses).

I have been in a mode of pretty much self imposed seclusion and solitude seeking for the last 3ish years. I spent zero priority on my social life, and everything was about looking within.

Ironically enough, it is through the exploration of Solitude where I begin to value socialness to it's rightful sense in my life.

Solitude is not done yet and will hopefully play an integral role in my retired life, but so too should solid friendships.

I am extremely fixated on testing the constructed life structure of a semi nomadic existence of 3 months (100 days) of solitude travel (meditative/stoic retreat), with 9 months of community. Perhaps I should term this life, the Solitude Snowbird. It's gone under several iterations of revisions over these years, but I am finding it is getting more and more honed into me. It's been hard work, but rewarding.

There is a certain quality of socialness that I seek. Simply put, all my existing friends that I haven't 'purged' do not follow any sense of minimalism, voluntary simplicity, or stoicism.

Not that this is an absolute necessity, but it gets to a point where the things I talk about, things I do and things that interest or stir me, put my average friend to sleep. (IE. not having your social life revolve around alcohol induced events anymore severely limits your social life in an urban setting. I used to drink to numb myself which effectly made me act and think like more like an extrovert.)


The journalling process has certainly help me know myself better. Being honest and open with myself and attempting to break down my ego.

Truth be told, if you haven't guessed by now, I have been journaling all my life. Most of the journaling wasn't very deep, mostly just a record or transcription of events. Just a photocopy.

But it hasn't been until these thoughts were out in the open rather then only to myself was I able to reach what I feel are a deeper personal understanding and growth. Unintended friction perhaps ?

My journal here now has gotten to the point where most of my writing really has nothing to do with ERE.

I feel narcissism creeping in, and what I write is derailing.

I also feel that as my thoughts delve even deeper (ie my mountains), I really now question whether this is the proper place for me to devulge such things.

I've got two dozen journal entries (mountains, community, my mother, family, my nephews, love, etc) in my head I feel I could pound out in a momment, however it may just be not the right place to do it.

Don't pity me...;p

Anyhow, lol, don't email me out of pity or because you think I'm some pathetic lonely bugger (I'm not really!).

But if you do feel compelled to do so or are looking for a similar type of correspondence, I will be happy to correspond with you and hope to build a friendship of understanding and support.

Back to your regular programming ;)

Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:15 am

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by spoonman »

Thanks for sharing your experience with selecting tenants. My wife and I definitely plan to have a package ready when we meet the next landlord. Some landlords use the same rental application so we'll have one filled out. We'll also have a copy of our credit reports.

Selling the house will help us pull the plug in Q3 or Q4 of 2014 (yup, next year!). We plan on doing quite a bit of traveling so having a house is not the best thing for us. Our HOA fee is very high and would have eaten into our profits had we decided to rent the place out. And, as you point out, landlording is not exactly passive.

"Solitude Snowbird"...I love it! My wife and I will probably do something similar though not quite as deep as what you're doing. I kind of look forward to going somewhere far away from it all for several months at a time, like Alaska (that's just a wild fantasy at this point, but you never know).

I will drop you a line some time, but I want to do the message justice by writing you something after the house-selling/apartment-leasing drama has abated a bit.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

@spoonman: That's awesome! I reread your intro journal post and read how you were originally planning on a 2015 tentative sell date, so its amazing that you are so ahead of schedule.

It's admirable that you are breaking through all the obstacles to get where you want to go.

And it's great to hear these positive stories among others. For me it has that upward spiral effect that definitely influences me for the better.

Kudos to you!

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#047 10/26/2013 I can't help myself...

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#047 10/26/2013 I can't help myself...

I can't stop writing.
I can't stop journaling.

It feels obsessive compulsive. Uncontrollable.

Converting fleeting moments when my unconscious mind 'feels' like it becomes conscious. And then, there is a moment where I must scrawl as fast as possible to capture it. Thoughts and ideas come at the most inappropriate times: in the middle of the night, on a subway, sitting in front of my computer at work,

On a toilet...

And that's how it feels too. I feel the pressure on my bowels, and if I don't release, my mind will flood with fecal matter. An Irregular bowel movement. A disturbing visual, but one that is not too far off.

This wasn't suppose to happen, this way.

I am a private person.

This was just suppose to be something that helped me along my ERE journey, to hold myself accountable. That was it.

I have dozens of completed and half completed writings, at work, and at home. Some of it is very personal, some of it is drivel, and some of it feels too narcissistic for my liking. I suppose this writing falls may fall under that category as well. I still have my insecurities and I've lost a certain sense of figuring out what is appropriate or topical and what is not, what is drivel and what is not.

I have been journaling since I was a child, and it was more or less, also a compulsion. Just the need to write something down about my day, and if I didn't, it didn't happen. Most of it, near all of it, was just capturing the noise in my life, equivalent of hitting record on a tape recorder. It was controllable and pedestrian.

This is different. It comes from a different place, a different motivation.

I don't really know what this means in my life and whether things will stay this way.

For now I have concluded it comes from a mixture of solitude, meditation, introversion empowerment, right brain emancipation, life churn, and anonymity.

These ingredients are bound to change in the future, but for now, unfortunately you will have to tolerate my bowel movements.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#048 10/26/2013 ERE Puberty

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#048 10/26/2013 ERE Puberty

I am applying for a patent with the Early Retirement Community to describe the period between FI and the plug pull of retirement as ERE Puberty.


Male Symptoms of Puberty according to mrclay10sci2: (I don't know who he is but he sounds like a smart guy)

-Voice range deepens
-Facial hair
-Armpit hair
-Hormone levels change
-Penis grows
-Pubic hair
-Wet dreams
-Mixed up feelings and mood changes

So let's see how this applies to ERE Puberty:

Voice range deepens- Metaphorically Yes
Facial hair- x
Armmpit hair - x
Hormone levels change - Metaphorically Yes
Pimples / acne - Metaphorically Yes.
Penis grows - Hmm..
Muscles - Metaphorically Yes.
Pubic hair - x
Wet dreams - Yes
Mixed up feelings and mood changes - Yes

6.5 out of 10 ain't bad.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#049 11/03/2013 Monkey Mind Gone Wild

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#049 11/03/2013 Monkey Mind Gone Wild

Part of the danger I found in living a quieter, slower, less distracted life, is that it becomes much easier to think TOO much, as you allow your brain to have a louder voice in your life. Most of the time its just you and your brain hanging out.

It becomes easier to feed the monkey mind. I suppose this may be why there is a stereotype of loners or hermits being 'crazy'.

In a distracted stimulus laden environment (social events/media, TV, movies, etc) there isn't a whole lot of thinking going on. It's really just jumping from one distraction to another. This is notable for example when you have dinner with a friend, and all they do is stare at their phone every few minutes.

I have come to the conclusion that thinking too much lies on the opposite spectrum of partying too much. Where partying too much overstimulates and overloads the external, thinking too much overstimulates and overloads the internal. A dysfunction that introverts can be prone to.

Thinking is healthy and so is having fun. But TOO much of either, (at least for me), is not.

My trip to Vietnam of which I depart this week, could not have come at a better time. As I am entering into month 8 of being FI and a little over two years from pulling the plug from full time work, I have been thinking too much.

October was an incredibly manic month for me. A whole lot of things came together some of which I will not mention as it's a little personal. But largely, in thinking about the mountains and the planning/testing my future, I whipped myself into an overstimulated thinking state of excitement. A thinking high?

Regardless, it's was too much.


What I love about travel is that I very easily become present.

I don't think. I live without effort in the now. I am conscious of everything around me. Being present/living in the now ofcourse being central tenants of meditation, is why I see travel as so meditative for me.

Vietnam will be my second test of the nomad life that I wish to live when I retire.

Last year was Kathmandu. I am taking the lessons learned from that trip to refine this years trip to better shape the environment I want. To create the life I want.

Largely, I learned that despite packing no check in and just a midsize pack and messenger bag, I overpacked and I can do with less. This time around I am bringing even less than I brought to Kathmandu. I did a test pack yesterday, and my total baggage weighed in at 14 lbs. I am not sure how much my baggage weighed for Kathmandu, but I know it was more than that.

I also made some BIFL investments on multi-functional quick dry breathable clothing. It took me forever to finally learn not to pack my favourite Diesel jeans. Jeans are too heavy, hot and take forever to wash/dry. They are not very functional and the only function they serve is to make you think you look cool and hip. Remnants of my past ;p

New for this trip will be my first ever homestay via AirBnb. It's amazing how something like AirBnb wasn't possible only a few years ago. The family I will be staying with got very good reviews and seem to be very nice. They are located off the beaten path. I am really looking forward to this and I hope that I enjoy this as much as I think I will.

Also new for this trip will be the formal implementation of some of my self defined rules constructed not only from last year but previous travels.

Plugging Out

Part of those rules of course include plugging out of the internet. I will be plugged out for pretty much the entire month of November.

I will miss the current round of Book Club (which is okay since I still haven't found the book!), but I hope to be back for the next one.

I do plan on journaling and writing but not online. I hope I can find the balance to write for myself in a way that probes my unconscious mind the same way writing online does. So far I've only been able to do this if I know that the writing will live and breathe truly outside of me. I've concluded so far that this is the friction required for me to write meaningfully.

User avatar
Posts: 2598
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by C40 »

Have fun! I'd like to go to Vietnam some day so I'll be interested in hearing about it from you.

Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by rube »

I am very interested to hear how 1 month without internet goes. Kind of jealous on that.
Have fun in Vietnam!

Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:24 pm
Location: Denmark

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by wizards »

Enjoy Vietnam - looking forward to read about your experience when you get back.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#050 11/08/2013 Timing is Everything: Trip Cancelled..:(

It was a really interesting exercise in thought last night.

Needless to say there was a huge range of emotions.

Despite looking forward to this since last year, and the trip being booked three months ago, I was really going back and forth between my ambition and prudence. There was a lot of pacing back and forth last night.

But a couple hours before my flight last night, I cancelled my trip because of this:

Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, hits central Philippines ... on-haiyan/

Typhoon Haiyan to hit Vietnam on Sunday ... hpbreaking

Vietnam bracing for most powerful storm in 10 years ... n-10-years

I like the challenge of voluntary discomfort and making myself more 'anti-fragile' but after we experienced a flash flood in Toronto this past year and reading that Vietnam is already flooding when the storm doesn't even hit till Sunday (I would have arrived Saturday), I decided against it. When a good portion of infrastructure (roads, power, water, food) is inaccessible or extremely limited, its a nice SHTF exercise, and I'm sure I would have learned a lot, lol, but not exactly the meditative experience I was looking for.

So far, Money wise, I am only out $150 for a flight cancellation fee, but may be out more if one of the hostels follows through on their policy of charging 100% of cost if cancelled 30 days or less:(. Oh I'm also out some small deposits on hostels as well. My AirBnB was 100% refundable.

I have all the insurance coverages (cancellation, interruption,etc), however they said that they only reimburse if there is a government issues travel advisory which at this time there is not since I cancelled before the storm took the brunt. But I thought of the alternatives of losing $150+ and not going versus going vs spending $2000+ to play SHTF survivor.

My vacation days will be reschedulable. So really the huge deficit is just the experience I was looking for and not being there. My Monkey mind still needs mending as well.

Because I have another trip planned in January and also time/money allocated next year for a more ambitious adventure, I am not sure when I will reschedule Vietnam but hoping I may be able to do it as well (for 2014). I am writing this now to hold myself to make this happen again in the future.

To all those who have reached out to Penpal I hope to catchup with you this weekend as my plugout is no more.

Posts: 712
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2012 7:54 pm
Location: Europe (NL)

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by rube »

Sorry to hear that MBGI, but completely understandable. Hope you will reschedule soon.

Posts: 4436
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:50 am

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by Dragline »

That's too bad, but I think you made the right decision.

User avatar
Posts: 6660
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:20 pm
Location: Stepford USA

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by jennypenny »

I'm watching the coverage of that storm. You made a good call. I think it would have been a bit more 'friction' than you were hoping for.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

Thanks @rube, @dragline, and @jennypenny.

I'm very fortunate that I even had a choice in this regard and my first world problems of a cancelled trip are miniscule in the grand scheme of things.

Thoughts and prayers to the people of the Philippines. Hopefully Vietnam and China will be spared.

Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:15 am

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by spoonman »

I think you made the right decision. It's a real bummer, but hey, as you point out, it's a miniscule inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#051 11/17/2013 Staring outside the coffee shop window.

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#051 11/17/2013 Staring outside the coffee shop window..

On this weekend morning, like every other past weekend morning, I went to my local coffee shop.

I sat down in my favourite spot by the window. A place where I watch the world go by like the front row seat in a theatre.

As an introvert and a connoisseur of solitude, this is my big budget movie. My entertainment for the next couple of hours for the cost of a few meager dollars.

I have an inner contentment with this retreat to the coffee shop. I smile to myself. A rare outward display of emotion from my stoic self.

I feel like I have gamed the system of life. I found a glitch. One shouldn't be taking so much pleasure in so little. But I do. It's the glitch of less is more. I have been doing this the last three years and can do it for the next 25.

I settle down in my seat, pull out a book, hot coffee in hand.

And the movie begins.

Where will my mind, my inner world, take me today?

As I begin to get cozy in the confines of my head, a man sits next to me.

He is quite older. What hair he does have left is grey. He is of different nationality. He is somewhat disheveled and overweight. Some of his teeth are missing and the ones that are not are crooked.

He seems senile and he looks a little crazy.

Before I can begin to register what is going on, my brain tells me I am looking in a mirror. What the heck is going on? What kind of fun house mirror is this?

He is not me, and I am not him!

I am in shape! I have my hair! I have all my teeth and they are straight! I certainly am not senile!

Despite these defense mechanisms, the mirror still reflects back. I cannot help but relate to this man.


This movie is quickly becoming a horror.

It is the smile.

This man who sits next to me, with a smile on his face, in his own world, is entirely too content.

He stares out the window in his own world, like me. And through that smile, it appears that he is talking to himself.

He has done this before.

He has gamed the system and found the glitch way before I have. And he has mastered it. His smile is bigger and broader than mine.

He is me in 25 years with the accumulation and mastery of experience.

I walk home, stunned and disoriented. I want a refund for my movie.

Next week....NEXT WEEK...

The movie better not be a sequel..

Posts: 1177
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:31 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by m741 »

Discretion is the better part of valor. Good call on Vietnam.

Posts: 695
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:15 am

Re: My_Brain_Gets_Itchy's Journal

Post by spoonman »

Wow, MBGI, this post was a pleasure to read. Surely you have some sort of writing gig planned in the future? If I could write like that I would totally start pumping out short stories and whatnot. I could probably generate similar material, but it would take several more units of time. Keep these pieces coming!

Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:29 pm

#052 12/23/2013 20/50/50 Trade-Off Revisted: The PVO

Post by My_Brain_Gets_Itchy »

#052 12/23/2013 20/50/50 Trade-Off Revisted: The PVO

Apologies for being away from my journal and out of touch.

My seasonal energy and mood in the winter is a classic hibernation mindset. Much more so this winter than most, because of my cancelled trip.

It's been reclusive and internal. Nothing on the exterior stimulates me at the moment. I've been trying really hard not to fight or deny these energies by seeking stimulation, but rather accept them for what they are:

Very anti-social and low stimulation. Recessive rather than expansive.

I've been capitalizing on this by doing the things in my life that have a difficult time competing with the highly stimulative and external things in my life that occur in the summer.

So, I built shelving and reorganized my small 3.5 foot by 7 foot storage locker, something that I have been meaning to do for the longest time, but always lost out to the more sexier to-do list things.

The storage locker previous to the reorg would take about 15 minutes, and heavy lifting and shifting of unorganized things, to pull out the thing I was looking for. Now, it takes just a few minutes to find something I need, and no heavy lifting.

The inner geek in me screams with joy at the added efficiency and multiplied effects of time added in my life in the future. :ugeek:

This small 3.5by7 foot storage can now fit all my personal effects, should I choose to vacate my <300 sq foot co-op as furnished, if I travel.

Even though my retirement plans have a budget for travel accommodation and expenses, I have been toying with the idea of apartment swapping. This would give me the freedom to expand my travel options and experiences. Random get aways, for a weekend, a week or a month, with even less overhead or planning. Just expanding my options and choices, even if not exercised, feels like an expansion of freedom. My possessions for the most part, are minimal and nothing I really value if they were to be gone.

Only in the winter, do these energies arise.

What has jolted me into writing a new journal entry is resolution today of something I wrote about over half a year ago, the 20/50/50 trade off.

Purchase Vacation Option

Today my request for a Purchase Vacation Option was processed. Here are the details.

As outlined in my previous post, my original thought was to request to work 4 days a week instead of 5 in 2014. This would reduce my work and pay 20%, but increase the amount of days NOT working a week by 50%, and would tip the balance of NOT working to ~ 50% for the annual year (183-182).

After thinking about this, researching, and dialoging with my boss over the past 6 months, I have opted for something that my company already offers, which is called "Purchase Vacation Option".

The Purchase vacation option allows an employee to "buy" up to your regularly allowed vacation days.

I get 21 vacation days, so I am allowed to buy up to 20 more.
With the PVO, I get a total of 41 days, or 8 weeks.

Add in 11 statuatory holidays, and the compromise of numbers would look like this:

156 days NOT working a year (43%)
209 day working a year (57%)

Or 7% off the 20/50/50 plan.

I chose to go the route of the PVO rather than the 20/50/50 for five main reasons:

1. Work process and procedure: The PVO is already a formal established procedure/form in place for employees. There is no red tape, it's a cookie cutter type thing for HR. The 20/50/50 tradeoff would have been about creating another exception case.

2. It's enough for the time being: 41 holidays, or 8 weeks is more than enough time i need at the momment to exercise the things that I want to do, to test out my early retirement. I was a contractor/consultant for over 10 years previous to my current fulltime job, but even then, I never went a few weeks without a gig. I've been a cubicle drone for 15 years, and during that time never had more than 4 weeks of vacation, so all things being relative, 8 weeks is like the ocean.

3. Original plan stays in tact: I still plan on pulling the plug at the end of 2015, but now, I will being doing the PVO, or 8 weeks of holidays for the next two years, subject to more tweaking or revisions. When I had first started, my plan was to retire end of 2016 without any time off from now till then. So I am grateful that the plan keeps on giving me more than I orginally intended.

4. I generally like my job: I've never mentioned this before, as I've only complained about the drudgery of being a cubicle drone. But for the most part, dare I say, I somewhat like my job. I have a great boss, benefits and working conditions. Politics are at a minimal. I stopped the promotion ladder before I got beyond my skill set/compotency or what I liked doing (translation, I am overqualified for my position). I recently finished reading Gladwell's David and Goliath, and I'd have to say that my position does feel like being somewhat of a big fish in a small pond. I have much more gratitude in my lot in life than I did before, and I realize how fortunate I am and the abundance of riches I have. I make a six figure salary and with passive income that keeps growing. I am grateful for my lot in life, but more money doesn't give me more happiness. Having said all this, and having this awareness, it does not deter me to want to quit and retire. What I realize now more than ever is that any job where the purpose is to benefit some large corporation in the name of capitalistic profit, will never be satisfying for me, no matter what skills or learning I achieve. I'd much rather have greater purpose and meaning in work, something I believe in and something that makes a difference, even in that means working for free/volunteering. I hope to expand on this in the future.

5. It's another first step: It's difficult to walk away from money. It's even more difficult to walk away from money that doesn't require 'a lot' of effort. I know I sound incredibly spoiled, but my job isn't very difficult, or too stressful.

Walking away and knowing when enough is enough in terms of money is a lesson I am learning. More money, is not my purpose. What I want to do, and what I want in life, doesn't require crazy amounts of funds, just crazy amounts of time.

On a side note, another lesson I am learning is the dis-incentive of earning more and getting taxed more for it. The last few years of the retirement plan before you pull the plug are not tax advantageous. The combination of passive and earned income especially when your investments are are in real estate rather than a dividend portfolio makes it very difficult to avoid obscene taxes.

If I don't write again for some time ( who knows!;) ), I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Post Reply