A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Where are you and where are you going?
IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:14 am

suomalainen wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:10 pm
"Maintaining" meaning/purpose presupposes that the "fray" offers/offered you some meaning/purpose. As Bill Waterson said in his graduation speech,
To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble.
Yeah, being in the fray was accompanied by purpose, but it wasn't really the purpose in-and-of itself. In terms of the simple story model it was the action I took to achieve a number of other goals (feed myself, raise a family, prepare for retirement, etc.). And since all those goals will be achieved to my satisfaction soon, I won't need to pursue that course of action any more, and frankly don't want to. What I'm contemplating is whether I'm setting myself up for a 2-3 decade denouement, and if that's really what I want given I'm in some ways back where I was as a new college graduate with a very wide open opportunity to (re)invent meaning for myself (borrowing a little from Waterson there--IMO, best cartoonist ever).
Seppia wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:30 pm
What a great post thanks Dave.
My two cents: ... It may take some time to adjust to a different "life" but you will figure it out once you're there.

... You'll be ok
I definitely appreciate the encouragement. I probably sound more hand-wringy than I really am. Mostly I'm just sort of thinking out loud. Writing down thoughts helps me distill them. I hope that continually questioning my plan is ultimately a means to improving it, though it can be a fine line from which it is possible to veer off into paralyzing anxiety. On one level my plan for ER has always been to get into a situation where I can more freely be myself (how's that for New-Agey pseudo-claptrap?) I've come to realize I am largely unsure who that is. It's a journey of discovery for sure, one I suppose is ongoing and projects into the future.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:00 pm

2018 Q2

Didn't have a great fiscal month in June. Spending was about $3,590. Some contributors were unexpected dental work, annual vet/dog meds, season maintenance around the house, and an unexpected repair on the cabin. All fairly normal stuff given my lifestyle decisions.

Net worth grew by $68,700 for the quarter and $191,000 for the prior 12 months. In June invested assets were up $8,100. For the quarter they were up $42,300.

I don't have my multiples calculated but recently I was around 46X.

Other Stuff

In the realm of news I now have a Concept2 rower. My fitness has fallen off quite a bit in the last three years and although it's not a very ERE-ish move (the things are pricey even used) it's been on my list of acquisitions for a while because it is a good way to maintain mobility that has some overlap with my primary mode of recreational travel (canoe or maybe kayak) in Phase III. I've got a small collection of dumb bells that I can work in to rebuild some overhead strength (useful for carrying a canoe while portaging) along with the usual body weight calesthenics. I think I can get back to 60-70% of where I was at the end of my Crossfit days, maybe slightly more, in 6 months, at which point I'll either accept that as good enough or consider restarting Crossfit.

Part of what's modivating me is that I have my annual oil and fluid check with my MD in about 7 weeks, and I don't want to wind up with too many negative marks on my chart given that in 1.5-2.5 years I'll be out in the market for medical insurance and what I think high risk pools are going to turn into is something I want to avoid if possible. I'll have 9-10 years until Medicare eligibiltiy once I retire, and where I see the biggest potential for financial flameout is medical expense catastrophe in those bridge/gap years combined with exclusion from the insurance market. If I can maintain ACA-style insurance I should be fine, but that's not something I can be certain about.

I check my BP occasionally at my local Walmart and its started to creep up on me. My BP has always been sensitive to my body weight, so as a promise to myself for having spent $ on fitness equipment I have to abuse myself with the rower and get myself down to 175 lb before my appointment. I was about 190 at last weigh in which isn't awful for being a tad over 6', but it's not good either. I'll need to lose 2 lb/week to do that--a sustainable rate for me historically but it is difficult. I realized that my lifestyle has been largely sedentary since 2015 when my mom's illness got serious, which at my age is a bad thing. And more so than looking like an A student for the doctor, I've got to get the lifestyle thing turned around. But in the short run if my BP is still poor at that weight I'll have to consider whether to take meds for it. I know my doc and she'll push for it.

With all the family stuff surrounding my mom's illness over the last 3-4 years which has segued into my dad learning life anew as a widower I've sort of taken my eye off the ball regarding my own journey.

Brief aside: I was happy to learn today that my dad opted to take a traditional/annual trip up to Green Lake WI with some of his high school buddies for a few days of golf and fishing. He'd been avoiding social interaction enough I was beginning to get concerned, and said he wasn't planning on going this year. He's also let his vineyard go wild this year. But he decided to take the trip and enjoyed it. And has moved from a "no thanks" to a "yeah maybe" on the topic of coming up to the cabin w/me this fall.

Anyway, back to me and my ER. So, I'm trying to get my eye back on the ball. The lifestyle/health stuff mentioned above is part of that. And in a few prior entries I've hinted about other things. Nothing concrete has emerged yet, so I'm going to focus on preparation, assuming opportunity will arrive in due time. Still, it feels like I am missing something obvious.

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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by jacob » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:07 pm

Which version of the concept2? Do/can you compete online? e-version?

Also, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVl0Zt-kZys

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jun 30, 2018 6:23 pm

That dude's a beast. Those power lifters, just like Oly lifters, are better athletes than people give them credit for.

Mine is a D. If I had a phone that runs apps there is maybe more I could do online, dunno if I could compete real time. As it is I can upload data from the monitor via laptop to an online log and see my rankings, but I haven't done that yet. Right now it would be too discouraging :lol:

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:15 am

So it's Independence Day here in the US, meaning I get the day off work. But having it fall on a Wednesday and bookended by work days takes some of the flexibility out of it. With a heat index forecast that says we might hit 110 here (with air temp in the mid 90s) I've abandoned the idea I had to get some yard chores done. I do have a rack of ribs absorbing spicy dry rub in the refrigerator so I'll eat pretty well.

I'm quite surprised with what's happened regarding my blood pressure. For a while now it's been running mid-130s over low-mid-90s, which is the beginning of stage 2 hypertension. After 2 weeks of on the rower where I haven't ramped up to much in terms of intensity and being more careful with my diet I've been reading mostly 110-115/65-70. I went from poor/poor/poor (diastolic/systolic/heart rate) to great/great/great the last three measurements on the Walmart machine. My home meter tracks the fancy-dancy Walmart machine pretty well though with many more samples the range is greater, basically varing from 100/65 to 125/88 with the more recent readings increasingly falling on the lower half of the range.

Maybe I'll make it to age 60 after all! :)

It's popular nowadays to have a very dark and negative view of the US, but at least on July 4th you can call me a homer. For all our faults both presently and through history, there aren't a whole lot of places I'd consider emmigrating to. Hopefully our national dialogue (in that I exclude politicians) will return to being a little more adult soon. It's interesting that the online home of long-form, more diverse, and more substantial dialogue has been given the label "intellectual dark web".

I've got it in my head that I want to visit McKenzie Lake in Quetico Provincial Park, ON. It is reputed to be one of the most iconic lakes in the park. The challenge is that it's a pretty fair haul from the BWCA entry points (my cabin is a short paddle from one of them). I'm thinking it might be a bit too much to take on as a solo for a guy my age. It'll be fun to try to plan it out though.

J_
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by J_ » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:49 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:43 am
Right Now isn't Good Enough
Retirement is in some sense the removal of insufficient money as an obstacle, so that subplot will be resolved. My new way of viewing the upcoming Phase III of my life is, "What story will it be?" I've already got some elements in place to get me started. I want a mindful, contemplative, and tranquil life. The obstacle is an innate compulsion to exist in a story of at least some minimum value. It in turn probably means finding yet another "obstacle" to direct my actions towards overcoming, though not necessarily. It certainly doesn't have the makings of a compelling story, but it keeps me living with some purpose, albeit potentially one that's more artifice than genuine
Is this perhaps (one of) your new "obstacle": getting and staying in good health? It helps a lot to me to be in top shape. Because it allows me to do a lot of things, perhaps it is for you in your fase III the same. I train on a Concept 2, but last week I got my "permission" to row and stear in the real rowing-boats of our local rowing club. I use my sailing skills to teach sailing to other adults in another nearby sailing club. These activities gives two important things for me: social contacts (most with younger people than me), the stories they tell me on which I can reflect, and physical training.

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:13 am

J_, yes maintaining some degree of physical capability is certainly in the mix. I see it more as a means to other ends right now, although somewhere down the line it could easily turn into an end in itself. I don't know if it will turn into an entry point for meaningful social structure in the out years, but stranger things have happened.

I am beginning to think more deeply about my social position as I age. During all my planning/self-authoring I've just sort of assumed that I'll carry on largely how I have the last ten years--mostly as a loner following whatever path gets me where I think I want to be most efficiently. That's fine for now but it makes for a potentially dismal ending as a lonely old bachelor increasingly unable to look after myself.
Last edited by IlliniDave on Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Jul 08, 2018 1:26 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:42 am
jennypenny,

No, nothing is definite. That's just my going in position. The most likely thing that would cause me to claim earlier would be some indication that I'm unlikely to meet the lifespan of the mortality tables. The other possibility is if things go extremely badly and it's looking like I'm going to run out of money before then (age 70). I don't remember the numbers exactly, but nearly half of the population takes SS at 62, and less than 5% wait until 70. There's been a slow shift in that (fewer people claiming early and more later).

Today my understanding is that 20ish years from now when the trust fund is projected to run dry, ongoing revenues will still fund 77% of the liability. I'm in between the old and the young. I'm not counting on it getting completely fixed (which isn't that hard, and I think is extremely likely), but I'm not going to assume it vanishes either. The problem is that there are a lot of votes to buy over the next 20 years, so it won't be addressed until the 11th hour by the political dirtbags. Notionally I use full SS, but I've looked at things with 75% and there was no real qualitative difference.

I've run the numbers with various claiming ages. When I look at my projected assets over time assuming I quit working on the day I'm playing with the numbers, the median outcome today is roughly "V"-shaped, with the vertex at the age I claim SS. Earlier claiming means less depth to the V and a shallower slope coming out of the minimum. Assuming I croak at 80 or above, waiting until 70 maximizes terminal wealth, so that's what I picked for now. If I assume 1 or more years additional accumulation, the median path becomes monatomically increasing, so it begins to approach a don't-care condition from the perspective of my survival, and I don't spend a lot of mental effort wrestling with SS eventualities. At that point I'm simply holding on to the money to reimburse my descendants for some of the money that was taken from them to pay into the system to support the boomers and us early Xers.
IlliniDave, almost thru your journal, wonderful read.

I am intoxicated and cannot be assured of remembering to post. I would like to suggest taking the money as soon as it is available? Risk-return. So what if you might make a bit more later in nominal terms, you risk losing everything and your grandchildren don’t inherit the SS and it’s hypothetically not-ravaged-by inflation reward. I hope you live to 150, but what if you croak at 79?

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:38 am

Mr I, if I croak at 79 it's a wash, it's if I croaked unexpectedly at 69.9 that would be sort of the worst-case in the delay-to-70 scenario. Despite my sometimes cynical way of regarding things, in the end I tend to be an optimist, and therefore tend to bet on life. You are right it could be a big mistake in the context of providing for my descendants (although at that point the problem of providing for myself financially without a job is permanently solved). Once I ER I have 6-7 years to think about it until I reach the minimum age of 62, at which point it becomes a year-by-year evaluation until I file for benefits. I have to put something in my nominal spreadsheet, and since waiting until 70 is the most stressful on my financial assets it's the one I default to. I'll certainly keep what you said in mind as I weigh options down the road.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:19 am

Are you at all afraid that you might experience a bit of "You Can't Go Home Again" once you finally relocate back to your place of origin?

IlliniDave
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Re: A Journey of Mindfulness--the Remaking of Life in Midstream.

Post by IlliniDave » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:16 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:19 am
Are you at all afraid that you might experience a bit of "You Can't Go Home Again" once you finally relocate back to your place of origin?
I don't know, but I don't think so. I say that based on an assumption you are referring to the Thomas Wolfe novel which I've not read, and so I don't know precisely what you're asking. Just taking the phrase literally, I don't expect things to be much like they were in 1982 when I started the process of moving away. My reasons for moving back are practical: primarily now they are having an aging dad who is on his own for the first time really in his adult life, and it is approximately equidistant in terms of travel time from my daughters and my hideout in blueberry country. It's true there's some nostalgia involved which makes the idea arguably more palatable, but even if that disappoints 100% I'll stick with my plan to soldier on as long as my familial responsibilities there last, then reassess. Ultimately it's up to me, not a place, nor any other external factor, to maximize my remaining time.

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