557 Days Till Freedom

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 2Birds1Stones' Musings

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:15 am

The work travel is starting to wear me out already. In the past 8 weeks I've either been on the road 18 nights or 12+ hour days traveling into NYC/NJ about 15 days.

I'm starting to understand why people don't usually last in the startup culture. I am almost done with the work-shadow part of the ramp up phase, and into working with my own clients/pipeline. Already doing demo's and first pitch presentation on some shared accounts.

Had a long conversation with SO and she definitely doesn't like me being away so much. She tries to hide her disappointment, but I know her well enough. Unless work-life balance improves in the next few months, I don't see myself lasting into the summer.

The other big impact besides my relationship is the lack of energy when I'm not at work to do things I normally enjoy, namely cycling/MTB/running etc. I've still managed to hit the gym pretty regularly for weight training, but between sitting so many hours in offices/planes/trains and eating on the road a lot, it's definitely been counter productive to my weight goals. My 7 day rolling average is up to 204, which is still down 16 lbs from June, but also up 9 lbs from the low on 9/10.

I also feel less flexible/stiff, and noticed that I'm not sleeping as well. This past weekend I couldn't stop thinking about what I had on my plate for Mon-Wed. This is all silly because I have FU$, and don't know why I'm letting work stress my out as much as it has.

I'm sure 1 year of expenses disappearing from my portfolio the past 3 weeks hasn't helped =P

trailblazer
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Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Re: 2Birds1Stones' Musings

Post by trailblazer » Wed Oct 17, 2018 9:19 pm

Good update. I’d write a longer more thoughtful response, but am stressed out by my own start up adventure :D I think it’s hard to continue accumulating net worth in that environment, other than a potential big payout at tail end. Personally I’m breaking even in terms of net worth and otherwise just spending all incoming cash on convenience. I do know that I am much more calm during current market ups and downs than I would be if I didn’t have cash coming in.

Look forward to hearing how things play out! Seems like you’re building a good resume so you can definitely afford to take a break this summer if you want.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 2Birds1Stones' Musings

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:52 am

Hey tb, I've been following along with your adventure pretty closely. I've given thought to spending more on convenience, including moving into NYC for the remainder of my employment with this company. However, the uncertainty over how long I'll be there makes me wonder if it is truly worth the hassle/cost.

I remember posting in your journal about my $420k/10% plan, and while I should clear $420k in investment assets/cash by end of year, my current savings rate allows me to continue add 16-17% to my portfolio in 2019, and that's before any commission. A break from burnout wouldn't be the worst career move, and I can always go back to work for another 6-9 months before taking off again in 2020. A smarter move might be taking 10 week NY Paid Family Leave, or even FMLA (after 12 months).

I am working from home today and tomorrow, before leaving for another work trip Saturday afternoon, to return on Thursday. This time it's Vegas :)

RealPerson
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Re: 2Birds1Stones' Musings

Post by RealPerson » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:50 am

jacob wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:52 pm
Since you're planning to leave the country within 2 years, your primary concern should be tax optimization/minimizing exit-taxes. At least that's how I think about it. I'm realizing that I've set my financial roots deeper in the US than is warranted given the present political climate, so my focus is on reducing my liability for a tax-slam even if it means giving up the pursuit of finding a greater fool given the present financial climate.
How could you minimize the exit tax? I think the tax is purely based on the assets you own when you leave.
What do you mean by a tax slam and what could you do to prevent it?

The current administration is obviously very polarizing, but they come and go. If the Democrats take at least the House next month, as is widely predicted, why would you worry? There won't be anything accomplished in Washington. Obama was quite popular and he lost his Congressional majority for the last 6 years of his terms in office.

2Birds1Stone
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 2Birds1Stones' Musings

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:46 am

The stock market has begun a much awaited slide, which sucks in the short term.....

I just updated my detailed asset allocation spreadsheet and despite contributing $26,537 to my portfolio over the past 5 months, my value is up only $2,500.

Here is a current snap shot of where things are at today.

Image

$55,000 of that is in Savings/Checking/Cash (Bucket 1 - Short/Medium Term Adventures)
$162,000 in Taxable Brokerage, CD ladder, and PM (Bucket 2 - Early Retirement)
$183,000 in Roth IRA, 401k, and HSA accounts (Bucket 3 - Traditional Retirement)

A drop in stock values, even over the next 19 months before our initial quitting date, does not alter those initial plans. While cash is definitely a drag on portfolio returns, it sure does help me sleep at night and not worry about how much my retirement accounts are dropping in value.

Work Update
It's been mad the past month, with craziness of travel and 7 day work continuing throughout the end of the year. I've been on the road Sunday-Thursday almost every week, flying around the country meeting with clients. Some pursuits are showing promise with deals that could close in Q1 of 2019. My future with this employer will hinge on my success in the first half of '19. If the income reflects the workload, it should be easier to put up with the hours/travel. If I'm not successful, it's likely that finding an alternate will be mutually agreeable.

At this time, I'm only focusing on short term goal of getting to April 1 with as much business booked/in the pipeline. Then will re-evaluate with SO on where we stand for the rest of the year.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Financial recap for October coming on Wednesday/Thursday.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
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Re: 581 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:47 pm

As a thought exercise, I imagined the market crashing 50% from tomorrows level.......I would be down $110,000 leaving me a portfolio of $290k, which despite sucking very hard, would still throw off $960/month at 4%.....I could still be FI in Poland or Thailand.....and any new stock purchases would be at a real discount. Market returning to current levels after a few years of accumulation during the down period, would have me instantly FI in the USA.

I feel a little better now.

classical_Liberal
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Re: 581 Days Till Freedom

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:26 pm

Your AA is eerily similar to mine. I told my GF right now saving money is like being on a diet & exercise program without losing any weight. You know you're doing the right thing, the habit formations remain positive, and you''ll see results eventually... Still, not easy in the moment.

Honestly, I hope we are seeing a return to mean vs minor correction. It'll be nice to see what I've got after everything shakes out, hope it stays within the parameters I expected when I chose my investment strategy. Plus, its waaay better while I'm still in easy-mode accumulation.

ajcoleman22
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Re: 581 Days Till Freedom

Post by ajcoleman22 » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:05 am

That is a really good analogy.

LiberateMind
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Re: 581 Days Till Freedom

Post by LiberateMind » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:28 am

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:47 pm
As a thought exercise, I imagined the market crashing 50% from tomorrows level.......I would be down $110,000 leaving me a portfolio of $290k, which despite sucking very hard, would still throw off $960/month at 4%.....I could still be FI in Poland or Thailand.....and any new stock purchases would be at a real discount. Market returning to current levels after a few years of accumulation during the down period, would have me instantly FI in the USA.

I feel a little better now.
Options. Its all about having options.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 581 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:08 am

October Financial Recap

Assets
$110,000 CD/MM
$115,100 401k
$88,000 Taxable
$51,500 Roth IRA
$11,400 Ag
$11,800 Vehicle Equity
$19,200 HSA
$9,000 Au
$416,000 Total Assets (-$12,100)

Spending
$550 Rent/Utility
$85 Gas
$54 Grocery
$275 Entertainment
$50 Cell
$10 Travel
$89 Health
$107 Misc
$170 Gifting
$1,390 Total Spend

Income
$6,780 Salary
$542 401k
$7,322 Total Income

81% Savings Rate

$18,547 - Actual expenses, last 12 months (currently 22.43X, or 4.46% WR)
$15,300 - Actual bare-bone, last 12 months (currently 27.19X, or 3.68% WR)

Current 4% WR = $16,640

Monthly Combined Tracking

$3,129 - Combined Spending
$9,429 - Combined Income

67% Savings Rate

Combined NW = $511,000 (-$15,100)
Combined Spending = $39,000 (based on last 12 months)
Combined WR = 7.63% (13.1 x annual expenses)


Musings

Down $22,200 in market value since October 1, and about $27,000 since the high on Sept 22.

Despite that, my trailing 12 month spending has dropped. Resulting in a lower current 4% WR. I still have to get account values and final spending from SO, will update this evening.

I'm not confident the market is done dropping, so we will see if this months contributions evaporate as well. If we do begin a recovery, I can sense my tolerance for BS at work may drop.
Last edited by 2Birds1Stone on Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 576 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:54 am

@liberatemind, touche

Right now the options are abundant. Should the juice no longer be worth the squeeze, I have no doubt that the parachute chord gets pulled prior to my intended June 1 2020 date.

Work is actually fun/challenging ....the one and only downside (a big one though), is the crazy amount of travel. I'm on the road again next week, pretty much all week.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 570 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:43 am

Posting from a hotel room in Miami, for my most recent work assignment. Things could definitely be worse :)

I've recaptured a good chunk of the losses from October, and my models are showing a SWR of <4% by August 1, 2019. That's only 4 months after my next goalpost, which is having the 401k/Roth IRA's maxed for 2019, as well as attaining 40 lifetime SS credits (will got some sort of SS even without any additional work in the US).......that's only 143 days away!

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Frugalchicos
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Re: 570 Days Till Freedom

Post by Frugalchicos » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:29 pm

Just 20 months to go before you say goodbye ;) - Keep it up!

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
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Re: 568 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:36 pm

18 Months and 3 weeks, but who's counting ;)

Random Musings

My car got hit while parked last night. In public parking lot where there is no chance of recourse. The damage is cosmetic, but it pisses me off because the car is now worth a good chunk less. My deductible is $1000, so not worth putting in a claim.

Hit the gym for a lower body session, and seriously tweaked my lower back deadlifting 275x5. I tried to run a few hours later and gave up after .5 miles due to pain.

Have to get my cardio back up. It's been almost 3 months since my last run, and almost as long since I've been on a bike. My weight training hasn't been spectacular either with all of the travel. Weight has crept up to a 206.3 rolling 7 day average. I am going to go back to mindfully trying to restrict calories.

I'm always fucking around in my spreadsheets and playing around with different financial models. I subtracted my vehicle depreciation costs from my rolling 12 month spending, and it looks like my SWR would be 4% on the dot if I didn't own a car. This brings me to my point, which is that I'm essentially working for two main reasons right now 1) to pay for luxuries in life after work 2) to get to a point where I could cover my SO's shortfall and we can adventure together sooner than waiting for her to get to 4% on her own.

It sounds kind of fucked up when I say it out loud, but it's the reality. I'm not sure if I find comfort knowing that I'm trading my time for either of those reasons, or if I should re-evaluate my priorities. I guess I'm getting restless, and can't help but think that 568 more days is just too long.

wolf
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Re: 568 Days Till Freedom

Post by wolf » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:28 am

I guess it is a challenging situation for you right now (mentally wise). Theoretically you (2Birds1Stone) are FI, due to the fact that your WR is around 4%. But practically you (2Birds1Stone+SO) are maybe not?, because of the combined WR with around 7,6%.

Based on your October numbers, I calculated it through what it would mean to reach a combined WR around 4%. I did that in order to understand the situation you are in. Now, after reflecting, I can understand it better.

Re-evaluating priorities in life from time to time is a good idea in my opinion. At least I found that my priorities changed a lot during the last ten years (and also since practicing ERE).

What are your current priorities? How are they included in your Web-of-Goals? What is important for you for life in general?
I guess, you have already considered such questions?! If not, then I hope, I gave you some ideas to think about.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: 568 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:31 am

I think you get the mental challenge, although it's not as black and white as the math would lead you to believe.

Many things have changed since our relationship began, since FI became one of my biggest goals (at least from a working/career standpoint).

Initially I never counted SO's income/assets/expenses in my ERE calculations. I figured I would just be FI or work PT while she did her thing. As our goals meshed more and more, and she expressed interest in ERE/FI lifestyle, the dynamic changed. This was 2014-2015 time frame (we've been together since 2011, and I discovered FIRE in Jan 2012). In 2014 I changed career paths to quicken the time to FI, and she followed suit. Unfortunately she's been underemployed since 2016, and the income/asset gap continues to grow.

I feel a sense of responsibility to work in order so we could be FI as a couple, and sometimes curse myself for resenting the situation to an extent. If I were single, there is a very strong likelihood that I would have pulled the plug on FT work already. Our relationship is pretty amazing, and aside from her low income, she's pretty frugal, on board with van-life, geographical arbitrage, and a plethora of other ideas we have come across in the FIREsphere.

To answer your question in the last sentence.......I'm finding that things well outside the influence of money are becoming more important to me.

A network of close friends and family, a sense of community and belonging.
Physical fitness and health (which I really need to focus more on).
Learning skills and getting ready for our upcoming round the world sabbatical
Not having to earn an income to do the things we would like to do.
To be able to make a positive impact on this planet, through both reduced consumption as well as leveraging my professional skills and talent in a non income producing capacity. (maybe fundraising for good causes? Recruiting others to specific causes which are near and dear to me, etc)
The freedom to explore interests that otherwise won't be on my radar until I'm no longer devoting 50-80 hrs/week to work/commuting.
I REALLY want to learn how to surf, get back into snowboarding, master XC mountainbiking, do some thruhiking/mountaineering, and just enjoy the planet before humans completely fuck it up for the next few decades.

There are many others, but those are the big things at the top of my mind as I type this post.

Seppia
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Location: Italy

Re: 565 Days Till Freedom

Post by Seppia » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:22 am

Except for surfing, which I would substitute with TONS of diving, we share approximately the same list of "things that matter" to us.

I like the countdown-style new thread title :)

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 560 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:00 pm

I do love to dive as well =) PADI advanced open water certified here.

I like the countdown too, although this market has been giving me the jitters, and pushed my projected FI date back by several months over the past 6 weeks......my model shows me now crossing the 4% WR mark on March 1 2020.....which seems so damn far away.

Morning Weight - 206
7 Day Average - 205.8

Off from the gym today, tomorrow hitting legs and possibly a short run.

I worked up to a 4.0 mile run on Sunday in under 35:00, so about an 8:40/mile pace. A lot of work to do before the race in January. I'm fluffy and out of shape.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 342
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am

Re: 560 Days Till Freedom

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:42 pm

Image

Well, this is down about $30k from the peak at the end of Sept.

I'm essentially at a 60/40 portfolio right now. The cash is all in CD's earning 2-3% APY

All new money will go into equities starting 1/1/2019....

That still supports a $16,000/yr drawdown at 4%.....and $1300 covers my "needs" but not my "wants".

I really don't want to dip under $400k =P, and don't think I would pull the chord for a sabbatical until I get to $500k+

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