classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
User avatar
Seppia
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:34 am
Location: Italy

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Seppia » Sat May 19, 2018 4:22 am

Seems like a reasonable and well thought out plan.
As with all journals, the outdoors pictures are amonth the things I enjoy the most.
Remember to hit me up if your future slow travels will include Italy, I may be able to help with recommendations :)

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue May 22, 2018 10:26 pm

@SustainableHappiness
The fact you jumped off into Semi-ERE before me and have been documenting has been an influence on my decisions. Soo, if I fail it's YOUR fault! :lol:. Kidding aside, the fact you were able to do it with a new kiddo in tow helped me look at my own risk profile. You definitely have more years saved than me, but I have no one dependent on me and really have very little to lose. Thanks for all you have done!

@2B1S
You've actually been a great inspiration and resource given our similar paths and goals. I can't overstate how helpful your continued input has been. Thanks! The comment is partially figure of speech, part jest, but mostly a self-deprecating rip on myself for being so damn lazy and incoherent with my journal writing. Please take no offense!

The spending reductions have come in two areas, housing and food. In the past 5 months I had two spendy double rent months fall off the 12 mo rolling. Because I move so often, I have f-it moments and overlap leases to avoid the hassle of 1 day 500 mile moves. I stopped that practice early last year and just manned-up and did them in one day. Rent in the new city is peanuts, $510 mo for a duplex with a bedroom and a yard! Food/household items/personal care has dropped with some very basic optimization, whereas before I was all convenience. I'm looking forward to see what happens when the GF and I combine household, I think 1K month spending may be within the realm of reality, at least in my current location. Don't be too impressed though. According to this a 16K spend rate in my location is the equivalent to almost 30K in any of the boroughs of NYC. You're still kicking my ass!

As far as your question, I am considering Roth as part of the old-age retirement bucket. Obviously it's the most versatile portion of that bucket, so the contributions can be a back-up of in times of emergency. Preferably though, I'll use it as needed to avoid taxes on IRA/401K withdrawals and SS after 60 if I have some more spendy years. Here's the current distribution:
Image
I'll for sure make another Roth contribution 2019, and if I stay with my current job long enough I'll buy a 12 mo CD for 2020 contribution as well. After that, I'll use the Roth for any additional "top off" contributions or just to sweep any extra earnings into the retirement bucket. I'm hoping not to have enough income going forward (that would mean I worked too much!) for the front end tax break to be worthwhile on the traditional tax deferred. In years of particularly low income (ie 2 year sabbatical) I'll convert as much traditional to Roth as possible. I'm a pessimist on future tax rates, I doubt they'll get much lower than they are currently.

@light_bulb_moment
I can't imagine a better "bang for your buck" entertainment expense in the US.

@Seppa
Thanks for the input, and particularly the invite to look you up! It's a high likelihood I'll take you up on the offer. Plus... you will cook me a meal, right?! :D

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Tue May 22, 2018 11:01 pm

Update 5/22/2018

I put together a simple graph that should be able to show the financial situation history and updates at a glance going forward. The lines will move with 12mo rolling expenses, indicating any substantial spend rate changes. The yellow indicates my expectation of 50% SS, hence it's the minimum growth threshold needed for my 60+ retirement or for a bare-bones 60+ without any SS. Hopefully no other explanation is needed. If it is, let me know, I failed at my task. I may putter around with the goals a bit, but will note if I do so.

Image

I wish I had more detailed asset data to show you, but I just haven't kept track of anything on a monthly basis. Annual has seemed plenty for my purposes and tends to smooth things out anyway.

I was surprised that I didn't have any harsh condemnations regarding the planned execution of less than conservative semi-ERE. It's probability because I just dont have many readers :shock: ! At least the ones I do have all sit at the "cool table". Please though, if anyone has criticisms I really want to read them. I can't think of any better way to make the plan less fragile.

I found out this weekend that the GF did, in fact, get extended until end of August. The story is why i love her. Evidently she was prepping for an operation and the manager of her department came in to tell her they still were unsure of her extension due to the management shakeup. She asked if the director of nursing (DON) was one of the management members who had been pushed out, the manger indicated she was not. The GF stopped what she was doing, walked upstairs to the DON office and provided her a list of other OR travelers who would not be extending due to the indecision. She said she would join that list if not renewed by the end of the day... DON completed paperwork on the spot :lol:

With a guarantee of another three months of work, we can now plan to combine household in June. GF will move into my small duplex apartment. This will be a tough transition for me. I haven't lived with a SO for over seven years. I'm both excited for it and dreading it at the same time, worried it won't work out. No matter what, it should have positive effect on spending in the near term.

We both have about 10 days off in the first week of June before the next contracts start. Plan is a road trip to Yellowstone or Black Hills SD/Devils Tower WY, or maybe both. Actually, we got into an argument tonight about trying to squeeze all that in on on trip(I was not in favor). By argument, it was mainly me being an asshole. No matter which destination (or both), I'll have a few more pictures for the next update. If we go to the Black Hills, I plan to meet up with a travel nurse I met awhile ago who built an off grid home with her husband in SD. They did the whole thing themselves on a shoestring budget over a few years, so with their permission, I'll provide details as it is very applicable to ERE goals.

Until next time.

User avatar
Gilberto de Piento
Posts: 1060
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:23 pm

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed May 23, 2018 10:10 am

Including Yellowstone with South Dakota destinations will certainly work with good planning but it will change the character of the vacation. If you only have 10 days and like to settle in at some of the places, I'd recommend doing one South Dakota + Devil's Tower vacation and a separate Yellowstone + Tetons vacation. If you like to tick off a lot of destinations and don't mind more driving and logistics combine it all together. It depends on your interests.

Nice pics of Roosevelt. I like the buffalo.

User avatar
Fish
Posts: 375
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:09 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Fish » Thu May 24, 2018 2:37 am

Hi there CL, great to see you doing well on both the love and financial fronts! Regarding your plan, it's helpful that you've mentally divided it into two buckets which sets a limit to how much you're willing to deplete the portfolio. I expect that the biggest risk is not financial, but rather that the relationship ends before you reach phase 2. If it's very important for you to have that experience together, you might consider moving up the start date by (1) planning for part-time work during the trip, (2) you contributing some funds towards her portion, and/or (3) reducing the duration (maybe do a 3-6 month test run to validate interest, then save up for a multi-year trip if it still interests both of you). Regarding #3, doing a shorter trip might convince you and GF that it is ok to go before she is fully debt-free with nest egg saved. Another suggestion is to slow-travel within the US, selecting contracts based on interest not compensation, while taking the occasional international trip to scratch that itch. Or have GF (and maybe you too?) start looking for nursing jobs abroad and let that determine your destination. You've probably thought of it already, but that is what came to my mind.

Some other thoughts:
  • Supposing you set a goal of covering expenses (i.e. not touching your pre-60 bucket) even with 0% real returns that will put your combined net worth at 13 years when those buckets are combined in old age.
  • Instead of SS as an afterthought, maybe we should be taking it into consideration for AA. The reasoning being, if SS actually does pay out, paper assets likely would have done ok. If we presume the converse is also true, this would imply a high correlation between SS payout and equity/bond returns, meaning there would be some systemic failures that would take out the portfolio AND your safety net. This would suggest that tilting the AA towards hard assets would offer a higher likelihood of success even if the expected return is lower.
  • Until you're fully FI, you're not financially immune from the proverbial "hit by a bus" disaster. But since your footprint is only ~2 jacobs (excellent work btw!) it's likely not going to be catastrophic if you can pull off some side income.
  • When you take a break from nursing, consider part-time freelancing (e.g. odesk) to develop new skills while generating a side income and having fun (maybe?)
I'm excited to see the Deliberately coasting to FI idea put to practice and eagerly await the results of this experiment! :D

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu May 24, 2018 11:06 am

@ Gilberto de Piento
I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the situation, next time I should probably be less of an ass in how communicate it with the GF. Since Yellowstone/Tetons is further away, we will focus our trip on that area. If time allows we may stop in the Black hills on the way back. Luckily our current work location would allow for shorter trips to the Black Hills area; it's only about 5 car hours away vs 9-10 to Yellowstone. I think having 10 days grouped together is a better fit for the farthest locale.

@Fish
Good thoughts and advice, as always. I hope all is well with you!!

Regarding the sabbatical time: #1 is possible, but not from paid nursing. It's a huge PITA for foreign licensing and the pay is not worth it anywhere but US and Canada. Although both of us have considered volunteering for an NGO. Doing some good plus getting free transport/lodging for a portion of the trip would definitely be on the table. #2 We have a pretty good thing with separate finances. At my old age (soon to be 42!), I have fears of seeing financial ruin on top of emotional struggles if the relationship should ever turn sour. I've seen this happen to too many men I know as they approach middle age. With too few years to recoup, it's a risk i'm just not willing to take. As I recall there was a recent heated discussion on these boards about the risk men take with marriage and combined finances. I'm just too lazy to look for it at the moment, but the sentiments expressed is where my thinking lies, although if children were in play (they won't be) it would change everything. If we were to break up with separated finances, I'll likely do the sabbatical myself. #3 is great advice! It's something we have considered before. Short, closer to home, trip to test the waters. My biggest concern being we enjoy it too much and have a difficult time returning so quickly. In Phase I, slow traveling the US is part of the plan. The GF really wants to do an East coast run for a year, following the weather with her contracts.

Regarding your other thoughts, these are all possibilities. I absolutely agree that any systemic events leading to a failure of SS will be highly correlated with poor performance in other assets. I'm not really sure how to protect myself from a rapid decline of western society. It seems to me any financial, or even hard assets, could potentially be at risk in the 10-20% chance (purely a guess) modern society sees and abrupt change in the next 40-50 years. I'm not really sure having 20, 30 or 40X spending saved will make much of a difference in those potential events. It seems planning the need for income will likely decrease fragility in a slower decline situation vs resting on laurels (assets). Of course, this is what makes ERE unique in the FIRE world, most ERE'ers plan for some form of an income leg, mine is just more of a necessity. With regards to a total SHTF scenario, I have always thought there are two strategies; hunker down or be mobile. I would choose the latter and hopefully parley the small amount of physical gold and cash I hold with valuable medical skills into a reasonable situation in the new geopolitical environment.

From a medical standpoint, I can easily absorb a 10K bronze plan deductible if hit by a bus. I'll gratefully return to work for awhile after I recover to recoup the costs. I'm more concerned about contracting a more lingering chronic condition. 10K every year is another thing entirely! This would require an entire rework of plans. Generally speaking, an expensive chronic medical condition is also highly correlated with decreased ability to live the lifestyle I enjoy. So if such a thing happens, all bets are off. My best strategy is prevention, semi-ERE is far more conducive to maintaining personal health than FT work. In any event, the odds of being hit by a bus or accelerated Western civilization decline will start pale in comparison of chance for good, old fashion death as the years progress.

There seem to be so many anecdotes of folks who ERE, then end up plugged back into the economy with substantial earnings later. It wouldn't surprise me If I follow that tune with yet another career of some kind down the road. It's happened to me in the past (well before I'd ever even heard of ERE of FIRE), this time I'm just much more financially prepared. The need for a balance between YOLO and strategic planning is obvious. For now, this seems like the best option for me.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Thu May 24, 2018 11:39 am

Tracking Chart Alteration 5/24/2018

I've modified the tracking chart. The band lines actually haven't changed much, but I decided to change the reasons for placement. I'm posting this change right away as I want an apples to apples compassion for easy reference going forward.

Reasoning:

1) I've done a ridiculous amount of historical modeling with portfolio charts, Cfiresim, Fircalc and ERN's WR rate alterations for CAPE and inflation adjusted annuities (ie SS). I realize 3%WR is a ERE thing, I also realize I will not get historical average returns. However, I just don't need average returns, all I need is the worst cases historically, plus half my SS to be relatively bullet proof with a 4% rule in my situation. I have changed full FI to 25X and adjusted my SS band to reflect 25X minus 50% SS as well.

2) I have increased my annual spending needs to 20K (from rolling 12 mo of 16K). This change will hold until I actually have 12 mos of rolling spending data post semi-ERE. Even though I've run through expenses with a fine tooth comb, I'm just not going to make assumptions going forward based on a one of my better 12 month periods while i'm still working FT. After I have the first 12mos of rolling data I will adjust the bands to show real post Semi-ERE spending.

3) Lastly, network dropped by 2.5K because i still have a student loan for that amount. It's currently in the final process to be forgiven by the generous US taxpayers for my five years of service as a direct patient care RN. 5.5K of this loan has been forgiven in previous years, so I don't anticipate any hang-ups. I've not previously included this in net worth, but will add it for the time being.

Final chart:
Image
Obviously with the spending increase it's noted I have not reached the minimum for semi-ERE under the new bands. The new minimum amount will be met by plan execution in 3-12 mos.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 330
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:09 pm

Update 6/13/2018

Semi-ERE continues to progress. Student loan forgiveness is completed. I’m completely debt free for the first time since about 1999, which is right before I purchased my first home/new car and began my ill-fated experiment with normal consumer-driven, suburban lifestyle. It felt really good for a couple days, I was actually kind-of giddy. Since this was a long anticipated outcome, nothing really changed and the burst of happiness quickly faded.

Tracking chart:
Image
I’m up in NW by about 7K

The GF and I secured a 3 month lease on a slightly larger duplex near my current place. The decision was made (mainly by her) that it would be good to move into a new place vs her to mine or mine to hers. This is to make it feel like a new home for both of us. It’s a reasonable psychological move and I’m happy to comply. The move will probably cost a couple hundred, but rent/utilities/ internet will drop from about $600 mo now to $350 mo post move. Now that housing puts me w/in reach of a 1K monthly spend, food will be the main obstacle because, although I intermittent fast, I like to eat well and what I want for the daily meal.

I just returned from a 10 day trip to Yellowstone/Grand Teton area with the GF. During the trip we stopped at a few other areas including North unit of Teddy Roosevelt National Park, and a beautiful state park in Glendive MT. Once at destination, we camped mainly in national forest land around the two parks, but did splurge for a hotel one night in Jackson WY. The GF enjoyed the touristy atmosphere of the town, I enjoyed the beauty of the area.

Yellowstone proper is very much a cluster of tourism and traffic jams. The grand loop around the park leads to the most famous attractions. After a day of that, we had enough and left the park for camping in forest land which surrounds Yellowstone on all sides with planned, strategic reentry at various points in the four park entrances to do some day-hikes. Hiking was much better in that there were very few people out on the trail compared to those driving around and stopping for an hour or so to enjoy the main sites, only the 0.1%ers got more than a mile away. The geothermal activity in Yellowstone is impressive, but the natural beauty and animal life was better at Grand Teton to the south. GT also has the advantage of being less popular/famous so the hiking there was more isolated.

Some pictures:
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

It took me two or three days before I was truly able to relax, but the last week has been great. I feel like myself again, only to restart work tomorrow with a week straight of 12+ hour daily shifts. I do not feel ready and would have preferably taken another week or two, but I really wanted to keep my contract extension at current hospital and ceded to their preference which was I return more quickly. I also agreed to work as charge nurse for the unit on an intermittent basis. Although I prefer not to have any management duties, I have experience in this and it makes me more valuable to them for future extensions.

In the near future we both have contracts into the beginning of September. Plan remains to stick out this location for as long as possible, which could be until March 2019. GF likes her job here and I find mine tolerable. COL to wage is very favorable for both of us. At this point, each 3 month contract extension is allowing me to save an additional 17-18 K towards Semi-ERE fund. GF is seeing similar results in student loan reduction. So I am putting up with the drudgery. The life of salary-man continues… for now.

wolf
Posts: 558
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by wolf » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:53 pm

Debt-free...well done! I follow your journey of "semi-ERE" because it is marked with milestones along the way. And that is also something I prefer.

I think you made the right decision to move together in a new home. Unfortunately I didn't do that with my last GF and I think that was one reason why we broke up the relationship.

The pictures are beautuful. I like the beauty of the National Parks in the US. If you visit further parks, please post those pictures also.

Take care in your salary-man-job. It is the same for me, but you and I do have milestones in sight. Step by step from milestone to milestone! The journey continues.

Post Reply