classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Where are you and where are you going?
classical_Liberal
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

@J+G
I do three months at a time. Not sure yet about the time off. In under a month I'll know if they want to keep me on my current unit. Since it's been pretty good so far from a low BS management standpoint, I'd be tempted to extend for another. I'd probably ask for a couple weeks off in May. If they want me to go somewhere else anyway, I'll take the whole month off for sure, or as long as I can and still get my time in by mid-Sept when the 1st 12 months ends. FI... humm, it's a loaded question. To get to the half mil I'd like to be at, It'd take 5-7 years of half time, assuming very low or negative returns.

Sometimes I wonder if part time would be better. What I've noticed is that I really don't want to go in the day before, and am exhausted by day two or three. After the first day though, I kind-of just become a robot and do it without further internal whining. Since it's the first day that bugs me the most, I'm not sure 1 shift a week or something similar would be any better. I'd definitely be less exhausted, but then I'd have to work much more of the year just to cover living expenses.

When I first started this I really thought I'd want my time completely free and do it in chunks, like I am. What I noticed though is that I didn't really take advantage of that total freedom much. Many times I thought about going on a road trip, or taking a week to go visit someone, or whatever. I mostly didn't for the following reasons.

a) I can always go next week
b) It'd cost money and I didn't want to spend too much because I wasn't sure if I'd ever go back at the time.
c) The GF was stuck at home and I enjoy her company on trips (also bringing her with tends to cut down on costs as we split gas or lodging/camping, etc).

Anyway, knowing that I'm back at it will probably eliminate "b", and hopefully "a" to some degree as I'll probably split up my time off into smaller segments going forward. Like 3 on, 3 off. The GF's decision to take more time off will help eliminate "c" too. So maybe I'll end up using that total freedom more the second year into this?

Jin+Guice
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Jin+Guice »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:54 am
Sometimes I wonder if part time would be better. What I've noticed is that I really don't want to go in the day before, and am exhausted by day two or three. After the first day though, I kind-of just become a robot and do it without further internal whining. Since it's the first day that bugs me the most, I'm not sure 1 shift a week or something similar would be any better. I'd definitely be less exhausted, but then I'd have to work much more of the year just to cover living expenses.
classical_Liberal wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:54 am
When I first started this I really thought I'd want my time completely free and do it in chunks, like I am. What I noticed though is that I didn't really take advantage of that total freedom much. Many times I thought about going on a road trip, or taking a week to go visit someone, or whatever. I mostly didn't

This mirrors my experience. You start trying to optimize the time off vs the time on. It's really hard! I realized pretty quickly that the solution for me was neither on all the time or off all the time. I do wish I had a $$ job that I enjoyed more with more predictable hours.

I noticed the pre-work internal whining goes away after the first day too. I never considered this to be a good thing, more like I'd been so utterly defeated by work that I'd given up my ability to even be upset about it.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:09 pm
I never considered this to be a good thing, more like I'd been so utterly defeated by work that I'd given up my ability to even be upset about it.
:lol:

I've thought the exact same thing. I really think this type of thinking is a blessing and a curse. It allows one to examine situations critically that others take for granted. At the same time though, it creates a constant sense of disquiet. Like above, I think sometimes it's OK to live in limited delusion as long as you can acknowledge that's what you're doing. I mean, no one can know the reality about everything, so I think picking and choosing battles can help with happiness.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Update 2/27/2020

Life:

Back into full swing of full-time work. It remains the same, I don’t really look forward to it, but I feel pretty accomplished once the week is done. I'm looking at nursing being more of a hobby at this point. When I view it this way, it seems to be working from a life enjoyment standpoint. Generally, I’m beginning to realize @horsewoman was right all along, I overthink everything. It’s impossible to have a good grasp on everything in life. Sometimes it’s better to just wing it, accept that my perceptions of reality are skewed and use this to maximize happiness. I don’t have to deeply analyze everything, just accept reality how I perceive it. Sometimes it’s even OK to allow for some self created delusions, in cases that they improve life. IOW, go with the flow.

Financial:
Spending for February sucked. I came in at $1375, up from $1007 in January for an annual total of $2382. It’s even worse than it looks. In January I spent almost $100 on an annual health insurance fee and $200 on a long weekend trip to visit my brother. I didn’t go on any trips and had no annual expenses in Feb. The bad news is that I’ve basically lost all the gains I’d made in spending during my time off. I spent money on entertainment I could have gotten for free or much cheaper if I had an open schedule. A couple of movies, a play, a long drive to meet friends for only a couple hours, and more. These are all things I would have done, but gotten much more (time with friends) or paid much less on specific times or show dates, etc. Food cost is way up because I’m buying expensive bread I could have made better at home. Same for soups, chili, bean/lentil dishes, and rice dishes that have been bulk cooked staples the previous five months off work. I just don’t have the energy or desire. Cooking well is a fun hobby, but only when I have excess time. Gas is up because I’m driving everywhere, on top of having a commute now. The company I work for has three local hospitals and only one of them is not in walking/bike range of home. Guess which one I’m working at? The only saving grace here is that my neighbor also works at that hospital and we carpool whenever we work the same shift, which is only about 1 of 3 shifts each week.

On the positive side of spending, my FI variable withdrawal rate would have allowed for a total of $2800 in withdrawals YTD, so my spending is still below, meaning I would have been “FI” without work so far. I did actually withdraw $1400 from cash savings in January, but promptly paid it back with my first paycheck. I anticipate saving enough in my operational account from this three month contract to cover my living expenses for the remainder of 2020. So, hopefully, no further 2020 withdrawals. Although it’ll be interesting to see how I would have fared using my FI variable withdrawal. March withdrawal would only be $1300 thanks to the recent correction(*). At this point I’m still planning on working the second contract I’m required with the current employment arrangement, I’ll just use that to max 401K and roth.

(*)I'm down about 2.75% in the last 5 days with S&P500 down just under 8%. Last year S&P500 was up about 28% and my ROI was about 18%. Just a personal example of the up and down side of noncorrelation investing. I did convert some cash to IAU yesterday in my roth, >$1600 is pricey for gold, but there is still upside of 20+% if the markets remain volatile. I'm considering lowering my I-term treasure holdings in 401K for Tbills (I'd swap it for more gold, but don't have the option in 401K), as I believe most of that upside has already been realized over the past 2 years. Staying steady with about 50% equities in my special little blend of weighting.

Personal:
The GF is getting itchy feet now that she is debt free and wants to make some future plans. Its kind-of tough because we really hadn’t ironed out all the details of how all this would work once she’s able to cut back too. It seemed so “pie in the sky” just a year ago when we decided to move to Fargo as a home base. We had a long discussion the other night. Plan will be to remain at home base in Fargo for now, thanks to lucrative work and the LCOL situation we’ve set up for ourselves. Plus we’ve got some more friends here now and it’s beginning to feel like home. However, we are trying to tentatively plan the months we will take off over the next couple of years while we try to settle into the semi-RE lifestyle. It’s looking like work from around the beginning of March through May. Then take the summer off to enjoy the Midwest weather locally and do some US road trips. Back to work early September-ish, until the required hours are completed. We could spend some time with family for the holidays, after which we can start our extended international slow travel trials with a couple months during the worst local weather period. Rinse and repeat if all goes well.

Personally, I think having the whole summer off will be tough on the GF, depending how much we road trip. That’s a long time for her to hang out around home without having some structure. We shall see, she tends to be a bit flaky about these types of things anyway. So plans may change. Since I took so much time off initially, I’m going to have to work most of the summer this year to keep my job, so we’ll both likely try to set up this schedule starting with the winter break in late 2020 (Ha! I have a 3 month summer and winter break, eat that school kids!). Maybe take a two or three week camping trip at some point this summer, but mostly just try to stick around home so we can both work.

The winter weather is finally starting to break around here. It’s actually been warmer than normal since the beginning of January, with only a couple of bad streaks. Still though, Spring will be a welcome guest.

That’s it, thanks for reading!

mooretrees
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by mooretrees »

I wanted to chime in a sorta push you to give yourself a break about your 'temporary" high spending in Feb. I get it, it's what we're focused on here (mostly), but it seems like you're being pretty rough on yourself. Lots of time and then transitioning back to full time night shift work = creating a new routine. And yes, I know you were doing it for a long time before, but well, this is a new round of work.

For what it is worth, I'm getting a lot of value out of your chronicles of this journey. I figure if I ever get to either part time work or some version of that, it will be because you and @Gin+Juice were really outspoken about the benefits of semi-ERE. Keel on rocking!

Also, lastly, way to go helping your GF become debt free! That's so awesome. Such a good feeling.

horsewoman
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by horsewoman »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 8:42 pm
Generally, I’m beginning to realize @horsewoman was right all along, I overthink everything.
This is one of the reasons why this forum is such a great place for me - I was not aware of the fact that there are people out there who are worse over-thinkers that I am! :) I have this comic as my desktop background at work and everyone is like - OMG that's SO you!

Image

Turns out I'm pretty relaxed after all :)

Regarding your expenses, I'm with @moretrees! Cut yourself some slack, it's perfectly natural that expenses go up as soon as free time and extra energy goes down. It's a simple equation, isn't it?
Maybe you could see this very different parts of your life like some kind of boot camps - while working you make sure your nursing skills, work related social skills and accumulating skills stay sharp. When not working you train your saving skills, cooking and DIY skills and non-work-related social skills.
Compared to my PT-situation where everything moves rather consistently and therefore slowly your setup is geared more towards intense experiences. Those typically lead to faster growth. Of course, it is more exhausting, but slogging away can be another kind of exhausting, even when done PT. I really like your tentative long-term plan, it is something to look ahead. And if your GF should really flounder with too much time off, you'll figure out something else. You never know beforehand how people turn out in this scenario. My husband totally surprised me in this, he was so afraid of quitting FT work, and now a few years later I more or less have to force him to work 10 paltry hours a week, as not to lose his extremely valuable long-standing contract with his superb employer :)

Frita
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Frita »

The square spider web is so my engineer spouse. Where’s mine? It would look like a ramen noodle block.

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

@mooretrees
I'm not really too down on myself. Just looking at it as an observation of my behavioral changes when time becomes the scarce resource again over money. It's interesting more than disappointing.

@horsewoman
I'm pretty sure my spending will come back in line next time I'm off work. I established some pretty good habits the first time, so I'm hoping they'll just kick right back in and maybe even make more progress. I think you're right, spending will oscillate depending on how much time and energy is placed into earning money as a nurse. I'd be perfectly happy at around 1K/mo in off time and 1.5k while working, if it makes the whole situation sustainable for me in the medium to long term. That cartoon is too funny!

@frita
I'm definitely the square web too!

classical_Liberal
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

Update 3/26/2020
Quick update a bit before the end of the month as I will be working long shifts for the remainder.

COVID
So far my hospital system has not been overwhelmed as we are in a rural midwest area that has yet to see an exponential curve. Frankly, the whole situation is pretty anxiety producing as its clear we will not have enough PPE, and eventually it'll get to us.

Due to the fact I only have a healthshare for health insurance coverage, I actually considered just quitting. The cost benefit is certainly not working in my favor due to the increased odds of exposure and 20% hospitalization rate. Add the that the obvious underlying greed at the root of the ill preparedness in the private US healthcare system. Unfortunately, after careful consideration, I just couldn't do it. I feel it's an obligation to my community and I need to at least honor my current commitment through the first week of May. So I'm staying in the trenches, just waiting through the calm before the storm. I'm doing just about everything I can to learn about the crisis in other areas, to glean insight. While simultaneously trying to distract myself for moments of peace with TV, OTC sleep aids, and video games. Certainly not the happiest period of my life.

The GF is off because she is a surgical tech and there is greatly reduced surgical load in anticipation of COVID, currently being paid. However, it's highly likely they will cancel her contract in short order, so she is prepared to be unemployed. The payoff of her student loans has been postponed as she would rather keep the cash as an extra safety net for now.

Financial
I'm actually pretty pleased with spending this month. I easily spent an extra $200 for stockpiling food and other essentials that will eventually get used down, and still came in at $1139. Total annual is at $3521. My variable FI withdrawal YTD would have been $4100, so I'm well below an FI spending rate, already a quarter of the way through the year. Next months theoretical withdrawal is down to $1100, due to portfolio losses. I'm pretty sure I'll stay under though. Most of my needless spending is related to things I just can't do right now, travel and entertainment.

Speaking of portfolio. I've been pretty vocal in the investing threads that I am DCA'ing in some of my current 35% cash allocation. I'm buying VTI, VBR, and VXUS (or similar equivalents in my 401k) in equal amounts each week until I start reaching the bands I want to be at. So far I've only managed to move about 1.5% of NW, so I've got plenty of dry powder to continue for a prolonged bear. Currently I still have greater than 55% in defensive assets including the cash, gold, and still a bit in I-term Treasuries. YTD I'm down about 12.5% and have been staying in the 50% range of S&P500 losses. This is exactly how such scenarios played out in my historical sims, so I feel pretty "ok" with the losses.

Technically, I'm down 2.5 years of theoretical living expenses at 20K a year. In practice though, my reduced spending actually has me at a lower WR now then when I semi-ERE'ed. Assuming it continues to hold, my average post semi-ERE spending is only about $1200/mo on average. This translates to a 4.7% WR presently, with more than that amount in SS in 24 years. More praise for low spending doing more than any market movement could possibly. I still wanna reach true Wheaton level 6-7 thinking. If I can, I think it'll solidify this spending even with travel, but its been backburnered for the time being.

That's about it. Stay home, stay healthy, and wish me luck in the coming weeks. Thanks!

2Birds1Stone
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

It takes balls to keep working under the conditions you anticipate, so kudos to you for sticking it out.....as long as it's for the right reasons.

Wishing you a safe and uneventful couple of months on the job.

Happy that the spending reduction is going well! I'm in a similar situation where portolio is down 5x living expenses but TTM spending is also the lowest it's been since 2014 when I began tracking. PS, if you're on MMM I've been posting more from the other side of the pond. ERE is not picture friendly, nor works with Tapatalk (and I'm not on my computer much here).

Keep us posted from the frontlines! If shit hits the fan elsewhere, you may get an influx of migrants from larger metro areas, kind of how suberbs on LI are getting hammered with elitist Manhattenitte patients.

fingeek
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Location: South Wales

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by fingeek »

Stay safe man, and kudos to you for putting yourself out there on the front-line.

mooretrees
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by mooretrees »

I've been wondering how you were doing. Glad you posted. I agree, we're slow at work and it feels like the shit storm is coming, just around the bend. I've even thought of taking time off now to get really rested for whatever is ahead. But, I'll just keep going and see how it plays out.

My hospital hosted a PPE donning/doffing education day. I asked if they had done a trial run in full gear to learn some of the kinks. They didn't want to burn through our limited PPE....Now we have to treat all codes as possible covid-19 patients, with PAPRs and full gowning. I heard that there was a code blue recently and everyone had the PAPR on, and it was so noisy nobody could hear each other. How shitty is that?! Anyway, you are definitely in the trenches. I hope this social distancing helps, but it might be too little too late. Good luck!

Smashter
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Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by Smashter »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:22 am
Technically, I'm down 2.5 years of theoretical living expenses at 20K a year. In practice though, my reduced spending actually has me at a lower WR now then when I semi-ERE'ed.
That's really awesome. It's great to see your model holding up so well.

And I have a ton of respect for your decision to keep working. My family working in healthcare at midwest hospitals has expressed similar sentiments. Such a tough environment right now. Good luck, I really hope it all goes well.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1356
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: classical_Liberal's Semi-ERE

Post by classical_Liberal »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 2:35 am
It takes balls to keep working under the conditions you anticipate, so kudos to you for sticking it out.....as long as it's for the right reasons.
fingeek wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:00 am
Stay safe man, and kudos to you for putting yourself out there on the front-line.
Thanks everyone! My motivations are not financial. I literally had my resignation letter typed, talked to GF about it, then had a change of heart. I look at it as how would I feel about myself in a year if I bailed when I was needed most. Bravery is is doing something despite fear and potential personal losses... and all the other appropriate memes. :D Honestly though, I'm still doing it for myself, but more as a measure of my personal choices and self-view. Not some self sacrifice thing, so I don't really deserve any accolades. Also, not because I believe all the BS that is being thrown to the "sheepeople" of health care. Once I decided to look at it this way, most of the anger and resentment against the healthcare system was gone. Attitude is everything.
mooretrees wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:38 am
My hospital hosted a PPE donning/doffing education day. I asked if they had done a trial run in full gear to learn some of the kinks. They didn't want to burn through our limited PPE....Now we have to treat all codes as possible covid-19 patients, with PAPRs and full gowning.
We are already limiting PPE. A dedicated unit has been opened in the system, but cases are not limited there. People being evaluated as a "low risk" rule out are already down to droplet precautions to preserve N95's and PAPRs. There is still administrative confusion about which cases are supposed to be "low risk". So some people show up on the units as droplet, then become airborne contact later. This is the most frustrating part to me.
Smashter wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:27 am
That's really awesome. It's great to see your model holding up so well.
Yeah, it's crazy close, I'm actually surprised. Today's big jump should help as well. If S&P remains above 2600, I'm suspending my buying though. Kind of amazing how unemployment numbers were WORSE than expected, but we still saw a big gain today. It just shows how much uncertainty is out there right now. Even bad news is better than speculation at this point.

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