Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 10
2/7/2014 is the date! Now, what the heck do I do next?

I totaled up my investment balance as of market close yesterday and I have achieved the minimum I set for myself about 5 years ago in order to FIRE. The minimum plan being

- Able to pull out a SWR of 50k per year.
- Sell the house and invest the equity. This will remain outside of the other investment pool, not to be touched until we build our retirement home
- Get an RV and tour the U.S. for a few years. Last I checked, fairly doable on 25k per year with a paid off pickup and RV.

However, DW and are not sure that is what we want now. Living in a tin can for a couple of years may not be our ideal lifestyle. We also have our 3rd child still in college. It is mostly funded with her picking up the remainder. She's a good kid that pays for her own car by working as a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory. She is well on her way to being an independent, successful young lady.

Until we decide if that is what we want to do, we are still going to work our jobs. As of right now, we are making far more than we ever have with a dual income and both getting paid well. I enjoy my job much more than DW does so I may hang on longer in order to get the account balance up further. DW, OTOH, got spoiled being a SAHM and just prefers that. She’s the type that gets up early and does 10 thousand things every day, most of which is for other people, but hates being under the yoke of a boss. She has to make that decision herself. She puts about 30% of her income into the 401k and a stock plan, but the rest (after taxes) she spends on whatever she wants. Mostly home improvement and the grandkids. Once she quits, that will be curtailed considerably.

My job is writing computer algorithms 90% of the time and just farting around the rest. The worse part of my day is getting up. I have no complaints. But I do want to retire and fart around 90% of the time. I just want to make sure I have all the $ I need to pay for the said 'farting'. lol

I need to spend more time on some of the RE websites and focus on the travel aspects. I’m intrigued by how some of these ER’s travel on 30-40k annual budgets.

In the meantime, just keep paying attention to my investments, contribute and get the SWR up to 60k. Long term, DW and I see us living on a couple of acres in the Rocky’s or Texas Hill country in a 1700 square foot log home surrounded by trees, looking over a lake or river.

This is a good problem to have. It happened before we expected as I just turned 52, so psychologically, I have not wrapped my brain around it yet. But I suspect that will come.


Metal
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Look at the real cost of medical-care insurance (including deductibles and copays) and make sure you still think $50K per year is sufficient. It wouldn't be unreasonable to decide that the situation is too muddled at the moment to make a decision - in which case you should continue building up your funds.

As for living in a can for a few years, we're about three months into year 4 and not tired of it. Granted, when we've been traveling 4-5 days a week for a couple weeks DW starts making noises about settling down... but when we've been parked for about six weeks she starts wanting to hit the road. You'd have to find the balance that works for you; and it will probably change over time.

I'd suggest renting an RV for a month or two, but the rental RVs are mostly small and (in my opinion) better for living *around* than living *in*. For a couple they'd replace a hotel room (and a small one at that), not a house.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
warrl
Look at the real cost of medical-care insurance (including deductibles and copays) and make sure you still think $50K per year is sufficient. It wouldn't be unreasonable to decide that the situation is too muddled at the moment to make a decision - in which case you should continue building up your funds.

I hear that. At present, I don't know how that will look. Originally, I planned on a decent sized HSA account built up from my years of working and then getting a high deductible plan for DW and I. With ACA, the HDHP's should still be available but my HSA will not barely be 10k if I FIRE this year, on account of me not working as long as intended.

As for living in a can for a few years, we're about three months into year 4 and not tired of it. Granted, when we've been traveling 4-5 days a week for a couple weeks DW starts making noises about settling down... but when we've been parked for about six weeks she starts wanting to hit the road. You'd have to find the balance that works for you; and it will probably change over time.

I'd suggest renting an RV for a month or two, but the rental RVs are mostly small and (in my opinion) better for living *around* than living *in*. For a couple they'd replace a hotel room (and a small one at that), not a house.


So I take it you and your wife take the full time rv'ing year by year? Did you plan on doing it this long? If not, you must really enjoy the lifestyle. Do you prefer private or state/fed RV parks? Do you spend as much time as you can visiting area attractions? Was my cost estimate of 25k per year fairly accurate?

My parents RV a lot but they still have a home base to come home to. They RV about 25% of the year, going out for 2-3 weeks at a time.

I have a ton of research to do. But if we chose the RV option, I gather I'll need one large enough for a small bed/bath and larger room for kitchen, eating and living. I would want to carry around a couple of mountain bikes and two kayaks. Then all the other things like clothes, golf clubs etc.. I would imagine would have a storage place for the things you don't want to carry. For example, winter clothes and winter rec equipment during the summer.

Metal
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
So I take it you and your wife take the full time rv'ing year by year? Did you plan on doing it this long? If not, you must really enjoy the lifestyle. Do you prefer private or state/fed RV parks? Do you spend as much time as you can visiting area attractions? Was my cost estimate of 25k per year fairly accurate?

Nah, the intent was to live in the RV for many years; but we came in aware of a risk that this might turn out to not be so good for us.

With a paid-off RV, exclusive of medical-care insurance, and with a suitable general travel plan, I think it's probably quite doable.

One problem we have is that family commitments currently require us to travel round-trip between Seattle and Montgomery every year. And DW's medical situation requires ongoing relationships with doctors, with appointments every couple months. That requires a lot of miles every year, restricts where we go, and somewhat dictates our pace when traveling.

Since our motorhome costs about 50 cents a mile just for fuel, this is expensive.

What I'd really prefer, for many reasons, is to travel round trip north to south every year, with the route slowly drifting east and west across the continent over the years; but then we might see any given relative or doctor only every decade or so, and that doesn't work for DW (particularly her pain-killers).
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Hey, Metal,

Congratulations to you. If you remember,years ago, I think both of us were on the REHP board a lot. Along the way, I started this board. Then, in 2005 I joined Stock Advisors and I'm on those boards the most now.

If I keep my current job, I will reach my FIRE date in 4 years, at age 50. I will have a pension available to me at that time.

Odds are I will retire as soon as I can. However, I may still
work, maybe just PT, but just to get so extra bucks to invest.

My house will be paid off in one year, my oldest is in a free college and my youngest has a good shot at getting in one as well.

Neither my wife or I are from the area we are living in, so we may end up moving within the next 5 years or so.

I wish the best to you with your various decisions and I hope to meet you one day on the FIRE path.

mazske
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
mazske
Congratulations to you. If you remember,years ago, I think both of us were on the REHP board a lot. Along the way, I started this board. Then, in 2005 I joined Stock Advisors and I'm on those boards the most now.

Oh ya! How could I forget. I read every post on your board here as well. It would be great to have a meet up some day. Good luck to you and yours as well.

Metal
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
Congratulations. I think I'll be there in 5 years myself. Maybe less, Maybe more, Maybe never - who knows?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Congratulations! We're in a similar situation, kind of like a dog chasing a car, I'm not sure what to do now that we've caught what we've been chasing for years :)

It happened before we expected as I just turned 52

Probably due in large part to the exceptional market returns since the 2009 inauguration...more than 18% per year for the S&P.

-murray
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 8
Murray
Probably due in large part to the exceptional market returns since the 2009 inauguration...more than 18% per year for the S&P.


Ha. Very funny.

I prefer to chalk it up to DW and I willing to sacrifice and significantly LBOM's for 2 decades, mostly on one income, so we could put an average of about 25% of our income towards asset building vehicles. I started off putting away 20% of our income right after my 1st job with a 401k. In the late 90's, when I should have been putting money away, we got McMansion fever and put nothing away for 5 years until we wised up and sold it. Dumb!

It was not until 2001, right about the time I found REHP board and intercst's website that I put things in high gear, putting away 40% of our income at one point.

In 2007, I sectioned off about 1/3 my investments and started trading stocks within a taxable account and also some within an IRA. No day trading. I average about 10-15 trades per year. I had a few spectacular years and a few really bad ones. 2013 was my breakaway year, achieving a total 250% gain. 2014 is still building as I have achieved almost 20% so far. I'm slowly selling my shares and getting more conservative as I shift into FIRE mode. As many people have said in the past, "you only need to get rich once!". <g>

I am forever grateful to intercst and the people like him I've associated with on the FIRE boards since 2001.

Metal
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Wonderful story!

Just curious, what is intercst's website?

- Jeff
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Wonderful story!

Just curious, what is intercst's website?

- Jeff


http://retireearlyhomepage.com/

Metal
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
http://retireearlyhomepage.com/

Metal


I've been dreaming of an early retirement since I got out of school in 1997, but the REH website is really the go to website for anyone striving for this goal. I came across that website maybe around 2003, after I was well on my way towards a plan in place, and it accelerated my motivation. My goal was to work only 20 years, but with kids it's stretching out further. However, Obamacare might also help to pull it in, along with some recent strides in my career. Ironic how Obamacare really helps the 1%ers retire early and screws the middle class, like my sister.

Anyway, Metal's posts have had me back in the spreadsheets trying to figure out how to pull in FIRE. I need about 2.7E6 not including home equity for our situation, and I put together a 6-10 year plan, maximizing savings and risk. Seeing that I may only have 6 years, I've pushed forward at work at what hopefully is my final stretch. I manage about 15 engineers at the moment, and have agreed to be next in line to expand up one more level to manage ~50. We'll see.

As Metal mentioned, FIRE isn't something I discuss at work. Most work until 60+, and I still smile inside knowing I am way ahead of pretty much all 39 yo I work with, but would be career limiting to discuss.

--
whyohwhyoh
Print the post Back To Top