Author Topic: The Big Project  (Read 1258 times)

Offline David in MN

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The Big Project
« on: August 01, 2018, 10:37:54 AM »
Yup, I mean retirement. And I mean to do it before we're 50.

This isn't a joke to me. We've lived like paupers our whole lives. Sure we took a few trips to Europe but the day to day living has been the life of simple pleasures. And it has worked. I'm very proud to say we have passed into the realm of millionaires.

It helps that my passion is investing. While friends and family took 'target date funds' I was able to move quicker and adopt a "Talebian" barbell strategy hitting high dividends and high risk tech. The goal of the next 13 years is to transition from the Mrs. stable engineering job to be sufficient with my side hustles. By then we will (according to plan) pay off the house, have about $100k for educating our daughter (not counting grandparents), and be knocking on the door of $3m in liquid assets.

Then I'm done. I'm going to go wherever the spirit moves me. I don't have a hard time imagining spending winters doing finish work in Puerto Rico. I know a woodworker who already does this. I can trade stocks from a phone. Once the kid makes it to college we will have nothing holding us down and the freedom to go everywhere. I am dead serious when I say we will spend months in a beach bungalow only to bore of it and rent a chalet in the Alps.

When I was youngger I had the foolish dreams of "changing the world". Now I just want to exit. I went from being well-informed to singularly focused on putting this plan together. I've forgotten the names of my senators, congress(wo)man?, and governor. But I know the stock market inside out. And the second we can live off the dividends without touching principal what's the point of work?

I'm kind of curious if anyone else tracks this way. After years of striving for meaning I've come to realize the only thing that matters is my wife and daughter. And while I respect my stodgy Lutheran parents retirement to me looks like basketball shorts and flip flops. I don't go out to fancy steak houses, I roll my own pasta. I bake my own bread. Maybe I'd be happier on a skateboard than in an Audi. I used to think that being a millionaire meant stuffy suits and a giant leather bound checkbook. Now I realize it's collecting sea glass on a deserted beach.

This is just becoming word vomit at this point. Maybe I'm making my point but I doubt it. But maybe there's somebody else out there who gets it. Once you realize you'd rather be brewing beer in a French farmhouse than rotting on another cruise the story changes. And rather than saving for the traditional retirement I now feel I can give us the life we actually want. Sooner than we thought possible.

I'd love to hear others' thoughts about this. This is after all the one Big Project we all must face. The transition from doing what is demanded to what is wanted is the endgame.

Offline Carl

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2018, 05:31:09 PM »
  I'm gettin' by.

Offline Zef_66

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 10:22:29 AM »
Everyone has a different view of retirement. I envision mine similar to my dads. He retired 10 years ago at 55. He lives to work and enjoys every second of it. Since his retirement, he has built a 3 car garage. He then helped my brother and I each move our stuff out of our homes and into his house and garage spaced. Then helped us each build our own homes. He is even still working on some closet shelves for mine. On several of the many times I would thank him for the time and work he did, he said he enjoyed doing it and to pay him back by doing the same thing for his grandkids when he is not able to. That right there, that hits me. I love my kids and will do anything for them. In my retirement, I want to focus on the things I can do for them and hopefully my grandkids. I want to continue to teach them skills, help them build things, work on restoring cars, etc. I don't want to travel the world and spend my time and money on me. I am building a homestead and a life that I can retire early and spend my time in the mountains with my family and enjoy working everyday of it.

Offline Redman

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2018, 04:30:41 PM »
Zef,  :clap: :clap:

Offline LvsChant

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2018, 04:46:10 PM »
Congratulations! Your plan sounds really great... I'm very happy for you. I wish I had the investing abilities you have...

And, on your attitude about things... I'm with you... we didn't start as young as you (it took me awhile to bring hubby around to my frugal sensibilities), but we also have a pretty simple lifestyle and low cost of living. Our two boys are both in college now... the youngest starting out in the fall). Within the next 4 years they should both be pretty much self-sufficient or close to it.

Our plan for retirement is a little different than yours was, as the hubs took lower pay with greater retirement benes by working for Uncle Sam and retired at age 51. I'm still working at a job I really enjoy and paying for the boys' college primarily with my pay (and we are strongly encouraging them to study hard and keep their scholarships). So... as long as things don't implode, once I quit work also, we will be triple-dipping with his retirements, double dipping with mine and we also have no debt and fairly decent savings and we have good healthcare coverage from his work.

I'd love to be able to travel more and indulge in hobbies, etc. We are looking forward to it. Once the boys are set... we also want to help them as they get started in their lives. We've tried to instill good habits and the idea of no debt... we shall see how things go for them.

Offline Carl

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2018, 06:05:13 PM »
  My world did not unfold as I had planned. Yet here I am at 61 ,retired and hoping I leave this place better than I found it.

I have seen man walk on the moon and shuttles crash back to earth.
I have seen war most of my life,yet lived in peace.
I have seen technology expand  at an unbelievable pace.
I have seen storms that cause some to think the earth rebels.
I have now seen Political Correctness advanced to prove man has outreached common sense.
I have seen what is next for me and THIS brings me PEACE and HOPE.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 06:29:50 AM »
  My world did not unfold as I had planned. Yet here I am at 61 ,retired and hoping I leave this place better than I found it.

I have seen man walk on the moon and shuttles crash back to earth.
I have seen war most of my life,yet lived in peace.
I have seen technology expand  at an unbelievable pace.
I have seen storms that cause some to think the earth rebels.
I have now seen Political Correctness advanced to prove man has outreached common sense.
I have seen what is next for me and THIS brings me PEACE and HOPE.

Wonderful post, Carl. +1

Offline David in MN

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2018, 07:18:29 AM »
Well we did this crazy thing in our early 20s and tried to save 25%. And it turns out that if your passion is baking bread and rolling pasta you can live on very little. I think of Nathaniel Brandon (psychologist and Ayn Rand's lover) who famously wrote on the wall "No one is coming". He meant it in the sense that nobody will walk in, hold our hand, and tell us we were always correct. We will never get that solace. And I feel it as well in planning my life. No one is coming.

I'm glad to see that others have this struggle in their life. I can only speak for my family but we got out of school and put the nose to the grindstone. 15 years later I'm only starting to look up and question what we're doing and what the goals really are. The only metaphor that comes to mind is that we're in a river without gettin our head out of the water and being conscious of the river. And I'm maybe getting this impulse because I've watched my father be way too conservative with retirement only to have health problems when he should be living his dreams.

  My world did not unfold as I had planned. Yet here I am at 61 ,retired and hoping I leave this place better than I found it.

I have seen man walk on the moon and shuttles crash back to earth.
I have seen war most of my life,yet lived in peace.
I have seen technology expand  at an unbelievable pace.
I have seen storms that cause some to think the earth rebels.
I have now seen Political Correctness advanced to prove man has outreached common sense.
I have seen what is next for me and THIS brings me PEACE and HOPE.

Yeah, I get it. It's really tough to articulate. I feel like I could be the idiot on Jaywalking because I forgot who the Veep is but watching my daughter pick the best, ripest tomato yesterday and give it to a neighbor meant the world to me.

I can't help but think back to a time in the Virgin Islands where I got very drunk going drink for drink with a German expat who was thrilled to speak his native tongue with an American. Turns out he went to the Islands as a watch slaesman and after 2 weeks called to say he wasn't coming home. And 30 years later he was happy and knew everybody at the beachfront bar at 2 pm. He was very proud to not own a pair of real shoes. Likewise I met a crazy expat on Cayman Brac who drives a Delorean and collects Russian surface to air missiles.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2018, 11:10:28 AM »
I read this article awhile back while sitting in a waiting room.

http://time.com/money/5241566/vicki-robin-financial-independence-retire-early/

It speaks to the topic at hand, I think...

Offline David in MN

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2018, 12:51:17 PM »
I read this article awhile back while sitting in a waiting room.

http://time.com/money/5241566/vicki-robin-financial-independence-retire-early/

It speaks to the topic at hand, I think...

I'm stunned. I thought I was the lone crank trying to do this. And not only am I not alone but part of a movement? I've been talking this way for 10 years and the pieces are finally starting to come together. But even that article came with some mental confines of using money to "get by".

I always had this naive notion I would retire to the country and live out my days with an orchard and a barn. In truth if I ever get my barn I'll never be heard from again because I'll be rebuilding 19th century steam engines and building Andre Boulle furniture. But even that is me wearing the horse blinders. Why not live on a boat and sail to Macao? Why not spend months in an Indian spiritual retreat?

One of my fiscal heroes is JK Rowling. I don't care for her books because I don't read young adult fiction but she got her money and bought a beautiful multimillion garden estate in Scotland. She has the money to out clubbing and get matching tramp stamps with Kim Kardashian but she actually had the self-knowledge to know that having tea in her garden estate was what she really wanted.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2018, 03:11:28 PM »
I read this article awhile back while sitting in a waiting room.

http://time.com/money/5241566/vicki-robin-financial-independence-retire-early/

It speaks to the topic at hand, I think...

I read Your Money or Your Life twenty years ago and it definitely impacted the trajectory of my life since then. 

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2018, 08:37:40 PM »
I'm stunned. I thought I was the lone crank trying to do this. And not only am I not alone but part of a movement? I've been talking this way for 10 years and the pieces are finally starting to come together. But even that article came with some mental confines of using money to "get by".

I always had this naive notion I would retire to the country and live out my days with an orchard and a barn. In truth if I ever get my barn I'll never be heard from again because I'll be rebuilding 19th century steam engines and building Andre Boulle furniture. But even that is me wearing the horse blinders. Why not live on a boat and sail to Macao? Why not spend months in an Indian spiritual retreat?

One of my fiscal heroes is JK Rowling. I don't care for her books because I don't read young adult fiction but she got her money and bought a beautiful multimillion garden estate in Scotland. She has the money to out clubbing and get matching tramp stamps with Kim Kardashian but she actually had the self-knowledge to know that having tea in her garden estate was what she really wanted.

there are lots who live simply to retire early, Mr Money Mustache has a blog about it, to encourage others, esp the early years is about how to do it, and they are quie comfortable to what they want to do at this point

Offline CarbideAndIron

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2018, 05:29:27 AM »
This is awesome, Dave. And to have accomplished that while young is huge. I always like hearing peoples success/progress stories. Probably because it gives me hope for my own journey.
Financial freedom means very different things to all of us. I personally love my work, but am still aiming for retirement at 52 (kids will be out of house then, hopefully). I spent my 20's living like an asshole. Good at making money, and better at spending it. Luckily at 30, the combination of our first kid, my parents bugging me, and our church putting on Financial Peace, I wised up...finally. Spent the last 3yrs cleaning up the mess, and am almost done with that. Finally see that light at the end of the tunnel.
I know I now need to earn and save more than average to hit my goals, but that's life. You recommend one of Taleb's books? Or all of them? haha

Offline Carl

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2018, 08:32:12 AM »
  Few realize,before it is too late,that living within your means really has more than one meaning.

Offline Stwood

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2018, 01:04:33 PM »
We're pretty well into what we wanted when retirement time came.
Bought our acreage to retire on, and that's what we've done. Now to just figure out whether we're retired or not. Lol

No, not millionaires by a long long shot, but only owe pennies compared to what I had owed. I could open the stash and pay that off, but a guys gotta keep a little credit, right?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2018, 03:23:54 PM »
I just can't get comfortable about anything related to old age.

The two gigantic money-related uncertainties are medical needs (including long-term care) and the chance of an economic crash or other widespread disaster before the end of my life.  There's a little you can do about that with prepping, but the main prep seems to be "have a whole lot more money than you think you'll need".

Offline David in MN

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2018, 03:09:13 PM »
I just can't get comfortable about anything related to old age.

The two gigantic money-related uncertainties are medical needs (including long-term care) and the chance of an economic crash or other widespread disaster before the end of my life.  There's a little you can do about that with prepping, but the main prep seems to be "have a whole lot more money than you think you'll need".

I agree that medical issues are the big unknown. It's amazing how much you can sink into fixing something innocuous as "back pain". I'm less worried about markets. I'm a nimble trader and I can do all kinds of crazy things to make money. I'm (bluntly) not playing the same game as a guy with a target date fund.

It's also a weird thing to discuss. You don't talk money and politics in polite society. I can live without politics but I'm planning on living the last 30 years of my life on saved money. And not to be too woo-woo (I'm not 'The Secret') but talking about it will help it happen. Let me put it this way: if my retirement was a project at your work you'd dispassionately go through all the numbers and put together a plan and execute a strategy.

I no longer wish to act as a financial planner I would fire. Now it's about managing the biggest life shift imaginable like an engineering project. All the retirees in my life stopped work because they got fed up and one day tossed in the towel. That's insane. Literally missing out on a year or two with grandkids, passions, charities, community, travel, etc. That's not what I want for my family.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: The Big Project
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2018, 04:19:15 PM »
...if my retirement was a project at your work you'd dispassionately go through all the numbers and put together a plan and execute a strategy. ...

Ah, there's the challenge.  If it were all about dollars it would be... well, not easy, but theoretically doable.

I'm sitting here in the inland PNW immersed in smoke.  What value do I assign to air quality?  There are obvious but unquantifiable health impacts, plus psychology and aesthetics.  If we move to a cleaner area, my wife has to retire from her current job.  If we move, will the new place actually be cleaner and healthier, or will there be some other issue like, I dunno, mold spore allergies?

(I don't intend to solve those questions here -- I'm just giving them as an example.  We're having a whole lot of discussion in our household about these sorts of issues.)