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Old 07-11-2016, 09:13 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by medved View Post
You guys seem to be doing great. If Ladbrokes offered a bet on your success, I would take it in a second! A combination of enjoying the present and being thoughtful about your financial future.

When my wife stopped working (sometime after kid #2), I was a bit concerned about the impact on our financial goals, and also having all the financial eggs in one basket (my career). I was making very good money, but still -- you never know.

But it all worked out fine. Her staying at home allowed me to focus on career. In retrospect, I wish I had been a bit less focused on career, but it will never be perfect. And we are at a point now -- in early 50s -- with one kid in college and one in high school -- when I could retire. My guess is by the time your kids are in college, you will be in that position too.
Thanks for providing your background. I really appreciate you reflecting on when you were in a very similar spot. I know we are in good financial shape, but it does naturally concern me. The concern isn't enough to not do it, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a little bit difficult to accept the idea of walking away from a strong salary and good benefits, while also then relying on one source of income.

However, I know my wife will be significantly happier, which will make me happier, and the kids will absolutely benefit. My son starts pre-K next August, which introduces fall break, Christmas break, spring break, summer break, etc. He also has started sports, which are only weekends now, but they will only become more time intensive. Ultimately, the knowledge that one or both parents will always be available to attend and support an activity my son or daughter is engaged justifies the decision. We talk about money a lot, but I try to remind myself to appreciate the little moments as often as I can. I think we have struck a good balance between career and home life, but it's a constant juggling act. I think her staying home takes a ball or two out of the air.

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Old 07-11-2016, 09:24 AM   #42
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Thanks for the update. You are going like a rock star. For high achievers like yourselves, what might be the plan when ER time arrives?

If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:47 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Thanks for the update. You are going like a rock star. For high achievers like yourselves, what might be the plan when ER time arrives?
Well, in a perfect world, I'd really like to call it quits while my kids are still home and stay here for awhile. I think it'd be really cool to have 100% of my time and attention available to the family for the last few years that we all live under the same roof. Obviously, that goal will take a combination of hard work, aggressive saving and luck, but we'll see. Depending on how things go, maybe I could just dial back to something that involves little to no out of state travel.

Once they are both off to or graduated from college, we are set to move to Central Florida. Just about everything we love to do is readily available in that area, including multiple cruise ports, multiple theme parks, plenty of golf courses, etc. I also enjoy woodworking, so I'd love to ramp that up a bit with more time on my hands. I think my wife would like to pick up some part time/seasonal work at a theme park. We met working down there during college, and while I would never go back to that type of work, it has a special place for her, so it's an option.

Truthfully, we would consider going now, as my job is not location-dependent. However, we love our current area as a young family, with a reasonable COL, top rated schools, great friends and neighbors, etc.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:29 AM   #44
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Well, we hit an interesting milestone about a month ago: we passed $1,000,000 in total assets. Obviously $1M in NW is the much bigger milestone, but I guess I thought this would still be a significant moment. I told my wife about it on a walk with our kids, and she just kind of nodded and said "that's cool," and went back to our normal conversation about an upcoming vacation. Truthfully, this is almost exactly how I felt about it, as well. I feel kind of bad, because I'm fully aware that the vast majority of the country will never reach this milestone. I feel like we should have been more excited.

If my boss called and gave me a $5,000 bonus today, I'd be 100 times more excited than I was to hit $1M in assets. I wonder, psychologically, why it wasn't as big of a deal as I might have expected.

There's actually an active thread in the Young Dreamers forum on this exact topic, just with $1M NW rather than $1M assets, so I guess I'm not the only one.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:19 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Standard Staples View Post

If my boss called and gave me a $5,000 bonus today, I'd be 100 times more excited than I was to hit $1M in assets. I wonder, psychologically, why it wasn't as big of a deal as I might have expected.
It's about expectations. You could see for some time that you were approaching $1M in assets. The $5K would be a total surprise.
"The mountains are calling, and I must go." John Muir
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:02 PM   #46
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The end of another year has come, and it's time for an update! I'm really happy with how we did, and most of my comments feel like deja vu (in a good way). Overall income was up by about 10%, thanks to a scheduled raise, lower but still decent bonus, reliable renters and growing dividends. It's no secret that the market surged at the end of the year, and my two properties continued to gain equity. In terms of net worth, we did manage to both enter and exit the $500K club in the same year, and we are seated firmly in the $600K club. I'm hopeful that through growth and contributions, we can approach the $750K mark by the end of 2017, but I'm hesitant to project any higher. I wouldn't be surprised to see a bit of a market dip, and my wife and I will have a moderate drop in income this year, which I'll explain in the 2017 goals below.

Here's how the end of 2016 looked, when compared with the end of 2015:

================================================== =============

$187,000 Annual Combined Income - $205,000

$63,500 Roth - $80,000
$65,000 Taxable Brokerage - $77,000
$39,100 Rollover IRA - $46,000
$104,700 401k (Combined) - $169,500
$22,400 IRA/Roth IRA (College Savings) - $31,200
$18,000 Cash/HSA - $21,000

Primary Residence: $209,500 Debt ($180,00 Equity) - $201,600 Debt ($218,400 Equity)
Rental Property: $138,400 Debt (-$3,400 Equity) - $135,600 Debt ($14,000 Equity)

NET WORTH END 2014: ~$354,100
NET WORTH END 2015: ~$489,300
NET WORTH END 2016: ~$657,100

2014 Annual Expenses: $57,600
2015 Annual Expenses: $57,300
2016 Annual Expenses: $71,715

2014 Annual Savings: $71,850
2015 Annual Savings: $90,120
2016 Annual Savings: $81,560

2014 Annual Savings Rate: ~55%
2015 Annual Savings Rate: ~61%
2016 Annual Savings Rate: ~53%
================================================== ======

2016 Goals & Results

Annual Combined Income: $190,000 - Beat by $15,000
Annual Expenses: $73,300 - Beat by $1,585
Annual Savings: $60,000 - Beat by $21,560
Annual Savings Rate: 45% - Beat by 8%
Net Worth: $575,000 - Beat by $82,100

$41,500 401k (including Company Matches) - DONE - $44,041.67
$0 Brokerage - (Big Change - Focusing on minimizing tax burden first. Excess money will filter to this account) - DONE - $1,350
$6,400 House Principal Payoff - DONE - $7,968.31
$9,500 Reinvested Dividends - DONE - $13,981.47
$5,500 Roth - DONE - $5,500
$3,600 IRA - DONE - $900 (Shifted to Roth)
$1,900 Roth - DONE - $4,600
$6,850 HSA - DONE - $6,850______________
$75,250 TOTAL - DONE - $85,091.13

I naturally feel incredible about these goals, not having missed a single one.
================================================== ======

2017 Notes & Goals

2017 is going to be interesting. After a few years of discussion and careful planning, my wife will be leaving her job in September. Once my son enters Pre-K in late August, he follows the county school schedule, so he'll have lots of breaks, holidays, etc. With my travel schedule, it just isn't feasible to expect my wife to hold down a FT job and work around all the breaks, doctors appointments, etc. I'm nervous about the loss of income, but Pre-K is state-funded, and my daughter will only go a couple times a month, so that expense will drop significantly, so that neutralizes it a bit. More importantly, it gives my wife the opportunity to care for the kids to the absolute best of her ability, and she's excited. It also gives me the opportunity to be even more flexible and agreeable in my career, and who knows what the future holds. We have a really strong financial base, and I feel good about it. That being said, I am expecting lower income and somewhat lower expenses in 2017:

Annual Combined Income: $180,000
Annual Expenses: $66,000
Annual Savings: $63,900
Annual Savings Rate: 49%
Net Worth: $750,000

$44,000 401k (including Company Matches)
$6,200 House Principal Payoff
$12,000 Reinvested Dividends
$11,000 Roth (Combined)
$6,800 HSA__________________________
$80,000 TOTAL

Here's to 2017! Thanks for following along.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:23 PM   #47
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Looks like it was solid 2016 for you !!! Congrats!
I am also tracking our progress quarterly in topic "Plan for Exit 2024" , we are slightly ahead but much older too, so time is on your side here. Pretty sure you will be able to FIRE by my age if you keep your focus on prize
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:26 PM   #48
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Nice work! Keep it up and you'll achieve your goals easily.

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