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Coming From Behind (Bow Chica Bow Bow) O:)
Old 03-18-2008, 04:31 PM   #1
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Coming From Behind (Bow Chica Bow Bow) O:)

I wound up $23,000 in debt by the time I was 22. I traded through three different cars and two motorcycles. I wound up with a wonderful woman who slapped me upside the head and said stop being an idiot. I lost the woman but kept the advice. It's taken some time, but I've conquered that mountain of debt and am planning on moving beyond it oh so fast.

By the end of this year, beginning of next year at the latest, Iíll be a free man. Iíll be taking this along with me:

- $23,000 in cash for savings/investment
- ~$1,100/month
- Cell phone bill (about $400 annual)
- Motorcycle insurance (about $600 annual)
- $39,000 college fund
- Paid for and well-maintained motorcycle

The plan is to set up a base in the PNW or Southwest (much like Billy and Akaisha have done) and spend my time:

- Sailing
- Kayaking
- Bicycling
- Motorcycling
- Hiking
- Woodworking
- Taking the occasional basket weaving class

Iíve crunched the numbers six ways from Sunday and once more just for a change of pace. I like what I see. This comes out to a 5-year plan, and from what I learn from it I plan to wind up staying perma-semi-retired.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:49 PM   #2
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how old are you now?
Is that your total net worth?
How long do you plan for it to last?
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Old 03-18-2008, 05:22 PM   #3
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23 years-old now.

The $23,000 will be all I have with me in savings. There may be an additional $5,000 in that if I don't spend it on more sailing classes like I had intended and if I decide to sell back some time off instead of taking it.

The $1,100 a month will go until I die. It'll have a yearly increase of < 4%.

I plan on going on for 4 years at the minimum, 6 years the most without a job. I don't drink but rarely (couple times a year), I don't like to go out to eat but rarely (same), my clothes last forever, I don't own a television and have no interest in them. My diet is simple and the things I like to do are free (besides riding my motorcycle) except for initial cost and some very light and cheap maintenance.

After that time, I'll see where I sit and decide from there. Within the next year and a half I'll have my dual B.S. in engineering and finance. I have a background in nuclear reactor operation and maintenance, woodworking, dispatch, security, and various kinds of mechanical knowitry.
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:30 PM   #4
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Welcome to the board, RG!
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Originally Posted by RetiredGypsy View Post
The $1,100 a month will go until I die. It'll have a yearly increase of < 4%.
A lot of people are going to be wondering where on Vanguard's website they can find an annuity like that. The rest of the people are going to be wondering how you're covering your health insurance.

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Originally Posted by RetiredGypsy View Post
... a background in nuclear reactor operation and maintenance...
So... boats or ships?
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Old 03-18-2008, 06:38 PM   #5
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Crap, I thought I had that written in. That $1,100/month isn't a return on an investment. It's compensation.

Boats. 688i. You couldn't drag me on a carrier unless they promised to land F-18's within 60 feet of me. Oh wait...
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:49 PM   #6
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Crap, I thought I had that written in. That $1,100/month isn't a return on an investment. It's compensation.
Boats. 688i. You couldn't drag me on a carrier unless they promised to land F-18's within 60 feet of me. Oh wait...
Sounds like you're sitting pretty financially. That kind of monthly income from the federal govt at your age-- I suspect you had to pay a pretty high price to earn it.

Gumby is also a recovering nucaholic. Three submariners on an ER discussion board-- this must be some sort of record...
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Old 03-19-2008, 02:04 PM   #7
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Higher than I ever thought I'd have to, but that's neither here nor there.

You've been on your fair share of boats, you know how financially pamper...I mean worked to death nukes are. At least it looks like one of us didn't spend it all on $50,000 trucks and $30,000 motorcycles and 60" TVs!
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Old 03-20-2008, 08:26 AM   #8
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23 years-old now.

The $23,000 will be all I have with me in savings. There may be an additional $5,000 in that if I don't spend it on more sailing classes like I had intended and if I decide to sell back some time off instead of taking it.

The $1,100 a month will go until I die. It'll have a yearly increase of < 4%.

I plan on going on for 4 years at the minimum, 6 years the most without a job. I don't drink but rarely (couple times a year), I don't like to go out to eat but rarely (same), my clothes last forever, I don't own a television and have no interest in them. My diet is simple and the things I like to do are free (besides riding my motorcycle) except for initial cost and some very light and cheap maintenance.

After that time, I'll see where I sit and decide from there. Within the next year and a half I'll have my dual B.S. in engineering and finance. I have a background in nuclear reactor operation and maintenance, woodworking, dispatch, security, and various kinds of mechanical knowitry.
Forgive me for being a little skeptical of your plan here. You are still relatively young.

In your plan you will be taking off the next 4 to 6 years for: Sailing- Kayaking- Bicycling- Motorcycling- Hiking- Woodworking
- Taking the occasional basket weaving class

You have degrees that apply to very technical career fields. At the end of the 4 to 6 years, what will you have to put on your resume that will have value to an employer? A lot can change in an industry in 4 to 6 years all of your experience/training will be 4 to 6 years and more old.

How will you explain the previous 4 to 6 years? How will that be viewed by the prospective employer when competing against other candidates for the job with more recent/current training, experience, & work history.

(or perhaps you will become self-employed)

Are there plans for spouse, kids, house in your future? Do you have health care? If you marry & have kids will they have health care? A COLA'd $1100 a month won't go very far with a family.

(OTOH - I sometimes wish I had just taken 5 years off in my youth to travel & enjoy myself before I began the 25 year career grind. Perhaps it would have led to a more fulfilling self-employment situation instead.)
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:48 AM   #9
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Gumby is also a recovering nucaholic. Three submariners on an ER discussion board-- this must be some sort of record...
Four... NPS Orlando, former instructor at INEL, S5G prototype, alternating with time on the USS Parche out of Mare Island.

When I got my physics degree I had a choice of doing ORSE boards for eternity or getting out, so I got out and did computer stuff for a while. I just retired (no benefits, of course) from Apple, Inc.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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Texarkandy, I can imagine very few people who would listen to my plan and not try to either talk me out of it, talk me into cutting back, talk me into being more sensible, talk until my ear bleeds about how it won't work.

I can also imagine the lives of these people, with their financed cars and financed houses and financed lives circling around borrowed time. And what do I say back to them? How would it be any more effective than what FIRE'd up people here have to say to those who naysay?

The degrees I nearly have now are technical. But both are nearly finished and nearly came free, so why stop when I'm so close to the finish line? I know what you're saying does not mean to skip out on these degrees, but I still think in essence it answers your question. But I also must include that from my own personal experience, very few people wind up in a career that has much to do with the education they went after.

In the end, I would like to save military members from financial ruin. When new soldiers and sailors find their 18-20 or so and suddenly making $20,000-$40,000 a year, a lack of financial education and childhood dreams clash in epic ways. That may mean self employment, it may mean working through the VA or through the military, or it may mean I dress in robes and hand out fliers outside bases while holding a big nobby stick.

On second thought...

I'll have all the health care benefits of a retired military member, same with any family I have. And when the time comes for family, well, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I try to imagine life with a wife, but I don't know how much wife to imagine. It's one thing to have an outline, but filling it with her wants and personality would be impossible.

Three nukes walk into a bar...the rest of the crew ducked.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:14 PM   #11
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RetiredGypsy, you sound plenty OK to me. A long life to you. I can tell you already have the good sense to live it. I wish I had my program as tight at 23.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:17 PM   #12
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I'd sell back the time off and trade sailing classes for work in the future just to have the extra money. Go for it if you've done the numbers and they work - you can always go back to work later in some fashion right? If you're bold enough to do this (with it all planned out, not just bumming with no plan), then you'll be bold enough to get a job at 28 when you need it. Truth is, most people are as clueless at 28 about what to do with their life, as at 23 - so go for it if you are willing. I wouldn't have been ready to do that - at 23 I just wanted to work. Now, over ten years past that, I would absolutely love to take a year off, but it's not available, so maybe you just have to do it when it is available.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:22 PM   #13
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Oh, and one more thing. Your plan, in general, does not sound crazy unrealistic. I live on under $2k a month, and have a nice place. If I had to - with health insurance paid, I could come very close to, but not quite to the amount you're planning on.
But - will a motorcycle only cut it for 5 years? You didn't mention a car.
You know, you could always work 3-4 months/year when the weather isn't as conducive to your outdoor activities. That's just my paranoia talking, but I'd want to maintain some extra money.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:33 AM   #14
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I have to thank you all for these amazing responses. Having input that makes me consider aspects of my plans I haven't thought of are really helpful.

My motorcycle has served as my grocery getter and all-purpose transport for the last two years. I've ridden it every kind of weather imaginable save for snow. It's not bad as long as you have a blow dryer handy.

I've thought about seasonal work. If something opened up that I found interesting I would do it in a heartbeat. I've given a lot of thought to becoming a motorcycle safety instructor, especially after the accidents and deaths that have happened here on base recently. That would give me something to do during the crazy days of summer and then spend the off seasons chasing the warm weather around the world.

Life is fluid, and plans change. I know the things I want to do in the future now may be the things I've forgotten about tomorrow. I might wind up chasing my babies around the park rather than babes on the beaches of Baja. But as long as I'm not being ground into something I can't stand to see in the mirror every morning, you'll never see me without a smile, no matter what road I find myself on.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:08 AM   #15
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Good for you Retired Gypsy! It seems like you have thought about this and are making an educated decision. I didn't even start thinking about retirement until 28 and have put a nice chunk of change together in the last 5 years.
Once you get hooked into the pension, benefits, and health insurance world....it becomes a lot harder to go for what you heart desires.
Enjoy every minute of this great adventure and keep us updated!
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:14 AM   #16
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Welcome Retired Gypsy,
Your plan sounds fine to me.
Just one thing to point out - there are a lot of sailing guys out there, who would be happy to teach you sailing for free (well sometimes for a beer or two ).
If you can commit time to be a reliable "rail meat" (i.e. racing crew) there are some skippers who would even feed you

sailor
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Old 03-21-2008, 02:38 PM   #17
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Four... NPS Orlando, former instructor at INEL, S5G prototype, alternating with time on the USS Parche out of Mare Island.
When I got my physics degree I had a choice of doing ORSE boards for eternity or getting out, so I got out and did computer stuff for a while. I just retired (no benefits, of course) from Apple, Inc.
Ouch.

I was incarcerated at Orlando Jan-June 1983 and know some people who were there in 1990-93. I sure hope you never had to contend with young LT Harvey.

Between prototype duty and PARCHE, you weren't just a typical nuke-- you must've been a real masochist!
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:31 PM   #18
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Sailor, from what I could save from regular sailors teaching me to sail, there'd be more than a beer or two. That sounds like a job for some rum and a bottle of Jack, maybe some scotch thrown in for good measure.
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Tallships
Old 04-30-2008, 05:38 PM   #19
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Tallships

Gypsy, from personal experience, if you want to do some cheap travel and learn some sailing basics, look at getting a deckhand job on a tallship. Room, board, medical, and travel. The pay is not much - pretty much drinking money, but you can pick a ship based on the location and where they are heading, and the contracts usually run 3-4 months (at will though). They also tend to operate in good weather. Check out ASTA - Billet Bank
for boats looking for crew. Might not be what you are looking for, but I suspect that it's a heck of a lot more fun than being sub-bound.
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Old 04-30-2008, 05:42 PM   #20
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Thank you!
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