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One year After FIRE, All is Well
Old 07-05-2017, 09:12 AM   #1
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One year After FIRE, All is Well

Do not wait too long to retire or quit work. My last job was the only job I ever quit, without a new job to go to.

Looking back, I could have definitely FIRE'd sooner, but I am glad I have the financial resources that I need. I have not missed work for even one day, and have no second thoughts. My former boos even offered a position for me to come back. No dice. Hard work does indeed pay off. I have been thoroughly enjoying the last third+ (hopefully) of my life.

After one year of retirement, I have fared pretty well, at least in my own mind. My strategy of assuming my expenses would be double of what I expected, and my income would be half of what I projected, has worked. Almost too good. It does leave me with a surplus I need to start spending quite a bit more.

Healthcare
My healthcare costs are still $0, as I use the VA Medical Center for all my healthcare needs. There is a $0 premium, and a $0 deductible. If I need any medications, it’s $8 per month, per prescription – or less if Walmart is cheaper. So far, I am healthy and any needs I have are met. My healthcare costs are less than when I was working. The DGF has an even better deal.

Spending
I currently live 100% on rental income and have not taken out any investment account money. A 0% withdrawal rate. My 401K, Roth IRA, traditional IRA and after-tax account have all increased in value by over $300K in the past year. Property values have also increased. I could take $25K+ per year in dividends if I wanted. At some point, I will have to, after I change my residence to a lower tax state. At some point, the market will taketh away what it has given. Hopefully not all.

I have paid an extra $6,000 each month on my rental property mortgages (5.375%), or $72K in additional principle payments, since I quit work. I had been paying extra for a while, and continued it. The mortgage will be paid off in just a few more months. Once that mortgage is paid off, I will have the $6,000 plus another $960 in P&I payment each month in increased cash flow. I have saved a bit on top of that extra mortgage payment amount, probably another $4,000+ a month or so. With a higher cash flow, I avoid bonds and get better returns.

I have not really skimped on buying anything. I did almost buy another Glock, but since I already have about a dozen, plus another dozen+ other handguns, I passed – for now. I have also been eyeing a hardwood burning pellet grill, but want to make sure I will use it enough to justify the cost ($899).

My future income streams are still solid. Social Security amounts will be in excess of $3,000 per month at age 70. My pension at 65 will be $1,262. I definitely need to spend more. The DGF will have a bit too. It isn’t that I have not tried to spend money. I went on several trips over the past year, all in the USA. I figure it costs under $1,500 per week to travel for the two of us and a dog, assuming I drive to the destination. I have used any veterans discounts I can get, and GroupOns, credit card rebates, and they have saved many hundreds.

Upcoming Purchases
A 2017 Ford F350 4x4 Platinum diesel is going to be on order in July, that will take away a bit. I am going to buy a fifth wheel as soon as I can get a great deal. I am also in the process of selling a property in Minnesota, and doing a 1031 exchange to a Florida property. That should lower my state income tax bill at some point when I change my residence there.

In the end, I suspect that some stripper that may not have even been born yet will wind up with a bunch…

Travel taken and Planned
July 2016 – Week in Branson, MO
December 2016 – Week in Branson, MO
January 2017 – Three+ weeks in St Louis, MO, Nashville, TN and Florida. One highlight was that I saw a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center, at night, from the 2-mile restricted area viewing station.
February 2017 – Two weeks in Tuscon, AZ
March 2017 – Two weeks in Biloxi, MS and New Orleans
May 2017 – Drove the 450 miles and attended a Garth Brooks concerti in Kansas City, MO. We had dead center seats, only six rows back from the stage. We also took a day trip to Duluth and toured the Glensheen Mansion later in the month.
June 2017 – Took two weeks to travel around Lake Superior. Some highlights include a visit to Isle Royale National Park, going through the Sault Ste Marie Locks, spending a day on Mackinac Island and a taking a boat tour of the Apostle islands.

Upcoming adventures for 2017 are a two-week trip to Glacier National Park in September, my high school reunion in Massachusetts in November, and a ~10-day trip to Hawaii in December. VIP Gold tickets for a camping adventure at CountryFest in Cadott, WI in June 2018.

I am also already planning a trip in early November 2018 to Churchill, Manitoba to see wild polar bears at the Polar bear Capital of the World.

The goal is to be gone about half of the time.
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:32 AM   #2
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Welcome back, Senator! Sounds like you are having a great retirement.
We are hoping to visit Branson. Mo. What did you like best there?
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:36 AM   #3
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All great news Senator. It sounds like you have much more than you need and a very financially secure retirement.

Do you have any regret about not retiring earlier?
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:37 AM   #4
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Senator, you are doing great it sounds like. You have planned well, now you get to enjoy your life. Good for you.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:57 AM   #5
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I'll join the crowd: Good to see you back with such a glowing report. Was wondering if you were too busy having fun to report in, and I was right!

Hope it continues.
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:06 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
All great news Senator. It sounds like you have much more than you need and a very financially secure retirement.

Do you have any regret about not retiring earlier?
Not really. If I would have went sooner, I may be always worried about spending too much. Working until when I did really allows me to do what I want without too much worry. I do still worry about finances, so it likely never will go away.

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Originally Posted by pacergal View Post
Welcome back, Senator! Sounds like you are having a great retirement.
We are hoping to visit Branson. Mo. What did you like best there?
We went to the Sight and Sound theater and saw Moses and did a behind the scenes tour. It was a great play, and I am not all that into plays. The Haygoods were great.

I went on a few hikes in the area too, Dogwood Canyon Park and top of the Rock. The Dixie stampede had great food. And do not miss eating at Lambert's and catch a thrown roll. Be sure to buy tickets at the 2 for 1 outlets. I did a zip line which was interesting and worth it.
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 12:09 PM   #7
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Congratulations! Glad to hear such a positive report on your first year.

Ours was a bit more "adventurous" - the world economy tanked 3 months after we ER'd in May '08. But we would not have it any other way.

Quote:
At some point, the market will taketh away what it has given. Hopefully not all.
Good to keep in mind
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:07 PM   #8
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Senator, Glad to see an update from you and happy to hear you are doing well in retirement. One question.....what do you do when you are away on a trip and have to take care of an issue at one of your rental properties? Do you have a management company help you out?
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by freedomatlast View Post
Senator, Glad to see an update from you and happy to hear you are doing well in retirement. One question.....what do you do when you are away on a trip and have to take care of an issue at one of your rental properties? Do you have a management company help you out?
I am always available by cell and email. I had to call out a furnace guy, and had to walk a renter through an issue with a water heater pressure relief valve leaking.

Very seldom is there a problem. If there is, I do the same thing a property manager would do, call someone else.
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:58 PM   #10
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Congrats on your year! Glad it has started out well.

As a general observation, the last year has been good from an investment perspective, so many who retired probably have a surplus. I would be interested in finding any threads from folks who retired, say, a year before the market low in 2009 and what their view was at that time.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:39 PM   #11
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Good for you Senator! I occasionally visit your rental website - good stuff! Please keep it up!
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
Do not wait too long to retire or quit work. My last job was the only job I ever quit, without a new job to go to.

Looking back, I could have definitely FIRE'd sooner, but I am glad I have the financial resources that I need. I have not missed work for even one day, and have no second thoughts. My former boos even offered a position for me to come back. No dice. Hard work does indeed pay off. I have been thoroughly enjoying the last third+ (hopefully) of my life.

After one year of retirement, I have fared pretty well, at least in my own mind. My strategy of assuming my expenses would be double of what I expected, and my income would be half of what I projected, has worked. Almost too good. It does leave me with a surplus I need to start spending quite a bit more.

Healthcare
My healthcare costs are still $0, as I use the VA Medical Center for all my healthcare needs. There is a $0 premium, and a $0 deductible. If I need any medications, it’s $8 per month, per prescription – or less if Walmart is cheaper. So far, I am healthy and any needs I have are met. My healthcare costs are less than when I was working. The DGF has an even better deal.

Spending
I currently live 100% on rental income and have not taken out any investment account money. A 0% withdrawal rate. My 401K, Roth IRA, traditional IRA and after-tax account have all increased in value by over $300K in the past year. Property values have also increased. I could take $25K+ per year in dividends if I wanted. At some point, I will have to, after I change my residence to a lower tax state. At some point, the market will taketh away what it has given. Hopefully not all.

I have paid an extra $6,000 each month on my rental property mortgages (5.375%), or $72K in additional principle payments, since I quit work. I had been paying extra for a while, and continued it. The mortgage will be paid off in just a few more months. Once that mortgage is paid off, I will have the $6,000 plus another $960 in P&I payment each month in increased cash flow. I have saved a bit on top of that extra mortgage payment amount, probably another $4,000+ a month or so. With a higher cash flow, I avoid bonds and get better returns.

I have not really skimped on buying anything. I did almost buy another Glock, but since I already have about a dozen, plus another dozen+ other handguns, I passed – for now. I have also been eyeing a hardwood burning pellet grill, but want to make sure I will use it enough to justify the cost ($899).

My future income streams are still solid. Social Security amounts will be in excess of $3,000 per month at age 70. My pension at 65 will be $1,262. I definitely need to spend more. The DGF will have a bit too. It isn’t that I have not tried to spend money. I went on several trips over the past year, all in the USA. I figure it costs under $1,500 per week to travel for the two of us and a dog, assuming I drive to the destination. I have used any veterans discounts I can get, and GroupOns, credit card rebates, and they have saved many hundreds.

Upcoming Purchases
A 2017 Ford F350 4x4 Platinum diesel is going to be on order in July, that will take away a bit. I am going to buy a fifth wheel as soon as I can get a great deal. I am also in the process of selling a property in Minnesota, and doing a 1031 exchange to a Florida property. That should lower my state income tax bill at some point when I change my residence there.

In the end, I suspect that some stripper that may not have even been born yet will wind up with a bunch…

Travel taken and Planned
July 2016 – Week in Branson, MO
December 2016 – Week in Branson, MO
January 2017 – Three+ weeks in St Louis, MO, Nashville, TN and Florida. One highlight was that I saw a rocket launch at Kennedy Space Center, at night, from the 2-mile restricted area viewing station.
February 2017 – Two weeks in Tuscon, AZ
March 2017 – Two weeks in Biloxi, MS and New Orleans
May 2017 – Drove the 450 miles and attended a Garth Brooks concerti in Kansas City, MO. We had dead center seats, only six rows back from the stage. We also took a day trip to Duluth and toured the Glensheen Mansion later in the month.
June 2017 – Took two weeks to travel around Lake Superior. Some highlights include a visit to Isle Royale National Park, going through the Sault Ste Marie Locks, spending a day on Mackinac Island and a taking a boat tour of the Apostle islands.

Upcoming adventures for 2017 are a two-week trip to Glacier National Park in September, my high school reunion in Massachusetts in November, and a ~10-day trip to Hawaii in December. VIP Gold tickets for a camping adventure at CountryFest in Cadott, WI in June 2018.

I am also already planning a trip in early November 2018 to Churchill, Manitoba to see wild polar bears at the Polar bear Capital of the World.

The goal is to be gone about half of the time.
Congrats. I missed the boat on ordering the 2017 GMC diesel...only taking orders for 2018s now. Might wanna double check you didnt miss the cut for 2017 yet.
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FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:54 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Senator View Post
I am always available by cell and email. I had to call out a furnace guy, and had to walk a renter through an issue with a water heater pressure relief valve leaking.

Very seldom is there a problem. If there is, I do the same thing a property manager would do, call someone else.
I moved to Maui for a year. I only have one rental but I was worried since I would be thousands of miles away. In the year I was gone, I had a tenant prematurely move out..so instead of me keeping the damage deposit they found me a replacement tenant.

That was four years ago and I still have that replacement tenant...or at least I keep getting the rent each month. I had one issue over the past 5 yrs, and it wasn't finding a new tenant.
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AA (Stock/Bond/Cash ): 97.5/0/2.5% MIX (Small/Mid/Large): 25/25/50% BLEND(US/Foreign): 100/0%, REIT (Real Estate Equity): ~50% of Assets

FIRE in 2031 @ 50yrs old (+/- 2yrs) w/ a hypothetical $2.5mil portfolio, 3 appreciated homes worth $1.0mil and rental income to fund my gap years until RMD. Assets will go to an inherited IRA where I plan on watching the investments grow until I die or the trust gets executed.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:17 PM   #14
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Congrats. I missed the boat on ordering the 2017 GMC diesel...only taking orders for 2018s now. Might wanna double check you didnt miss the cut for 2017 yet.

Great point. No one will be getting a 2018 Superduty in 2017, at least by my look at the dates.

In the normal world, 2018 orders are already being accepted, and built. Not the 2017 Superdutys.

As soon as the new incentives for July are published, I am ordering. I want a truck tax writeoff for 2017 to do Roth Conversions without paying more tax.

2017 Final Order09/01/17
2018 Initial Orders Accepted09/13/17
2018 Scheduling Begins10/19/17
2018 Production Start up11/20/17
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:19 PM   #15
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I moved to Maui for a year. I only have one rental but I was worried since I would be thousands of miles away. In the year I was gone, I had a tenant prematurely move out..so instead of me keeping the damage deposit they found me a replacement tenant.

That was four years ago and I still have that replacement tenant...or at least I keep getting the rent each month. I had one issue over the past 5 yrs, and it wasn't finding a new tenant.
I have 25 rentals, but will be selling one this year to buy a Florida property on a 1031 Exchange. I got a great deal on it, and may have $75K in gain after just under 2 years.

I may have them managed at some point, but getting better tenants has made my life MUCH easier, and I make a lot more money I used to be a low-income landlord, but found that there was too much drama in that market. Now it's just market based tenants for me.
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:29 PM   #16
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You'll love Glacier NP. The views are stunning!

Jasper NP in Canada is another one to put on your list for a future trip.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-05-2017, 08:45 PM   #17
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You'll love Glacier NP. The views are stunning!

Jasper NP in Canada is another one to put on your list for a future trip.

Enjoy!
I have a 3-month trip to Alaska coming soon in a fifth wheel. From Montana to Fairbanks and back.
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FIRE no later than 7/5/2016 at 56 (done), securing '16 401K match (done), getting '15 401K match (done), LTI Bonus (done), Perf bonus (done), maxing out 401K (done), picking up 1,000 hours to get another year of pension (done), July 1st benefits (vacation day, healthcare) (done), July 4th holiday. 0 days left. (done) OFFICIALLY RETIRED 7/5/2016!!
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:47 AM   #18
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Took two weeks to travel around Lake Superior. Some highlights include a visit to Isle Royale National Park, going through the Sault Ste Marie Locks, spending a day on Mackinac Island and a taking a boat tour of the Apostle islands.
I worked summers in the 80's on those Apostle Islands excursion boats. Good times. Congrats on a great year Senator
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:40 AM   #19
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Outstanding job!
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:11 PM   #20
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Sounds like things are going great for you in FIRE. With 25 rentals, does it ever feel like a part-time j*b or have you been able to off-load most of the w*rk?

I agree that you will need to spend more. Your truck sounds awesome! And do get yourself another Glock if you want to. I'm guessing they appreciate in value over time. Enjoy!!
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