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Retire Now on a Very Modest Budget

March 30th, 2019 at 11:50 am

I love to crunch my numbers this way and that. Recently I have discovered that if I retire right now, it looks like this:

- withdraw $1,400 per month beginning 4/1/19
- give myself a 2% COLA every Jan 1st
- hold off on SS until FRA (67)
- at age 67, reduce monthly withdrawal by $750 (realistic SS benefits estimate)
- assuming 5% IRR, run out of money at age 96

Even though I cannot live my desired lifestyle on $1,400 per month, it is a very liberating feeling to know I can cover my basic needs come what may.

I have built a spreadsheet and will continue to fill in actual numbers and re-calculate each month. At some point, the monthly withdrawal is going to become enticing enough to pull the trigger on retirement.

RedNeck Savings Bank

March 8th, 2019 at 08:21 am

Just heard about this no hoops money market account, currently paying 2.5%. Their marketing strategy cracks me up.

[url]https://redneck.bank/[/url]

Thought it might help someone. If you're not shopping for a new online bank, take a peek at their site anyway.

March 2019 Budget

March 6th, 2019 at 12:46 pm

I love how simple my budget has gotten! If I can stick to it, I will reach my goals. Smile

Net Worth 2-28-19

March 4th, 2019 at 05:54 pm

Well, my net worth has gotten very simple. I decided to leave the value of my car off because I'm not going to sell it; and OK, I just didn't want to try squeezing it into the space.



I did a pretty good job estimating my net proceeds from the house sale. I did give away some money but investment performance for the month gave it right back.

Sinking Funds Transfer

February 26th, 2019 at 12:07 pm

Today my first (post-house sale) automatic sinking funds transfer happened. I am doing $500 every other Tuesday, broken down as follows:

Car Ins & Reg - $51.92
Car R & M - $38.46
Car Replacement - $54.56
Clothing - $23.07
EGadgets - $13.46
Gifts/Xmas - $38.46
Planners & Goodies - $3.85
Roth - $180.07

Net Paycheck; Future Plans

February 23rd, 2019 at 10:34 am

Now that the cruise is paid for and my house is sold, I needed to change my paycheck withholdings. I filled out a new W-4, choosing Single-0. I upped my 457 plan contribution from 3% to 10%. At the beginning of the year, I upped my HCRA deposit to $900 per year, which is $37.50 per paycheck (no withholding from the two "extra" paychecks per year).

Yesterday was the first payday with my new lower take home pay. Here is how my bi-weekly paycheck currently breaks down:

Gross: $2,063.28
Fed w/h: $160.78
CA w/h: $43.20
Fica-Med: $27.53
CA SDI: $18.99
Pension: $144.43
Hlth Ins: $121.07
Dent/Vis: $5.80
HCRA: $37.50
Life Ins: $0.93
Union Dues: $32.98
457 Plan: $206.33

Net Pay: $1,263.74

That's what I have to work with. Going forward, I want to save enough cash to cover items I will need/want. On that list are a full sized truck and 5th wheel for moseying around North America, as well as replacing my current vehicle when the time comes. I want to remain debt-free for the rest of my life, with the possible exception of a mortgage.

When I last mentioned it, I was leaning towards a Class C motorhome. Since then, SB and I have decided to go in half-sies on a full sized truck and later a 5th wheel. The mid sized truck SB has now pulls our small travel trailer, but it is towards the upper end of what is safe. For this reason, we don't often move it. (Mostly just up the road a mile to a campground for black water dumps). However, a full sized truck has a much higher weight limit, opening up some fun possibilities.

I have a nice cash cushion at the moment, but it is ear-marked for various things. Some will definitely be spent soon-ish (car insurance), some will be spent eventually, though when is uncertain (travel). I still have significant saving to do to have my vehicle goals funded.

Another Powerless Weekend

February 17th, 2019 at 09:51 am

Last weekend, we were without power from late Friday night through Monday night. This means a good many discomforts. Chief among them: no running water.

For heat, we have a small generator we can run which allows us to turn our space heater on low. The generator is gas powered, so running it longer than 4-5 hours requires going outside to add more gas. "So what?" you may ask. Well, our little love nest gets a bit chilly when the sun goes down:









We also have the option of turning on a stove burner. This is our warmest option. The stove runs on propane and is much more efficient than the gas powered generator. However, we will only use this option during waking hours.

I had to melt snow on the stove for a sponge bath to get ready for work on Monday. By Tuesday, thankfully the power was back. But it was a long, cold 3 days.

So when SB texted me this most recent Friday afternoon that the power was out AGAIN, with more snow forecasted, we decided to rent a motel room for the 3 day weekend. I started calling around, when a friend invited us to spend the weekend in her home. So that's where we are at the moment. It's snowing here too, but just a few inches and we have power.

It's always an adventure. Smile

It's Closed and Funded!

February 6th, 2019 at 05:38 pm

What a wonderful feeling of relief!

So the mortgage debt is gone, the Heloc debt is gone, and I have already paid my WF Visa in full. (I had overdrafted due to a bill pay error, so was paying 24.99% daily and could not wait one moment longer than necessary to put an end to that).

Over the next few days, I will be paying my remaining debts in full, sending money to my Roth IRA and various savings accounts, and making a small but (I hope) helpful gift to each of the two people I love most in the world.

Going forward, I'm going to see how much savings I can pile up in the next few years. Oh, how I am itching to retire.

Final Night

February 2nd, 2019 at 05:59 pm

SB and I are at my house, clearing out and packing up the last few things. I am scheduled to sign docs on Monday, close on Thursday. The proceeds will be wired to my checking account.

I am going to miss this house, but I am looking forward to traveling light.

I bought another fancypants planner for 2019:



and so at the end of January I calculated my net worth, which I had not done in awhile. I did not include my vehicle as an asset, though I do have the loan added as a debt. I had limited space so just skipped it for this month. This spread is in the front of this year's planner:



I intend to use it to get back to tracking monthly. The 275k for the house is my best estimate for selling price minus commission and costs. In a few days, I will find out how close it is.

Under Contract!

December 29th, 2018 at 07:14 pm

I got an offer above list late in the day yesterday. I accepted and we are in escrow! Now I just have to hope it goes smoothly.

I finally got to see Bhohemian Rhapsody last night. It was better than I had hoped!

We leave for the cruise in a week. I bought a fancy beaded dress today at Dillard's. They are having a great sale right now. It was marked down to $83.65. It is a good cut for me, very flattering, and fits perfectly. Captain's dinner, here I come.

I cannot hardly wait to spend 10 whole luxurious days with my family. Smile

Pics of My House

December 9th, 2018 at 11:38 am

It is an overcast, gloomy day today. Some of these came out a bit dark.

The front door as you approach.



The front door from inside. (I don't know why it is showing up sideways).



The living room from different angles.




My little kitchen.





Bedroom #1 at the front of the house.




The hall bath.




Bedroom #2, right-hand side of the hallway closest to the front of the house.




The laundry room, next to bedroom #2. (Laundry sold at no extra charge!)



The master bedroom and bath, last door and room on the right-hand side of hallway. I love the big oval bathtub so much.





The master walk-in closet. Also showing up sideways.




And at the end of the hall, bedroom #4. This is the smallest bedroom and shares a wall with the kitchen. If I were staying put in this house, I would love to lose the wall and incorporate this space into the kitchen. Bonus: doing so would make the path through the house a complete circle.



So there you have it. Not fancy, but clean and neutral with all in good repair. It should be on MLS before the week is out.

PNC Online Savings 2.35%

November 20th, 2018 at 10:42 am

Just wanted to share for you rate chasers out there. PNC bank is currently paying 2.35% to online savings accounts. No fees, minimum is $1.

Please note that PNC has brick and mortar banks as well as an online presence. Their traditional savings accounts pay the same sort of rates most brick and mortar banks pay. You must choose the online savings to get the 2.35% rate.

The following is not a referral link. I am just sharing for your convenience.

[url]https://www.pnc.com/en/personal-banking.html[/url]

Some Pictures; Happy Thanksgiving

November 19th, 2018 at 05:22 pm

Here is a picture we took after my ring was ready.



We took that picture in our little yard. The spring and summer just ended we had an outdoor living space next to the creek, which is just a stone's throw from our front (and only!) door. It evolved as the weeks rolled by; we ended up with a large awning in addition to the one attached to the travel trailer, a dinette set, a nice grill, two zero-gravity reclining camp style chairs, a mister, and a nice 3 ft tall inflatable pool with a filter. The days and evenings spent in our little yard were lovely. Here I am, enjoying the amenities:



I spent many a happy hour lying there with a good book listening to the water gurgling along in the creek bed. I am sorry to see summer go.

My house is mostly ready. Well, as ready as it's going to be. I should have some pictures to share next week. SB is still there; I will drive down Wednesday evening after work. Thanksgiving dinner this year is at my mother's house. A niece (brother's daughter) and her family will be staying at my mother's house for the long weekend. My brother, sister-in-law, SB and I will be sleeping at my house but spending our time at my mother's. Another niece (grandniece, my nephew's daughter) and her husband will be visiting, but live close enough they will sleep at home. My son and his wife will come for dinner Thanksgiving Day; not sure how much additional time they will have for us. It should be a wonderful weekend spent with a good many (but not all!) of the people I love best.

Enjoy your long weekends with your loved ones! Smile