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new york times article (part two)

The NYT did a followup article about some reader responses to their original article about financial independence. I'm included again, and as was the case in the first article, they managed to screw up a link to this blog. It should suffice to say that I'm fairly disappointed in the NYT at the moment.

business insider article

I was featured in a Business Insider article by Andy Kiersz. If you're new here, welcome. Check some of the links to the left.

new york times article

Well, the secret is out. I've been featured in a New York Times article by Stephen Kurutz. You won't see me because I wasn't too keen on the idea of pictures, but I have two sections in there: one near the middle and one at the end.

1 1/4 year update (sept 2018)

INTRO: Considering the upcoming article in the New York Times that I've told practically no one about prior to its release, I've decided to provide an unplanned update at 1 1/4 years instead of 1 1/2. I don't really wish to dig too deep into the finances like you would see in previous entries, but I'll try to make it worth your while.


FINANCES: Over the past three months, the portfolio has gone from$1.146M (June 1) to $1.144M (July 1) to $1.172M (August 1) to $1.191M (September 1). It peaked at $1.199M on August 29. Living expenses have been approximately $3500 (June), $2500 (July), and $3500 (August). I have no idea what to make of this market other than to think it's simply a case of TINA. At this point, $36k/yr is effectively a 3% spend rate ($30k/yr was my goal spend rate; $35k/yr is our spend rate after year one). Due to side-income, withdrawals would have remained around 2% without the inheritance. As it stands, we'll probably still have a negative overall…

twelve month update (june 2018)

**Spending**: Living expenses for the month came to $1999. This is $774 under the 2018 monthly targeted amount of $2773. Our spending is 27.9% under budget for the month, 8.1% over for the year, and 14.9% over since retirement. We generated $1039 of income this month from my wife wanting to work and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was $960 this month, thus our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate is 1.04% for the month, -5.16% for the year, and -0.76% since retirement. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate would have been 2.16% for the month, 3.24% for the year, and 3.45% since retirement.

**Investments**: The portfolio went from $1,130,151 to $1,147,124 (a 1.50% increase for the month), which went down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,146,164 after cashing the checks and paying the bills. This is a 11.73% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772. Since retirement, capital in…

eleven month update (may 2018)

Spending: Living expenses for the month came to $3471. This is $698 over the 2018 monthly targeted amount of $2773. Our spending is 25.2% over budget for the month, 18.0% over for the year, and 19.1% over since retirement. We generated $474 of income this month from my wife wanting to work and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was $2997 this month, thus our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate is 3.24% for the month, -6.71% for the year, and -1.22% since retirement. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate would have been 3.47% for the month, 3.54% for the year, and 3.57% since retirement.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,130,151 to $1,133,244 (a 0.27% increase for the month), which went down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,130,247 after cashing the checks and paying the bills. This is a 10.19% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772. Since retirement, capital income from…

RRCA Tennessee State Marathon Championship

Training Four days per week, average of 39mpw over past eight weeks.
Pre-race Two hours of sleep, two hours of driving, one hour of waiting. Coldest day in 40 year history of race. 19F windchill with 15mph winds.
Race Started out in the lead. Ran with a guy for the first 16 miles. He kept catching up and fading back again. I couldn't see anyone behind us. At Mile 12, I thought someone had caught us but it was a half-marathoner (group start). My fingers and lips went numb at Mile 17. I looked back at Mile 18 and my friend was gone. I was in disbelief. I only took two gels the whole race because of my stomach. This decision caught up with me in the hills at the start of Mile 24. I knew I had a shot at the (fairly new) course record of 2:59:12 if I pushed at the end, and I came through with a 2:59:04. Tough course. Probably worth a 2:54-2:55 on flatter, calmer conditions.
Post-race I've never won a race in my life. I cried when no one was looking. Brutally cold. Femal…

ten month update (apr 2018)

Spending: Living expenses for the month came to $4628. This is $1855 over the 2018 monthly targeted amount of $2773. Our spending is 66.9% over budget for the month, 15.6% over for the year, and 18.4% over since retirement. We generated $30,804 of income this month from my wife wanting to work, some of my old book royalties, and an unexpected inheritance. Our investment withdrawal was -$26,176 this month (a $26,176 deposit), thus our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate is -28.32% for the month, -10.03% for the year, and -0.15% since retirement. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate would have been 5.01% for the month, 3.47% for the year, and 3.55% since retirement.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,117,315 to $1,103,975 (a 1.19% decrease for the month), which went up to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,130,151 after cashing the checks and paying the bills. This is a 10.18% increase from the original starting bala…

nine month update (mar 2018)

Spending: Living expenses for the month came to $2750. This is $23 under the 2018 monthly targeted amount of $2773. Our spending is 0.8% under budget for the month, 10.1% under for the year, and 12.7% over since retirement. We generated $5140 of income this month from a tax refund, my wife wanting to work, and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was -$2390 this month (a $2390 deposit), thus our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate is -2.59% for the month, -0.89% for the year, and 1.58% since retirement. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate would have been 2.98% for the month, 2.70% for the year, and 3.38% since retirement.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,155,635 to $1,114,925 (a 3.52% decrease for the month), which went up to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,117,315 after cashing the checks and paying the bills. This is an 8.9% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772, eve…

eight month update (feb 2018)

Spending: Living expenses for the month came to $2238. This is $535 under the 2018 monthly targeted amount of $2773. Our spending is 8.1% under budget for the month, now 8.1% under for the year. We generated $1491 of income this month from my wife's part-time fun job at the library, sales on ebay, and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was $747 this month, thus our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate is 0.81% for the month, 0.81% for the year, and 2.19% since retirement. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated, annually-adjusted withdrawal rate would have been 2.42% for the month, 2.42% for the year, and 3.44% since retirement.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,109,284 to $1,156,382 (a 4.25% increase for the month), which dropped down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,155,635 after paying the bills. This is a 12.7% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772, even after withdrawals of $14,739 for living exp…

seven month update (jan 2018)

Spending: Living expenses for the month came to $3618. This is $1054 over the 2017 monthly targeted amount of $2564. Our spending was 41.1% over budget for the month, now 19.7% over for the year. We generated $1227 of income this month from my wife's part-time fun job at the library and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was $2665 this month, thus our pro-rated annual withdrawal rate is 3.12% for the month and 2.19% for the year. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated annual withdrawal rate would have been 4.07% for the month and 3.59% for the year.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,098,383 to $1,111,949 (a 1.24% increase for the month), which dropped down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,109,284 after paying the bills. This is an 8.1% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772, even after withdrawals of $13,992 for living expenses over seven months. Since retirement, capital income from the investment portfolio h…

first three hour marathon attempt (34mpw)

Training I averaged 34mpw over a 16-week training period coming off an injury. I plateaued at 44mpw for a 6-week period. I very rarely ran on back-to-back days. My HM PR is 1:27:57 from February. I did a 1:28:48 in October on a hot and humid day. I think I was in 1:26:30 shape. I feel like I have improved somewhat since then.
Pre-race Sleep from 9pm-11pm. Lie in bed awake from 11pm-3am. Get ready 3am-4am. Drive to race 4am-6am. Sit around 6am-7am. Gu at 10 minutes prior. Meet up with my new friend from same town who is also going for his first sub-3:00 about 60 seconds before the race. Plan is EVEN SPLITS (6:50/mi). Little did we know that this course is definitely LONG. My GPS was 26.52, and I'm decent at tangents. My HMs are usually 13.14-13.17. His marathon PR is 3:02; mine is 3:19.
Mile 1 Fight the temptation to go out like a bat out of hell! Friend keeps hitting the gas but I hold back. I keep suggesting he play it cool and he eventually does. 6:49.
Mile 2 But we…

six month update (dec 2017)

Spending: Living expenses for the month ($4092) were $1528 over the 2017 monthly targeted amount of $2564. Our spending was 59.5% over budget for the month, now 16.2% over for the year. We generated $792 of income from my wife's part-time fun job at the library and some of my old book royalties. Our investment withdrawal was $3300 this month, thus our pro-rated annual withdrawal rate is 3.66% for the month and 2.19% for the year. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated annual withdrawal rate would have been 4.79% for the month and 3.49% for the year.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,080,121 to $1,101,683 (a 1.99% increase for the month), which dropped down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,098,383 after paying the bills. This is a 7.1% increase from the original starting balance of $1,025,772, even after withdrawals of $11,601 for living expenses over six months. Since retirement, capital income from the investment portfolio has produced the equivale…

five month update (nov 2017)

Spending: Living expenses for the month were $3155 (including $500 from the lump expenses category), which was $591 over the 2017 monthly targeted amount of $2564 and up from $2491 the previous month. We are 23% over budget for the month, now 7.5% over for the year. We generated $870 from my wife's part-time job at the library (which she would enjoy enough to do without pay) and some of my old book royalties (google if interested). Our investment withdrawal was $2285 this month, thus our pro-rated SWR is 2.57% for the month and 1.89% for the year. Without the additional income stream, our pro-rated SWR would have been 3.69% for the month and 3.23% for the year.

Investments: The portfolio went from $1,062,468 to $1,082,406 (a 1.88% increase for the month), which dropped down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,080,121 after paying the bills (a 5.3% increase from the retirement figure of $1,025,772, even after withdrawals for living expenses). Since retirement, capital inco…

four month update (oct 2017)

This month's spending was $2491 (down from $3148), including $500 from the lump expenses, which is $73 under the targeted amount (3% under budget for the month; now 3.6% over for the year). We brought in $1106 from my wife's part-time job at the library (which she likes and would do for free) and some old book royalties of mine (google if interested). Our withdrawal was $885 this month, which is effectively a 1.04% pro-rated SWR for the month, putting us at 1.58% pro-rated for the year. The portfolio went from $1,043,755 to $1,064,353 (a 1.97% increase for the month), which dropped down to a new total of (drum-roll) $1,063,468 after paying the bills (3.7% increase since retirement, after expenses).

Financial thoughts for the month: I finally received my rollover check and sent it to Vanguard. At one point I had lost about $10k from being out of the market for six days, but the market sharply corrected the day that my check arrived and nearly all of that amount woul…

three month update (sept 2017)

I am considering a retroactive switch to a target of $2500/month ($2000/month + $6000/year lump) and viewing the starting balance over $1M as a separate fund to be drawn from without guilt (with the discipline to understand that once it’s gone, it’s gone). I place no dependence upon supplemental income (future employment?), social security ($10k/yr?), inheritance ($500k?), house equity (even with no heirs), universal health care (probable?), or universal basic income (possible?). The final balance will be left to charities.

If the year-end value is higher than the starting value, I might recalculate a new 3% SWR value and go forward from there since 3% is well within historically safe territory. If you think this strategy violates Trinity, keep thinking until you see how the 3% starting point should tell you otherwise. I might use instead (and keep using each year) the separate fund technique that I described earlier, until the first bad year hits or until $30k/yr is no l…

two month update (aug 2017)

Two months into retirement at 38 with a planned 3% SWR on a starting value of 1,025,772. That works out to 2564/month, or 2064/month with $6000 yearly in lump expenses. (2k vacation, 1k property tax, 500 professional license tax, 500 christmas, 500 car insurance summer, 500 car insurance winter, 1k unexpected)

This month's spending was $2640 (up from $2352), including $500 from the yearly column for "summer car insurance." So we're 3% over budget for the month, but 3% under for the year. We brought in $1127 thru my wife's job (which she likes and would do for free) and some old book royalties of mine. Our withdrawal was $1513 this month, which is effectively a 1.74% pro-rated SWR (1.46% pro-rated SWR average this year).

The portfolio appreciated again this month from 1,039,471 to 1,056,090 (a 1.60% increase), which dropped back down to a new total of (drum-roll) 1,054,577 after paying the bills (2.8% increase in two months, after expenses). If the ye…

one month update (july 2017)

One month into retirement at 38 with a planned 3% SWR on a starting value of 1,025,772. That works out to 2564/month, or 2064/month with $6000 yearly in what I call "big expenses." (That would be, 2000 vacation, 1000 property tax, 500 professional tax, 500 christmas, 500 car insurance summer, 500 car insurance winter, 1000 unexpected).

This month's spending was $2352, including $500 from the yearly column for "unexpected" which was a dental insurance claim denial. So we're 8% under budget for the month, which is good. The better part is that we brought in $1351 thru my wife's job (which she likes and would do for free) and some old book royalties of mine. Our withdrawal was $1001 this month, which is effectively on target for a 1.18% pro-rated SWR.

The even better part is that the portfolio appreciated from 1,025,772 to 1,040,472 (a 1.43% increase), which dropped back down to a new total of (drum-roll) 1,039,471 after paying the bills. If th…