Author Topic: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....  (Read 3499 times)

MikeO

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laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« on: June 06, 2019, 09:44:25 AM »
just looking for opinions, I haven't really shared my personal situation with anyone nor have I seeked advice (when I've tried to talk to some of the financial advisers they are trying to sell me stuff I don't want or think I need so I've stayed away). posting it here is kind of anonymous, you know my name but really that's about it.    first my philosophy....we've got to live for today because tomorrow is never guaranteed but at the same time we might live to be over 100 and so we must save for retirement.  Not an easy thing to do for so many it seems.  I consider myself lucky in that I make good money, and I love what I do.  my plan, that I really got aggressive on just a few years ago, is to become financially independent (FI) and then cut back on working.  My wife would quit or go part time at her job, her choice.  I would give up the supervisor position taking a small pay cut (about 6k a year) and stop working so much overtime (I currently do on average about 700 hours per year).

so what is FI for me you might ask?  well to be honest I'm not entirely sure.  I'm thinking 1.3 to 1.5 million in investments.  an amount that could have me bringing home roughly 50k per year.  I don't have any pensions, just Social Security, if that exists when I get there.

Life situation:

Married (file joint), kids are grown so no dependents at home.  We live in central Florida.  I'm 46 my wife is 43.

Gross wages:

last year we brought home $170,000.  but our guaranteed pay is more like 110,000.  I work overtime when ever I get the chance and right now I'm also a consultant for a short term ending December 2020 which give me an additional 24,000 per year, all of which goes directly into my brokerage account (well, 20k of it, 4k I keep out to pay taxes at the end of the year).  so the total take home amount fluctuates depending on how much OT I can find.

pre tax deductions

I max my 401k at 19,000 per year (company matches about 5%)
my wife maxes her 401k but it's different since they give shares of stock, she can only put in 10%
HSA for me maxed each year $3,450
medical insurance is pretty cheap with the high deductible plan at only $20 per paycheck (26 per year)

adjusted gross income

I expect that this year we'll take home about $124,000 per year after deductions.
no other income to speak of.

Current expenses

this is where it gets fun:

Last year we spent about $80,000, way more than I realized we were spending in a year.  This year I thought by tracking it each month I'd get a better handle on spending but so far no so much.  Hoping to get things under control for the next 6 months of this year.  We've had a couple of large expenses that I didn't expect plus a big vacation which I did plan for...kinda.

Here's is the average monthly spending so far for 2019:
Rent/Mortgage        $1,134.33
Water              $96.58
Electric     $6.67  (we have solar that's paid for)
home maintenance     $53.33
hoa fees        $55.00
dining out         $263.17
Groceries         $495.00
internet        $70.50
cell phones    $127.00     
pets               $485.08 (we had two dogs, just had to put one to rest this week due to bone cancer. This is one of those unexpected expenses, spend over 3k on medical) Average for the remaining dog should be no more than $75 per month going forward.
       
truck payment     $400.00 (5 year loan at 3.25% interest)
gasoline        $192.17
            
sunpass Tolls     $28.25
auto insurance    $134.42
auto tags       $6.42 (once per year averaged per month)
harley insurance    $18.83
auto Maint.        $229.50 (another surprise expense in this category, a few hundred per year is the norm)
            
life insurance     $104.67 (term life)
home dťcor           $22.92
Home Improvement       $247.67
office supplies          $67.00
postage           $8.33
clothing shoes       $198.83 (way more than I expected gonna have to look into this)
general merchandise    $616.75 (this is typically stuff we don't necessarily need but buy)
entertainment     $139.58 (local entertainment, non vacation spending)
Vacation       $769.42 (planned trips, we just got back from 2 weeks in Italy)
gifts                 $594.08 (not normally this high either, but I was feeling generous and paid for my daughters car - she's been working hard in school and I had the cash so I spent it)

Health care        $82.25 (wife had some diagnostics tests done, lucky they turned to be nothing but still costs money)


Assets

we have a home we are paying for.  Mortgage was for 198,000 @ 3.6% interest.  We bought in 2016 with a 30 year mortgage.

2018 chevy colarado @ 400 a month for 5 years @ 3.25% interest
2012 Kia sportage paid off (100k miles)
2003 Harley Davidson paid off (60K miles)

no other property worth mentioning.

in total we have $640,000 invested for retirement at at 85% stocks (15% of that international), 8% bonds, 7% REITS   Mostly all Index mutual funds.

Liabilities

we owe

 $168,000 on the house
$18,000 to my truck
no other debt


Last year we invested $87,000 in total.  So far this year I've invested $54,000 I expect to hit the 80k mark again this year.  20k of that is from the side hustle so next year and going forward 50k-60k is more realistic.

We keep 2 months worth of cash in our checking and savings account ($10,000)  We charge everything to a credit card that gets paid off each month and earn 2% cash back on that.

 I'm hoping that in about 5 years (51-52) we'll be FI at $1.5 million.  meaning if the SHTF we could easily just live in our home on investments.  no extras and still have some extra cash if we needed to.  After FI,  I'll keep working, wife quits, we'll make about $100k per year on my job alone and do more travel still investing about 30k per year.  Do this until I dont' want to anymore, or can't maybe about 60 or so. by then the total invested should be at or over 2 million and we can quit forever. 

I'd like to get my spending down to a more reasonable amount, then I can invest more.  We need about $45k for all the basic stuff as is, but we spend almost an equal amount on other things.  I want to enjoy and live my life so spending 5-10k on vacation every year is not a problem but there are other areas where we definitely need to be more frugal.  we've been used to not really paying attention to what we spend money on (must be nice I know) but my attention has been to shovel all money left over each month into investments, thus how we were able to invest so much.  I also kinda look at it like if we invest 50k or more to investments every year we have earned the right to do what makes us feel good.

anyway, there's my life spilled out. 

Cassie

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2019, 12:38:50 PM »
I think itís wise to assume you may not be able to work past 50.  People get downsized or acquire a disability. Many end up not working much sooner than planned.  I would look at your discretionary spending and decide what brings you value and what doesnít.   

former player

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2019, 12:58:32 PM »
Looks to me as though you are doing fine, or better than fine, by normal standards but that your mustachian foo is weak.

Everything seems a bit "easy come, easy go".  Being more intentional about your spending will be the key, plus planning ahead for irregular items.  Are you getting value for money every time you eat out, or in retrospect was some of it just so-so?  Would your life be noticeably worse if you had a month of not spending anything under the category "general merchandise" or "clothing"?  Can you get better deals on phones and insurances?  Why do you need different categories for home maintenance, home decor and home improvement?  Can you drive less, or get better mileage for the distance you have to drive?

Cutting the fat from your expenses would give you the option of not working all that overtime, or giving up the supervisor position, without affecting your journey to FIRE, if you want to increase your current enjoyment levels without affecting your future.

FLOW

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2019, 01:26:49 PM »
this can help you figure out whether you can do it in 5 years or not...

https://www.investor.gov/additional-resources/free-financial-planning-tools/compound-interest-calculator


legalstache

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2019, 02:58:17 PM »
I'm surprised no one's commented on the truck yet. You're spending almost 5k a year on the payments for that alone, and probably more once you factor in increased gas and likely insurance costs. Getting rid of that would be a pretty good start...

MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2019, 03:04:29 PM »
Looks to me as though you are doing fine, or better than fine, by normal standards but that your mustachian foo is weak.

I agree 1000%.  I'm good at not having revolving debt, or really much debt at all (just the house and car and the car is the first loan in a very long time) but my FOO is weak for sure.

Everything seems a bit "easy come, easy go".  Being more intentional about your spending will be the key, plus planning ahead for irregular items. this is one thing that writing it all down has made clear.....while I am deliberate and very intentional about investing, I'm not so much about spending and although I am investing a lot I'm definitely not efficient (spending vs investing).

  Are you getting value for money every time you eat out, or in retrospect was some of it just so-so?  when we eat out instead of cooking which isn't that often, it's always with a group at a great place.  the comradary  of friends and family is what makes it valuable.  honestly we eat in with the same folks just as often - I love to BBQ.

Would your life be noticeably worse if you had a month of not spending anything under the category "general merchandise" or "clothing"? this is what I thought to myself after writing this.  and the answer is NO it would not be worse at all.  I'd have to ask my wife about the clothes, not sure she even realizes she has spent that much.  when it comes to spending I'm the bad guy, she's very frugal always has been.

 Can you get better deals on phones and insurances? I've shopped around for insurance, and honestly I haven't seen better deals without lowering the coverage.  We could spend less on the phones but we'd have to change the way we use them.  Right now we have a data plan that could be reduced but I use my phone for work too, sometimes I'll even tether my data to my laptop.  but do I need to?  Probably not. 

 Why do you need different categories for home maintenance, home decor and home improvement? this was just a way for me to break spending on items for our house apart.  Home maintenance is really items that you don't have a choice on...something breaks you've got to fix it, where as improvements are a choice, "decor" is even more of a choice (in my opinion)

 Can you drive less, or get better mileage for the distance you have to drive?  driving to work is what it is, we've moved as close as we can get to work without living in the getto.
  I'd love to ride my road bicycle to work but with no bike lane and people going 65+ MPH I'm just not willing to take the risk.  They are working on a new road to my work that will have a 6ft wide bike lane.  once they finish that I plan to ride to work when I can - for the exercise and the savings.  My wife is soon to be working just 1 mile from home next year as well - they are building a new store just down the street from our home and she plans to ride her bicycle everyday instead of drive.  but as for now it's what it is.  also included in driving is vacationing....we try to use the better gas mileage vehicle and/or carpool with the friends we go with so as to reduce costs, the only way to cut back more is to do it less.


Cutting the fat from your expenses would give you the option of not working all that overtime, or giving up the supervisor position, without affecting your journey to FIRE, if you want to increase your current enjoyment levels without affecting your future.


MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2019, 03:13:55 PM »
I'm surprised no one's commented on the truck yet. You're spending almost 5k a year on the payments for that alone, and probably more once you factor in increased gas and likely insurance costs. Getting rid of that would be a pretty good start...


I buy vehicles and keep them for the long haul - several hundred thousand miles.  I had a car before and we've been borrowing or renting a truck to do the things we needed to do.  So I decided to sell my car and put that money on the truck.  I only owe 20k on the truck.  the interest rate is phenomenal better than most mortgage payments.  honestly I don't think 20k for a decent vehicle is that much money...is it?  I'm making payments yes but at 3.25% over 5 years that's only a couple grand in interest over the life of the loan.   

Villanelle

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2019, 03:29:00 PM »
Looks to me as though you are doing fine, or better than fine, by normal standards but that your mustachian foo is weak.

I agree 1000%.  I'm good at not having revolving debt, or really much debt at all (just the house and car and the car is the first loan in a very long time) but my FOO is weak for sure.

Everything seems a bit "easy come, easy go".  Being more intentional about your spending will be the key, plus planning ahead for irregular items. this is one thing that writing it all down has made clear.....while I am deliberate and very intentional about investing, I'm not so much about spending and although I am investing a lot I'm definitely not efficient (spending vs investing).

  Are you getting value for money every time you eat out, or in retrospect was some of it just so-so?  when we eat out instead of cooking which isn't that often, it's always with a group at a great place.  the comradary  of friends and family is what makes it valuable.  honestly we eat in with the same folks just as often - I love to BBQ.

Would your life be noticeably worse if you had a month of not spending anything under the category "general merchandise" or "clothing"? this is what I thought to myself after writing this.  and the answer is NO it would not be worse at all.  I'd have to ask my wife about the clothes, not sure she even realizes she has spent that much.  when it comes to spending I'm the bad guy, she's very frugal always has been.

 Can you get better deals on phones and insurances? I've shopped around for insurance, and honestly I haven't seen better deals without lowering the coverage.  We could spend less on the phones but we'd have to change the way we use them.  Right now we have a data plan that could be reduced but I use my phone for work too, sometimes I'll even tether my data to my laptop.  but do I need to?  Probably not. 

 Why do you need different categories for home maintenance, home decor and home improvement? this was just a way for me to break spending on items for our house apart.  Home maintenance is really items that you don't have a choice on...something breaks you've got to fix it, where as improvements are a choice, "decor" is even more of a choice (in my opinion)

 Can you drive less, or get better mileage for the distance you have to drive?  driving to work is what it is, we've moved as close as we can get to work without living in the getto.
  I'd love to ride my road bicycle to work but with no bike lane and people going 65+ MPH I'm just not willing to take the risk.  They are working on a new road to my work that will have a 6ft wide bike lane.  once they finish that I plan to ride to work when I can - for the exercise and the savings.  My wife is soon to be working just 1 mile from home next year as well - they are building a new store just down the street from our home and she plans to ride her bicycle everyday instead of drive.  but as for now it's what it is.  also included in driving is vacationing....we try to use the better gas mileage vehicle and/or carpool with the friends we go with so as to reduce costs, the only way to cut back more is to do it less.


Cutting the fat from your expenses would give you the option of not working all that overtime, or giving up the supervisor position, without affecting your journey to FIRE, if you want to increase your current enjoyment levels without affecting your future.

I would be very thoughtful about how you approach the clothing spend with your wife.  By your own admission, you are the spender and she is the thrifty one.  So approaching her about her one expenditure when you are the one blowing more money may not come off well at all.  That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't bring it up, but if it comes off as, "we need to save more and all the unnecessary spending I do will stay the same so you've got the make the cuts", it's likely not to be a great or productive conversation.

Also, you seem to be really good at rationalizing your expenses. yes, $20k is a lot for a vehicle, especially one that also ends up pushing gas and insurance higher.  (Also, do you owe $20k, or is that what you paid for the truck?)  You said you used to rent when you needed a truck.  How often was that?  Unless you are needing a truck pretty damn often, it will be cheaper to buy (and insurance, and put gas in, and buy tires for, and...) a $12k car.  That difference is going to pay for a whole lot of truck rentals. 

Sure, the truck, and most of your other categories aren't appalling and you are doing better than the average American.  And if that's your bar and you are good with that, go forth and continue on.  But it seems like there is a lot of very easy fat to trim if you want to put in the effort, be ore thoughtful, and adjust your mindset.  Does that truck actually make your life better than a reliable, non-beater care that costs 30% less and another 30% less to operate?  That's the kind of question a mustachian asks, not "is $20k really a lot of money for a car?".

brooklynmoney

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2019, 05:15:52 AM »
Truck is a no no here. I think a good rule is never pay interest on a depreciating good (would not call it an asset)
One of your biggest categories is just basically stuff. What are you buying? Break it out! Also $67 a month for office supplies? That might be what Iíve spent yearly or more. What is that for? Is it a business or personal expense? Do you work in an office? Canít you just use their supplies?

MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2019, 08:52:49 AM »
a little more background on me....5 year ago my youngest daughter graduated high school and joined the Air Force, simultaneously my job location in Kentucky was closed so my wife and I sold our home and moved to Florida where most of my family lives.  When we did that we used that time to do a reset and reduce spending and focus on investing.  Hitting my forties makes you think about how close you're getting to retirement. 

I didn't know much about investing, retirement etc, so it's been a lot to learn.  while we did reduce spending we still have a ways to go.  This year, I finally feel like we are invested enough and investing enough to hit my goals but know I need to look very closely at how we spend and stop spending on things that don't hold value.

having said that, to flat out say owning a truck is a no no, is obtuse.  the value of any item I choose to own must of course be weighed against the cost of owning it.  Riding a bicycle to work is just not going to work for me.  I work 7 days on 7 days off 14 hours per day.  I live 13 miles from work so riding would take an hour each way and i'd be a sweaty mess by the time I got there.  Not even considering there are no bike lanes and the speed on the two lane road to my work is 55MPH (which means they drive 65 or more)  Not worth the risk to save money on gas. 
Speaking of gas costs, since I don't drive to work every other week, I drive half as much as most people.  We don't drive for the sake of driving so if we drive it's because we have to, and we try to do multiple things on a single trip to reduce gas costs.

the office supplies is an average of what I've spend so far this year, we dont' spend that each month. I understand the confusion...we had to purchase a new computer a couple months ago.  Attempts to fix it instead of replacing it were not successful.

Tampaite:

I agree with the allocation suggestions after 50, and that was my plan.   Since my plan has me being FI by 50ish, as soon as I am, the plan is to start diverting all those dollars I'm investing monthly into the debt.  That will likely get the house paid off within 3 years or less.  The truck will be paid off in 5 years which coincides with "the plan".  part of my emergency fund is held in my taxable brokerage account. 
I'm not going to "get rid of pets".  for 1, they are family and 2 I'd also have to pay for a divorce.  I doubt my dog will last more than a few more years and we do not plan to get new pets afterwards.  I got the pets and will continue to take care of them no matter what, people should never dump a pet because they made poor decision. 
we are currently re-evaluating how we spend on "general merchandise" to make sure what we want has real value to our lives.  some of the items that drove this up this year was a new bed, ours was over 20 years old, I bought a road bike for $1300, we purchased a new BBQ grill in May (ours was rusted through the bottom).  so it's not all things that are frivolous.  but there are many things that are (new bose QE2 headset, some new tools I could have easily done without)

my goal is to get spending with the house and truck down to 50-55k per year or 30-35k per year without. 

Cassie

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2019, 09:20:11 AM »
People who say get rid of pets are ignorant. First of all they should be a lifetime commitment no matter what.  My pets give me so much in return and I will never be without them. I would keep the truck and drive it into the ground. We buy 2-4 years old pre-certified cars from the dealer and drive them until they die.  I drove junkers when I was younger because thatís all we could afford.  Sounds like you are on the right path.

MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2019, 12:41:16 PM »
Cassie, i agree on the pets.  The unconditional love I get from my dogs is worth every penny we've spent on them.   I knew when I got them that it would cost me time and money and I'd never ever just get rid of them because it not longer fit my financial goals.  It's called responsibility. 

but, having said that we do not plan to get any more pets after our last dog passes away.  This is more to do with flexibility in our life than money.   We do not like leaving them with others to watch when we go on vacation and so the alternative is either don't travel without them or don't have them at all.  I imagine we'll get another one at some point but not immediately.

I have the same philosophy as you with the vehicles, buy a quality vehicle for a good price at least 1 year to no more than 5 years old and drive it forever.  For me the truck provides the extra utility that we need in our life.  some people never use their truck to haul or tow anything but that is not the case for us so we will get utility out of it. 

I am spending too much right now and have been for too long, I think I justified it with the idea that I was investing so much each year that it was ok.  My wife and I will work on nailing down what we really need to spend money on and what we don't but i believe we'll fall very close to the 50k per year goal.  vacation/personal time is extremely important to us so allocating money for that is a big item in our budget.

Villanelle

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2019, 01:41:21 PM »
Pets are pricey and if one is looking to save money, not getting one is a wise move.  But to me, once you have that pet, you've committed and are responsible to it for the rest of its life, barring huge unforeseen circumstances.  Maybe when the time comes, you don't get another, but for now, please don't shirk that responsibility (not that you were considering doing so). 

OP, when you list some of your expenses this year, it sounds like more justifying. (I only say this since you've asked for an evaluation of your finances.)  What about a used BBBQ next time you need it, and a used and/or less fancy bike?  You make it sound as though you needed a BBQ, therefore whatever you spent on the new one was justified, as though there's no room in between for evaluation. 

Also, I've recently moved and joined a hyper-local "Buy Nothing" group on Facebook.  This is a fairly popular movement so it seems many areas have them.  it's incredible.  People post pretty much whatever they are getting rid of, and the rule is you can not charge anything.  People also post asks--in a few hours, I have someone coming to pick up a few cocktail dresses in a specific size that she needs for an upcoming wedding.  When it looked like we were going to adopt a dog (fell through), I posted an ask for borrow a few baby gates during the acclimation process and in less than a day, someone offered to lend me two. People give away everything from kids' toys to furniture to decor items to food they aren't going to use.  Something like this  might be a good option so when these needs (or wants) pop up, you can meet them while not spending top dollar. 

ericrugiero

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2019, 02:23:56 PM »
Overall you are doing WAY better than the typical American.  But, if you cut spending that increases the amount you save AND reduces the amount you need to have saved to be FI (if you continue to not spend).  Some comments are below about your spending.  Each thing is a choice.  Muschianism is about optimizing your spending so you are in control and spending on the areas you really want to spend.  By looking into it you are on the right track.  (We are still working on optimizing our spending as well)

internet        $70.50   You could probably find a better deal on this. 
cell phones    $127.00  You could definitely find a better deal on this if it's just two people.  Republic wireless seems popular but there are lots of lower cost providers.       
truck payment     $400.00 (5 year loan at 3.25% interest)  Is this really where you want to spend this much money?  It's almost certainly not the most efficient use of your money.  A smaller car would be cheaper to purchase, operate and maintain.  Most small cars can tow a trailer that will haul more than your truck. 
life insurance     $104.67 (term life)  Have you shopped around for this?  I don't know what your coverage is but this is much more than I pay. 
clothing shoes       $198.83 Look into this but be nice to your DW.  Your wife might have different priorities.  If you are driving a $20,000 truck and a Harley she might not appreciate being nit-picked about shoes. 
general merchandise    $616.75 This is a lot of money to spend on stuff you don't need.  I'm working with my wife on this type of stuff.  We are making progress but still have plenty to room to improve as well. 
Vacation       $769.42 High but if it's a priority that's fine. 

Overall you are doing well if you are happy to keep working another 10-15 years.  You have plenty of fat to be trimmed if you want to hit FI earlier.  Figure out what makes you happy and optimize your spending with that mind. 

mistymoney

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2019, 06:29:34 AM »
spouting off to "get rid of pets" is ignorant and not at all the same thing as preferring to not have pets or advising someone that pets can be expensive.

former player

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2019, 08:54:57 AM »
spouting off to "get rid of pets" is ignorant and not at all the same thing as preferring to not have pets or advising someone that pets can be expensive.

No one is looking to pamper others here - if you are in deep hole only tough love applies. Anyway, Sorry OP this thread is getting derailed.

The pet isn't going to see it as "tough love".  The pet is going to see it as an inexplicable abandonment by their person and the loss of everything they know is home.  Short of bankruptcy or unavoidable consequences of disability it is not something any responsible pet owner should consider.

Cassie

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2019, 09:36:46 AM »
Tamp, I do have homes for my 3 dogs if we die tomorrow and my executor knows this.  For the past 15 years we have had many old dogs come through our lives when it was inconvenient for their owners to keep them. We have spent a small fortune in vet bills. Do you know millions of animals get killed every year in shelters because people view them as disposable ?   Since we recently retired we will no longer be able to take in otherí dogs.  When our 15 year old dies we will just have 2.

FIRE 20/20

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2019, 10:56:01 AM »
having said that, to flat out say owning a truck is a no no, is obtuse.  the value of any item I choose to own must of course be weighed against the cost of owning it.  Riding a bicycle to work is just not going to work for me.  I work 7 days on 7 days off 14 hours per day.  I live 13 miles from work so riding would take an hour each way and i'd be a sweaty mess by the time I got there.  Not even considering there are no bike lanes and the speed on the two lane road to my work is 55MPH (which means they drive 65 or more)  Not worth the risk to save money on gas. 
Speaking of gas costs, since I don't drive to work every other week, I drive half as much as most people.  We don't drive for the sake of driving so if we drive it's because we have to, and we try to do multiple things on a single trip to reduce gas costs.
 

First, you're doing amazingly well for a normal person.  If you're here I assume you want to look to optimize to do even better.  To me, it sounds like you're rationalizing the truck.  The difference isn't truck or bike.  A new vehicle costs a lot so the opportunity cost is high.  It's not just the $20k and the low interest, it's the money lost from not being invested.  Plus most people overlook the cost of registering a vehicle in most (all?) states the registration fees are tied to how old a vehicle is and it's current estimated value.  New vehicles cost more to register.  New vehicles generally cost more to insure.  Trucks generally are more expensive to maintain for consumables - brakes, larger and more expensive tires, etc.  In short, that newish truck is costing you a lot more than you seem to acknowledge.  If the costs are really worth it to you - great!  Go ahead and keep it.  You're still on track to be FI in your early 50s which is remarkable, but if you want advice on how to do better that looks to me to be one huge expense you could cut pretty easily.  A used car would give you 99% of the utility and you wouldn't have to bike to work on a dangerous road. 

Couple of suggestions(high to lower priority)
1. You are at 85/15 allocation - given, you are in your mid-40s, suggest, you change it to 70/30 split and down to 60/40 when you hit your 50s and 40/60 in your 60s onwards.
2. Plan on paying down home mortgage in next 5 years
I disagree strongly with both of these.  Regarding #1, rising equities glidepath has been shown to be a much better option.  See:
https://www.kitces.com/blog/should-equity-exposure-decrease-in-retirement-or-is-a-rising-equity-glidepath-actually-better/
https://earlyretirementnow.com/2017/09/13/the-ultimate-guide-to-safe-withdrawal-rates-part-19-equity-glidepaths/
https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadepfau/2017/05/04/the-pros-and-cons-of-rising-equity-glide-paths-in-retirement/#392cbf8343dc

Paying down the mortgage is also a bad idea in most cases.  This has been beaten to death on these forums, and it's pretty clear that paying down the mortgage is very rarely the better option.  Here's just one of a bazillion threads that cover this topic.
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/stop-saying-it-is-not-mathematically-correct-to-pay-off-your-mortgage-early!/

I could say a lot about the pets comment, but others have already said most of what I'd say. 
« Last Edit: June 12, 2019, 10:28:25 AM by FIRE 20/20 »

Bernard

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2019, 05:16:02 PM »
I have several vehicles, all bought used for relatively little money, all paid for in cash.

I too have a pickup, which is a very practical vehicle for many uses. I bought my 1992 Dodge D250 with Cummins Turbo 18 years ago for $5,500. I had one expensive repair in 2006 when it needed a new injection pump which cost me $1,086 installed. Now with 250K miles on the clock, it needed just consumables, including 2 sets of used Michelin tires. I'll keep it another 8 years 'til I retire, at which point in time I plan to sell it for about $8,500, so $3K more than I paid 26 years earlier.

It's not about having a pickup or not having a pickup. It's about spending $20K of money you do not have, plus interest, on one. There are fabulous pickups out there for $5K to $5,5K, especially here in California, with zero rust. My neighbor has a 2006 Chevy 1500 Crew Cab for sale, 107K miles, champagne metallic, looks almost new, with zero issues. I think he's asking about $5K for it. You could buy that thing and drive it another 10 years, then sell it for $1,500. Depreciation $3,500 in 10 years, so $350 a year. Not too bad, or is it?

For daily driving duties, you buy a thrifty car for around $3,5K to $5K, pay cash for it. Drive it 3 to 5 years, then sell it for $1K to $1,5K.

My 2 cents . . .

Aunt Petunia

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2019, 05:27:45 PM »
Why has nobody suggested riding the Harley to work if he sells one of the vehicles? OP lives in Florida and could ride year round with some decent rain gear. It can go at least 65 mph and eliminates the sweaty mess problem as well.

Otherwise congrats on the solar, housing seems reasonable, and at your huge income it is a matter of how fast you want to get there. I won't go as far as saying you are doing better than most people, because you spend way more than the US median income, so most people spend a lot less than you do.

 I suggest getting cheaper cell phones, selling one vehicle, taking a look at how much insurance you actually need, and stopping the mindless shopping habit. How about instituting a waiting period for yourselves on any new clothes or home decor. And stop buying shit you don't need!!!

MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2019, 05:44:43 PM »
I ride the Harley Everytime i can which is most of the year, i do have good rain gear but avoid the rain season.  Thunderstorms this time of year is hard in a car, impossible on a bike.

Since this post we are closely scrutinizing every purchase. 



remizidae

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2019, 09:26:24 PM »
Since you are married, are you sure your HSA max is only $3450? Mine (also married) is $6900.

MikeO

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Re: laying it all out, go ahead hit me....
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2019, 08:17:25 PM »
Since you are married, are you sure your HSA max is only $3450? Mine (also married) is $6900.

Yes, because my wife has insurance through her employer.