Author Topic: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!  (Read 10563 times)

BadassEm

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Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« on: April 01, 2016, 05:44:49 PM »
Hi All,

I discovered MMM after reading the New Yorker article -- I'm so inspired by him and this community and have pretty much gained a new outlook on life.  Since reading the article in mid-march, I've slashed my spending by canceling my cleaning service, avoiding Whole Foods & eating out, curbing my amazon.com shopping habit, getting my nails done, you name it...

I already have everything I need since I pretty much bought it on amazon... Glad to be more awake now and while mustacianism is new to me, it's comes naturally in some respects: I always carry a thermos of home-brewed coffee with me, I brought a manual 2007 Corolla i found on craigslist 3 years ago for $7,500 cash with 29,000 miles on it, I live a few blocks from work, I hauled firewood every winter of my childhood since my Dad thought it was cheaper than gas, etc... 

The timing of finding MMM and this forum couldn't be more perfect as I was stupidly considering upgrading my car and taking out an auto loan since I felt slightly trashy in my toyota amongst the sea of audi's in my city.  I now just feel relief and validated not to be buying into the bullshit... I feel stupid I was so susceptible in the first place.

I never had student debt because I was lucky enough to have my parents pay my college/undergrad tuition for an arts degree in Ceramics -- hard to believe they let me major in pottery, but that's how amazing they are... their stipulation was I pay for my children's education and be completely independent financially after graduation.

After teaching art for a year, I quickly found my way into the corporate world in search of a paycheck and benefits.  I climbed the ladder from an administrative assistant position to a Sr. Account Manager at a .com travel company.  When it came time to go to graduate school, I decided to go abroad, partially to escape the corporate treadmill. 

I got a scholarship from the Taiwanese government and studied Chinese for a year there, then got my MBA in Taiwan and India.  I spent $13K cash on my graduate degree and went to fully-accredited universities, some of my classes were taught by Kellogg and University of Chicago professors (I also relied heavily on youtube and the Khan Academy since it was a huge learning curve for me going from art school to business school).

I loved every minute of my three years abroad and it's definitely the gift that keeps giving since I have friends all over the world.  I feel MMM is my next lucky stumble since I've been working my tail off in a soul-sucking corporate job for the last four years -- it's not a .com environment at all and highly political -- I've been feeling trapped, not wanting to go to work and not slightly interested in exploring other corporate jobs.  I simply want out asap.  I know this is not the attitude to have, though we are sometimes products of our environments.  I just feel refreshed to know that there is a viable out, and it's within reach if I don't squander my time and savings on things that don't matter.  I only wish I found MMM earlier because I feel like I already committed myself to the long-term corporate gig by not realizing in my 20s it doesn't have to be that way and saving.  My serious saving starts now, so I'm really interested in anyone who has advice or feedback for me.  Here are my stats:

Age: 36yrs, female, single

Income: Gross pay: $135k,

Net (after taxes/insurance/deductions/401k) = $85k

 

Retirement savings:  $127K in 401k, $16k in pension, $92k in Roth, $1k in taxable accounts/fidelity credit card rewards acct = $236k

Emergency funds: $7k

Debt:  no debt, I auto pay all credit cards monthly

Auto: own a 2007 Corolla that I bought for $7,500 cash 4 years ago

Expenses (annual basis)

Rent = $17k

Utilities (Electricity+internet+cell phone) = ($50+$59+$24) = $2k

Food = $6k

Gas = $240 (I live a few blocks from work)

Auto + Renters Insurance = $116/month = $2k (this seems really high, no?)

Travel = $8k (Went to Europe & Ecuador so far this year, will be doing some more domestic trips and heading back to Europe for a wedding in August)

2 dogs (food+vet+ boarding, etc.) = $2k will likely go over this.

 
Total = $35,240

kpd905

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 06:00:47 PM »
What type of car insurance do you have?  On my old car I had liability only for about $30 a month, and $11 a month for renter's insurance.

Travis

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 06:40:39 PM »
$6k a year for food is $500 a month.  Are you eating out every day?

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 07:45:48 PM »
Hi kpd905, I've been using USAA for both Car and Renter's -- definitely time to reevaluate.  Who are you using?

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 07:48:30 PM »
$6k a year for food is $500 a month.  Are you eating out every day?

Hi Travis, no, I cook mostly and bring my own food to work.  I do have friends that drag me out on the weekend and make me spend.  How much do you spend/month on food?

kpd905

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 07:52:34 PM »
Hi kpd905, I've been using USAA for both Car and Renter's -- definitely time to reevaluate.  Who are you using?

I use State Farm.  Do you have full coverage?  I would probably go with just liability on a 2007 car.

And as for groceries/food, I'll just say as a data point that my wife and I spend about $330 per month on groceries/alcohol and another $120 a month eating out.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 07:54:41 PM by kpd905 »

mozar

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 09:39:48 PM »
I just want to point out that you are indeed a badass for turning an art degree into a 135k job, and already have 236k in investments. You can cut down on $ for going out by ordering water and appetizers and tell your friends you are saving up for something. You will be able to step off the treadmill soon.

Hotstreak

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 01:01:55 AM »
Your food budget does seem high.  I can understand this, I have spent that much money/month for a large portion of my life.  If you look around here lots of people are living on less than half that, and still eating really well.  When I tried to cut back the biggest things were:


1) specialty ingredients like fresh herbs, multi colored organic produce, out of season sugar snap peas.
2) viewing meat as a source of calories instead of a source of protein and nutrition.
3) wanting to make every meal special


I still eat very well, but I focus on bulk bins for spices, eat meat more sparingly, and only splurge for premium ingredients on truly special occasions.




The biggest thing nobody has mentioned yet is travel, you spent quite a bit for just two trips.  There are some great ways to reduce cost of travel if you search around here.


Can you get a cheaper place to live, that's still within walking or short biking distance of work?  Your housing is more than half of your total expenses.


At your current trajectory, you should be able to stop working in 9-10 years.  If you can reduce your spending by only $5k, that goes down to 7 years.

dess1313

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 01:14:49 AM »
ever heard of travel hacking to help pay some airfare costs on trips?  i just got introduced to it recently
http://www.travelmiles101.com

Travis

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2016, 11:07:36 AM »
$6k a year for food is $500 a month.  Are you eating out every day?

Hi Travis, no, I cook mostly and bring my own food to work.  I do have friends that drag me out on the weekend and make me spend.  How much do you spend/month on food?

For a family of three we spend $400/mo on groceries and $100/mo eating out.  I think we could trim another $50 off the groceries, but we haven't cracked the code on that yet.  This month eating out was $120 with $40 of that being my wife at Starbucks which she's trying to stop. 

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2016, 05:43:03 PM »
What type of car insurance do you have?  On my old car I had liability only for about $30 a month, and $11 a month for renter's insurance.

Hi kpd905, thanks so much for giving me your premiums as a benchmark. I called my insurance company and changed the car coverage to liability which saves me $690 a year!  I still pay $45/mo. so I'm going to do some shopping and see if it can't come down more.   I'm in TX which is notorious for high car insurance premiums. 

I also had my renter's insurance reduced from $14/mo to $11.  Not a huge savings be every dollar counts! :)



Fi(re) on the Farm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2016, 05:51:42 PM »
What type of car insurance do you have?  On my old car I had liability only for about $30 a month, and $11 a month for renter's insurance.

Hi kpd905, thanks so much for giving me your premiums as a benchmark. I called my insurance company and changed the car coverage to liability which saves me $690 a year!  I still pay $45/mo. so I'm going to do some shopping and see if it can't come down more.   I'm in TX which is notorious for high car insurance premiums.

Do you drive to work? If not, is your insurance based on pleasure only driving? Have you taken a defensive driving course? Both of those things can lower your insurance.

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2016, 06:16:18 PM »
Your food budget does seem high.  I can understand this, I have spent that much money/month for a large portion of my life.  If you look around here lots of people are living on less than half that, and still eating really well.  When I tried to cut back the biggest things were:


1) specialty ingredients like fresh herbs, multi colored organic produce, out of season sugar snap peas.
2) viewing meat as a source of calories instead of a source of protein and nutrition.
3) wanting to make every meal special


I still eat very well, but I focus on bulk bins for spices, eat meat more sparingly, and only splurge for premium ingredients on truly special occasions.




The biggest thing nobody has mentioned yet is travel, you spent quite a bit for just two trips.  There are some great ways to reduce cost of travel if you search around here.


Can you get a cheaper place to live, that's still within walking or short biking distance of work?  Your housing is more than half of your total expenses.


At your current trajectory, you should be able to stop working in 9-10 years.  If you can reduce your spending by only $5k, that goes down to 7 years.

Hi RobbyJ, thanks for your help, I realize my food expenses are super high for pretty much the same 1 - 3 reasons you mentioned. 

Now that I'm no longer shopping at whole foods, I think there will be a substantial drop in my grocery spending, but I have weird/expensive non-negotiable items such as cashew milk, ezekiel cereal, protein powder, etc.  I'll see how much I can scale back in the next 3 months.  If it means I have to work several more years to support the non-negotiables, I'll certainly find ways to cut them out.

For travel, I have no problems staying at cheaper hotels/hostels, it's the airfare that gets me every time.  I think I can cut back here significantly as well now that I have a mustacian mindset.

As far as rent, having a nice home has always been worth the expense to me and unfortunately rent is quite high where I live.  I could move from a 1 br to a studio, or move to a less ideal location/apt complex, but I think I need to cut everywhere else, then work on the housing piece.  I'm considering whether it's better to buy, but since I'm not set living here permanently, it's probably better to rent.

Thanks again for your insight!

Guesl982374

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2016, 08:02:57 AM »
Rent = $17k

Auto + Renters Insurance = $116/month = $2k (this seems really high, no?)

First off, congratulations on your change in mindset. You are in an excellent position to build wealth and you are focused on the future vs. dwelling on the past.

Are you willing to look into a roommate situation? Housing is half your annual expense. Given you are single you can more easily affect this number than someone who was married with kids.

Your insurance is insanely high. Call around and get multiple quotes.

arebelspy

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2016, 08:14:03 AM »
You're doing fantastic!

135k job, 35k spending, 236k portfolio = 5.2 years to retirement.

You can retire just after 40, with an art degree.  That's badass!  :D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

RyFI

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2016, 09:16:57 AM »
I think you were Mustachian all along but just didn't have a name for it.  I was much in the same boat...I was well on my way to ER before I discovered MMM (thanks to 4-Hour Workweek book) but I needed some fine-tuning and most of all confidence to actually pull the trigger.  MMM provided all of that for me; I put the finishing touches on evaluating my spending and most importantly gained the perspective that I'm not a weirdo for wanting to retire early.  You have an awesome starting point as others have already said, so don't feel stupid whatsoever!  It's good to be constantly learning, and that's what you're doing.

Just remember, as MMM points out, reducing expenses is doubly effective because it not only gets you to ER faster due to more savings, but also because your threshold for retirement income requirement will be lower.  So for example your housing expense...imagine being retired early; will you even want a house?  It seems like you love to travel, and many ER's who choose that route don't have a permanent house at all.  Maybe a better way of asking it: if you had limitless choices, would you rather have a nice house (whether rented or owned) in a permanent place, or would you rather have the flexibility to live all over the world?  If the answer is the latter, perhaps it'd be worth the sacrifice to move into a studio or cheaper housing in order to reach FI earlier and get what you REALLY wanted all along, the opportunity to travel the world.

When I was employed, I now see in retrospect I paid for luxuries, including housing, because I convinced myself that's what truly made me happy.  But I now see those luxuries for what they truly were: temporary cover-ups to make me think I was living a great life instead of recognizing and pursuing the things in life that actually make me happy (which mostly involve around having flexibility from not working).  So maybe you won't like your living arrangements as much in a smaller/cheaper place, but you can view it for what it is: a temporary sacrifice in order to achieve something much broader and more important. 

You're on your way, keep it up!

MMMaybe

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 01:10:28 AM »
Cashew milk is very easy to make. Soak one cup of unsalted cashews in water overnight. Drain water and rinse. Put cashews into blender with 4 cups water, a little salt and sugar/honey to taste. Strain. Done :)

Nickels Dimes Quarters

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 04:40:27 AM »
You've already done an amazing job of accumulating serious ER cash. Good for you.

NDQ

Rollin

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2016, 05:27:12 AM »
Hi All,

I discovered MMM after reading the New Yorker article -- I'm so inspired by him and this community and have pretty much gained a new outlook on life.  Since reading the article in mid-march, I've slashed my spending by canceling my cleaning service, avoiding Whole Foods & eating out, curbing my amazon.com shopping habit, getting my nails done, you name it...

I already have everything I need since I pretty much bought it on amazon... Glad to be more awake now and while mustacianism is new to me, it's comes naturally in some respects: I always carry a thermos of home-brewed coffee with me, I brought a manual 2007 Corolla i found on craigslist 3 years ago for $7,500 cash with 29,000 miles on it, I live a few blocks from work, I hauled firewood every winter of my childhood since my Dad thought it was cheaper than gas, etc... 

The timing of finding MMM and this forum couldn't be more perfect as I was stupidly considering upgrading my car and taking out an auto loan since I felt slightly trashy in my toyota amongst the sea of audi's in my city.  I now just feel relief and validated not to be buying into the bullshit... I feel stupid I was so susceptible in the first place.

I never had student debt because I was lucky enough to have my parents pay my college/undergrad tuition for an arts degree in Ceramics -- hard to believe they let me major in pottery, but that's how amazing they are... their stipulation was I pay for my children's education and be completely independent financially after graduation.

After teaching art for a year, I quickly found my way into the corporate world in search of a paycheck and benefits.  I climbed the ladder from an administrative assistant position to a Sr. Account Manager at a .com travel company.  When it came time to go to graduate school, I decided to go abroad, partially to escape the corporate treadmill. 

I got a scholarship from the Taiwanese government and studied Chinese for a year there, then got my MBA in Taiwan and India.  I spent $13K cash on my graduate degree and went to fully-accredited universities, some of my classes were taught by Kellogg and University of Chicago professors (I also relied heavily on youtube and the Khan Academy since it was a huge learning curve for me going from art school to business school).

I loved every minute of my three years abroad and it's definitely the gift that keeps giving since I have friends all over the world.  I feel MMM is my next lucky stumble since I've been working my tail off in a soul-sucking corporate job for the last four years -- it's not a .com environment at all and highly political -- I've been feeling trapped, not wanting to go to work and not slightly interested in exploring other corporate jobs.  I simply want out asap.  I know this is not the attitude to have, though we are sometimes products of our environments.  I just feel refreshed to know that there is a viable out, and it's within reach if I don't squander my time and savings on things that don't matter.  I only wish I found MMM earlier because I feel like I already committed myself to the long-term corporate gig by not realizing in my 20s it doesn't have to be that way and saving.  My serious saving starts now, so I'm really interested in anyone who has advice or feedback for me.  Here are my stats:

Age: 36yrs, female, single

Income: Gross pay: $135k,

Net (after taxes/insurance/deductions/401k) = $85k

 

Retirement savings:  $127K in 401k, $16k in pension, $92k in Roth, $1k in taxable accounts/fidelity credit card rewards acct = $236k

Emergency funds: $7k

Debt:  no debt, I auto pay all credit cards monthly

Auto: own a 2007 Corolla that I bought for $7,500 cash 4 years ago

Expenses (annual basis)

Rent = $17k

Utilities (Electricity+internet+cell phone) = ($50+$59+$24) = $2k

Food = $6k

Gas = $240 (I live a few blocks from work)

Auto + Renters Insurance = $116/month = $2k (this seems really high, no?)

Travel = $8k (Went to Europe & Ecuador so far this year, will be doing some more domestic trips and heading back to Europe for a wedding in August)

2 dogs (food+vet+ boarding, etc.) = $2k will likely go over this.

 
Total = $35,240

I just want to say "great job!" and point out that this is the point (highlighted) where most people loose themselves in material things, which leads them to loosing track of where they are financially, and then further spinning out of control to a point where they just give up or ignore their situation (and say things like "I deserve it" when purchasing things they cannot afford and do not need). You have a great goal in mind and many here to help you along the way.

Congrats!!

boarder42

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2016, 06:38:08 AM »
$6k a year for food is $500 a month.  Are you eating out every day?

Hi Travis, no, I cook mostly and bring my own food to work.  I do have friends that drag me out on the weekend and make me spend.  How much do you spend/month on food?

separate eating out from cooking at home.  My wife and i spend about 50-100 a month eating out and around 350-400 on groceries.  this is for 2 people.  you should be spending substantially less.  Shopping for groceries frugally is something you need to look into.  buy things on sale.  and if its a super sale buy them in bulk

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2016, 08:53:04 PM »
Hi All,

I've had a few major things happen this year since my last post which have shifted my life perspective greatly and have me reeling with what to do next.  I probably need to be asking a therapist rather than this forum, lol, but you all give great advice!

Anyway, I had a parent pass away suddenly 3 months ago which has been really hard.  In some ways it's making me a better person as it's been hugely humbling.  I didn't realize the shit some people are going through and it can be downright awful being at work or on an airplane and having people be inpatient and pushy over things that don't matter.

Now that I have a whole new perspective on what's important, I'm trying to prioritize my life and realize how limited my time could be.  The first thing I'm eager to move on from is my job, but at the same time, it's not too difficult and it pays well.  I don't feel I'm thriving though, it's not a good use of my time and talent and money isn't everything.  What I would love to do is hit the road in an RV and blog for a few months and see what comes.  I'm also now 37... If I want my own children, it's probably now or never. 

My parent left me some money so I now have $350k in investments.

-->Should I hit the road and try blogging for 3 - 6 months and see what comes? 
-->Should I lay low and remain at the job I'm unhappy with?
-->Should I have a kid/kids?  In which case I would stay at my job because of the benefits.  With no hubby in sight, it would be an undertaking having kids on my own, but at the same time, marriages often end in divorce.  Having kids independently offers a lot of freedom, yet I don't want to have a child that feels shafted at not having a dad.  I could do the Rv thing later with kids though I doubt there'd be time for blogging.
-->Should I buy a house while I have lenders interested in me and rent it out while I'm doing the Rv thing -- I'd have to hire a property manager

These are some of the questions/decisions I'm grappling with and they don't seem very Mustachian, just trying to pick the option that will lead to the best outcome.  If I hit the road, I could get everything I want: to be a writer, travel, perhaps meet a good match for me who likes the same travel lifestyle... If I continue what I'm doing, which seems to be the responsible route, I could stagnate and wind up with a lot of money but lose out on my prime years.

What would you do?

arebelspy

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2016, 09:45:04 PM »
Wow, that's a lot of possibilities.

I'm sorry to hear about your parent passing away.  =/

If it were me, I'd figure out the kid thing first thing.  That's the more time sensitive thing, and that's the much bigger life decision.  If you get tired of traveling after six months, you stop traveling.  If you get tired of a kid after six months, you can't stop having the kid.

You'll have to put some serious thought into that, talk about it with people who know you, and spend some time on that one.

Once that's figured out, it may well dictate the rest.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

calimom

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2016, 11:03:38 PM »
Very sorry to hear of your recent loss. No advice but hope you find a path/solution that works for you.

expatartist

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2016, 11:42:08 PM »
BadassEm, hello from Hong Kong (well, Chongqing for another week).

So sorry to hear about your parent's unexpected passing!  It is good you are taking the time to analyze these different inclinations. Here are some suggestions from a fellow Internet stranger with an art degree, desire for meaningful work, and love of travel:

* If you haven't yet, get fertility screening or pre-pregnancy check-up to be aware of your baseline
* can you take a holiday or extended sabbatical to mull over some of these options?  They're all appealing, all life-changing. Some random advice I read a while back was wait 6-12 months after an important life event (like the death of a parent) before making any life altering decisions. This allows us to process the grief in a stable environment.
* I'm with ARS in giving the child option the most consideration first. But also a good idea to process this with help from an outside perspective. When I was weighing the decision, I had a free initial consultation with Beth Follini who specializes in coaching people weighing the "Baby or Not" dilemma (Ticktock Coaching, an American in the UK).

Best wishes to you, you've done really well with life so far and I'm sure will manage very well in the future. Internet hugs

Edited out weird quotes
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 12:09:17 AM by expatartist »

boarder42

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #24 on: October 29, 2016, 05:51:16 AM »
Travel hack I haven't paid for a flight in 3 years. Flee roundtrip to Hawaii this spring first class 20:bucks for 2 people. Heading to Europe soon for a similar price.  If you enjoy traveling it can be done very cheaply. Including our very non mustachian spending while on vacation this year. We have traveled 40 days with two people for around 4k and this includes an 11 day cruise in Europe with a balcony cabin and booze and excursions. And a 10 day trip to Hawaii with scuba diving.

RyFI

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #25 on: October 29, 2016, 05:51:47 AM »
Sorry for your loss, however it's nice to see you're gathering insight on life from a negative experience.

My wife and I are living and traveling full time in an RV at the moment along with our two small kids. It can be done and you could still find time to blog.

I often fall into the trap of debating decisions ad nauseum, trying to make the right one. It feels daunting, the reason being that there's no such thing as a right or a wrong decision in many instances. The feeling of overwhelm comes from trying to find certainty where such a thing doesn't exist. My antidote: remind myself that l live a very privileged life; my buffet options of life choices are equally amazing in the grand scheme of things and no matter what choice is made, good things are likely to result.  Choose what feels right in the moment and go for it. You can easily change course later if you change your mind and there's absolutely no shame in that!

As a side note: I've tried blogging in the past and now trying the RV thing. Neither was/is my cup of tea. We'll travel around for awhile, have tons of fun, and then sell the RV. BUT, I wouldn't have known those things weren't my passions if I hadn't given them a shot. Plus, I've learned so much from doing them I wouldn't change a thing. So go do what your gut says. It may or may not fit you well, but you're likely to gain tons of irreplaceable life experiences. Those remarks don't apply to your having a kid debate, that you should really think about. However, I see many people stop doing adventures once they have kids and it's a shame. Those adventures are great for your kids, too! Having a kid or following other dreams aren't mutually exclusive.

Best of luck!

mozar

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #26 on: October 29, 2016, 11:41:22 AM »
Sorry for your loss. You can freeze your eggs. It costs about 10k. I'm thinking about doing this soon myself. What's your FIRE number? I would stick it out until FIRE then have the kid. That's pretty much my life plan.
Kids are happy when the adults in their lives are happy so don't worry about having a traditional family structure. And you know what? You can't know ahead of time why your kids will be mad at you. All you can do is your best.

dess1313

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #27 on: October 30, 2016, 09:24:16 PM »
I am so sorry for your loss
You have a lot of questions and sometimes that's a good thing
Are you allowed any sort of sabatical or leave from your work?  If so i would take it even for a few months.  you can Rent RV's quite easily.  you will never know if its what you want or not.  Even to take some time away from work and stay at home would be a nice change.

If you are not happy at work, can you pinpoint the part of it that is making it an issue?  can you change departments or something to liven it up?  What about taking some extra courses to go down a different path?

The biggest choices you face are probably if you 1. want kids and 2. want to stay living in your current location.  If you plan on staying looking at housing may be worthwile.  you also sound like international travel may be an option as well.  I would wait 6 months before making any drastic decision

farmerj

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #28 on: November 01, 2016, 10:07:15 AM »
"What I would love to do is hit the road in an RV and blog for a few months and see what comes." - This clashes heavily with your other desires, unfortunately.

"Having kids independently offers a lot of freedom"  When the child is young, I guess it makes a few of the larger decisions more free -- where to live being the main one I can come up with -- but there's an enormous loss of freedom when it comes to the little things. Can't just run off to the store while baby is napping, for example.

Freeze your eggs and work on finding a husband. Being a single parent is very difficult, and it's more difficult when you're older, and even more difficult than that if your family support structure is limited.




FurtherJourneys

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2016, 07:08:26 AM »
Hello,
  I can relate to the feelings you are having about needing a break from a bad work environment. Have you considered seeing someone for grief counseling or just some general life counseling? It might help you understand what will be the most fulfilling going forward. Only you can ultimately know the answer to what is going to be the best route.

  You don't have enough to FIRE, but do you have FU money available? I'm a teacher and my first position turned into a very toxic environment due to some of my co-workers. I was so stressed and my health was suffering, but for some reason I stayed there. I left that job intending to take some time off and ended up immediately being offered a job thanks to one of the people in my network. It turned into my current position, which is pretty unheard of for teachers, a part time contract that fits well into our lifestyle with a young child. My department is also so much better and I actually like all the people I work with.

 If your work offers leave of absence as an option, could you take some time off to grieve? Or, are you in a field where after a few months off you could look for another position? My advice would be to set aside the big decisions, spend some time in nature and outside of your normal routine, and open yourself up to possibilities you might not have even considered.

Best of luck!

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2017, 04:02:39 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks so much for all your feedback, support and comments.  I'm always impressed by how caring and responsive this group is...  Sorry it's taken me until now to reply... It's been on my "to do" list for months!

The past year was tough while still reeling with the sudden loss of my mother who I was very close to.  My parents were married 48 years, so while it's been tough for me, it's been beyond awful for my Dad.  Amazingly, time does help.  I recommend never saying that to a person who's lost a loved one though, I found that to be the least comforting consolation, however true.

My last post was asking you all what I should do.  I was weighing a lot of options, some look a little cray-cray now in hindsight -- I appreciate your answers and help. Since I couldn't decide on what to do, I've pretty much remained put. 

I did bite the bullet and freeze my eggs as a few of you suggested, and spared no expense at that.  I went to one of the best fertility clinics in the country located in Colorado.  My reasoning was if I'm going to eff my body up on hormones, spend a lot of money, do an elective surgery, etc, it better damn well work! Turns out I'm in great shape and may not need to use my frozen options, but still with no hubby in sight, who knows?  I'll keep you posted. 

I have the same job.  I actually made less money in the past year as my bonus was less with the company not making as much money.  I've complained profusely to my boss, so at least she knows she better give me a raise this year or expect me to look elsewhere.  In any case, they've been really good to me.  They let me work remotely from Maine for all of July so I could spend time with my Dad and family.  My goal is to maintain my gig and keep pushing for working remotely so eventually I can be remote full-time and live wherever I want.  Right now I'm interested in Chapala or San Miguel Mexico as potential places to live next, partially because I want to get my Dad down there as I know he'd love it and thrive again, and also because I feel I could reach FIRE early and let my stache double on it's own through investments.

I'm still renting, though I downgraded and moved into a 560 SF unit.  The landlord gave me 2 free months to stay, so I'm spending about $10K this year on rent/housing.

As far as my FIRE number, I keep moving the goal post which sucks, but realistically, I've spent around $50K in the last year... I certainly don't anticipate spending that every year, and it probably disqualifies me from being mustachian, but I may spend that amount again in the future, particularly if kids arrive in the picture.  My FI goal currently is $1,125,000.

Below are my current stats:

Age: 38yrs, female, single

Income: Gross pay: $125k (I believe this is the number, though my HR system is down right now...)

Net (after taxes/insurance/deductions/401k) = $111k (with investment income -- this is according to Mint) I think take home pay is in the $90k range.

Retirement & Non-retirement savings:  $196K in 401k, $16k in pension, $122k in Roth, $99K in inherited IRA (my Mom left me $80K which grew quite a bit) $27K in S&P index funds, $2k in taxable accounts/fidelity credit card rewards acct = $462k

Emergency funds: $12k

Debt:  no debt, I auto pay all credit cards monthly

Auto: own a 2007 Corolla that I bought for $7,500 cash 5 years ago.  Currently has 50K miles and I busted it up this summer trying to avoid a cat on the freeway (the cat survived but I hit an exit sign which managed to smash my windshield, two driver's side doors and spots on the hood, roof, other places...) so I'm driving a beater but lucky to be alive!  I've only repaired the windshield for $200.  I'd recently switched to liability only insurance so decided not to report the incident to my insurance or do other repairs -- I got a quote for $5K to fix everything which is more than the value of my car.  I may go to junkyards to find "new" doors, but honestly, driving a beater in my city is a plus since car break-ins are probably the #1 crime here.

Expenses (annual basis)

Rent = $10k

Utilities (Electricity+internet+cell phone) = ($43+$120+$26) = $189*12 = $2,268

Food = $4k

Gas = $240 (I live a few blocks from work)

Auto + Renters Insurance = $30/month = $360

Travel = $4k

2 dogs (food+vet+ boarding, etc.) = $2k

Egg Freezing = 10K

Misc. (gifts, donations, entertainment, furniture, clothes, bars, restaurants, house keeper (yep, I hired a lady to clean my apt weekly at $55/visit, it's so worth it to me!) = $10K
 
Total = $42,868

My questions for the group are:
- what should my FU number be?
- Right now I don't think I'll make FI until early 2022; what would you do in my position to speed things up?
- All my stache is tied up in retirement and index funds -- I've considered investing in rental property in order to diversify, however, I'm in a HCOL city, and honestly, I don't think I'm cut out for landlording... maybe airbnb though.

Thanks again!!

makinbutter

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2017, 03:16:01 PM »
First, so sorry for your family's loss. Stay strong for your dad!

Second, something doesn't appear to be adding up with the numbers. You say you're clearing roughly 40-50k net per year (with an art degree! Duck yeah!)... where did that 40-50k go andwhy aren't your savings /investments 40-50k richer?

I may very well be missing some of them but it looks like only a 27k bump in stocks?

If you're really putting away 4K in investments per month your tkelkne ought to be quite short indeed.   Seven to ten years?

BadassEm

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #32 on: July 15, 2018, 04:51:24 PM »
Hi All,

Just wanting to continue my original thread - now as a 39 yo!

I have a big life change coming up at the end of August.  I asked my company for a transfer to Chicago, and they agreed, so I will be starting in Chi in September 2018.

I'm going from working in the Houston office (a dressy, stale, corporate environment) for 4+ days/week, to working from home 90-100% of the time -- the Chicago office is casual dress (!!!).  I'm happy about this change because I'm much more productive working from home, and don't get sucked into the office politics, which are especially toxic and mind-numbing in the Houston office...  Just picture lots of white crusty men in suits, no technical skills, but a lot of mansplaining... AI am also excited about downsizing my corporate attire and having much more flexibility.

In Chicago, I'll also be nearby my immediate fam, who all live in Chi, which is why I asked for the transfer.

There are several downsides to this move: I hate winters in Chicago; gray, sad, slushy, dark, bitter cold days...  I hate state income tax.   I dislike the Chicago accent (sorry, just sounds a bit tone deaf to my ears). My company is not paying for my move.  Chicago is a HCL city compared to Houston -- I'm paying no state income tax currently, but will be paying almost 5% in Chicago.  Rents are especially high in the neighborhoods I would like to live in: wicker park, boys town, Lincoln square, etc. 

I'm debating buying a home or multi-unit in the western areas of the city that are less dangerous, or Humboldt Park, but haven't lived in Chicago in over a decade, so not in tune with the various neighborhoods.  I may need to rent a while until I'm familiar again.

Recent real estate news on Chicago is also concerning... I believe 15+% of Chicagoans owe double what their home is worth (?) so they aren't selling even though many would like to, until the market appreciates; the market is currently where it was pre-bubble burst in 2008 I believe.  Please correct me if you have any intel on the current Chi RE market...  Or have any recommendations on where you would move as a single MMM 39 y/o with two large 70 lb mix breed dogs (one looks pit-ish).

At present, I make $109K base, $20+K annual bonus, have zero debt, perfect credit and rental history, am 4 years away from FI.  My company matches 401K contributions at a ridiculous 9%.  I am not in love with my job... it's a soul suck most of the time.  I have a great reputation and could find another job immediately.  I was considering leaving, but starting all over at a new Corp seems even more soul sucking and just doesn't seem worth it. It's taken me 5+ years to navigate my current environment.  I am on great terms with my old employer in Chicago, which was a .com startup, a place I loved.  They have been acquired, but by another .com, so apparently the work environment is even better than it was back in the day.  They are located in the same building as my current company.  I've been thinking I could always revert if the urgency/misery strikes.

In any case, would love to hear advice from my fellow MMM and chicagoans.  My current rent in Houston is $1,160 for a beautiful, light-filled apartment with all the amenities (in unit W/D, Pool, Gym, onsite dog park, beautiful grounds, palm trees & grilling stations, etc.) and a perfect tree top view of the entire Houston city skyline.  I do live in a tiny space: a 1B/1BA 567 SF apt -- this was by choice as I wanted to save on rent, but also liked the amount of windows, view, and beautiful 8'X8' balcony I'm writing from while lounging in my hammock.  I know $1160 sounds excessive to some... I'm MMM, but not to the point of not coming home to a place I love/enjoy.  I'm a 4 block walk/6 min drive to work.  Can also walk to Whole Foods, and many other spots....

I guess I'm starting to mourn the move/decision even though it's the change I need at this point.  Houston is a transient city. I've been here 5+ years, and all my original friends have moved on.  I've been an expat before, and lived in this type of environment, but want the consistency of having "my people" around always...  Though Houston is a good place, I do get tired of the heat, pickup trucks, guns, local houston accents...  I want a walk-able city where I can take public trans and be around people who have MMM values -- not constantly upgrading trucks, cars, homes, the use of plastic bags and not recycling... I'm appalled by the waste I see in Houston!  I've also recently converted to a plant-based diet which does not gel with the Texas mindset. 

Still, I do love the beautiful sunlight here, Texas sky, lifestyle. It's been an amazing 5 years and I love the life long friends I will take with me... Plus my Texas rescue dogs/aka dog foster failures!

arebelspy

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #33 on: March 10, 2019, 11:23:29 AM »
How are you liking Chicago?

Okay, maybe a bad time to ask, with winter barely ending. But it's nearly spring!

One less year of soul suck left.. 3 or 3.5 to go?

Could be worth making a change from your job sooner than that, you have the FU money.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

HoneyandSugar

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Re: Case Study: 36 yo newby trying to navigate badassity!
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2019, 11:29:15 AM »
PTF. Hope to hear more from you with regard to all of your changes!