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General Discussion => Share Your Badassity => Topic started by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 11:55:16 AM

Title: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 11:55:16 AM
Hello fellow Mustachians!

My wife's bonus just got deposited in the bank account and we've now officially hit our net worth goal of $1,000,000!

We've quit our jobs, and we're going to travel for a while - next week we're driving down to Costa Rica (from Oakland, CA)!

"Early Retirement" became a goal for us three years ago. My wife and I started reading MMM and getting serious about reducing expenses, we moved all funds into Vanguard and optimized the portfolio, then kept working hard at our careers.

She has Chemical Engineer degree, I have Information Systems degree. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and rent a house.

Our income tax "total income" for 2014 was $233,000. For 2013 it was $204,000.

Here is a screenshot  (http://freedomwithbruno.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/2014_spending_table.png) of our Mint.com Monthly Expenses for 2014 (monthly average was $1,764, which does not include the house we have been renting in Oakland, CA which is an additional $2,200 - so a total annual spend of $47,576.

Here is a link (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qs_V9Ds615YFGcXRWtOAvMNOtQ31N68pSFN4d9L2fwo/pubchart?oid=2029215993&format=interactive) to a Google Spreadsheet Chart showing the growth of our savings over the last 3 years.

We plan on doing the 4% "safe withdrawal rate" and having an annual budget of $40,000.

Also, if you're curious I have some additional details posted here: http://freedomwithbruno.com/financial-independence/

Friday was my last day at work and I'm feeling pretty good (and excited)!

I would like to give a big thanks to MMM for being such a great inspiration for us over the last few years! THANK YOU!!

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer!
Title: Re: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M - now we want to travel!
Post by: Cookie78 on March 08, 2015, 12:04:56 PM
Congrats!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Thedudeabides on March 08, 2015, 12:10:30 PM
Awesome work. Congrats! Have fun on your trip. That will be amazing.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MooseOutFront on March 08, 2015, 12:11:31 PM
That's amazing.  I saw your thread on reddit and enjoyed the responses. Congrats on such a huge number already accumulated and on having the juevos to take the leap.  Keep us updated on your adventures, trials, and tribulations.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: aschmidt2930 on March 08, 2015, 12:16:17 PM
Fantastic work, you've made incredible progress the last three years, the speed of your net worth increase is impressive.

I have a similar plan at age 30, and find this story inspiring. Enjoy your trip!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MrsCoolCat on March 08, 2015, 12:17:50 PM
WOW, impressive! Congrats! If you don't mind me asking but are you and your wife planning on moving out of CA?  It's just the first thing that crossed my mind considering how expensive CA is and you were renting. Enjoy your retirement and ty for the details which lead and inspire me! :-)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 12:33:43 PM
WOW, impressive! Congrats! If you don't mind me asking but are you and your wife planning on moving out of CA?  It's just the first thing that crossed my mind considering how expensive CA is and you were renting. Enjoy your retirement and ty for the details which lead and inspire me! :-)
Thank you!

We're about to spend a lot of time traveling, so we became residents of a no income-tax state before starting the journey. Our "home" is now in Nevada.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MrsCoolCat on March 08, 2015, 12:46:33 PM
Thank you!
We're about to spend a lot of time traveling, so we became residents of a no income-tax state before starting the journey. Our "home" is now in Nevada.

How great! Any city/country list or bucket list in general yet? I'm curious as I also want to travel more but I don't know if my FI will be as soon as yours, but comparably I think I've traveled quite a bit so I consider myself fortunate. ENJOY!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 12:48:45 PM
Thank you!
We're about to spend a lot of time traveling, so we became residents of a no income-tax state before starting the journey. Our "home" is now in Nevada.

How great! Any city/country list or bucket list in general yet? I'm curious as I also want to travel more but I don't know if my FI will be as soon as yours, but comparably I think I've traveled quite a bit so I consider myself fortunate. ENJOY!
Yes, we're super excited to start an adventure next week - driving down to Costa Rica from California!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: minority_finance_mo on March 08, 2015, 01:09:30 PM
Just read your post in Reddit as well. Congratulations - go enjoy your life! :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MrsCoolCat on March 08, 2015, 01:21:20 PM
Just read your post in Reddit as well. Congratulations - go enjoy your life! :)

I'm lost, can someone please link the Reddit article? Thanks.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Exflyboy on March 08, 2015, 01:42:20 PM
Fantastic, Your one of the few I have seen planning to actually live on 4% of your stash so it will be interesting to see if it pans out (as we all expect it will).

So tell us about your trip.. what do you expect in terms of safety, do you speak Spanish, what if you break down?

What are you planning to do for accomodation and healthcare?

Sorry I didn't mean to go all negative on you, I am genuinely interested because My Wife and I are seriously looking at selling up and moving "somewhere" in the next few years so these details are of considerable interest to us..:)

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Workinghard on March 08, 2015, 01:46:17 PM
Congratulations! We didn't even come close at your age!

Last week we were within 3K of hitting the same goal and then the market dropped. Lol. Not sure when we will get there, but I do know it will be sometime this year since we're putting 6K a month into savings.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: fartface on March 08, 2015, 01:49:31 PM
Dude - that's awesome for ones so young. You are model examples...MMM would be proud!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: yoga mama on March 08, 2015, 02:12:30 PM
Love reading this news.  Congrats!  Enjoy the travels!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: minority_finance_mo on March 08, 2015, 02:19:36 PM
Just read your post in Reddit as well. Congratulations - go enjoy your life! :)

I'm lost, can someone please link the Reddit article? Thanks.

Here you go:

http://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/2y6wvf/hey_fi_my_wife_32_and_i_30_just_hit_our_goal_of/
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: pka222 on March 08, 2015, 02:23:45 PM
So stoked for you two.  Inspirational- we are only 1/3 of the way there... 
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: G-dog on March 08, 2015, 02:37:44 PM
Congratulations. Would love to hear about your Costa Rica trip (and future trips)!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: happy on March 08, 2015, 02:49:31 PM
Thats awesome, congratulations and happy travels
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: forward on March 08, 2015, 02:59:43 PM

Congratulations!  I am also curious as to how long you plan to travel for, long term plans etc.  Do you think you this is your new permanent gig or are you going back to work at some point?

Love the story about Bruno, you did some significant work on him that will serve you well.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: The_Dude on March 08, 2015, 04:58:56 PM
Woohoo I'm super stoked for you!  My favorite thing about this post is that you are driving to Costa Rica. The thing I day dream about the most surrounding FI is the ability to experience the world through travel that is counted in months rather than days as most "vacations" are.

I hope you share your journey with the rest of us.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 05:08:15 PM
Fantastic, Your one of the few I have seen planning to actually live on 4% of your stash so it will be interesting to see if it pans out (as we all expect it will).

So tell us about your trip.. what do you expect in terms of safety, do you speak Spanish, what if you break down?

What are you planning to do for accomodation and healthcare?

Sorry I didn't mean to go all negative on you, I am genuinely interested because My Wife and I are seriously looking at selling up and moving "somewhere" in the next few years so these details are of considerable interest to us..:)
Thanks, I think in the future when we stop traveling and settle down, we'll try to further reduce our cost of living to be below 4%.

For our trip, Northern Mexico is the most dangerous. We plan on sticking to the toll-highway and cruise through without making many stops. Also, general rule of safety will be to only drive during daylight hours for our entire trip.

We've been practicing spanish for the last 3 months. For me, I listen to about 45 mins of lessons per day. So far so good!

If Bruno (our Toyota 4Runner) breaks down (hopefully not in Northern Mexico!), then we'll just take the time to figure it out. Either somehow fix it ourselves, or get towed to mechanic in town, shop around for estimates on repair, etc and get it done. We've put a lot of work into Bruno, so hopefully everything goes smoothly!!

For accommodations, so far we used AirBnb too book one place for a week in Puerto Escondido, MX and also used craigslist to find a house in Costa Rica (rent is $1,100/mo) and signed a lease for 5 months. I'm excited for the trip, but also excited to get down there, and settle-in to a relaxing routine!

Healthcare in Mexico and Costa Rica is pretty good and reasonably priced, so we'll likely pay cash at private clinics/hospitals if the need arises.

I wish you luck on your plans!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on March 08, 2015, 05:17:46 PM
Congrats!  My wife and I are a similar age and similar net worth, and have similar plans (overseas travel).  We're planning to pull the plug in June.  Love to see other people doing it!  Keep us updated on your journey. :D
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: clarkfan1979 on March 08, 2015, 05:22:29 PM
Insane!

If you are also stopping in Puerto Escondido, I am going to assume that you are surfing?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on March 08, 2015, 05:30:10 PM
Congratulations!! That is an amazing thing to accomplish, especially at such a young age!!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MooseOutFront on March 08, 2015, 05:48:08 PM
We spent about 10 days in costa rica on the pacific side a couple years ago.  Would be a perfect place to learn to surf.  We rented a house and prepared most of our own food.  Anything other than from scratch ingredients there were insanely expensive!  I'm sure you know that.  One could eat just fine on rice, eggs, beans, and fish you catch yourself.  And one would need to to keep the food budget within reason.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 08, 2015, 08:45:28 PM

Congratulations!  I am also curious as to how long you plan to travel for, long term plans etc.  Do you think you this is your new permanent gig or are you going back to work at some point?

Love the story about Bruno, you did some significant work on him that will serve you well.
Thanks! Right now we're aiming to travel to a different place roughly every 6 months, and would only go back to work if the world economy self-destructed or one of us found a hobby that also happened to produce an income.

Insane!

If you are also stopping in Puerto Escondido, I am going to assume that you are surfing?
Thanks - yes we'll be surfing in Puerto Escondido (the beginner waves, not Mexico Pipeline!)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: RNwastash on March 08, 2015, 08:53:03 PM
Wow!! Congratulations to both of you.  We are old compared to you guys, 46, and 50, and we spend way too much. 
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Dexterous on March 09, 2015, 02:13:29 AM
One of my friends who I've been pushing towards the MMM lifestyle is going to school for a chemical engineering degree.  I'll have to show him this thread.  :)  Enjoy your "new life" and safe travels!  If you need some house guests for a week then let me know!  lol
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: happyfeet on March 09, 2015, 07:15:00 AM
That is just impressive to reach that milestone at such a young age!  Enjoy your travels - keep us posted!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Kansas Beachbum on March 09, 2015, 12:36:20 PM
That's pretty dang impressive, especially at your young ages!  Well done!  Hope you guys have a most wonderful adventure in Costa Rica!  Safe travels!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 09, 2015, 07:21:31 PM
We spent about 10 days in costa rica on the pacific side a couple years ago.  Would be a perfect place to learn to surf.  We rented a house and prepared most of our own food.  Anything other than from scratch ingredients there were insanely expensive!  I'm sure you know that.  One could eat just fine on rice, eggs, beans, and fish you catch yourself.  And one would need to to keep the food budget within reason.
Thank you, I haven't thought too much about diet, but we'll likely just conform to whatever "local" foods are reasonably priced and easily available. For the last year we've been leaning more towards paleo low-carb foods, but it sounds like this type of diet will end for us as soon as we cross over into Mexico!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: SingleMomDebt on March 09, 2015, 07:38:13 PM
Congrats!  My wife and I are a similar age and similar net worth, and have similar plans (overseas travel).  We're planning to pull the plug in June.  Love to see other people doing it!  Keep us updated on your journey. :D
That wouldn't imply you are pulling the plug being a moderator here, right?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: AlexK on March 09, 2015, 07:43:33 PM
Impressive! I am so following your blog!

My wife and I are at $930k so right behind you, only about a decade older. We will travel too but some pets have to die of old age first and one cat is only 7 (or leave out antifreeze? JK!). We are in Reno area so if you come in the area to establish residency or anything else send a PM. We would love to have you over.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: b1gm1ke11 on March 09, 2015, 08:33:11 PM
Congratulations!  What a remarkable achievement at such a young age. 
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on March 09, 2015, 11:10:40 PM

Congrats!  My wife and I are a similar age and similar net worth, and have similar plans (overseas travel).  We're planning to pull the plug in June.  Love to see other people doing it!  Keep us updated on your journey. :D
That wouldn't imply you are pulling the plug being a moderator here, right?

I don't know what my internet access will be like.  The other mods here are amazing though, and we may add another couple if I do need to step back a little. I'll probably still be on somewhat though, just not quite as much.  I took a break last summer for a few weeks and it worked out well. :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Pooplips on March 10, 2015, 06:01:42 AM
Congratulations! Now you get to enjoy your life on your terms.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: SingleMomDebt on March 10, 2015, 09:26:36 AM
Finally caught up on all the reading (thank you sharing all of it). Congratulations to you and your wife (and at such a young age - well done). I hope you will continue to share you adventures with us. Or at least, I will need to follow your blog. Have a wonderful trip.




I don't know what my internet access will be like.  The other mods here are amazing though, and we may add another couple if I do need to step back a little. I'll probably still be on somewhat though, just not quite as much.  I took a break last summer for a few weeks and it worked out well. :)

You think it went well, you just didn't see all the drama! ;)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Exflyboy on March 10, 2015, 09:44:17 AM
Nice one Chippy..;)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Gone Fishing on March 10, 2015, 09:47:54 AM
Awesome!  Be sure to post some pics in the Post-FIRE subforum!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Cookie78 on March 10, 2015, 09:53:04 AM
Following your blog.

Seconding the 'post pics' request.

I'm planning on doing this trip (but further south) in a few years and I'm excited to hear all about it. :D
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Bob W on March 10, 2015, 09:57:21 AM
Just awesome!  Check out Duolingo for some Spanish help.   It is a great a fun way to learn.  Of course after 6 months you should be at a pretty good fluency anyway.   I'm guessing the 1,000 a month rental is pretty swanky?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 10, 2015, 07:34:06 PM
Just awesome!  Check out Duolingo for some Spanish help.   It is a great a fun way to learn.  Of course after 6 months you should be at a pretty good fluency anyway.   I'm guessing the 1,000 a month rental is pretty swanky?
Thanks! My wife is a big advocate for Duolingo, although up until now I've mostly been working on the audio lessons. I should really set aside 15 minutes a day to practice on Duolingo to get my vocabulary up - "I don't have time" is no longer a valid excuse now that I've quit my job!

The $1,100 home rental in Costa Rica is pretty great. We signed a 5 month lease for a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath home a few minutes walking distance from the beach! I plan on going for a run on the beach every morning, or possibly surfing... or possibly both?

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FOBStash on March 10, 2015, 07:45:26 PM
You're an inspiration. We hit $1M last year but my hubby loves his job too much. I showed him this post and he started suggesting long vacations and possibly retiring in our 40s. We also live in the Bay and buying our primary residence soon. I think we will seriously consider RE once we pay off our home.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Suit on March 10, 2015, 08:03:12 PM
Well done!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 10, 2015, 08:06:58 PM
Although posting to the forum and Reddit is fairly comprehensive, I'd appreciate it more if you started your own site.  That way you control the content, as opposed to some craziness that happens on posting to general sites.

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Cookie78 on March 10, 2015, 08:30:20 PM
Although posting to the forum and Reddit is fairly comprehensive, I'd appreciate it more if you started your own site.  That way you control the content, as opposed to some craziness that happens on posting to general sites.

http://freedomwithbruno.com/financial-independence/
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: EscapeVelocity2020 on March 10, 2015, 08:57:58 PM
Although posting to the forum and Reddit is fairly comprehensive, I'd appreciate it more if you started your own site.

http://freedomwithbruno.com/financial-independence/

Thanks! 
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Retire-Canada on March 11, 2015, 06:13:28 AM
Hello fellow Mustachians!

My wife's bonus just got deposited in the bank account and we've now officially hit our net worth goal of $1,000,000!

We've quit our jobs, and we're going to travel for a while - next week we're driving down to Costa Rica (from Oakland, CA)!

You had me at $1M, but the road trip to Costa Rica sounds awesome! I hope to follow in your footsteps on my motorcycle when I get to $1M in investments.

Have a great time. If you need any Baja adventure suggestions PM me I go there a lot.

-- Vik
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 11, 2015, 04:32:30 PM
You're an inspiration. We hit $1M last year but my hubby loves his job too much. I showed him this post and he started suggesting long vacations and possibly retiring in our 40s. We also live in the Bay and buying our primary residence soon. I think we will seriously consider RE once we pay off our home.
Thanks! We considered buying a home in the Bay Area a few years ago, but we couldn't make the numbers work in our favor. Values keep going up and up every year, so it's hard to say what the future holds. I wish you luck!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FOBStash on March 11, 2015, 06:27:06 PM
You're an inspiration. We hit $1M last year but my hubby loves his job too much. I showed him this post and he started suggesting long vacations and possibly retiring in our 40s. We also live in the Bay and buying our primary residence soon. I think we will seriously consider RE once we pay off our home.
Thanks! We considered buying a home in the Bay Area a few years ago, but we couldn't make the numbers work in our favor. Values keep going up and up every year, so it's hard to say what the future holds. I wish you luck!

Yes if you can move to a lower COL and FIRE sooner, that's a great path to take. In our case, all my family live here in the Bay, so I am happily stuck here
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Gone Fishing on March 12, 2015, 07:17:12 AM
Great strategy for handling the work on Bruno!  Amazing how much of the time and expense of repairs is the removal and replacement of the part.

For those who want to read about it: http://freedomwithbruno.com/financial-independence/

For those that don't:  He had an issue with the differential so he pulled it, took it to the shop, had them fix it and reinstalled it himself.  Didn't sound easy, but I am sure it saved a ton of cash.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: dude on March 12, 2015, 09:20:38 AM
Wow, that is seriously badass!!  Keep us posted on the travels!  I need to live vicariously through folks like you until punch out for the last time in about 5 years!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Exflyboy on March 13, 2015, 11:08:31 AM
See my note on your blog about changing the timing belt if you need it (or don't know when it was changed).. I looked up on line that a 2000 4 runner with a V6 has a belt.

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: rocketman48097 on March 16, 2015, 09:51:34 AM
Congrats, I am 38 and still working, sigh.  However, I am well on my way. 
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Axecleaver on March 16, 2015, 03:21:32 PM
Very inspiring, congratulations on your new adventures!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: JLR on March 16, 2015, 08:41:18 PM
Congratuations! Very inspiring.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: seamer on March 17, 2015, 07:29:13 AM
Congrats!

Curious as to your breakdown of 401ks, Roths, non-retirement investments, etc., and what your plan is to access your funds.

I'm a few years out from FIRE (not quite as young as you!) and single, and my biggest concern is figuring out how to juggle the various accounts, managing taxes, setting up the Roth Pipeline, and monitoring realized capital gains.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MooseOutFront on March 17, 2015, 10:44:32 AM

Curious as to your breakdown of 401ks, Roths, non-retirement investments, etc., and what your plan is to access your funds.
Me too.  Considering how quickly it was accumulated I assume a large percentage is in taxable, but living off that while minimizing overall taxes would be interesting to hear about as well.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: spud1987 on March 17, 2015, 04:40:15 PM
Congrats!

You are in a similar situation as us. We are planning on FIRE-ing at 33 with $1.5M. We also live in East Bay, but our expenses are little bit higher (60k, 25k of which is rent). We also plan on moving to a lower COL area when we FIRE, but our budget will be closer to 50k because we plan on having 1-2 kids.

Good luck and I hope you keep us updated regarding your adventure. We were in Costa Rica earlier this year (Guanacaste) and it is amazing.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MsFrugalista on March 17, 2015, 05:23:57 PM
Congratulations! Super excited for you guys. We are a couple years away from FI. We also live in the Bay area and own a house, so we would ideally like to have a paid off house and possibly move to a lower COL area when we RE.

We love Costa Rica and I've suggested doing this (or even go further down to Panama) to my partner, but he is hesitant about the drive through parts of Mexico. So I will definitely keep apprised of your travels to see how you fare. The other one I'd like to try sometime is driving up north to Alaska :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on March 17, 2015, 09:21:41 PM
Congrats!

You are in a similar situation as us. We are planning on FIRE-ing at 33 with $1.5M. We also live in East Bay, but our expenses are little bit higher (60k, 25k of which is rent). We also plan on moving to a lower COL area when we FIRE, but our budget will be closer to 50k because we plan on having 1-2 kids.

Good luck and I hope you keep us updated regarding your adventure. We were in Costa Rica earlier this year (Guanacaste) and it is amazing.

You need to post more about your story.  :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on April 30, 2015, 03:32:28 PM
Hi everyone!

I wanted to post an update for everyone: we've now been traveling since mid-March and the last 34 days have been spent exploring Mexico. We're now in Guatemala!

Mexico was great to drive through and we had no incident (although I did get E. coli on my last day in the country - I'm currently on antibiotics to sadly remedy that one..)

Over the 34 days of travel in Mexico, here is the breakdown of our expenses:

    Food = $620.37 (mostly cooked our own food)
    Total cost of Camping = $143.73 (10 days out of 34)
    Total cost of Hotel/Airbnb = $996.4 (24 days out of 34)
    Mexican Toll Highways = $152.67
    Gas = $483.07
    Mexico Border/Insurance = $172.35
    Vehicle Parts & Maintenance = $395.74
    Misc. Fun = $217.27

Total costs for Mexico = $3,181.60

Cost per day (34 days) = $93.58

Based on our 4% ($40,000) annual goal (which is a daily budget of $109) - we're keeping within budget so far. Still, we'll aiming to further tighten our belts as we keep traveling. An annual spend of 3% (instead of 4%) would be ideal.

Also, if you're interested I have some additional details posted here: http://freedomwithbruno.com/mexico-stats-summary/

So far so good!! :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: sb_NoVA on April 30, 2015, 08:18:36 PM
OP - Congrats!

Could you share a bit on how you plan to maintaining a residence in the US?  Are you renting/buying? What place you chose and what drove that decision (property taxes etc.).  Thanks.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 30, 2015, 10:33:30 PM
And health insurance.  Are you just paying for an ACA compliant plan?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: NICE! on May 01, 2015, 05:44:27 AM
Congrats!

What program or website are you using to make the Savings chart? I like it much better than Mint's Net Worth bar graph.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: rubybeth on May 01, 2015, 06:59:54 AM
Sweet, congratulations!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: RunHappy on May 01, 2015, 07:01:51 AM
Hey OP! I'm curious did you have student loans to pay off?  I love that you are doing this at such a young age, but am curious about life 3+ years ago?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: dude on May 01, 2015, 07:11:38 AM
Daaaaamn!  Way impressive.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on May 02, 2015, 08:09:27 AM
Hey OP! I'm curious did you have student loans to pay off?  I love that you are doing this at such a young age, but am curious about life 3+ years ago?

The wife and I are at similar spots (around 30, graduated in 2007, recently hit 1MM and FIREing in a month), and we paid off about 30k in student loans.  Student loans aren't a show stopper.  :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on May 05, 2015, 10:32:06 AM
Thanks everyone! Sorry for the delayed response, we're currently in El Salvador and my internet access is inconsistent.

OP - Congrats!

Could you share a bit on how you plan to maintaining a residence in the US?  Are you renting/buying? What place you chose and what drove that decision (property taxes etc.).  Thanks.
Thank you! Our home-base is the state of Nevada. We picked it because it is a no-income tax state, and it was close to where we were living (San Francisco Bay Area). The residency rules are complex, but basically we cannot stay outside of the US for longer than 6 months, and we don't plan to.

And health insurance.  Are you just paying for an ACA compliant plan?

Currently we have no health insurance coverage. If needed, we'll pay cash for any health needs in Costa Rica and then upon our return to the US we'll then sign up for an ACA plan.

Congrats!

What program or website are you using to make the Savings chart? I like it much better than Mint's Net Worth bar graph.
Thanks! The savings chart is done using Google Sheets.

Hey OP! I'm curious did you have student loans to pay off?  I love that you are doing this at such a young age, but am curious about life 3+ years ago?
My wife did not have student loans to pay off (her tuition was heavily subsidized by the province of Quebec), and I had about $30k of student debt upon completing school, which I paid off within the first year of finishing school.

Three years ago, we just started to read MMM and looked for opportunities to improve our savings here and there (biggest saver was reducing the amount we eat out). Then we just kept working and saved, and then eventually started planning what traveling we wanted to do (which was a nice distraction towards the finish line)!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on May 05, 2015, 10:49:37 AM
And health insurance.  Are you just paying for an ACA compliant plan?

Currently we have no health insurance coverage. If needed, we'll pay cash for any health needs in Costa Rica and then upon our return to the US we'll then sign up for an ACA plan.

So you're just going to pay the noncompliance tax penalty (2% of your household income above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 for a family), whichever is greater)?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: SenoritaStache on May 05, 2015, 11:49:59 AM
Congratulations well done!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: NICE! on May 05, 2015, 11:53:10 AM
Thanks! The savings chart is done using Google Sheets.

Would you mind sharing?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Matthew Olszewski on May 05, 2015, 01:39:16 PM
Congratulations. I have a lot of missing to a million dollars.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: sb_NoVA on May 05, 2015, 06:46:33 PM
So you just have a PO Box in Nevada?  Doesn't seem like you are buying or renting a place in Nevada.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Bajadoc on May 06, 2015, 05:12:53 PM
I wish I was as smart as you at that tender age. With focus the second million comes much faster.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: surfhb on May 06, 2015, 05:41:12 PM
Go to Matapalo or Carate in the Osa Penninsula in Costa Rica and enjoy unspoiled jungle living for a week or so.....its amazing.    congrats!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on May 07, 2015, 08:39:02 PM
So you're just going to pay the noncompliance tax penalty (2% of your household income above the tax return filing threshold for your filing status or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child (up to $975 for a family), whichever is greater)?
Yup, this is what we're aiming to do for this year.

Thanks! The savings chart is done using Google Sheets.

Would you mind sharing?

Sure, here is a direct link to the spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qs_V9Ds615YFGcXRWtOAvMNOtQ31N68pSFN4d9L2fwo/pubchart?oid=2029215993&format=interactive

So you just have a PO Box in Nevada?  Doesn't seem like you are buying or renting a place in Nevada.
Correct, we're not renting anything in Nevada at the moment. For mail, we're using a mail forwarding service, and we also have a friend living in Vegas who owns his home and is willing to forward us mail if needed. So far so good!

Go to Matapalo or Carate in the Osa Penninsula in Costa Rica and enjoy unspoiled jungle living for a week or so.....its amazing.    congrats!
Sounds awesome - I'll do some research and look into it! Thanks!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: brooklynmoney on May 13, 2015, 09:18:27 PM
The Isa peninsula  is amazing agreed!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: My Own Advisor on May 18, 2015, 07:55:04 AM
Wow.  Congrats!

We're getting close to $1M in net worth excluding our pensions.  We need to work another 10-12 years to pad the pensions and grow the portfolio still.

Costa Rica is great BTW.  Go to Tamarindo and learn to surf!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: NICE! on May 18, 2015, 11:53:24 AM
ponchoape, the link you provided doesn't allow inputs. Can you please share one that allows you to change?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on May 19, 2015, 12:55:20 PM
ponchoape, the link you provided doesn't allow inputs. Can you please share one that allows you to change?
Opps, you're right. It's just a basic spreadsheet with dates and numbers listed in columns, with a chart added. Try this link:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qs_V9Ds615YFGcXRWtOAvMNOtQ31N68pSFN4d9L2fwo/edit
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on May 19, 2015, 01:08:09 PM
Another update on our travels: We're now in Nicaragua, and thoroughly enjoyed El Salvador. We summarized all our costs for El Salvador and it came out to average $43.72 per day for both of us. Pretty low cost of living!

If you're interested, we posted some details on the costs here: http://freedomwithbruno.com/el-salvador-stats-summary/

Also, if you're interested we posted some pictures of El Salvador here: http://freedomwithbruno.com/el-salvador/

This is my favorite, taken at a nice lake called Lago Ilopango, just outside San Salvador:
(http://i.imgur.com/TVynZjJh.jpg)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on July 24, 2015, 06:05:07 PM
Hey all, another update: Nicaragua was great, and my wife and I have now made it to Costa Rica safe and sound!

We're now at our rented house a couple minutes from the beach and our days are pretty relaxing. Eating healthy, staying fit, surfing, practicing spanish, reading/watching downloaded shows, relaxing in the pool! It's nice to actually have a home now.

With my spare time, I just did some calculations on our projected income and future taxes, and wanted to share:

Here are our current Investment Accounts:

    $315,000 - Traditional IRA
    $80,000 - Roth IRA
    $500,000 - Taxable Investments (Vanguard)
    $15,000 - HSA
    $95,000 - RRSP (Canada)
    $20,000 - LIRA (Canada)

We're going to do a tax-free Roth IRA Conversion Ladder of $20,600 every year. We're also aiming to live annually on $30,000-40,000 (3-4% of our portfolio).

For our US health care plan, we're aiming for the ‘Gold Plated Silver Plan‘ (200% of FPL with cost sharing subsidies) which will cost us $1,486 for the year and to qualify for it we require a MAGI of $31,460. So our expected income will be:

    $20,600 – Conversion of Traditional IRA to Roth IRA (this is counted against our MAGI - but we must wait 5 years for this money)
    $10,860 – Capital gains from our Taxable Investment Account
    $19,140 – Distributions from our Roth IRA (don’t count towards MAGI).

Using the Roth IRA to modify our MAGI seems like a loophole. Is anyone else planning on doing this?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: patrickza on July 27, 2015, 06:59:37 AM
Congrats on building a great stache, especially considering your age. Love the adventures you're going on, you're going to have an amazing life. Just curious if you're married or just together and if you plan on having kids at some point.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on July 28, 2015, 08:45:11 AM
Congrats on building a great stache, especially considering your age. Love the adventures you're going on, you're going to have an amazing life. Just curious if you're married or just together and if you plan on having kids at some point.
Thanks a lot!

We've been married for 6 years, and do plan on having a kid at some point in the future. Not sure exactly when, but we'll likely need to cut back on the travel budget when this happens!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Mrs. Crackin' the Whip on August 01, 2015, 12:59:54 PM
That is amazing.  Congratulations.  Just reading this makes me tear up because it's real.  You did it!  Enjoy your travels.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: cheddarpie on August 02, 2015, 01:33:37 PM
Congratulations!! This is really awesome. It sounds like you worked hard, made some really good decisions, and have a plan for maximizing your future ... well done!

Thanks for providing more inspiration for the rest of us following in your footsteps!

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on October 21, 2015, 12:11:46 PM
Hi everyone! It's now been six months since we quit our jobs and started traveling!

When we left the U.S. in March to begin our travels, our portfolio was around $1,030,000. Currently, it’s closer to $960,000, which is a drop of $70,000. Considering we’ve only spent $17,400 in that time, the bulk of the drop has just been the stock markets going up and down. Instead of worrying, we do our best to ignore crazy market behavior and focus on living within our means – keeping our spending low.

Our goal has always been to live on 3-4% of our portfolio, which at $960,000 translates to an annual budget of between $28,800-$38,400. This gives us a monthly budget of $2,400-$3,200.

The good news is that so far during our traveling, we’ve done a decent job of adhering to our budget. Here are our monthly expenses so far:

Code: [Select]
Month       Monthly Spend      Comments
April           $2,044.39 Traveled through Mexico and Guatemala
May             $2,763.59 Traveled El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
June            $4,215.56 Costa Rica living with purchase of flights to D.C.
July            $2,684.01 Costa Rica living
Aug             $2,800.96 Traveled Costa Rica and Panama
Sept            $2,826.01 Traveled Washington, D.C. and NYC
Overall Average    $2,889.09

This overall monthly average of $2,889 represents an annual spend of 3.6% of our portfolio. Not bad – we’re pretty much on target!

If you're interested, I posted some additional details on how we're enjoying life in Costa Rica, and some more details on our expenses here: http://freedomwithbruno.com/six-months-of-early-retirement/

Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be delighted to answer!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Pooplips on October 21, 2015, 12:22:32 PM
Congradulations thats awesome.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Gone Fishing on October 21, 2015, 12:50:08 PM
Thanks for the update.  Sounds like things are going well!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: G-dog on October 21, 2015, 01:38:49 PM
This sounds wonderful!  So glad you are on target. I will check out your journal.

One question (which you may have addressed in your journal - if so, ignore) - are you trying to live frugally during your travels, or not worrying too much about it?  I am just being nosy about how your costs compare to a general average cost might be for each locale.

Keep it up (and apply your sunscreen!)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Mntngoat on October 21, 2015, 02:42:12 PM
at 32 years young will 4% allow enough to carry you 40-50 years  at $1M?

ML
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: NeverLost on October 21, 2015, 03:21:29 PM
Following to live vicariously through you :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on October 22, 2015, 08:56:10 AM
This sounds wonderful!  So glad you are on target. I will check out your journal.

One question (which you may have addressed in your journal - if so, ignore) - are you trying to live frugally during your travels, or not worrying too much about it?  I am just being nosy about how your costs compare to a general average cost might be for each locale.

Keep it up (and apply your sunscreen!)
Thanks! While traveling, we're basically trying to live as comfortably as our budget allows us to. For example, when we're on the road we stay at a lot of Airbnb places (instead of just camping all the time).

at 32 years young will 4% allow enough to carry you 40-50 years  at $1M?

ML
No one really knows, but the Trinity Study seems to indicate it's a reasonable bet. We plan on living on 3-4% of our portfolio, adjusted annually depending upon what the value of the portfolio is. If it drops to 500k, then we'll need to live on 20k per year. If it goes up to $2M, then we can live on 80k per year. Technically, this means our portfolio would last to infinity and should help buffer us when the markets are down (since it forces us to immediately tighten our belts when times our tough).
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Axecleaver on October 22, 2015, 09:40:09 AM
Quote
No one really knows, but the Trinity Study seems to indicate it's a reasonable bet. We plan on living on 3-4% of our portfolio, adjusted annually depending upon what the value of the portfolio is. If it drops to 500k, then we'll need to live on 20k per year. If it goes up to $2M, then we can live on 80k per year. Technically, this means our portfolio would last to infinity and should help buffer us when the markets are down (since it forces us to immediately tighten our belts when times our tough).

Hi poncho, your withdrawal plan will work just fine, but be careful about how you compare it to the findings of the Trinity Study. The Trinity Study assumptions were that the withdrawal amount was fixed at year one, in your case that would be 40k a year (4% of $1m). You adjust it for last year's inflation every year. If your portfolio goes up to $2m, then you should still be taking out just 40k a year. If it goes down to $800k, again you take 40k. This works because the bull runs build up a portfolio that can still drop 50% and survive, by virtue of the gains in bull years and constraining the withdrawals to a predictable amount. The only failures are when retirement happens at the very beginning of a bad year or a sequence of bad years.

In your case, since you recalculate the percentage against the current value (instead of original) you are virtually guaranteed to encounter a "bad year" where you lose a large percentage of your stash. It's like playing Russian roulette over and over, instead of just once. The dreaded sequence of returns risk will get you at some point.

On the other hand, if you plan to use 3-4% of your portfolio's current value, by definition it will last forever.

I tend to like the variations on the Trinity Study that reflect real life, like having a limit on the amount of increase/decrease per year.

Either way, I enjoy keeping up with your adventures.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on October 22, 2015, 02:21:48 PM
Quote
No one really knows, but the Trinity Study seems to indicate it's a reasonable bet. We plan on living on 3-4% of our portfolio, adjusted annually depending upon what the value of the portfolio is. If it drops to 500k, then we'll need to live on 20k per year. If it goes up to $2M, then we can live on 80k per year. Technically, this means our portfolio would last to infinity and should help buffer us when the markets are down (since it forces us to immediately tighten our belts when times our tough).

Hi poncho, your withdrawal plan will work just fine, but be careful about how you compare it to the findings of the Trinity Study. The Trinity Study assumptions were that the withdrawal amount was fixed at year one, in your case that would be 40k a year (4% of $1m). You adjust it for last year's inflation every year. If your portfolio goes up to $2m, then you should still be taking out just 40k a year. If it goes down to $800k, again you take 40k. This works because the bull runs build up a portfolio that can still drop 50% and survive, by virtue of the gains in bull years and constraining the withdrawals to a predictable amount. The only failures are when retirement happens at the very beginning of a bad year or a sequence of bad years.

In your case, since you recalculate the percentage against the current value (instead of original) you are virtually guaranteed to encounter a "bad year" where you lose a large percentage of your stash. It's like playing Russian roulette over and over, instead of just once. The dreaded sequence of returns risk will get you at some point.

On the other hand, if you plan to use 3-4% of your portfolio's current value, by definition it will last forever.

I tend to like the variations on the Trinity Study that reflect real life, like having a limit on the amount of increase/decrease per year.

Either way, I enjoy keeping up with your adventures.
You're completely right, thanks. I was more focused on the benefits of immediately tightening out belts during bad years (and not spending more than we need to during bad market years). On the flip side, I hadn't thought much about necessarily spending more money during the good years, something I think we'll shy away from doing (we'll probably limit our maximum spending to the Trinity Study recommendation: 4% of original portfolio + inflation).

Thanks!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Cookie78 on October 22, 2015, 03:39:50 PM
Quote
No one really knows, but the Trinity Study seems to indicate it's a reasonable bet. We plan on living on 3-4% of our portfolio, adjusted annually depending upon what the value of the portfolio is. If it drops to 500k, then we'll need to live on 20k per year. If it goes up to $2M, then we can live on 80k per year. Technically, this means our portfolio would last to infinity and should help buffer us when the markets are down (since it forces us to immediately tighten our belts when times our tough).

Hi poncho, your withdrawal plan will work just fine, but be careful about how you compare it to the findings of the Trinity Study. The Trinity Study assumptions were that the withdrawal amount was fixed at year one, in your case that would be 40k a year (4% of $1m). You adjust it for last year's inflation every year. If your portfolio goes up to $2m, then you should still be taking out just 40k a year. If it goes down to $800k, again you take 40k. This works because the bull runs build up a portfolio that can still drop 50% and survive, by virtue of the gains in bull years and constraining the withdrawals to a predictable amount. The only failures are when retirement happens at the very beginning of a bad year or a sequence of bad years.

In your case, since you recalculate the percentage against the current value (instead of original) you are virtually guaranteed to encounter a "bad year" where you lose a large percentage of your stash. It's like playing Russian roulette over and over, instead of just once. The dreaded sequence of returns risk will get you at some point.

On the other hand, if you plan to use 3-4% of your portfolio's current value, by definition it will last forever.

I tend to like the variations on the Trinity Study that reflect real life, like having a limit on the amount of increase/decrease per year.

Either way, I enjoy keeping up with your adventures.
You're completely right, thanks. I was more focused on the benefits of immediately tightening out belts during bad years (and not spending more than we need to during bad market years). On the flip side, I hadn't thought much about necessarily spending more money during the good years, something I think we'll shy away from doing (we'll probably limit our maximum spending to the Trinity Study recommendation: 4% of original portfolio + inflation).

Thanks!

I feel like that's a great plan (for me too). 4% based on original portfolio OR 4% based on current portfolio, whichever is less.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ajonesin on October 22, 2015, 04:46:48 PM
So happy for you!!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on October 24, 2015, 02:17:03 AM
Thanks for the update!

The wife and I are similar ages, and doing a similar thing (full time travel), so it's nice to hear of others doing it, and getting to peek at their budget.

We're doing Europe to start with, but South America or Southeast Asia (haven't decided which yet) will be our plan next summer.

Now that you are back in the states did you sign up for an ACA compliant health insurance plan?

Glad the first 6 months went so well.  What are the plans for the next 6 months, and two years?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FrugalFan on October 27, 2015, 08:24:44 AM
Super inspiring! Posting to follow. Will check out your blog too.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on November 02, 2015, 03:56:24 PM
Thanks for the update!

The wife and I are similar ages, and doing a similar thing (full time travel), so it's nice to hear of others doing it, and getting to peek at their budget.

We're doing Europe to start with, but South America or Southeast Asia (haven't decided which yet) will be our plan next summer.

Now that you are back in the states did you sign up for an ACA compliant health insurance plan?

Glad the first 6 months went so well.  What are the plans for the next 6 months, and two years?
That sounds great! Congratulations! Are you in Europe now?

We're currently still in Costa Rica. Our lease ends at the end of this month, so we're planning on driving back up to the US in a few more weeks from now.

Yup, we'll definitely be signing up for an ACA Health Plan during the open enrollment. Aiming for the 150% of poverty level plan, which is quite affordable.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on November 04, 2015, 02:15:54 AM
That sounds great! Congratulations! Are you in Europe now?

We're currently still in Costa Rica. Our lease ends at the end of this month, so we're planning on driving back up to the US in a few more weeks from now.

We have been in Europe, but dipped down to Africa (Morocco) for 11 days.

Do you have a plan for the next 6 months?  We alternate between having a bunch of stuff planned (months and months worth), and having no plan and suddenly we need to figure out something for a few weeks from now.  :P
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on November 13, 2015, 08:11:13 AM
That sounds great! Congratulations! Are you in Europe now?

We're currently still in Costa Rica. Our lease ends at the end of this month, so we're planning on driving back up to the US in a few more weeks from now.

We have been in Europe, but dipped down to Africa (Morocco) for 11 days.

Do you have a plan for the next 6 months?  We alternate between having a bunch of stuff planned (months and months worth), and having no plan and suddenly we need to figure out something for a few weeks from now.  :P
We usually try to plan 3-6 months. For example, we were thinking about going to Europe but then for the last couple months the markets really fluctuated so we decided to be more conservative in our planning and stick to the US/Canada. Our next big trip will be driving from Costa Rica to Nova Scotia - we actually hit the road one week from now!

Have you enjoyed Morocco? Do you have a blog where you give details on your travels?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on November 13, 2015, 08:56:13 AM
We have been in Europe, but dipped down to Africa (Morocco) for 11 days.

Do you have a plan for the next 6 months?  We alternate between having a bunch of stuff planned (months and months worth), and having no plan and suddenly we need to figure out something for a few weeks from now.  :P
We usually try to plan 3-6 months. For example, we were thinking about going to Europe but then for the last couple months the markets really fluctuated so we decided to be more conservative in our planning and stick to the US/Canada. Our next big trip will be driving from Costa Rica to Nova Scotia - we actually hit the road one week from now!

Have you enjoyed Morocco? Do you have a blog where you give details on your travels?

Yeah, we're thinking pretty similarly.  :)

That road trip sounds awesome.

We don't have a blog yet, but have been considering it.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 15, 2016, 06:22:43 AM
Hey everyone! Just wanted to provide another followup update on our travels (if anyone is interested). We're alive and well, and we successfully drove our 4Runner all the way up from Costa Rica, through Mexico and now we're back in the US. So far so good! Everyone we've met along the way has been extremely friendly and helpful, and we've had no problems with corrupt police officers or anything. Maybe we've just had good luck?

As we've been driving through the US, we're currently searching for where our next home should be. If anyone is curious, we just made a blog post describing the cities we compared: http://freedomwithbruno.com/hunting-best-early-retirement-city/ (http://freedomwithbruno.com/hunting-best-early-retirement-city/). We think we might settle in Asheville, NC.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: homestead neohio on March 15, 2016, 07:05:24 AM
If anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!

How has your stash weathered the recent downturn?  Were you getting nervous before things started turning around in mid-feb?  I'm happy about downturns while still accumulating, but imagine there will not be much good in them once I FIRE.  They are expected, of course, but were you as fine with it as you thought you'd be?

For housing, planning to buy or rent?  Cash or leveraged (30yr fixed)?

How did ACA work out for you once you returned to the states?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Axecleaver on March 15, 2016, 08:13:28 AM
Atlanta seems a bit out of place in this list. Problem with Atlanta is sprawl - there are no natural barriers to constrain the city's growth, like there is in places like SF or NYC. Hotlanta was cool 20 years ago, but seems too big and spread out now, especially if walkable cities are your thing. Crime is high (#6), the size of the metro area is up to 5.5m people (#9, geez, that's a lot!) That said, I always enjoy my time in Atlanta and there is a lot to see and do.

The other cities you listed are all great candidates.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 15, 2016, 11:08:01 AM
If anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!

How has your stash weathered the recent downturn?  Were you getting nervous before things started turning around in mid-feb?  I'm happy about downturns while still accumulating, but imagine there will not be much good in them once I FIRE.  They are expected, of course, but were you as fine with it as you thought you'd be?

For housing, planning to buy or rent?  Cash or leveraged (30yr fixed)?

How did ACA work out for you once you returned to the states?
Hi homestead neohio! Our portfolio is around $930k now (down from $1M). At the end of each month we check our portfolio and set the budget for the next month (based on a 3% annual withdrawl rate of our portfolio balance). So we've had to tighten our belts a bit in the last 4 months, but it hasn't been too serious of an impact. On our way driving back up from Costa Rica we ended up camping a lot more than on our way down - specifically because our budget tightened and we wanted to save more money.

We're going to buy a house, and we're open to paying cash, but since interest rates are so low it would be nice to have a mortgage. Not sure how we'd qualify without having salaried jobs though. Will have to see.

So far ACA seems to be pretty great, but we haven't had to use it yet!



Atlanta seems a bit out of place in this list. Problem with Atlanta is sprawl - there are no natural barriers to constrain the city's growth, like there is in places like SF or NYC. Hotlanta was cool 20 years ago, but seems too big and spread out now, especially if walkable cities are your thing. Crime is high (#6), the size of the metro area is up to 5.5m people (#9, geez, that's a lot!) That said, I always enjoy my time in Atlanta and there is a lot to see and do.

The other cities you listed are all great candidates.
Yeah, Atlanta was a bit of a long shot, but we had fun checking out the city!

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FrugalFan on March 15, 2016, 11:15:49 AM
Awesome update! It's been fun catching up on your blog as a reminder. We've lived in Costa Rica quite a bit so your posts brought me back. Asheville sounds pretty great!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: chetmanly on March 15, 2016, 11:22:08 AM
Awesome! Congratulations!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FrugalFan on March 15, 2016, 12:10:26 PM
If anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!

I have one! I was looking back and your Google spreadsheet of savings, and many months increase by over 25k, some by much more (a rough calculation of the average over those ~2.5 year is over 17k per month). This blows my mind! Is a big part of that market gains? Do you know approximately how much you were contributing each month?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Axecleaver on March 15, 2016, 12:44:33 PM
Quote
We're going to buy a house, and we're open to paying cash, but since interest rates are so low it would be nice to have a mortgage. Not sure how we'd qualify without having salaried jobs though. Will have to see.
Income from investments will qualify you, as long as you can show 2 years of tax returns that document the investment income. You should be able to do a traditional 20% down mortgage. Your debt ratios are pretty good :)

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/3.1/09.html#Interest.20and.20Dividends.20Income

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: happy on March 15, 2016, 06:17:11 PM
Thanks for your update. I also enjoy reading your blog about your adventures.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on March 16, 2016, 08:10:03 AM
Thanks everyone!

Quote
We're going to buy a house, and we're open to paying cash, but since interest rates are so low it would be nice to have a mortgage. Not sure how we'd qualify without having salaried jobs though. Will have to see.
Income from investments will qualify you, as long as you can show 2 years of tax returns that document the investment income. You should be able to do a traditional 20% down mortgage. Your debt ratios are pretty good :)

https://www.fanniemae.com/content/guide/selling/b3/3.1/09.html#Interest.20and.20Dividends.20Income
Hrmm, very interesting. Thanks for this. Unfortunately, we've only averaged $8,000 of annual dividends over the last two years, which would not really qualify us for much of a mortgage loan.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be more than happy to answer!

I have one! I was looking back and your Google spreadsheet of savings, and many months increase by over 25k, some by much more (a rough calculation of the average over those ~2.5 year is over 17k per month). This blows my mind! Is a big part of that market gains? Do you know approximately how much you were contributing each month?
Some of those jumps were bonuses, others were market jumps I suppose. Between the two of us we were making more than $200k per year, and I believe we were saving about 75% of it. So that would be an average of $12.5 saved per month roughly. I guess in hindsight I should have calculated more detail on our exact savings rate, since now I have to kinda guess.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Exflyboy on March 17, 2016, 11:25:28 PM
Oh its YOU guys travelling with Bruno!

I hadn't recognised you, I made a couple of suggestions about Bruno and its quirks when you were on your way down.. Cool, welcome back..:)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: LateToTheParty on March 19, 2016, 08:45:10 PM
I've enjoyed catching up by reading your blog.  I read your city reviews with interest, as we are looking to FIRE in the SE. We are visiting Asheville next month. We will be FI in the next 3 years, but will wait to FIRE for 10 more years to be eligible for our pensions and other retirement benefits that our employers offer. Plus we do like our jobs (healthcare). We live in Portland, and it is amazing 8 months out of the year. But the winters are gray and dreary.
Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: dreams_and_discoveries on March 20, 2016, 03:54:39 AM
Hi, just to say I love your blog, and it's such an inspiration reading about your travels and your plans for your next project.

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: CanuckExpat on April 05, 2016, 02:04:47 AM
Hey guys,

Been loving reading about your adventures and that you met your goal. I forget but did you guys mention somewhere that you were also Canadians originally?
I had a few specific questions if you were (and in general). I can follow up here or by email if you don't want them so public :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: FrugalSaver on April 05, 2016, 11:07:47 PM
I'm not a big Reddit person.  I clicked on the link to find the full story and couldn't find anyway to get to the original post.  I feel dumber now for having tried.

anyone have any pro tips on how to do that?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 05, 2016, 11:18:27 PM
It looks like they removed it--if you click the reddit link, the text is just "[removed]"

Check out their blog for the full story. :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 06, 2016, 12:17:49 AM
Hey guys,

Been loving reading about your adventures and that you met your goal. I forget but did you guys mention somewhere that you were also Canadians originally?
I had a few specific questions if you were (and in general). I can follow up here or by email if you don't want them so public :)

Their latest blog post does confirm that.  :)

http://freedomwithbruno.com/o-canada-home-native-land/
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Primm on April 06, 2016, 12:24:47 AM
Posting to follow, but also to say that I feel your pain regarding the diff repair and the oil seal issue. I had exactly the same thing happen (although my diff is probably 1/3 the weight of Bruno's) when I got mine fixed, was absolutely positive I had everything secure and tight only to see litres of oil spewing in all directions when I actually put some stress on it. In the driveway of all places. It makes you sick to the stomach to see all that stuff going down the drain.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: Galactic on April 08, 2016, 12:31:38 AM
Congrats, for me as a Belgian 1.000.000€/$ is a very hard to reach goal as the taxes are insanely high. But here not this much is needed (as because the high taxes and social security rates there are lot's of (unwanted) services for it provided). For instance, we not need to account costs for health insurance as it is close to fee here compared with the US. Also in lot's of IT functions you have a company car (with all costs covered even gas) which is provided to you at a low cost of only (in my case) 100€ a mouth. That's why we do can have a insanely high savings rate of +/- 75% on our 50.000€ net income per year and do have all the necessary comfort.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on April 25, 2016, 07:40:46 PM
Hey everyone, sorry I missed some of your replies - yes, we're originally from Canada. :) Moved to California about 7 years ago.

It's now been more than a year since we quit our jobs, and at the end of each month we've been keeping track of our expenses and our portfolio balance. Here’s what the last twelve months have looked like:

(http://freedomwithbruno.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/year_summary.png)

In total, we spent $32,260 of our portfolio as expenses over the year. Dividing this by an average of our portfolio balance, we get an overall Withdrawal Rate for the year of 3.4% ($32,260/$946,429). Our target for the year was a very conservative 3%, so we’re reasonably happy with this!

All in all, it’s been a hell of a year. The freedom that Amanda and I have had in the last year has allowed for experiences and joy unlike anything I have experienced before. If anyone is on the fence about early retirement, don't delay - you won't regret it!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on April 25, 2016, 08:18:11 PM
Hey everyone, sorry I missed some of your replies - yes, we're originally from Canada. :) Moved to California about 7 years ago.

It's now been more than a year since we quit our jobs, and at the end of each month we've been keeping track of our expenses and our portfolio balance. Here’s what the last twelve months have looked like:

(http://freedomwithbruno.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/year_summary.png)

In total, we spent $32,260 of our portfolio as expenses over the year. Dividing this by an average of our portfolio balance, we get an overall Withdrawal Rate for the year of 3.4% ($32,260/$946,429). Our target for the year was a very conservative 3%, so we’re reasonably happy with this!

All in all, it’s been a hell of a year. The freedom that Amanda and I have had in the last year has allowed for experiences and joy unlike anything I have experienced before. If anyone is on the fence about early retirement, don't delay - you won't regret it!

Your story is incredibly inspirational. If you are ever in the NYC area I would LOVE to meet up for a meal or coffee. My SO and I are planning something very similar to what you are doing although we are a going to be a tad older by the time we have enough $$ to pull the trigger.

I'm assuming the remaining delta between spending/NW decrease is market drop since last April?
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 26, 2016, 01:03:56 AM
What made you decide to stop traveling to settle down?

You've talked a few times on the blog about house hunting, narrowing down cities, etc., but never explained why.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on April 26, 2016, 01:05:54 PM
Your story is incredibly inspirational. If you are ever in the NYC area I would LOVE to meet up for a meal or coffee. My SO and I are planning something very similar to what you are doing although we are a going to be a tad older by the time we have enough $$ to pull the trigger.

I'm assuming the remaining delta between spending/NW decrease is market drop since last April?

Thanks! We were in NYC last summer and had a fantastic time, we got a CitiBike pass for the week and biked everywhere (surprisingly, there are not as many bike paths in Manhattan as I would have expected!)

Yes, the net worth decrease is a combination of our living costs and the market being flat/dropping a bit.

What made you decide to stop traveling to settle down?

You've talked a few times on the blog about house hunting, narrowing down cities, etc., but never explained why.

Hey arebelspy - you ask a good question! Basically, as we've been on the road for a year, I've recognized that a piece of life that I'm missing is having some sort of a "home base". When traveling, we must stay lean and light and avoid buying any material goods. Because of this, it's hard to partake in many hobbies - like mountain bikes, playing guitar, playing PC/video games, etc.

So we figured we'll buy a house, living in it for maybe 9-10 months a year, and rent it out while the travel the other months. Ideally, it'll give us the best of both worlds (traveling and also having a home base). The great thing about Asheville, NC is that the summer months are booming with tourists, so it should be easy to rent out our house and hopefully get some nice income while doing it. We'll see.

Question for you: Where are you at these days? Still in Europe? How have your travels been??

Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 26, 2016, 01:33:46 PM
What made you decide to stop traveling to settle down?

You've talked a few times on the blog about house hunting, narrowing down cities, etc., but never explained why.

Hey arebelspy - you ask a good question! Basically, as we've been on the road for a year, I've recognized that a piece of life that I'm missing is having some sort of a "home base". When traveling, we must stay lean and light and avoid buying any material goods. Because of this, it's hard to partake in many hobbies - like mountain bikes, playing guitar, playing PC/video games, etc.

So we figured we'll buy a house, living in it for maybe 9-10 months a year, and rent it out while the travel the other months. Ideally, it'll give us the best of both worlds (traveling and also having a home base). The great thing about Asheville, NC is that the summer months are booming with tourists, so it should be easy to rent out our house and hopefully get some nice income while doing it. We'll see.

Question for you: Where are you at these days? Still in Europe? How have your travels been??

Gotcha, makes sense.

We've been in Prague for about a month, but we leave tomorrow to go to Krakow for two weeks.

Then to the U.S. for a month to visit family (two weeks mine, two hers) and introduce our siblings to the new baby, and attend Camp Mustache. Then off to Australia for a two month housesit.  Then probably up to Asia in the fall.  :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: happy on April 27, 2016, 07:27:43 AM
Interesting how different folks have a different response to extended travel.  I did a lot of travel in my 20s including spending a year  travelling around Europe in a Combi van ( a great Aussie tradition at the time).  After 10 months my colleague and I had had enough and were happy to return to home. I really really enjoyed that time, and we travelled at a moderate pace staying in one location for a couple of weeks or so,  but after 10 months I felt kind of over saturated with new places/experiences and was happy to stop. I really wish I'd made the trip to West Berlin at the time before the wall fell. Otherwise, interestingly the wanderlust never really returned, and whilst I'm not against travelling, I'm kind of meh about it even 30 years later.  We did meet a ton of Aussies who set off for a year's travel and never stopped…they'd been overseas for years, travelling, frugaling and working a bit, and never wanted to go back. I guess its a case of YMMV.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on April 28, 2016, 07:15:09 AM
Gotcha, makes sense.

We've been in Prague for about a month, but we leave tomorrow to go to Krakow for two weeks.

Then to the U.S. for a month to visit family (two weeks mine, two hers) and introduce our siblings to the new baby, and attend Camp Mustache. Then off to Australia for a two month housesit.  Then probably up to Asia in the fall.  :)
Nice! Congrats on the new member of your family! How as your stay in Prague been? You've rented an apartment I presume? Is there lots of stuff to do there? Hope that's not too many questions... thanks!
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: dude on April 28, 2016, 09:24:45 AM

All in all, it’s been a hell of a year. The freedom that Amanda and I have had in the last year has allowed for experiences and joy unlike anything I have experienced before. If anyone is on the fence about early retirement, don't delay - you won't regret it!

Hell yes, I cannot freakin wait.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 28, 2016, 09:39:32 AM
Gotcha, makes sense.

We've been in Prague for about a month, but we leave tomorrow to go to Krakow for two weeks.

Then to the U.S. for a month to visit family (two weeks mine, two hers) and introduce our siblings to the new baby, and attend Camp Mustache. Then off to Australia for a two month housesit.  Then probably up to Asia in the fall.  :)
Nice! Congrats on the new member of your family! How as your stay in Prague been? You've rented an apartment I presume? Is there lots of stuff to do there? Hope that's not too many questions... thanks!

Prague was amazing.  Our favorite city in the world (and we're not much for having "favorites"--couldn't pick between a favorite book, movie, food, etc.).  Lots to see/do, and it's just beautiful.

We generally use AirBnB, I think we've done just a handful of nights in hotels (mainly for single day side trips, or layovers) over the last 8 months.  Having a whole apartment rented is the way to go--washing machine, kitchen, and just much more room.  Not a fan of hotels, despite them being nearly free (via travel hacking).

We'd definitely be traveling more like you, at times, if not for the kid.  As it is, we may get an RV to tour Canada at some point. The Canadian dollar falling so much versus the US dollar, combined with how much oil has fallen (so gas prices are cheap) seems like the perfect storm for spending six months touring across Canada.  Some day.  :)
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: MsFrugalista on April 28, 2016, 11:29:43 AM
Love reading your blog and catching up on your travels. I know you have mentioned here and there how you guys decided on Asheville, NC as your 'home-base'. Do you mind elaborating more on your decision(s) for choosing this place over the others on your list?

We are in the process of doing something similar to the both of you - I don't know if we will travel around for a whole year or not - a little more work with two dogs and a toddler. We are thinking of the Mid-Atlantic area to 'settle down' in. My main two factors are moderate climate and close-ish to family (Southern Ontario). Close-ish = within 16 hour drive. Specifically we are looking at Richmond, VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Asheville, NC and others in the area as options. We lived in Baltimore, MD for some time and not opposed to MD but would like to avoid the DC suburbs.  I have been following the various threads on the forums that talk about re-locating, but wanted to read your thoughts on this as well.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: CanuckExpat on April 29, 2016, 12:19:51 PM
We'd definitely be traveling more like you, at times, if not for the kid.  As it is, we may get an RV to tour Canada at some point. The Canadian dollar falling so much versus the US dollar, combined with how much oil has fallen (so gas prices are cheap) seems like the perfect storm for spending six months touring across Canada.  Some day.  :)

Is there a particular range where it becomes particularly interesting to you? I've been watching with mild amusement the swings of the Canadian dollar and it seems essentially as volatile as oil prices.
When it was below 70 cents to the USD it seemed particularly attractive, but it's hence swung back up to 80 cents.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: arebelspy on April 29, 2016, 12:33:11 PM
We'd definitely be traveling more like you, at times, if not for the kid.  As it is, we may get an RV to tour Canada at some point. The Canadian dollar falling so much versus the US dollar, combined with how much oil has fallen (so gas prices are cheap) seems like the perfect storm for spending six months touring across Canada.  Some day.  :)

Is there a particular range where it becomes particularly interesting to you? I've been watching with mild amusement the swings of the Canadian dollar and it seems essentially as volatile as oil prices.
When it was below 70 cents to the USD it seemed particularly attractive, but it's hence swung back up to 80 cents.

No, I don't think we're likely to base our travels on price any time soon.  It's just something neat to keep in mind/take advantage of where possible.

I don't check it that often, looks like it was 0.69/usd in January, and is 0.80 now.  Had no idea it rose.  But like I said, I don't think that would affect anything.
Title: Re: Mission Accomplished: My wife (32) and I (30) just hit our goal of $1M!
Post by: ponchoape on May 02, 2016, 08:25:02 AM
Prague was amazing.  Our favorite city in the world (and we're not much for having "favorites"--couldn't pick between a favorite book, movie, food, etc.).  Lots to see/do, and it's just beautiful.

We generally use AirBnB, I think we've done just a handful of nights in hotels (mainly for single day side trips, or layovers) over the last 8 months.  Having a whole apartment rented is the way to go--washing machine, kitchen, and just much more room.  Not a fan of hotels, despite them being nearly free (via travel hacking).

We'd definitely be traveling more like you, at times, if not for the kid.  As it is, we may get an RV to tour Canada at some point. The Canadian dollar falling so much versus the US dollar, combined with how much oil has fallen (so gas prices are cheap) seems like the perfect storm for spending six months touring across Canada.  Some day.  :)
Nice, thanks for sharing! Since I've never been to Europe yet, I'm excited to fit in into our future travel plans (maybe summer 2017). Great to know that you've enjoyed Prague so much!

As a Canadian, here are my my favorites in Canada, going from West to East: Victoria, Vancouver Island, Vancouver, Whistler, Rocky Mountains (Banff), Ottawa (Capital), Montreal (Jazz Festival is good), Quebec City, Cute Fishing Villages/Towns in Nova Scotia & Newfoundland.


Love reading your blog and catching up on your travels. I know you have mentioned here and there how you guys decided on Asheville, NC as your 'home-base'. Do you mind elaborating more on your decision(s) for choosing this place over the others on your list?

We are in the process of doing something similar to the both of you - I don't know if we will travel around for a whole year or not - a little more work with two dogs and a toddler. We are thinking of the Mid-Atlantic area to 'settle down' in. My main two factors are moderate climate and close-ish to family (Southern Ontario). Close-ish = within 16 hour drive. Specifically we are looking at Richmond, VA, Raleigh-Durham, NC, Asheville, NC and others in the area as options. We lived in Baltimore, MD for some time and not opposed to MD but would like to avoid the DC suburbs.  I have been following the various threads on the forums that talk about re-locating, but wanted to read your thoughts on this as well.

Thanks, it sounds like your FI journey so far has been similar to ours!

We picked Asheville, NC for a number of reasons. For starters we were hunting for "good weather" and used Brian B's "Picture Perfect Weather Days" map here: http://us-climate.blogspot.ca/2015/03/picture-perfect-weather-days.html

Also, we were mainly looking at cities that have a low Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For my personal research, I built a spreadsheet listing the lowest cost cities based on CPI data here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UMA6vMMZVRYuASluqZssOL5H8ZU4MzKjIKUfJ61h6S0/edit#gid=0

Also, we wanted to live somewhere that had lots of trees, somewhere that doesn't get too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter, somewhere that has somewhat of a freethinking/liberal culture, and somewhere that is close to nature/mountains.

Last but not least, not to get too deep into details, but we also wanted to live somewhere that has enough of a tourism draw that it would be easy for us to short-term rent out our house and travel for a few months each year. Asheville seems to be booming with tourists in the summer/fall, so it should be easy to rent out our place if we want to travel then. Furthermore, if we get a house that easily accommodates it, we may occasionally Airbnb for some easy $$ on the side.

We made a short-list of cities, and drove through a number of them and felt that Asheville was the best fit for us. Our #2 backup city was Chattanooga, TN.

We drove from Asheville to Toronto a few months ago, and it took us roughly 13 hours... not terrible!

Hope that helps!