Author Topic: Hit 500K NW this month.  (Read 4685 times)

MrDelane

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Hit 500K NW this month.
« on: April 01, 2016, 07:17:11 PM »
Like many people here, I can't really share this with anyone other than my partner.
Tallied up our net worth tonight and thanks to our savings rate, and the rise in the market since last month, we are over the 500K mark for the first time.

Technically we were over it a while ago because I don't count our home equity when calculating (since we plan on staying in this house for the foreseeable future, I'm really only interested in knowing how much we have saved to live on).

Given my age this isn't as big an accomplishment as it would be for many of you.
We still have a long way to go, and I realize there's a good chance we will someday be back below the 500K mark... but right now it feels good to be above it for the first time.

Thanks to everyone here for the motivation, inspiration and generally keeping us in the right frame of mind.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 07:36:21 PM by MrDelane »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 07:21:23 PM »
Congratulations! That is one cool, round number.

BookWorm22

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 07:31:07 PM »
Congratulations!  It is a milestone no matter your age. :-)

newton

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 09:11:57 PM »
Excellent.  Rock on!

Squirrel away

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2016, 03:21:00 AM »
Well done.:)

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2016, 08:50:23 AM »
Thanks, everyone.

It is a milestone no matter your age. :-)

You're absolutely right - and that is the outlook I need to remember to keep.
The only person I should be comparing myself to is my past self... as long as I'm doing better today than I was a year ago then I'm on the right track.


3Mer

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2016, 09:50:12 AM »
Great job!  That is a milestone, for sure! 

I just surpassed $350K, was happy but impatient to get where you are, and beyond.

Rosy

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2016, 02:28:15 PM »
Sweet - half a mil - you gotta love those numbers!!! CONGRATS!

Roots&Wings

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2016, 02:56:17 PM »
Nicely done, that must feel great! And I hear the next half mil usually happens much faster/easier :)

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2019, 07:59:19 PM »
Nicely done, that must feel great! And I hear the next half mil usually happens much faster/easier :)

I'm back 3 years, 4 months and 1 day later to say... it's true.
We just hit 1 Million in net worth today.

I fully expect it to dip back down... and then back up... and then back down.... etc.
But for right now, it feels pretty great.

And yes... I would say it was much faster/easier... mainly due to a combination of a bull market and increased income over the last 3+ years.



JohnGalt79

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 08:39:34 PM »
Congratulations!!

dblaace

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2019, 09:05:03 PM »
Congratulations!

Roots&Wings

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2019, 06:14:18 AM »
That's awesome, congrats @MrDelane ! Are you shooting for another mil, or are FIRE plans on the horizon?

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2019, 07:12:13 AM »
That's awesome, congrats @MrDelane ! Are you shooting for another mil, or are FIRE plans on the horizon?

Thank you.
We're shooting for another.  Just a tad over 2 million is our goal, so we still have a ways to go.  But knowing we hit that first one is a bit unreal.

The inertia it gained is hard to grasp.  Doing the math on our second 500K, that is an average savings of 12,500 per month (or 150,000 a year). I can tell you we obviously didn't save nearly that much ourselves.  The bulk of our stache is thanks to the market rising (so I'm not counting on hitting that next million in 3 years).

The long term plan right now is to stay at my job for the next 3 years or so, then possibly step down to part time freelance work while my partner stays at their 3/4 time government job until they qualify for full retirement (which will give us access to great health insurance).

But regardless of the details of what we do and how we do it - the absolute best thing (which I didn't really anticipate years ago) is the feeling of security we now have.  When we started on this journey it felt insurmountable... almost like the feeling of being in debt, except you feel like you're in debt to yourself.  It feels like you'll never really get to your target and that you can never save enough.  But now, even though we're still a little below half of what we ideally want, I can't possibly express the lack of stress of and anxiety.  We've had a few 'emergencies' in the past couple of years and the fact that money was never a factor has been incredible (home maintenance, medical, cars, job loss etc). I realize we're quite privileged to be in this situation, and I'm incredibly grateful for it.

It's really thanks to this site and everyone here that gave us the perspective and motivation to put our focus in the right place.  So I hope no one thinks I'm posting here to brag... if anything I'm posting here to say thank you, and to tell anyone else coming up behind me that they can absolutely do it... and it's not just about hitting your target and retiring, it's about giving yourself the breathing room and freedom to enjoy your life however you prefer.

achvfi

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2019, 08:14:20 AM »
Congrats @MrDelane ! I am curious, did you celebrate your achievement with your partner? How?

Roots&Wings

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2019, 11:05:25 AM »
Well said @MrDelane , the peace of mind that comes from having financial security is invaluable. Thanks so much for sharing, and wishing you continued success ahead!

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2019, 11:26:09 AM »
Congrats @MrDelane ! I am curious, did you celebrate your achievement with your partner? How?

Honestly? We were watching a show while I did the calculation... I waited until the commercial break, muted the TV and told her, "guess what?  I just updated our networth spreadsheet
 and as of today we're officially millionaires.
"

She looked at me and said, "Awesome, baby. I knew we could do it," and proceed to give me a fist bump.

Then we went back to the show.
:)

We're simple people, I guess.

FITortoise

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2019, 12:09:39 AM »
Congrats! That's awesome!

I fully agree with the freedom or peace of mind that a "number" brings, rather than about the number itself. May I ask aside from living a frugal life (I assume), how did you invest? Any real estate purchases? 

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2019, 08:36:12 AM »
Congrats! That's awesome!

I fully agree with the freedom or peace of mind that a "number" brings, rather than about the number itself. May I ask aside from living a frugal life (I assume), how did you invest? Any real estate purchases?

Aside from our primary residence, no.
Debated it a few times over the years but never found the right place (and honestly, have always been a bit too afraid to take the plunge). 

As much as I know real estate makes sense, it seems difficult to get into in small steps - I realize you could always decide to get out and sell, but the debt just feels like a commitment to me.  I may still get into it at some point - but where my life is right now I feel I don't have the time or energy to focus on it.  I know how much time and attention my primary residence requires, and I don't want to double that.

So our investments have been rather 'boring.'  VTSAX and VTIAX make up the majority (with a few individual stocks here and there that we still own from when we thought investing meant picking a single company).

EDITED TO ADD:
I should say, I don't know that we're terribly frugal... not my MMM standards, but definitely by spendypants standards.  We each have a car, but we've paid them off long ago and have no plans of replacing them. We are not terribly shy about spending money, but we've been very focused and careful of our return on investment with very dollar spent.  Our goal over the past few years has been to cut our expenses as much as possible without harming our quality of life. We're very careful to spend our money on the things we care about.

So, while my expenses may be much lower than many friends of mine... I don't know that I feel we're all that frugal. It's really about simply not allowing ourselves to get accustomed to things in the first place, so it doesn't feel like deprivation when you do not have them.  For example, we've never had cable TV.  We've never had a cleaning service, we've never gone out to eat for lunch (at work, I mean), etc. 

Our home is still possibly bigger than it needs to be, but compared to most friends of ours we live in the 'small' house.  On the flip side... (don't facepunch me) we do own a 70" television with a pretty incredible surround sound system.  We both love watching movies, and we eventually found that if we had a system at home that gave us a similar experience to a theater, we wouldn't go to the theater as much (it's not really close, but it's close enough).  We used to spend a lot of money at the movie theater when we were younger, but not anymore (and our TV setup was all purchased second hand or refurbished, under $1000 for everything).

These all sound like dumb examples I'm sure - but I guess my point is they aren't dumb to us... we pick and choose what is worth our money, to us, for our happiness. And we try to make sure that is what we focus on. So, we may gladly spend $300 on an outing if we feel the experience is one we'll enjoy and remember together.... and yet I might be really upset with myself for accidentally getting on a toll road and being charged $1.80 (true story from last week, which I'm still annoyed about).

To me 'frugality' puts the focus on the wrong thing... I wish we had a new word that better captured the spirit of 'financial efficiency' or 'minimum effective spending.'
« Last Edit: August 03, 2019, 10:14:09 AM by MrDelane »

FITortoise

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2019, 12:04:41 PM »
Thank you for sharing.

What about savings? I'm mostly in VTSAX too, and am debating whether to buy bonds given the expected downturn.

I'm with you 100% on being aware of where money goes and knowing what's valuable to you to spend. I understand the toll money aggravation - similar stories for me as well, for example: paying for parking when I forget it's a holiday (why do the machines take $ anyways?!). When that happens, after some frustration I decide that my mental energy and time is worth way more than whatever I just wasted, so let me put in a system to prevent such errors from recurring (as much as possible).

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2019, 07:20:31 AM »
Thank you for sharing.

What about savings? I'm mostly in VTSAX too, and am debating whether to buy bonds given the expected downturn.

Our savings rate pretty consistently floats around 50%, give or take. We both max our retirement accounts (401k, 403b and IRAs).  Our paychecks are split via direct deposit between our regular checking account and our emergency fund savings account.  We have a monthly automatic investment setup into our brokerage account (from that same savings account).  So for the most part we never 'see' any of that money.  In a day to day sense we only pay attention to our checking account and pay our monthly bills from there.  Once a month I fill in a spreadsheet that tracks our networth.  Roughly once a year I check on our asset allocation and make any necessary tweaks. 

As far as bonds go, we keep all our bonds in our retirement accounts and our AA is currently right around 10% bonds total.

One note on tracking our networth.  The reality is that I should probably do it less.  Paying attention to the total probably isn't great, but I really like having the data.  One thing I do is track not only the total number, but also keep a column that shows me the change from one month to the next.  I feel like seeing the monthly swings helps me keep things in perspective (because I can also look back and see the overall upward trend).  Seeing a gain of $50K in a month doesn't make me nearly as excited as it once did... because I've also seen losses of $80K in one month at this point... but I know, looking back over the years, that the overall trend is positive. 

I don't know how I'll do during a real crash, but I'm hoping I'll be smart enough and strong willed enough to simply ignore it and stick to my plan.  If/when any significant downturn occurs, my plan is not change anything I'm doing.  If I do change anything, step 1 will most likely be to stop tracking my networth every month.

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2021, 08:51:14 AM »
Nicely done, that must feel great! And I hear the next half mil usually happens much faster/easier :)

I'm back 3 years, 4 months and 1 day later to say... it's true.
We just hit 1 Million in net worth today.

I fully expect it to dip back down... and then back up... and then back down.... etc.
But for right now, it feels pretty great.

And yes... I would say it was much faster/easier... mainly due to a combination of a bull market and increased income over the last 3+ years.

And I'm back 1 year and roughly 8 months later to say we hit 1.5M recently.
So yes, the snowball effect is very real.  Our first 500K took a L O N G time.
The next 500K took 3 years and 4 months. The most recent 500K took 1 year and 8 months.


(I am not posting this to brag - I am posting this because I know that when we were starting it felt impossible and so far away.  It felt like we could never save enough and it was easy to lose motivation. Stick with it, it does get easier as your stash starts gaining momentum.  And it is absolutely worth the effort.  You can do it!)


Cannot Wait!

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2021, 09:25:07 AM »
Way to go!  How was it living through the market swings of covid?

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2021, 09:57:08 AM »
Way to go!  How was it living through the market swings of covid?

This may not be the most educated answer but the truth is that I closed my eyes and pretended it wasn't happening.
We stuck to our plan and didn't change a thing. So far that seems to have worked well.

I'm sure I could have made more money had I made the 'right' moves.... but I could have also lost a lot of money if I hadn't executed them well.

One of my favorite quotes is from William Bernstein:
"The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor."

Keeping that in mind has always served me well.

swashbucklinstache

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2021, 10:09:16 AM »

(I am not posting this to brag - I am posting this because I know that when we were starting it felt impossible and so far away.  It felt like we could never save enough and it was easy to lose motivation. Stick with it, it does get easier as your stash starts gaining momentum.  And it is absolutely worth the effort.  You can do it!)

Honestly, I think everything in this thread calls for some bragging! Congrats.

windytrail

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2021, 10:37:43 AM »
Congratulations! As someone who is still working toward the first $250,000 (almost there), it's reassuring to hear about the beauty of the snowball effect and the rewards of patience.

Has your income risen in the past couple of years, or were your gains simply due to the market? What's your % in equities?

Cheers.

FLBiker

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2021, 11:42:24 AM »
This is great!  I started the thread at the beginning, and I was going to respond with "the second 500K comes faster", then I saw you hit it, and then I saw you'd hit 1.5M. :)

We're about a half-year to a year behind you -- hit 500K in 2016, 1M last October, now at 1.25M.  It really is crazy how compounding speeds things up.  Of course, the market has been going nuts as well...


Roots&Wings

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2021, 12:06:15 PM »
Love seeing this update, and so glad things have gone well for you and your partner during Covid. Are you still thinking of cutting back work to part-time or freelance at some point?

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2021, 03:06:04 PM »
Love seeing this update, and so glad things have gone well for you and your partner during Covid. Are you still thinking of cutting back work to part-time or freelance at some point?

Funny that you ask.... I'll answer that together with the other question....

Has your income risen in the past couple of years, or were your gains simply due to the market? What's your % in equities?

So... my income did rise a bit in the past two years, so that may have played a part.  Last year was the highest earning year I've ever had.  And now this year will probably be the lowest.... because my income stopped completely.

I didn't decide to cut back on work - but it was decided for me when I lost my job at the end of 2020.
But the best news of all of this is that I don't have to panic, due to the steady savings of the past many many years along with our luxurious barely-frugal lifestyle.

I have started freelancing again in the past couple of months and haven't had to dip into savings as of yet - but I also have not been saving as we had in the past.  So... everything is a bit of a bit question mark right now.

But the good thing is, time is on our side thanks to our stache.
We don't have to do anything rash... we don't have chase whichever opportunity comes up.
I'm still debating whether or not this might be the beginning of my retirement.  It may be.
Time will tell for now.

In the short term - we spent roughly 20K in the past 3 months but our networth increased by over 100K.
I realize that could all change with a bad month... but for now, I'm sleeping pretty well and taking my time figuring out what the next steps will be.

(oh, and as far as equities go Windytrail, we have about 85% in equities which is currently split roughly 70% domestic and 15% international.  Had the intention of having more international but the domestic keep growing at a faster rate... so I can't complain)


EDITED TO ADD:
Realized I mentioned 'domestic' and 'international' without specifying... yes, we are in the United States.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2021, 03:08:37 PM by MrDelane »

charis

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2021, 03:55:50 PM »
Great thread! We hit 500k in Dec and the run up since then is crazy. Do you know how much you contributed to your stache each year since hitting 500k?

MrDelane

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Re: Hit 500K NW this month.
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2021, 04:24:57 PM »
Great thread! We hit 500k in Dec and the run up since then is crazy. Do you know how much you contributed to your stache each year since hitting 500k?

Without going back and doing the math to get you a specific number, I would have to guess it was around 75-80k.
We have two 401k and two IRA accounts we maxed out each year.  On top of that we were putting away about 2500 a month of after tax dollars.

The biggest change since losing my job was having to be okay with not saving.  I was feeling very anxious about it.
I discovered that when you focus on saving for so long, not saving starts feeling like being in debt.

We're still putting money into the stache every month - but nowhere near as much.  Not even close.
And I'm okay with that, for now.

(I have to keep telling myself that)