Author Topic: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN  (Read 4265 times)

h2ogal

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Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« on: June 11, 2015, 04:14:29 PM »
Last Year, I found a blog by a fella who set a goal to retire in 1500 days.   It was very inspirational, especially because at that time I was feeling pretty desperate to escape the daily corporate grind.   

So back on Oct 1 2014, I decided to try that game and retire in 1000 days.   I'm about 1/4 of the way into that thousand day plan and figured I would post an update on how it is going.

My Target:
I set a target of around a quarter million dollars in my financial accounts.   Im kind of spendy, and this would not be enough for me to raise a family on, but DH owns a small family business that provides a good income, and flexibility, kids are grown and mostly independent, so this is enough for my contribution - I could live on 4% SWR.

I had a fairly decent nest egg to start with, about $475K, but that had grown very slowly, over many years of working and saving about 10-15% of my income.  I decided to make a sprint to the end.

Tracking
I set several goals with milestones along the way.  I took the difference between what I had and what I needed and divided it into 1000 days. I came up with a goal to grow my net worth by $254 per day.  That was my average daily gain required.  I plotted this out for 1000 days and set up online banking tools that allowed me to track all my investments and spending on one place.  I check my balances, savings growth and spending at least weekly and adjust as needed to stay on track.

Progress so Far:
 
Date           $ Actual      $ Goal
10/1/2014    $478,188     Start
11/1/2014    $487,860     $486,366
12/1/2014    $505,977     $494,281
1/1/2015    $511,194     $502,459
2/1/2015    $505,169     $510,637
3/1/2015    $538,667     $518,024
4/1/2015    $515,580     $525,938
5/1/2015    $546,796     $533,852
6/1/2015    $547,558     $542,031 - 1/4 of the way in....on track!

Here are some thoughts from what I've learned so far. 

1. Investing vs. Savings: Frugality pays off big at the start of the journey, then not as much.   Once I got to a certain amount in stocks, being in the right investments started to make a much bigger impact on net worth than scrimping and saving did.  (Low cost index funds - Im 75% US Stock, 10% Fx Stock and the rest in TIPS and Cash) 

2. You can save more than you think you can.  I was able to save much more than I thought possible.  I never thought I could put over 50% of my income into savings.   Since I have almost no willpower, the key for me was to lock away the money  before I could get my hands on it.  If I don't have the extra cash laying around I can figure out how to get by without it.  I wish I had tried this 10 years ago...sigh....better late than never!

3. Manage your own $.   I thought I was fairly well versed in investing - I knew the basics for sure.  But I learned an awful lot by spending time on the forums (bogleheads, MMM and ERE).  Doing your own portfolio allocation plans and stock research pays off in lower fees and better, faster decisions.

4. Success makes you influential.  DH can be pretty stubborn about certain things, like pack-rat accumulation of tools and cars and investing only in his business and real estate.  After seeing my stache grow, he's now starting to be open to making some changes and diversifying.  He sold one of his cars and lots of unused business equipment.   He even let me put a few thousand in a retirement account for him!

5. Set small goals along the path to keep you on track.  Having a concrete goal and a plan to get there really made a difference.  In the past my goal was more general, like 'max out the 401k'.   By having a specific target number to hit not only for the end but also for each month along the way, it forced me to make frequent adjustments and kept me on track.

*** the blog that inspired me originally is here:   http://www.1500days.com/

G-dog

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2015, 04:21:58 PM »
I love the 1500 family.

Good work - it can be hard to wrap your head around all of this. But being able to devise your own specific plan, stick to it, and learn from it ups your odds of success SO MUCH (still none of us can time the market).

When is your 1000 days up?

h2ogal

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2015, 04:24:33 PM »
July 17, 2017!!  (If I can stick to the plan!)  Maybe sooner if I get lucky, maybe later if I screw up....

G-dog

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2015, 04:30:38 PM »
July 17, 2017!!  (If I can stick to the plan!)  Maybe sooner if I get lucky, maybe later if I screw up....

You can stick to the plan. If your husband gets more onboard it could go even faster. You are a bit ahead of target now, and that could continue.

frugaljo

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2015, 11:39:16 PM »
wow what a inspiring read h2ogal
really good to read your thoughts on it as well. THat your DH is coming around.
$254 a day I am so impressed.

Cougar

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2015, 07:44:58 AM »
July 17, 2017!!  (If I can stick to the plan!)  Maybe sooner if I get lucky, maybe later if I screw up....

congrats !

i'm on track for april 2017, so i'll have to keep up with your posts to see if you catch or pass me.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2015, 04:53:46 AM »
I'm confused - you say your target is 1/4 million, but you already had over 400k when you started...?

marty998

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2015, 05:22:30 AM »
1/4 mill more than her starting point?

Mika M

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 09:25:32 AM »
Totally agree with number 1 and 2 - pushing to become less spendy does make a dramatic difference in your cash pile but once you make good headway in getting more frugal, increasing your savings rate starts to slow a bit... but, that's why it's always good to come up with new challenges for yourself. (This month DH and I are getting re-focused on the grocery bill.) As an old friend of mine once said - the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement. I think he was quoting someone but not sure who...

Number 3 - I'm definitely processing MMM's investing advise differently now than a year ago. Back then DH and I were still in lotto-stocks/quick-fix mode (which is how a lot of people start when they first get into investing), but now are more in line with the slow-and-steady-wins-the-race mentality. That said I find myself able to absorb and understand MMM's investing articles a lot better than I used to.

Number 4 - To a degree. DH's individual stock picks are big companies that continue to show growth potential and pay nice (but not crazy-over-generous) dividends like Apple, Starbucks, and Disney, along with funds like an S&P tracking fund and VTI, and as a result has had impressive investment gains over the past year. When his coworkers start talking about stock investing they'll ask for his advice but won't actually listen because they've already got some other idea fixated in their heads. On the other hand, he has influenced me to dump all the biggest drags on my portfolio (some foreign banks and stock companies with no growth and no dividends - bought on the influence of a lotto-stock friend of mine a couple of years ago).

Number 5 - At this point in my financial independence quest I'd say this one's my favorite. Short to short-medium term goals is a good one, it'll help distract me from pining about the distant early retired future lol. Concrete number goals by the year are easy for me to come up with but by the month would be more challenging... Think I'll start working on that.

Oh, and I'm also going with 1500 (working) days. Which is about 6-7 years but depending on what my numbers look like after five years I may seriously consider going to some kind of part time work...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 09:27:12 AM by Mika M »

h2ogal

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 06:07:45 PM »
Quote
I'm confused - you say your target is 1/4 million, but you already had over 400k when you started...?

Doh!!!  Typo Target is 3/4 million - roughly - but anywhere from 730-750K is what Im shooting for.

h2ogal

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2015, 06:15:29 PM »
Cougar said:
Quote
i'm on track for april 2017, so i'll have to keep up with your posts to see if you catch or pass me.

Do you know what you want to do in retirement yet?   
Also, have you started thinking about what changes you will make?   
One of my bigger worries is health care costs.  Its probably our biggest 'unknown'. Have you thought about how you will handle health Care?  Right now Im socking away as much as legally allowed in HSA and paying for actual health costs out of pocket while I have the extra cash.

h2ogal

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2015, 06:23:54 PM »
Mika Said:
Quote
Oh, and I'm also going with 1500 (working) days. Which is about 6-7 years but depending on what my numbers look like after five years I may seriously consider going to some kind of part time work...

I'm also thinking about part time work after FIRE, if I can make it work for me.  At a minimum I'll help DH with his small business bookkeeping and accounting.  If I feel like splurging on something and need cash, then I'll maybe do some contracting.  I set myself up with an LLC already so that I'm ready to do 1099 or corp-to-corp.   I want to do the snowbird thing after I retire, so having a part-time gig would interfere with that unless its really short term.

Elderwood17

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Re: Sticking to 1000 Day Free At Last - PLAN
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2015, 07:35:25 PM »
Great progress - thanks for sharing your journey and insights.