As always this blog is meant for entertainment. I'm not a financial advisor in any way, shape or form. Anything I suggest here will need your own due diligence!
It's starting to hit me that I'm close to making the leap into early retirement! As I've previously written about my goal is to exit my W2 / 9-5er in 2026 when my youngest heads off to college. I'll be the ripe age of 51 then, so not an extreme early retirement but still earlier than most.
It's starting to feel more real at this point. It's both exciting as well as worrisome. The What-Ifs are starting to sneak into my thinking a bit more these days.
So what is top of mind for me at this point in the journey?
We are still working to shore up the college savings accounts for 2 of our 3 kids (the oldest we have fully funded at this point). The plan is to utilize a portion of my quarterly stock grants to fully fund the 529 accounts over the next few years. I feel good about the plan we have in place at this point.
I need to revisit the funds that I have these 529s invested in, because we're getting close and I'd hate to have a major market correction whip out what we need.
We are not necessarily in the home stretch, but we can at least feel the finish line is approaching. It's really important that we continue to shovel money into our investments over this time. I'll continue to utilize a mix of real estate, music royalties as well as stocks.
I tend to change my mind frequently as to where to invest most of our money over the next few years. At this point I've pretty much decided to make that decision each time I get a quarterly stock grant. Examine what opportunities are available at that time and decide in the moment. Of course this does not include my 401k which is fully funded each year, as well as our HSA which is also fully funded each year.
Draw Down Strategy:
I've been so focused on building out our retirement portfolio over the last handful of years that I haven't given much thought about what it would look like to begin to draw down this portfolio in retirement. I'm striving to utilize cash flow from our real estate investments, as well as music royalties, to cover most of our living expenses. That being said I am sure we'll need to start pulling from our stock / bond portfolio as well. I will most likely utilize the 4% rule (or 3.5% or whatever the final number is).
I'm now paying more attention as to what the private market for health insurance will be in the coming years. A lot can change in 4 years to be sure, so this one is largely a "wait and worry / see" approach. I've added a line item in our forecast FIRE budget for health insurance, and have it captured at $2,000 / month. I really hope it comes in less than that, but it's helpful to prepare for the high end.
Of course the next couple elections could drastically change this in either direction, so we are bracing for impact.
My wife and I have been kicking around ideas as to where we want to FIRE for years now. We know we are not staying where we live today due to the cost of living, closeness of homes in the area as well as overall size of our current house (too big for 2 of us).
Our criteria for where we want to live has boiled down to:
In the West. Furthest East we want to move is Colorado.
Sunny. We lived in Seattle for a few years so we know we NEED sun.
MCOL. We currently live in a HCOL market and want to find a place that is a bit cheaper.
So we've pretty much decided to move to the Joshua Tree, CA area. I'll be doing more blog posts on this as we plan on purchasing land and building our "retirement" home over the next few years. That should make for one helluva adventure, so stay tuned!
(We are heading there in June to look at properties, so this process could be getting started really soon).
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Personal Capital: My go to place for tracking all things Net Worth.
YNAB: My go to place for managing my spending and budget.
Betterment: I use this account for general investment purposes.
M1 Finance: I use them for my dividend stock investments.
Greenlight: How I manage my kids allowance.
ANote Music: One of the ways I invest in Music Royalties.
Venmo: How I send money.
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As always this blog is meant for entertainment. I'm not a financial advisor in any way, shape or form. Anything I suggest here will need your own due diligence.