I’ve been patiently biding my time, waiting for the snow to melt away and the temps to clear the 50F hurdle. Maybe I mentioned it before, but winter and I do not get along. A post from a while back probably gave me a brave face, but I’m not afraid to admit the truth now. Let’s dive into my early retirement diary, volume 2: Early Retirement Extreme!
What’s in Cubert’s lab
As far as what all that blather has to do with early retirement, there is a post in the works about my mad scientist-like statistical deep dive into the best places for Cubert and family to live. Strange things happen when you swim in spreadsheets too long.
You begin to tinker with half-baked, weighted equations and silly questions like, “Should average sunshine outweigh average winter temperatures?” More on all of this madness in that upcoming post…
There’s also a guest post coming soon in which I wildly claim that a middle class family needs a mere $30,000 a year to survive (and maybe even be content.) Jason at WinningPersonalFinance.com is curating it now. He’s probably replacing my F-bombs with “flowers” and “feathers.” Smart guy.
That post in particular was inspired by an equally outlandish one from a popular blogger in our space, who claimed that $300,000 was all a middle class family needed to be “happy.” I guess there’s more than one way to boost your traffic. Making crazy claims – here I come!
Real estate updates
On the rental front, there’s lots of things going on. Even though rental properties are (for the most part) a passive income endeavor, you sometimes have to do stuff. Specifically, there’s tenant turnover.
Of the four long-term properties in our slumlord empire, one is now on a month-to-month lease and could bolt at any time. Another is rented by a young doctor and his physical therapist wife, both of whom are about to roll out to Utah for his residency.
I hope he reads up on his Physician on Fire before buying a wake boat or anything silly… These two are breaking their lease, and I have a clause that allows them to do so, if they pay me a buy-out of roughly $1,200. Ha ha haaaaa…..
However, rather than take their money, we’ve agreed to what all my other previous lease-breaking tenants have in the past. It’s a win-win approach. The tenants agree to keep the place sparkling, and, they perform the showings. All I have to do is send interested parties their way. They now have the incentive to find me new tenants quickly (to avoid too much hassle) and that keeps me from having to jet over there every two seconds to show the place. Score.
More on that “Health Thing”
The response to my post on Monday was really great. Thanks again to my readers and my blogging family for the kind words and encouragement. I want to come clean that I’m by no means in any imminent danger of losing my vision. I’ve been fortunate enough to have made it to my mid-40s with no ocular complications other than dry eyes in winter.
But even the threat of glaucoma, cataracts and such get me really down when these flare-ups hit. Who knows how long I can keep blocking and tackling? And the tinnitus in my left ear? I’m convinced it’s caused by the drops I’m using.
Mrs. Cubert and I went out on Monday for a special date night to celebrate her 10 years in practice. I was not at my best, since my inflamed right eye decided to share the fun with my left eye earlier that afternoon. This of course was the same day I’d written about never getting flares in both eyes at once. Motherf*cker!
Again though, the magic ‘roid drops are quick on the job. And so too is a well-made old-fashioned on a Monday date-night. THAT hit the spot. As did spending time with the Mrs. to celebrate all of HER fabulous accomplishments.
Lucky for me, she even came up with a theory that could hold a key for me. She simply said, “You need more Vitamin D.” I guess if you bitch about winter that much, Vitamin D is bound to enter the conversation at some point?
Lo and behold, I Googled the situation at work the next day and turns out, as recent as last year, a potential solution had emerged. Maybe I’ve been too low on Vitamin D, because I had, over the last few years, given up fortified (i.e., processed) cereals, milk, and OJ, in exchange for whole foods like goat yogurt, homemade granola, and kombucha. Did you know goat’s milk yogurt has 0% vitamin D? WTF! Bah!
Time will tell. But I now have a little bottle of yummy cod liver oil to keep me “D-ed up” for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, in the FIRE Community
It seems I’ve been a bit testy these days. I got huffy in the comments over at ONL for feeling like Tanja was claiming “the high ground”, when all she was doing was calling out disingenuous bloggers. Sorry ’bout that. And then I went after the Financial Samurai (without my sword, or mace, or dagger) for a post about needing more house than I think is necessary.
Leave it to me. I’ll find a way to get into trouble. That’s part of what makes the community aspect of Personal Finance bloggers special. I thought I was applying my own sort of “checks and balances” but wound up being a bit of a troll. Ultimately, the community can help steer people (I hope?) to the best and most relatable answers.
Shoot, I even went severious knucklehead on Gwen over at FieryMillennials this week, giving some ill-informed advice about forming an LLC for her rental business.
Just because I did something, and it’s seemingly “working”, doesn’t give me the right to “shoot from the hip” on this blog or anyone else’s. Tail between legs, I added a clarifying comment.
To “Retire” or not to “Retire?” THAT is the question.
There’s an awful lot of discussion on the virtual streets and alleyways of FIER-land about “what is retirement?” and “can you really call it retirement, when you’re still working?” It’s an interesting but ultimately futile debate. The reason for that is everyone has his or her own gear in life.
Some want to just party full-stop. While others simply want to escape the cube, even if that means a trade-off is picking up a paper route or a shift at Starbucks to make ends meet. And that last group is totally legit!
You’ll find a lot of older folks who hold PT jobs today, who won’t hesitate to describe themselves as retired teachers, retired nurses, or retired steel mill workers. Nothing wrong with that.
Falling down on the job
Admittedly, now within 500 days remaining until I “retire” early, I’m getting antsy. It’s a little harder to focus at work. Just a little. I promise you I don’t check every day to see how many days I have left. I just have it programmed in my brain. “Lessee, it’s almost April 1, 2018, so July 31 2019 minus THAT equals … Less than a year and a half! Woo hoo!!!”
I am starting to speak out a bit more in the office. I wasn’t too shy to begin with, but it’s starting to feel like I have less to lose. It’s not that I’m shouting out curse words at my leaders with a megaphone either. It’s simply a higher level of confidence emerging.
So these next <500 days will be an interesting experiment of sorts. Will I become better in my role, because I’m less encumbered by the shackles of an employed-at-will arrangement? I have a feeling I will, so long as I don’t get senioritis towards the midway point, and start mixing cocktails at my cubicle. Gives me an idea though…
Early Retirement Extreme Happiness: It’s Spring!
So there you have it, my fine readers. All the little updates and minutiae from this cold, miserable corner of FIRE-town. I hope you enjoyed it.
There’s a lot more fun and excitement I get to share with you over the coming months. And don’t worry. There won’t be any nonsense posts like why you need an HSA account, or the merits of the 4% safe withdrawal rate. I promise!
You can go read about all that mind-numbing sh*t on Wikipedia. We’re trying to win a Peabody over here at AbandonedCubicle.com for Pete’s sake!