Our Financial Situation as of 11/30/17, or “This Is Just Galling.”

Aw, man…OK, so I’m bitching about a problem I’m in fact very grateful to have, but as you know, psychological milestones are of the essence in both the accumulation and distribution phases of the road to financial independence slash early retirement.

(Note that we use Personal Capital as our financial management and retirement modeling system. It’s free, and we each get a $20 Amazon gift card when you try it.)

So a net worth of an even $2.4 million would’ve been, I don’t know, satisfying in a sort of irrationally exuberant way. But wait…I have something like $26 rolled up in my sock, meaning it’s time to celebrate. Woo-friggety-hoo.

$2.4 million represents a jump of about forty grand on paper from October’s total of $2,359,164, meaning we’ve accumulated $80,000 in unrealized capital gains since the end of October (which we closed out at a net worth of $2,319,855.)

Yay, a stock market run-up. Or rather: who gives a shit?

To be honest, as nice as the run-up is on paper I’m not gonna go buy an Nebuchadnezzar of champagne over it. Our annual withdrawal amount AKA budget of roughly $50K hasn’t changed for reasons discussed here, and I don’t intend to increase it.1

I’m not moving our budget up because I’m not one to ignore sequence-of-returns risk–i.e., the idea that while stocks return a predictable average return of seven-ish percent across many years, you can’t count on an annual return in a single year that’s sufficient to meet your expenses without depleting your principal. So if you have a good year and jack up your withdrawal percentage to match, it becomes that much more important in a bad year to jack down your withdrawal percentage. But you can’t really plan your life around a budget of, say, $100K in the first year and $20K in the second…so I don’t. The 4.5% rule ain’t-a doin my thankin fer me.

OK…where does that leave us?

Pretty much done. We continue to pay off our credit cards in full each month. Our car loan’s APR is 1.9%, so no stomach cramps there. And our house is worth…well, it’s worth whatever we could sell it for if we were so inclined. Zillow the All-Seeing All-Knowing sack of dog turds may claim it’s $349K, but Zillow hasn’t come around offering to write me any checks as of late.

You folks keep your socks dry and your brandy snifters wet.



  1. Although…as I’ve mentioned, my wife has taken on a part-time job that’s made our lives a bit more luxurious.

Author: ER Dude

Sick of your job? After a thirteen-year career, Early Retirement Dude fled corporate America for good. You can do it too! Visit http://EarlyRetirementDude.com or email EarlyRetirementDude@gmail.com.

9 thoughts

  1. ER Dude,
    Just found your site. Very nice information and I like your disclosure of assets and discussion of Trinity study in other posts.

    We FIREd a 1 year 8 months ago at 53 and we’re neighbors…Cary. Similar situation with little/no debt, real estate rentals, stock, investments and frugal. Kid in public college, 15K/yr of spending that’ll be gone in a few years, but all accounted.

    I find my largest expenses, even more than college is tax. Investments (real estate based) toss off taxable income. Which you seem to have under control! congrats.

    We’re older and would have a larger ($1500/mo bronze) insurance costs had we not found alternatives. Keeping your income down provides a nice ACA subsidy, another benefit tight financial control!

    1. Hi there. Thanks! And congrats on making your escape.

      I’m confused by this: “we’re neighbors…Cary”

      Cary? I’m not aware of a town near Cary anywhere near us.

      1. Sorry, thought you mentioned Raleigh in your posts and guessed it was Raleigh NC. Believe it was the grocery comparison.

          1. Ahh, sorry, linked from your site and similar blog templates…arrrgggg. Didn’t even realize I went somewhere else 🙁

  2. Nice monthly update – Those last three days of the market were a wild ride up. I still have a bunch of individual stock holdings, mainly domestic companies that lagged the market and they decided to catch up.

    Thanks Justin!

  3. I haven’t had a chance to read all of your entries (there are quite a few and I am playing catch-up) but have you had a chance to cover side jobs (or side gigs or “side hustles” as some call them), as a way to supplement your primary income? Did you work a side job (or two?) while you were saving for retirement?

    Coming up with a flexible, time-efficient side job is something that I am going to spend some time addressing, as clearing an extra $400 to $600 per month and being able to toss that money into my Vanguard brokerage account. $400 per month may not sound like much to a lot of people but compounded over a decade or so it helps quite a bit. One thing that I have thought about is selling plasma, though I don’t think there is a way to make $400 per month off of it.

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