Where Will Our Retirement Income Come From?

The journey towards Financial Independence is all about saving money but what about once you hit your FI goal?  That is when things change and you go from savings mode into spend down mode.  When in the car the other day both Mr. SFF and I admitted that the thought of actually spending our hard earned money was a little terrifying.  Yup, terrifying is the word we both used.  When you are a natural saver, like both of us have been our whole lives even well before starting this journey to FI, the thought of not only stopping saving but spending that hard earned money is a completely foreign and scary prospect.  I think this is part of the reason I am overestimating how much money we will need.  But in addition to overestimating our needs we are also trying to create other income streams so that we don’t actually have to rely on just our investments.

Now I think the term “spend down” might be slightly misleading for us as ideally we don’t want the value of our investments to go down over time.  Once we hit FI we need our investments to not only keep up with inflation but also cover any unexpected costs that could come up over the decades that we will be spending in our retirement.  This is even more important for those of us who will be spending so many years out of the full time workforce.  If you retire well into you 60’s and you haven’t been diligently saving over the years then you will likely be drawing down your money but as we likely have 40 or more years in our retirement we need to make sure our investments are still growing and ensure our needs are covered.  This means either making sure we have more than enough saved in our investment accounts or create other income streams.
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The Power of the “F-U Fund”

Mr. SFF calls it the “Go To Hell Fund” but I call it the “F-U Fund”.  But whatever name you use, it is basically the sum of money you have saved that gives you the power to just quit your job at any point, usually when you get fed up with one thing or another, without having to stress about buying groceries or paying your mortgage.  FI is pretty much a giant F-U fund as it means you don’t ever have to find another job but the F-U Fund often starts with having just enough money to give you the power to quit your job at any moment and survive without rushing into another horrible or unsatisfying job.   Continue reading “The Power of the “F-U Fund””

2016 Savings Review

I will admit that I get excited about this post and, and more specifically the data it contains, every year.  This is the one time where I really get to look at all of our information, jointly as a couple, rather than just my income and savings.  As Mr. SFF and I keep separate checking accounts and credit cards so I don’t see the whole picture until I make him sit down and give me all of his data.   I try to get an update mid-year just to see now we are tracking but it is year end numbers that I like to see.  Yes, I know how much he has saved as he moves money periodically to the joint checking and then I move the money to our investment accounts, but I don’t how much he has made and if this is a large percentage of his take home income or not.  Since all of our benefits and 401(k) savings comes out of my paycheck Mr. SFF’s savings makes the biggest impact on our overall savings goal. Continue reading “2016 Savings Review”

My Clothing Ban Update

Towards the beginning of the year I decided to set a goal of not spending any money on clothing.  I didn’t set this goal on the first of the year so I did spend a whopping $3.49 on a new skirt in January but after that purchase I vowed not to purchase anything else.  I didn’t actual post about the goal until the middle of the year but I had the goal in my head.

Now to be clear, I have never been a huge spender on clothing but it can be surprising how one little purchase here and there can add up which is why I set the goal.  Plus, I have enough clothes so this goal has really shown me the true different between a “want” and a “need”.

There were times this year that I did want something new, including the last day of the year.   Continue reading “My Clothing Ban Update”

The Wonders of Gardening

Although winter is already in full force here, I figured I would do a little summary of our gardens this year and how we did.  We have a pretty small yard and only two raised beds measuring 2×6 and 2×8 so we are pretty limited on the garden real estate but we do try to make the most of it.  Over the past 5 years we have narrowed down our the vegetables that we grow to one that we have had success with and of course, ones that we enjoy.  This past summer we planted 3 varieties of kale, rainbow chard, carrots, green beans, and unsuccessful cauliflower and cucumbers. Continue reading “The Wonders of Gardening”

Making Sure You Have 40 Quarters of Work

I might be strange to discuss Medicare stuff as most of us on this early retirement journey are years from Medicare eligibility but as most of us in this community are planners calculating every need that might arise, I figured it was an important topic to cover (plus I have been doing some insurance CE on the topic so I figured I could share my wealth of knowledge).

Most of us don’t know the costs associated with Medicare and might even think that we just automatically get Medicare once we turn 65 for free.  In reality, we have to “earn” this benefit by paying into the system over the years.  For the average person this isn’t an issue because it takes them a few decades to amass enough money to retire but for those of us in FI community we have BIG dreams and those dreams often mean not working the majority of our adult lives.

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Climbing the Corporate Ladder

For almost two years now my husband and I have been on this journey towards financial independence/retire early (FIRE) so the thought of climbing the corporate ladder was not on the forefront of my mind.  After all, I am trying to leave the corporate world.  But last fall I was faced with a big decision, should I climb?

The company I work for is a two-person operation for day to day management even though we are under a larger company.  So when my boss, representing 50% of the workforce, pulled me aside last fall and told me he would be retiring in Nov of 2016 I had a huge decision ahead of me.  Should I take over? Continue reading “Climbing the Corporate Ladder”

A Free Weekend Getaway!

After very busy summer and even busier fall, last weekend Mr. SFF and I finally had an entire weekend to ourselves!  And what did we decided to do?  Get away from it all, disconnected out in the woods and it was wonderful!!

Mr. SFF’s extended family (his mother’s cousin) own a small little camp out in the woods.  He encourages family members to come out and use it as he lives out of state and can’t come up all that often but it often sits empty.  Apparently no one has used the camp for the past two years.  The camp itself is nothing special, just a small main room with double bunk beds, a small kitchen and small bath with another set of bunk beds but it has everything you might need for a relaxing weekend.  The thing that does make the camp special is the fact the Mr. SFF’s great-grandmother was actually born on the property (the original cabin burned years ago).  So there is history and the property is beautiful. Continue reading “A Free Weekend Getaway!”

Monthly Food Update – #9

Another month gone by in our journey and our food expenses look pretty much the same.  We went out three times which is more than I would like but two were special occasions and once was after helping my sister for a few hours and we were famished for lunch.

One dinner out was to celebrate our anniversary (happy 8 years Mr. SFF!).  My lovely mother in law sent us a check for $200 to celebrate this special occasion so that is exactly what we did.  We went out to a nicer restaurant and spent $133.48 for dinner, drinks and dessert (including tax and tip).  This was certainly a nice treat and something we would not have done if it were not for my mother in laws generosity.   Continue reading “Monthly Food Update – #9”