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Archive for July, 2015

Question for group, phased retirement

July 30th, 2015 at 07:58 am

HI all,

This is one of those 'how much questions'

I still have a possibility of paying off the 6 homes early and it is based on a gift which is not confirmed yet so feeling (what is the word) tense but hopeful and not wwanting to get excited before it is a sure thing. Smile . so no word on it yet.

Anyways I am feeling like my goal is 'save as much as I can' but when I think about it I do not know what my ultimate goal is. like when will I feel safe to leave this high paying job to move to a lower paying job and then to not working

Right now I am just working as much as I can which not really sure I can (with the temporary nature of my contracts) or want to (stress, health, no life) want to keep up forever


So thinking maybe like this

1. Phase 1-be content with a FULL TIME job (not contract)making around $100k but still in IT project management but having vacation etc. This would be a $40k+ drop from what I am at.I can transition to thsi where I am now provided one is available when my contract is up.
2. Phase 2- leave IT and work in a more fulfilling field (unclear what and I want to start thinking on this so I have a GOAL and vision),, make $50-60K full time..
3. Phase 3- stop working full time and just do contracts from time to time or take a social services type of job (love social services) or start new lower paying career likely in some helping field,

So these are my thoughts but they are vague and unclear and I want to put more detail around them so I have something to look forward to and a goal

Current thoughts
1. To enter phase 1--6 homes paid off, rental and personal emergency fund intact, 20K additional cash not invested, $175k left on the house, $400k savings and still pulling income from not for profit I run

2. to enter phase 2--6 homes AND 3 units paid off, similar emergency funds, 100k left on house and $550k savings

3. to enter phase 3--all above and house paid off and $750k saved

These are rough swag ideas but have to start somewhre. what am I missing? insurance needs? health factors? relationship factors? more emergency funds, self insure some things, some factors that my key things are in good shape (ie large house items or car have certain amount of life left in them), no pending large issues with rentals? no other debt?, firm social network? long term care insurance, certain health tests, maybe keeping my PMP (project manager certificate) in tact?

I am thinking also on phase 2 and 3 I shouldl have prepared for those phases by thikning through what I want to do and start preparing for the transition in the prior phase

Updates fence, homes, investing

July 26th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

HI all

Sortof some random thoughts here
1. landscaping is DONE.. looks BEAUTIFUL.. love it well worth it. yard is more simplified much easier to maintain. no groundcover.. wonderful
2. fence. worked it out w the neighbor. I will put the 6 foot fence in FRONT of their chain link fence in all sections except one (where I own the fence). Fence guy is great says he can get with in 2 inches. FENCE is already funded (not reflected in #s to the left) and shoudl be installed Friday or Monday (takes 2 days though)
3. Toured 3 of my homes with the property manager today. starting to feel my homes are well taken care of.. still have deferred maintenance items that were not done but feeling GOOD and CALM.. like things are smoothing out. The house we rehabbed looks wonderful and we have someone who 'lookds good with good credit' very intersted and if they work out we will take it OUT of section 8 .. which long term may be good. Section 8 requires these yearly inspections which have been somewhat of a nightmare and even w the homes in better shape just the idea of having some inspector come through each year is not a good feeling. . We are checking income and other stuff on this lady today but FINGER CROSSED> I have one more home I want to take out of section 8 but the lady there has lived there for 13 years so we are just waiting her out.. no rush.
4. This year has been the hardest in terms of turn overs but good to be on the other side of that and good to feel I am on the downslope slide of major fix up work across all. Feeling I can just budget much of the rest like no urgent big money things pending and homes are looking good with is nice. For this year we have 2 more 3 unit renewals (at the big jump up rate) and then 1 more section 8 renewal outside of that.. no more big rent changes planned or in the works.. My goal righ tnow is to KEEP tenants and minimize expenses

Been researching other property managers and ways to minimize costs, how to track things, learning from others, went to the landlord meeting etc. . Mine manager charges 7%. This other guy (also in town) says he will charge me 5% ($2000 difference per year or more) and my initial indepth research says he may be able to do the same as my current guy and MORE and produce documentation which my guy is weak at..just investigating right now and checking references


I am also still doing the work to refinance the main home and reduce the rate/and maybe term.

Feeling BETTER. calmer. less panicky

Dad is doing MUCH better at Silverado.. shocking.. like it appears his mental status has IMPROVED (vs just not getting worse). He is mmore 'there' than he was. asking intelligent questions, participating..I am still merging accounts and getting access to all . some are in a trust which is requiring more documentation. Dad's house did sell

Decisions with the house

July 17th, 2015 at 06:08 am

HI all

just diarying but comments are welcome.

I live in a ranch on an acre lot here in town.. house is very nice.. open ranch. brick... awesome yard. problem has been a NEW NEIGHBOR moved in last year. .. they recently got 2 dogs and fenced their yard... one dog is a Jack Russell terrier mix and can be yappy at times. First week was REAL Bad. I called animal control (I run the largest cat rescue in town so I know them). they came out, talked to owners etc.. noise improved and is still improving but the neighbors are not friendly etc etc.. (they were not told I called) but I basically do not like them and i doubt they like me.. I remember meeting them for the first time last year and being all welcomey and them just sortof cold (esp husband) I think that is how they are. Anyway, I also have a blind cat that I like to let out in the yard sometimes (he can not leap the fence) but the instant this dog sees him he starts barking (so he has not been out since their fence went up. they used to walk the dogs and the barking was never an issue then) and the dogs are left outside a lot.. mostly quiet but no way I can let the cat out and have the dog charge the fence when he sees it.. wife does not work. crazy.. these guys have a very expensive house but sortof run it like hicks.

Anyway for weeks i have been upset. trying to figure out what to do. I was even thinking of selling the house I was so unhappy.

I am going to put a new 6 foot wood fence on the side by this neighbor. $5k. but should be a BIG relief and make me happy so I can feel private again (current fence is chain link on that side). this wood fence will match the other fence on the other side. To put this fence up I am going to take down the existing chain link fence and ask them if I can take down part of what they just put up (at my cost) so the fences do not need to run next to each other which does not make sense and if we do that they will have plants growing up between the fence that THEY will see. I plan to talk to them tomorrow and am sortof nervous.. hopefully it goes well. if so I will have the fence an under 2 weeks. Prayers please.

how am I paying for this? I know. Upsetting. I am $2k under budget for the rental large repairs that I escrowed for (NOT shown on the left) so pulling that and will have to do some magic to get the rest. Unclear right now but I am going to go insane if I do not get this fence up and starting living in my house again.

I also had a yard service clean out the beds etc..am adding trees, redoing the front etc..

I am going to look into refinancing the house to a 15 year mortgage. That was my plan from last year. I am on an almost a 6% mortgage rate now due to some of the crazy house stuff I had to do last year. If I can refinance to 3.5 I will pay approx the same amount and be on a 15 year term.. so likely doing that.

If I keep this house through retirement. who knows but it is a nice solid house for right now, all fixed up and has some custom things in it that were just for me so makes sense to stay right now. besides I did not really pay 'full price' for it when I bought it back from the bank so not sure I would save alot by moving anywhere nearby as prices are pretty high out here.

Feeling better w this fence decision made and will feel BETTER once that fence is up and landscaping is complete.

Dad's closing is today!! and I have a half day off work. YAY!!!

A big milestone! first $100k

July 15th, 2015 at 05:01 am

Hi all

feeling good this am. I finally hit my first $100k. this includes the $15k rental emergency fund. My goal this year (revised last month) was to have $110k investments WITHOUT the $15k rental fund by the year end. $24k to go towards that goal and trying. I am still shooting for $300k by 6/2018 WITHOUT the rental fund

I MAY have a plan to pay off the 6 homes in the January of next year. 5 months. I am still investigating so no word yet but wouldn't that be wonderful.

Still VERY busy w Dad . his house closes this Friday and I have spent days getting the forms signed, notarized,, guaranteed etc for me to sign for him. Dad has his house and the majority of his asssets in a trust. I am the 3rd trustee down so we had to get a note from a Dr that Dad was incompetent, then get my brother (a long haul truck driver to sign and notarize a paper then get a signature guarantee) and then I had to meet my brother to get that original to meet our timelines and then send that to the attorney and the title company and we just got approval yesterday so I will sign for Dad at close.

I AM POA for finance but that does not cover trusts.

Moving forward with getting Dad's stuff under control (still need to consolidate accounts and not on all of his accounts yet.. some are in the trust and require the above which we just finished) ..work is ok just swamped and have not had a lot of personal time and need to make some more but am getting smoe fun and relaxation in

Lots more news. will share on the next post.

New goals for this year-investments

July 5th, 2015 at 11:45 am

Hi all

New investment goal this year and really pondering what I need to do to feel comfortable leaving this high paying high stress job and feeling able to choose a funner job (even if i went full time somewhere it would be great. full time would be like $100k). Right now I feel I need (or want) to earn as much as I can so really am doing $57 times 50 hours a week EVERY week which is approximately 140k a year. it is the most I have ever made but I am feelimgm stressed.. down and like I have no life and am tired .. and my speech is having a hard time keeping up.

Anyway I am pocketing as much money as I can each paycheck and investing. My goal was to have a $35k increase in investments this year. I have exceeded that already w investments going up and mostly deposits. New goal is to have $110k investments NOT INCLUDING my $15k rental emergency fund.. so to do that I have $27290 left to go for the year. I probably have almost $10k left to go w maxing out the 401k so I have that.. so that leaves $17k.... that will just have to be saving.. selling stuff. whatver

Also now that Dad's situation has calmed down. he is doing FANTASTIC at Silverado. love it there for him and me. I am thinking of how to pay off the 6 homes early next year. I will owe $119k after my December payment and $103k after the April 2016 payment. WHere do I get an extra $100k?

I am also considering the house. I have a house worth $510k w almost $170k equity. Do i really want this house long term? I do not know. It has an insanely large yard.. brick ranch though which is nice and the neighbors who moved in last year I do not like. not doing anything drastic but wondering if I moved to downtown Naperville (I live outside of downtown now) and got one of those mid sized homes w FRONT PORCH/hard wood which I love. I wonder if that will be less.. so if I could find one for $400k . I could put my equity in it $170k and only owe $230

Not doing anything big right now just thinking that realistically for me to feel at ease and have a smaller monthly nugget I need to reduce or eliminate the house payment OR cover it with pretty guaranteed income.