Friday, May 31, 2019

Budgets and Plans

I started this post back in March.  I need to update it again.
Let's take a look at my financial freedom/semi-retire early plan again.  I admit it, I am a total scaredy-cat when it comes to quitting my stable, good-paying job.  I'm going to be updating my spreadsheets into my 60's if I don't get up some courage to just jump.  Or die at my desk.  That alone should make me want to quit.  What am I afraid of?  Running out of money and being too old or ill do make any more.  So, with that in mind.  Here is my current plan.

I have re-adjusted my minimum budget and removed health insurance.  My previous plan was to get insurance through Medicaid because that is what the ACA site told me I would qualified for.  Now, in Arizona, they have changed the requirements and any able-bodied person will need to work or volunteer 20 hours a week in order to qualify.  That is fine but if I am working part time, then I am just going to use that money to buy my own insurance.  When I looked up available plans, the cost was between $300 and $600/m.  I did not look up plans through the ACA exchange because the site won't let me see plans without putting in a lot of personal information and I don't need to do that now.  Maybe I will qualify for a subsidy but I am going to assume that I won't and just go with the highest price of $600 as my goal.  I can pay for that with a part time job, or selling on Ebay, or maybe some sort of small home business.

Back to the budget.  This is the minimum that I would need to survive. I know people will have comments.  Gas prices I can't control, only how much I drive.  I was spending a little over $400/m on food but I was buying a lot of junk food and eating a lot too.  I changed my diet, reduced my portions, and my bill has been closer to $50/week so I know it is attainable.  Maintenance is too low.  Car and home maintenance could be expensive.  Also, dog costs.  One vet bill will blow the whole budget.

So, what will I do about that?  Here is my income plan:

Rental 1- $1,050
Rental 2- $700

Subtract property management, taxes, insurance, maintenance.  Let's call my net profit $1,100 for both.  Since my rental income is not stable, as you know from previous posts, I am saving an additional amount, I call it the freedom fund.  I figured out how much I would need starting back in July of last year until I am 59 1/2 and can take money from my 401K.  That is 161 months or 13 years and 5 months.  I am adding $2K each month to my fund and subtracting $700 each month from the total needed since I'm getting older.  Where the two columns meet is where my freedom point is.  May 2020.  48 years old.  You might notice that my freedom fund did not start at $0.  I put $52,000 from the sale of my home into the fund to start, then I came up with this plan later.

Rentals: $1,100/m
Freedom Fund: $700/m
Total= $1,800/m

Budget: (-$700)
Health insurance: (-$600) part time job or business

Hooray for wiggle room and hopefully enough to get me through a rental income drought. 
Now it is almost June.  12 more months until I've saved up enough for this plan.  A few expenses have gone up.  My cell phone plan went from $15 to $20.  I put my mother's car in my name.  The registration is $60 and the insurance is more although I plan to go back to liability coverage only once I move out to my property.  My portion of the inheritance will go to savings for rental house maintenance and making my tiny house and property livable.  But the house has to be sold first.

This week has not been as fun as I had hoped.  Working from home comes with its own set of challenges.  Mostly I don't like being isolated from my coworkers even though I only have one regular coworker in the office.  Maybe I just don't like that she is on vacation and everyone is asking me for answers that I don't know.  I would also need my computer and two large screens for my home office because working on a small laptop is frustrating.  Next week I will be back in the office.  The following week, my coworker will be traveling and I will be working from home again but she will still be working so I shouldn't get the questions that I can't answer.  The week after that, my sister will visit and we will sort through the contents of the house.  Then the week after that I'm traveling to our corporate office for a few days.  That pretty much takes care of June. I hope it is a productive month.


Lizzie@her MFW Homeworld said...

The cost of health insurance makes me feel quite faint! Good idea to plan everything out in excel though, even if there are a lot of changes. It calms me to know i have every permutation, just about, covered

Dave said...

I recall planning my early retirement back in 2007-08 before I made the leap in late 2008. I was planning out my expenses the way you have done, using my current expenses as a starting point and adjusting them accordingly. For me, I removed FICA taxes and commutation expenses and added a lot back for health insurance. Remember, this was pre-ACA, so I was spaying the full freight in an expensive area here in New York. I think monthly food expenses in the $200 per month is reasonable, too.

Then, the ACA came along in 2014 with its exchanges. I qualified for a small subsidy because my (investment) income was not much under the limit of ~$45k at the time. That limit has risen to nearly $50k, but I haven't always qualified for a premium subsidy because of investment income spikes. If your income (AGI, with some adjustments, called MAGI) is under ~$50k in 2020, you will qualify for a subsidy, so don't automatically rule that out, even with your two rental properties. I assume you won't have a lot of investment income from your non-retirement assets such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

You are also wise to split your ER plan into two parts, as I did. The first part is getting to age ~60 intact without using any retirement assets such your 401k. I call those retirement assets which include my frozen company pension and Social Security my "reinforcements."

You have written here about various health issues, so I would not suggest you go without HI. You do a lot of outdoor work, also lending itself to risks from mishaps.

I would be happy to provide with some guidance in this area. I think I have emailed you before, just write me back.

Anonymous said...

Glad you are still working toward retirement, but making sure to live in the meantime!

Rainbow said...

Great post!