Technology. Laptops and smartphones are cheap and plentiful and always connected. They provide entertainment on demand through Netflix, Hulu or other services (no more commercials!). They open a window into other countries without the hassles or expense of travel. They speed the flow of information through youtube, wikipedia, and offer instant access to free online universities like Coursera. Getting a snapshot off all our finances and investments is a click away with Personal Capital. It has never been easier or faster than today.
This morning I made my coffee a bit too weak. After adding my cream and a sprinkle of stevia sweetener, I took a quick sip of the thin brew and it brought me back to my working days. About once a week I would leave my cozy yet spartanly appointed downtown office and venture out to the edges of civilization to meet with other engineers and project managers at the contractor’s on-site construction trailer.
The journey to the construction trailer was always interesting and varied every few weeks. I’m not delving into magical realism here. The trailer never moved, but the roads did routinely change their configuration. You see, we were building a road. A major freeway to be more specific. When I first started attending meetings at the construction trailer, it was easy to get there. I swerved around the construction barriers and “ROAD CLOSED” signs. Then I proceeded down the exit ramp, over the temporary median crossing, and up the sloped driveway to the gravel parking lot. Quick and easy.
Mrs. Root of Good decided to pick up the keyboard and pen a few thoughts on work and the decision to finally pull the plug and join me in early retirement. Here’s what she has to say:
What will it take for me to leave the corporate world and pass the day with Mr. RoG on the back deck laying on the hammock sipping margaritas? Overall, my job is pretty easy and the pay is good. I have very good benefits, flexible hours and my managers pretty much let me do what I want as long as the job gets done. And I’m due to take my three month sabbatical any time now. So what will it take for me to leave my job? I do want to spend more time with our kids and travel more. I get jealous when I come home exhausted and Mr. RoG has spent hours outdoor reading. It’s a tough decision. If I work for just another year, my salary is enough to pay for our yearly travel expenses for many years! But there are times when I wonder if it is worth the headaches to stay at work. There are times when I feel what I’m doing is just silly and a waste of my time!
After losing $50,000 in September, October started out looking just as ugly. By the middle of October we had lost another $50,000. However the last half of October made up for all those losses and left us substantially wealthier by month end. In terms of expenses, we didn’t do a lot of spending in October other than the ordinary monthly bills.
With $2,619 of income in October, we more than covered our $1,383 in spending. The excess of income over expenses of $1,200 or so was dwarfed by tens of thousands in investment gains.