Financial voyeurs of the world, rejoice! I dug out all our old tax returns, pay stubs, and my net worth spreadsheet to pull together the story of our ten year journey from nearly zero net worth to millionaire status (and early retirement).
This post answers a lot of questions like: How much did we earn? Did we have six figure incomes all of our careers? Did we work for a start up and make a million when our employer went IPO? Did we get lucky picking stocks?
September is over and left us a little poorer but in overall great financial shape. Our net worth dropped by $36,000 in spite of $8,225 in income for the month and a meager $927 in expenses.
The older kids are back in school and we’re settling into the school year routine. I’m back to my normal weekly early retirement schedule. We returned home from our 7 week vacation in Mexico two months ago. Mrs. Root of Good had some excitement this month when she submitted her resignation letter to join me in early retirement. Instead of quitting outright, she’s now working from home four days per week with full time pay. Pretty sweet deal!
She did it. She finally did it! On September 1st Mrs. Root of Good formally resigned from her job.
After composing the resignation email at home the previous weekend, she lingered in anguish at her desk on the morning of September 1st with her mouse hovering over the send button. She was very nervous when it came time to email the official resignation letter to her bosses. Was it the right choice? Was it the right time? Will she regret the decision later?
SEND. If not now, when?
It is done.
But there is more to the story of course!
August showed us how net worth can fluctuate wildly while income and expenses remain fairly stable. August also reminded us that investments in the stock market don’t always go up.
Our net worth reversed course from the previous six months of generally upward momentum and crashed by $74,000 to $1,470,000. That sounds like a scary sum of cash to lose in one month but I’m not worried at all.
Income for the month was lower than normal at $2,016. Expenses of $1,701 were slightly less than our anemic August income. We’re finally settling back down into our lives here in Raleigh after spending June and July out of the country on an incredible seven week journey through Mexico (with three kids!).
Wow, two years into early retirement. What have I accomplished? Everything and nothing.
When I entered early retirement by ditching the working world, I was still focused on keeping busy. Productivity, accountability, setting goals. All stuff you have to do when you’re on an annual performance review cycle. I shared my early retirement to do list in my “First Month of Early Retirement” post almost two years ago.
Hey look, I tried. I earned A’s. I showed up for class. But it just didn’t work out for me. It was too much work and not enough reward.
No, I didn’t drop out of high school or abandon my undergraduate studies. I didn’t even drop out of law school after discovering I didn’t want to practice law.
But I did drop out of the Master’s program in Civil Engineering after finishing half of the coursework. Only five more classes and I would have earned the Masters degree. But I quit.
Adios, July! You were great. We just returned home from our seven week vacation in Mexico where we ate tons of crazy delicious food, visited amazing places, and had lots of fun. We thought about whether we could retire abroad and patted ourselves on the back for packing very light for our trip.
July left our finances in great shape. Our net worth continued its climb to $1,544,000. Income for the month was ridiculously large at $9,751 (read on to find out why). Expenses were ridiculously tiny at just $498. A wondrous month of travel and adventure, income 20 times our expenses and a big bump in net worth means we had a superb month in financial and non-financial terms.
Guest post from John at Action Economics: One of the major advantages to my line of work is that I tend to have the entire summer off. I work as a contractor at nuclear power plants during refueling outages, which normally take place during the spring and fall months, since the plants want to be producing power during the peak usage summer and winter months. Having summers off helps our family save a decent amount of money and headache by reducing our childcare expenses, but it also gives me a sneak peak of what early retirement may be like. Currently I am planning to hit Financial Independence by age 45, which is “only” 16 short years away. Having the summers off has shown me that regardless of whether I have to go back to work in September, I certainly won’t be bored with a surplus of free time.
We are in the middle of our seven week adventure in Mexico right now. Although we traveled to Mexico just for fun, I’m also viewing the trip as an opportunity to explore a few places where we might spend prolonged periods of time in the future. That might mean spending a year or more living abroad or spending summers or winters chasing nice weather.
Mexico tends to top the lists of places to retire abroad. I think I know why: inexpensive living, good weather, and close proximity to the US. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns south of the border.
For long time readers, you probably recall that Mrs. Root of Good is still working even though I retired over a year and a half ago. Maybe you’re wondering how we’re able to jump on a plane and head to Mexico for seven weeks if she’s still working full time?
The answer is a three month paid sabbatical.