Celebrating Two Years of Early Retirement

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.

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Should Our Family Drop From Two Cars To One?

As Mrs. Root of Good’s retirement date comes closer, we have to revisit the question of whether we should get rid of one of our cars and become a single vehicle family.

First, let’s ponder the significance of the auto. Cars are an oxymoron. They are an incredibly convenient way to travel from point A to point B very quickly. However, owning and maintaining a car isn’t convenient at all. I’m approaching the question of whether we should drop to one car from this vantage point: convenience versus inconvenience and cost.

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Why Dropping Out Of School Was A Great Choice For Me

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.

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My Semi-Retired Summer

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.

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June 2015 Financial Update

June is over which means we are half way through the year already. After climbing for most of the year, our net worth reversed course and dropped to $1,519,000 due to fluctuations in the stock market. Our income outpaced our expenses by a few thousand dollars and spending for the year remains within our budget. I’d say we are doing pretty well in spite of the drop in net worth.

Right now we are at the midpoint of our seven week vacation in Mexico, so our spending is very different than it normally is while at home in Raleigh.

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Retiring Abroad – Could We Do It?

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.

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Exploring Guanajuato, Mexico

As week two of our seven week adventure in Mexico came to an end, we took a day trip to Guanajuato, Mexico. It’s only an hour and a half from San Miguel de Allende (where we are staying for two weeks) so it makes for a perfect destination for the day.

To summarize: the city was beautiful. Founded in the 1500’s by the wealth extracted from the town’s silver mines, the town still retains it’s charm today even though silver production has tapered off.

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The Start Of Our Adventures in Mexico

As I’m writing this at our house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, the house maid laboriously scrubs all horizontal and vertical surfaces in the kitchen and just finished washing the dishes. It’s taking some time to get used to having a maid deep clean the house every other day while we lie around the house, stuff our faces and head out for a day of adventuring.

When I say “house”, I should really say “compound”. There is a main house and a separate apartment above us where the kids sleep. Each house has its own kitchen, living room, bathroom(s), and patio.

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What Will We Miss About Home While On The Road

Right now we are rushing to pack the last few items in our backpacks so we can hit the road for our seven week adventure in Mexico. I’m sure we’ll all have a great time while on the trip, but travel fatigue is also a possibility.

Before we leave, it’s a good time to reflect on how great our lives at home are by thinking about the things we’ll miss the most. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and you don’t know what you got till it’s gone, as they say. Even though we don’t spend a lot of money, I recognize by world standards that we live a luxuriously bountiful life that offers everything we need and then some.

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The Early Retiree’s Weekly Schedule

“But what will you do all day?” they ask when they hear you are going to retire early. “I could never retire, I would get so bored” they proclaim. Thank goodness there are tons of employers in this world who will gladly tell you how to spend your free time if you let them.

Don’t get me wrong – I get bored easily. The prospect of sitting in a waiting room for an hour without any source of entertainment or external stimulus scares me. It’s even scarier if I’m forced to watch day time TV while I wait.

Fortunately we live in the twenty first century, a glorious time filled with entertainment overload, instant digital connections, and unlimited choices of pastimes (indoors and outside).

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