Cruising through Fall – October 2017 Financial Update

October was another great month for us!  We had a blast, blew some money on a quick jaunt on the high seas, and enjoyed the outdoors. And grew $42,000 wealthier while having all that fun.  No complaints here.

In financial terms, our net worth climbed to $1,978,000.  Income remained steady at $4,573 while total spending for the month of October remained modest at $1,748.  Given that we don’t even spend our current income, I’m starting to unravel the mystery of why our cash balance continues to grow month after month.  Spending less than we make – an old habit we can’t kick.

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September 2017 Financial Update

Life is going well for the Root of Good family.  The kids are all back in school and we are settling into our new school-time routine.  Most weekday mornings start with the walk to school to drop off our kindergartner. Then we play tennis, take a walk, go hiking, or go swimming.  As the days grow cooler we’ll adjust our routine to take advantage of warmer afternoons on days that we plan on being outside for a while.  I always look forward to fall and this year is no different.  For us it means more time outside, campfires, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and time with family.

We just closed the books on September and along with it, marked the end of the third quarter of 2017.  Our income spiked up to $7,433 for the month while our expenses remained low at $1,824.  Net worth grew by a massive $46,000, thereby boosting our net worth to $1,936,000 by the end of September.

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August 2017 Financial Update

Greetings from Raleigh! We are back home after nine weeks in Europe. School is back in session and fall is just around the corner. Our five year old started kindergarten and we are transitioning into empty nesters. At least on weekdays between 8:30 AM and 2:45 PM.

Our financials for the month were once again wonderful. Once I arrived home from Europe, I deposited an accumulated stack of checks from the blog and elsewhere which led to a superb monthly income of $6,281. Expenses were tiny at just $1,390 in spite of spending two weeks of August in Europe and picking up a ton of back to school supplies and clothes. Our net worth crept up another $8,000 to $1,890,000 – another all time net worth high.

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July 2017 Financial Update

It’s a rainy day in the outskirts of Koblenz, Germany and I finally have time to crank out the latest monthly financial update. It’s 60 degrees and drizzling all day. The fog rising over the farm fields obscures the view of the next village over. Though a rainy day would mark ruin for others’ vacations, for us it’s a nice forced break from our routine of exploring new cities and sights.

In July, we visited Milan and Venice in Italy, Ljulbjana and Lake Bled/Kranjska Gora/Soca Valley in Slovenia, Salzburg and Hallstatt in Austria, Munich and Berlin in Germany, and Prague in Czech Republic. Our nine week summer vacation in Europe is drawing to a close with only a few days remaining in Koblenz, Germany then a few days in Amsterdam before we fly back home to Raleigh.

July was another great month for us. Our net worth rose another $40,000 to $1,882,000. Our income remained steady at $1,549 which was barely eclipsed by our spending of $1,616. In other words, a combination of passive dividend income from our portfolio and a small amount of income from this blog came close to covering all of our expenses for the month while we have been vacationing in Europe.

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June 2017 Financial Update

This month’s financial update comes to you from Ljubljana, Slovenia – an undiscovered gem in Europe. We are about to head to Lake Bled, Slovenia for some hiking, lake-lounging, and more relaxing. After that we’re on to Austria, Germany, and the Czech Republic for the next month before ending our vacation in Amsterdam. It’s hard to believe we are almost half way through our nine week summer vacation in Europe!

June was another great month financially. Net worth increased $14,000 to $1,842,000. Income was very strong at $7,793 during June, while expenses remained moderate at $2,629. Such a great feeling to watch your assets continue to grow for you while you’re on the other side of the world exploring and relaxing!

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May 2017 Financial Update

May is all done, and it proved to be another great month for our household. Our net worth climbed $23,000 to $1,828,000 (another all time record high). Our income was huge at $9,149 while our expenses remained moderate at $1,829.

The kids are out of school in a few more days and we head out for our nine week summer vacation in Europe in less than a week! Exciting, busy times for us. Let’s check out how we did last month.

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Our Early Retirement Didn’t Go As Planned… Our Net Worth Went UP Half a Million Dollars!

In contrast to early retirement modeling that looks for all the worst cases and failure modes, our actual life the past almost four years illustrates that good things can offset the bad events in life.

Financial planning for early retirement is pretty straightforward. Figure out how much you plan on spending in early retirement then save up till you have between 25 and 33 times your annual expenses in your investment portfolio. We initially planned on spending $32,000 per year plus a large lump sum for the three kids’ college tuition. Using the 33x multiplier (which represents a 3% withdrawal rate), that means we needed $1,056,000 plus another $100,000 to cover tuition, or roughly $1,150,000 in total investments. That’s about what we started with four years ago but now we have a lot more.

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April 2017 Financial Update

This year is flying by so far! Now that we are one third of the way through 2017, our financial picture for the year is becoming clearer. And it’s a good picture so far. Our spending for April remained below budget at $2,981 while our income of $3,321 slightly exceeded our expenses. Our portfolio and other assets continue their upward trajectory with a $34,000 gain bringing our total net worth to $1,805,000.

This time of year is one of the prettiest in North Carolina, with moderate temperatures perfect for exploring the outdoors. Or lounging in the hammock on the back porch. The past month has been incredibly busy for us with school events, time with family and friends, tackling some issues around the house, and entering the final stages of planning and preparation for our nine week summer vacation in Europe (we leave in about a month).

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March 2017 Financial Update

I can’t believe we are already a quarter of the way through 2017! Financially speaking, we are doing incredibly well as we ride this bull market up and up. March left us $15,000 wealthier thanks to investment gains with our net worth climbing to $1,771,000. Our expenses for a family of five were very modest at just $1,388, while our income remained strong at $3,747 for the month thanks to quarterly dividend payments.

On the non-financial side, life is going swimmingly well. We’re two months away from our nine week sojourn through Europe. Springtime brings us beautiful weather here in North Carolina so we get to enjoy the outdoors more. And last but not least our oldest daughter made the A honor roll. College scholarships here we come!

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Summer Vacation for 5 in Europe: 9 Weeks, 8 Countries, 14 Cities, $10,000

The Root of Good family is ramping up for an epic adventure across Europe during the summer of 2017. The five of us will spend nine weeks traversing an all new (to us) continent by train, plane, bus, car, and foot.

We really struggled to narrow down the itinerary to something feasible for a family with three young children. As a result this trip will NOT include London nor Paris nor a dozen other cities we would have loved to visit. What we will see are museums, parks, castles, palaces, cathedrals, caves, mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, and canyons scattered about the rest of western and central Europe.

Many will view this as a “trip of a lifetime” or a “dream trip” but I choose to view this as just another cool vacation in a series of vacations we have already taken and will continue to take.

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