December 2023 Early Retirement Update – Happy New Years Edition

Happy New Year and welcome back to another monthly update from Root of Good! We are back home from our Christmas cruise to South America and Central America. Right now we are cozied up and trying to make it through another month or so of winter weather. Fortunately it’s never that cold in North Carolina, so I can’t complain too much! 

Now that we are home, we are busily planning some trips for 2024. We have two cruises planned for the fall and we are about to book a bunch of accommodations for our nine week trip to Poland this summer. 

On to our financial progress. December was another phenomenal month for our finances. Our net worth skyrocketed by $149,000 to end the month at $2,966,000. Our income totaled an incredible $26,305, while our spending was in-line with our monthly budget at $3,428 for the month of December. 

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

July 2023 Early Retirement Update – Back in America Edition

Hello and welcome back to another update from Root of Good! We just arrived back in the USA after our two month vacation in Argentina and Brazil, so I’m a bit behind in getting this update published. Vacation was a blast but it’s great to be home too. 

We spent the first two weeks of July in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Then we headed further south in Argentina to Puerto Madryn, a coastal city in the Patagonia region, for the last two weeks of July. At the end of July, we headed north to Brazil for a couple of weeks before heading home to Raleigh. I have some pics from our time in Argentina in this post. I’ll save the Brazil pics for my August update which should be published in under a month. 

On to our financial progress. July was another great month for our finances. Our net worth spiked by $92,000 to end July at $2,859,000. Our income totaled $2,728, while our spending was a relatively moderate $2,064 for the month of July. 

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

June 2023 Early Retirement Update – From Buenos Aires, Argentina

Hello and welcome back to Root of Good! I’m writing to you from our apartment in the Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. We are almost done with our one month stay here in the city. Next up, we depart for Puerto Madryn, a small coastal city in the Patagonia region of Argentina in a few short days. 

Since we are in the southern hemisphere it’s actually wintertime here with daytime highs around 60F most days. As long as we wear a hat and a light jacket on the cooler days, the weather has been pleasant for exploring the city extensively during this past month.

On to our financial progress. June was a great month for our finances. Our net worth skyrocketed by $84,000 to end June at $2,767,000. Our income totaled a whopping $10,558, while our spending was a very low $1,536 for the month of June. 

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

Portugal Trip Recap Plus December 2022 Early Retirement Update

Hey folks, it’s 2023! I hope everyone had a great time with friends and family over the holidays, and rang in the New Year in style! 

We had a very busy December. We were vacationing in Portugal during the first week of December, and then sailed from Lisbon to the United States aboard the Norwegian Epic to get back in plenty of time to celebrate Christmas at home. 

Once back home in Raleigh, we went to a couple of family gatherings to celebrate Christmas. Our New Years Eve plans got canceled due to the hosts getting sick, so we watched the ball drop at home this year. 

Financially, December was a mixed month for us. Our net worth dropped by $92,000 to end the month at $2,626,000. Our income was excellent at $19,599 for last month, while our spending was incredibly low at only $1,271 for the whole month of December. 

Read more

October 2022 Early Retirement Update

Welcome back to another monthly installment of the life and times of Root of Good. We kept busy in October with a ten day cruise to the Caribbean plus several parties for family and friends. I need a vacation! Ha ha…

Fall is in full swing here in North Carolina. It was hot and humid this past week as the remnants of a hurricane passed through the state. Now the cool fall air is here to stay for a while (we hope!). We have to check the weather daily to know whether to turn on the heat or the air conditioning. 

Right now, we are two weeks away from our next big trip. We fly to Portugal for a week-long adventure around the Lisbon and coastal areas of Portugal. Then we depart on a transatlantic cruise back to the US of A in the middle of December.

Financially, October was a great month for us. Our net worth shot up by $118,000 to end the month at $2,557,000. Our income was modest at $2,178. However income was still higher than our even more modest spending of $1,565 during October.

Let’s jump into the details from last month.

Read more

June 2022 Early Retirement Update – Cheers from Europe Edition

After a busy month of traveling in Europe, I finally have a pause in the schedule to pull together another monthly update. We spent the first three weeks of our vacation in Croatia. Then we traveled a couple of hours north where we stayed in the middle of the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia for two weeks.

As of this writing, we have returned to Croatia for a week of relaxation at a farm stay in a little village in the mountains. Then we head to Hungary for a couple of weeks before returning to the United States.

It has been a busy summer so far, but we have seen a lot of cool stuff and checked off some bucket list items. In Slovenia, we revisited some favorite places that we visited on our last trip to Slovenia five years ago (covered in two previous blog posts on Ljubljana, Slovenia and the Julian Alps).

Financially, we had a month of mixed results. Our net worth dropped sharply due to a downturn in the stock market. By month end, our net worth dropped by $177,000 to end the month at $2,593,000. Cash flow presented a prettier picture. Our income in June was rather high at $12,743 while expenses remained moderate at $3,782 for the month.

Read more

Mount Rushmore, Badlands , and Air Force Museum – Cross Country USA Road Trip (Part 13)

On the final leg of our six week summer road trip, we spent six days driving the 2,200 miles east from Gardiner, Montana back home to Raleigh, North Carolina. Along the way, we visited Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and the National Museum of the US Air Force.

Mount Rushmore was a quick stop where we checked out the massive carved stone heads of four former United States Presidents. 

We spent a lot more time touring the Badlands National Park. The colorful rolling hills dotting the landscape were a sight to behold! 

After leaving the Badlands and getting some sleep, we headed east and took a break in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Falls Park in downtown. The Big Sioux River bisects the city and produces a series of small waterfalls or rapids as it cascades over the rocks in the riverbed. 

Our final destination of the road trip was the National Museum of the US Air Force. We spent several hours wandering among the massive jets and other military aircraft, missiles, and smaller planes from the last century of aviation history. Whether you’re an aviation junkie or just like cool stuff, this museum has a lot to see for everyone. 

Read more

Yellowstone National Park – Cross Country USA Road Trip (Part 12)

We spent three days exploring the vast wilderness area known as Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming. 

The first day, we visited Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful geyser, and the Fountain Paint Pot area. We saw dozens of geysers, hot springs, and mud pots throughout the day.

On the second day, we revisited the Grand Prismatic Spring from an overlook that required a couple miles of hiking. After that, we walked among the geysers and springs by the West Thumb area of the Yellowstone Lake. To close out the day, we visited the waterfalls of the Yellowstone River in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone in the eastern section of the park. 

We devoted our third day to exploring the Mammoth Hot Springs in the northern section of the park. These mineral formations were different than the geysers and hot springs we saw elsewhere in the park. 

Throughout our three day visit to Yellowstone National Park, we saw tons of wildlife including bison, elk, and even a rare black wolf!

Read more

Salt Lake City, Utah and Idaho Falls, Idaho – Cross Country USA Road Trip (Part 11)

During “Part 11” of our six week road trip across the USA, we visited downtown Salt Lake City where we toured around the public area near the Mormon Temple, the State Capitol, and other parts of downtown. 

Once we left Salt Lake City, we headed north toward Idaho Falls, Idaho. On the way there, we stopped for several hours at the Antelope Island State Park just north of Salt Lake City. Inside the park, we toured a historic sheep ranch and hung out with a herd of bison. 

Upon arriving in Idaho Falls, we enjoyed a few days of rest and leisure. We walked along the waterfront of the Snake River in downtown Idaho Falls. We visited the Japanese Garden in the middle of the Snake River, then toured the rest of downtown Idaho Falls on foot.

After Idaho Falls, we continued our road trip north and east toward Yellowstone National Park.

Read more

February 2022 Early Retirement Update – Early Spring Edition

Another month flew by! Here we are in March and spring is slowly making an appearance. I definitely like the warmer days but it’s almost too hot right now! 

The nicer weather means spending more time outdoors. We got out the hammock on one particularly nice day. And we enjoyed several hikes last month. Hopefully the temperate weather is here to stay for a while before the summertime heat sets in. 

Financially, February was a mixed month for us. Our net worth dropped by $40,000 to end the month at $2,719,000. Income during the month totaled $2,312 while expenses were a modest $2,535 during February. 

Read more