State of Our Retirement: Three months out!

Published September 28, 2016   Posted in How to Retire

The train continues to chug along, pushing forward through a familiar landscape. I can see the faint outline of our destination, finally. It’s there, albeit small. I glance down and slowly follow the narrowing direction of the tracks with my eyes as it leads straight into the City of Retirement.

State of Our Retirement

In my first installment of the State of Our Retirement series, I laid out the year as planned back in April.

Last time, we already bought the Airstream and moved in. We had sold our main Tucson home, leaving only my rental house south of town to get rid of. We also sold my beloved motorcycle, leaving us with the Dodge RAM (which we use to tow the Airstream) and the Cadillac CTS that my wife uses as her commuter vehicle to and from work.

Our savings is on autopilot. We continue to funnel money into our retirement accounts for use later in life. My wife’s paycheck builds our short-term Ally account that we will use to live on for at least the first three years. It now has more than $100,000 in it.

Right on queue, I continue to bitch and moan about working. I feel the end, and it can feel exhaustively tough! But that’s okay, first world problems and all that.

The ultimate goal

Thankfully, nothing has changed with our goal. Our targeted budget of $25,000 to $30,000 a year remains steady. We may switch up our first summer’s destination, though. Originally, we were thinking Colorado. Now, we may head towards Oregon and the Pacific northwest instead to enjoy the cool, choppy waters of the Pacific ocean. As always, we’ll see.

Where we are today

After some delay and quite a bit of frustration, we finally sold our rental house. We are 100% debt-free. We had wonderful renters who were willing to move out of the house early without penalty. They found a house in a better location and we got to sell our house months early. Worked out perfectly.

On the job front, I am at the point where saying “No” to things that I do not want to do is acceptable. My boss knows of our plans. So does Courtney’s. He understands the situation and has proactively worked with me to make sure that I won’t be put onto long-term projects.

I’ve already refused a project that would have me travel nearly full-time to New York City. “Hell no I won’t go”.

For the rest of my tenure, I will be working from home and padding the savings. All in all, I am in a good place from the perspective of my job. My boss has been great throughout this process and that is definitely something that I appreciate.

We are having solar panels installed on our Airstream over the week of Thanksgiving in southern Oregon. This will be our first major travel scenario with Charlie.Β The install is scheduled for Monday through Wednesday, so we can’t afford any delays during the install process because Courtney needs to return to work the following Monday.

Other renovations, like removing the nook and installing a desk, as well as changing out the floors, are still on the to-do list. We’ll address those in the future as our finances allow. After retirement, time will no longer be a sticking point. Woohoo!

Also, we hit our retirement number a couple of weeks ago thanks to aggressive savings and the stock market doing what the stock market usually does. We are comfortable with our financial situation. In fact, it looks likely that we will set sail with more than what we had planned.

Never a bad thing!

That’s it for this installment of State of Our Retirement. Next installment will come in early January after my retirement. My wife will only be a month away from her’s, too.


We track our net worth using Personal Capital


48 responses to “State of Our Retirement: Three months out!”

  1. Congrats! Sounds like everything is rolling along, except for that job thing. πŸ™‚ Three more months. Hang in there.

  2. Awesome, glad things are tracking well! I’m excited for you two to get the panels installed and look forward to hearing more about it. Thanks for the update.

  3. Congrats! Sounds like you are in great shape for your next adventure. Being able to say no to the boss when you don’t feel like doing something has to feel pretty good and must ease some of the pain of working so close to the end.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your triumphant exit soon and then your posts from the road!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Matt – things are shaping up pretty good right now. Very thankful for that. I’ll definitely chronicle my exit as it nears. I just wonder how anti-climatic it’ll be. πŸ™‚

  4. Congrats on being debt free and hitting your retirement number. That’s nice that your bosses know and working with you, and you’re able to say no when needed. I’m sure that’ll make the next 3 months much better.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Kalie. And yup, my boss knowing about my plans and working with me the best he can definitely helps this situation. And in return, I’m trying my very best to do my best work for him as I wind down at the company. It’s a win-win!

  5. Congrats on reaching your goals. Glad to see you’ll even have 3 months to pad. I have to ask with the airstream, how do you install the solar panels such that they don’t cause a lowering of your mpg?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Full Time Finance. It’ll create a little more wind resistance I’m sure, but honestly, we aren’t all that concerned about MPG. We are having a very experienced solar installation shop do the installation, so they’ll situate the panels the best they can for efficiency. We’ll be able to judge any affect on MPG on the drive back down to Arizona after the installation. Plenty of time to do some math! πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for sharing – congrats on the progress!

  7. Josh says:

    Thanks for the state of the union, Steve. I am excited for both of you to be free and hit the open road.
    The next adventure will be great and many opportunities will find you along the way.

    Even if one is not looking to escape the working world, being financially independent definitely has it’s benefits. Seems like all corporations are squeezing their employees for more and more work but they are not being rewarded in kind. Having the option to say ‘no’ when you are financially independent is something that you can definitely use to reduce the amount of stress at work.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Josh. I am looking forward to the opportunities. I know they’ll come, and we will be in the position to pick and choose which ones we truly want. I’m not against “working” again, but it’ll be on MY terms this time. πŸ™‚

      And you are absolutely right…even if early retirement isn’t the goal, achieving financial independence is incredibly liberating.

  8. “We hit our retirement number” That’s fantastic to hear! And you’ll be tricking out the Airstream with solar. Score one for the environment. That should make living “off the grid” even easier.

    Nothing but working from home from here on out — you’re definitely in the homestretch now. Exciting times.


    • Steve says:

      Thanks PoF! Yup, definitely the home stretch. Things are on autopilot at the moment, and it’s only a waiting game until that day finally arrives. πŸ™‚

  9. Gosh it must be hard to function at work knowing how close you are! Congrats on hitting your retirement number and looking forward to seeing what else is in store.

  10. Only three months? That will pass in no-time at all!

    As far as your summer destination goes – The PNW coast is great during summer…small seaside towns, sand dunes, cool temps, and delicious seafood make for a very pleasant experience.

    Apparently, some casinos even offer free overnight RV parking.

    • Steve says:

      Hey Mr. Tako – yup, casinos often offer free overnight parking. They are typically well-secured, as well, so we will look for those if we need a place to crash. I haven’t seen much of the PNW, so I’m SO looking forward to spending next summer out there.

  11. Jack says:

    Yes, green with envy over here. Is that a bad thing? πŸ™‚

    What’s it like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and knowing it’s not a train? Looking forward to experiencing it for myself one of these years!

    • Steve says:

      No doubt about it, it feels good. Feels exciting. Looking forward to starting this new venture and seeing where it takes us. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the comment, Jack. See ya on the road!

  12. Wowza! Sounds like some amazing progress! Congrats on becoming 100% debt-free; that’s quite an achievement. πŸ™‚ I didn’t know you could get solar panels installed on vehicles; is that to power electricity in the trailer?

    We have quite a while until we reach FI, but man, I would love to travel around for a while like you guys are. πŸ™‚

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mrs. Picky Pincher. Yup, there are a TON of RVs out there who have solar installed on their roofs. That enables us to stay out in the middle of nowhere and without a plugin for electric. We get to generate our own power. Off grid living, for sure! πŸ™‚

  13. Kate says:

    How exciting to see all the progress you’ve made and how close you are to “retirement.” Sounds like everything has gone according to plan so far — have there been any hiccups or anything unexpected along the way? Anything that’s surprised you the most during this whole process? Would love to hear about it πŸ™‚

    The anticipation would be killing me, with only 3 months to go. You’re so close!

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Kate. Honestly, no real hiccups. Things have been going pretty well for us over here. I guess the only real unexpected thing was how easy it’s been getting used to this new lifestyle and living in a place just a tenth of the size of our old place. It’s a nice change, honestly. So little to maintain. No more yard work. Dogs are comfortable, too. We don’t need much to feel comfortable around here.

  14. Lady Locust says:

    Hey, headed out to our neck of the woods:) You probably already have a destination, but the northern portion of the Oregon coast is more accessible than the southern coast. There’s a little place in Astoria that has some of the best fish-n-chips ever! Also, if you make it over to the dry side, Wallowa Lake (Joseph, OR) is beautiful. Safe travels.
    (PS~Have to admit, a little envious over here. We are further out but on the right track:)

    • Steve says:

      Hi Ms. Locust! Actually, no, we don’t have anything specific lined up yet…flying by the seat of our pants, I suppose. We will definitely keep your tip in mind, though, about the northern coast. We’ve looked at Astoria, actually. Looking forward to all the possibilities!

  15. John says:

    Congrats Steve. I might have missed it but what is your nest egg to generate $30K annually and how is it divided among various asset classes?

    • Steve says:

      Hi John! We’re going to divulge our entire nest egg when we hit the road in February of 2017. But, we have an 80/20 split between stocks and bonds. No other investments. No side income. No hustles. Nothing. We’re conservatively estimating our retirement based on ZERO additional income, which means anything that we do happen to generate (which WILL happen) will be icing on the cake and pad the stash. πŸ™‚

  16. Apathy Ends says:

    Congrats Steve!

    Looking forward to a post on the solar panels in the future.

    It’s awesome that your boss is understandings and working with you through the transition, I wonder how many companies would be that understanding

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Apathy. I agree that my boss has been awesome during all of this. Very thankful for that. I’m curious about that too (regarding other companies). I think it’s more about the person whom you work for rather than the company itself, but I also know that exceptions to that rule definitely exist!

  17. Jason says:

    Congratulations….make a stop on the East Coast it is so much more fun.

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Jason! We do plan to make the Maine to Florida trek at some point in the future. I lived on the East coast for 10 years…in the D.C. area, no less. I know how much “fun” it can be out there! πŸ˜‰

  18. Congrats on hitting your retirement number Steve! I think that’s a great idea with the solar panel, i’ll look into that myself! Could save massive amounts of energy. πŸ™‚


    • Steve says:

      Thanks Million Endeavour! Yup, we’re looking forward to getting the solar panels installed. It’ll enable dispersed camping without running a generator, which is ALWAYS preferrable! πŸ™‚

  19. First off congrats on being three months away from retirement. That is amazing.

    You must feel like a senior in high school. You have been accepted into college (retirement) and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but it’s hard to stay motivated in your senior English class (work). Keep pushing through and enjoy the final days of your work life πŸ™‚

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mustard! Actually, yeah, that’s very close to what I’m feeling right now. Remarkably similar. I never really cared about high school before my college acceptance, but especially after it was official, I cared even less. Great analogy that I had never thought of. πŸ™‚

  20. Felicity says:


    That’s awesome, Steve! I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of this series. πŸ˜€

  21. Man in 3 months your life will be completely different than today. That sounds so exciting!! It also doesn’t hurt that you’re going to have more than what you need πŸ˜‰

  22. Karen says:

    I have been following your posts and have to say you guys have been an inspiration for my husband and I to hunker down and save even more than we were so we can retire in five to seven more years when our son is through with school. We too would like to travel and are looking into buying a travel trailer although we don’t plan to live in it year round. Love reading these posts! Congrats on reaching your goals!

    • Steve says:

      Thank you very much, Karen, for your kind words. I very much appreciate it! In the greater scheme of things, five to seven years isn’t a long time. And the road will always be there waiting for when you guys are ready to begin exploring. πŸ™‚

  23. So awesome! It’s almost here! Are you counting down the individual days yet? I definitely got to that point: “72 work days left!” Not sure that’s helpful, but I couldn’t stop myself.

  24. We can totally relate to how hard it gets to hang in there at work the closer you get — which is completely the opposite of what I would have expected! I thought we’d hit a point where we don’t need our jobs anymore, and start finding that work is a joy, but nope! Though we are making an effort to be grateful for the little things, or at least to experience some nostalgia in advance for our “lasts” of things — and I highly recommend taking that approach. πŸ™‚

    • Steve says:

      That is probably what surprises me the most about this entire process. It seems only natural that things get easier when we finally see light at the end of the tunnel, but that’s not necessarily true. The closer we get, the tougher it is to wait. πŸ™‚

  25. […] Mr. and Mrs. Our Next Life, Courtney and I are also ahead of schedule, blowing passed our net worth goal several months early. We overachieved in our goal, just like […]

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