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.
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. 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.
Steve is a 38-year-old early retiree who writes about the intersection of happiness and financial independence. Steve is a regular contributor to MarketWatch, CNBC, and The Ladders. He lives full-time in his 30′ Airstream Classic and travels the country with his wife Courtney and two rescued dogs.