Side Story

Accountability through Uncomfortable Transparency

I will be able to retire within 10 years from (May 27, 2017). It will happen; it’s on the calendar.
I said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until it happens. I’ve shared this goal privately with a few people, as well as made it a public announcement last month in order to get some Kickass Motivation through Public Accountability. As with many things “unordinary”, I’ve received a number of comments from doubters and seemingly haters. Some people were genuinely curious about how I would do it. One of the key steps I’ve taken is to understand where my money is being spent, and seeing if those things are adding appropriate levels of happiness. So in order to pile on even more Accountability through Uncomfortable Transparency, you can take a look at my baseline spending with my Ultra-Luxurious, Carefree Lifestyle. If you think I should be spending less than this, then I agree! I’ll be following up with how I am reducing my own spending to a Still-Awesome, Intentional Lifestyle, where I’ll still be plenty happy and healthy while progressing towards the goal of Early Retirement within 10 years. So I hope you stay tuned (all doubters, haters, curious, and believers), keep me honest and motivated, and enjoy the journey!

My Ultra-Luxurious, Carefree Lifestyle
(baseline simplified average expenses from 2011 to 2016)
This excludes my student loan payments, which I paid off in 2016!
Category Spending Item Monthly Total
Home
Rent $1,640
$1,757
Gas, Water, Trash $65
Electricity $35
Renters Insurance $17
Car
Car Insurance $85
$181
Car AAA $8
Car Maintenance $25
Car Smog $3
Car Fuel $60
Phone /
Internet
Phone $85
$170
Internet $85
Consummables /
Haircut
Consummables $20
$38
Haircut $18
Food /
Drink
Coffee $14
$514
Food $500
Membership /
Fees
WordPress Blog $3
$5
Perfume Fanclub $2
Shopping
Amazon Prime $9
$94
Games $60
Electronics $25
Obligatory Giving
Birthday Presents $54
$118
Christmas Presents $64
Events /
Travelling
Anime Expo $100
$200
Trips $100
Combined Average Monthly Total $3,077
Combined Average Yearly Total $36,924
How Much I Would Need to Save and Invest
to Maintain This Lifestyle in Retirement
$923,100
(assuming 25 times yearly spend, or 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate)

 

My Still-Awesome, Intentional Lifestyle
(starting in 2017 and continuing to adapt to and improve upon)
I hope you follow along, keep me accountable, and enjoy the journey!
Category Spending Item Monthly Total
Home
Rent $1,640
$1,709
Gas, Water, Trash $35
Electricity $25
Renters Insurance $9
Car
Car Insurance $30
$83
Car AAA $0
Car Maintenance $15
Car Smog $3
Car Fuel $35
Phone /
Internet
Phone $25
$110
Internet $85
Consummables /
Haircut
Consummables $10
$10
Haircut $0
Food /
Drink
Coffee $7
$157
Food $150
Membership /
Fees
WordPress Blog $3
$5
Perfume Fanclub $2
Shopping
Amazon Prime $0
$0
Games $0
Electronics $0
Obligatory Giving
Birthday Presents $0
$0
Christmas Presents $0
Events /
Travelling
Anime Expo $0
$0
Trips $0
Combined Average Monthly Total $2,074
Combined Average Yearly Total $24,888
How Much I Would Need to Save and Invest
to Maintain This Lifestyle in Retirement
$622,200
(assuming 25 times yearly spend, or 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate)

Kickass Motivation through Public Accountability

~ I will be able to retire within 10 years from today. ~

This is a challenge to myself, as well as encouragement to anyone else who wants to join me in this journey to financial freedom. This position of strength will grant us the time to do whatever we want to do (even continuing optional work) without having to worry about money. I write this here in this public forum, not to brag, but to hold myself accountable to you and to the me 10 years in the future who will be very disappointed if they are not yet financially independent.

If I had started thinking about this earlier, I could be much closer to this goal. But part of this process involves making peace with my past, and I invite anyone else of any age interested in joining me to look forward with optimism. Today is the first day we can change the rest of our lives.

Don’t worry, there will be no need for major windfalls like winning the lottery or gambling with individual stock-picking or timing the market. Financial freedom does not require working until an “official retirement age” or “hitting a homerun” to amass a stash. Unlike current popular belief, early retirement is really simple.

We will succeed by following 3 simple steps: (1) avoid debt, (2) spend less than we earn, and (3) invest the surplus. The more we save and invest, the shorter the timeline. As a safety margin, I am giving myself up to 10 years, but If you could maintain a 75% savings rate, the you{+7} could already be retired. How exciting would that be!

I turn 29 years old today, May 27, 2017. Before I turn 39 years old, I will be able to retire. This is simply a fact for I{<39}; I{>29} will make it so. And so it must become.

So this post is a birthday can of kickass motivation through public accountability; this is the best gift I could think of to give myself. If I fail in this goal, I will be the first to mock and criticize myself (and I’m asking that you throw stones too), so I better not disappoint!

What Comes After And

 

Otsuka Ai – End and And

On this lonely roadway, I’m shut off from everything.

But it’s okay that I’m lonely on this roadway,

If I can reach you.

To God, a little bit of “Thank you”, and

Without hesitation, I must move forward to the end, and And.

I cannot ignore when you last said “Bye bye”, and

I won’t forget that was our beginning, end, and And.

Sorry, my love slowly grows.

My heartbeat rings out, trying to connect us.

If only it could grow faster, crying out to you.

But was it too late? Please open your eyes.

To mama and papa, “Thank you”, and

My tears will dry in the end, and And.

I will run away and say “Bye bye”, and

I don’t want this to end, and And.

On that lonely roadway, trying to reach you.

I will never forget;

That was our beginning, End and And.

A Lone Story: Give & Take

Part 1: Being Alone

I was alone once. I will never be alone.
But you picked me up. I picked you up, but it didn’t have to be you.
You gave me things I could not obtain on my own. I simply gave you things now that you would pay for later.
Without even wanting anything in return. I never wanted any immediate return, nor did I need it.
I couldn’t even give you anything you needed. For I would take from you much more than what I gave you, in time.
Yet you stood by me, watching over me. So I stood by, monitoring you.
While I met new life-long friends, tasted new delights, experienced new adventures. Friends that you wouldn’t meet again, $5 food that you paid $25 for, dragged to places you never wanted.
You enabled me. I allowed you to get all that, knowing it would be wasteful and eventually forgotten.
You let me be free. I let you get trapped.

Part 2: Never Alone

You always had such a kindness about you. People tend to think I am kind, but I don’t really care about them.
Why were you always there for me? I don’t have to always be near others to get what I want from them.
No matter if I ignored you. I don’t mind if I am ignored.
You never seemed bothered when I did that. In fact, I want you to ignore me.
When none of my friends were available to help. I can spread my attention to others, those same others you call your friends.
And I needed help with planning for the future. I had them all, so much so that they couldn’t help you; only I could help you.
You always assured me that I would succeed. I assured you when you faced fears of failure, no matter how false that comfort was.
There was always someone to return to. You didn’t have to worry, I would always be there for you.
There was always you. But you thought I only had you.

Part 3: No Longer Alone

I remember when I first talked to you, my family and friends introduced me to you A lot of people want to meet me, so I’m used to talking with strangers everyday.
I was nervous just walking up to you, but your smile calmed me down. I was just waiting, for anyone really, but it was you who came to me first that day.
You asked me for my name, where I was born, what I was studying, what I wanted to become. I started by asking you about yourself, a common technique that calms people down.
You even asked other odd questions about how I would identify myself. I wanted you to keep talking, giving me some of your most personal information.
I found that curious side of you interesting and endearing. I always have to get some facts first before considering getting closer to someone.
I could feel a bond deepening between us from those exchanges. I have to ensure that they were truthful, I need people committed to me.
You gazed at me for just a moment more. That’s not always evident from what people tell me, so I always look up a few more things about them.
And then you decided you would be mine. And then I decided you were good enough.
And then I decided I would be yours. And then you decided you would give your future to me.

Part 4: Better Off Alone

We hardly even talked after we first met. I didn’t need to talk to you that much.
Every month you would send me a text message or email. I only had to check in on you monthly.
On our yearly anniversary you would send me a letter in the mail. I reminded you of our yearly anniversary with a letter in the mail.
You were always consistent. It’s the pattern that breaks them.
I could tell you never forgot about me. I never let the people who commit themselves to me get away.
But I was slowly forgetting, not about you, but about what I saw in you. I don’t mind if they discover my ugly side, it’s not like I was hiding it in the first place.
What was it that I saw in you that made me devote myself to you? It’s just that they fool themselves at first because they are tempted by me.
I couldn’t take it back, I could only continue down the path you laid before me. Even if they have regrets, it’s already too late.
I was starting to fear that I could never get away from you. We would be together until I got what I was owed, I always make sure of it.

Part 5: A Loan at the End

I learned what you wanted from me. They eventually figure out what I am.
I learned how you would take it. They find out about my methods.
I learned when you would take it. They find out how long they are trapped for.
It was at that point I felt betrayed, cut beyond the flesh. They always blame themselves thinking that it was their own fault.
I even thought you were enjoying every bit of my suffering. It’s at this point that they give in to despair.
I could have given up, but that would be just what you would gain most from. It’s when they give up that I gain the most from them.
Treating you like something more than you were would just be foolish. If they don’t change their minds about what I mean to them, then they can never forget about me.
You were worse than that; you just didn’t care at all. But I don’t care.
That’s when I decided I would rather be alone. What did you expect? I’m just a loan.

 

My Type – A Loan at the End: Paid in Full

Thanks, now GO AWAY!

a loan at the end