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Annual Recap: Year 2017 Non-W2 Incomes

January 5, 2018

Happy 2018, readers. I hope you’re having a beautiful start to the new year.

This time of the year is magical for me. I enjoyed sharing extra special moments with families and friends, combined with delicious, comfort food (for weeks in a row). I also loved the holiday decors both at home and while being out and about. These moments can really be savored all year long. Sleeping until 9 a.m. has been typical for my family and I this past week as our bodies recovered from all the festivities.

Finishing the Old and Starting the New

As of yesterday, we’ve taken care most of our financial matters for year 2017, with the exception of paying property taxes and filing for tax return. We made purchases in my i401k account, rebalanced our investment portfolio, updated our financial accounts and made a projected budget for this year. So far, the two biggest, one-time expenses we’re looking at are money going toward paying for two international trips. Other than the usual recurring basic expenses, we also have several home renovation projects we want to accomplish.

December 2017 Non-W2 Incomes Report

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Early Retirement, Financial Planning, Lifestyle, Purchase Decisions

Early Retirement and Health Care Coverage and Premium

December 11, 2017

Back in September, 2017, when I shared on the blog that my husband was going to join me in early retirement, many of you asked about our health care insurance situation once he leaves his W2 employment. In this post, I’m sharing the process my family and I went through to get health care coverage for year 2018. 

The Perceived Obstacle to Our Early Retirement

The thought of having to pay the high cost of health insurance premium out-of-pocket (we were thinking about $1,000/month) was one of the biggest reasons my husband and I hesitated about retiring early. Early retirement conversations first came up between us around year 2012. Back then, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a mystery to us, and we were too lazy/busy to do more research.

I’m typically pretty resourceful and I’d search above and beyond to get the information I want. However, the following years continued to be big transition times for my family and I, and learning more about ACA was not on the priority list. So, as a couple, we reasoned (and made a compromise) that we’d have to work more years to save up for full, out-of-pocket health insurance premiums and retire when we reach our late 40s or early 50s. 

New Information Helped Made Early Retirement Possible for Us

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Early Retirement, Financial Empowerment, Financial Planning, Girlfriend to Girlfriend Money Chat, Kids and Money, Lifestyle, Marriage and Money, Money Habits, On Investing, On Self-Development, Retirement Planning, Women and Financial Literacy

All I Needed was an Inspiration (and a Free Gift to You)

November 30, 2017

I Didn’t See Myself Being a Good Teacher/Coach

I’m what some people might call a Type A, perfectionist, or over-achiever. I have high standards for myself. Growing up and while in school, unlike many other Asian parents, mine didn’t pressure me to receive certain grades or go into a certain profession. I was always the one that was self-driven and put lots of pressure on myself.

Knowing that about myself, I didn’t pursue a career in teaching, despite having contemplated becoming a teacher during my freshmen year in college. Yet, somehow, being in academia attracted me (and the over-achiever in me) and I went on pursuing a doctoral degree. While finishing up my advanced degree, I was a teacher’s assistant for two semesters. I did not enjoy that experience. I lacked the patience. Being a mother has been a trying experience for me every day. I’m very thankful to have an extremely patient partner along my side.

inspiration financial coaching

Several months ago, when my husband suggested to me to consider doing financial coaching with him, specifically to work with couples, I immediately closed the conversation. It was not that I lacked interest. Everything I do and share on this blog stems from my strong desire to inspire, encourage and promote smart and savvy financial skills. I just didn’t see myself being a good coach. I lacked the confidence.

Self-doubts were casting all over my head. To give you an example:

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Early Retirement, Financial Freedom, Financial Independence, Financial Journey, Travel

August – October 2017 Non-W2 Incomes Reports and Life Updates

November 19, 2017

Feeling Thankful

Before getting to the contents of this post, I’m taking a moment going back to my previous post on Scarcity Mentality. I was flooded with heartfelt tears reading all your comments and personal stories you shared with me through emails, social media and on the blog. I was touched by your kind (and encouraging) words and support. Your voices reminded me that we’re here to lift each other up. Your sharing reminded me of the many reasons I keep going with this blog.

Even though both my husband and I have retired from our W2 employment, every day we have so many activities going on. Some of these involve volunteering (mostly providing guidance on effective money management for disadvantaged families), promoting financial literacy in schools, getting involved in our communities, raising a toddler and doing self learning. When being asked about how my retirement has been, my typical response is, “busier than ever.”

In general, producing contents for this blog hasn’t been on the priority list. I have many topics I’d like to share on the blog, but finding the time to do research, write and edit has been challenging. Your comments, feedback and stories have been the most rewarding part of blogging. So, I want to thank you for taking your time to share with me and other readers of this blog. Your words inspire me. Your stories and courage are worth sharing. Thank you for being on this journey with me.

Life with the Seibolds

Next, I want to give you a snapshot of what has been going on in my family since my husband retired back in September. In the month of October, we took a one-month long trip to the Northwest, including visiting Washington and Canada. The fall colors and food were amazing in all the places we visited. This was the longest trip we’ve taken. We certainly enjoyed the luxury of slow travel. Our most memorable times were a day trip out to Mount Baker and visiting an apple orchard. Once we arrived home, we took one full week to recover from the trip and to take care of unattended errands.

As I’m writing this, our family routine is finally back to normal. This past week we have been busy doing research and going to home centers. My husband and I are taking on a huge project remodeling our home, and we plan to do most of the work ourselves. This will be a very interesting and challenging experience for both of us. Prior to this work, neither one of us have really picked up any tool other than those that came in a cheap tool box set. We’ll be setting up a wood shop in our garage and shed. The next project on our agenda is to build a farmhouse dining table and a bench. If that goes well, we’d move on to build a breakfast nook. The first DIY project we worked on was replacing the flooring in the laundry room.

Yesterday, we visited Home Depot looking at table saws, jig saws, miter saws, orbital sanders, drills and safety tools. I feel proud as I’m writing out those words. Even just a year ago, I would’ve never thought myself becoming a handy/wood-making person. But never say never, right?

My family and I also recently celebrated Ruby’s 3rd birthday.

Personal Finance in the Seibold Family

In the world of personal finance, we have several pending items on the to-do list prior to the end of the year. These including finish funding our HSA and opening a solo 401(k).

Some of you have asked about our health insurance situation. My husband’s COBRA ended in October and we’re currently on a health care plan through Healthcare.gov. We aren’t receiving any subsidies for the month of November or December. Our annual income for 2017 surpassed the set income criteria. Now through December 15th, it’s open enrollment period for year 2018 on Healthcare.gov. We are planning to finish the application by the end of this month. By then, I’ll have a lot more to share on the blog.

Non-W2 Income Reports

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Early Retirement, Financial Freedom, Financial Independence, Financial Journey, Lifestyle

A Year in Review: Reflections, Early Retirement and New Directions

September 14, 2017

REFLECTIONS

I published the first post on this blog about a year ago (on September 18th, 2016). Since then, my family and I have gone through lots of changes. Back then, I wrote in this article that my husband and I would be looking at early retirement in year 2018, while in our mid- and early-30s, respectively. Our estimated annual expenses would be $50,000. In a later post, where I shared about the 4% Withdrawal Rule and its relevance for my family, I mentioned that my family’s financial goal (a.k.a the amount in our net worth) was to reach 30X to 33X of our annual expenses.

As I’m writing this article, I’m happy to report that our total net worth has reached over the 33X number. The image below was captured on 9/11/2017 from our Personal Capital account, prior to the stock market opened. We use Personal Capital, a free financial tool, to track our net worth, view our investment performance, analyze our asset allocations and project and reevaluate our retirement goals. I wrote a comprehensive review of Personal Capital on another post. I encourage you to check it out. According to Google Analytics, that post is a readers favorites. I plan to do an update on this financial tool and share more recent images on the blog soon.

ms financial literacy Personal Capital score board

Now that this part of my family’s financial goal is reached, my husband and I have both arrived at the conclusion that it was time for him to join me in early retirement, too. September 8th, 2017, marked his last day of W-2 employment. This is a great financial milestone for my family. We became an early retiree family before our daughter turns three.

Note: In a more recent post, I shared that we created a “fun fund”, where we gave ourselves the permission to spend up to $60,000 per year. Of that $60,000, about 30% would go to travel and large disposable item purchases (you can see a list of our monthly expenses here). At this point, we are flexible pacing our annual expenses anywhere in between $40,000 to $60,000. 

EARLY RETIREMENT

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