August turned out to be a very eventful month for the LiveFree brood. Let me preface by explaining that we have been talking about moving to a lower cost of living area since we initially moved to NYC a few years ago. Over the course of this past year, this topic has been on the forefront of family discussions and it was determined that we would relocate at the end of 2017.
Plans change. In our case this is by way of some pretty horrible upstairs neighbors. I won’t go into specifics but I have never felt it necessary to complain about a neighbor in 10 years of renting. These jackwagons above us require weekly wrist slaps from the landlord. We found ourselves in a position where we could vacate our lease early with no penalty. With MrsLiveFree pregnant and us wanting to feel more settled come the birth of our second, the timeline was expedited.
Lucky for me, my employer is pretty awesome. They agreed that I could relocate, essentially immediately, to our Chicago office. This move will take place in mid-September. I have 18 articles in varying stages of editing but they are all on pause until we finish this move, so please bear with me.
W2 Income: Steady state. A few vacation days in August pulled back a few OT opportunities but things are looking good.
Rideshare: No driving for Uber or Lyft this month. With the move on the horizon, most weekends were spent researching neighborhoods, flying to Chicago to look for apartments, or packing.
Etsy: MrsLiveFree had several sales on her Etsy shop in August and it appears her viewership is picking up. She has been following several tutorials on how to enhance her shop and it appears to be working. So far, this is by no means a dependable income stream, but it certainly a nice bonus.
Other: We sold a significant amount of furniture, household items, an Uppababy Cruz stroller, and my 2011 Surly Steamroller. I also decided to return the Novara Mazama that I had purchased earlier this summer. All purged thanks to the upcoming move. I do plan to work out a bike option once settled in Chicago.
Bonus Housing: Not exactly income, but the rent for our new place in Chicago will be 15.28% less than our current place in the New York metro. This monthly “bonus” will be very, very helpful going forward to reach FI.
I spent the last weekend of August looking for apartments on foot in Chicago. We ended up finding a great place but the deposit along with the travel costs really pushed our spending much higher than I would’ve liked for August.
We also spent a few days in hotels to avoid our psycho neighbors (MrsLiveFree did not feel safe at home alone).
We are not doing nearly well as I had hoped this month. The hotels and the prepping for relocation have brought on quite a few expenses and have lowered our overall savings rate. More details below.
Our accounts still look the same as the July 2017 Status Report. In the previous status report I mentioned we were planning to migrate all of our non-401(k) retirement accounts out of Betterment and utilize the Boglehead 3-fund portfolio. This has also been on pause until we get this relocation taken care of.
With the migration of our non-401(k) retirement funds out of Betterment, we will have significantly more flexibility in coordinating our portfolio to our preferred allocations. I imagine this will be in place by the October Status Report at the latest.
Below you will see our target allocation compared to our current asset allocation according to Personal Capital.
Historically, I was using the weighting in my 401(k) to counter-balance Betterment’s International weighting. This will be less necessary once we implement the Boglehead 3-fund portfolio. The tracking is still relatively sound, though.
Below is August’s asset allocation according to Personal Capital:
You will see below that our cash holdings are still quite high – even higher than last month. I would like this to be resolved by the October status report at the latest, so maybe you could offer suggestions in the comments below on how you deploy these funds.
Ten percent of the cash serves as our 6-month safety net and held in CDs yielding 3 percent. The remaining 13% is sitting idle to invest. Here are the options we are considering. What are your ideas on order?
- Maxing out or HSA early
- Maxing out both Trad IRAs
- Taxable Account Investments
- Holding in cash while we look for rental income properties
|401(k) – Mr||47%|
|Roth IRA – Mr||4%|
|Roth IRA – Mrs||13%|
|SEP IRA – Mrs||2%|
MoM Savings: +4.35%
Mad Lab FI Tracker
According to the Mad Fientist’s Lab, our FI date is November 2039* (down from April 2041 last month). That’s 22 years 3 months from now. I imagine that by October you will see a drastic reduction in this time frame largely related to our move to Chicago. Our rent will be reducing 15.28% and the plan is to invest the difference.
*Assumptions: 4% Withdrawal; 6% Growth