We are still alive!
My last blog post was way back on April 7th detailing our dividends received for the month of March…quite a lot has changed since then.
So…what the heck have we been up to?
We made the decision to sell our house in Georgia and move out to Southern California. What a process it is getting a house ready to sell…we had mostly everything repainted (inside and out), completely overhauled the master bath, replaced the upstairs HVAC system, septic system inspected and serviced, and had multiple yard sales clearing out most of our stuff. Here is a link on Zillow if you want to see our old house….Georgia House
Some have said “Wow, I would never move to California as the cost of living is too high.” Our living situation in California is a bit out of the box and most would never even consider it. We moved into the house that my wife’s brother and sister-in-law rent that is right down the street from my wife’s parents. This obviously helps us keep our monthly expenses low but it also helps our family members lower their expenses while figuring out their transition into becoming empty-nesters. Their youngest leaves for college in about 2 weeks, and it’s a 6 bedroom 3000 sq/ft house and they are not quite ready to move yet.
After our GA house sold, we became completely debt free…No mortgage, No student loans, No car payments, No credit card balances, and plenty of cash in the bank. I can’t tell you how great a feeling it is to not owe anyone and what a position of power it is. Don’t believe me, try it out for yourself! We have worked really hard since about December 2015 when we made the decision to become completely debt free and it is well worth the sacrifices made.
Jobs? My wife stayed with her same company she has been with for the past 8 years, but accepted a work from home position…she can work anywhere there is an internet connection. She keeps an east coast time zone schedule, so she is finished around 2pm everyday, here in California. Her salary, even with maxing out her 401k ($18,000 limit), still covers nearly all of our expenses. Have I started working yet? Nope, and I haven’t had to. I took care of the kids during the summer, you know, the essentials, like park time, pool time, and In-N-Out time! We went on a 2.5 week road trip (2901 miles) to visit my wife’s dad and step-mom in Washington, and then back down the coast of Oregon and California. All I can say is wow, it was absolutely beautiful and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Now that my oldest has started school and the youngest is back in daycare I have begun looking for some income opportunities. I just finished taking a 4 hour exam to become a substitute teacher (they pay subs pretty dang well here and I can choose which days I want to work). I want to sub for a while because I am seriously considering becoming a full time teacher…they only work 180 days, get paid well, and have access to multiple retirement accounts that I could fully max out. I would still have plenty of free time to spend with my family as I value my time with them more than money. Another option I am considering is going to work for Starbucks, they love hiring veterans and I see it as a great way to get to know some folks in my new hometown and I would be able to ride my bike there as it’s just right down the road. Could I make more money elsewhere? Sure I could, but a lot of folks around here have substantial commutes going to either the LA or San Diego area and that just doesn’t interest me at all.
The portfolio is still rocking along and we have hit some new dividend milestones, I’ll do another post just about the dividends here soon. The fun part is that while we were moving, traveling, lounging by the pool, playing at the beach…the dividends still continue to roll in and grow. Even though I haven’t worked in a while our money works for us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It’s good to be back telling our story again as this blog’s purpose is: #1 keep us on track for our goals and to have a record of how we did it, and #2 to maybe inspire others to think just a little bit different from the norm.
Have a great day everyone!