My main goal* was to build an investment and cash portfolio of $1,120,000* ($1,000,000 to retire on and $120,000 to pay off the house) in 1500 days**, starting from 1/1/2013 and ending in February of 2017. I made my goal in 2016, my 1500 Days are over, and I’ve left my job. In the interest of openness, I’ll continue to share my numbers.
Tying Up Loose Ends
Life has been busy. I say that waaaaay too much, but it’s true. I recently gutted the master bath in our primary house:
And I’m xeriscaping the yard:
The Project House will be ready to rent soon. But, I still need to finish a retaining wall and xeriscape the yard:
I work more now than I did when I had a job. Oof.
The Project House was a much bigger project than I anticipated. I thought it would be ready to rent in December, so we’re 4 months behind. Why?
- The scope expanded: I refinished the floors (2.5 weeks) and also remodeled the master bath (4 weeks). I had not planned to do either of these projects at the start.
- Stuff broke: A furnace motor went out. The roof developed a leak. There were many, many problems that I had to fix from previous jobs done poorly.
- I underestimated furnishing: This will be a month-to-month furnished rental. Renting a furnished home is a lot more work than renting an empty shell.
But I can’t take it back. The good news is that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Project House is almost ready to rent and it will take until the end of this year to complete everything on our primary home. But most of the work is done. I look forward to moving on to other challenges that do not involve construction!
Spring Break: EconoMe and NYC
In between gutting bathrooms and moving rocks, the family and I made time for fun over spring break. First we went to EconoMe in Cincinnati:
Then we headed to NYC which was overwhelming, beautiful, stinky, and spectacular:
I’m not a big city person and will never live a place like New York City, but it’s a hell of a place to experience.
February ($134,484 gain)
2022 was rough on the investment numbers but 2023 is off to a great start. In February, our investments went from $3,582,368 to $3,716,852 for a gain of $134,448:
2023 (as of 3/1/2023)
- Days elapsed: 59
- Investment gains: $604,031
Since the Start of The Experiment (1/1/2013)
- Days elapsed: 3,711
- Investment gains: $2,996,325
Life Is Good
If I could hit the replay button for the last 3 years, I wouldn’t do things the same. I’d scale back the projects and perhaps not purchase the rental house. You can only do so much at once. One of my favorite activities is writing right here on this blog. However when I spend my precious mental bandwidth figuring out plumbing puzzles and running electrical circuits, the creativity part of my brain goes to sleep. Also, I just don’t have the time. But it’s all good as I have a lot to be thankful for.
How fortunate am I that at 49 years of age, I have no health issues. I can dig ditches and carry around 50 pound retaining wall blocks all day. Without trying, I put in 25,000 steps most days. No body parts hurt and everything works.
I believe that one of the keys to growing old effectively is staying active. I never stop moving and have FIRE to thank for it. People frequently cite the risks of early retirement. Do they ever consider the risks of sitting for 40 hours a week?
More 1500 Days!!!
You can also find me (and the dinosaurs) at:
Mile High FI podcast:
- Facebook: Facebook group and page
- YouTube: My channel is mostly devoted to home improvement, but I have some other material coming up soon too.
- Instagram: Pretty pictures of dinosaurs, sunsets, and nail guns!
- Twitter: Spontaneous, often insane, ramblings
- Coworking space: On the surface, MMM HQ is a coworking space. Look a little deeper and you’ll see that we’re really building community. The members of MMM HQ are some of the finest people I know.
*My goal wasn’t to have $1,120,000 at the end of 1500 days, but at any time before the day count was up. Why? It all goes back to the 4% Rule. Remember that our little friend, Mr. 4%, is nothing more than the most conservative safe withdrawal rate. Since my investment portfolio now sits at $1,550,000, I can spend about $62,000 in my first year of retirement.
**My original goal was $1,000,000 and no debt, I later raised the goal by $120,000 to $1,120,000 because I will have debt in the form of a mortgage and I firmly believe in not paying it off (LOOK at the MONEY I’m MAKING!). My compromise was to have enough money put away to cover the mortgage at the time of retirement.
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Financial Fives says
You’re a man of wonder Carl! How you’ve taken early retirement and done all this meaningful work of beautifying properties, that’s one heck of a way to stay busy and engaged. I wish I liked Home Depot trips as much you you, ha! If anyone deserves to enjoy the fruits of their labor, it’s you my friend.
Mr. 1500 Days says
Thanks for the kind comment Gary, but just as often I’m a Man of Blunder. And the Home Depot drips are getting old!
Wow when I read the “Without trying, I put in 25,000 most days” I still thought you were talking about 50 pound retaining wall blocks. That would be lifting 625 tons in a day! Then I realized that must be your step count while not as superhero impressive it is still two and half time more than I do. I have to push to put in 10,000 steps a day and I do have knee/foot and back pain. You are so right about the down falls of sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. Glad to hear you can retire from your project house soon.
Mr. 1500 Days says
Whoops, missed a word! Fixed,
I have a lot of energy, but not that much energy.
Man, that desk talk resonates. Retail/foodservice on my feet from ages 19-24 wasn’t always much fun but I was as fit as could be; twenty years later I’m lucky to get 15mi of running in each week to counteract the deceptive comfort of the aeron chair and sofa. You’re an inspiration!
Mr. 1500 Days says
Thanks Adam! Life is good.
St. louis Weather person in Cincinnati?
Rakesh Mishra says
I would never forget 3 hours I spent with you. It was magical. My wife told me I was talking a lot but it was my nervousness. Love your work Carl. Income here some times to read a one of your old blog and get inspired. Thank you for being there. Long live and God bless you.