Net Worth Week 77 – Flexibility Helps Edition

Gentle Readers,
I am off to my sick relative this afternoon. I will miss 3 days of work for this visit, but seeing him before the radiation and chemo wreck havoc on him will be worth it. Thankfully, I just had to pay the cost of taxes since I still had miles available.
It’s been quite a busy week. I put my first invisalign tray in on Tuesday and it was painful. It is stillpainful, but the pain for days two and three are different from day one. I met with my client yesterday to fulfill his last minute request, and earned a little money for my business. I gave my business another loan this week to get me through the next month. Hopefully, that will be the last loan necessary. The downsides to owning a small business include needing to handle things even when your family is in an emergency.
For my relative, I have no idea how he’ll respond to treatment. If he’ll respond. So far, he is in remarkably high spirits. Perhaps my girlfriend was right to believe that my family’s ornery-nature could prove the odds wrong???

This week’s net worth numbers

9/22/2017 9/29/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 4548  3466
 IRA  14213  14542
 Brokerage 837 827
 Rewards Card 2 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105734 -105849
SL 2 -46596 -46649
 Earnest -3160 -3167
 Net Worth -140664 -141602
 Percentage Change .49% -.67%

How many times have your miles saved you money? I think I am at 4 or 5 “free” trips so far this year.

Financial Freedom Sneaks Into Every Conversation

Gentle Readers,

Once you start noticing an idea, you’re going to see it everywhere. My recent trips to visit family included many conversations about retirement planning that I was not anticipating. I’m glad that folks are thinking about this. I’m still planning on engaging in stealth wealth, but I am happy for the tides of knowledge to lift all of our ships.

I spent one night in the woods at my aunt’s house. We touched on all sorts of topics and enjoyed the serenity of no cell-service. The transformer blew out 10 minutes before we arrived; we really got the middle of nowhere feel. Before I left in the morning to visit the hospital again, my uncle turned to me and began asking if I have a retirement account or savings. I’m so glad that my answer to that question is now in the affirmative. He was happy that I do, even though I did not start it until I was 31. I still have time. He is almost unreasonably proud of me, and I will take it. Encouragement from a good man is always appreciated.

The more interesting conversation happened with my 21-year-old relative, Bill. Bill does not have parents. Bill has chosen to wait for college until he can get better scholarship options. Bill is living way beneath his means and saving most of his earnings. Bill did not learn this from his parents. Bill figured this out on his own.

Bill is a good man to emulate.

Bill brought up that he wants to retire to Mexico by the time he is 40. Naturally, that got me asking questions. Do you have an IRA? Are you considering starting a business? What do you envision this retirement looking like?

He does not have an IRA yet, but wants to start one. I told him about mine, and the minimums my company requires to open the one I preferred. His savings is not quite there yet, but I told him I would do a little research to see if he had good options available.

Of course he does.

Schwab is my personal preferred vehicle, but Vanguard is also wonderful. They both have options that do not require a $5000 opening balance.

At Schwab, the minimum is $1000, but you can only access that if you enroll in auto-transfer of $100 each month. Vanguard has similar limited selections for people who cannot make the higher minimum.

I do not know if Bill is able to afford a $100 autopay each month, but I am going to tell him about it. That extra decade of returns will matter so much.

I’m impressed that he is working so hard and saving everything. His parents were not good examples, and he is doing right by himself anyway. He also brought up on his own that he wants to retire by 40. I did not put that idea in his head. We have many interesting conversations to look forward to. I must keep researching so that I can keep ahead of his knowledge. We’ll both benefit.

I told Bill that I would send him the presents I bought for the other relative’s graduation. Bill is far more likely to read them and implement the ideas that appeal to his personal choices. Each one teach one.

Were you ever surprised by a family member’s insight into retirement planning?