Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope you’re having a terrific Christmas week with family and friends. This Christmas is a bit strange for us. RB40Jr and I are in Thailand for 5 weeks while Mrs. RB40 enjoys a cozy Christmas with our cat in Portland. This is the first time we have spent Christmas apart as a family. It’s not ideal, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We’re here to find a better living arrangement for my mom. She was diagnosed with dementia earlier this year and she was having a difficult time in the US. Basically, she kept getting more and more stressed out and anxious as the disease progressed. We figured it would be easier to take care of her in Thailand than in the US.
The first 10 days have been pretty good. She had a rough few days during and after the long-distance flight. Oh man, I was completely worn out after 22 hours, too. We had 2 stopovers, LA and Hong Kong. The good news is that she seems to be doing much better in Thailand than in the US. She is very happy to see her siblings and relatives. Her mood is really good as well. Of course, it’s only been a short time, but I already feel like it was a good decision for her to move to Thailand. We’ll have to see how it goes in the long term. From what I understand, you don’t get better from dementia so this reprieve is probably temporary. Anyway, I’m pretty happy so far. Also, we’re having a really good time in Thailand. The weather isn’t too hot and the food is excellent. I love it here. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see the delicious dishes we’re devouring and get a glimpse of our vacation highlights.
On to the bucket list! I like to review my bucket list during Christmas vacation because it’s the end of the year and we have a few days off. I can go over the list to remove or add new goals as needed. This year I’m going to revamp the bucket list extensively. Now that I’m older and wiser (45!), I want to simplify it and focus on the things I really care about. I’ll divide them into a few broad categories. Check them out.
Financial Bucket List
My main long-term goal is to simplify our finance and generate enough passive income to cover our cost of living. Currently, our passive income isn’t quite enough to fund our retirement yet. I still depend on my online income to help pay the bills. Also, Mrs. RB40 is still working full-time. However, all her income goes to savings and investing. She could retire in 2020 if she really wants to. Here is my financial bucket list.
- Become debt free (2029): Currently, we have 3 mortgages on 3 properties. I plan to consolidate our holdings down to just one property by the end of 2019. Even with that, we’ll still have one mortgage. I don’t foresee us being debt free until RB40Jr goes off to college. At that point, we could sell our home and ride off into the sunset.
- Net worth > $3 million (2020): We’re close, but we’re not there yet. The stock market didn’t do so well in 2018 and next year isn’t looking too hot either. We’ll just hang in there and keep investing. I’m hopeful that we’ll get there by the end of 2020. Of course, once we’re there I’ll change the goal to 10 million dollars! 😉
- LWR > 100%: Check out my Lifetime Wealth Ratio post for more detail. Basically, this is our net worth divided by total earned income. It’s ridiculous, but we made over $3 million over 20+ years of work. That’s a ridiculous amount of money. Our LWR is currently about 90%. You can make the calculation if you’re curious how much the RB40 household is worth. Actually, it’s less than 90% because a large part of our net worth is in our pre-taxed accounts.
- FI Ratio > 100% for 3 years: The FI ratio is our annual passive income divide by our annual expense. In 2017, our FI ratio exceeded 100% for the first time. That was exciting, but we regressed a bit in 2018. My goal is to have enough income to pay for our cost of living indefinitely. But we’ll just start with 3 on this bucket list. That’s already difficult. You can read more about our passive income here.
- College: Help RB40Jr graduate from a 4 year public college with no debt. If he wants to go to Harvard, he probably will have to get some scholarships and/or student loans.
Fun Bucket List
Whew! Now you see how a personal finance blogger (ex-engineer) thinks. Yes, I’m a numbers nerd and I’m quite happy with that. It helped me retire early, after all. Of course, life isn’t all about numbers. That’s why I need some fun stuff on my bucket list, too.
Let’s see… I already tried skydiving, bungee jumping, snowboarding, surfing, riding an elephant, white water rafting, shooting a gun, and a few other fun things. I’m glad I did these when I was young. Right now, snowboarding doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. My knee is gimpy and I can’t handle the cold anymore.
- Swim with whale sharks: This sounds like an incredible experience. Is it worth $2,000 for 30 minutes of fun? I don’t know. I’ll have to find a better bargain. Background here – Am I depriving my family?
- Hot air balloon ride: Mrs. RB40 has always wanted to do this. I think this will be a fun family activity once RB40Jr is a bit older. He’s not a big fan of heights at this time.
- Zip lining: We missed the chance to try zip lining when we visited Costa Rica in 2015. RB40Jr was too small. He still doesn’t want to try it. Hopefully, he’ll change his mind when he’s a teenager.
- Experience a solar total eclipse (Done in 2016!): We experience totality in 2016 at the beach in Oregon. It was totally awesome and such a powerful experience. It made me feel a part of the universe. I highly recommend it.
- RTW trip (?): I want to take a year off and go on a family trip around the world. I figured we could take RB40Jr out of school after 4th grade and just go. There are a lot of logistical issues, though. We might not be able to do this anytime soon. It might have to be just Mrs. RB40 and me after RB40Jr goes off to college. I don’t know… It’s a stretch goal at this point.
- Live in Thailand for a few years and explore SE Asia (203x): I want to live in Thailand for a few years and explore SE Asia. I think this will work out nicely because I’m familiar with Thailand and flights are cheap around this part of the world.
- Live in South American for a few years and explore that area (203x): After we get bored of SE Asia, we’ll go live in South America for a few years.
- Take Mrs. RB40 and Junior on a long road trip around New Zealand: I drove around New Zealand for two weeks in my 20s. It was so much fun and I’d like my family to experience it, too. Not sure when we can get to it, though.
- Visit space: This is a stretch goal. Hopefully, space tourism will be somewhat affordable before I’m too old. If not, maybe I can get my ashes shot off into space. Why not? It’s the final frontier, right?
Here are some very long-term goals that didn’t quite fit the categories above.
- Stay married: We’ll celebrate our 20th anniversary in 2019. I think that’s a huge accomplishment. We have a great relationship and we need to keep working on it. My goal is to stay married with Mrs. RB40 until I kick the bucket. Who else would carry my weight? Hahaha…
- Build the RB40 family compound on a tropical island: I want to buy 3 to 5 acres on Hawaii (the Big Island) and build a self-sustaining compound. I want a small main house, communal kitchen and eating area, indoor recreational space, art-making area, a few small huts for families (Airbnb?), BBQ area, vegetable gardens, chickens, and a lot more. I don’t know if I can achieve this pipe dream because there are a ton of obstacles in my way. Hey, a guy can dream, right?
Some Easy Ones
I need to add some easy goals so I can cross them off the bucket list occasionally. All of the above goals are very difficult to achieve. It’s no fun when you can’t achieve anything…
- Go to the Olympics: The Olympics are coming to Los Angeles in 2028! It’d be a ton of fun if we can see a few events. Mrs. RB40’s family lives somewhat nearby so we could make it a family visit.
- Learn Tai Chi: I tried Tai Chi a while back and I enjoyed it a lot. I need to get back into it by joining a real class and dedicate some time to it.
Some of the stuff I gave up on
I removed all of this stuff from my bucket list. There were too many things on it and these aren’t important to me anymore.
- Join the Peace Corps: probably not realistic. Mrs. RB40 isn’t gung-ho about this anymore, either. She already volunteered in her 20s and those were rough years.
- Join Toastmasters: I haven’t been able to work TM into my schedule. It’s probably because I don’t really want to do it.
- Become a Buddhist monk for a season: I’m entirely too materialistic to become a monk even for a few months.
- Learn to speak Mandarin: ??
- Build an outdoor pizza oven: I rolled this into my RB40 compound goal.
- Build a tree house: Same as above.
- Volunteer to help recent immigrants: Maybe I can do this later when I’m not stressed out all the time.
- Ride in a fighter jet: I’ll get to this someday, but it’s not a priority.
- 20th anniversary wedding celebration: Mrs.RB40 isn’t into the idea. She doesn’t want a big party. Oh well, I’ll just take her out to a nice restaurant and buy her some Snoopy toys or something. She’s very difficult to buy for and she doesn’t like jewelry (Thank goodness.)
- Own a convertible again: Not a priority.
- Live in Santa Barbara for a while: Not a priority anymore.
- Various travel goals: Pyramids, Eastern Europe, Vietnam, etc… We’ll get there when we get there. No hurry.
Whew! My trimmed down bucket list is still pretty big. I’m happy with it, though. Most of these goals are realistic and I can work on them incrementally. I will keep working on them and update this post every Christmas.
What about you? Do you have a bucket list? Please share some of the things on your bucket list here. Don’t wait until you’re 65 to make one because cliff jumping at Rick’s Café in Jamaica (check) won’t be so appealing anymore.
Happy Holidays and safe travels!
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Joe left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle. See how he generates Passive Income here.
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