Mr. FireStation had a productive month at the office in July, but is now just 8 months from his planned early retirement on April 1, 2016. While June was largely consumed by a preparing for and enjoying a two week family vacation, July was all about work and making some post-work plans.
Our nest egg was quite secure through July with year-to-date results continuing to grow. The three numbers I follow are: 1) the SP500, which is up +2%; 2) the International EFEA Index, which is up +6%; and 3) my former MegaCorp stock, which is up +9%. With all three numbers up (and stock option leverage on MegaCorp), I am quite satisfied with how 2015 is shaping up and no big concerns have emerged. At the same time, we protected about 25% of our nest egg in cash & bonds (our bond fund is -1% for the year). All together, I think our portfolio is up +7% for the year. That’s about +2 pts better than the end of June.
I also double-checked my numbers on health insurance coverage. Regardless how you feel about Obamacare, it is a boon for those who don’t want to be stuck working for lack of having adequate coverage. We actually have a few options for medical coverage, but I think our state insurance exchange will be the best option. It looks like it will cost about $800-$900 per month for a high-deductible “gold” or “platinum” plan. That’s expensive, but only about $100 more a month than I was budgeting. It will still easily fit in our overall spending plan.
As far as post-work plans, July was a break through month for me since I was able to land a corporate board role. Along with continuing the non-profit board role I’ve had for some time, I now feel like I am set up to keep my organizational appetite satisfied after my planned FIRE escape. These roles will give me continued purpose, along with travel and the activities that will come with giving away our “One More Year Fund“. All in all, I’m not too worried about getting bored. I may even be overbooking myself a bit with my growing list of “things to do” starting next April.
On the work front, my DW did ask me if I would be tempted to continue to work one more year (OMY) if the right role was offered at MegaCorp (or another company). It certainly would challenge my mindset – because I have been so focused on retiring early – but I don’t think so. At the same time, this is why I don’t announce/share plans with anyone at work – because I could still change my mind.
My monthly checklist hasn’t really changed much from last month – so I’ll just include a link to that here.
Enjoy your August – summer is going fast!
Image Credit: Pixabay