Moving Forward (Slowly)

Trip Update

This post is more of an update, which I try to not do – nonetheless here I am, writing an update.

The last month has been one of complete chaos. I’ll detail out what’s changed and why, but don’t worry – I’m still planning on leaving sometime in 2014.  The sooner the better.  That said, I don’t want to leave on this kind of a journey half-cocked so I’ve been working diligently to knock out the ever-growing to-do list so that my trip is more sustainable.  Without further ado, here’s an update:

We Bought a Duplex (and Started Remodeling It)

One of my goals, before leaving was to grab ahold of at least one multi-family investment property.  My reasons were: a) I’d like to establish a small amount of cash-flow to supplement the trip and b) when I get back, I don’t want to be flat-broke.  Despite a record-breaking housing boom here in Austin, I’ve managed to do part of that.  We’re remodeling the duplex though, so it’s not complete and has added another level of complexity to this stage.  In the next 4-5 months, I’d like to buy one more multi-family unit (no remodel this time, I hope).

I Moved

Obviously related to the above, I’ve decreased my cash-burn by moving into something that a) builds equity and b) my tenants help pay the mortgage on.  Moving is also not complete and has also added another level of complexity.  A big plus of this though is I was able to go through and very objectively separate the “I need this stuff” and “I don’t need this stuff” in my life.  Just the thought of removing some of the accumulated and (mostly) unused stuff is therapeutic – I highly recommend it. This will be handy over the next few months as I’m trying to get rid of things.

I’m Close to Purchasing a Mini-Storage Complex

There’s a ton of work involved in this as well and it’s sapped my time.  That said, I think it’s a pretty smart way to help supplement the cost of the trip over the next few years and to also build a little equity.  I hope to have this wrapped up by the end of January.  To give you a rough idea – I was looking for units within driving distance of Austin that a) had 15-20% cash-on-cash returns b) had management in place c) that had 90-100% physical occupancy.  If anyone is seriously interested in this, I’ll elaborate more via email, comments, and after I purchase the units.  This is part of a bigger plan to setup recurring revenue, that doesn’t need day-to-day management.

I’ve Spoken With Some Interesting People

Could I be more vague?  Hundreds of emails and a few phone calls, all responses from my posts on sponsorship and video help,  and I’ve started to gain a clearer picture (no pun intended) of how (and if) I should pursue either of those goals.  I continue to be intrigued by both video production and sponsorship, but I worry that I’m complicating something (the trip) that was partly designed to remove my life from complication.

I Made a Short-List of Boats

In reality I did this in my last post, but I’m continually adding/subtracting to that list and have alerts set that let me know when boats come up on the market.  The next step is getting one under contract and setting up a prolonged sea-trial so my Mom can see how comfortable she is on the boat and with the cruising lifestyle.

I’ve Had Serious Dental Work

Sounds stupid, but this laid me out for a week.  Initially I went in for a checkup to get all necessary dental work done.  The checkup revealed I’ve been grinding my teeth and have cracked a couple.  Those cracked teeth needed crowns.  But one of the teeth that needed a crown was close to my wisdom teeth (which needed to be removed, before the placement of a permanent crown). So, I had two impacted and deeply rooted wisdom teeth removed – which led to dry socket and a ton of pain.  It needed to happen, but it wasn’t pretty and put me out of commission during a really busy time.  Next step is a really thorough doctor’s visit (and the remainder of my dental work).

I Set Up a Development Site

I have no time right now (see the above, and remember I work full time too), but I expect that to (slightly) change after some of the chaos of moving, remodeling, and buying the mini-storage settles. Then I want to redesign this webpage so I can experiment a little.  To help me decide what will and won’t work on this, I cloned my current site under a different domain to experiment with. This redesign is alot harder than I thought it would be and requires me to reformat the majority of my content (not hard, but time-consuming). I may hire some of this out, we’ll see.

There’s a long list of stuff I haven’t done as well, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Thank You

Before I sign off though, I wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who has supported me over the last couple of months.  In comments on the blog, emails, in person, and via phone a huge number of people have reached out and offered a bit of support.  It comes in many forms, but it all has the same effect – to remind me that this isn’t just a to-do list.  It’s the beginning of a big, life-changing experience that most people only dream of doing after retirement.  My favorite words to date were short and sweet, at the conclusion of a long email from someone who found my blog (and is doing something similar).

“Don’t let anything stop you.”

So, in conclusion – thanks for the support, it’s appreciated.  And, of course, I expect to follow the above advice.

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