Well what else can be said about the month of April other than YIKES!
As April came to a close so did our time in Texas. We had such a great time during our 2 month stay in South Texas and it was actually hard to leave our spot. We had the same amazing neighbors throughout our entire stay, which is a bit unusual. We enjoyed everything about the area as there was a wide variety of things to do and places to see. If you are driving through or visiting Texas, and you like going to stores, be sure to put H.E.B. and Buc-ee’s on the top of your to-do list. You will not be disappointed! Most of all, we enjoyed the people of Texas. They are some of the most genuine and sincere people we have ever talked to and always offered great advice or recommendations to make our stay more enjoyable. We will miss being there, but we will be back.
We have now landed at our “vacation resort” stop on the gulf coast of Alabama where we will remain for the month of May. It’s a beautiful place, but this type of accommodation comes with a lofty pricetag so it will be our one splurge for the year. There is a lot to do and see in the area and we plan to fit in as much as we can over the next month. Of course we will be sharing everything on our instagram as it happens so make sure to follow us.
Alright, let’s get to the moment we have NOT been waiting for.
Here is how our portfolio performed in April 2022:
(Our original portfolio goal was $1.5m)
Portfolio = $1,425,790
Our Portfolio Decreased By $113,636 or 7.38% From The End Of March
Year-To-Date Our Portfolio Has Decreased By -13.16%
Net Worth = $1,468,308
Our Net Worth Decreased By $115,772 or 7.31% From The End Of March
Year-To-Date Our Net Worth Has Decreased By -12.71%
Yeah, that is really unfortunate! Not only did we have a down month, but we are well below our $1.5M FIRE number now. I would be lying if I didn’t say this type of movement is a little unsettling as the almost $200k cushion we had going into the beginning of this year has completely evaporated and then some. Looks like it’s time to head back to work! Um, no!
Here is where my head is at now for what it’s worth. We’ve been down this road several times before and it always ends the same way. Sure we have a complete incompetent buffoon running the federal reserve. He has failed miserably at controlling the one and only thing he is responsible for. Instead of being fired, like anyone else that is awful at their job should be, he was reappointed by an even more incompetent set of bureaucratic morons. But this is not the first time the fed has screwed up nor will it be the last time. And each time the economy and the country was able to eventually rise up from the ashes of government stupidity and keep on trucking. There is no reason to think this time will be any different.
What can we do in the meantime? We continue to reinvest distributions in most of our mutual funds. We continue to add to our dividend portfolio. Even though our contributions are very small, it adds up and will help in the eventual recovery. We continue to make sure we don’t overspend our budget and waste money on frivolous things, like beachfront resorts on the gulf coast of Alabama. Ok, disregard that last part. We are just sticking with our plan!
In fact, our planning has paid off. When we retired last year we made sure we had enough cash and investments in easily accessible taxable accounts, just in case a market downturn occurred. Here we are!
So far we have been able to just live off of the cash and not touch our investments. We will eventually need to start tapping investments regardless of what the markets are doing in order to continue having cash to live. Because of this, we decided to stop reinvesting distributions in our taxable account so it generates some cashflow without having to sell shares. And at a low low tax rate, I might add.
Having this cushion has allowed us to be flexible in our strategy. We were supposed to make a couple of moves this year and start building a Roth conversion ladder as well as taking rule 72(t) withdrawals from our pretax accounts. This is our plan to start making long term finances more accessible over time, but that plan is now on hold as we are not selling in this market.
If we didn’t plan for a downturn and were forced to sell, it could have had a negative long term impact on our finances. Now we can afford to wait for better days before implementing our long term plan.
Here is how we did on our spending for April 2022:
Monthly Budget = $5,000
Total spend for March 2022 = $6,311
Over/Under Monthly Budget = -$1,311
Over/Under Budget YTD = -$2,610
Less Prepaid Site Fees = $1,081
Net Over/Under Budget YTD = -$1,529
Ok, you might be thinking “OMG, these people just lost a ton of money in their portfolio AND they blowout their budget on top of it, what idiots!” Not quite actually. You see, that monthly spend number includes our annual/semi-annual insurance premiums for our RV and Jeep. If we look at our core spend for the month we were actually about $800 under budget.
I could do some nifty accounting gerrymandering and create some allocations to smooth out the numbers like my corporate days, but I’m retired and don’t want to. We will leave it as is and everything will work out on our budget over the course of the year. Plus, you will have ample opportunity to call us idiots when we share our numbers for May that reflect the price of this resort. But until then we will take the win and rest well knowing we had a great time in Texas AND stayed under budget doing so.
Aside from the markets tanking, horrible fuel costs, incompetent government, war in Europe and the looming reality we might be heading for recession, life is good.
Speaking of fuel costs, we still haven’t fueled up our RV since topping off for $3.60ish per gallon before we settled in Texas at the end of February. I don’t think prices will drop anytime soon and we will probably get hit pretty hard when we head to Pennsylvania in June. At least by that time we will have had 3 months with no fuel expenses giving us a little bit of breathing room on our budget.
Life is good despite current challenges and we couldn’t be happier. This lifestyle is everything we hoped it would be and we wouldn’t change it for anything.
Time is a precious commodity in life and we are thankful for our readers and that you take a moment out of your day to read about our life.
Please make sure to follow us on instagram for more frequent updates on our adventures as they happen.
See you on the road…………..
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