17 Comments

  1. Good to hear you are still doing great. I look forward to hearing about all your adventures. My wife just started teaching this year and although we are front loading our savings rate is amazing at about 65%. Be careful with the jogging, its bad for big guys knees and joints. Listen to your body so you don’t have to get a replacement. Keep blogging more.

    • Hello Josh! Wow, a 65% savings rate is killer; you guys are doing great. As for the jogging, I am very careful to listen to my 53-year-old body. I only jog for time and never for distance…that way I avoid “junk” miles. Most of my jogs are 15″ to 18″ long. Jogging keeps me moving and gets me outside. I’m also very fortunate to have no lingering joint problems after all those years of basketball.

      I’m currently hammering out a few blog post, so more are on the way. Good luck hammering the rest of the school year. Ed

  2. Looking good, Ed! Happy new year!

    I’m definitely interested in that Mexican permanent residency post, so keep em coming! I’ve thought about spending more time in Mexico ( http://rootofgood.com/retiring-abroad-could-we-do-it/ ) but the schooling thing is my main hang up.

    I’m not sure I could handle the homeschooling (or want to handle it anyway), and don’t want to pay for local schools.

    We’re in a good spot with schools where we are now (best middle school and on track for a guaranteed spot in the best HS for the oldest 2 kids – 3rd kid is back in the lottery).

    Anyway, keep having fun down south!

    • Happy New Year to you Justino! We’re currently in the States to visit family. We’re not sure when we’ll go back, but we’re certainly going back. I don’t think we can homeschool next year because it’s a lot of work for Edwina and it often leads to a sour student-teacher relationship at home. We spent a lot of days inside trying to catch up on schooling; it’s kinda hard to have fun in Mexico when you’re dragging your son through school. For that reason, we’re thinking about putting him in a private school next year so that he can learn Spanish and be around other kids. Since we only have one child, it wouldn’t break our budget.

      I’ll try to have that permanent residency article ready next week. My writer’s block seems to be in remission for the time being, so I’m writing while I can! Back to the salt mine…

      • What a nice salt mine you’re in! 😉

        Interesting that the homeschooling is trying even as a professional educator. I could see it stressing our relationship with our kids, too.

        We already spend a ton of time making sure our kids are doing the assigned work from school including checking an extensive amount of homework from the 6th grader’s “condensed” math class that covers 6th, 7th, and most of 8th grade. The teacher treats the kids like college students and rarely or never checks the homework and doesn’t always provide answer keys so there’s a link missing in the feedback loop (and our daughter failed the first test of the year miserably because we didn’t realize she stopped doing her homework and no one was checking it!).

        We’re back on track now (thanks, FIRE!) and she’s getting A-ish grades in math and most other subjects so the hybrid of 90% regular public school plus parental overlording (well, just “parenting” as it should be done, I suppose 🙂 ) is working well.

        • Teaching your kids, or anyone else’s, is no joke. It requires a lot of mental and emotional energy. I’d say our kids have some incredible advantages in life: natural smarts (thanks gene pool!), an environment of expectations, and when needed, hovering parents. I wish my son were more of an independent learner, but he’s in the fifth grade. All I cared about back then was playing basketball, reading sports books, and watching Monday Night Football. Book on anything other than sport? Ha! With a little parental oversight, I’m sure they’ll all turn out fine. But boy, if you don’t do what you’re supposed to, I’ll be on you butt like…

  3. Chris

    Hey Ed,

    What a nice surprise getting a new post from you! We enjoy hearing about how things are progressing!

    Sounds like you had some good times peppered with some very difficult family stuff. We can relate as the last 18 months have been challenging for my wife’s side.

    As I think I may have mentioned we are looking at big changes too. This month I need to tell my principal that I am going to take a year sabbatical. Not looking forward to that conversation however we are looking forward to travel starting out with Zion , Hawaii and then maybe Thailand? The biggest challenges seem to be wrapping myself around paying $15k out of pocket in healthcare premiums as we are gonna spend time here in USA too as we have two college kids to stay in touch with between trips. Spending so many years putting money into the savings it will be weird pulling it out. Do you have any suggestions on the insurance front?

    Lastly going to the Home Schooling thing has me wondering if my daughter will take to it? How stressful will it will be on the parents? Sounds like it has been somewhat stressful in your home on that front too.

    Are you finding you have any trouble keeping busy? This coming fall will be the first time in twenty four years I don’t head back to the classroom. As you know teaching is so encompassing I wonder how it will go for me sometimes? People I talk to who have retired tell me they got even busier? They say they can’t figure out how they had time to work. Have you had a similar experience?

    • Happy New Year Chris. I hope your wife’s side of the family is getting better. Life can get crazy at times, but we have to keep on living. That sabbatical sounds great, and I know what you mean about “the talk.” The conversation with your principal will probably be a non-event…you know how that goes: we imagine a worst-case scenario unfolding and it never happens.

      The $15k in insurance premiums almost made me shoot coffee out of my nose. Last September we moved to Tennessee, so we had to get insurance for the remainder of 2016. Based on our income of $45k, we were told that we didn’t make enough money to have our son on our insurance policy. He was put on the TN CHIP program. Thanks to a subsidy my wife and I had to pay $40 a month for our insurance. For 2017, we used the same $45k income number. This time we are all on the policy, and we qualified for a subsidy of $1,800+. In other words, we don’t have an insurance payment for 2017. I don’t know what to tell people about health insurance. You might want to try getting a quote from Healthcare.gov to see what they come up with. (I found the people at Ehealthinsurance.com to be very helpful if you hit a snag at the government website.)

      Homeschooling could go either way depending on your daughter. If she’s the type of person who likes to get things done and “clear the deck,” it might be easy. However, if she’s a procrastinator, you could find yourself pushing and prodding her to get her lessons done. My son is bright and a good student, but some days I’d rather be at the dentist’s office. I told my wife that she’s working way too hard on the homeschooling. Her time would be better spent teaching in a public school and at least earning a paycheck. I don’t want another homeschooling year like this one.

      I always seem to stay busy with reading, jogging, and exercise. The “problem” is that my days are not structured for me like they were at school. Also, I don’t seem to get much accomplished because I don’t have any big goals right now. After years of being very goal-oriented, I tried taking a break from that mentality. This year I’m trying to get more content written for my blog because I need goals. The thought of going back to work does not appeal to me these days. I don’t miss the early morning starts, the responsibility of teaching distracted teens, staff meetings, etc. What I do miss is banking the $10k a month that my wife and I could earn as teachers. We are not opposed to jumping in for a year again, but we understand that the money comes at a hectic cost.

      Have a great second semester Chris and best of luck, Ed

      • Chris

        Thx for your honest answers Ed.

        As far as subsidies it seems those may vanish with our unfortunate election results. He claims the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced. I believe one of this may come to pass I am thinking a lot of FI’ers are sweating this? How about you?

        The home schooling thing is a big question. I am meeting with a couple other families looking for a system/curriculum that will work. My wife is concerned about her keeping up. I am thinking that it wouldn’t take much time to get the basics as we both know there is a lot of down time in a school day. I am also concerned with her getting an adequate amount of social and not getting bored? . Have you found social to be a challenge when you are traveling? How do you approach that as we both are parents of one child around 9 years old?

        I hear ya on the distracted teens and meetings! What gets to me is the repetition. I have probably taught my intro safety activity over 200 times. It’s getting old and since it’s required it’s hard to stay “passionate”!

        Lastly are you finding other new friends to gang out with? I am assuming lots of people our age are busy working? It’s hard for me to imagine cause I am normally stuck in my cave (school shop).

        Thanks for helping me think this thru with someone who’s been there.

  4. Kristal Peavy

    Hey Guys! I stumbled upon your blog last night and was thrilled to find you and see you are doing well! What an inspirational story! I am completely motivated to get out of debt and start my journey toward financial freedom! I am toying with starting a blog as well. I will let you know if I do. I look forward to more posts and pics of the family! Hello to the Mrs. We miss her at school!

    • Great to hear from you Kristal. Thanks for all you did for our “Eduardito.” If you ever have any questions, just shoot me an email. FYI: you do have one good investment option (among many bad ones). Email me for more info. The better half is busy with homeschooling duties this year, but she can at least sleep in a little. We are both happy to be off the school-bell hamster-wheel for a while. Have a great second semester. Ed

    • Thank you Jurema and Happy New Year to you! I sent the article to my reader, so I’ll check it out this week. Stay tuned because I have more posts coming. Ed

  5. You can totally make $10 a month! Oh my gosh. Your knowledge is crazy impressive. I always learn so much. I hope your family’s health situations continue to improve. I cannot wait to read more about Mexico. Cheers to 2017!

    • We’ll see how my attempt to monetize the blog goes. Mexico was fun as usual. All family members are now trending in the right direction; it was scary there for a while. Happy New Year and learn’em good. (I used to love telling the students on the first day of class, “I look forward to learnin’ ya good this semester.” The looks were priceless.)

    • ElleX,
      Thanks, it was great to pass the mark, and now it’s time to let our portfolio do the heavy lifting. We’ll keep adding to it here and there, but it’s good to have a financial base under our feet.

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