Financial Independence Progress Report for May 2015

05/31/2015
Emergency Fund ($72K) 100.0% 100.0%
College Fund (80K) 34.54% 35.00%
Passive Income Streams ($4000 pm) $75.95 pm (05/2014)% $191.60 pm (05/2015)
Retirement Fund ($900K) 56.55% 59.29%
Roof for our Family($1 mil) 00.00%
Medical Fund 00.00%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance payments initiated)

Main Takeaways

  1. February, May, August and November are months with lowest passive incomes. So, nothing great to write about this month of May. Next month is June, the second biggest month for passive income. So, eagerly waiting the end of next month ūüôā
  2. 401K paycheck contribution increases lead to increases in the Retirement Fund and not market performance.
  3. Passive income for May 2015 increased in comparison to May 2014.
    • I compute Passive Income per month as (total passive income in this year) / number of months completed this year.
    • Total passive income is a sum of dividends + capital gains distributions.
    • May Passive Income = (total passive income in this year) / 5 == $191.60pm.
    • Doing it this way keeps the monthly passive income more realistic because I can instantly know which of my monthly expenses are covered by this amount. I keep a separate tracker for this which I will write about at a later date.
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DIGIT savings‚Ķ.Month 3 update

I started using DIGIT, a new way of squeezing out some extra cash from my¬†bank account, three months ago. I wrote about it¬†here. My goal was to squeeze some leftover money after accounting for all the budgeted categories (expenses, savings and investment goals). Every time the savings account accumulates to a couple hundred bucks, my plan was to withdraw it and apply towards my Financial Independence goals….more specifically, my home down payment fund.

That said, how well did DIGIT save money for me in May?

  • For the month of May¬†2015, DIGIT has squirreled away 161.86¬†from my bank account.
    • This is 161.86 that I would have spent on something less important than my financial independence goals.
  • Since signup,¬†DIGIT has saved me $521.86.
    • If money is saved at the same rate for the rest of the year, I will have $1000 (!!) added to my down payment money…this is money I did not know I could save. So, go DIGIT!

But, where is the saved money going? About a month back, I wrote about my plan to benefit from the next recession here. My plan is to buy a house at a price less than the bubblicious prices prevalent in my HCOL area today. So, at the end of every month, the money DIGIT saves for me moves to my home downpayment fund. DIGIT savings is an opportunistic saving for me…apart from the planned savings towards home down payment. I will take the money however I can save it¬†ūüôā

PS: If you want to sign up and try it out, go directly to Digit’s website here at https://digit.co/

If you do sign up at all, please do share your experiences, positive OR negative, via comments on this page. I would love to hear from you on how this works out.

Link to Yahoo Article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/29-old-invented-painless-way-170000170.html

Mortgage Case Study 1: $625K mortgage

This is a three part case study in finding out how much mortage should I take on to fit into my plan to FI in the next 10 years.

I wrote about preparing for the next recession here. In fact, what I really meant is that I want to not just prepare but PROFIT from the next recession instead of bracing myself and riding it out. One of the important lessons I learnt from past recessions, from personal experience and that of others, is as follows:

  • Big items (houses and cars) should always be purchased in a recession or bust period.
  • A mistake make in either of the two can take years and years to recover from‚Ķespecially the house.

My main¬†goal for the next upcoming recession is to buy a home for our family. We have sacrificed a lot over the past years. We had to rent in many places due to affordability issues and my kid has taken the brunt of all the moves…in terms of not having a constant set of friends both at home and in school…especially in school due to the many times we have moved and changed schools. I am ready to put down roots in one place so that my family can settle down.

Questions to answer

I live in a HCOL (high cost of living) area on the west coast. Moving out of¬†here is not an option for me and my family….this is where my¬†family is, this is where my friends are and this is what I call home. So, got to live the life here, including the high cost of housing. So, the questions that come to my mind are:

  • How much does a 3Bed/2Bath home cost in my area?
  • What is the monthly mortgage payment going to look like?
  • How soon can I finish paying for the house? Considering my ideal goal is to reach FI in 10 years……

How much does a 3Bed/2Bath home cost in my area?

As of today (04/20/2015), a reasonable 3B/2B home costs appx $1.2 million dollars. Yep…I am not kidding about this…sad but true. There seems to be no value for money. Since this is way way above my price range, I will wait it out for the next recession to calm the prices down a bit. It may happen in the next year OR the year after….not sure. But, whatever the cost of the house is, here are my rules:

  • I will not get a mortgage above $625,000.
    • This is the jumbo loan limit and I am not paying Mortgage Insurance and not maxing out my financial slavery.
  • Since the higher limit on my mortgage is fixed, the rest of the money has to come from the down payment
    • If I have $300,000 for¬†down payment, then I can afford a house that costs $925,000
    • If I have $200,000 for down payment, then I can afford a house that costs $825,000
    • If I have $150,000 for down payment, then I can afford a house that costs $725,000

Doing it this way, I can calculate the worst possible price and anything under will be a nice to have! Assuming that, I am going to crunch numbers on a $625,000 mortgage and calculate the following:

  • What does my monthly payment look like for a $625,000 mortgage?
  • How soon can I pay off the $625,000 mortgage?

My Mortgage Assumptions

The basic assumptions I will make about the mortgage, beyond the max amount of $625000, are:

  • Interest rate per year 4.5
  • Mortgage start date May 2016
  • 30 year mortgage

With that, I am going to crunch some numbers for a 30 year mortgage. My ideal early retirement is in approximately 10 years. But, I cannot afford a 10 year mortgage…trust me on this…I have crunched the numbers and it is not pretty. The best case for me is a 30 year mortgage. Why?

  • It is a safe bet because
    • the monthly payment is the lowest among 10, 15 and 30 year mortgages
    • in case there is a loss of income, having a lower monthly payment is very helpful until the income source restarts
  • It is very flexible
    • If there is money available, then I have the option of paying more to simulate a 10 or 15 year mortgage

Hence for safety and flexibility, a 30 year mortgage is the best option for me.

What does my monthly payment look like for a $625,000 mortgage?

I have used a mortgage amortization calculator (link below) which gives me the details on how my monthly mortgage payment is split into interest and principal repayment and how long before my entire loan is repaid. I am going to use that calculator to come up with the nos below.

Case 1

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78

Case 2

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78
Monthly extra payment $800

Case 3

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78
Monthly extra payment $1600

How soon can I pay off the $625,000 mortgage?

Case 1: $3166 pm

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78

DATE          PAYMENT   PRINCIPAL   INTEREST   TOTAL INTEREST   BALANCE
June 2016  $3,166.78      $823.03          $2,343.75      $2,343.75                    $624,176.97
June 2031  $3,166.78      $1,614.42        $1,552.36     $360,535.55                $412,347.79
May 2046  $3,166.78      $3,154.95        $11.83           $515,041.95                $0.00

Repayment time is 30 years.

Case 2: $3966 pm

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78
Monthly extra payment $800

DATE          PAYMENT   PRINCIPAL   INTEREST   TOTAL INTEREST   BALANCE
June 2016  $3,966.78     $1,623.03       $2,343.75      $2,343.75                     $623,376.97
June 2031  $3,966.78     $3,183.67        $783.11         $298,634.57                 $205,646.81
April 2036  $2,998.48    $2,987.27       $11.20            $322,092.87                $0.00

Repayment time is 20 years.

Case 3: $4766 pm

Mortgage term in years 30
Monthly payments $3,166.78
Monthly extra payment $1600

DATE           PAYMENT   PRINCIPAL   INTEREST   TOTAL INTEREST   BALANCE
June 2016   $4,766.78     $2,423.03        $2,343.75      $2,343.75                    $622,576.97
June 2031   $3,712.62     $3,698.75        $13.87            $236,733.59                $0.00

Repayment time is 15 years.

Missing expenses

In all the above calculations, the astute reader might have noticed that I left out two parts from the above calculation:

  • Property taxes from the calculation.
    • Assuming a 1.25% property tax rate, it is not unreasonable to have a $1000 per month property tax in my HCOL area.
    • But, assuming that this expense is tax deductible, I will ignore this cost.
  • House maintenance expenses
    • From the experience of our current rental, I estimate house maintenance expenses to be¬†roughly about $2500 per year i.e. $appx $200 pm
  • Home insurance
    • Lets estimate this to be $200 pm.

So, appx $500 more per month needs to be budgeted for house maintenance and insurance expenses.

Conclusion

Even without adding the “Missing expenses”, having a $625,000 mortgage will definitely not fit into the 10 year FI plan that I have. Note that we are talking close to a $5000 pm mortgage payment. Adding 5 more years to the FI plan will be sufficient. So, if I get a $625K mortage, the following things have to happen:

  • Pay $5000 pm mortgage
  • Work for 15 more years

The next two case studies will tackle a $525K mortgage and a $425K mortgage.

Links

DIGIT savings‚Ķ.Month 2 update

I started using DIGIT, a new way of squeezing out some extra cash from my¬†bank account, two months ago. I wrote about it¬†here. My goal was to squeeze some leftover money after accounting for all the budgeted categories (expenses, savings and investment goals). Every time the savings account accumulates to a couple hundred bucks, my plan was to withdraw it and apply towards my Financial Independence goals….more specifically, my home down payment fund.

That said, how well did DIGIT save money for me in April? Quite well in fact. For the month of April 2015, DIGIT has squirreled away 238.29 from my bank account. I got a tax refund that I was a bit lazy in moving towards a goal. DIGIT pounced on it and increased the savings rate automatically. This is good in two ways for me:

  • This is 238.29¬†I did know I could live without and
  • This is 238.29¬†that I would have spent on something less important than my financial independence goals.

Since signup, DIGIT has saved me $360….this is money I did not know I could save. So, go DIGIT!

But, where is the saved money going? About a month back, I wrote about my plan to benefit from the next recession here. My plan is to buy a house at a price less than the bubblicious prices prevalent in my HCOL area today. So, at the end of every month, the money DIGIT saves for me moves to my home downpayment fund. DIGIT savings is an opportunistic saving for me…apart from the planned savings towards all my goals, including home down payment. I will take¬†money however I can save it¬†ūüôā

PS: If you want to sign up and try it out, go directly to Digit’s website here at https://digit.co/

If you do sign up at all, please do share your experiences, positive OR negative, via comments on this page. I would love to hear from you on how this works out.

Link to Yahoo Article: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/29-old-invented-painless-way-170000170.html

Financial Independence Progress Report for April 2015

04/30/2015
Emergency Fund ($72K) 100.0% 100.0%
College Fund (80K) 33.15% 34.54%
Passive Income Streams ($4000 pm) $71.84 pm (04/2014)% $172.40 pm (04/2015)
Retirement Fund ($900K) 56.55% 58.82%
Roof for our Family($1 mil) 00.00%
Medical Fund 00.00%
Life Insurance Done (term life insurance payments initiated)

Main Takeaways

  1. Stock funds seems to have bounced back this month. And so has the 529 fund.
  2. Passive income for April 2015 increased in comparison to April 2014.
    • I compute passive income per month as (total passive income for the year) / number of months completed in year.¬†So, for April, it would be (total passive income for the year) / 4.¬†Doing it this way keeps the monthly passive income more realistic.
    • But,¬†$172 pm is far far away from $4000 pm which is my target ūüė¶
    • Compound Income…please hurry up!!