It would seem inaccuracy is the price of fame or notoriety. Most often this concerns the financial situation, which I guess is my fault, since I have never directly stated any numbers. I can see good reasons to do so (privacy) and I can see good reasons not to (clarity). Mostly I have adopted a policy of letting long time readers figure it out by reading between the lines. However, for the record …

  • I am financially independent. In terms of raw income into my checking account, it has more than covered my expenses sometimes by a factor two since 2005 except 2008 where I took some losses. For example in 2009 I made about $11000 in capital gains and income. In terms of withdrawal rates I am solidly under 3% and I am approaching 2% as my next big goal. I have enough money for the rest of my life.
  • I spend about $7000 each year. Note that I spend my money quite differently than do other people. For instance, I spend little on services. I spend little on new things, and I spend comparably more on maintenance and reserve parts.
  • The issue of me working for a few hours a week sometimes comes up. This does not mean I need the money. In 2009 I made $7000 working for about 200 hours. I am semi-retired in the sense that still work but not in the sense that I need to to make ends meet. The problem here is that the traditional words of “retirement” or “semi-retirement” do not fit well usually being reserved for the 50+ year old who gradually wind down their careers. It would be more accurate to say I am independently wealthy than retired. Think of me as someone who successfully started and sold of a business at age 30 and made off with a bunch of money; only I did not start and sell a business but rather saved the money instead while being entrepreneurial about not spending it.
  • DW has a full time career, but in principle my investments and my freelancing for a few hours a week could cover her expenses as well. We do not need her money, but one of us do need to work for a few more years. This worker be either her or me or both. Currently it is her.
  • In a few years, my investment income should cover her completely and so if she wishes to stop working for money, she has the option as well.

I saved this money after making a choice. The choice was either that I could work for money or I could have money working for me. Most people choose to work for money for 30-40 years and then having money work for them during their final years. I figured I wanted more time not working, so I saved an equivalent amount in a handful of years. You can see how much net worth the median household has in terms of age and income by downloading the pdf discussed here. Compared to 2002 numbers which are similar to the 2010 numbers since the market has been flat, I am better off than most groups (high income geriatrics have me beat). It is also interesting to note that few people have the millions of dollars that the experts think that one needs.