This past week I started floating my resume out, goose-stepping my way into some possible temp work. The past few months have been nice. Since I finished rehabbing my last rental property in January and got a new tenant in place I haven’t had much of a to-do list. I spent three weeks in West Africa in March upon an invitation from a friend of mine who’s originally from Ghana and was going home to visit family. I was treated like a part of his family, put up in nice homes and fed a lot of home-cooked meals. I came home with a deeper appreciation for those of you who plan to retire abroad, or have already done so. I see the attractiveness of it, I do. It’s adventurous, exciting, and a chance to make everything new, including yourself. But for now and in the foreseeable future, I’m happy with my home where it is.
I was also able to tag along on a road trip with a group of friends to Miami, Myrtle Beach and as well as a couple of nights in D.C.. We split all the costs four ways, took turns barbecuing the majority of our meals on the beach, and shared hotel rooms, so the expense was minimal.
Since the weather’s improved over the past couple of weeks I’ve been able to take my bicycle out on some twenty to thirty mile rides. It turns out that over the last few years while I was adding digits to my bank account, and letters to the end of my name, I was also adding some inches to my waist. So it’s been nice to be able to reignite my more active hobbies. I’ll be outside in the next couple of weeks tearing up some grass to make room for a summer garden. My father offered to loan me his roto-tiller but I told him I’d rather take a stab at doing it by hand.
Financially everything is going fine. But I do want to increase my passive income some more. I’m comfortable where I am and it’s not a bad life at all. But I do feel a bit exposed just getting by. If I ever had a problem tenant things would be tight. And there are some projects I’d like to do that I couldn’t afford right now. Like building an alternative energy vehicle in my garage, getting solar panels, maybe heating my house with thermal solar vacuum tubes coupled with a massive underground heat storage system. – You know, fun stuff.
So right now I’m financially independent. But I’m not ready to call myself retired. This is more like a brief sabbatical. I do expect sometime in the next few years to be in a place where I’m 90% sure I’ll never take on a “regular job” again. Even then there will be a good chance I’ll do things like handle a few legal cases, rehab another property if I find a good deal, build stuff and wind up selling it at a profit, maybe start a part-time business or help a friend with a business of theirs.
The nice thing now is, when I do get some work, 100% of my earnings can go towards investments, since I can afford to live off of my rental income. I’m hoping to land a 6-12 month gig, or maybe a couple of 3-6 month assignments with a break in between. I’m definitely not done with real estate, since there are still good deals around and I think they will continue to be around for at least another year. I’m not sure if my next purchase will be another long-term rental, or something I try to rehab and put back on the market for resale. It’s going to depend on the work I find and what kind of real estate deal I fall into. I like to remain flexible so I can just take the best deal available rather than shoehorning my way through the steps of a meticulously laid out master plan. If I find a good deal on a property that would make a good rental, I’ll go for it. Or if I find a good deal on a property that would work better being rehabbed for resale, I’ll do that.
In the meantime I’m just going to keep my hook in the water. And while I’m waiting for a bite I’ll be taking the bike out, getting the garden ready, and building the calluses on my finger tips with my guitar fret.