Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeRetirementJune 2022 Early Retirement Replace - Cheers from Europe Version

June 2022 Early Retirement Replace – Cheers from Europe Version

After a busy month of touring in Europe, I lastly have a pause within the schedule to tug collectively one other month-to-month replace. We spent the primary three weeks of our trip in Croatia. Then we traveled a few hours north the place we stayed in the course of the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia for 2 weeks.

As of this writing, we’ve returned to Croatia for per week of leisure at a farm keep in a bit of village within the mountains. Then we head to Hungary for a few weeks earlier than returning to america.

It has been a busy summer season thus far, however we’ve seen numerous cool stuff and checked off some bucket listing gadgets. In Slovenia, we revisited some favourite locations that we visited on our final journey to Slovenia 5 years in the past (lined in two earlier weblog posts on Ljubljana, Slovenia and the Julian Alps).

Financially, we had a month of blended outcomes. Our internet price dropped sharply on account of a downturn within the inventory market. By month finish, our internet price dropped by $177,000 to finish the month at $2,593,000. Money stream introduced a prettier image. Our earnings in June was somewhat excessive at $12,743 whereas bills remained reasonable at $3,782 for the month.

Let’s bounce into the small print from final month.



Funding earnings totaled $9,875 in June. Our fairness index funds and ETFs pay dividends quarterly on the finish of March, June, September, and December. Because of this, we had a really great amount of funding earnings final month. Right here’s extra on our dividend investments.

Weblog earnings totaled $554 for the month. Final month’s weblog earnings was decrease than regular however July’s weblog earnings ought to be greater. 

My early retirement life-style consulting earnings (“consulting”) was $957 in June. These earnings got here from 5.75 hours of consulting work through the month. July consulting earnings will likely be so much decrease as a result of I needed to postpone some work on account of actually unhealthy web connections at our Airbnb’s in Europe thus far. 

Tradeline gross sales earnings totaled $175 in June. That is decrease than the previous couple of months however nonetheless a pleasant chunk of change for minimal effort. I ramped up my tradeline gross sales in 2020 and mentioned it in a bit extra element in my October 2020 month-to-month put up and in my July 2021 month-to-month put up

For June, my “deposit earnings” totaled $20. This earnings comes from money again and incentive bonuses from the and on-line purchasing portals (a few of which was earned from you readers signing up by these hyperlinks). 

Should you join Rakuten by this hyperlink and make a qualifying $25 buy by Rakuten, you’ll get a $10 enroll bonus

I didn’t obtain any earnings from Youtube in June. Youtube solely pays out while you exceed $100 in gathered income. Just lately, my Youtube earnings have been just below $100 monthly on common, so I’ll be getting paid a bit underneath $200 each two months.

Right here is the Youtube channel for the curious. It’s random journey movies, birds, youngsters, and a few DIY movies. There are just a few important movies that usher in a lot of the visitors (and income!).

The ultimate $1,160 of earnings for June got here from bank card bonuses. I cashed out $1,060 in rewards from our new Capital One Enterprise X bank card. This was the $1,000 enroll bonus plus $60 for the spending I placed on the cardboard. I additionally cashed out $100 in money again earned from a US Financial institution card. 



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We made associates with this donkey named “Joke” (pronounced “y-okay” as a result of the “j” appears like a “y” in Slavic languages like Croatian). He frolicked with us continuous at our airbnb. He would await us exterior our entrance door, then sneak round and relaxation his head on the windowsill by our bed room (proven right here). The Airbnb host stated she’s shocked how pleasant he’s towards us!


We had an airbnb cancel on us on the final minute, so we scrambled and booked a farm keep airbnb with a pleasant donkey and lavender fields. Aside from the dearth of air-con, it was very cool.




Now let’s check out June bills:


In complete, we spent $3,782 throughout June which is about $400 greater than our frequently budgeted $3,333 monthly (or $40,000 per 12 months). Journey and Utilities had been the highest two spending classes for final month. 


Detailed breakdown of spending:


Journey – $2,842:

We’re touring in the mean time, therefore the a lot greater than regular journey spending. 

The majority of the journey bills got here from the $1,520 rental automotive payment. We booked a rental automotive out of Budapest, Hungary after which paid a number of hundred {dollars} for the rental automotive firm to ship the automotive to us in Zagreb, Croatia. So we’re mainly doing a a technique rental from Zagreb to Budapest.

I had the choice to take a 5 hour bus trip to Budapest, decide up the automotive, after which drive again to Zagreb to reunite with the remainder of the household. After paying for fuel, tolls, and an additional rental automotive day, the USD $335 supply payment didn’t appear so steep, so I selected the straightforward method. 

For our 37 day rental, we ended up paying $41 per day together with the supply payment. We initially booked a barely cheaper class of rental automotive. And on the final minute they stated they had been “all bought out” of that mannequin, and “upgraded” me for a small payment to a “a lot bigger SUV”. It’s mainly a compact SUV by American requirements and simply barely large enough to carry our minimalist baggage. However I paid the marginally greater worth as a result of I didn’t have a lot of a selection on the final minute, when each day rental automotive charges had been $250/day in Zagreb. 

The rental automotive makes our trip a lot extra stress-free in comparison with counting on public transit. The place we’ve been within the countryside, there may be typically some minimal stage of bus service. However the bus solely runs twice per day (9 am and 4 pm, for instance) or each 2-3 hours. So it’s extremely inconvenient given the choice of paying $41/day plus a bit of bit for fuel to go wherever we would like at any time when we would like. 


The tranquil village of Rastoke. A river runs by the center of city creating waterfalls round lots of the buildings within the village. This was a pleasant pit cease on the drive to Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb.


Aside from the rental automotive, the following greatest expense was for groceries and eating places. I didn’t get away the meals expense individually as a result of numerous the transactions had been paid in money withdrawn from an ATM. Nevertheless, it seems to be about $900 spent on groceries and eating out. However that overstates the associated fee a bit as a result of I withdrew an excessive amount of cash whereas in Croatia and we’re nonetheless spending the final little bit of that proper now (since we returned to Croatia for per week in July). 

We additionally paid about $150 for numerous transit tickets, uber from the airport, parking, tolls, and museum/park admissions (which had been minimal). Plus one other $54 for spherical journey cable automotive rides up and down the Sljeme Mountain in Zagreb (about 3,000 ft elevation achieve over the course of the 16 minute trip). 


Cable automotive up the mountain in Zagreb


Gasoline for the rental automotive totaled $70 in June. We’re getting round 40 miles per gallon so the fuel prices are literally cheaper per mile right here in Europe than it will be at house within the USA driving our 21 mpg minivan. Transformed to {dollars} per gallon, we paid $6.50 to $6.80 per gallon for 95 octane fuel over right here. So only a bit greater than what of us in excessive priced California cities had been paying on the identical time interval for premium gas.

After we go to Hungary in just a few days, we’ll be paying about USD $4.50 per gallon because of a gas subsidy for Hungarian-registered automobiles (like our rental automotive!). 

The final journey expense was an enormous one. We paid $200 in complete for 2-day tickets to Plitvice Lakes Nationwide Park in Croatia. It was good to have two days there as an alternative of simply at some point. That method, we may take our time to benefit from the surroundings as an alternative of speeding by the park alongside the lakeside trails. We noticed loads of guided excursions on what gave the impression to be a compelled march by the park, with the tour information yelling “mush mush mush, little doggies” the entire time. Okay, the tour teams didn’t get mistreated that a lot however I wouldn’t wish to be on their excursions!


Plitvice Lakes Nationwide Park. One of many first views while you enter the path right down to the lakes.




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Utilities – $333:

The overall utility spending again house in Raleigh was $333 final month.

We spent $169 on the electrical invoice and $135 for the water/sewer/trash invoice. The pure fuel invoice, which supplies heating and sizzling water, totaled $30 for final month.

The excessive electrical energy invoice is because of sizzling temperatures in Might and June earlier than we left house. We cranked the AC to remain cool! The following few months of electrical energy payments will likely be considerably decrease since we’re out of city for half of June and August and all of July. The water and pure fuel payments ought to drop fairly a bit too, nevertheless these utilities have massive month-to-month flat charges no matter utilization. 


Elevator enjoyable in Zagreb. Our condo constructing was in-built 1936 and the elevator was apparently classic. It received caught with our children in it. I rapidly found out learn how to name the elevator repairman to extract our children from their picket cage.


Taxes – $300:

I paid $300 towards my second quarter North Carolina estimated earnings taxes. 


Groceries – $245:

We solely spent $245 on groceries whereas at house in Raleigh in June. The quantity is pretty low primarily as a result of we had been solely house half of the month and attempting to depart house with the fridge largely empty. 


Healthcare/Medical/Dental – $40:

Our present 2022 medical health insurance is totally free because of very beneficiant Reasonably priced Care Act subsidies that we obtain on account of our low ~$45,000 per 12 months Adjusted Gross Revenue. 

The “American Rescue Plan Act” handed in March 2021 makes the Reasonably priced Care Act premiums even cheaper by 2022. Households with modified adjusted gross incomes (MAGI) beneath 150% of the federal poverty stage get choose silver-level medical health insurance plans fully free. 

For the adults within the family, we spend $20 monthly ($240 per 12 months) for a fundamental dental insurance coverage plan for every of us (or $40 monthly in complete). Our routine dental exams and cleanings with the occasional x-ray have elevated in worth lately. The fee is now $125 (no x-ray) or $170 (with x-ray). 

With two routine visits per 12 months, we are going to spend nearly $300 per particular person. A $240 insurance coverage plan supplies those self same providers without spending a dime. And we get some minimal stage of insurance coverage if one among us wants a filling through the 12 months. 


Exploring the tunnels beneath Zagreb. Fully free to enter and stroll round, the tunnels additionally supplied a pleasant respite from the recent day exterior. At one level, they used these tunnels as a bomb shelter.


Gasoline – $18:

Gasoline costs had been extraordinarily excessive in early to mid June however I wanted just a few gallons to get us by the primary half of June whereas we had been on the town. Plus a bit of bit extra fuel to get us to and from the airport! So I purchased 1 / 4 of a tank for $18.

Hopefully costs drop again down by the point we get house to Raleigh.


House Upkeep – $6:

I needed to refill our fuel can for the lawnmower. With fuel at nearly $4.50 per gallon, the 1.2 gallons within the can totaled nearly $6! 


Eating places – $2:

I had a number of free burrito coupons to make use of at Moe’s in June. However to make use of the app to order forward, you must pay $0.38 per order. So I spent simply over a greenback to purchase the comfort of getting our orders prepared as quickly as we present up as an alternative of ready in line and putting our orders in particular person. 

I don’t embrace restaurant meals whereas we’re on trip, however listed here are some good meals pics from our journey thus far. 


Large pizza. Serves 5. Solely USD $13.50!


That is burek. A staple bakery merchandise within the Balkans. Nearly each bakery has these on the market. Very filling, and solely $1-3 every for an enormous portion. Fillings embrace floor meat, cheese, or apple. Every of the “rings” on this burek is about an inch large.


Pleskavica (aka big hamburger patty lined in kajmak butter) with a facet of spicy bacon beans. And a heaping bowl of goulash. We went to Kotlić kod Draža, a bit of restaurant stall in the primary Dolac Market nearly each day whereas in Zagreb. The menu could be very restricted with solely 3-4 dishes every day.  However they had been all scrumptious. And priced properly at USD $5-6.50 every. The menu varies all through the week so there’s all the time one thing new to attempt.


We’d eat an enormous serving to of goulash or big meat chunks, then get some contemporary fruit and veggies to scrub all of it down on the Dolac Market instantly above the restaurant. Cherries and peaches had been in season, dust low cost, and scrumptious. And in contrast to many open air markets in Europe, this one truly had aggressive costs, good high quality produce, and loads of locals purchasing alongside us.



Cable/Satellite tv for pc/Web – $0:

We typically pay $18 monthly for a neighborhood diminished fee package deal on account of having a decrease earnings and having youngsters. 30 mbit/s obtain, 4 mbit/s add. Proper now the price of the web service is briefly diminished to $0 because of the “Reasonably priced Connectivity Program”. 



Whole 12 months-To-Date Spending for 2022


Our spending totaled $17,157 for the primary six months of 2022. That is about $3,000 lower than the $20,000 we budgeted for six months of spending in our $40,000 annual early retirement finances.

Thus far our spending appears to be like extremely good all issues thought of. Inflation continues to drive up costs for staples like meals, utilities, and journey bills. However we’re nonetheless someway underneath finances! 

In August after we return house from our summer season journey, we are going to hopefully be capable to buy a further automotive. Used automotive costs are lastly beginning to drop since February. I hope automotive costs proceed that downward development all summer season so we received’t be paying $10,000 for a 15 12 months previous Ford Escort. A bit tiny child recession in used automotive costs will likely be a welcome reduction for us. 

Our oldest child begins full time group school within the fall. It’s wanting like monetary support will cowl your complete value and canopy all of the books too. So we shouldn’t should dip into the 529 plan an excessive amount of. And in any occasion, the complete price ticket together with books and costs is barely $3,000 if we had been to should pay out of pocket. 


A bit highschool commencement celebration at house in Raleigh the day earlier than we head out of city for two months.


Within the fall and winter months, we’ve three cruises booked totaling 20 days. I’m about to make ultimate funds on two of these cruises that may complete just below $1,000. 

General, our spending appears to be like good for the remainder of the 12 months. However this could be the 12 months that we lastly break the $40,000 spending stage that we’ve budgeted for all alongside. And that’s completely fantastic as a result of our portfolio has gone up fairly a bit since I retired 9 years in the past, even after adjusting for inflation. 


Month-to-month Expense Abstract for 2022:


Abstract of annual spending from all years of early retirement:


We stopped by the Mirogoj Cemetery, the multi-faith important burial grounds for the residents of town of Zagreb. The cemetery wall extends for nearly a mile and should be 30 ft excessive not less than.



Web Price: $2,593,000 (-$177,000)

Down $177,000 in a single month and right here we’re gallivanting throughout Europe spending cash like loopy.

Reality be advised, I believe we’re good. The inventory market simply had a bit of hiccup and we’ll in all probability be again to report excessive inventory market valuations in a 12 months or three or 5. 

Our withdrawal fee is underneath 3% of our portfolio now. Meaning we received’t even want to the touch 97% of our portfolio for over a 12 months. Quite a bit can occur in a 12 months, so why fear about it at present?

I’d somewhat benefit from the considerably costly trip we’re on as an alternative of focusing time and vitality on inventory market fluctuations that I’ve no management over. 

For the curious, our internet price reported above contains our house worth (which is totally paid off). Nevertheless, please observe that I don’t take into account my house worth as a part of my portfolio for “4% rule” calculation functions. I notice of us ask me about that each month so I simply needed to state that right here for readability.



Life replace

One other nice month of early retired life is within the books. Now we have been extremely busy the primary month of our journey by Europe. However we booked a pleasant quiet airbnb up within the hills for per week proper in the course of our trip. We’ve been lounging round, taking within the views, and feeding/taking part in with the critters on the farm. 

And catching up on emails, social media, video video games, and maintaining in contact with family and friends again house. Our airbnb host runs a restaurant downstairs from us. So scrumptious sizzling cooked meals can be found for an inexpensive worth if we’re too lazy to prepare dinner one thing for ourselves, or make the 15 minute journey into city to dine out. 

Thus far, we’ve been pretty fortunate with the climate. It’s solely rained laborious just a few instances and we had been both hunkered down in our Airbnb or capable of take refuge inside a restaurant for lunch to attend out the passing storm. 


The Ban Josip Jelačić Sq. in central Zagreb. The town was surprisingly empty of vacationers. After spending final summer season touring by the western USA and all of the tremendous busy nationwide parks, it was good to take pleasure in a slower tempo in Zagreb.


The warmth is one other story. Europe is within the midst of one other heatwave, and it’s sizzling exterior! We’ve had air-con of various high quality in all places we’ve stayed besides two locations, so it hasn’t been too unhealthy total. And it’s dry sufficient right here that 90F levels and even 100F levels doesn’t really feel that unhealthy within the shade with a breeze. However I’m positively bumping up “air-con” in our priorities for future airbnb bookings if we’re anyplace south of the artic circle (and north of Buenos Aires) throughout summertime! 

In just a few days we are going to proceed our journey east to Hungary the place we are going to wrap up our two month journey in jap Europe. Then we head house in mid-August. Our older two youngsters could have just a few days to chill out at house earlier than their group school lessons begin for the autumn semester. 

That’s it for this month’s replace! See you in August! 


How is your summer season going thus far? Staying cool? 


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