early retirement update
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Early Retirement Monthly Update: November

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Well, folks, another month is in the books. Over 25% of our year has been spent abroad in retirement. November was a busy month for us. What impact has all this had on our money, you ask? Have we had to dip into our savings to float our lifestyle yet or is the rental income still enough to sustain us?

Let’s find out below!

Early Retirement Update: Income

“Work”

Not much to report this month in the ‘work’ category so the Early Retirement Police can take the month off.

However, we did sell a couple of workout programs on Fiverr netting us $19.67. If you are interested in starting off your New Year healthier and in better shape, be sure to check out our Health Resources page. If you don’t have a gym membership but still want to take more control over your health & wellness, we have good news. An at-home workout program we are developing with zero equipment needed will be available before New Year’s.

Work Total: $19.67

Rentals

Rental Income
Duplex 1 $725
Condo $1,565.77
House & Apartment $590
Duplex 2 $1,100
Duplex 3 $1,100
Townhouse $1,000
Total $6,080.77

Of course, here’s the lion’s share of our income. There was a drop-off this month due to our house being vacant. We’ve had a couple of applicants. Surprisingly though, November & December aren’t hot times for 3 bedroom rentals. It’s like people don’t want to uproot their families and deal with the stress of moving along with the holiday’s. What idiots, am I right?

Anyway, even though we currently have a vacancy, our AirBnb income is still growing every month. We’ve actually just raised the nightly price. However, since we are already booked up until February, that won’t come into effect until then. If you’re interested in hosting your own Airbnb, use our link and receive a $25 bonus after your first booking.

Misc

The only miscellaneous income we have this month is from our online savings accounts. Our money sitting in various accounts made us $65.21 in interest this month, or enough for a night in a pretty good AirBnb. Can’t beat that for truly passive income.

We are planning to experiment with a couple of other random income streams for some future articles. However, as of this writing in early December, we haven’t pulled the trigger on any yet.

On second thought, Early Retirement Police, maybe you shouldn’t take the month off. Y’all stay vigilant and remember to always inform someone that makes any money after claiming to be ‘retired’ that they aren’t retired.

Misc Total: $65.21

Total Income: $6,165.65

Spending

We had a busy month of finishing our renovations, nights out with friends, traveling in Cyprus, and traveling to Poland and Germany. With all the things we did this month, have our expenses surpassed our income of $6k?

Travel

In Cyprus

Our early retirement travel expenses saw an uptick in November. This was completely expected as we hosted another early retiree at our place in Cyprus and drove around extensively showing him the island. Due to this, we spent $69.18 on gas.

During our adventures, we went to a country that doesn’t exist: the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’. The quotations around it are because this country only exists in Turkey’s mind. No other country in the world recognizes this ‘country’. Since it’s blacklisted, we had to purchase special insurance for our car at the border because our insurance wouldn’t cover the car on the north side. The insurance cost $22.13.

Exploring in early retirement
On top of Aphrodite’s Rock

In Europe

We booked our trip to Munich using points, so no costs there. If you’re interested in using credit card points for free travel, check out our Travel Resources page.

We purposefully planned a long layover in Poland. This gave us an opportunity to take a couple of trains and buses to get from the airport to the city center so we could explore Warsaw for a few hours. The cost of this public transportation was $3.50 for the two of us round trip. Damn, I’m envious of places with quality public transportation. We’ve got a lot of things right in America, but public transportation is just not one of them.

Warsaw Old Town
Walking through Old Town in Warsaw. We were not prepared for the cold.

Speaking of our trip to Munich, we booked a couple of nights at an AirBnb before our house-sit started. Waiting until the last minute can get you a discount for booking because most owners don’t want the place to sit empty, if possible. We utilized this technique when booking our place in Munich which came out to $112.77 for two nights, over $50 less than it was initially priced at.

We also picked up some tickets for Munich’s public transportation which includes subways, buses, and trams. As two people who’ve never lived in a city with decent public transportation, this shit is legit. Anyway, two 5-trip tickets that lasted us over a week came out to $25.60.

Finally, to wrap up our travel expenses, we’ve booked another train to take us from Munich to Budapest in December. For two people this train ride costs $114.78 and will take us through Germany, Austria, and part of Hungary. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun day full of sights, but since we aren’t leaving Munich until mid-December, you’ll have to wait until next month to find out.

Total Travel: $325.83

Food

Groceries

Amazingly, our grocery and food expenses were even lower this month. We spent $114.03 on groceries for the month. This includes staples such as rice, oatmeal, peanut butter, almond butter, dates, avocados, peas, fresh fruits & veggies, granola, and more. Not to mention, tons of cheap wine.

Our go-to is pretty much unpackaged and unprocessed foods, although this does include a few bags of chips at a corner store when we were having drinks and snacks with our friends.

Luckily even though Munich is the most expensive city in Europe, and the 29th most expensive city in the world, we are right down the street from three grocery stores, including Lidl, so we can hop between them for the best deals.

Meals Out

In Cyprus

Yet again, we always seem to find free or cheap things to do for entertainment and food. Luckily, our friends in Cyprus are 100% on board.

They invited us to an art exhibit where we got unlimited free drinks because it was sponsored by a Gin company. We were dragging the next day at the gym, but the 12+ drinks and staying out till 2:00 am didn’t help.

Free drinks
2 of the 12+ free drinks

We also went to a free concert. The genre was ‘noise’. Whatever it was called, it was atrocious. However, it was still a fun night with friends.

Somehow, we also became friends with some Alabama fans in Cyprus and were invited to a tailgate where we ate typical football food like nachos, bbq sandwiches, ice cream, and more. The host gave us an untouched rack of ribs because he, like many others, doesn’t eat leftovers. Absolutely crazy.

Bama Man Cave
Bama Man Cave in Limassol

As far as spending money goes, we went down and had some beer on the beach for $3.50. Additionally, while hosting our friend, we went down to Old Town Limassol and got gelato for €1.50 ($1.66) apiece, which was the best money we’ve spent since we’ve been retired. Legitimately worth every penny.

Also, we spent β‚Ί70 Turkish Lira ($12.23) on a huge lunch on the north side of the island. We were so full that we skipped supper. On our last day in Cyprus, Emily and I walked back down and got a couple more of those gelatos for $1.66.

Gelato in Limassol
Our last gelato in Limassol with Christmas decorations in the background

In Europe

During our travels, we happily crashed a couple of lounges for food. First, the Limassol Aspire lounge for supper before our flight. Second, the Warsaw lounge for breakfast, and finally hitting the same Warsaw lounge again for a late lunch. Between the Warsaw lounges, we got a couple of coffees to warm up while in Old Town.

Lunch at the Warsaw Airport Lounge
Lunch at the Warsaw Airport Lounge

Meanwhile, in the Warsaw lounge, we ran into a FI friend and he was on the same flight to Munich. He was renting a camper van and driving around the Alps with a friend. He invited us to a bar in Munich to meet someone his friend put him in touch with. The bar didn’t accept cards, so she was kind enough to buy our beers as we were cash-poor.

Indebted to this woman, we suggested getting lunch with her the next week. She recommended a great Italian place that makes their own wine. After an amazing meal, we went to pay, and they didn’t take cards either. Sensing a pattern here? Embarrassingly, she paid for our meal and now we are even more in the debt of this gracious German.

We did have a couple of meals out that we actually paid for including a local German Brauhaus & a vegan cat-cafe where they had cats wandering the place.

Our Alabama friends from Cyprus put us in touch with a former Alabama football player in Munich. This guy happened to be hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for some of his German friends and invited us over. These damn Germans are incredibly nice. We did bring over some cake for dessert, so our cost was $22.37.

Thanksgiving meal
Typical Thanksgiving day food picture, but this time in Germany

Food Total: $168.86

Health & Fitness

We had a big drop-off in spending on health & fitness in November. We did buy some vegan protein for $23.20. Additionally, we spent $55.43 on some medication.

We ‘froze’ our gym membership in Cyprus for a few months so we wouldn’t miss out on three of the six months that we paid for. While we’ve been in Munich, we’ve been doing 100% at-home workouts with no equipment. This is because the gyms in Munich are incredibly expensive. We’re talking $22.14 (€20) apiece for a one-day guest pass. On the other hand, our gym in the States had a $5 daily guest pass. Consequently, we are looking forward to Budapest, where the gyms are much more reasonable.

Doing an at-home workout
Doing an at-home workout

Health & Fitness Total: $78.63

Housing

Rentals

Rental Mortgage Expenses
Duplex 1 $393.03 $0.00
Condo $318.66 $377.33
House & Apartment $581.53 $204.68
Duplex 2 $350.26 $40.00
Duplex 3 $362.97 $40.00
Townhouse $577.24 $0.00
Total $3,245.70

This was a low month on maintenance & repairs, however, we already covered the vacancy in the income section.

For example, we had typical costs of the mortgages, utilities for two properties, property management for the AirBnb, and pest control for two properties.

Other Housing

Finally, we wrapped up the work on our apartment…for now. To finish up, we needed some paint, random supplies, bathroom accessories, two clothes racks, & some small accessories from IKEA. Overall, this came out to $315.26.

With this, we now have a fully furnished apartment complete with a guest room for friends and family to visit, which was not an option when we initially arrived in Cyprus. One of the many beauties of early retirement is that you have the time and energy to focus on things that’ll benefit others more than yourself.

Total Housing: $3,560.96

Misc Expenses

To sum up our expenses in early retirement we have the miscellaneous category. This month, we have a typical phone bill from Sprint, which was $47.19 for the two of us. This is a few dollars more than last month as I had a couple of phone calls with the internet provider of our AirBnb which cost me $0.25 per minute.

Similarly, another random expense this month was a haircut for €10 ($11.07). Also, we spent €6 to explore Saint Hilarion Castle in ‘Northern Cyprus’, which turned into a full day of exploration and beautiful sights and scenery.

View from St. Hilarion Castle. Can you spot Emily?

Misc Total: $58.26

Total Expenses: $4,192.54

Conclusion

Despite the higher expenses of traveling, the exploring we did, and all the nights out with friends, we still were well within our monthly early retirement income. It really amazes me how inexpensive a life full of adventure can be.

On the other hand, most people believe that you have to live like a pauper to keep your expenses low, especially in early retirement. We are here to tell you that you couldn’t be more incorrect. Above all, it may take a little creativity, but you can have a healthy, fun, social lifestyle in early retirement without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Income – Expenses = +$1,888.23

 

Monthly Early Retirement Updates:

September: +$5,905.70

October: +$2,540.15

November: +$1,888.23

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