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Archive for July, 2021

R.I.P. Trash D.R.I.P.

August 1st, 2021 at 04:45 am

Well its been nice knowing 'ya.  

A long time ago in a galaxy... ok, I gotta stop that.  Anywho, it's been 2007 since I started a little experiment.  I would work out how to do without paying for the local trash pickup, and I would invest the money.  This would be my incentive to cut back on my trash.   To do this I started a DRIP (Direct ReInvestment Program) online.  I invested in a stable stock, and put in originally $25/mo. as this was close to the monthly trash charge.  I upped it after a few years to $40 and left it there ever since.   Well with my efforts to clean up my finances this year, along with my finances being tight as I put so much into my 457 plan + pension + HSA + taxes + insurance (yikes!), I am taking home only 15% of my gross pay right now.  Any little bit will help and so I have decided to stop monthly investments in this stock.  I'm sure its for the best as tracking all these investments if I should ever decide to sell will be ... lets just say "a challenge".  

So to get two benefits, I stop the investments and save myself tracking and get a little extra cash.  Yep, not a bad idea.

Time to start cleaning up

July 13th, 2021 at 01:37 am

Over the years I have had investments in a number of things.  Home, pension, brokerage, IRA, 457, HSA, DRIP, Savings Bonds, CDs (maybe more?).  Anyway, as I get closer to retirement I realize that in some things fewer is better.  Or at least that is the case in this point in life.  

I've come to this realization through a number of things I have seen lately.  One of them has been working with my mother.  She has (and I have helped from time to time) gone through her things and has been getting rid of things she no longer needs.  This is a great thing to do as you get older.  It makes life easier, and certainly easier for someone else if that person has to come after you to deal with your items. 

For me this has been a slow process, but it is a good thing in any case.  Which comes to the posting.  For a time I had up to 8 DRIPs.  They made sense when I got them.  Little to no cost of purchase & ownership, sometimes special benefits to owning stock.    However in the past few years those benefits have become fleeting as brokerages now charge almost no fees.  Of the original 8 one was bought out to go private and one I sold last year to add a "loss" to my income to cut back on taxes at 24%.  This left me with six.  This year I was looking at the remaining ones, and two of them have started in the past years to charge a fee with each dividend to send me the money.  OK, not much, but still, it adds up to 2-3% of the dividend is lost.  So what to do....

Well I always heard you could transfer your ownership to other brokerages.  So I started to do research on transferring two of my remaining six to my brokerage.  I found the paperwork to fill out, and went to a local office last week.  The person there made it sound very easy, so asked for a little help on filling out the papers and in 15 minutes handed them over to the receptionist.  If this works without issue I may do another one or two later this year.   I have two I plan on keeping as DRIPs for now.  One I invest monthly, and the other gives a 5% discount on reinvested money.

Isn't the greatest thing ever I guess, but I think its a good thing.  And my GF who is doing taxes says it will greatly help in tax prep in the future.  Yeah, I think this is worth the effort.


UPDATE: Only one week later and both stocks have appeared in my brokerage - faster than I expected by a lot.  And it was so easy.  Now I'm considering if I should do this again with the remaining four I have.  Something more to consider this week.

Six month update? May as well...

July 5th, 2021 at 03:31 pm

Well I did a 3 month update, and as the amounts seem to keep rising, so why not a quick six month update as well.

Investments: Started the year at $1,305,000 and as of today stand at $1,531,000.  That gives an increase of $226,000.  With contributions of $33,300 that leaves growth of $192,700.  That growth is just crazy.  Feels like I moved into the 1%. 💸

Also financially: I did a $20,000 in-plan Roth rollover this spring.  Going to hate the tax hit this year, but it is what it is.  And I may do a second one this year if I get really ambitious.

Work related

Good news: My golden handcuffs come off in 18 months.  😀

Bad News: I have to go back into office 2 days a week starting in Sept.  😒

This isn't needed to do our work, but there are people that have had to go to the office throughout this mess, and because of that they aren't going to let the rest of us telework forever.  GRRRRR...   Also due to that I have not used annual leave so far this year as I want to use it after we start going back into the office.  So from Sept. '21 to Dec. '22 I want to use 99 annual leave days (40 days carried over into 2021 + earning 26 each year ('21 & '22) + 7 days of compensatory time I have accumulated over the years and never used).

Other: Started going to the gym this January. 💪  Lost some of the softness that had built up over the past year.  This is a good thing. 

Life goes on - just working on cleaning up my finances and my health as the finish line approaches.