Well, 2015 sure flew on by. It really is true what they say, “the older you get the faster the years go by”.
A review of 2015
James and Donna are doing great and little Relena is growing fast and talking very well. She is 3 years old this month on the 3rd.
Amanda moved back in with us to save some money. Apartments are so expensive, $600 a month is $7,200 a year and $36K in 5 years. I was looking to buy another house for an investment for her. Since I would have to put 20% down on an investment property I was looking for a fixer-upper around 75K, that way I only needed to borrow about 50k. We looked at several houses and everything at that price point is crap. So, we moved to plan B, that will follow in the financial section below.
Cindy’s niece and nephew had babies. Now there are three grandchildren and another is in the oven. Yea!
Jennifer and Jacob are doing great and that makes me happy. Their two boys are growing fast. My mom and dad love to see them at holiday. When I talk to them about a recent visit I can hear the love in their voices. It warms my heart Jenn and Jacob make the effort to go and see them.
Last I heard Daniel is not doing well. He is a sore spot in my heart. We all tried helping over the years but really, that’s all we can ever do right…try to help our kids when they ask? Every one of us is ultimately responsible for our own choices and the path we choose but it still hurts. When things go wrong in our children’s lives don’t we all assume a little responsibility thinking, “we could have done more”? Well, I know I do.
Annalisa and Bobbie are doing great. They also have 2 boys. Together, Cindy and I have 5 children and 5 grandchildren. I pray for them all. I’m liking The Facebook more. Not that I want to always be posting stuff, but that I can look on my girls pages and see all the pictures of them and the kids. I haven’t been the greatest dad. My hope is they love me for who I am and not what I have, or have not done, in the past and in the future.
My whole family is doing very well except for Cindy’s mom. Dee had a mild stroke in November. She suffered complete memory loss for a week and that was scary. She has since regained all her memory and did not suffer any paralysis, thank God. She is doing really good for having had a stroke.
Financially we are stronger than ever. Cindy and I have great jobs and zero debt, except for her car and our house payment. I am sending Wells Fargo about $500 extra each month so the house will be paid off the month after I turn 61. The plan is to work another two years and retire at 63. I’ll save every penny those two years and invest it and I’ll take most of my Social Security checks each month and invest it as well. I’ll also take my pension in all cash lump sum from Coke and invest it. All this added to my 401k and IRA I estimate having about 500K by the time I’m 67. Cindy is 8 years younger than me and has all that I have and more, a nice pension from EDS/HP, IRA and 401k, and 8 more years to work compared to me. You can read a lot about all this here at my blog. I also have links to trackers for our IRA’s so we can see the total dividends our investments are generating month-to-month.
I mentioned Plan B above. Cindy and I have talked about buying land in the country when I retire. We want to get out of the big city. We had talked about selling our house, which I estimate would be valued at 200K in 8 years. It seems to go up in value about 5k per year. We could buy some land for about 20K and a brand new double-wide mobile home. These days mobile homes are built with the same materials real houses are built with. We looked at one at a Palm Harbor sales center for 22K, really nice and spacious. So, you can do the math 200k – 42K leaves us with about 150k from selling our house.
So we bought some land in Pelican Bay, in Azel, right next to Eagle Mountain Lake. I put $1,000 down and should go to the title company in Azel this week to sign the papers. I’m paying cash. We got 4 lots, a corner lot and the lot next to it and two lots in the cul-de-sac right next to the corner lot. It is almost 1 acre all together and it is about 1/8th of a mile from a boat ramp at the lake. Here’s the fun part…no one lives in the cul-de-sac. I went to the Tarrant County web site and searched the title records by address and got the name and address of the person who owns the lot next to mine in the cul-de-sac. I found her phone number in the online white pages. I’ll call her and offer her cash. If she sells a guy in Fort Worth owns two lots next to hers and the same thing, I already have his name, address, and phone. The next lot has an abandoned double-wide on it. I looked inside and it is trashed. Someone broke in a stripped all the copper wire out of it and took fixtures and anything they thought was valuable. I imagine the only way to get rid of it is to give it away. If you were into that sort of thing, and got it free, it would a real money-maker, fixing it up and selling or renting it out. I want to own every lot in the cul-de-sac and if these three people sell I will.
Now, looking at everything, I don’t think I need to sell our house in order to move to the lake. I’ll know better in 6 years, when and if, I hit 61. I’m thinking the best option is to keep the house and let one of our kids live here. We’ll have to see what happens down the road…
In closing I would be fool not to acknowledge how it has come to be that I have all that I have. A loving wife who cherishes me, children and grandchildren, a really nice house full of stuff, a great job that pays more than I need, investment and savings discipline, and parents who loved us, and God, enough to drag us to Church every Sunday when we were young.
“Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8