Monthly Archives: July 2013

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Today was perfect

Today was perfect.

Today was perfect.

Today was one of those Mondays. Pretired Baby woke up at the same time as me so I didn’t have any time to check in online and see what was happening in the world, my web site or my life.

After a quick diaper change, we had a leisurely breakfast together (egg frittata, toast, yogurt, banana, milk and cereal). Then I cleaned up the kitchen while he watched from the playpen. Then some playing on the floor before he went down for nap number one.

Once he was down, I rushed to handle the latest two money-sucking nightmares with my fourplex sale. After an hour of calls with my property manager, realtor and a contractor, I took a quick shower and tried to de-stress a little bit. Then I answered a few more emails (mostly blog-related) until I heard Pretired Baby hollering to let me know he was awake.

After a lunch of grilled cheese, leftover pasta and leftover yogurt from breakfast, I cleaned up once again and we played on the floor together for awhile, while I surreptitiously checked email occasionally to see how the fourplex craziness was proceeding. As that was more or less under control, I loaded Pretired Baby into the stroller for a trip down to Seattle’s best park, Lincoln Park, just a couple miles from World Headquarters.

While the park was quite empty compared to the weekend crowds, all the swings were taken so I couldn’t continue my mission of getting him used to swinging (he starts wanting down after about two minutes currently). So we walked the lovely path along the water, nodding at the various MILFs, retirees and dog-walkers. We walked around the Colman Pool building (Seattle’s only saltwater pool and only accessible via a pretty decent hike from the parking lot.)

We paused along the path on the way back and I pulled Pretired Baby out to sit on my lap on a bench. He sat very quietly watching the water, the sky, the passersby and the ferry to Vashon Island. The water splashed gently. Old ladies smiled at us enviously. His tiny toes curled and uncurled around my thumb. A light breeze lifted his thin hair and laid it down gently again.

With some different luck and some different choices I could very well have been sitting in a cubicle right now while he swapped germs with other babies at a daycare center. But here we were in a nearly empty park enjoying some of the best weather in North America.

The stress was gone. Everything that has been keeping me so busy could wait a little while. We climbed the hill for home where I laid him down for a nap. He fell asleep with no protest. Life is good. Today was perfect.


When Pretired Mama got home, we decided to make the day even more perfect by getting some Fish ‘n’ Chips at Spuds on Alki Beach, the oldest fast food restaurant in Seattle and eat dinner on the sand. Then we got frozen yogurt on the way home. Every day should be like this…

Mmm, that sand looks delicious!

Mmm, that sand looks delicious!


Home again. Too tired to clean the frozen yogurt and sand off my face.

Home again. Too tired to clean the frozen yogurt and sand off my face.

Giving guest posting a try

I have decided to share the “Pretired Nick” spin on things around the internet a bit more. My first foray into guest posting is up now at Cash Cow Couple this morning. I’m giving relationship advice! All my ex-girlfriends are rolling their eyes right now.

Check it out if you have some spare time today. It’s called Money and Relationships – How to Make it Work. Hope you enjoy!

10 Questions For: Retire By 40

Joe Udo and Baby RB40 Photo courtesy

Joe Udo and Baby RB40
Photo courtesy

Today I’m kicking off a brand new feature on It’ll be an occasionally recurring piece called “10 Questions For”. For the first one, I felt it only appropriate to feature the man who is basically my blogfather: Joe Udo of Joe’s blog is more than a detailed primer on how to escape the corporate treadmill, but is also an inspiring journey. Go back to his first post and read your way forward the way I did and you’ll be drawn in by his complete transparency and you’ll share his joy as he finally makes the move and quits his job. It’s a great blog and I recommend it to anyone considering pretirement. But I wanted to know more so I asked him 10 Questions.

How old were you when you decided to “Retire by 40”?

I think I was 36. Before that point, I was just planning to switch jobs or try to find a job at a different company.

I imagine there was a certain moment when you realized that you were throwing your life away working at a big corporation. Can you share that turning point?

It was a gradual process for me. I started getting some mysterious illnesses like dizziness and panic attacks when I was 35. The doctors never found anything conclusive, but I figured the stress was getting to me. I hated walking into work every day and that’s not a good way to live.

You figured out the path to financial independence earlier in life than most people in America. To what influences do you give credit for learning how to get there?

Actually, we’re not quite there yet. Mrs. RB40 is still working and that’s how she likes it. Our next target is to be able to function without her paycheck and save all of it. I think starting the Retire By 40 blog really helped me figure out how to quit my job. I had to research all the articles I wrote and the more I wrote, the more I learned. I was already reading a lot of personal finance articles, but writing my own blog was a big step toward financial independence.

You could have decided to “retire by 45” or “retire by 50”. You chose 40. Did you ever think about working a few more years to pad your retirement?

Not really. I already stayed at my old job longer than I wanted to. I figure if I couldn’t make it work, I could always go find another job. We also continue to save so our net worth is still increasing. We are not drawing-down yet so all-in-all we are doing fine.

It’s fairly unusual for the male in the relationship to be the one who stays home to raise the child. How did you and your wife decide you’d stay home? How does she feel about it?

She loves that I’m able to stay home with our kid. She knows she can’t be a stay at home mom because she likes to work and she is not the most patient person in the world. It’s not for every family, but it works well for us.

At what age does your wife plan to retire? What are her plans?

I think she’ll keep working until about 60 or so. She is restless and she likes being in the workforce. Perhaps she’ll cut down on the hours if we don’t need her salary anymore.

Your last day at your old job must have been amazing. What was that like?

It wasn’t dramatic because I wasn’t going in much in the last week. I worked from home and just took care of a few things. It felt great to drive away from the office for the last time, though.

Many, if not most, people are afraid to leave corporate life at such a relatively young age. What fears did you have before and do you have any worries now that you’re a stay-at-home dad?

Of course, I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to make the cash flow work. You can plan, but you never know how it’s going to turn out. Things are going really well, though, so I don’t worry much about the finance at this point. 

Do you think everyone should try to retire by 40 or is it only for people who hate corporate life?

It’s more applicable to people who don’t enjoy their job anymore. However, you should still plan ahead even if you love your job/career. You probably won’t love it forever and it would be good to have an alternative plan.

What are your plans for when your son goes off to school? Obviously you’ll have a lot more time on your hands.

I’m still trying to figure it out. I would like to start some kind of micro business or just work more online. How about you? Do you have any plan for when your son starts school?

See folks, this is how nice of a guy Joe is! I’m asking him 10 Questions and he turns it around to find out more about me! But I’ll answer anyway: I’m not sure what I’ll do when Pretired Baby goes off to school. I’ll be 50 by that point so it’s going to be pretty hard to get a real job at that point, even if I wanted to find one. Ideally I’d have a little business of my own or maybe we’ll just do a lot of travel and sort of home-school him from the road. Short answer is I’m not sure yet, but it sure is nice to have options!

Thanks again, Joe! And for anyone who hasn’t already discovered Joe’s excellent blog, be sure to head over to Retireby40 right now!

I’m sure Joe will be stopping by at some point so feel free to say hello in the comments as well! 

Pretirement fun for the week of July 15

Stories of financial independence, saving money and early retirement

pretirement_livingPretirement fun had to take a few weeks off as I was too busy to put a post together. Lame! We’re back with some great posts that are definitely worth your time.

Here is some of the best Pretirement Fun I read recently:

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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