I suppose it is a good idea to just stop for 10 minutes and reflect. We are constantly moving from one thing to another. How is my net worth doing? Am I financially independent yet? I need to run today. Oh, but I wanted to listen to that podcast. I guess I will do both. Facebook. Oil change. Article. Another blog post. Netflix show. Check out that new investment? REITS? New project at work? Need that next certification?
And while we are jumping through these manmade stresses, we forget to pause and reflect on how awesome our lives really are. I mean seriously, in April alone we skied, bought a lamb and a few medical office buildings, and started planning a trip to China.
Just maybe, a monthly reflection could be the first step in correcting the mental health epidemic we are seeing in America. I mean, life is actually pretty great at times.
Mrs. Max OOP and I are lucky enough to live a pretty stress-free and flexible lifestyle. We are always looking to capitalize on our flexibility and cash it in for a unique experience. We are still working hard in 2019, but definitely starting to feel the benefits of a several year project to become financially independent. We aren’t quite there yet, but personally, I am more content than I have been in years.
We started the month with 8-10 foot snow banks around our driveway and making bets on when they would melt. We ended the month without any snow banks and both lost our bets that they would make it into May.
We were spring skiing in our sweatshirts on April 7th, which actually turned out to be our last trip to the slopes for 2019. We skied together 10 times this winter and I skied almost every Wednesday after work. We also had a good hit with the game cam on April 7th!
We got a surprise 3-4 inches of snow on April 8th, proving I got the grill out too early this year.
Max OOP got to spend four full days towards the middle of the month at an awesome healthcare conference at a great resort in Northern New England. I used this time to take a break from work and recharge a bit. By chance, Mrs. Max OOP got a break from teaching that same week since it was spring break so she joined me for the first night of the conference. She then went on to New York State for about a week to spend time with her sister who just had her second baby! They also bought a new house so we will likely go back to New York for a three day weekend in May to help them move.
Mrs. Max OOP got an interesting email on April 24th. It was from a company in China looking for teachers to help with a summer camp. In China! The email suggested she could apply for a 2 – 4 week assignment in several different cities and they would cover the round-trip flight, transportation, accommodations, and meals! We were considering a trip to Finland, but free travel would totally trump that!
If you have flexibility built into your life, you can quickly react to opportunities like this. The very next day, Mrs. Max OOP sent in her resume and cover letter and got immediate feedback that they will likely accept her into the program. This could put us in China at some point in July if all goes well. Who knows, while Mrs. Max OOP is teaching, perhaps I will take some notes on the Chinese health system. If it doesn’t happen, no worries, we will just move onto something else.
On April 28th, we went over to a colleague’s farm and ended up buying a lamb which Mrs. Max OOP will process at some point in June. Yeah, I said process. More on that another time. That story could be a blog on its own.
Neither of us had any health issues in April, but Mrs. Max OOP’s back has been bothering her which is unusual. We may consider a chiropractor in May if it doesn’t correct itself. So far, we have not had a single healthcare expense in 2019.
Since Max OOP tries his best to abstain from using the costly healthcare system, eating healthy and exercising is an absolute requirement to meet that goal. On the surface, I have always looked in decent shape, but the last 10 years of office work took its toll. My exercise habits were just not diversified enough and pounding the pavement for 3 miles two or three times a week just wasn’t getting me what I want. Don’t worry, I didn’t join a CrossFit program.
I have been following a pretty regular weight lifting routine since November and recently increased the intensity. I put up my personal best on the bench press on April 22nd, coming it at 205lbs. The goal is a 225lb max at some point in 2019. Hopefully I can keep this trend going because I haven’t felt this physically fit in years. I re-upped my gym membership on April 6th for three more months, with total Max Out of Pocket coming in at $117, or $39 a month. I consider the gym membership a healthcare expense, but unfortunately the IRS disagrees, so I will not be paying it through my Health Savings Account (HSA). Thankfully, I get a hundred dollar carrot through my employer that helps cover some of the cost.
Since I finished front-loading over $15,000 into my 403(b) account in March, I was able to continue with my Healthcare REIT experiment. I added to our medical office building (MOB) empire by purchasing 65 shares of Physicians Reality Trust (DOC) on April 5th. This was followed by another purchase of 75 shares on 4/26/2019. These two transactions took our total stake in Physicians Reality Trust (DOC) up to a nice even 1,000 shares that should yield us $920 in ‘rental dividends’ over the next 12 months. Where we go from here, I don’t know, but I love passive income. As of today, this empire is worth just over $18,000.
The stock market continued its relentless run, so our overall net worth grew by another 2-3%.
It has been a good few months and I have enjoyed the blog. I am hoping to start moving into a more focused style and help people really rethink their approach to personal healthcare finance. Here is to wishing everyone a healthy and wealthy May.
How was your April?