Max Out of Pocket – July

I have been slacking a bit here at Max Out of Pocket. Considering everything we’ve had going on, it is pretty surprising I even managed to squeeze out four posts in July. But that’s okay because we have been busy living life. When I last checked in, I mentioned that we were in the middle of a staycation in our little vacation town here in New England. Talk about a great way to start the month. After a week off at home, we found ourselves spending a decent chunk of time in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. All while holding down a full-time job. Who said you need to be retired early to have a little fun and travel?

Another Local Travel Month

We have been living in New England for over two years now and have been anxious to show off the area to our families. We were finally able to make that happen by kick-starting July with back-to-back week-long visits from family. I took the first week off as paid vacation time since my side of the family was in town from Michigan. We visited lakes, mountains, and even did some of the lame touristy stuff readily available in our hometown. We also took a day trip to Portland, Maine so the kids could take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. Finally, we got everyone, including my Dad, to drive up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire via the auto road. My nieces suffer from motion sickness so this was no easy task. We closed out the week with the local fireworks show on July 4th; the weather was great! 

Max out of pocket for Mt. Washington Auto Road? $31 for car and driver, $9 each additional adult, $7 for each kid, under 5 are free; $68 total for our car.

I am not going to spoil Mt. Washington with a photo, you need to just get there yourself. We have enough mountain photos around here anyway. This one is of the Atlantic in Maine!

After my family left on the 5th, we headed back to Boston for a long weekend. We had a great visit with Mrs. Max OOP’s side of the family. Her family is spread out over two countries and four different states, so it is pretty rare for us to get everyone together in one place these days. This year, Mrs. Max OOP’s brother was lucky enough to host the entire family which included nine of our nieces and two of our nephews. He has a huge house that can pretty easily handle that many guests. 

After that visit, Mrs. Max OOP’s mom, sister, and three kids came back home with us for a five-night visit. We repeated a lot of the fun things we did the week before with my family. I returned to work, but that didn’t stop us from showing them all the sites. I would usually just catch up with them after I got done with work for the day. Once that visit came to an end, we all drove over to Saratoga Springs, New York to visit her other sister! We stayed there for two nights and were able to check out the opening day at the Saratoga Race Track. I got a free cooler, but it technically cost me $20 in bets.

Saratoga Race Course in July!

Needless to say, we were extremely busy in early July, but it was a good healthy busy. We also put some miles on our cars. It was nice to slow things down for the last week of July. Mrs. Max OOP and I took a relaxing 5-mile hike on July 27th up Mt. Hedgehog in New Hampshire. Believe it or not, I also somehow found myself on the golf course again after I got roped into an event for work. I am worse now at golf than I was back in June and, hopefully, I’ll get back to only playing once every ten years or so. Luckily they didn’t make me pay for that golf torture so my max out of pocket was $0.00. 

I spoke too soon. Here is a nice view from the top of Mt. Hedgehog.

Healthcare

Mr. and Mrs. Max OOP had another healthy month spending $0.00 on healthcare. We are lucky to be so healthy. August will mark the last month my gym is in operation and it will officially close on the 30th after over 40 years. I am still hearing rumors that a group of people bought all the equipment and are planning on opening a co-op gym that should be ready for members at some point in September. I also heard the pricing will be similar, so I will probably land there. 

My workout partner has made some nice changes to our routine in July. We are using a little less weight and focusing on slowing down our reps and not letting gravity do the work; quality over quantity. We have also been organizing our workouts to where we do the “pull” exercises all on the same day, and do the “push” exercises on different days. A personal trainer at the gym mentioned these are good changes but also emphasized that it is very important to regularly change up your exercise routine.

Finance

The healthcare REIT experiment is still keeping me pretty busy while also keeping things entertaining around here. We were able to expand the portfolio by another 180 shares in July. This should provide another $166 in passive income over the next year.

I managed to take a minute break from vacation early in the month and buy 90 shares of Physicians Realty Trust (DOC) on July 5th for $1,577. I usually handle this kind of business on my lunch break. It was technically payday and I am trying my best to slowly dollar-cost average into this medical office building investment. I didn’t get in the usual corresponding blog post on that day, but it is probably good we took a break as I don’t want to accidentally place this little blog project into the REIT investment niche. 

The experiment did have a very exciting day in July when I finally got to collect my first quarterly ‘rental dividend’ since the start of tracking the experiment. All my hard work turned into $314.41 in passive income. It would probably be more efficient and less work to throw all my money into the total stock market index, but that just wouldn’t be as fun. It has been a nice exercise to fully understand how a specific company in the stock market like Physicians Realty Trust makes me money. I think firing all of your money into the total stock market index without understanding how investments work at the granular level could be cutting corners. 

After the $314 in dividends hit my account on July 18th, I immediately invested them right back into Physicians Realty Trust the very next day. I used the dividends to help me fund another 90 share purchase on July 19th for a total of $1529. I got this set of shares for only $16.94 per share, the lowest price in some time. 

Our overall net worth is up 0.77% for July and I am moving to catch up on expense tracking again. After several years of tracking our expenses monthly, I haven’t even looked at them since January.

Blog

Like I mentioned, I didn’t have a ton of activity here on the blog. I did manage to have a final battle between preventive and preventative healthcare. Preventive won my allegiance with the help of Google. We have a lot of work to do with this concept, so I thought we should at least start by getting the wording correct. 

I also finally got around to busting tax brackets.  We put together a nice summary of how federal income taxes really work. Probably the biggest takeaway from that post is all of our income isn’t taxed at a certain rate just because we hit a certain tax bracket. We still get to fill up the lower buckets at the lower tax rate. So now we have hit all three pillars of income taxes; Medicare, Social Security, and Federal. These concepts will come in handy as we move forward with dissecting early retirement and healthcare. I will likely stay away from state taxes since there are 50 of them and this blog only has so much bandwidth. I have lived in two of the nine states in the country that have no state income taxes. I wish I could say there was a strategy behind it but it was just luck.

I am happy with how the blog is coming together, and it has certainly helped to get my ideas down in the written form. I find that I enjoy writing, but as with everything, I don’t want to overdo it and take the fun out of it. Hopefully, we can decide on an optimal post frequency that will keep things fun around here while also keeping the project moving forward. This is just a hobby at this point, but we are going to be picking things up around here the next few months.

August And Everything After

Yes, that was a Counting Crows reference. Summer is flying by and I am glad we decided to stay in our region this season. We may have missed out otherwise. We plan to continue with regional travel as we move into August with another trip to New Brunswick, Canada. Last time we checked out the highest tides in the world, but we are hoping to just take it easy on this trip and hang out at my mother-in-law’s homestead. It is nice to get out of the States and just relax up there. We are also talking about taking another trip down to Saratoga Springs in early September to see Mrs. Max OOP’s sister again. The race track is giving away free sweatshirts! Since Mrs. Max OOP starts teaching again in the fall, we need to get these trips in while we can! I am also interested in getting in a lot more hiking this summer and fall; Mt. Washington is on the list. Nothing like some healthy hiking to keep down our healthcare costs. Plenty in the area including 48 four thousand footers in New Hampshire and 46 high peaks in the Adirondack mountains of New York! Maybe we need to start setting some goals.

My Macbook Pro died a few months back, so I ordered a new laptop a few weeks back. It came in a few days ago, so we should be ready to really start moving here on the blog now! 

How was your July?

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3 Responses

  1. So excited I discovered your site. My husband and I are rolling off COBRA and considering our private insurance options. Would love a post on how to find a good insurance broker. We’re weighing residency in FL v. NY — we currently reside in NYC so I know I can use Oscar to canvas ACA options. But FL is a big unknown. Any thoughts?
    For a future post, I’d also love to hear your take on private global health insurance. More and more US citizens are digital nomads or retiring abroad. They take global insurance which covers them abroad but what about when they come back? Do they know have a “gap” in coverage?

    • Max OOP says:

      Hi Caroline! Looks like I have some homework to do : )

      I usually see people go through the insurance exchange and most hospitals have “patient navigators” now that can help with that process. They usually have some level of certification and actually should know what they are talking about. They can also usually refer you to a broker in the market you are looking at. Keep you posted!

      Max

      • Great! I hadn’t heard about patient navigators. I did once research small business insurance brokers to find medical coverage via my LLC (it was way more expensive than COBRA), and even those brokers admitted how complicated the landscape was. You definitely have no shortage of topics to cover in this space. I can’t wait to read!

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