Compared to April, May was a pretty low-key month for the Max Out of Pocket crew. We’ve had a hard time getting away from old man winter here in the Northeast, but things are getting greener every day. We spent most of the month local but did manage to get one trip to upstate New York. The Max Out of Pocket website was under construction for part of the month and we have a new and improved look now! Max OOP continued buying medical office buildings and the projected passive income from that experiment has ‘swelled’ to over $1,000 annually. That passive income will be key for once I take this little blog project global. We are still treading lightly in the healthcare content as Max OOP is still measuring his writing ability and we want to try to get that piece right. We were able to expand our healthcare knowledge on how to shelter healthcare premiums from FICA taxes with cafeteria plans! Finally, we found out the China teaching opportunity we stumbled upon last month just isn’t going to work out, so we will be making other plans this summer.
We kicked off May by busting out Max OOP’s hiking boots for a nice local hike on May 5th. Hiking is a great way to exercise and keep your heart rate up for a long period of time. Max OOP uses the hobby as a hedge to keep future healthcare costs down, but I also enjoy it! Hard to believe just a month earlier we were skiing! The rivers on the mountain were running nicely and we got to see a great run off from all the snow melting in higher elevations. When we got home that night we had our first outdoor bonfire of the year!
We went to Saratoga Springs, New York towards the middle of the month to help some family move from a small apartment into their first house! I took a Friday off so it was a nice long weekend and great to see family. Thank goodness they hired a few movers to help with the lifting. Max OOP did get a nice workout in, though!
We closed out the month with another hike to a ski resort where we were literally just skiing several weeks back. Hard to believe how quickly the seasons change!
Well, I found out a few days after we got back from New York that my $39/Month gym was closing. I was pretty disappointed since I have been making a lot of progress pumping iron and getting ripped. I actually was able to bench press 210lbs (up 5lbs from the April update) in early May and the goal continues to sit at 225lbs. Hopefully I can hit that before the gym shuts its doors. Thankfully, they are giving us until August to come up with a plan so I have some time to hit that max! Max OOP is not going to let this obstacle hold me back!
Interestingly enough, Max OOP had some weird abdominal pain for over two weeks in May. I initially thought it was related to the Friday “leg day” routine I have been getting into at the gym. I just started doing more squats and deadlifts and those two workouts really did a number on me the first few weeks. Well, I thought I overdid it one Friday and for a few days I actually had concerns I may have caused a hernia. Then one morning I had this freak pain in my left big toe immediately after waking up from sleeping. At that point, I was sure I had gout. Anyway, after hydrating for several days and cutting back a bit on sugars, the abdominal pain finally went away on its own! Phew! Stay away from WebMD, it can make you go crazy.
Other good news in the healthcare front. Mrs. Max OOP’s back seems to be back to normal and she didn’t need to go to the chiropractor! We are way too young to be having weird things like this pop up!
Max Out of Pocket for healthcare cost in May = $0.00 and we have not had a single healthcare expense thus far in 2019!
We are still well on the road to early retirement.
On May 10th I finally received my extra $50.00 in my paycheck from my employer for the healthy benefits they provide for demonstrating general wellness activities. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to keep the whole carrot due to FICA taxes. The Social Security Trust Fund got 6.2% ($3.10), the Medicare Part A program got 1.45% ($0.73), and regular federal income taxes will get about 22% ($10.67). That left me with $35.50. But I put 3% ($1.50) of the $50 into my 401(k) to make sure I got my 3% employer match and deferred 22 cents on the dollar in federal income taxes on that $1.50. That left me with an even $34 which technically won’t even cover one month of the gym membership. No complaints here though; I love how simple the program is.
As I mentioned above, Max OOP continued forward with the REIT experiment. On May 11th we learned about how Physicians Realty Trust (DOC) responded when certain tenants in Texas unexpectedly stopped paying rent. We covered fun concepts like funds from operations (FFO) and yield. I also bought 87 more shares to take our projected annual “rental” dividends to just over $1,000.
On May 27th, we took an even closer look at how DOC makes Max OOP money. DOC was looking a little expensive after this lesson, so we only bought 50 shares taking the portfolio to over $21,000. Max OOP is enjoying the REIT investment, and I will march forward with it into June. Don’t worry, total market index fund investing is still the core of my portfolio.
Our overall net worth took a 1.57% hit in June, mostly related to overall market fluctuations. Believe it or not, after diligently tracking our expenses for several years while positioning for early retirement, I have lost some interest in this process since it doesn’t produce the value it once did. We already run a pretty lean ship, so there isn’t a ton of room for improvement. I have been using that time instead to work on the blog and grill out. I will catch up on it soon though. We did buy a $100 knife in May, so I am clearly already slipping in the expense area.
Hope you have a healthy and wealthy June! Get outside for a healthy hike!