Retirement Planning – Construction Zone

So, retirement property #2 needed a little bit of work, construction work.   The scope of the work sounded so simple, so easy and seemed inexpensive.   Until vandals stole the HVAC during escrow.  Oh and all the copper wire and plumbing…which involved breaking walls in the kitchen.

And the interior inspection revealed the plumbing stack needed replacing.  It sounded like I’d be done for less than $10k.  Corroded Stack


Getting a new stack in involved digging a trench, meaning breaking up all the concrete and adding new pipe to the street.

20130329_150621 Repairs in Progress

The pipe was overrun with tree branches.  Pesky tree!  A 2-week project quickly went over time and over budget.

The upstairs didn’t fare any better.  The plumbers had to add plumbing in the kitchen ( 2 walls) and had to run a vent line behind the closet in the bedroom.


On a positive, I love the St Louis area.  Which is good given I traveled there every weekend in April.  Every weekend.

Time to Mow the Grass on this Poor Abandoned Blog!

Wow, I feel I abandoned my blog as real life took over.  I don’t understand how “working outside the home” mommy bloggers manage to work, care for their families AND stay active on their blogs.  I’ve been so distracted that I didn’t realize my last blog was 12/31/2012!

  • January: house hunting trip to St Louis Missouri.  Offer in for 1 single family house.  I refuse to talk about work since, as an accountant, January is the worse month of the year.
  • February: house hunting trip(s) to St Louis Missouri.  2 offers in.
  • February: early birthday trip to Paris France and Champagne, flying first class on British Airways.  Fun trip but came home with the flu.
  • March: Escrow closing trips to St Louis Missouri!  I am a certified investment property owner.   This completes step 1 of my retirement plan.  These rental houses should cover their expenses and give me monthly cashflow.
  • March: 1 rental house rented in a week.  2nd rental house requires plumbing and electrical work before I can rent it.

Already I feel the joy of rental property ownership and the agony of living so far away.  Fortunately everyone, from my realtor to the contractors, has been a pleasure to work with. Folks who take pride in their work and folks who live in town.  They are my neighbors and it’s good to know that I’m supporting my community.

Yet my blog is meant to record my real life — good, bad and ugly.  Oh yes, the ugly.  That’s for another post.

For those of you who are able to give quality time to real life activities and your blog, please tell me how you do it!

Retirement Planning – Step 1

One of the inevitable tasks of midlife is planning for retirement.   In 15-20 years, I’ll be retirement age.  Do I plan for it or let it happen?

Naturally I’m on Team Planning!

Preplanning is the dreams of retirement versus the reality of retirement.  What, where, and when are the 3 questions that lead to “how much.”  Because the best dreams of retirement depend on the bank balance at retirement.

What do I want to do? This one is most difficult for me.  A part of me is considering politics  because a bigger part of me wants to make this country better.  Then I want to open a breakfast/lunch cafe because I love cooking and love food.  Let’s not forget travel.  Do I want to live abroad?  Can I afford a small flat in the south of France?  Do I join the Peace Corps or work the National Park Service?

Where do I want to live?  Look for this in an upcoming post.

When do I want to retire?  Look for this in an upcoming post.

Have you thought these questions?  Have you started your retirement preplanning?