I think we could use some innovation in our model of a career. I have thought retirement being largely binary was lame since I figured out that is mainly how it worked. You work 40 hours a week (1,800 – 2,000 hours a year) and then dropped to 0 hours, all year long, from them on.
It seems to me more gradual retirement makes a huge amount of sense (for society, individuals and our economy). That model is available to people, for example those that can work as consultants (and some others) but we would benefit from more options.
Why do we have to start work at 22 (or 18 or 26 or whenever) and then work 40 or so straight years and then retire? Why not gap years (or sabbaticals)? Also why can’t we just go part time if we want.
The broken health care system in the USA really causes problems with options (being so tightly tied to full time work). But I have convinced employers to let me go part-time (while working in orgs that essentially have 0 part time workers). And I am now basically on gap year(s)/sabbatical now. It can be done, but it certainly isn’t encouraged. You have to go against the flow and if you worry about being a conventional hire you may be nervous.
Related: Working Less: Better Lives and Less Unemployment – Why don’t we take five years out of retirement and spread them throughout your working life? – Retiring Overseas is an Appealing Option for Some Retirees – Living in Malaysia as an Expat – 67 Is The New 55
The 12 stock for 10 years portfolio consists of stocks I would be comfortable putting into an IRA for 10 years. The main criteria is for companies with a history of large positive cash flow, that seemed likely to continue that trend.
Since April of 2005 the portfolio Marketocracy* calculated annualized rate or return (which excludes Tesco) is 7.5% (the S&P 500 annualized return for the period is 6.8%).
Marketocracy subtracts the equivalent of 2% of assets annually to simulate management fees – as though the portfolio were a mutual fund – so without that (it is not like this portfolio takes much management), the return beats the S&P 500 annual return by about 270 basis points annually (9.5% to 6.8%). And I think the 270 basis point “beat” of the S&P rate is really under-counting as the 200 basis point “deduction” removes what would be assets that would be increasing (so the gains that would have been made on the non-existing deductions in the real world – are missing). Tesco reduces the return, still I believe the rate would stay close to a 200 basis point advantage.
I make some adjustments (selling of buying a bit of the stocks depending on large price movements – this rebalances and also lets me sell a bit if I think things are getting highly priced and buy a bit if they are getting to be a better bargin). So I have sold some Amazon and Google as they have increased greatly and bought some Toyota as it declined (and now sold a bit of Toyota as it soared). This purchases and sales are fairly small. Those plus changes (selling Dell and buying Apple for example) have resulted in a annual turnover rate under 5%.
I am strongly considering buying ABBV and maybe ABT. Abbot recently split into these 2 separate companies. I probably would have added this last year but I wasn’t sure what to do given the breakup so I waited (luckily I bought it, personally, as they have performed quite well) I may also sell some or all of Tesco and PetroChina.
The current stocks, in order of return:
|Stock||Current Return||% of sleep well portfolio now||% of the portfolio if I were buying today|
|Amazon – AMZN||486%||8%||8%|
|Google – GOOG||311%||17%||15%|
|PetroChina – PTR||104%||6%||6%|
|Templeton Dragon Fund – TDF||89%||4%||4%|
|Danaher – DHR||78%||9%||9%|
|Toyota – TM||70%||13%||11%|
|Templeton Emerging Market Fund – EMF||50%||6%||8%|
|Apple – AAPL||22%||12%||15%|
|Pfizer – PFE||20%||7%||7%|
|Cisco – CSCO||19%||4%||5%|
|Intel – INTC||9%||7%||7%|
|Tesco – TSCDY||-5%**||0%*||4%|
The current marketocracy results can be seen on the Sleep Well marketocracy portfolio page.
I was just taking a look at a couple of properties in Zillow and found it interesting how big the real estate tax bite can be. I have 2 rental properties and the real estate tax cost is 15% and 12% of the rental income. At least for my area Zillow underestimate rent rates (the vacancy rate is very low and properties in general rent within days or weeks – at rates 10%+ higher than Zillow estimates on average -based on my very limited sample of just what I happen to notice).
I thought I would look at the real estate tax to property value estimate and rent estimate by Zillow in Various locations.
Arlington, Virginia – real estate taxes were 1% of estimated property value and 17.5% of rental estimate.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – 1.5% of value and 41% of rental estimate.
Madison, Wisconsin – 2.4% of value and 39% of rental estimate.
Flagstaff, Arizona – .7% of value and 9.5% of rental estimate.
Grand Junction, Colorado – .4% of value and 6% of rental estimate.
This is just an anecdotal look, I didn’t try to get a basket of homes in each market I just looked at about 1-5 homes so there is plenty of room for misleading information. But this is just a quick look and was interesting to me so I thought I would share it. While the taxes are deductible (from the profit of the rental property) they are a fixed expense, whether the house is rented or not that expense must be paid.
A high tax rate to rental rate is a cash flow risk – you have to make that payment no matter what.
In my opinion one of the most important aspects of rental property is keeping the units rented. The vacancy rate for similar properties is an extremely important piece of data. Arlington, Virginia has an extremely low vacancy rate. I am not sure about the other locations.
I wanted to use Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC but the data was confusing/limited… so I skipped it; the taxes seemed super low.