My Bucket List

I wrote down my bucket list a month ago, then this month I reread it.

Here’s the list of things I want to do before I die, followed by my own reflections regarding the list and my internal war with some of it’s elements…

My bucket list:

  • Build a strong family with Lia and our daughters, maintain loving, healthy, respectful relationships with each other as we all grow and change.
  • Become a grandparent – hopefully many times over!
  • Get barrelled.
  • Clear $200,000 in gross annual income.
  • Become financially independent.
  • Break the 5 minute mark on a breath hold.
  • Dunk a basketball.
  • Do stand up comedy.
  • Build/buy our dream house / land on water.
  • Teach my daughters to surf, free dive, spear fish, jiu jitsu, muay thai, soccer, volleyball, hockey, ultimate, golf, skateboarding, carpentry, code, knife throwing, climbing, canoeing, investing, business, mindfulness, goal setting/completion, music, art…
  • Leave the world a little better than it was when I arrived.

In reviewing my bucket list, I’ve realized that I’ve been holding back on going for the big goals. The most pronounced one is dunking a basketball. I initially didn’t put it on the is the list, then had to incrementally increase the goal from tennis ball to volleyball, and only now am I accepting the reality that I will one day dunk a basketball. IF I train!!

This acceptance is big. Overcoming my internal resistance to one of my biggest dreams represents a significant change in my forward progress. I’ve been static on that for a long time. Now I’m moving. Move on one formerly impossible big goal, and then move on the next.

I’ve been static on that for a long time. Now I’m moving. Move on one formerly impossible big goal, and then move on the next.

I’ve also been going through a restructuring of my time to forcefully prioritize time with my wife and daughters at the expense of time doing work for other people.

This has made me very happy. It has compounded the love I have for my girls, most potently with Isla. I have historically shut her out the most in order to work, and giving her my full attention has felt really good.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that earning Isla’s love is the most important thing to me, because I can see how it’s possible to miss out, even a bit, and not do as good a job as I could have, and fucking regret that.

Same goes for Lia and Lake. But right now Isla, at the stage she’s at, seems most urgent.

Following my bucket list goals to their ultimate conclusions, yes grossing $200K would feel amazing. As would attaining financial independence. But those without making an absolute success of my family would be damn near fucking meaningless.

Looking at it the other way around, I wouldn’t care much if I never grossed over $200K, it would be harder not to ever feel what financial independence feels like… but I’d be happy. I’d be SO happy. Like I am now.

I Never Thought I Could Dunk

Dunking a basketball simply wasn’t something my brain would accept as a possibility. At 32 years old, and being a  5′ 10″ white guy – I’ve done an excellent job of building an argument against myself.

Here are the main points:

  1. I’m too old. If I was ever going to be able to dunk, it would have been when I was younger and in my prime… whenever that was.
  2. I’m too short. How many guys do you know under 6 feet tall who can dunk? The shortest person I’ve ever seen dunk was 6′ 2″.
  3. I’m white. Everyone knows white men can’t jump. They made a movie about it. But wait! Harrelson dunked in that movie, no? Harrelson, also standing 5′ 10″, did dunk in the movie… but the rim was 6″ lower than the standard 10 feet.

Lame. Look at how they avoid showing how far his feet get off the ground:

The belief that I was not physically capable of dunking was holding me back for one simple reason: it became my main excuse to not train harder.

Then something changed when I saw this 5′ 8″ white kid dunking on YouTube:

And again when I learned that this guy is my height:

The main difference between Anthony Lugo and myself, is Anthony has put in the work to get that explosive. And I haven’t.

So I bought his “Flight School” vertical jump program, and I’m 5 days in. This is as sore as I’ve ever been in my life – and that alone tells me something. A new level of sore probably indicates a new level of training. A new level of training probably means a new level of jumping.

So, without any concrete evidence whatsoever, I now believe I will be able to dunk.

To put a bit more pressure on myself, I’ve made a bunch of $20 bets that I’ll be able to dunk a basketball by the time volleyball season returns in September. 5 friends have put $20 down, so I’ve got $100 on the line.

This money and social pressure adds motivation to my workouts.

Publishing this blog post further commits me to training hard.

If the 8 week Flight School program doesn’t get me dunking, I’ll re-commit by getting an online assessment with Chris Korfist. He’s a trainer with experience consulting for the NFL, Big 10 Universities, US Olympic team and U.S. Special Forces.

Update: before doing the Korfist one, I’ll try coach Donny: http://www.elevateyourself.org/online-training.html

Here’s my starting point:

 

Postgame Report on my 1000 Burpee Month

If you don’t see any change whatsoever, except for my pants – that’s because there hasn’t been any. Not a damn bit!

I almost didn’t finish. Half way through the month I was lagging way behind and a friend of mine (Shaggy – we rented his place for a bit in Hawaii) texted me that he was almost done the 1000 burpees. So I had to finish. I couldn’t have Shaggy finish my own god damn workout without me.

So I did somewhere between 50 and 70 burpees each day and caught up, and it sucked and I hated every day of it.

But the overall purpose of all of this – which is to force me to exercise every day mainly so I don’t end up staying indoors for 3 straight days and not changing out of my track pants – was a wild success.

I haven’t had that cagey feeling, that restless shitty “I need a shower” feeling – and not from exercise but from precisely the opposite. Nobody should ever need a shower because they haven’t exercised. And I was doing that. Or not doing it. And it felt like shit. So now I’m needing showers again because I stink because I worked out. And I feel way better for it.

This month, 1000 deadlifts.

Maybe there will be visible change, but probably not. I’m feeling the internal change, so that’s enough to keep me going.

That and god damn Shaggy texting me every few days with an update that he’s ahead of me in reps – again.

Check out my face in this picture. Looks like I have half an orange in my mouth and I’m about to cry. Probably was about to cry.

Ryan deadlifting in the snow

Retirement Progress Report 5

This report is going to be a little wild again. Leading up to tax season we’d stopped investing the HST we had collected, and starting withholding income for tax payment to compensate for the HST we had invested over the majority of the tax year.

This effort was in hopes that we could avoid selling any of our mutual funds to pay our taxes, and instead replace the HST we’d invested earlier in the year with out-of-pocket income.

It seems to have worked. We were able to cover the HST we’d invested, successfully exposing those funds to market appreciation over the majority of the tax year. That said, appreciation currently lags at +1.61%, which is actually great (I think). It means we’re buying below normal (7%ish) growth. Just as long as the market picks up again at some point in the next 10-20 years before we need to sell!!!

One solid decision was made regarding whether to pay off the mortgage more aggressively – which was not to do it. The main reason we’d relied upon in our past deliberation over this idea is our mortgage rate of 2.92% should underperform index funds on average (7%). But this choice is vulnerable to instances like this past quarter where our portfolio lagged brutally at 1.61%… though really that doesn’t matter until we sell… I think. We’re still good as long as we never sell at 1.61%!

But the decisive reason for not paying back our mortgage more aggressively is this: we have mortgage life insurance. I think we pay a combined $12/month for this insurance, so if either of us die, the mortgage is paid off.

It would suck to pay the mortgage aggressively only for one of us to die and have the remaining (much smaller mortgage balance) forgiven, AND have no other investments. Better to sock our money into indexed mutual funds and pay the mortgage at our normal rate for the time being.

If we max out our TFSAs, and/or we renew for a higher than 7% mortgage rate… we’d probably switch tactics… and we’d likely keep the mortgage life insurance anyway.

Another trap people fall into with paying the mortgage off early is this (thanks Kyle Collins for pointing this out!): once they no longer have a mortgage to pay each month, that “extra” money starts to feel disposable. Hedonic adaptation kicks in, and most people (and I would probably do this too) simply end up spending the extra cash on silly shit every month.

Winter-long trip to Costa Rica? Fuck it! Our mortgage is paid off!

This extra cash is only useful to our long-term financial stability if invested. For this reason, in comparisons between people who invest early in mutual funds versus people who pay off their mortgage early, the investors generally end up way ahead come retirement.

It just requires too much discipline to take all the money you would normally put toward a mortgage and immediately transition into socking that cash right into index funds… especially after the marathon of paying off a house!

After all that rambling, here are our retirement figures for the quarter:

TFSA: $36,829.37 (up $12,459.54 from last report… again this is a bit blown out of proportion because we’d been sandbagging leading up to tax season)

Mortgage: $163,575.34 (down $1,782.65 from last report)

Net worth shift: + $14,242.19

NEW METRICS! 

I’m going to attempt some forecasting here. I want to bake two new and exciting metrics into these quarterly retirement reports.

Metric 1 is a percentage representing our progress toward the $800,000 retirement goal.

According to the Mr. Money Moustache equation of “multiply your annual spending by 25 to see how much you need to have invested in order to retire”, my family would be comfortable retiring on $800,000.

MMM’s “safe withdrawal rate” of 4% works out to $32,000 – which would cover our annual spending. Assuming our mortgage is paid off, we can retire once we’ve invested $800,000.

Metric 2 is the number of years remaining until we can retire, calculated based upon a $30,000/year rate of investment.

Here we go.

To make things easier, I’ve added our mortgage onto the $800,000 to represent the total amount of money yet to be invested/put toward the house. That leaves us with a target asset value of $963,575.34.

Retirement Progress = $36,829.37 / $963,575.34 = 3.8% of the way there! Pretty fucking low, but far better than 0% haha. The early years are the hardest.

Here comes the compound interest. According to the moneychimp.com compound interest calculator, if we invest $30,000 per year for 15.6 more years at 7% we’ll end up with $964,882.15.

So at our current rate, it will take Lia and me 15.6 more years to reach retirement. If this is true, our 48th birthdays will be epic!