PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014

Welcome to our February 2014 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

Nothing too exciting on the balance sheet this month, though we got a bit of a boost by the stock market’s rebound throughout February.  We’ll see how it ends up for the rest of the year!

But for the month of February:

  • Our total assets went up by $19.2K
  • Our total liabilities went up by $0.4K
  • Net worth rose by $18.8K
  • Total net worth as of the end of February is $692.7K, which represents a 2.8% increase this month.  

But we did add one more way that we hope to continue tracking investment growth, so let us know how what you think of our new “Early Retirement Locale Index” below.

And for the details…



Stock Accounts

  • 401K accounts: $171.8
  • Roth IRA accounts: $139.6
  • HSA account: $5.7
  • Taxable Brokerage Accounts: $14.7
  • Total Stock Accounts: $331.8

Real Estate (based on current market comparable sales)

  • Primary Residence $215
  • Investment Duplex: $130
  • Investment Residential Land: $80
  • Total Real Estate: $425.0

Cars (values from Kelly Blue Book)

  • Car 2: $9.7
  • Total Cars: $9.7 

Cash Holdings

  • Checking Accounts: $12.0
  • Savings/Money Market Accounts: $13.3 – this is about $2K high right now since I need to move more into our taxable brokerage account at Vanguard
  • Total Cash Holdings: $25.3

Total Assets: $791.8


Real Estate Loans

  • Primary Mortgage: $97.8
  • HELOC on Investment Duplex: $0.0 (re-advanceable)
  • Personal Loan – Used to Purchase $50K Duplex: $0.0  
  • Total Real Estate Related Loans: $97.8

Revolving Credit

  • Credit Card Balance: $1.3
  • Total Revolving Credit: $1.3 

Total Liabilities: $99.1

Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities

Net Worth = $692.7, up 2.8% from January


Tracking Investable Asset Growth

This first graph shows the growth of our investable assets (net of any liabilities against them), and shows the distribution of the various equity classes we hold. Pretty self explanatory.


How Many Years Of Spending Do We Have Saved?

Here I’ve taken the total of our investable assets for each month and divided it by the expenses (excluding our investment property expenses) for that month. The idea being that this shows how many years we could live off of those assets at that rate and gives us a better idea of what lifestyle inflation (or intentional deflation) can do to the relative value of our savings.


It fluctuates in a much bigger range, because in high spending months (like February 2013 when we spent almost $7K paying off our car completely), the denominator is so much bigger. Because of that, it’s the overall trend we’re looking for.


Early Retirement Locale Index

Mr PoP wanted one more way to understand more viscerally how much we have in “investable assets”, so we’ve come up with what we’re calling our Early Retirement Locale Index.

The basic idea is that we know how many years of savings we have at our disposal if we were to continue living in south Florida.  (That’s the chart above.)  But using the “magical” 25 years of savings necessary for early retirement, where would we have to move so that our current investable assets would cover 25x our COL adjusted current spending?  (Note, this is purely for fun, we’re not intending to move.  Don’t worry Mama & Papa PoP!)

If you want to follow along, we’re using this Cost of Living Index from Expatistan, and using the average of the two big cities in south Florida on the list (Miami and Tampa) as our current COL index, which gets us 152.  Our city isn’t on their full list, hence the average – but maybe yours is.  Then we’re solving this equation:

Current Years Saved/ 25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / COL S. FL

13.90/25 = COL Early Retirement Locale / 152

COL Early Retirement Locale = 84.5

… which puts us in Quito, Eucador.

And quite coincidentally, Mr PoP emailed me a link about how to retire in Quito, Ecuador back in November 2012.  Unless you think he’s done this for lots of different locales, he hasn’t.  Quito’s the only one.

In January we had higher spending and a bit less in savings, so we were at 62, which put us smack in the middle of Delhi, India and Chişinău (Moldova). Since we don’t want to stretch, we’ll use the floor function and go with Delhi, India.

If I can figure out an easy way to graph this to show progress, I will.  But for now, we’ll just list them.

  • January 2014 – Delhi, India
  • February 2014 – Quito, Ecuador

Are either of these 2nd world countries?


How was your February?  What do you think of the Early Retirement Locale Index?  Would you be willing to move to a foreign country to retire earlier?

39 comments to PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014

  • Quite y Dehli, ay caramba amiga!

    I know India isn’t second world, but I don’t think Ecuador is either. The good news is with your savings rate, you’ll be first world in no time! Maybe not Zurich or NYC, but I think you’ll do just fine in Florida.

    That is quite the coincidence with Mr. PoP/Quito. Maybe you’re destined to live there after all?

    On that note, I really enjoyed your Early Retirement Local Index. Can’t wait to see you move up in the world, literally!
    Mr. 1500 recently posted..Performance Update 14/50: Flying in FebruaryMy Profile

  • Hey, Ecuador doesn’t sound so bad. I could totally do that!
    If we didn’t have kids, we would probably be living on a beach in a 3rd world country somewhere.

    Good job on your monthly income and progress!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Cash Money: $5,565 in February Income Plus Blog UpdatesMy Profile

  • Every time I read one of your blog posts I’m so impressed with how much both you and your husband are on the same page. I am engaged to a wonderful man…but he has no interest in money or finances or investing – all things that I’m very interested in. I’m about to finish school to be a court reporter, I’m currently starting a dance company, and I’m very interested in owning rental properties in the future. I’m always wondering, Once we get married, how are we going to handle finances? Have you ever written a blog post on this topic? Or do you know someone who has?
    Sharon recently posted..“Someday” is not on the calendarMy Profile

    • Hmmm, I don’t think we’ve ever written a post about this because it was so simple. Mr PoP said, “Here are all my passwords. You’re good with handling all the details, right?”

      Before you get married, you probably want to talk about how you’re going to handle the finances – whether separate, combined, or a combo. ‘Cause that’s something you really don’t want to fight about on the honeymoon. =(

    • Yeah…I think we stay away from this one because we don’t want to be preachy, and we aren’t marriage counselors. I would definitely tell you to get on the same page with the finances before the wedding. We were on the same page before we got hitched, and I really did just hand the passwords over afterwards-we started budgeting and refining our goals as we began investing in Real Estate and getting into our careers. I can’t imagine trying to keep our finances separate…we just wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have over the past few years. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/marriage-arguments_n_1479335.html
      Mr PoP recently posted..PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014My Profile

      • My husband and I have “separate” finances because we each have our bank accounts and credit cards. But we treat all as one, and we don’t quibble over spending.

        We just started tracking our accounts more closely with an old version of Microsoft Money he has (I can’t get him onboard with Mint). He’s now the finance master in the house.

        I’ll agree that it’s essential to be on the same page before marriage. That doesn’t mean both people have to want to manage the money. It’s fine if she wants to manage money and he is more passive. But you do need similar spending/saving/priority goals. My husband and I have never had a fight about money, and we chalk that up to all the discussion we did about money before we started. We’re not exactly the same — he’s the investor, and I’m the saver — but we both agree on the basic principles and living below our means.
        Leah recently posted..NASAMy Profile

    • I think the most important question is whether you two share the same values. Do you have similar ideas about how much stuff a happy life requires? About whether it is OK to use consumer debt?

      “Not interested in money or finance or investing” could leave you in a very lonely place. I’m not saying he has to make a hobby out of it, but remember that money is the main thing couples fight about. Will he at least listen to your ideas and participate in the discussion, even if this isn’t his main interest? Or will he be out blithely dropping money at Starbucks every day while you slave away, alone, at building a future? You probably already know the answer.

      From my personal perspective, my husband and I were on different pages for several years, and then recently he has come more around to a frugal way of thinking. He even sold off HIS car! It’s soooo nice to have that source of conflict removed.
      Frugal Paragon recently posted..Goals for MarchMy Profile

  • Anne

    Another impressie month! I like the locale tracker, adds a bit of fun to the growth, and it sounds like you at least need to put Quito on your list of places to travel to :)

  • Love the locale tracker! Delhi is “inexpensive” for a westerner, but I would never want to live there on the average salary/expenses – a few too many shanty towns for my tastes.
    Mom @ Three is Plenty recently posted..Detailed Financial Picture – March 2014My Profile

    • Yes, we definitely want to stay out of the shanty towns, though I would love to visit India someday. I’ve heard of people doing month-long yoga retreats there and really getting into their practice.

  • A 2.8% jump in one month is pretty awesome. Good on you guys! I kind of love the steady progress of that first blue line, too. You guys are a net worth climbing machine that cannot be stopped. :)
    Done by Forty recently posted..Rent to OwnMy Profile

    • Thanks DB40! Mr PoP commented on the odd linearity of the NW line too! No complaints, but eventually I hope it’ll look a little more exponential =)

    • Yeah, that thing is flat-arn’t we supposed to go exponential at some point?
      Mr PoP recently posted..PoP Balance Sheet – February 2014My Profile

      • Ryan

        I bet you’re getting some great exponential gains in your 401(k) and IRA accounts, but you’re pouring in so much cash at a steady rate that those gains are swamped by the linear trend. Basically you’re saving too much to see the exponential right now. Nice problem to have!

        On a separate note, I’m curious why you are using Roth IRAs instead of traditional. If you’re in the 25% bracket, you could be saving another $2750 a year from reduced taxes. Am I missing something?

  • Nice progress, it seems your NW gains have accelerated with maxing out your 401Ks. I’m a huge proponent of that.
    Charles@Gettingarichlife recently posted..Why Do You Allow Others To Keep You PoorMy Profile

  • I love the COL Locale calculation!!! It’s nice to know you’ve got options ;o). It would be fun to see where (if) you could retire to somewhere right now and sort move your way “closer” to home as you reach your S. Florida retirement savings goals.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted..#NYCFail – Brokerage FeesMy Profile

  • Great idea on the early retirement locale index! I love the idea that if you get fed up with things you can just throw up your hands, move, and just peace out for a little while. At least if you needed to, there is a place out there you could go to slow things down for a bit. It’s comforting just knowing that.

  • We are just at the beginning of the financial independence journey and my husband is on the job market. While we’re certainly not talking about moving to Ecuador, we can’t help but notice that where I want to live–in the DC area, near my family–is insanely expensive. And other places are a lot cheaper. We’re definitely trying to figure out where we can maximize the earnings-to-cost-of-living ratio.
    Frugal Paragon recently posted..Goals for MarchMy Profile

  • Awesome progress. I love the COL location progress. I wonder if (and this is totally a lot of work so I don’t expect you to do it) but if you could map it. Like a trip around the world “we started in Delhi and then went to Ecuador…” Just that I’m a visual person :)

  • Mama Pop

    Quito, huh? Sounds interesting to me except perhaps for the murder rate. Mr. Pop’s great grandparents retired to a Mediterranean island and it worked out well for them until the island became a major tourist destination. Once the island was discovered and very popular, that brought the twin problems of illegal drugs and violence into the otherwise idyllic picture.

  • You have doubled your net worth in only two years from 2012 to 2014?
    That´s awesome!

    But I think you both Mr. + Ms. PoP have a job.
    Otherwise I can not explain such a massive increase!

    Keep going!

    Best regards
    Dividenden-Sammler recently posted..Vodafone zahlt SonderdividendeMy Profile

  • Nice work PoP family. You guys put our progress to shame. I’d love to move to a foreign country and retire, my wife……not so much. Being a midwestern girl….she thinks Florida is another planet. I’m not saying she’s wrong. They call us Flor-idiots for a reason
    Income Surfer recently posted..Learn YOUR Strengths/Weaknesses and Get Better ReturnsMy Profile

  • Love your ERLI concept! That’s going to be an interesting trend to see where you’re able to retire in a few months – years! Great job as always, PoPs!
    anna recently posted..Wedding Highlights and Teachable MomentsMy Profile

  • I am going to head to SW Florida when I give up my full-time job. I will be a snow bird for a while, and then move somewhere warm, permanent.

    Hopefully you pay your credit cards off, with the amount of cash you have available.
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted..Taking in DogsMy Profile

  • Maribel

    I Google Maps doesn’t work, you can use Google Drawings and paste in a map, set the setting to make available to everyone, then embed the code of the drawing in your site. GD allows you to include hyperlinks as well, so as you move change to different cities, you can add links to posts for each city.

  • Mr. Nickels and I have done similar calculations ourselves. Where in the world could we live if we stopped saving at “X”? We want to do some traveling when we first retire, but plan on ‘landing’ somewhere warm, in a no-frills place near a beach. Just that daydreamy thought alone keeps my motivation up, to continue our extreme savings efforts towards early retirement.