Hey everyone! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? We stayed in town this year and had a relaxing holiday weekend. Mrs. RB40 cooked a bunch of side dishes and I made a beef stew. We were too lazy to cook a turkey this year. It worked out well, though. My beef stew was super tender and Mrs. RB40’s dressing was awesome. Cooking is fun when you don’t have to go anywhere. The house smelled great all day.

Oh yeah, she also made 3 pies. The apple pie looked awesome, but it tasted a bit off when I took that first bite. Whoa, this apple pie is spicy! Turned out, she used chili powder instead of cinnamon. Our spices are in alphabetical order and she wasn’t looking when she grabbed it. Oops… Hahaha… Fortunately, we can eat spicy so we’re working through it. It isn’t bad, especially with vanilla ice cream, just unexpected.

We also did a few things around town.

Shopping

We did our part to support the US economy this Thanksgiving.

  • Electric bike ($899) – I got RB40Jr a new electric bike from REI. His old kid bike was getting too small for him. He is almost as tall as I am now. He tried my e-bike and he liked it. So we decided to get him the same bike for Christmas. He loves it. We’ll use it to bike around town for errands and his various classes.
  • Leather jackets ($199 x 2) – Mrs. RB40 visited the Portland Leather Goods outlet and acquired 2 new leather jackets. They look great and should last many years.
  • Blu-ray player ($60) – I purchased a new Blu-ray player from Best Buy. Our 12-year-old DVD player was ready to retire. Many of the remote buttons don’t work anymore. We’ve been using the Xbox to play Blu-ray discs, but it’s better to have a dedicated player.  
  • Socks and underwear ($50) – We ordered socks, boxers, and undershirts from Target. They arrived on Friday. Only the socks were discounted for Black Friday. That’s disappointing.
  • Gym membership ($460) – I’m 50 this year and I need to exercise more regularly. The last 3 years have proven that I can’t work out at home. So I’m heading back to the gym. 24 Hour Fitness had a BOGO Thanksgiving sale so I got a pretty good deal. I’ll have 2 years of gym access for $460. I can also bring 2 buddies. Mrs. RB40 can go swimming occasionally and I’ll show RB40Jr how to work out. It should be good for us. We all need to exercise more.

Ouch! We spent much more than any previous Thanksgiving. But this is cheap as far as a midlife crisis goes. I haven’t purchased a sports car (yet…) so that’s good. Anyway, more exercise is necessary as I grow older. My dad has been getting on my case about it lately.

Biking

RB40Jr and I went out for a spin on Saturday. The weather was sunny and crisp. That’s very unusual for a Thanksgiving weekend in Portland. The ride was great. There weren’t too many people out and the bikes performed very well. We rode along the Willamette River and crossed over the Tilikum bridge. This bridge is really cool. There are no cars on it, only bikes, pedestrians, buses, and streetcars. Along the way, we stopped to listen to the music at the Portland Saturday Market. It was great to get out of the house for a while.

Gutter cleaning

Lastly, we took advantage of the sunny weather to clean the gutters. This involves climbing the ladder and going on the roof, my least favorite home maintenance activities. Every autumn, the leaves accumulate on the top ledge of the skylights and the valleys. This year is much better than previous years because 2 huge trees came down last year. But there were still plenty of leaves on the roof.

I climbed up on the roof, straddled the top ridge, and pushed these leaves down with a long extendable pole. We have a metal roof so I avoid going up there unless it’s completely dry. This roof is very slippery when it’s wet. Even then, it’s scary to be up there. The top ridge is probably 35 feet off the ground! After that, I came down to ground level and used the ladder to clear the gutter. Man, this activity is getting more unnerving every year. Maybe I need to hire someone to do this.

Back to school!!!

RB40Jr will head back to school on Monday! Yes!!!! If I sound overly enthusiastic, it’s because I am over the moon. He has been out of school for a month! We went to Washington DC for a family reunion at the end of October and the teachers went on strike right afterward. I’m happy school is back in session. I think the teachers got an okay deal. They definitely need more income and other quality of life improvements.

Alright, that’s it today. We had a relaxing Thanksgiving (mostly) and enjoyed it tremendously. Did you have a good Thanksgiving?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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