Letting Loose with Lee's List

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Letting Loose with Lee’s List

We are seeing a great variety of Lee’s Lists: from the original – and still the best 🙂 – to the cut-to-the-chase of Josh’s and on to the other extreme of Diane’s detailed reworking of her Number, below. No one way is the ‘right’ way, as it is whatever works best for you … but, we will revisit our Number (hence, lifestyle and ‘non essential’ items) shortly … whichever way your list works, reviewing Diane’s is sure to help

Since Lee’s list is a rehashing of our Rear Deck Speech (Front Porch Swing Speech) that relates to our financial needs, I compared my speech to my earlier spreadsheet.

When I look back over my list, my salary is negligible for now (going to paying down/off debt (Making Money 101).  I also eliminated my housing dream for two reasons:  (1) I want to travel a lot and (2) Barry is going to handle that side of the equation for us.  I did keep in the costs for a new vehicle for me since mine is promised to my boys when they turn 16, and we are going to need another one eventually.  Here’s the list:

Note – all costs were converted to annual requirements for ease of estimating.

Primary Major Purchases  –$15,100

1st Home -$0-

2nd Home -$0-

Vehicle – $15,100:  (based on annual requirements of $13,750, plus maintenance/tax of $1350)

Other Major Purchases — $9,125

Yard/Garden:  $6,200

Books:  $1,500

Jewelry: $130

Clothing:  $1,250

Travel — $54,750

(60% of the following;  also please note that these are representative for trips projected beyond the first year and may vary by length as well as number of persons traveling)

Japan $25,000

Ireland $12,500

New Zealand $18,750

Greece $15,000

Costa Rica $20,000

Living Expenses — $80,600

(these include some that Barry is covering today, but for the future, I expect this to be part of what would need to be covered)

Elec:  $4,500

Gas $1,560

Water/sewer $750

Gasoline $6,250

Phone $4,500

Cable $1,500

Movies $750

Dinner $12,000

Food $12,000

Salon $5,850

Gifts $4,000

Pocket Cash $7,500

Dog Stuff $750

Medical $1,500

Boys Medical -0-

Boys CS -0-  I zeroed this out in years 5 and 6 since it will end, realizing that in another way it won’t end….but the amount becomes optional in that timeframe.

These added up to $160,000 annually, rounding up.  Now, remembering that these are only the OUTGOING EXPENSES, I estimated that I would need an additional amount to cover TAXES.  I may get better at avoiding those, but today am not that smart, so I figured if my expenses are 40% of my pie, I need an additional $240,000 annually, or a total INCOME of $400,000 annually to meet these expenses.

I need to note here that these are for 5 years out.  Eventually, I looked at 6 years out, and the total annual INCOME needed for $425,000.

Using Adrian’s method of multiplying that by 20 (I reviewed his free ebook (check it out!) to doublecheck what I was supposed to be doing/thinking about all this, and it said so or I misunderstood 🙂 ), and it calculated I would need $8M in 5 years or $8.5M in 6 years, which was close to what I had originally calculated when I had a super-duper Primary Residence included (but without staff, sadly) and a 2nd smaller home (about what I have now).

I have learned that sometimes homes can cause a lot of work, so I tried to be more realistic in what I want and would be happy with.

The list is insightful for a few reasons.  It tells something about my priorities, as well as gives me a baseline to adjust as time goes on (and better information becomes available).  It helps me understand what I am assuming already will be available and does not need to be accounted for, but to understand too that those assumptions may be wrong.

From it, one can probably also tell that I am not much of a clothes hound or into jewelry, but I do like to get my hair done professionally, as well as have massages.  I may also have underestimated our medical expenses for the future, but I am assuming that we have a good insurance policy still.  Somehow a gym got left off the list, but I have membership for a few more years, plus can do most (teach most) of what I prefer at home.  Barry also has an in-house gym set-up which we can alter to suit our needs, so that may not be an issue to its not being on the list.

As I age, the traveling overseas may evolve to traveling to the coast for fresh seafood, across the US for a good football game, or just to the golf course (something I love but can’t afford time/money to do as much as I’d like).

I began the list with my income, then discounted it.  It made not much difference in what I need, mostly because it will take 3 years using it alone to get me out of debt and I need to be ready in six years, if not 5.

What I would really like to know now (if I could go ask the great Wizard) is – have I calculated this correctly?  Have I missed the boat?  Can I get a vector check here ? 🙂

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@ Diane – This is an excellent analysis of your Number and others should be using this as a ‘model’ to calc theirs …. soon … but, you have jumped a step (i.e. to reworking your Number).
I’m not sure that I see your “Lee’s List” [ refer to Lee’s post for an excellent model of that: http://7m7y.com/2008/10/03/crevices-and-foot-holds/ ] … so, the questions that I have remain unanswered:

1. WHY do you need [Number] by [Date]?

2. WHAT do you need to HAVE/DO (the critical things … salon visits don’t mean a ‘hill of beans’ to your grandkids) to satisfy that NEED (again, salon visits are a WANT)?

Di – nice analysis of your number. It looks like you’ve spent some time really thinking through what your expenses are and will/should be.

AJC/Di – I hope I’m not being inconsiderate by inserting a lengthy post here. I’ve trying to keep up with the 7MIT and not be a wallflower. Therefore I have my own analysis I wish to offer for scrutiny. Unfortuanately it’s going to look like a thread hijacking. For this I apologize up front.

AJ, if there is a another way you’d like to handle these types of posts/comments, please let me know.

————– Begin Hijacking ——————–

My Lee’s List is aimed at enabling me to “Lead and empower others and teach them to do the same.”

I followed the key “Do’s” and “Have’s” formula and added a few “Be’s” as well. This is starting to feel very Kiosakiesque – “Be, Do and Have.”

The “Be’s” come first. As I look at my life purpose, one of the key things that jump out at me is that I need to “Be” a leader. I am one today, but leadership is not and cannot be static. I need to continue to grow and learn in order to maintain my relevance as a leader. This means that in addition to on the job training, I’d like continue my habit of reading books relevant to the topic and increase my abilities by either pursuing an advanced degree in something like strategic leadership and decision making or by regularly attending a variety of leadership seminars. This basically means continuing education. A concept, I’m sure Scott is familiar with as a doctor.

Key Be’s: Be a Leader

1. Earn an advanced degree relevant to leadership (2yr program full time): $50,000 total

2. Attend annual continuing leadership education courses: $5000/year

3. Read one leadership oriented book per month: $250/year

Analyzing my “Do’s”, I came to the conclusion that the specific points of leading and mentoring others doesn’t really have to cost much at all. In fact I’m giving them goose eggs on this go round.

Key Do’s: Practice Leadership

1. Lead People – via work, volunteer organizations, dare I say public office?: $0

2. Develop People (other leaders) – This is mentorship and something I try to do on a daily basis today: $0

3. Travel – I’m putting a marker on the table for professional travel related to being a leader. This could be something like travelling to consult with companies on the topic of leadership. While this could be an expense that is paid for me by those receiving the consultation, I’m going to pay for it for now. Sometimes you’ve got to give it away free in order to create a demand. Let’s call it six trips per year at $10K each: $60,000

My “Have’s” are where the bulk of my expenses are coming from.

1. Provide for my family – This is our lifestyle, vacation, living expenses, college educations etc.
a. Live a comfortable (yet slightly better than today’s) lifestyle. I’m a big saver right now. We save and invest close to 35% of our income each year. For this exercise I’m increasing my family’s living standard by 50% over what we have today. That means I’ll need $100K to cover annual lifestyle expenses. – $100K/year
b. Cover all related expenses for two college educations – $200K total
c. Vacations (two per year): $20K / year

2. Purchase and operate my own airplane. This is an extravagance, I know. But it’s a have to have. – $150K acquisition cost. $100K to operate and maintain annually.

3. Dream home – $750K

4. Vacation home (lake house on the water) – $500K

5. Two very nice (but used) luxury cars – $60K every five years

6. A larger boat – I have one now, but we are starting to outgrow it. Let’s call it $30K for a nice used 26’ bow rider to keep at the lake house.

As I look at this list I see a mix of one time, periodic, and recurring annual expenses.

Totalling the above I get the following amounts:

One time expenses (the houses, college educations, airplane are the big culprits): 1.68 M

Recurring annual expenses (lifestyle, travel, vacations and airplane operating costs drive this one): 285 K

Periodic expenses (two used cars every five years): 60K

Putting it all together means I’d need 2.025 M to have everything I think I “need” this year. X20 and x40 makes things get out of hand.

I’ll need to rethink the houses as they are big drivers in this equation, but they are onetime expenses….or if leveraged, only add marginal amounts to my lifestyle number.

Looking at the annualized expenses of 285K/year means a x20 = 5.7M and a x40 = 11.4 M which is in the ballpark of my original 10M in 10Y conclusion.

I think the key is going to center on the annualized number…but we shall see.

—————– Hijacking Complete —————-

Sorry again for the hijacking.

I’m managing my money, are you managing yours?
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Free my time when Barry’s time gets freed from work so we can travel together to do the things in my list that I said I wanted to do. Doing that half-baked (i.e., without salon visits) would be “just wrong” just as your going without your soft travel arrangements (business class). My hair’s health actually affects my outlook on life (my own weird psychosis, I’m sure). They’d kill me in jail by removing facial moisturizers (tho that is NOT a salon service in which I indulge).


@ Jeff – BEGIN HIJACK There’ll be no talk of hijack’s here END HIJACK 😉 I’ll leave the others to comment, but as far as I’m concerned this is as much your site as anybody else’s and I think your comments will be very well received.

I found your “Lee’s List” very insightful, but as I mentioned to the others, let’s ignore everything below the end of 6. for now (we’ll get back to that as part of the next step) … have you considered combining your passions: opening up a ‘military style’ flight school? Would combine leadership, with a neat deduction on your plane and a revenue source?

If you find a successful/innovative ‘formula’ you could travel to other countries teaching them how (when you ‘retire’ you could sell out an djust travel/speak/consult).

Diane – You miss my point, even if we are both 50% in jest 😉 It is to tell us what is the ‘life’s purpose’ stuff that you need to DO/BE/HAVE (in, dare I say it: a [gulp] ‘Kiyosakieaque way’) …

Think about it this way: if this were a play, your Life’s Purpose would be the title; your ‘Rear deck Speech’ the plot summary; and your “Lee’s List” would be the main characters: we will add the ‘supporting cast’ (e.g. all the enablers of the above) such as ‘salon visits’ when we draw up the Production Manifest and Budget (a.ka. The Number) for the play.

AJC – I have considered a flying venture. I am very interested in the Very Light Jets that are being built by Cessna, Eclipse, Embraer…etc.

I would really like to build an air taxi service and open up the benefits of business aviation to a whole new tier of businesses and individuals who haven’t been able to afford charter aviation in the past.

I posed a related question on this to you on a live feed about a month or so ago. The problem with my idea right now is that I think I need 10-12 jets and about 20-40 million in startup capital. That much money is problematic in my opinion.

As the CEO/President of a company like that I could satisfy my leadership/visionary bug, fly a little bit, build a team, and do something new and exciting.

So AJ, you want to start an airline? 🙂


Learn to manage money at Minding My Own Business.
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@ Jeff – Most great airlines are EITHER started by an aviation industry ‘insider’ OR with just one jet and a great lease 😉 Unfortunately, the next year or two might be a difficult time for either …

How about locking up simulator time at the commercial airlines and teaching corporate execs how to ‘fly’ jets (or, just run corporate ‘experiences’) while you’re waiting for the market to turn?

@ Jeff – suppose you start smaller? i know of a similar effort already ongoing in the local-airplane-sized airport near Cincinnati/Kentucky. If you increase demand, then you reinvest. Of course, there are probsbly going to be a lot of corporate jets hitting the used market soon, so buying could be good. What you could work up is a buy/lease-back plan even so that the seller finances your buy (then they lease back the services) if they are not already doing so.

@AJC Well, then I don’t get the point of the exercise at all. Am I supposed to have some higher-than-thou kind of motivation in order to BE motivated? I thought the point was just to BE motivated. Lee’s List looked like a bunch of “what I would do with the money” to me, along the lines of his personal desires. So did Scott’s. So, if I haven’t somehow in all those writings already said what I’m doing with the money, then it’s just not coming thru clearly.

@ Di – You are obviously a person of many talents; Jeff isn’t bound by the 7 Golden Rules … a partnership, maybe? 😉

BTW: Jet funding is usually a 3-party deal (jet owner; airline operator; jet financier); in the sale, the lease will probably be able to be assigned if Jeff’s credit-ability is good.

Now, “higher-than-thou kind of motivation”? LOL – I think so … but, a better term would be ‘EXACTLY as high as Thine’ (where ‘thine’ is ‘Di’) 🙂

You need to find YOUR level of motivation; just remember, it has to be strong enough to lift you to the top of your own Mt Everest. And, if you don’t think getting from here to there, financially, is of that order of difficulty …

You get my point.

@AJC – Thanks for the ideas and twists on an aviation related theme. AJ, a partnership would be great. You bring the money and I’ll make sure you travel physically in an enviroment where you can travel mentally and spirtually at the same time. 🙂

@Di – Thanks for the thougths on ways to start small and build.

On a separate topic Di, I think the piece that is missing here is what is your life’s purpose? I haven’t seen you post your short purpose statement. As I read your rear deck speech what came to me was “Di’s purpose in life is to write and be heard.” I think the point of Lee’s List is to identify those things that you have to BE, DO, and HAVE to accomplish that life’s purpose.

Assuming I’m even close to interpreting what your life purpose is (big assumption, I know) then maybe all you really need is a lifetime supply of paper, pencils and an electric pencil sharpener.

It seems to me you may need to ask yourself two questions:
1. What is my life’s purpose?
2. What resources do I need to accomplish it?

I hope that helps.
Learn to manage money at Minding My Own Business

@ Jeff – It seems your Life’s Purpose is to simplify. 🙂 And, to get to Your Number you would simply take the cost of that “lifetime supply of paper, pencils and an electric pencil sharpener” and ADD:

1. The cost of the ‘creative TIME’ that’s needed (do you HAVE to give up work? Hire a nanny/valet/pa? etc.)

2. The cost of the ‘creative ENVIRONMENT’ that’s needed (do you NEED an apartment on the Upper West Side overlooking Central Park in order to do you writing ‘justice’? Or, have a second home in Costa Rica for this purpose?).

3. The houses, lifestyle, and things that you reasonably WANT wrapped around all of this.

BTW: Di posted her Life’s Purpose as:

” To be True to myself;

To Dare to live what few men have dared to dream;

To Scare Myself into living the life I crave

To Dream Big;

To not give in; To not give up. ”

… often, this ‘solidifies’ into something simpler or just one of these (or another thing entirely) ‘pops out’ as THE most important. Di?

Thanks Jeff and Adrian. I went back to Lee’s 2nd List and here it is, then paralleled my stuff to his organization. In the end, I like what Jeff said and will address that at the bottom.
@ Adrian – thanks for posting my life’s purpose…
A). $ 350,000 ……. Design, write and publish course materials.
(B). $ 500,000 ……. Travel to states & Countries 6 times a year.
(C). $ 300,000 ……. Help Establish chaplains programs & donate.
(D). $180,000 ……. Two vehicles & expenses (domestic type)
(E). $ 400,000 ……. Create & Publish Magazine (God & Stress management)
(F). $ 550,000 ……. Two yearly Personal “Family” vacations (stress relievers)

(A & B (B is for A)) Travel costs for 6 months overseas living, researching and writing, with no other visible source of income: $55,000
(to enable A & B) Living expenses: $90,000
(C) not enabling any programs or specializing in donating
(D) Vehicle within the states: $15,000 annually, with maintenance/insurance
(E) I’ll use a blog – free to me and readers – to gage and increase readership and interest, but not to the extent that I would detract from the “real” writing – no cost, tho perhaps might want to set up a LLC and a webpage professionally eventually – say $20,000 upfront (assuming I hire expensive designers to do it for me and then to run it) and $5k per year thereafter. Right now, Barry has one and it is about $20 per year and he updates it himself. So, I’ve been figuring this is negligible for us. IF the money from the writing allows it, then we do it. If not, we stay “free”
(F) Researching and writing and living like this IS the stress-free vacation – going home to visit them is a lot more stressful  and is considered part of the travel costs anyway (the direction that is backwards) for when it is necessary or desireable, hopefully the latter, but my parents are in their mid-70s and this will be when they are near or into their 80s, so I would expect some travel back to the states from time to time.
But…$6,000 for yard/garden – this is a big stress reliever as well.

SO, back to Jeff’s comment that I haven’t got a purpose yet. it is always the first part “to thine own self be true” and I am not often that. I am mostly scared of everything and if I were to die tomorrow would say ‘what a waste (of time and space and energy matter).’

Somewhere in all of the musings in the Front Porch Swing speech, I said that I wanted to open up possibilities for other people. I think sometimes we need to do things for ourselves before we can do them for other people. It’s easy to say “this” is how to do it, but easier to say it if you haven’t done it perhaps than to actually do it.

A lot of people have to deal with a lot of emotional issues. I learned this more and more as I went thru my weight loss last year. I used an on-line pay-as-you-go group and this allowed people across the US and Canada to open up personally about issues that were affecting them and their daily choices – daily choices that affected their physical health, and subsequently their mental health in a catch-22 kind-of-way.

If I had my druthers, I’d leave work today and say “goodbye” and leave my dog with someone who could take care of him very well while I was gone, leave enough money so that they would not feel a burden by this in anyway (the dog’s a job, paying for him isn’t always), and buy a one-way ticket to the Guernsey Islands, with enough cash to live and move around and down thru France, researching my family heritage, and writing about ONE family who is not upper-class royalty and the like, and how they did – like all families coming to America did – what was needed to make it, their dreams, happen. I guess I’d like to give people hope, and I’d like to start by giving myself some hope.

I don’t want to “write and be heard” tho I believe all of us like to be heard, and am sure I am one of the guilty ones in that. I want to help other people be a bit happier about what they’re dealing with in life, by being a bit happier with themselves and their opportunities, and to help them see what opportunities may exist for them personally, and to help them find ways for those opportunities to be realities, not just “oh, you could be anything you want to be.”

What is it that is said? It’s not money that buys you happiness, but being satified with what you have – that is what brings happiness.

I don’t have a concrete plan for that – but it will begin with my writing, and my finding my way thru my writing (learning curve applied here, begin with what you know), and eventually figuring out how to get that feeling across to a reader using words as the transmitting device.

But I can’t say that life has a purpose, and by the same token, any purpose I profess (as my life’s purpose) is simply something I am assigning myself in order to delude myself into thinking that I am more than a grain of sand in the whole realm of the space-time continuum, and I am not sure that is a true statement. But it doesn’t mean that I can’t act as tho I am more than a grain of sand.

And personally, I am not sure writing is the correct medium either as more and more people do not read anything longer than a laundry list in the U.S. – and while the US might be the target audience initially, it may be that other parts of the world are more appropriate for the medium and so, I can flip that way.

I’ll stop here before I get too philosophical (it may be too late, haha ha).

Folks, I’m reading all of this and am compelled to simply make a quick recommendation. If you haven’t already read Rick Warren’s book “Purpose Driven Life”
please do yourself a favor and do so.

While it does not focus on financial stuff as 7m7y does it might be just the thing to help us put things in perspective.

@AJC – I realilze that my recommendation probably breaks “Golden Rule #3” but I believe it to be a good resource.

@ Diane – That’s excellent. Thanks. The important thing is that it means something to you.

One ‘philosophical’ question then on to the ‘practical’: the bit that begins with “if I had my druthers …”, how does that relate to your new A. thru’ F list (above)? If they are different, which one would you actually prefer and when? Only one of these can be your “Lees List” (unless you can find a way to combine, or they are already combined?)?

Now for the ‘practical’: (E) I think it’s a good idea to budget the $20k unless you’re sure you can do it on the cheap (and, you always have the ‘free’ option up your sleeve, as you said) … but, other readers may be able to satisfy you that it can be safely outsourced (at the quality you require) for less. Anyone have any experience with this?

@ Lee – I’ll get my lawyers on to this and get them to slap a subpoena on you … don’t answer your door-bell for a couple of days 😉

BTW: it’s OK to recommend [relevant] products/etc. as you have done; it’s just NOT ok to PROFIT from the recommendation …

… for example, I now sell an eBook, but give it away to everybody who reads my blogs (incl. this one), or else I wouldn’t even mention it.

For those who don’t yet know what I am talking about, the selling of the eBook is part of an associated ‘experiment’ that I am writing about here: http://findoutifyoucanmakemoneyonline.wordpress.com/

@ ACJ – Hey as a police chaplain I’ve been ringing door bells at all hours of the day and night for the past fifteen years and I haven’t answered my own door bell in a long time. But thanks for the heads up.

Adrian – believe it or not, it’s the same list. One just says “what the heck” and goes. The other tries to plan to survive financially while doing so. (The first is more if someone said “you have 2 months left to live” and I believed them, so what would I worry about any debt I would leave behind ;)?)

The point about not budgeting is that there would be no reason to go that route unless the site itself turned out to be a money-making proposition, and then the measure of that would be the income it produced, which would then feed its growth. (This is like a non-profit where the “profits” feed back into the enterprise itself, thereby making it non-profit, but with better advertising, logos, office equipment and staff, perhaps.)

[…] totally ‘gets it’ after a little help from Jeff – so I thought that I should share an extract, here: I went back to Lee’s 2nd List and here it is, then paralleled my stuff to his […]