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Could you retire at 38? After I read this blog post, I grabbed my Magic 8 Ball.¬† And the answer is, Reply hazy, try again. ūüė¶ But, Yes, in my imaginary world. Sadly, that world hasn’t become a reality. The Powerball isn’t rolling my way, my bank account hasn’t afforded me a private island yet and I sit in a cube five days a week. I’m knee/hip/chest?-deep in a mortgage, car payment, credit card bills and two felines. It’s sooooo American of me, right?

But, then I hear a story like Billy and Akaisha’s. Or Amy Vanderhoof’s. Or Shayne and Shannon McIntyre’s. I admit, Jealous Jackie comes out. But, Inspired Irene triumphs. I ‘m amazed, hopeful. I mean, for real, Shayne and Shannon travel the world with a bag of surfboards and two kids.

Although it doesn’t look like I’ll be retiring at 38, the dream is alive and kicking me in the ass. If it were just the thought that counted ‚Äď and not the money ‚Äď then it’d be possible. Because I think about it everyday. Am I the only 30-year-old (whoa, I just typed 30!) that does research on island life, sailing, raising my 2 cats and a kid (maybe on that kid part; haven’t really figured that life aspect out yet) sans Facebook, iPhone and a 24/7 media barrage? I can’t wait to get out of debt, but it’s not in hopes of buying a Range Rover or upgrading to a platinum wedding ring. (Don’t get me wrong, I would looooove a platinum upgrade!) Instead, I’m opting for a way to retire … get out of the rat race … stop climbing stuff … I mean, what’s not to love about wanting a life that includes making margaritas at 2pm (WARNING: This activity can be dangerous!) and playing eye-spy the clouds at the beach. It’s all I’m asking for … is that too much? Come on, who’s coming with me!!??

Maybe there are more people my age that can imagine life without social media and smart phones? Maybe there aren’t. Maybe I’m loco. Maybe I love rice and beans, the smell of coconuts and the sight of a solid tan line against clear blue waters too much. Now, if I could just learn to like seafood …

Until then, though, I’m content with my debt and semi-private, 30-year financed CBS island with a hammock and a hottie ūüôā

It only took 4 1/2 months or so, but it has arrived.  That is, our first-time homebuyer tax credit check!  It takes less time for a bald eagle to go from egg to feathered beaut.  In less time, we also could have birthed an emperor penguin or a litter of puppies.  Oh well. 

As soon as we got the keys to our new home, dropped off a couple of boxes and got robbed (ahhh, the image of the footprint on my freakin’ pillow remains … at least now I can brush it off as a life experience! ha!), we amended our 2008 taxes to get the $8,000 credit.¬† From our mortgage lender, we heard the checks were arriving in the mail within 4-8 weeks.¬† And, at the time, that was probably true.¬†¬† (Currently, the IRS Web site says: Keep in mind, however, that it is currently taking longer than normal ‚ÄĒ about 12 to 16 weeks ‚ÄĒ to process 2008 amended returns.)

By January, we started asking other people who we knew recently purchased a home and were eligible for the tax credit if they had received any good news.  No.  Well, any news at all?  Nada.  Zip.  So, we put on our Inspector Gadget hat and called. 

IRS: We have you in our system, and I’m seeing that your account has been credited.¬† I’m not sure how long it will be before it’s completely processed, though.¬† Call back in two weeks.

Two weeks later, IRS: Check your mail this week.

And, there it was.  Huzzah!  So, keep your head up First-timers!!

Day 1: New house, yaaay!

Day 2: New house got broken into, booo!

Seriously.¬† Who cleaned the shitter out on our parade?¬† Not a nice way to welcome us to the hood, Lake Worth.¬† Ahh, but I don’t take it personally.¬† Some people step in poo wearing Christian Louboutian shoes, some get their house broken into.¬† Tomato, tomatoe.

And the¬†Palm Beach Sheriff’s department has been lovely about the¬†situation.¬† The officer that responded was friendly and professional, and the next day¬†JP received a follow-up phone¬†call from the detective working the case – plus, she sent an email to introduce herself to me.¬† Unexpected, but welcome.¬†

At least we didn’t have a very smart thief – the damage could have been worse.¬† Nonetheless, we are now sans computer,¬†awesome¬†underwater digi cam¬†and a wedding band ūüė¶¬† What’s more, Mr. Hyde is super stressed (not to mention the other Mr.).¬† New location.¬† Burglary.¬† Greeeeaat.

Tears for¬†fears,¬†though, no way!¬†¬†This weekend, I’m¬†just going to sit and stare¬†at¬†our awesome¬†pool, cypress wood (I think) ceilings, and¬†wonder what color to repaint the¬†“purple room.”

Connecting water & electricity & gas: $402 (yes, a $402 deposit for Lake Worth residents!)

Gas lines turned on and checked: $150

Changing address on license: $25

Owning a home: PRICELESS

Fork in hand, we now have ourselves a piece of the pie – a home!¬† Dig in!¬† We are so excited, and there is so much to update … and it will come … soon.¬† Moving, for lack of a better word, sucks.¬† It makes me sweat and what’s worse, I realize I am a pack rat.¬† Do I need to keep my high school yearbooks?¬† What about the anniversary card JP gave me … 6 years ago?¬† Well, now that I have a house to fill, it seems the answer must be a resounding YES, yes?!

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