I've not been working since the end of 2016, so what does that cost?  I'm keeping a record of our costs and will share them on this site.  My plan is to publish a summary of our spend monthly that shows how much we spend analysed into different categories.

There will be some expensive months, and hopefully some cheaper ones, so we'll probably need to let a few months go by to get a feeling of the average cost.

While each person's lifestyle and expenditure will be different, I think that it will give an idea of costs, and because it will be broken down by category, you can always make adjustments for areas where you think your lifestyle and spend will be a bit more or a bit less than mine.

Although we are living in Dubai, I aim to provide some equivalent data for different countries once we have a few months of information.

And if you want to ask any questions, please feel free to ask.

April 3, 2020

A Rudyard Kipling poem begins: "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs...". During these Covid-19 times, keeping my head means sticking to normal as much as possible and, as the end of the month ticks past, my normal is to do my costs and targets post.

But things aren't really normal, so this month I'm also going to see how my investments and income are holding up, which is where I'm...

March 2, 2020

Our February costs were going pretty well until I bought some ski touring gear. How much can some skis, binding, boots, poles and skins cost? The answer is €1,500 (£1,271 or US$1,652), which is a third of our total spend in the month. 

My test isn't how much something costs, but whether it's affordable and represents good value, i.e. will it be appreciated and well used. For the first point, our income is more than our costs so...

February 24, 2020

We've had friends to stay - one thing I've learned is that if you want visitors, move to a ski resort, you suddenly become much more popular. I'm sure they're coming for my good company rather than the ski slopes though😏. Other than the fun we had, here are a couple of things about their visit. 

Thing number one was my friend, Mark, fractured his L1 vertebrae - that's not in the fun category! It wasn't even an outrageous ski a...

February 1, 2020


I suspect that after Christmas, most people hope for a less expensive January to get the finances back on track, an idea we seem to have completely ignored. 

Ski lessons for me, exercise classes for Sally, lunches on the mountain, new phone (old one died), two new pairs of running shoes, dentist, physio appointments, and not to forget the flights and hotel for a trip to Dubai in March. On the plus side, we can't be accused...

January 6, 2020

Before I retired, the calendar moving from one year to the next wasn't a source of excitement for me. Work was what I spent most of my waking hours doing and ticking over into a new year didn't alter much.

That equation changed with early retirement. I'm now in control of my time and therefore I get to set the agenda. New year has become a good time to review whether I'm happy with how I've spent the past twelve months. It's al...

December 27, 2019

I'm under pressure - today is the 27th December and I'm only now writing my November costs and targets post. Is it a new record for tardiness or a sign that early retirement is still going well and I've been busy doing other things?

Hand on heart, I can say the latter, I've been busy. Finishing my travels; visiting family; catching up with friends; getting ready for Christmas; having my first few days on the ski slopes. These...

November 9, 2019

I've struggled to find time to write my October costs and targets post - it must be a sign that early retirement is going well when you struggle to fit everything in to the days.


Ten months through the year, I'm now trying to hold onto the targets that I've got green or mostly green, and wonder if there is any chance of improving the red, not so good performances.

Not perfect, but not too bad, has been my running while tr...

October 9, 2019

Because our costs go all over the place when we’re travelling, I’ll start this post by checking progress against my targets.


Realistically, my attempt to learn French has finished for this year as I’m travelling in Spanish speaking countries for the next few months. Once my lessons finished in March my efforts petered out, so perhaps it has to be back to the classroom next year. At best I deserve a 3 out of 10 against th...

September 13, 2019

It seems longer than five weeks since my last costs and target post, I think because of what we've packed into that time.

There was a campervan trip in Germany followed by a three day cycle ride from Berlin to the Baltic coast. Our daughter came to visit for a weekend, which we combined with a day trip to Geneva. And then there was our Route des Grandes Alpes bike ride where we crossed the Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice on the M...

August 2, 2019


July was fairly typical, i.e. some cost lines were similar to previous months but there were others where we spent either more or less than typical. Maybe that means there isn't really a "normal" which I'm going to call a good thing - after all, if the costs were the same each month then wouldn't that mean life would also be the same, and who wants that?

We spent more on sports stuff which included a fast charger for Sally...

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About Me

I think I'm a normal kind of guy, although I've perhaps had a slightly non-typical life in some respects.  I'm from the UK, 47 years old, married to Sally and with two

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