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Early retirement costs and targets – April 2023

Every month since January 2017, I’ve kept track of our early retirement spending - after seventy four months, it can be difficult to think of something new to say. That’s the case this month, our costs are what I’d expect them to be, groceries are higher than I think they should be (as normal), our spend on Sally’s crafts and my French lessons adds up (but we’re happy with it), and car costs are a reminder of how pricey it is to run a car. That might sound a bit boring, but boring is good when it comes to finances.

How much does early retirement cost
Early retirement costs - April 2023

Early retirement targets

Hopefully there's more to say about progress on this year’s early retirement targets. Four months into the year, there is only one red (not good) item, with the rest split evenly between green (on target) and amber (progress being made).


Technically, I didn’t quite hit my exercise target for April, but I did run London Marathon so I’m giving myself a pass. My training had been OK rather than great, so I set a target of between 3h15m (maybe conservative) and 3 hours flat (optimistic) – provided I finished feeling I’d done my best, I’d be happy with anything within that range. Race day started OK, but got progressively tougher with my head, achilles and hamstring thinking that stopping would be a good idea. On the flip side, my son had surprised me by coming to watch (probably the highlight of my year), and it was not wanting to let him down that kept me going. In fact, I finished in 3 hours and 23 seconds, so right at the quicker end of my targets. I am happy with that, although I do wonder why I didn't find those 24 seconds for a sub three marathon (fortunately I’ve previously ticked that box, so not such a big deal).


As to my French target, well, I’m still quite hopeless, but I am trying. I’ve kept up with my lessons and, importantly, I’m continuing to enjoy them. I think my new target (only added in April) of watching some French TV or listening to French radio might be helping a little too.

Elsewhere, I’m writing this post from the campervan, which is contributing to my nights in the campervan target. On our campervan trip, we visited Avignon, a tick for my visit somewhere new target. We enjoyed Avignon, although we didn’t enjoy having our bicycles stolen while we were there, nor did we enjoy discovering that our insurance only covers theft of bicycles if they’re stolen from home. Buying replacement bikes is going to hit our costs hard over the next few months…ouch! If I look on the bright side, at least I got some good French practice while reporting the theft to the French Gendarmerie!


Stretching and trying to understand French inheritance and capital gains tax are in my “could do better” section. I feel much better when I stretch, but I’m finding it difficult to make it a habit this year. Not much about tax can make one feel better, but it is important, so I need to bring both of these items to the top of my to do list in May and June.

What I do in my early retirement
My early retirement target tracker

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Ouch!. I remember you thinking about purchasing a newer and cooler bike not too long ago. Perhaps you'll enjoy your new wheels!

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Fortunately, at least relatively speaking, my bike that was stolen was my cheap "going to the shops" bike, not my more expensive road bike which is the one I sometimes dream of getting an updated model. On the other hand, Sally's bike that was stolen was a fairly pricey ebike... that one is definitely an "ouch!"


On the plus side, at least I got some French practice while reporting it at the Gendarmerie, and I'm also reminded that while the theft is, at the least, very annoying, it is something we can cope with, and I know there are many people who would not be in that position.

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Sorry to hear about the bikes David, that must have been a blow. I keep meaning to check what my camper insurance covers having recently read an article about the variable quality of camper policies, probably a good idea to have a refresh periodically, a timely reminder.

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Absolutely! The other thing we didn't have was a good enough lock. Ironically, I was looking at buying better locks a couple of weeks back, but procrastinated on the purchase decision which was an expensive mistake. My bike was my relatively low cost Decathlon bike (not my road bike, fortunately) but Sally lost her ebike which is not far off €4,000 to replace!🤨

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