A couple of weeks ago, I posted will I be bored if I retire early? If you didn't read it, spoiler alert, the answer is no. In that post, I set out to show how quickly the time passes and how easy it's been to keep busy by describing what I'd done over the previous two weeks. By the end of that post, I was listing the things I already have planned or still need to do by the end of the year, and wondering how I would fit it all in. Definitely not bored!
Another reason why I don't get bored is because I'm quite organised about my early retirement. I make lists of things to do and, at the start of each year, I set myself some targets and make sure I check how I'm doing against them each month. These techniques might not be everybody's cup of tea, but they work for me. So for this month's costs and targets post, I'm going to start with the targets.
Early Retirement Targets
With only four months left in the year, is there still time to turn some of the red or amber targets to green? The challenge is that I already have a bunch of things planned for the coming months, so there isn't a whole heap of spare time, but that's a good thing - see, told you that I wasn't bored!
Exercise: My running routine tends to slide when I travel, so can I keep up with my exercise target when I travel to The Philippines for six weeks? A smarter aim could be to use that time to focus on some niggles/small injuries that have gone ignored for too long. Six weeks of replacing running with a stretching and recovery routine might be a smarter choice for my body. Aim is to keep this target green.
Have a full medical: This should be easy, the idea is in place, but I still have to book the actual medical. A job for this week. Aim is to convert this target to green.
Publish at least 3 posts a month: This one is fully within my control, so I have no excuse. Aim is to keep this target green.
Improve my hopeless French: Realistically, I'm not going to change things dramatically in just a few months. However, I could extend my daily minutes on Duolingo and watch some French TV programmes. This isn't going to change the score/colour, but at least I will be doing a bit more than I am now.
Visit Auschwitz: I'm really struggling to fit this in, although there is a slight chance that I could do it after I visit Berlin for the marathon, but it involves a big detour so it may be sensible to defer to another time. Only an outside chance of changing the colour away from red.
30 nights in the campervan: I've done 20, so need 10 more. It's possible, but not a given with the amount of time we're away in The Philippines. Aim is to turn this one green, but touch and go as to whether I can hit the full 30 nights.
Imagine a new adventure for Sally and me: Somehow Sally didn't get excited with the great ideas that I came up with. This is a difficult topic for us, but it's important to me, so I want to continue the conversation. If I were to select from the suggestions that I made, it would be three months of volunteer teaching, perhaps in Africa. I don't see the colour of this target changing, the current amber score is probably already generous.
Invest spare cash: I've invested 53% and am now executing a plan for the remainder so, other than following through with the plan, there's no further action. Maybe I could colour this green now?
Overall, I'm not unhappy with progress against my objectives for the year. I'd like to move some of them along a little more, but there's no problem with rolling some into next year, or even dropping something altogether. After all, I'm retired, so I get to choose these things, which is different from when I worked and someone else set the targets and maybe attached a bonus carrot/stick to them. These days, I'm happy to take the freedom instead of the bonus.
Early retirement costs
Good news...for once I'm not going to drone on about our high grocery costs, because they were more in control this month.
Instead, we spent our money on:
New trail running poles - I broke one of my old poles when I fell over during the Trail des Gets race and landed on them.
Diesel - some long road trips coupled with high fuel costs meant that we spent £667/€794/$901 in August, most of it on fuel, but insurance, tolls and parking are also included in this figure. I drove to Zurich, Berlin and Verbier, and Sally drove to Cornwall.
We bought a 2 year subscription for a VPN.
Holiday/travel - Sally went to Cornwall and Majorca and I've booked my hotel for Berlin later in September.
And finally, what we didn't spend our money on...our tumble dryer stopped working. However, before buying a new one, and despite being one of the worst DIY people in the world, I embarked on some extensive Googling and YouTubing, took the back off the dryer and got it working again. It was actually an easy fix once the diagnosis was made, and we saved the cost and waste of buying a new dryer. I'm feeling rather proud of myself.