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Early retirement costs & targets - July 2021

Why do I still have spreadsheets? As an ex-accountant, these were normal work tools, but shouldn't I have left them behind once I stepped away from my job and into early retirement?


The reality is that while I retired early, I didn't have a personality transplant, so things that I did for the previous thirty years, such as work on spreadsheets, were never going to disappear overnight. Another reason is that my spreadsheets help keep me organised. That might sound boring, but these tools help me achieve my early retirement aims instead of having the days slip by without much to show for them. Another thing that helps me get things done is routine, I know that it sounds boring, but it works, at least for me.


Early retirement target tracker


I don't do so well with my targets when I'm outside of my normal routine, so the last month while we were away from home has seen a dip in progress against some of my targets.


I didn't run quite as much, didn't post so many blog posts, let my daily Duolingo French lessons slip and got out of the habit of sorting out our old photos. None of these are a big issues, but still I like that my monthly targets check-in reminds me that I've lost some focus and that I should make an effort to get back on track over the next month.


My early retirement target tracker July 2021

On the plus side, we did visit a new place, the Isle of Coll and during the month, made some progress against my invest cash target. I'm not sure whether going car shopping with my son counts as "doing things with our kids", but I know he's very excited about the electric car that he'll be taking delivery of in the next few weeks.


Early retirement costs


Yet again, my monthly costs section of the blog starts with the words "we spent a lot this month".


Vehicle costs included extra fuel for our campervan road-trip to Scotland and, unfortunately, a visit to the body shop after our camper got to know the house wall a little better than we'd have liked - the details of who was driving at the time shall remain a secret!


Sally has decided to have her teeth straightened, so the first installment for this is included in medical costs. I think her teeth look just fine as they are, but it's something she's always been self conscious about so has decided to get it done. If I had a choice between straightening my teeth or getting a new bike...🤣

I quite like this bike, 😏hmmm

We've also spent quite a bit this month on the UK house. We've decided to see if there's an Airbnb market for it in our non-touristy area. In readiness for this, we've bought various things such as a dishwasher, porch light, loft boards and ladder and some new furniture. Unfortunately the boiler has also started to malfunction and, despite paying for some repairs, it looks like we'll shortly need to buy a new one.


I hope that we'll be able to rent the UK property on Airbnb - we seem likely to only use it for two or three months a year and it seems wasteful to have the property empty for the other nine months.


I'll finish now, to leave me time to get back into the routine of daily French Duolingo practice and, well, maybe I'll just browse a couple more bike websites. Hopefully sports equipment won't have a big spend item in it next month!

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Hey David (and Sally), so much in your post today has resonated with me.


So firstly, I've had to have a lot of dental work done after breaking a front tooth in January. The necessities have cost me a lot both emotionally and financially and I've decided to go the extra mile for whitening etc as a way to make me happier with the whole procedure. So, Sally, I'm with you! As someone who has been paranoid about my smile since I was a teenager I am sure that it will be worth it. That is despite me being a cyclist who always wants a new bike!


Secondly David, as an ex-Treasurer I'm such a spreadsheet geek, I love them…


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Hi Michelle If you hadn't gone the treasurer route, perhaps a diplomat could have been your calling...you're a master at making everyone feel good...teeth for Sally, spreadsheets for me😂 I'll report back on how the Airbnb goes, although it will be a while until we start to see the picture. However, my driver isn't the money versus traditional longer term lets, it's that we want a place to base ourselves during the 2-3 months we think we'll spend in the UK each year, but feel it's a waste to have it sitting unused for the remaining 8-9 months. It's as much (maybe more) a use/waste equation as a financial one. Would love to meet up again, we'll definitely do so next time we're…

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michelle
michelle
Aug 12, 2021

I'll be interested to hear how you get on with AirBnB'ing your home. The more we travel the more I'm thinking it would be a good way for us to go as it does seem a waste. Plus it's not good for our place to be empty so much. So have been looking at a few places that offer to manage the whole thing.

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I'll definitely report back on how it goes, although I think it will be a while before we can tell. We have sourced someone locally who we hope will manage the change overs etc, fingers crossed that works. The idea of the property sitting empty, so being a wasted resource was also a driver for me. If we earn a bit of money, I'll obviously be happy with that, but not having a house that took effort and energy to be built was my initial motivation.

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My younger son just got braces yesterday. You can tell Sally that he recommends against it. He said it hurts more than expected. I'm sure it costs more here- it was $6000 USD! The bike has got to be cheaper and more fun!

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You can pay that much (or much more) for a bike, but I wouldn't, maybe $3,000 or a little more which, coincidentally, is about the same as Sally's dental costs, so yes, about half the price that you are paying. I had braces when I was a teenager, and remember them being a bit sore. I also remember breaking them quite often when I left them in my school bag which became a makeshift soccer goalpost at lunchtime. I'm guessing that wouldn't have made my Mum happy🙄

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I ran an B&B in a non tourist area and found contractors were most of the guests. You would have to have someone to oversee the comings and goings.

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Hi Pam That's close to my thinking, that we may find people working in the area for a month or two who don't want to spend that long in a hotel, as well as people either buying or renting a property and needing somewhere to stay if there is a gap between where they used to live and their new home. We have spoken to someone to look after the change overs etc, so fingers crossed that will work.

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I also totally agree with the need for a routine and having targets, if I can't look back and see that I have achieved something, I feel like that was a waste of valuable time, after all, time is a finite resource. I also still use spreadsheets to set targets and monitor progress, despite using them extensively in my role as a project manager when working, they are useful tools for all sorts of things. Love the bike, looking forward to seeing your eventual decision on this front when you make it.

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In my mind, it makes sense to use the tools that we are already familiar with - maybe I sometimes wish my tools were more exciting, but it's spreadsheets that I seem to find in my toolkit (much safer than a hammer or saw too!🤣).


I think my bike must be around 11 or 12 years old. I bought it second hand in early 2015 and the guy I bought it from had already had it quite a while. I do sometimes think about getting a new one, but think I'll try to hold off for a little while yet. I only bought it back to France from the UK last week, so the Alpine cols are going to hurt…

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