Early retirement costs & targets - May 2021

What an exciting month!

Enjoying a short break in Ticino, Switzerland

We actually went to a restaurant (outside seating only), in fact we went more than once, some cafes too (also outside), and we even took a trip to see our daughter in Switzerland. It's weird to think these things count as notable events nowadays.


I had my first Covid-19 vaccine, the second is scheduled for the end of June. I'm hoping it can be earlier as unused vaccine appointments are opened to last minute bookings by anyone to avoid vaccines being wasted.


Then there was my birthday although, as the years go by, I try to pretend they don't happen! I turned fifty-two - I can't say I like admitting to being in my fifties, forty-something sounds so much younger. Given the chance to buy back a few years, I'd take it. In a way, I guess financial independence kind of lets me do that. It gives me more choices, and having chosen to retire early almost five years ago, I like that I'm not spending most of my quality time in an office.


Talking of age, there's a running challenge to run your age on your birthday, although I'm suspecting this isn't a big thing that's done by many sensible people. Before the number gets even bigger, I thought, maybe... Thankful that I live in a country that works in kilometers, not miles, I set off with some water, energy gels, peanuts and music and ran my 52kms. I was quite pleased with myself - I might prefer that I wasn't fifty-two, but it can't be all bad if I can run 52kms without thinking too much about it.


Early retirement targets update


As I said, running 52kms in one go is something I'm pleased with, and it helped my keep up with my aim of 4 or 5 workouts a week, in this case it was five. One of the downsides of where I live is there isn't a running club but, after posting on Facebook, I've found a running partner for one day a week. She's a machine at running up and down mountains, thankfully I edge it on the flat, the problem being there isn't much flat when you live in a ski town!


We thought we were going to take delivery of the campervan at the end of May, but it's delayed by one part not being available. Hopefully it will be soon, we're keeping our fingers crossed.


We visited our daughter in Switzerland for a week, and went with her to Ticino, an Italian speaking Canton (kind of equivalent to a state or a county) of Switzerland. That was a fun trip, gorgeous scenery and interesting to see a new part of Switzerland. It let me colour my do things with our kids and travel to new places targets amber, that's progress.

Early retirement targets tracker - May 2021

Booking our Aurora Borealis trip is already coloured green, but you'll see in the money section that we made a deposit payment for the accommodation and activities. We're not going until January 2022, I have my fingers crossed that vaccinations mean that travel can sensibly happen by then. My feeling is it will be OK.


I also invested some of our cash lump sum in Vanguard Lifestrategy 80% Equity Income ETF. This is the cash that I was holding thinking that markets are overcooked and I'd win by holding cash and investing when they slump. As usual, it hasn't worked! I'm not brave enough to invest the whole cash amount just yet though, baby steps is the best I can manage.


Lastly, my French. I'm still doing 15 minutes a day on Duolingo, it said I've done 168 days straight, so that's better than nothing. My plan to have online lessons with a tutor didn't come off - I booked it in April, but the day before the lesson the tutor said she had too many bookings, so it was cancelled. I'm going to put this target setting tool to the test and see if writing this post forces me to book a new lesson before I publish.


Early retirement costs


I'm opting for the ripping off a band-aid approach. May was an expensive month:

  1. We started going out to restaurants and cafés again

  2. I bought a new coat/jacket. Sally bought some clothing essentials too.

  3. New running gear (shoes, shorts, socks, and I have my eye on more)

  4. We paid a 30% deposit for the accommodation and activities for our Aurora Borealis trip - half is shown in gifts (for the kids) and the other half in travel

  5. Charity spending was more than usual...a good thing

  6. Had the car serviced (slightly frustrating as we plan to sell it soon)

  7. Paid the invoice for French tax advice and filing service

  8. We paid for the hot-tub to be relocated and an internal socket to be relocated

  9. And of course we have costs for two properties, the concept of which still doesn't quite sit right with me


Our early retirement costs - May 2021

Phew, my eyes are watering! But with my optimistic hat on, at least there's the expectation that next month will be less😀

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