I am now firmly in the ‘boring’ middle years on my way to FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early)
2023 marks my sixth year of pursuing FIRE – time indeed waits for no man (or woman)! On some levels, the last 5 years have sped by in a blink of an eye. But it also feels like it’s dragged on. There are times when I’ve so wanted to be at the destination already. Patience has never been my virtue, haha!
My decade goals (2020 – 2029) have not changed but there are dates against 2 of them now
1. Retire on 31 Dec 2026
2. Visit Antarctica – January 2027
3. Run a marathon
I am on track to retire earlyish at 55. Staying the course is very much the vibe as far as finances are concerned. However, I’m not delaying happiness ie I don’t want to wait until I retire to be happy. I want to live a happy and full life now. So I’ll continue to work on the non financial aspects of my life while staying the course on the financial part.
Visiting Antarctica is a matter of saving up for it and being able to take annual leave. I’ve never been able to take leave in January in the last 30 years of my working life. Colleagues with children always take priority at this time. So January 2027, it is – it’ll be my big trip to start off my retirement.
Running a marathon is still a goal. I just haven’t worked very hard towards it in the last 2 years. But I will start running again this year.
I started having a one word theme in 2022 – I found it really helpful at times when I wasn’t very motivated through the year. So I’d like to do the same this year.
My word for 2023 is Adventure ie I want to try new activities or experiences. I rediscovered what I loved in 2022. So it’s time for new adventures in 2023.
What will I focus on in 2023?
Goal 1 - Invest a Minimum of $30k into my Shares Portfolio
Why ‘minimum’ and not a concrete number?
My shares portfolio consists of individual shares in addition to ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and LICs (Listed Investment Companies).
I bought individual shares before I learned about ETFs and LICs. I haven’t added to them since I first bought them. But being a fan of Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRP) means that my holdings have slowly increased as dividends were automatically reinvested.
It’s come to a point where their combined value would sustain me for a year if I were to sell them. So I’ve stopped participating in their DRPs as I no longer want to increase my holdings. This means I’ll receive cash dividends.
I’ve recently changed how I receive these cash dividends.
They are now deposited into the same account used to purchase my main ETF (that tracks the top 300 companies in the ASX). When the balance in this account (at my broker, Pearler) reaches a predetermined amount, it automatically purchases shares in this main ETF.
I’m far too lazy to work out which portion of the purchase dollars comes from dividends and which is from my weekly contribution. Therefore, as long as I’ve invested more than $30k, I’ll be happy.
This will be the last year in which I expect to invest this much into my shares portfolio. I will have to start saving cash in my final 3 years before I retire.
Goal 2 - Replenish my Emergency Fund
I am trying VERY HARD not to see my Emergency Fund as a slush fund. I feel secure having 6 months of living expenses in the fund. But anytime I need extra cash, I raid it.
I tried not having as much in it but in the end, I felt insecure so I’m back to saving up 6 months of living expenses. It’s at 5 months at the end of 2022 so it’s nearly there!
Goal 3 - Save $5000 in my Home Maintenance Fund
Goal 4 - Engage a Fee Only Financial Adviser
Goal 5 - Declutter
Goal 6 - Go to bed at 11pm
Goal 7 - Go outside for 30 Minutes Every Day
I’m also being specific here because I wasn’t so good at taking care of my physical health in 2022.
But I’m not limiting what I do while I’m outside – it can be gardening, running, walking or having my coffee outside. I just have to be outside and not lie on the couch whenever I can.
Hopefully increasing my physical activity will stabilise my cholesterol and weight
7 Replies to “2023 Goals – Boring and Adventurous?”
I love all these goals for 2023! I know “people” say to choose just one thing to focus on but I can’t do that. Like you, I have a lot of items I want to do each year. I can’t make them resolutions or I know I’ll fail, but if I make them goals, they’re something to work towards, not something I have to accomplish TODAY. Best of luck and putting goals out in the universe does help keep you accountable.
Thanks, Lisa! I generally try to focus on a few at a time. For example, I’m tackling my sleep before I tackle decluttering. And yeah, having the year as a deadline works for me too.
I love your 2023 goals. They all sound doable and/or fun. I’m curious about your side gig of becoming an auditor.
Based on what I know about you through your blog, this sounds like quite a departure from your day job! Bravo for trying something so different.
I’ve never heard of auditing as a side gig! Will you be sharing more about the position, how you came across it, and how steep of a learning curve it was?
Yes, my side gig is quite a departure from my main job! We have certain standards we have to adhere to within my industry. I’ve been the coordinator of this quality program in the business I work in ever since the program was developed nationally. So I was responsible for implementing the policies and procedures to ensure a quality service. We would be audited every 2 years and if we pass, the business would be accredited.
Basically, I’ve joined the ‘other’ side 🤣 I’m now an assessor so my job is to audit the businesses to ensure they comply with the standards. Yes, I will most likely write a post about it.
I had to do an online course on being a lead auditor after accepting the job. Other than that, it’s been on the job training – shadowing an experienced assessor and having that assessor shadow me. Because I already know the standards from implementing them, the ‘knowledge’ part is not too bad. And the process itself is not too hard. The assessments are conducted remotely at the moment (ever since the pandemic) which really attracted me. But I know one day they will be conducted on site again. I’ll decide then if I want to continue.
That sounds fantastic! Good for you for finding such a great side hustle. If you ever decide to write about it, I’d love to learn more about your experience and if it speeds up your journey to FI!
I was wondering why on earth you’d put off Antarctica for so long. omg!
But then you gave your reasoning. Fair enough!
I basically gave up – it’s nigh on impossible to get annual leave in January – I’m the only one who doesn’t take leave in January