As someone so focused on FIRE, I often burn a tonne of time thinking about what I’ll do once the day comes that I walk out that door. But the reality is that day is a way’s away, maybe a few years away still. Until then I can fill up any number of pages with bucket lists of things to do once I’m retired but for now I have a life to live still, and it doesn’t benefit me much to only think about what I’ll do “once I have time”. I have time now, just not as much time as when ALL my time will be free time. So the question is what are my goals in the short term, what do I hope to achieve, both financially and personally, while on the journey to retirement?
Here’s a quick attempt at brainstorming some things I want to do in the short term, probably this year.
Goal #1: Survive Baby #2
It’s amazing how time flies, swear it feels like just last week that the first little guy was born. But not only is he over 2 years old now, but we’ve got a second little poop machine due in a few weeks, and so things are about to get a LOT more hectic around here. The first little man already makes life difficult as it is, like he still gets up most nights to run over and climb into bed with us, so #2 will really push us to the limit. I’ve been asking around about how to mitigate any jealously issues between #1 and #2, and trying to prepare for that as well. One funny bit of advice we’ve gotten is when we bring #1 in to see #2, have a present ready. Tell #1 that the baby brought him a gift. He’s only 2 years old, so this is totally a plausible thing in his world.
I think our goal here is really just to come out of 2016 healthy and sane. Maybe I should count the # of grey hairs I have and resolve to not grow any more 🙁
Goal #2: 2 Months Leave
Follows directly from goal #1, I should take at least 2 months leave once the 2nd screaming little man is around. I took 3 months off the first time, and I’ll probably take AT LEAST that much this time but spread out over a year. I don’t understand fathers who refuse to take much (if any) paternity leave after their children are born, especially if it’s paid. I had a coworker back at work quite literally the week after his wife’s c-section. Our company pays 100% salary for 3 months, so there’s no monetary excuse you can use to justify that.
In Canada (or at least Quebec), we get 52 weeks of paid parental leave (split however you like between mother and father), which is really awesome. Really appreciate the benefits of living in a country like Canada 🙂
Goal #3: Forward Dividends $21k
This is a blog largely about our finances and journey to full retirement, so at some point we should have an investment goal 🙂 We’re currently sitting at about $19.1k in forward dividends, so adding another $2k on top of that will require approximately $50k at an average 4% dividend rate. That’s insanely ambitious, given there are only 5 full months left in the year. If we get lucky with some dividend increases and contribute heavily, we might just make it.
Playing around with the numbers a bit, there are a few ways to actually hit this target.
- The first way would be to simply have another $50k lying around that I can invest, job done.
- Another way would be assuming we get 3-4% average increase over the next 5 months would bring us to $19.67k, that’d leave us with only $1.33k in forward dividends to shoot for, which is about $33.3k in contributions. Factoring in $8k worth of dividends in that time, and we actually only need $25k. That’s WAY more manageable (still a lot!) vs the original $50k estimate.
Obviously a lot of factors about this goal are completely out of our hands. Rate of dividend increases, unexpected expenses, generally poor market conditions.
Goal #4: Back to Boxing or BJJ
I took boxing a few years back and really enjoyed it, but can never seem to find the time to go to class regularly anymore. This was a few years back when I lived in downtown Vancouver, and there was a wealth of training options available to me all within 10-15 mins walk. I was about to train 5 days a week and lift weights on top of it, and I was easily in the best shape of my life. These days all I do is weight lifting (about 4-5 days / week), which is enjoyable and I’m seeing my strength go up constantly but it gets a bit repetitive. It’s also pretty antisocial, you go and train by yourself and speak to nobody.
There are a few choices on places to train I’ve found online, but most aren’t easily accessible from where I live currently. I had a great place to do BJJ last year, but since it’s 45+ minutes to get there by public transit, once you factor in a 1.5 hour class, you’re looking at a bit over 3 hours to go, train, and come back which pretty much kills anything else planned for the evening. Often that means that I don’t see the little guy that evening since he’ll be in bed. There are some other places that look pretty good, but the commute time isn’t substantially better and the hours aren’t amazing either.
So the goal will be to commit to a place and get my butt in class at least twice a week.
Goal #5: Half Marathon Training
I promised MrsSLM that we’d do a half marathon next year, which means I probably need to do SOME training or have her leave me in her dust. She’s run a few and has just barely missed going under 2:00 hours, so we’ll be specifically looking to run under that 🙂 But the race isn’t until next year, so this goal is really just to slot in some training.
I hate running. Thought I should mention that.
Goal #6: Flexibility/Rehab
Apparently sitting 8-10 hours a day at a computer isn’t all that great for you, weird eh?
I’ve got a whole host of problems in my legs/glutes/lower back area that I’ve mostly ignored or only made clumsy superficial attempts to address. The biggest issue right now is some problems with the iliotibial band in my left leg, insanely tight. Occasionally I get little tingling sensations that run up and down my leg. A bit like a mild electric shock. It’s not a serious injury, but it is an annoying one. Often it feels like there’s a steel cable buried below the skin and embedded in the muscle. You can actually feel it if you massage the area, which will also incidentally be incredibly painful. I’ve got a lacrosse ball (hard rubber ball) and a foam roller, and a host of stretches sourced from youtube, now it’s on me to just bite my lip and try to fix this.
Second issue is some glute activation issues from a life of sitting in front of a computer screen. Most days I average 8-10 hours per day, but for a few years I also added 3 hours of commute (cumulative, not each way) sitting on a cramped shuttle. This really hasn’t done me any favours, and I’ve got some really obvious glute activation problems now. Luckily this also isn’t a serious problem, and can be fixed with some exercises that target the area.
Goal #7: Write Some Actual Posts
Procrastination is a bitch, and I’ve successfully put off writing any actual content regarding our experiences, etc. on this blog for months now. I’ve got a bunch of posts in varying degrees of completion sitting in the unpublished section dealing with how we got to our current state, our approach to investing, or just me downloading data sets and fiddling around with them in python. I doubt most of them would take more than a few hours to fix up and publish. The goal here is to actually write 2-3 non-update/goal posts.
So there we go, some decent enough short term goals that are pretty achievable this year. If we get all of them done, I’ll be a happy camper.