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Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring 2013 Update


"I'm ready for the shuffle
Ready for the deal
Ready to let go of the steering wheel
Yes, I'm ready...for what's next"

- U2, Zoo Station


Massive flowering plum tree photographed from my bedroom window


Maximum zoom on blossoms


What a difference one year makes.  It was only about one year ago that I was lamenting just how far off the mark I was toward retirement.  At that time, our net worth had just barely crossed the one million mark.  However, by the end of 2012, it was over $1.3 million, and now it's getting close to $1.5 million.  (This is nothing remarkable, considering the major U.S. equity indices were up about 10% in the first quarter of 2013 alone.)

Net worth is not the best indicator for retirement, but it's easy to calculate and less prone to manipulation.  In the past, I didn't even bother to calculate a lot of other numbers because I intuitively knew it was not worth having the conversation yet.  For despite my analytical nature, I tend to make most important decisions by intuition, by "gut feel".  And at the time, I knew one million was not in the right ballpark.

At the $1.5 million level, I'm not so sure I want to dismiss things quite so easily.  Perhaps it is indeed time to begin the conversation of what to do with the next phase of my life.  This is an exciting time for me as I ponder "what's next".  I assume that my head will clear during summer vacation in regards to these matters, as travel tends to do that to me.

In the mean time, I still need to continue to execute, execute, execute.  My new three year plan consists of the following:

Year EndMortgage BalanceYearly DividendsYearly Pension
2013$40,000$30,000$18,000
2104$20,000$35,000$21,000
2015$0$40,000$25,000

The pension numbers can be achieved by simply remaining employed at the same company, and the mortgage balance targets can be met with very modest prepayments.  The dividends will be the hardest area, and I definitely have my work cut out for me with that goal.

Best regards to anyone still reading my very sporadic posts.