Celebrity deaths and political upsets aside...
2016 was actually pretty decent, at least for RetireJapan.
I love the end of the year. I tend to have a few days off, and enjoy using the time to go over the year that is ending and look ahead to the coming year.
This will be the first end of year review for RetireJapan (I'm not quite sure why I didn't do one last year). I'm going to break it into two main parts: the RetireJapan project and my personal finances.
This has been a great year for RetireJapan. I really think the site has come together, the new posting schedule is working well for me (and hopefully for you too!), we gave a number of public lectures about personal finannce (culminating in a Featured Speaker appearance at the JALT National Conference in Nagoya), and we now have close to 300 email subscribers and 400 likes on our Facebook page.
More importantly, we have an active community here on the blog and in the Forum: thanks for all your support and encouragement this year.
You can check out the best posts of 2016 in our three part roundup series: January-April, May-August, and September-December.
I get the feeling there are still a lot of people out there who could benefit from learning about RetireJapan though: I'd really appreciate it if you could share the site or Facebook page with people around you.
My personal finances
2016 was the year where everything seems to have come together. I am still learning about investing and personal finance, but for the first time I feel like I have a pretty decent system in place, and from now on I'll be doing more tweaking than overhauling.
So what do my personal finances look like? You can see detailed posts looking at my THEO and NISA accounts, but the overall picture looks something like this:
1. NISA account
I maxed out my NISA account again this year, putting in the full 1.2 million allowance and buying the following stocks:
I put a total of 725,000 yen into THEO this year, and thanks to the dollar-yen exchange rate shifting in December, did quite well:
3. iDeCo (J401k)
I just did the paperwork to open an iDeCo account. Public servants become eligible to open an account from January 2017 (along with pretty much all residents of Japan) so I am looking forward to finally getting access to this excellent product and reducing my taxes. Unfortunately at the moment the maximum I can put in each month is 12,000 yen but hopefully that will increase in the future.
We had a couple of windfalls this year, and our youngest daughter finished uni and got married, so I was able to invest more than usual. We'll see if I can keep it up in 2017.
So that was my 2016. How was your year?