What are you going to do with the next 364 days?
Every year ends with an annual review, and starts with a plan.
I usually spend a couple of days doing a personal review and plan, but I'm also going to do one for RetireJapan this year.
So as we tentatively move into 2017 (a milestone year for me chronologically), here are my plans for the year.
Blog posts will continue, although I may play with the frequency and timing. Let me know in the comments if you have strong opinions about this :)
I think the site as a whole needs work, so that first-time visitors can get up to speed quickly by looking at the info pages.
Having failed completely to write any guides last year, I'm going to try and do better this year. I'm getting a lot of emails asking for information about iDeCo, so that seems like a good place to start.
My personal finance
1. NISA account
I will max this out (1.2 million yen) and buy a mix of shares and ETFs that produce dividends. Eventually I would like this to provide my living expenses. It's nowhere near that at the moment (just under 260,000 yen last year), but I hope to see it produce around 1.5 million yen a year eventually. My wife is doing something similar, so between us we should produce enough to live on.
I will send 20,000 yen to THEO twice a month. I get free bank transfers with Shinsei Bank, and THEO just has an annual charge of 1% so it doesn't cost me anything to invest in small amounts. I really like their product and service so plan to continue doing this in 2017.
3. iDeCo (J401k)
I just did the paperwork to open an iDeCo account. Public servants become eligible to open an account from this month (along with pretty much all residents of Japan) so I am looking forward to finally getting access to this excellent tax-reducing product. Unfortunately at the moment the maximum I can put in each month is 12,000 yen but hopefully that limit will be raised in the future.
4. Home improvements
I hope to complete phase two of our home improvement plan: installing mechanical heat recovery ventilation (I'm probably going to go for this model) in our main living space.
Basically this plan worked out quite well for me in 2016, so why fix it if it ain't broken, eh? My wife will also continue investing in cheap index funds and ETFs in her iDeCo and NISA accounts.
I also managed to persuade various family members to help us fund our granddaughter's Junior NISA account starting from this year.
I'll be cutting spending by cycling to work more, finally ditching Softbank, and cancelling Apple Music (I discovered Amazon Prime includes a 'good enough' alternative).
What's your plan for 2017?