If you fail to plan, you plan to fail
Last week I wrote about making plans. I also said I would write my answers this week. So here they are :)
Where do you want to live in the future?
I'm not sure. Rather, there isn't anywhere I particularly want to live. I think a lot of places would be okay.
I was born in Germany, lived in Wales for a bit, spent nine years in Spain, eight in the UK, one in China, and seventeen in Japan.
My godfather pointed out last week that as I am familiar with and comfortable here in Sendai, absent any negative developments I may as well consider staying put. I agree.
Although I want to build in longer trips abroad into our yearly schedule. Maybe 1-2 months at a time, a couple of times a year.
What does your ideal day look like?
I'm getting a better idea of this. Obviously I'm not sure as I am not doing it yet, and of course I may change my mind, but right now I think my ideal day looks something like this:
Morning: wake up 7:00 or so, drink coffee, read, write, work on projects until midday
Early afternoon: exercise (walk, cycle, weights)
Late afternoon: see friends or do errands
Evening: teach or family time
Obviously this won't be possible every day, but I think I would enjoy it as a baseline.
What kind of work would you do if you didn't have to work?
I would write and teach, although I prefer one-off courses or lectures rather than regular schedules. I enjoy public speaking so would like to do more of that too.
I think I would continue running RetireJapan and perhaps move into working with people one-on-one to help them learn to manage their finances.
What is your current financial situation?
It's pretty good, mainly thanks to my wife's hard work running her language school. Basically my job pays the bills and the school provides us with money to save and invest. We are now DINKS after many years of struggling to pay the bills with three (step-)kids.
This year has been really expensive, with multiple trips abroad for funerals, weddings, etc. and renovations to the flat, but we've still managed to save over half our income. Having the kids semi-independent makes a huge difference :)
We have a decent financial cushion -about 15 years' worth of living expenses. My goal is to get to the point where we can live comfortably on dividends and interest, but that is going to take a little bit longer.
Do you have a realistic estimate of what your financial situation will be like in the future?
I think so. My best-case scenario has us financially independent in less than five years. I suspect there will be another stock market crash before then though, so I can also imagine a worst-case scenario where we suffer a permanent loss and never reach financial independence.
Because we have good financial habits though, I think we'll be okay. I can't imagine us ever spending more than we make, even if our income falls a lot. We have simple wants and in a pinch could probably live on very little.
I think it is fairly likely that we will end up with enough money to do whatever we want, at which point the question then becomes: what do we want? And that is another blog post.
How about you? What are your answers to the questions? Are there any questions we should add to the list?