getting started

Recently* I joined the over 40s club. It’s a big number … and some small numbers, as it turns out. I have some money in the bank thanks to a dedicated effort in the last few years to pay off debt and save but it’s hardly a fortune, more a cushion for short-term pitfalls.

I have enough cash to survive about six to eight months without a job (as long as I live very simply and just focus on paying all the basic bills and buying groceries) but it’s not enough to be the start of my home loan deposit AND still have my “oh f**k” money in case my job goes away or I have a significant emergency.

What I have in superannuation is probably enough to ensure a nice diet of toast and tea when I retire, provided I have a home in which to boil the kettle. (If I can retire, as it seems the retirement age increases each year. It would appear that my generation can expect to stop working at dementia or death, or if we take control of our finances, early.)

So I guess the first question is, when can I hope to retire (not want, cause you know, tomorrow is good for me) and the second question is, of course, how much will I need.

I wish I had started looking at this a decade ago, or even two decades ago when I got my first job. That is a life regret, now that I recognise the lack. However, this is where I am now and I have about 24 years of working life ahead of me. I’d love to figure out a way that I don’t need to work full-time for all those years (and part-time afterwards) so my financial “to do” list includes exploring some side opportunities.

  1. Clear my creditcard debt and don’t relapse
  2. Work out what I need in super/investments/assets when I retire and how far away I am from that
  3. Work on buying the cosy little house with a library/office and room for a vegie patch (the only debt I want to have)
  4. Add some shares to my (about to exist) financial portfolio
  5. Work out some side hustles to help along  1, 2, 3 and 4
  6. Make a will (instead of thinking, every single year, “oh yeah, I should make a will”)
  7. Keep my now fully paid for car in good working order, and also start putting money aside for the next one (hopefully years down the track)

So that’s the current financial list. I know things will be added to it as I learn and grow and there is, of course, one big overarching item on The List: figure out how to do all of that while still having a life that involves (in no particular order) books, coffee, wine, friends and family. Oh who am I kidding, books, coffee, books, coffee, books, coffee, books, coffee, books, coffee, books…..

* “recently” may mean a few years ago…

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