My first year of semi-retirement is over. This series has taken you through how it was, what we spent and what we earned.
Now, let’s cover our plans for 2022.
The biggest change for us is that Poopsie has started a new job. He’s a few weeks into it and so far, so good. The work is interesting but also challenging. He enjoys the people he is working with and it has been a good transition from government to private sector as a lot of the people he works with used to work for the government as well. We are still working out the logistics as we only have one car and his new workplace is further away from where we live. Last year (when he wasn’t working at home) he could easily ride his bike to work if I needed the car. That’s no longer the case so we need to figure out the car juggle. I don’t think it will mean us getting a second car but convenience is a glorious thing so perhaps we will. There will likely be some travel for Poopsie (more than was originally indicated in the interview process) and depending on when and where, I may tag along with him. It’s an exciting year for him and we are both really happy with his decision to change jobs.
Right now, I am trying to decide what I want my work life to look like this year. Poopsie’s new job has come with a pay rise and it is more than I would earn working part-time for the entire year. Given that we also have our investment income, it is difficult for me to justify doing contract work. We don’t need the money and I’d be lying if I said I enjoyed the work. There’s a reason I left my full time role. But, it is incredibly flexible and that’s hard to ignore. I doubt I’d find work that would be as flexible anywhere else. I can wake up and decide I don’t feel like working that day and just don’t. There are also a few reasons why remaining employed in some form would be beneficial to me in 2022 – one being a financial benefit that I could receive for doing so. Again, we don’t need the money, but it’s still something worth considering.
I am interested in starting my own business though this is likely a few years down the road due to my business partner’s circumstances. I have considered looking for a role that will allow me to learn the ins and outs of business to better prepare myself for starting my own company. It is likely this would need to be full time and it’s very unlikely I would be afforded the flexibility I am currently enjoying. That’s not necessarily a deal breaker as the skills I would learn may be more than worth it. I’m not sure if I will be particularly proactive about this but it’s worth keeping my eye out for such an opportunity.
I have also recently been appointed to the national board of a not-for-profit. I believe passionately in their mission and I’m excited to learn about being a director on a board. Most of this commitment is outside of normal business hours (as most people on the board have regular jobs) but as I’m new to it, it will certainly take up some time for me with background reading and ensuring I’m able to contribute productively.
A couple of weeks ago, I started taking piano lessons. Long time readers will know that learning the piano is on my retirement bucket list and I’m thrilled to begin. I wanted to work with a particular teacher and unfortunately she was unable to fit me into her schedule last year. I decided to wait and was thrilled when she prioritised me for 2022. I’m looking forward to getting better and at the very least, my keyboard at home takes headphones so the neighbours don’t need to listen to me practicing.
I’m looking at joining a gym this year which has a pool so I can get in some laps during the week. There is a pool about a half hour walk from our house which I tried to use regularly in early 2021. Driving wasn’t an option because there is no parking available as the parking nearby fills up with office workers quite early in the morning. However, once I’d walked there, swam and walked home, it was almost a two hour activity. Obviously I am semi-retired and this shouldn’t be a problem but it turned out to be quite the barrier to get me there. This year I am trying to eliminate the barriers I have surrounding exercise and this is one of them. I will likely join a gym with a pool about a 10 minute drive from our place with free parking readily available. Hopefully this means I’ll swim a lot more but it will also mean I need the car more frequently so as mentioned above will need to juggle this with Poopsie getting to work.
I would like to do more writing this year. That was my plan last year but apart from a couple of blog posts, I didn’t write at all. In 2022 I want to write on the blog more regularly (maybe even weekly) but also tackle some other writing projects I have in mind. I like writing and I want to get better so I think this is an excellent goal to have. I’ll continue to work on learning more about business and figuring out business ideas as well as learning more about share trading and trying to figure out how to do my own taxes (something I haven’t done since I was about 23 when I didn’t have any investments). This probably doesn’t sound very fun and parts of it won’t be, but I’m looking forward to it!
Poopsie would like to take up painting this year as it’s something he has always wanted to try. He is looking for a beginners class as we speak. Due to his change in work location, he has also joined a new gym and he’s looking forward to getting back into working out after lockdowns closed the gyms here for a while in 2021.
We plan to mostly stick to domestic travel this year and we’re ensuring all of our bookings are fully refundable. We had a lot of domestic travel interrupted in 2021 due to lockdowns and while we didn’t lose any money, we both expect there to be less leniency with cancellation as we start “living with Covid”.
In January, we finally saw Hamilton in Sydney after it was cancelled last year. We loved it. We had already planned to go to Melbourne this year and we think we will coincide it with the production moving there. I am completely obsessed and listen to the soundtrack all the time so seeing it again is high on my list.
I’m not sure if we will make it up to Queensland again this year but at the very least, my parents will visit us at some point. Poopsie’s parents may as well however, they are a bit older and therefore a bit more hesitant to travel while the pandemic continues.
We have bought ski passes again this year (we bought them in 2020 and 2021 as well but alas were unable to use them) so hopefully we get in a few trips to the snow. We also want to utilise our weekends a little better this year for some regional travel and have our first weekend away booked in March to nearby Griffith.
We are tentatively considering travelling overseas at Christmas time, perhaps back to Singapore. We loved our trip there in December 2019 and would love to return. This is definitely one where we will just wait and see.
Our attitude to money likely won’t change in 2022. We have plenty of it coming in (yay for Poopsie’s pay rise), we send plenty of it out the door via our spending and we also send some to our investments working away in the background.
I think our savings rate will increase this year, mostly due to Poopsie’s higher earnings. Even if I ultimately decide to earn nothing, we will still be in a great position.
Life is good and 2022 is going to be a great year. We are healthy, happy and by any standard, wealthy. Despite a few cases of Covid amongst my siblings lately (they’re all fine), our families are also healthy and doing well. How incredibly lucky we are!
What are your plans for 2022? Share in the comments below!
I finally booked Hamilton tickets for Melbourne! It was impossible for me to get to Sydney last year. Let me know if you come to Melbourne – would love to catch up in person!
Good luck with all your domestic travel plans.
And no pressure but I’m looking forward to reading more from you 😉
Oh yay! When are you seeing Hamilton? Send me a message on Twitter when you do so we can wax lyrical about it together. The FI Explorer and I have recently been doing this!
Get a bike to ride to swim! Faster, funner, and no car required.