1. I will retire in mid-2013 (exact date to be confirmed). From a purely financial perspective, I am past the point where working has become an optional exercise and am carrying on for non-financial reasons (although the extra buffer is nice to have, particularly given the economic and political uncertainties that we currently face);
2. Our finances have done very well this year. Although I am waiting for a couple of year end items before finalising the accounts for 2012 and posting a year end summary:
- our savings rate should be in excess of 50% of pre-tax income
- I have about three years worth of expenses in cash/near cash
- I did not achieve any greater degree of diversification
4. I have taken the novel to more than two hundred pages and am setting myself the ambitious target of finishing a rough first draft by the end of 2013;
5. I did both the Hong Kong marathon and the Hong Kong trailwalker in 2012. The times may have been slow, but I did derive considerable satisfaction from completing these challenges;
6. I have made some progress on the skill set and am now able to resolve a number of technical problems by myself that I would normally rely on others to deal with. While this is not necessarily the best use of my time, it does reduce the stress levels that modern technology can induce;
7. My retirement preparations are as advanced as I can reasonably make them. The firm and a small group of close colleagues have been notified. A wider announcement will be made nearer the time. Medical insurance looks like it will be addressed not by continuing my firm's policy post-retirement (if that option is available) but by swapping the family to my wife's subsidised firm policy. I have no shortage of things to do in retirement and, working hours permitting, will start working on some as my career winds down. The only outstanding items of any significance are (i) cancel my term life insurance and (ii) prepare a new will. It helps that Mrs Traineeinvestor is fully supportive and that she intends to continue working part time.
All in all, 2012 was a great year.