Tuesday, February 14, 2012

12 months to go - second attempt

About a year ago I put up a post entitled "12-months-to-go-maybe" in which I stated that:
From a financial perspective, I am firmly on track to hit my number by Feb 2012. It will take a meaningfully bad return on investments this year to change that.
Which is pretty much what happened with equity markets slumping and the emerging markets in which most of my money is invested being among the worst places to be. So another year in the work force to provide that margin of safety to ensure that once I retire I will not have to unretire. The combination of additional savings (from both of us), our home mortgage being reduced by 1/9th, a year's worth of dividends, interest and net cash from our investment properties and reduced balances on the mortgages on the investment properties should see us end the year in very good shape.

In terms of things that need to be done between now and my last working day:

1. a final review of the finances with Mrs Traineeinvestor before I hand in my notice: Assuming the numbers still make sense this will not be an issue as she is fully on board with me taking early retirement

2. change over the mobile phone account: while phone is mine, the account goes to the office. I'll have to pay that myself going forward

3. medical and dental insurance: I am on a company plan. While the plan can be extended to retirees, it is at the discretion of the insurance company and I can't ask until I've handed in my notice. Given the state of Hong Kong's health services I am not overly concerned

4. medical check up: I will do a full medical check up towards the end of the year before I hand in my notice. If there are any major issues, I will delay resigning until they have been dealt with

5. shredding binge: I will use the office's high end shredders for any personal papers that I no longer want to keep and send some old hard drives to be degaussed with the firm's ones. I'll buy a small shredder for home use in due course

6. update my contact list: I will transfer/copy the contact details of people I want to keep in touch with to my personal computer (since I will not be going to a competitor my employer's practice is to allow this within reason)

7. make a decision on what to do with tombstones and deal mementos from transactions I have worked on: current thinking is just to leave them behind. Sure, they look good in the office but there isn't much room at home for them

8. deregister from professional bodies: I see no point in continuing to pay annual fees or, worse, comply with continuing educational requirements. I will also step down from some committees that I serve on

9. notify people of changes in contact details: since I don't want to announce my resignation before I actually resign, this needs to be done while I am serving out my notice

10. draw up a detailed list of activities and goals for the first three months, first twelve months and first two years: I want to make sure I keep myself mentally and physically active from day one. I also want to get into the habit of spending more time on my hobbies vices before I quit rather than going cold turkey on the last day. I already have a rough draft but I can't seem to stop adding to it

11. get references from the firm and the relevant professional body: just in case and the may help with other activities

Anything else?


Zeb said...

What does Mrs Traineeinvestor think of all this? Have you had a discussion about "Retired Husband Syndrome"? The links below refer mainly to Japan but it is quite common for wives to discover that they don't like having the husbands home all the time !

Not trying to curse you or anything but it's an important thing to be aware of.




Anonymous said...

Given the state of Hong Kong's health services I am not overly concerned

You're not serious right?

The HA is in a lamentable state

traineeinvestor said...

@Zeb - thanks for the links. Mrs Traineeinvestor and I have had many discussions over the years on the subject of my retirement, her becoming a SAHM, her going back to work part time etc. I'm happy to say that she is fully supportive - the only thing that concerns her is the possibility that I might get bored. It helps that she's been aware of my intention to retire early for several years.

If I've read the articles right, the causes of the problem are largely a combination of (i) her not having enough to do (ii) him not having anything to do and (iii) not communicating enough. At the risk of sounding delusional, I don't believe that we have (or will have) any of these issues. I'm also highly confident that if my wife has any issues she will not be shy about raising them.


Generally, HK's private sector health system is in good shape and relatively affordable compared to the US (where people obsess about the cost of health care). HK's public system has a capacity issue, but the quality is OK and the cost to users is trivial. The biggest issue is having to queue for hours to see a doctor at the public hospitals.

That said, on the weekend I'll be seeing a friend who works in the system and will see what he has to say about it.

In any case, I have budgeted for private health care even without insurance if need be.


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