Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Five paydays to go*

With retirement at the end of September now less than five months away, it's time to check off a few items. I have been taking a long hard look at our expenses and we have taken steps to reduce a few:

1. as posted, I have cancelled my term life policy - this saves HK$41,000 in annual premium;

2. we will complete the switch from my unsubsidised medical insurance to my Mrs Traineeinvestor's partly subsidised medical policy. While our current policy provides higher coverage, the premium is many times what we will be paying going forward. Based on a look at our actual medical bills for the last few years, we will be better off by several thousand dollars a year unless we have a major incident. In effect we are reducing costs by taking on a bit more risk;

3. my disability insurance will fall away at the end of September saving us HK$12,729 in annual premiums;

4. I have been shedding management responsibilities which has shortened my working hours. As a result, there is less pressure on me to get to and from work quickly and I have begun substituting bus for taxi. Depending on my overall commuting usage post retirement, by the time the process completes, I expect my annualised savings will be around HK$8,000;

5. my SCMP subscription was up for renewal this week and I have switched to the on-line version saving HK$1,239 per annum;

6. we have decided to spend Christmas in Hong Kong this year. Last year we went to Australia which cost multiples of the cost of the previous year's Christmas holiday in Thailand. This year we are going to the other extreme and cutting from three family holidays to two (Easter and summer). Holiday plans in future years will depend on the state of the finances;

7. we have decided to defer our home renovation project for one or two years.

Of course, I do have some planned and unplanned expenses in the pipeline, including my university enrolment fees, the cost of a new computer (I had originally budgeted to replace my lap top every three years but due to a HD failure will be doing it a year early and switching to a more expensive Apple product) and the cost of recovering data from my failed HD (about HK$5,000).

Among other items in my "to do" list is updating my will and cleaning out my office.

There really isn't much else to do.

* previous "X paydays to go" posts were based on a 30 June retirement date.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations for being able to retire early. Just curious, ow old a re you and what do you intend to do after retirement?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for dropping by.

I will be 47 when I retire. In terms of things to do, the most important item is to spend more time with my children. Among the planned activities will be part time study (already enrolled), writing a novel (started but very slow progress), keeping a very small consultant role and some professional committes for a year or two as a transitional thing.

The full list is quite long but I have no intention of taking on so many things that I end up being busier in retirement than when I was working.



J-D said...

Hi again, having followed your blog for a while I have to say I would be quite interested to read your novel when it comes out!

Why not own more stable "good-for retirement" shares like Swire, China Mobile, Link, Hang Seng Bank, Hopewell etc? Some of your shares are slightly on the adventurous side for someone who will retire soon.


Anonymous said...


My biggest equity investments by far are HWL, China Gas, CCB, Sinopec, Fairwood, CNOOC, NWDS, Westpac etc. Generally good quality companies (IMHO). I also have money in ETFs like HK Tracker. The smaller and more speculative investments have much smaller amounts allocated.

That said, you are right in that following large stable companies which have the potential to grow dividends over time is probably the lowest risk strategy.

The novel will take a while to complete as I won't be able to really get stuck into it until after I retire.


Super Saver said...

Congratulations, again. Wow retired by 47.

Life's busy in retirement. I sometimes wonder how I had the time to work :-)