Goals for 2013

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After my last post I thought I’d better write something a little more constructive, rather than sit back on my warning that it can get boring saving and investing for early retirement, so here are some goals for 2013. They’re not late New Years Resolutions as I don’t believe in them (a good idea is a good idea, why wait? Do it NOW!), but things I want to achieve in the coming months:

Financial milestones for 2013

–          Max out ISA allowances for Mrs FFUK and I. This will total £22,560 into tax sheltered stock market investments this tax year

–          Put at least 16% of my salary, plus any bonuses, into my pension. Employer will also add 9% which tops this up to an effective 25% contribution

–          Learn about UK Inheritance tax planning. It occurred to me the other day that if Mrs FFUK and I were both to die, some of our estate may be subject to 40% inheritance tax (it’s mainly because life insurance policies would pay out and push the net worth figure up). So I need to look into this, create a strategy and will post my learnings here

–          Sell our campervan. We have no trips planned in it and hardly used it last year (when Mrs FFUK was pregnant). Now that baby number 2 is here it’s too small too really. A shame as I love going on trips in it – will definitely do more motorhoming in retirement!

–          Think about selling my company shares. They’ve fallen a lot since I bought them (even considering I bought them at a huge discount) and the company is starting to reduce dividend payments so I can’t see them increasing dramatically any time soon so I need to accept that I’ve missed my chance to sell these at a decent profit and reinvest the capital elsewhere. I may be able to improve the tax treatment of this part of my portfolio too as the dividends are currently taxed

Home, Work and Lifestyle

–          Get a new job. I don’t want to leave my company as it is close to home, has decent benefits and I have almost 10 years tenure (meaning I would miss out on potential redundancy payment if I were to just walk out), but I need a role change to keep motivated and to keep learning new things/meeting new people. Have been in my current role for 2 years and am losing my mojo somewhat. Fortunately I have good connections in my department and there should be some good opportunities to move around. I’m not interested in further promotion as I want to maintain work/life/stress balance, and am earning enough to keep me on the financial independence track. A bigger salary now would probably just be tucked away into a pension for tax reasons, and so wouldn’t help me achieve FI any sooner (but the higher level responsibilities would cause a lot more stress)

–          Go overseas with the family before Mrs FFUK goes back to work after maternity leave. We have family in Greece who we’d love to go and visit

–          Get the Caterham replica running (have been working on an engine transplant for over a year now!)

–          Redecorate/remodel our living room and master bedroom. Radiators will be moved in both rooms and I want to build a TV stand that electronically raises a TV out of a cabinet at the foot of our bed

–          This is a new one: cut back on the alcohol. This will improve health, wealth and hopefully give me more energy in the evenings and mornings. If I can get to a point where I’m only having a drink at home once during the week then I’ll be happy – I’m not addicted to alcohol and don’t drink huge amounts, but it is an almost every-evening habit that needs breaking really

–          Get healthy. I’m no slob and have always been lucky enough to be able to eat what I want and remain slim and active, but at 36 years old I do need to think about my long term fitness and health. I don’t want to overdo it straight away as it might become a fad which I’d do for a few weeks then forget about, so I’ll start slow with “urban workouts” – using the car less, parking in the far corner of carparks, not using elevators,start getting out on the bike, use the kids as weight-training aids and throw them around without complaining that “daddy is getting tired now”…

–          Write a new blog post at least once a week, comment on others blogs at least twice a week

–          Design an FFUK logo and banner for the site

I’ll set myself a reminder in my outlook calendar to revisit these in 2 months to see how I’m getting on…

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2 responses to “Goals for 2013

  1. I’m all for getting the Caterham up and going!

    Let me know if you need help with the banner/logo. Mrs. 1500 is an old Photoshop pro and she can whip stuff up pretty quickly.

  2. We plan on having the oil, water, fuel and vacuum pipework done this weekend, followed by fabricating an alternator mount bracket. Then it’s simply a case of re-wiring the new engine into the new ECU… I have some major concerns about the variable valve timing though, I might have to remove that functionality! – In case there are any experts reading this, I need a solution to control the variable cam timing / VVT / VCT on a 2.0 litre Ford Zetec from a Focus ST170 (the engine is called a Duratec ST but it is definitely a Zetec, not a Duratec), using Microsquirt MS3 engine management. Apologies for going technical and way off-topic there!!!

    Thanks for volunteering Mrs. 1500 for a banner design! I’ll have a stab at this one (although have no idea or inspiration at all yet – just something I think I should have done by now!) but may well come back to you in 2 months after failing dismally with my tail between my legs and see if the offer is still there..?

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