New Year’s & Early Retirement Goals

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I don’t tend to be a person who focuses too much on New Year’s Resolutions.  I do like the idea of setting self-improvement goals – and New Year’s is as good a time to adopt them as any time of the year – but I tend to adopt goals in more of a catch-as-can manner throughout the year than lining up a whole slew of them for January 1st.  

According to the web page, about 63% of people “usually” or sometimes make New Year’s Resolutions.  That said, only 8% say that they are successful in achieving them.  The Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions I listed above are an amalgamation of all of the “most popular” resolution lists I’ve seen articles in the media over the last few days.  I think it is interesting how many of them overlap with my own plans for 2016.

  • Stay Fit & Healthy / Lose Weight – Both of these are on the list of top resolutions & they are related.  These are definitely tops on most people’s list and one of my key goals for early retirement.  As I heard my Dad say when he retired (23 years ago) “My job is now to take care of my health.”  Good advice, Dad.
  • Save More Money – This has been an ongoing resolution for us over the last 25 years.  2016 will be unique in the sense that I will stop saving money and start spending off of the nest egg.  I imagine when we make that transition we will become a bit more thrifty, knowing that our active income days (beyond some board work & minor consulting) are over.
  • Get Organized – I have put a fair number of ‘get organized’ projects this year and will actually look forward to this.  Our lower level is completely disheveled right now because after we got the Christmas decorations out, we started a basement finishing project on two unfinished rooms in our lower level.  There will be lots of organizing to do once that is done.  We also have too many computer files scattered in too many places.  I want to put those in order too.
  • Enjoy Life To The Fullest – I saw this listed on a couple of New Year’s Resolutions lists, but shouldn’t it always be our goal?  This is generally everyone’s #1 goal in pursuing early retirement.
  • Learn Something New – I’m a pretty curious person and look forward to spending more time learning for learning’s sake with the extra time early retirement will bring.  I told someone recently: It’s a great big, interesting world.  I’m looking forward to spending more time taking it all in.
  • Quit Smoking – Doesn’t apply in my case.  I also don’t drink too much, gamble at the casino, or have too many other regular vices.  Maybe I will pick up an occasional vice in early retirement just to keep life interesting 😉
  • Help Others In Need – This will become a bigger focus for us in 2016 with our the year of paychecks we’ve saved to give away to charity in early retirement.  We’ve given to and been involved with a few non-profits over the past decade, I’m interested in getting immersed in some new ones (and my wife is too).
  • Travel More – Traveling will be a big benefit of our new post-FIRE (financially independent & retired early) lifestyle.  We already have two trips planned: to Florida/Orlando for Spring Break; and a first-ever family trip to Japan in July.  (I will write more about those in a few weeks).

As I said, I don’t usually make specific New Year’s Resolutions, but I see that our early retirement goals align very well with what most folks seek to make in self-improvements.  While retiring in your forties (OK, by two weeks!) is very unusual, it’s reassuring to know that we are doing it for the right reasons and working to fulfill the aspirations many people have.

Happy New Year everyone and best wishes on your resolutions!  What is on your list of “must do’s” for 2016?

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8 thoughts on “New Year’s & Early Retirement Goals

  1. Fantastic list of resolutions & goals! I am definitely on the same page as now creating a crazy list at the beginning of January, but adopting goals throughout the year as I see fit. 🙂 The learn something new was the category I happily adopted after graduating from college. It’s astronomical the number of people that do not even pick up a book after leaving the educational realm – yikes! I wanted to make sure I continued to grow, and not get complacent. Looking forward to reading about your progress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reading more books is definitely on my post-retirement list. My wife also wants to take a fencing class this year.


  2. Never heard your dad’s quote before regarding one’s job now during retirement is taking care of their body. I had a scholarship during college that required passing a physical fitness test to maintain it. I was told that was my job during the school year (when I wasn’t flipping burgers at McD’s). I was getting paid to stay in shape & get good grades.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a unique scholarship requirement for sure. My Dad is 82 and in the best of health. He’s doing a good job at his job after 23 years.


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