Baby Boomer Fast Approaching Retirment
I’m a baby boomer fast approaching retirement and the balancing act of saving enough and being able to enjoy those peak earning years. It’s hard to believe how fast the years have gone by. It just seem like yesterday that the wife came home and asked if I’d be willing to move to Europe for a year. Well nearly 20 years we’re still here. I'm retired and she is T minus 8 to retirement!
So this diary, at least for the next year, is about the struggle to balance all this. Here’s an overview.
We just renovated and moved back into one of our rental properties. While we lost the income it was way cheaper than the rent we were paying. The renos and move left a pretty big debt overhang which needs to be paid off.
Pensions. We’re mostly covered but it would be ideal if we paid off our mortgage and ideally the two investment property mortgages. We can pay a max of 3600€ per unit per year. 10 grand a year is a stretch.
We’ve been going home (Canada) pretty much every two years since we’ve arrived and we’d really like to travel more here. Big unkown is my wife’s parents health. Her dad isn’t done well. Waiting for the inevitable phone call. Everything is on hold that we see what happens. Seriously debating a 12 day cruise this fall but as mentioned a lot will depend on my father in laws health. Torn between making one more run home and wanted to be there for the funeral. Trips home are seriously expensive and I don’t think we can swing both.
We just moved back so I’m still getting a handle on our costs but basically it’s 1/3 fixed everyday spending 1/3 investments 1/3 free.
Short term debt
The move left us with some short term debt as follows
10,000 Barclay credit
2600 Amex -
I use Amex for cash advances buy something and return it. They give cash rather than charge back to the card. Hugely helped when we ran into an end of the year cash crunch (long story not really relevant. Basicly I’ve gone to cash and making huge payments on the cards, by summer Barclay will be gone and Visa will be half gone. Unless we have to go home I expect everything to be paid off by the end of the year.
Last edited by Lost in Space 2; 2017-03-01 at 08:30 AM.
We were able to move back into our own place because my wife worked out a deal that she could work from home as long as she travelled to the office twice a month at her expense. It would be like travelling London to Toronto twice a month for 2 days. Bit too far for a day trip. We (I join her) drive up early Monday and leave late Tuesday but neither of like this so we leave Sunday evening. An extra night in a hotel is worth avoiding the traffic! Even with this extra costs we still save over what we were paying rent in Munich. Plus were back in our own place!!!!
One downside to being an expat is making friends means joining various English speaking meetups around the city. This are always in a restarant which means at least drinks sometime dinner.
6 weeks vacation means we have a lot weeks to fill so big goal is a 12 day cruise in October. The rest of the time will be staycations! Don’t really mind she’s been a road most of her working years so time at home is very nice. We also need to say vacation days for funerals as well.
I belong to 3 different shopping and 1 hotel loyalty program programs
On the first 3 each “point” is worth 1 cent, my goal is to collect 5000 point and exchange it either for cash or for a good as cash gift certificate. The key here is to pay attention to coupons, if you just collecting 1 cent per € it takes forever. Swagbucks but is good only for online shopping. I happen to discover it just as switched to All You Need Is Fresh for my weekly shopping, I get between 200 and 700 points per weekly shopping and then exchange them for Amazon gift cards (500 points = 5€)
For a minor amount of work a few times a year I get 50€ gift certificates.
We’ve both road warriors (I’m retired so I join her on most trips) so I make the point of collecting points, for every 2000 points = a 40€ certificate. We use this to pay for non business hotels. With a bit of planning we can often cover the full cost of a stay. I also do surveys to earn points but once I reach the next level I’ll call it quits, too much work
Lottery Club: the wife just signed up for a 60 day free lottery membership thingy, who knows we might win some money LOL, as long as we cancel before April 11 it's no cost.
End of Month Review
End of the Month Review February
My focus is on YNAB everyday spending as this is the one that I have the most control over. Will touch base on other stuff
Total Everyday budgeted 925€ actual 1462€
• Groceries - 320€
• Gas budgeted 50€ spent 113€
• Wine: 14€
• Entertainment 150€ spent 206€
• Meds 30€ spent 176€
• Clothes 100€ spent 84€ (new spring jacket for me)
• Hair 125€ wife once every 2 months
• Dog 100€ spent 211€
• Dental spent 181
Fixed costs 850€ per month of which 500€ is the mortgage - whoot 4 more years and this baby is gone
Investments: 1700€ 2 investment mortgages and a private pension.
Over all the month was higher than planned and hoping this won’t be the norm. Some increases were expected. Gas we live outside of the city so we’re driving more, no question. Getting establish so I think we can cut our entertainment budget back some. The big jump was dental/meds and the dog. Getting old gets expensive, noticed my “med” category has steadily increased.
Our total spend per month is approx 4800 (including 1800 towards investments), more than covered by our income. Once the car/mortgage/dental loan is paid off this will drop to under 4 grand.
Debt Cash Flow
Main issue is still short term cash flow. Still struggling to get out of the hole the move put us in. To be honest I wasn’t sure exactly why we’re so tight. It’s way cheaper living here than in Munich, even taking into account some extra costs (like driving more). I suspect the reason we simply did too much too fast. In the last 2.5 years we did a trip home, major dental work (15,000€ worth) loads of travelling, another major holiday (3 weeks with family travelling around Italy) and the moment we got back we started packing for the move.
Moving here is also so ridiculously expensive. Not only the double rent, our tenants moved out early but we had to paint the place before leaving (1500€) The movers cost 4500€ (long story why) plus all the trips to Frankfurt. Bit of bad luck but we planned the move right around Oktoberfest so hotels were insanely expensive.
Than the renovations, after 10 years of tenants we renovated the whole place. That along with an upgraded kitchen and new appliances and of course had to get a new couch chair set. Yeah I guess considering how much we did it makes sense it would be a stretch. If I get upset by this I like to remind that I screwed up on paying for the teeth (a post for another day) and that the bulk of this was funded from our savings! It was only in the last little while that I started to rely on credit. (highlighted as a reminder to me)
Loyalty cards. Saved 10€ by booking my hotel direct rather than via a swagbucks link.
Won 50 cents in a lottery pool I joined, if I want the jackpot 250,000€ than I’ll continue the subscription (currently free) hey one can dream
Amazing how fast spending can add up. Went out for breakfast at Micky Ds, had an ice cream cone and ordered in a salad. 25€ poof. Do that a few times a week and you can blow through 200€ no problem. Will always have to watch our “everyday spending”
Finally got back our rent deposit, nearly 4000€ that along with a Zero Percent Balance Transfer cleaned up our bank accounts. Man it feels good to have that over draft gone!
Attending a Financial Awareness Seminar for exapts. It’s really a marketing event dressed up as a educational evening but hey free coffee and you never know!
Updating my ACBs and noticed that Emmera has double it’s dividend since 2007! On the other hand my high yield dividend ETF cut the dividend a bit.
Depending on how the housing market goes will probably move back into banks sometime in the next year or so.
Best news of all I just put a nice lump sum payment on our principal residence mortgage. It was a rental property before so never bothered but know that we’re living there highly motivated to get that baby gone. 3 more lump sumpayments plus 4 months and that baby is gone!
This won't make sense to anyone but me, random thoughts I'm struggling with. But then that's why one has a diary LOL
- How did we survive Munich?
- Over saving/planning for retirement vs under saving/planning
- The budget always works out better than planned.
- I'll never but a Mustache
- Lessons learned, gotten way better at life in the last few years.