In early January 2019 I turned 45 years old and later that month my youngest niece Erin commenced high school, both events got me focusing on creating some short, medium and long term future goals.
I decided to set goals into short term (12-15 months), medium term (3 years) and long term (6 years). The long term timeframe is being set by Erin’s expected finish in high school and the possible time between high school and University or joining the workforce. The short term timeframe is set on the wedding of my oldest nephew Andrew and my niece Danelle set for Friday 6 March 2019.
I decided to group these goals into four board groups;
- Health; and
- Travel; and
- Financial wellbeing
For health I’ve cut out most fast food and cheese (I love cheese) and I’m aiming to complete 20,000 steps each day which so far I have managed to do every day since Friday 18 January 2019. I’ve created weight loss goals for each week and each month with an aim to get down to 100 kgs by the end of June. It’s a push target but so far I’m progressing well.
I’ve so far lost over 10 kgs however experience tells me it will get a lot harder now. A reward for reaching that 100 kg weight target by the end of June 2019 is resuming blood donations which I used to do regularly until a few years ago. My resting heart rate has so far dropped from 68 beats per minute (bpm) to 61 bpm and I’m finding playing tennis a lot easier.
At the end of the short term goal I’d like to get to 88-90 kgs by the time of Andrew and Danelle’s wedding in March 2020. Longer than that I’d like to attempt to get into an ideal weight range, which apparently at the top end for me would be 79 kgs. I can’t really imagine getting down that far by that’s for the medium term (3 year goal). I hope I can at least get close.
To help with this goal I’m also aiming at playing on average one tennis match per week, with a mixture of Wednesday night and Saturday day matches I should be able to play 46-52 matches for 2019.
For August 2019 I have already booked a Qantas business class reward flight from Melbourne to Dallas (via Sydney) and later that month a Singapore Airlines first class reward flight home from New York to Melbourne (via Frankfurt and Singapore). I’m looking forward to my first ever Singapore Airlines flight and it’s in first class!
However the main point of the August trip undertaking the On The Go Tours Classic Colombia trip that would also include a bucket list item (seeing another Grand Slam Tennis Tournament- US Open which is part of my bucket list).
However since this tour might not go ahead I have a backup plan G Adventure Amazon Riverboat Adventure In Depth. While I have been to Peru before I never got to visit the amazon so this should be a great fall back option.
In 2021 or 2022 I’m thinking of undertaking the 15 day G Adventures Explore Israel & Jordan Tour. There are two additional tours I might also add the 15 day G Adventure Morocco: Sahara and Beyond and / or the 15 day G Adventures Absolute Turkey tour. I’ll have to save all my annual leave so very little time off between September 2019 and June 2021.
That would leave the last trip with Erin once she finishes year 12 so that in 2024 – 2025 (Nov 2024 to Jan 2025) I’m planning a trip based around the Galápagos Islands. Most likely undertaking a tour like this one. After that is will likely be a cruise of the Caribbean something like 14 Night Exotic Caribbean In-Depth II cruise. This trip with Erin will mirror the South American trip I did with her brother Andrew back in 2009-2010.
In an ideal world financial considerations would be limited in making major life decisions. We all, well most of us, need to work for financial security. In the short term I’d like to pay at least an extra $30,000 per year off my mortgage with the plan to have paid it out by the end of 2024 or very near paid out. I fixed my loan in February 2019 for 12 months which still allows for an extra $30,000 in payments over the year.
In the years that I’m not travelling overseas I’d like to save at least $40,000 off my mortgage. The end game is that with my trip at the end of 2024 if I was offered a redundancy from my employer I would be in a position to accept it and take an early retirement.
As I’ve been paying an extra 10% of my salary in voluntary employee contributions for 20+ years if I took a redundancy in early 2025 I’d have an indexed superannuation pension of approximately $80,000 per year. I’d probably still work, maybe part time or seasonally (but I wouldn’t have a need to) and I’d look into travelling around the country, maybe for 12 months visiting country towns.
The short term goal is an average of $2,500 in extra payments per month over the next 12 months. As 2019 is a year in which I’ll travel that will mean 3 months of no savings but with extra payments when not travelling I should be able to still get to $30,000 over this 12 months.
In 2020 however I’d want to pay off at least an extra $40,000. The path to financial freedom in my 50s starts here. I believe I can still travel (but with limitations) and meet this financial goals.
It’s necessary to become a little more disciplined in life as well so I have other short term goals to better focus me. For example in the last 2 months I finally sorted all my photos from 2012-2013 world trip. Over the next 12 months I’d like to review my blog entries and save them into an offline travel journal.
I’m also building up my flyer points across the Qantas, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airline plans. There are a few tasks I can do that grow my flyer points with little effort like undertaking surveys. I have a Qantas balance of 380k points, Virgin 10k points and Singapore 80k miles. Flyer points can allow me to travel cheaply and even in luxury but I need to be focused on having these points for little or no cost. This will then feed into my travel plans and my financial plans.
While I’m only 10 weeks into this 6 year plan so far so good. I’m using a new app to record monthly goals which also allows me to better track where I’ve come from which is necessary to recall when I face the inevitable setback.
The next test is how I go during Melbourne winter and the lead up to my America trip in August. My life so far has allowed me some great experiences but it’s now time to focus for a while to setup the next stage 🙂