Happy New Year! 2015 is behind us and we’re ready for a new one. Or are we? What about 2016? We’re only 8 days into 2016 and I’ve already rearranged my workshop, hung some additional LED lights (Fluorescent workshop light replacements, very cool), built an Ice Rake using recycled PVC piping and took the family out back for some skating. There are plenty of other tasks around the house that could use attention but, unfortunately, all expensive so some prioritization is in order.
We live by a budget that hasn’t changed much from last year. We need to figure out how to reduce some items but, excluding medical calamities (isn’t that always at the root of all financial ill) and an unplanned vacation, we came in on budget last year.
Of course, I will continue writing for this blog and I might start taking that second book a bit more seriously. But to be frank, there is only so much I can write about. I’m not a financial adviser. I write about my experiences and, to be honest, I’m running out of stuff to say. We’ve already taken cost-cutting to a level where taking it further would become uncomfortable. I’ve changed out every bulb in the house to LEDs. I’ve done all the investing I can do and as a matter of fact, we’re now starting to draw down on our investments.
Here are a few things I’m looking into this year:
Filling the GAP: According to my retirement calculator my plan might succeed but it might not due to the fact that my cash and stock will run out prior to the age of 59.5. It will take some loopholes to get to my 401(k) money prior to 59.5 without incurring the brutal penalties. I will need to get started on this sooner than later as one of the methods (the Roth IRA conversion ladder) takes at least 5 years to be put in motion. Whether that method is the right way or whether I need to look at other options is something that will happen this year.
Going back to work. I’m still young and even though I’ve been out of the field for a year and a half I might still consider going back to designing and implemented software. With 20 years of experience, it will take more than that time to get behind on others in the field. What I don’t want is to go back full-time. Been there, done that, prefer not to do it again. A couple weeks here and (if the opportunity presents itself) maybe something I’m open to.
Build more calculators. Building the calculators I built last year was fun so look for more of those to come. Also, if you have any suggestions on what you’d like to calculate, please let me know and I’ll look into it.
Teach the young maybe? I don’t have the proper certificates to be a teacher but I have managed to train over 40 distracted and busy adults. Teaching them the traits of designing and implementing the systems we used to sell. Both Stateside as well as across the Pond I might add. I can imagine this could be something of interest to some of the local technical colleges. The challenge to this would be to create a training program from scratch before you can teach.
Teach the elderly maybe? My father-in-law likes to stay updated on the latest technology. With that come a lot of questions. Questions I almost always seem to have the answer to. It is true the young catch on faster than we do. I’m getting older too but technology was spoon-fed to me. One idea I’ve played around with for a while is to set up some rudimentary training for the elderly on how to use today’s gadgets. I could simply visit a couple of elderly homes each week and show how to take a picture with an IPhone. Trust me, as simple as it may seem to us..
Build a dock? One of my better investments (in my opinion) was to buy a second piece of waterfront property across from the water we already live on. The land is undeveloped but has building plans grandfathered in. What it doesn’t have yet is a dock. Building a dock will open several possibilities. I could potentially rent out dock space but what makes it even more interesting is the fact that, once I have a dock I don’t really need a house on the water anymore. We could possibly downsize to a house that isn’t waterfront. The empty waterfront property will now grant me access to the water and with a dock, I could even park my boat there. Hmmm, food for thought.
Well, plenty of plans few new years resolutions. I certainly hope 2016 will be a good year for you. If you’re trying to build wealth like we did, may this be a prosperous year. If you’re getting out of debt, may this be a year of bringing it down. For all of you I wish you all the best luck and good health.
Happy New Year!!