Monday, October 22, 2012

The plan (updated format)

After sharing a fairly detailed look at my planning process and then totally wimping out on follow-up, I've guilted myself into sharing a peek at the plan itself.

Is guilt a bad thing? Maybe yes, maybe no. Looking back and beating yourself up again and again over things you cannot change is a negative exercise. But I think the little voice inside your head and heart that says "You know you can do better, don't you?" usually pushes you in the right direction. That voice can nudge you toward positive action.
So I've decided to show you what I've got so far. I even considered sharing an image of my handwritten notes, but when I looked at them again I realized the notes contain more personal information than I want to share.

I'll be honest. I haven't done a good job of committing to plan or make any changes and improvements to my life. Why you may ask?

Have you ever stood in the middle of a really messy room and known you need to clean it up, but when you look around you're just so overwhelmed? Where to start? Keep this stuff or throw it away? What if I need it later? Hey, I was going to play with that!

Well, that's where I'm at right now. And it's ironic that I'm overwhelmed with my perceived need for life planning when I've been so blessed in life that you might think I don't need to shake things up at all.

The best I've been able to come up with (so far) is that I want to be able to do what I want to do (and when I want to do it), and that my best strategies to get there are strategies to carve out time and energy.

Here's what I've committed to paper so far, with a few personal details omitted (in case you're stalking me). Remember this is supposed to be a general plan and not a prescription.

GOAL: To be able to do what I want, to be financially secure enough and comfortable enough to do what I want to do

Strategy 1: Retire from full time work before age 60 to free up time and energy (58?)
  • Tactic 1: Maximize retirement savings through employer. (Review retirement plan and asset allocation.)
  • Tactic 2: Develop sources of passive income. (Current sources are DRIPs and a "high interest rate" online account.)
  • Tactic 3: Identify/develop partial replacement income. (Hobby to business? Ebay? Consultation?)
  • Tactic 4: Assuming stable employment, develop transition plan for full to part time. (10 years for phased retirement?)
Strategy 2: Improve health and energy
  • Tactic 1: Regular exercise (Aim for 1 hr/day or 7 hrs/week? Keep a record. Jazzercise!)
  • Tactic 2: Low carb, low bad-fat diet (Modified paleo? A lot of veg and some fruit)
  • Tactic 3: Sufficient sleep (WakeGet up earlier. (I wake up early. I just don't get out of bed.) Conduct a sleep experiment to ID sleep needs?)
  • Tactic 4: Clean, organized home and office
  • Tactic 5: Routine medical care (Need new primary care physician because I think my old one moved. Luckily, November is open enrollment at work.)
Some things are more easily done than others. The challenge for me is consistency. But consistency is also the key to success.

I sigh deeply...


  1. Such a good plan. Have you broken it down into smaller steps? I periodically plan to make a plan like that, but I always have to have a fresh and pristine notebook to make the plan, so I put the plan off until I find a notebook on clearance.

    Do you know that on my birthday next year, I am 100% vested in my pension? I don't really want to retire. I enjoy my job, I only work 4 days a week, I get 7 weeks of vacation and I make a good salary. I'm afraid I'll oversleep one day and just call in say, 'I retire' to I can watch the latest murder trial on InSession.


    1. We truly do share genetic material, don't we? I pencilled "the plan" into a new and pristine notebook I had been saving for "something special." I was going to post photos of a written page to show the strike-outs and thought process, but my actual written notes had more specific personal information and I thought, "But what if I become way famous and someone becomes infatutuated with me and tries to assassinate the President???" (Hey, it happened to Jodie Foster, didn't it?)

      On the breaking into smaller steps, I'm working that out. Perhaps I'll pick one or two things and concentrate on them exclusively until I've developed a system or a habit - pretty much the same thing when you come right down to it - and then pick another one or two things.

    2. Infatutuated? INFATUTUATED??? You're right - the lack of an edit function saddens me.

      Congrats on the vesting. And also on enjoying your job and the things it provides you. When it comes down to it, my job, my company, and my situation in life are all pretty good.

    3. It's like when you come down with a bad cold, and before you leave, you say, 'if I'm not feeling any better, I'm not coming in tomorrow', but, during the night, your cold gets so much better, but when the alarm goes off, you say, 'I ain't getting up. I'm staying in. BECAUSE I CAN.'

      I'm afraid I will retire like that.

    4. I just clicked on the 'drip' leak, and I gotta drip! (Not that drip -- and do you know that when I retire, my first step will be a bladder tightening surgery?)

      In the year or so before DuPont cut and run, they offered a drip. I participated for that time, and then they left, but the plan was still in place, but we no longer were allowed to invest any more $$$. If my period of drippage, I obtained 32 shares of DuPont stock, and every quarter, I get my statement where they would automatically invest my dividends in MORE stock. Initially, they were re-investing, like, 42 cents. And I snerked and tossed the statement. Sometimes I didn't even open the statement. BUT I opened my last one, and over the last 13 years, it's up to, like, $32 a quarter, which is often enough to buy me a whole 'nother share of stock.

      I plan to cash the whole thing out when I retire, and use it to fulfill my fantasy - an entire month at Hunting Island State Park.

      See? I am planning. Kinda of. It helps that I don't know who to sell a share of stock. I could find out very easily, but if I don't know, I can't cash it all in and buy cookies or something.