T minus one year

Yesterday was June 1, 2018.

That’s significant because a few years ago I decided my “retirement date” will be June 1, 2019. It means I have one year left to get everything in order so I can completely step back from work and do… whatever.

I remember beginning my retirement journey at the age of 26. At the time, I’d decided to retire on my 40th birthday. That was 14 years away, which seemed like an eternity and certainly enough time to amass a fortune. Well, the years ticked by, but that fortune didn’t amass and 40 came and went. I was still working– in fact, at least as many hours as I’d been working 14 years earlier. The lesson I learned in that fourteen-year exercise was that you can’t just say “I’ll retire on such-and-such a date” and have it magically happen. Instead, once you’ve decided on a date, you have to do some planning. Imagine that!

For the past year or two I’ve been doing that planning. I’ve looked at my investments and portfolio, considered how my businesses will continue running without me, analyzed our spending, and on and on. I have all sorts of spreadsheets; I check my account balances monthly; I watch our credit card spending. It’s not glamorous, but it’s helping me take baby steps toward my goal.

Now here I am, one short year away. Retirement isn’t a sure thing yet, but it’s taking shape. Today I think I’ll build a Monte Carlo simulator to run some tests against my portfolio and see whether Laralee and I can last 60+ years on what we have. Then I’ll tweak a few dials, so to speak, and figure out how to improve my position. Rinse and repeat. Watch the calendar count down the days. And hopefully, 364 days from now, I can breathe a contented sigh of relief.