Tuesday 4 December 2007

Setting Goals for 2008

As the year draws to a close it's time to review how I went in achieving my goals for 2007.

My financial goal of reaching a net worth of approx. $1.18m (based on an overall ROI of 13% plus savings) is within reach, but as my property valuation will drop a bit this month it will all depend on how the market finishes 2007. It will also help if the HR department at work finally gets it's act together and gets the arrears in my retirement contributions. With the steady raising of interest rates in Australia over the past two years, and the prospect of less stellar gains in the stock market after four years of strong results, I'm planning of reducing my margin loan balances during 2008. As I don't want to increase my taxable income too much this financial year, and have prepaid the margin loan interest until the end of June 2008, I plan on selling some stocks in the latter part of the year and using the proceeds to wind back my level of gearing.

We also completed the planned move of our superannuation accounts from BT to a Self-managed superannuation fund. Over the long term this move should save us around 1%pa in admin and management fees on our retirement savings.

My educational goals of completing 4 subjects towards a GradDipEd degree while also completing 1 subject towards my MIT weren't achieved. I ended up only completing 1 subject for the GradDipEd (assuming I pass - the results are due out on 20 Dec) and withdrawing from the other subjects (due to poorly timed bouts of the 'flu just before some major assignments were due). For next year I've enrolled in two subjects for the GradDipEd and two for the MIT. Hopefully I'll be able to get these completed. So far my rate of progress towards completing these post-grad qualifications has been glacial, as shown below:

I'm planning on completing 4 or 5 subjects each year for the next several years, which would allow me to complete both degrees in 2011.

My enrolment in the Diploma for Financial Services (Financial Planning) was a spur of the moment decision mid-year. I've completed one of the four subjects and have read through the other subjects and started work on the assessment items. I expect to finish this off sometime in January, making use of the two week break over Christmas/New Year. I may enrol in the Advanced Diploma course next December when my uni courses have finished for the year, so I have something to keep my busy poolside during the Summer vacation.

I didn't achieve my goal of losing some excess weight and improving my fitness during 2007. So next year I'll again be aiming to reduce my BMI from around 30 to less than 25. If I just cut out all junk/snack foods I should be able to lose 0.5 kg a week. I did manage to take some regular walks at lunch times, but now that the hot Australian Summer has begun I need to start swimming laps at home instead.

I didn't have any particular career goals for this year - I'm happy with my current position and wage, and with a couple of young kids I'm not keen on devoting extra hours at work to win any promotions, and don't want to change jobs in pursuit of a pay rise as new jobs inevitably require unpaid overtime while establishing yourself as an "indispensable" employee. For next year I'm just planning on staying in the current job and getting a standard cost-of-living rise in the middle of the year. I have a fair amount of annual leave accumulated, and my 8 weeks "long service" leave vests next July, so we'll probably take a four week overseas holiday towards the end of 2008, and I'll continue using some leave to take a "long weekend" every two or three weeks. In the longer term if I progress with my BTeach studies I'll see how much I enjoy the practical teaching sessions and decide whether or not I want to make a career changing into teaching when I complete my degree (around 2012).

I removed the goals widgets from the blog recently when I revamped the template. Although using the html code made it easy to update the progress each month, I found that they didn't display correctly in both IE and Firefox. So the new goals will be updated as a graphic using paint, which should ensure they display correctly in all browsers.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

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