Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Bright Side for my 2008

2008 was a difficult year to live off investment income, which is what I was planning to do when I took early retirement in 2007. However, in spite of the poor economy and horrible investment results, 2008 does have a bright side, which, in my opinion, is always worth acknowledging.

Here are some of the good things from 2008:
  • Another birthday. Yes, being year older is always great milestone. It's much better than the alternative:-)

  • Improved health and fitness. When I retired, I was drinking eight cups of coffee a day and my exit physical showed an irregular heartbeat. My feet hurt, causing me to limp, and I was overweight.

    Fortunately, according to a specialist, the irregular heartbeat wasn't a symptom of an issue. I've cut out the coffee and started an exercise program. I've lost 7% of my weight and the foot pain is virtually gone.

    Last week, I developed a personal strength training program with a fitness advisor at our health club. I'm looking to have significant improvements in this area in 2009.

  • More family time. Trading in 10-12 hour workdays for sharing more time with my spouse and daughter has been great. For example, attending pre-school activities and various lessons with our four year old daughter has been a great trade off. I'm glad I won't miss watching this stage of our daughter's life.

    Hopefully, a seasonal part time job for the next few months won't be much of an interruption to our family time.

  • Personal development. I've taken several courses to learn about interest areas that may be part time employment opportunities during my retirement phase. The courses have ranged from home repair to gourmet cooking, with up to four classes in a week.

    Prior to early retirement, I can only recall one non-work related course. I didn't realize how much I missed having variety when learning.

  • Even though I'm a personal finance junkie, the elements of a good life aren't all financial. However, in 2009, I hope that I can add investment results as one of the bright points of the year :-)

    For more on Reflections and Musings, check back every Saturday for a new segment.

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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