Having made the commitment to definitely retire at the end of next year I've been trying to make some decisions about where to start.
First I need to get some important home maintenance done on the beach house. I've decided I won't rush into selling it immediately, but if it turns out I need to, then it'll be in a better condition to sell for a good price. This means re-roofing the house to get rid of the asbestos roof and fix the water leaks, and add some much needed roof insulation. It also means being able to install solar panels if I end up keeping the house.
This also means getting the backyard finished. My tyre retaining wall project is half finished and I'm absolutely sure no prospective buyer would want to be confronted with this!
However a beautifully terraced back yard with water feature, fruit trees and a chook run would be a great attraction. I don't think I'll finish the pizza oven though, just lay the concrete block base.
I plan to put my Cairns property on the market after the wet season finishes next year. There is likely to be a big construction boom in Cairns in the near future so it's hopefully going to boost what is currently a stagnant property market into a buoyant one. This should knock $200K off my debt.
I am not going to renovate the downstairs ex garage into a granny flat just yet. But I will build a secure storage space in there so I can store what I need to, and then be able to rent out the rest of the house. The dimensions of the secure storage space will perhaps morph into a bathroom/laundry space should the granny flat renovation follow.
I plan to sell almost all of my possessions. I will keep things that I'm personally attached to, plus some kitchen stuff and appliances, but anything that won't fit into the storage space will go. Big garage sale coming up!!
For the next year I shall be going through all my paperwork and scanning as many documents as I can. And throwing everything else out. Yes, I will make backup copies and store them elsewhere. I love that hard drives are now so cheap.
I'll keep my car and camper trailer initially. I can live in them for quite a long time, especially since I set up the solar power system in the camper, and travelling around Australia extremely slowly is definitely on my to do list. In fact, probably one of the first things I'll do in Jan 2015 is head off windsurfing and camping to Coronation Beach and then north to Gnaraloo.
As an aside, I have given up watching television. I decided not to start watching it again when I got back from NZ and I'm not missing it. I'm also finding lots more time to read and do other stuff, now I'm not wasting it lounging on the sofa. Which means I might as well get rid of the sofa too!!
So follow along as I begin to declutter and disentangle from my work life, and plan for my next great adventure.