Thank you all for (still) being (regular) readers of our little blog in the finance and early retirement corner of the interweb. As the year-end is closing in, it’s not a bad idea to quickly look back at an uneventful and slightly unsuccessful year. Oh, and wishing you a brilliant 2020!
2019 in Review
In all honesty, 2019 was not the greatest and most exciting year on record. This was primarily my own fault and not necessarily a bad thing.
Here is my summary of me trying to grow up in 2019 and figuring out what I want to do in life:
The year started off okay with me continuing to work on this FIRE coaching and financial education thing. But I “quickly” (read: about 10-12 months from the start in 2018) realised that a hobby is a hobby for a very good reason. It’s not always a good idea to make a hobby into a job/profession (the “fun” disappears and “mandatory” arrives). Albeit I did enjoy good times with a lot of very interesting people and their financial lives/questions/goals. Thank you to those whom put their trust in me to help them make a plan and understand their options!
I’ll probably continue in the foreseeable future to help people with their money and money related questions. However, I have been doing my best in the second half of this year at trying to find another way to occupy myself.
Looking for Real Estate
We’ve been busy trying to find new opportunities to invest. We even tried something last week, but the current tenant was not willing to help us in improving his living conditions (he rather had a lower rent). Due to our desire for relatively low risks & decent returns, high property prices, all kinds of other external influences & personal preferences we were unsuccessful this year. So we have to conclude 2019 with no new real estate, but still a good return on investment for the properties and outstanding loans we do have. We in fact had a record year from a total return and cash-flow perspective!
That being said, we even dropped some money into our own mortgage to lower the monthly interest expenses because of a lack of investment opportunities suitable for our wishes. Hoping to find new investment opportunities in 2020. Perhaps it’s time to lower expectations or take more risks, not sure yet what we will be doing next year… One thing is key though: capital preservation! When the tide turns, we need to have capital available to react quickly.
Looking for a Job!
With Mrs CF resigning from her corporate job, it gave us the ability to shake things up. We enjoyed the summer season and went on a two week holiday. In the meantime we looked around to see what jobs either Mrs CF of me would like. We both went to job interviews, had coffee with several people, but Mrs CF was the first to find new work.
Mrs CF started with family a couple of months after she resigned to see if she will be taking over the family business, while at the same time helping out. So far this option is still being evaluated.
I was successful at getting a job offer but eventually declined a few days later. The main reason was another opportunity that presented itself for next year, which includes the ability to work internationally. Albeit no job security was given (more details will be made available in Q1 of 2020), I wanted to stay available for this opportunity and gave up the job I was already offered! The benefits of having some FU-money, you can be picky and wait until the right job arrives 🙂 Still think I made the right decision, 2020 will tell whether I was right.
So what did I do for the most of 2019? Well nothing really. I spent most time looking after our household and Miss CF. Did a considerable amount of cycling in the summer and a little bit of renovation work on our house (which still is not ready….but the insulation is significantly improved!).
I binge watched a lot this year too, which I thoroughly enjoyed actually. But I don’t want to do another year of it. It’s time for me to get more active. I found out that I really need to have external deadlines to get my ass moving. Purchasing new real estate would help, or getting a job again. I also still plan to register for a running, triathlon and cycling event (actually the last one is done already, might do an extra one). Nothing big, but enough to make me feel some pressure.
That being said, I’m now well rested. Have a clear mind and no stress. Even though I didn’t do much in 2019, it was a comfortable and relaxing year. A year of getting to know me. Hence it was not a very “exciting” year (turns out, I’m pretty boring). Planning to change that in 2020.
Wishing you a brilliant 2020! (with lots of good beer)
Other fun plans for 2020 include spending time with some of you in a castle in France. There are still spots available!! If you don’t want to join for a whole week, you can also just join us for a long weekend. Just be sure you register in time by dropping me an email at info’at’cheesyfinance’dot’nl.
As there is nothing else for me to write at this point in time, there is only one more thing to say:
Wishing you and your family a brilliant 2020! Hope to see you on the other side and perhaps even share a beer next year.