My Sweet Retirement Mid Year Checkpoint 2019

I was too busy with work that I have neglected or forgotten the goals that I have set for myself in the year 2019 (Read more: My Sweet Retirement Goals for 2019). I should have done a mid year checkpoint back in June 2019. But well, let me review the goals that I have set for myself before August ends.

#1 Achieve 11K of Passive Income

One of the best features that I liked about Stocks Café is the report function whereby I can see the projected dividends based on the stocks that I held in my stock portfolio. The total dividends that I am expected to receive in 2019 is S$10,359.54. This means I am S$640.46 away from my goal of achieving 11K of Passive Income.

This year, I have made a major purchase, which is SPH REIT. SPH REIT currently makes up 11% of my stock portfolio. This has given my dividends collected a booster. One of the things that I have noted is that this was the only purchase I made this year. Am I being over conservative? I need to reflect on this.

#2 Declutter

This goal that I have set is difficult to measure but I have since done the following:

  • Throw away expired food and sauces that occupies my fridge.
  • Bought two bookshelves to organize my children’s books and my books.
  • Throw away paper bills that lay around my table for months.
  • Stopped buying multiple bottle of shampoos and throw away empty bottles in my toilet.

Before I buy anything, I will always think “Do I really need it?”. This has reduced wastages as sometimes I stock up too much food and ended up throwing them away when they expire.

#3 Contribute Back to Society

I have recently donated to Hair For Hope 2019 which is an annual event by the Children’s Cancer Foundation to raise funds. (Read more: My Sweet Retirement Donates to Hair For Hope 2019). Cancer is a terrible illness and I hope the small amount that I donate make a difference to those children who are suffering due to cancer. Children are our future.

Before the end of the year 2019, I do hope I make another donation. I have not yet decided on the charity organisation yet.

My Sweet Retirement Goals for 2019

I should have done this last year back in December 2018 but honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to achieve in the year 2019. Goals have to be SMART (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – attainable, R – relevant, T – time-based). Giving myself 1 month to think about it, here are the things that I wanted to focus on in the year 2019.

#1 Achieve 11K of Passive Income

The total amount of dividends collected in the year 2018 was $9,789.19. I have not met this goal in 2018. I am still $1,210.81 away from my goal of achieving 11K worth of passive income from dividends collected. I am maintaining my goal of achieving 11K of passive income in 2019 instead of increasing it as increasing it will become not realistic for my current financial situation and not attainable.

If you didn’t know, I am using StocksCafe to track my dividends as it automatically tracks dividend payouts and there is no need for manual entry. This has saved my a lot of time.

#2 Declutter

My second goal seems to be difficult to measure. The book that I read not long ago gave me lots of inspiration. My life is too cluttered and at times I find it difficult to find inner peace. I have hogged on to things that I do not need such as books, souvenirs etc. Perhaps a good measure of this goal is to stock take the unwanted things that I give or donate away.

“It is easier to be happy when you are not surrounded by the confusion and the clutter of life.” – Unknown

#3 Contribute Back to Society

Attending the Alpha Summit gave me this urge to contribute back to the society like what The Fifth Person did. If you didn’t know, they donated frequently to charity organisations and during the Alpha Summit, they have donated to built a school in Africa. Being a financial blogger doesn’t mean that we always earn money for ourselves.

In the pursue of financial freedom, I must not forget how lucky we are as compared to some who are unfortunate. Even though I am already donating to a charity organisation from my monthly salary, I wanted to do more. As such, I will be contributing a portion of my Adsense earnings from this blog to a charity organisation of my choice around the end of 2019. The amount might not be significant but I hope to do my bit.

You can help too by supporting my blog and providing me with feed backs on my posts.

That is all I have planned for 2019 and I shall revisit the above goals towards the end of this year!

My Sweet Retirement Annual Review of 2018

Today is the last day of the year 2018 and tomorrow we are welcoming the year 2019. It is also during this same time whereby I do some self reflection across my investments, work and family.

Personally I felt that the overall stock market this year was a roller coaster ride impacted by the US trade war with China, US government shutdown etc. All these events seems to have send negative reactions across stocks markets. These world wide events has strengthen my believe as a dividend investor whereby the worst case is that you still get paid dividends when the stock price of the company falls due to such negative events.

I have completed the DBS Multiplier Account + Singapore Savings Bonds hack. This means that I will receive higher interest payout from my DBS Multiplier Account starting January 2019.

Work is busier than before and I noticed that I have worked longer hours everyday (from 8am to 7.30pm). My goals and vision seem to be out of alignment with what my boss expects out of me. I have always tried to remind others within my department and take precautions to mitigate project risks, however my good intentions always turn out to be a scolding session by my boss. The lesson learnt? “Keep quiet and just do it no matter the outcome”.

Like many of you out there, I also have my elderly parents and grandparents aging year on year. I seem to have neglected them this year and I should bring them out at least once a month for a stroll or enjoy a good dinner together.

Last, below are the goals that I have earlier set out for 2018 and let me check if I have met all of them.

1. 11K of Passive Income (Not Met)

My total dividends collected this year was $9,789.19. This is an increase of 25% as compared to the total dividends of S$7,350.31 collected in 2017. I am still $1,210.81 away from my goal of achieving 11K worth of passive income from dividends collected.

2. Read (at least) 6 Books (Not Met)

I tried to catch up on my reading but it seems that I rarely visited the library this year as I was busy ferrying my kids for tuition, music and swimming classes over the weekends.

Another reason was that I personally find it tough to find even good books. I am glad that this month I managed to visit the library at least once when I was clearing my annual leave. Found this book that is really simple to read called “Everyday Tidiness – 365 Ways to a Decluttered Life“.

In the month of December, I also discovered a application from National Library Board that allows you to borrow eBooks. This has made borrowing and reading books easier at my convenience.

3. Contribute to SRS Every Month (Met)

I have set out to contribute at least S$500 to my SRS account this year for the purpose of reducing my payable tax next year. I am glad that I have met this goal as I contributed a total of S$6,000 to my SRS account this year. I wish I can contribute more for further tax rebates but I guess that is the maximum amount I can contribute to SRS for now.

Even thought the interests earned from the SRS is petite, I was relieved when MAS announced that we can use the SRS monies to invest in Singapore Savings Bonds next year starting February 2019. (Read more: Purchase Singapore Savings Bonds with SRS in 2019)

4. Jog (at least) twice a week (Met)

Despite my hectic work schedule, I have managed to squeeze out jogging at least twice a week (Usually on Saturday evenings and Monday evenings). I jogged a total of 135.69 KM this year. This averages to 11.30 KM per month.

That is all folks for my 2018. Happy New Year!