Quarterly Checkpoint – My Sweet Retirement Goals for 2020

Besides the disruption of the COVID-19 outbreak to my financials, the other goals that I have set for myself in the year 2020 have also been affected as well. I was watching a video on productivity on Udemy and came to learn about Chris Guillebeau. As shared by Chris Guillebeau, we should always track and check the status of our goals daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly so that we do not lose focus. Constant tracking of our goals ensure that we are making progression towards achieving our goals at the end of the year.

Since we have reached the quarter of the year, let me recap the goals that I have set for myself in 2020.

GoalsStatus as of April 2020Not Met / Partially Met / Met
A Better Parent
Do at least 1 activity together per monthBefore the sports facilities are closed before COVID-19 outbreak, we do go swimming together as a family once a week. We also visited the arcade at least once a month.Met
Contribute at least S$600 to each of my child OCBC Young Savers AccountI have contributed $150 to each of my child savings account from January to March.Met
A Better Leader
Read 12 Self Improvement BooksBelow are some good reads that I have borrowed from National Library.

  • Goodbye Things – Fumio Sasaki
  • Make Space – Regina Wong
Partially Met

(1 book short. I am supposed to read 1 book each month)

Watch 12 Courses From Udemy
  • 7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Increase Your Influence
  • Self-Confidence: 40 minute Confidence and Self Esteem Guide
  • Radiate Confidence: How to Create a 1000 Watt Presence
  • How to be Successful: Create A Growth Mindset For Success
  • Time Management Mastery: Do More, Stress Less
  • Stress Management: 40+ easy ways to deal with stress
  • Time Management Secrets For Busy People
Met

(7 self learning videos watched)

A Healthier and Fitter Me
Run 300KMI have ran a total distance of 165.7KM from January to March.Met
Workout at Gym 36 TimesI used to visit the gym once a week. I have only managed to visit the gym once in January before the COVID-19 outbreak. The gyms are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.Not Met

(Impacted by COVID-19)

Less Financial Stress
Achieve 11.5K of Passive IncomeThe stock market has crashed due to COVID-19 outbreak. With REITs slashing dividends payout, I doubt I am able to achieve this goal in 2020.Not Met

(Impacted by COVID-19)

Purchase 8K Worth of Singapore Savings BondsI have purchased S$1000 worth of Singapore Savings Bonds from January to March. With falling interest rates, I am still hesitating if I should continue my regular purchase of Singapore Savings Bonds.Partially Met

(Skipped March Issue of SSB)

COVID-19 has certainly disrupted my resolutions for 2020, especially my financial goals. With the government announcing COVID-19 counter measures such as “circuit breaker”, I will most likely be spending more time at home, so are my kids. It is probably a good time to catch up with more reading and exercise to keep fit.

Have you been catching up with your goals for 2020?

My Sweet Retirement Goals for 2020

This is the time of the year, when many financial bloggers like me make heroic resolutions and goals for the year 2020. As mentioned last year when I set my goal for 2019, I mentioned that goals have to be SMART (S – Specific, M – Measurable, A – attainable, R – relevant, T – time-based).

Recently, I learn while reading over the internet that there are two questions I should ask myself before setting SMART goals.

  1. Who do I want to be?
  2. How do I want to show up?

Both the above questions made me think deeper and reflect on what kind of person I wanted to be moving forward.

Who do I want to be?

I want to be a better parent, a better leader at work, a healthy and fit person and to have less financial stress from daily necessities of life.

How do I want to show up?

1. A Better Parent

1a) Do at least 1 activity together per month

Due to my hectic work schedule, I realise I have not spent much time doing activities with my children such as playing basketball, badminton etc in 2019. Believe me or not, my children never had a BBQ session before.

No matter how much money you earn, I believe family is most important. In 2020, I am going to do at least 1 activity with my children per month.

1b) Contribute at least S$600 to each of my child OCBC Young Savers Account

I shall be giving each of my child a monthly allowance of S$50 each month into their OCBC Young Savers Account. The amount might seem small but I hope they have some monies in their savings account when they reach teenager age of 16.

2. A Better Leader

2a) Read 12 Self Improvement Books

I am going to read 12 self improvement books in 2020. Believe me or not, I have been very poor with reading books in 2019 due to the lack of time. I bought quite a couple of books (related to leadership, self improvement, investment) from the bookshop but I have not unwrapped some of them!

2b) Watch 12 Courses From Udemy

I have only managed to watch 3 courses from Udemy in 2019. Similar to reading 12 books, I am going to watch 12 courses from Udemy.

3. A Healthier and Fitter Me

3a) Run 300KM

I am going to run a total of 300KM in 2020. Based on my 2019 running record, I average 15KM per month. I am going to stretch myself by running 25KM per month. I am also currently overweight at 72.5kg. Ideally, I should bring down my weight to 66kg. Hopefully by jogging more, I am able to reduce my weight to 66kg.

3b) Workout at Gym 36 Times

I have recently start working out at ActiveSG gym. Usually, I visit the gym twice a month. I am going to stretch myself by increasing my visit to the gym to 3 times a month.

4. Less Financial Stress

4a) Achieve 11.5K of Passive Income

The total dividends that I have collected in the year 2019 is S$10,547.40. Even though I did not met my goal of achieving 11K of passive income in the year 2019, I am uplifting my goal to achieve 11.5K of passive income. This should be achievable if I am frugal in my spendings and invest the rest of my monthly savings into good dividend paying stocks and REITs. The other dynamics will be opportunity from the stock market.

4b) Purchase 8K Worth of Singapore Savings Bonds

This goal may sound foolish to some but for me the Singapore Savings Bonds act as a form of emergency fund should I get retrenched. Believe me or not, I was once retrenched and that life lesson taught me to have an emergency fund on hand that can tide me through until I find a new job.

Ok, I guess I have my goals and resolutions set and ready for the year 2020. I am excited on the challenges and unknown ahead.

Have you started your planning?

Happy 2020.

My Sweet Retirement Annual Review of 2019

We are coming to the end of the year 2019 and soon we will be welcoming the year 2020. This is also the time whereby I do some self reflection for the year related to my work, investments and family.

Work

This year, I was involved in a large scale challenging project. It took up a lot of my time, meaning I worked a lot of overtime to deliver this project. This also means that I have less time to focus on my stock investments. I am glad the project is almost over and multiple issues have already been resolved. The good side of this project is that I have learnt a lot and this has enabled me to further uplift myself as a leader. While others ran away from their responsibilities, I stood firm and responsible for the decisions that I have made. My bosses expect no hiccups but realistically, this is never possible. It is only how we find solutions to these issues that we encounter.

The last important thing that I wish to highlight is that I will be transferring to a new department. I am nervous and at the same time excited about the new challenges ahead.

My self reflection: Self Improvement

Investments

Ok, enough of work. Let me touch on my investments. The only big investment I made this year was the addition of SPH REIT to my stock portfolio which now makes up 10%. The REITs arena has been pretty active this year. We have seen the merger of OUE Hospitality Trust and OUE Commercial REIT and recently, Frasers Logistics and Industrial Trust and Frasers Commercial Trust also announced their proposed merger but this will likely take place in 2020.

This year, Mapletree Commercial Trust also announced their preferential offering in order to fund for their acquisition of Mapletree Business City (Phase 2) which I have took up. With all these activities, it prompted me to set some cash aside next year in the event there are more preferential offerings or rights issue.

Singapore Savings Bond performed poorly in the year 2019 with the interest rates falling like nobody business. Nevertheless, I am still setting aside a portion of my monthly salary into Singapore Savings Bond which acts as an emergency fund in the event I am being retrenched.

My self reflection: Set aside ample war chest (for investment) + emergency fund (for retrenchment) (6 months x monthly salary)

Family

Last year, I mentioned that I ought to spend more time with my aging parents which I did. I brought them out for meals over the weekends and sometimes to shopping malls for window shopping. As a result of this, my expenses have also increased.

My weekends are usually hectic as I have to drive my kids to tuition classes and sport activities such as swimming and sometimes basketball lessons. I have realised time management is very important as I can only find pocket of time between my kids lessons to do the things that I want to do, such as stock analysis. Alternatively, the only time that I can spend doing my own things is when my wife and kids have gone to sleep.

My self reflection: Time management

Goals Achievement for 2019

I am really bad with goals as I realise I have been missing the goal of achieving 11K of passive income every year.

#1 Achieve 11K of Passive Income (Not Met)

As shared previously, the total dividends that I have collected in the year 2019 is S$10,547.40. This means that I have missed my goal again. What has gone wrong? Perhaps I have been too conservative and concern about the right price to enter into a stock or REIT?

#2 Declutter (Partially Met)

To be honest, I almost forgot about this goal of mine. I still buy multiple bottles of shampoo as they cost less if I buy them in bulk. There are still empty bottles that I collect and store them away in my cupboards thinking that they will be useful for storing things one day. I also have a least 10 free cups that I got free of charge for purchases I made at shopping malls. However, I am glad I have donated or throw away all these unnecessary items that are lying around my house before Christmas.

There is still much to be done and I will continue to work on decluttering my house. Believe me or not, you feel happier when you see less things cluttering your home.

#3 Contribute Back to Society (Met)

Using the advertisment earnings from my blog, I contributed to Hair For Hope and Touch Community. I hope to continue doing this next year as this add additional purpose for maintaining My Sweet Retirement. Please add a link to My Sweet Retirement if you have a financial blog like mine as well. I will be glad to do a link exchange.