Friday, July 4, 2014

Goals, Budgets etc.etc.

I used to make budgets when I was 8 years old or so. I gave up that habit during my twenties and early thirties. What a waste! I should have known better and kept up the good habit.

Anyway, I went back to good old habits of setting goals and making budgets sometime in my mid-thirties. I had set myself a goal of buying my first apartment by the age of 35 but, I could only manage that when I was 37 due to some bad and hasty career decisions on my part.

After I purchased my current residence 10 years ago, I did not set goals but kept saving money diligently. However, I did not know much about investing so, I probably missed some opportunities. Retirement Funds became available mid 2003 in Turkey and I decided to open an account. It is similar to US Roth IRA. Many people were skeptical about this new system but, having read many PF blogs, I decided to do it. Last year the Government decided that not enough people joined the system so, they announced that they will be matching contributions by 25%. Whoa! That is a great match! So, I decided to fund my retirement account as much as I could. Unfortunately, I cannot fund it up to the maximum allowed. I divert all my rental income to the retirement fund. I am short by about 27% each month. If all goes well this year, I may put in a lump sum before the end of the year.

Speaking of rental income, I purchased my rental apartment back in 2011 when I had moved back to Ankara for about two years. My savings were not earning much money, the rents were too high and I did not want to stay with mom for too long so, I took out a very short term loan of 36 months and put in all my savings to buy a 2 bedroom apartment. That loan is paid of as of this past May.

I am semi-retired and work part-time as a consultant. I collect SS (yes, my country is weird that way, the eligibility age is now much older but I was not affected by much, so I was able to retire at the old age of 45!) and collect rent. Those constitute my passive income which by the way is just about enough to cover my living expenses. So, any money I make through my part-time job is for goals and savings.

My primary goal is to take a month-long vacation in the US driving from NY to Florida and visit some friends in 2015. My other goal is to tear down the entrance, the kitchen and the balcony and re-do those areas from scratch sometime in 2016-17. I have a 2010 Nissan Note which I hope to keep until the end of 2018 if not more and then, get a new car.

Above are my goals and I hope to fully retire in 2023 when I will have full access to my retirement fund.

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