Retirement Planning

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As with everything else in life, nothing is certain when it comes to retirement – redundancy, illness or even death can interrupt the best of plans but it is important to have a plan.

GMan and I plan to retire from full-time paid employment in about 3.5 years so it is still some time away yet.  We have worked hard to get to this point and have a financial plan that is coming together.  Our goal is to be able to live a comfortable existence on our terms.

This post is not about superannuation, investments or even travel plans – although we do give that quite a lot of thought.  It is about forecasting future needs and changing circumstances.

I was thinking about this yesterday as I folded and put away clothes.  GMan does not generally wear a suit to work but his attire is mostly business shirts and trousers. However, the dress code seems to have become increasingly casual over the last 10 years.  He no longer wears ties every day and even the shirts that are worn in his workplace are less of a business shirt and more of a hybrid business or casual item.

So, how much of this will be worn once he walks out of the office for the last time?  This is where the planning comes in.  It seems ridiculous to think that we could be left with 3 or 4 pairs of trousers and 8 – 10 business shirts that may never be worn again in a few years time.

I have decided to try to keep track of approximately how long a shirt lasts.  I think it is around 3 or 4 years.  About half of the shirts GMan wears now also double as shirts for dressier non-work occasions.  I hope that any future purchases will also fit this category and they will not be redundant when no longer required for wearing to work.  Keeping the number of shirts to the minimum (6 or 7) is also a goal.  This will give me very little leeway when it comes to washing and ironing each week.

2016-01-15 01

Even socks can be considered when reviewing clothing needs.  The front row of socks in the photo are mostly the ones GMan wears to work – black, grey or navy but they are rarely worn with casual outfits as he tends to mostly wear lighter colored trousers and often different shoes and thicker socks.  Some of these socks are very nearly at the end of their life.  Some have been darned several times.  I think he could get away with not replacing them and keep wearing the remaining ones.

Why the focus on GMan?  What about my own clothes?  I am in the fortunate position of wearing very similar clothes for both work and casual wear.  However, I have taken note of those items that are worn more at work and will be less inclined to replaced those styles in the next 3 years.  I will also consider how any future purchases will fit into a post-employment wardrobe.

I can visualise how easily changes of lifestyle or circumstances could result in a build-up of clutter if steps are not taken to identify and remove those things that are no longer used or useful.  This is particularly evident as children grow up.  Think of the things that are considered essential for a baby who is less than 12 months old.  Are any of them still relevant 5 years later when are going to school?  While it is reasonable to keep large items such as a cot or high-chair for subsequent children, there is no logic in stashing piles of baby equipment and toys in the garage or attic.  Pass them on to someone who can use them now.

What is your life-stage?  Are you planning for change?  Do you have stuff that is no longer relevant to your life?

Project 333 – How Many Can You Make?


While I don’t adhere precisely to the concept of 33 items for 3 months, I have been working on streamlining my wardrobe.  I make sure that everything in there is something that I truly love and wear.  It also needs to be capable of being worn in several different ways.

Today I want to show you how versatile a few pieces can be so I selected a total of 13 items.

2013-02-27 012 skirts

2013-02-27 02A pair of 3/4 trousers

2013-02-27 03Dark blue jeans

2013-02-27 04That is a total of 4 ‘bottoms’.  Then I added 4 tops.

2013-02-27 05Three are the same style and the white one is slightly different.

A jacket with 3/4 sleeves which is very practical for our climate and also air-conditioned offices.

2013-02-27 06A cardigan

2013-02-27 07Finally, some footwear.

2013-02-27 08Look carefully and you will see that almost any combination will work.

In reality there are a few things I would not do.

Wear sandals with jeans
Wear sandals when wearing jacket or cardigan
Wear white top with spotted skirt (cream) or with the white trousers (too much white)
Wear red top and red jacket together
Wear black top and black cardigan together
Wear blue top and black cardigan with checked skirt or jeans (too many different dark colours together)

By applying the ‘rules’ I set above I have calculated that I could create 72 different outfits by adding/deleting a jacket/cardigan or changing the shoes.

How versatile are the clothes in your wardrobe?

Project 333 – Ready, Set, Go….


Well, it is almost April 1st so I spent some time today getting ready for my first involvement with Project 333.  See this post to find out what it is all about.

Here is my cupboard with most of what I have chosen for my project.

???????????????????????????????There are 2 pairs of trousers missing as they are currently in the laundry basket.  This makes a total of 32 items so I thought I would keep a spare space, in case I thought of something else.

Here they are listed.

Floral skirt
Black skirt

Grey trousers
Black 3/4 trousers
Narrow-leg jeans
Charcoal travel pants

Pink suede jacket
Black cord jacket
Pink quilted vest

Turquoise cardigan
Black cardigan
Grey/cream polo-neck jumper

Turquoise striped shirt
Blue/white pinstriped shirt
Black/white striped shirt
Black/cream patterned shirt

Black/pink striped top
Black/pink squares top
Pink top
Red/white striped top
Black/white striped top
Black/white striped top

Navy rugby top
Navy/striped rugby top

Bronze/pink scarf

Black handbag (not shown)

Black knee-high boots
Black ankle boots
Black shoes
Red lace-up shoes

I will be putting other clothes back in the wardrobe as I don’t want to move them to another room.

I have put aside 5 pairs of shoes to go – I will try to sell them on Gumtree but otherwise they will go via Freecycle.

I have not culled many clothes as I do not have a huge collection.  However, a few things will be re-homed.

2012-03-30 02This is a black polar fleece vest which I re-modelled from a hand-me-down and it is really too big so out it goes.  The shirt is a cotton sleeveless one but the colour is not particularly flattering now that my hair colour has changed significantly.

2012-03-30 03This pile are a bit too tight so I have decided to put them in a bag and if they are still too tight in 12 months they will go.  There is a skirt, pair of trousers and 2 jackets.

2012-03-30 04This shirt has been well-worn but has lost its sharpness of black and white – looking decidedly grey.  I love the style so I plan to de-construct it to make a pattern.  Off to the sewing room for this one.

I will endeavour to update my progress each day.  Hopefully there will be more successes than failures.

If you are joining the Project 333 challenge please feel free to post a link to your blog in the comments.