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 Streamline – Cardigans

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As promised, here is my review of the next category in my wardrobe – cardigans.  There was a time, not too long ago, when I did not own any cardigans.  However, I have discovered the versatility of this particular item, especially light-weight ones in our mild climate.

2012-06-18 01I bought these 3 identical cardigans at Uniqlo in Japan when we there on holidays in 2009.They are a fine cotton knit which is perfect for trans-seasonal wear and in the airconditioned office during summer.

2012-06-18 02This gold-coloured lacy knit cardigan is perfect for wearing over sleeveless summer tops.

2012-06-18 03Here is a 3/4 sleeve red cardigan which is also useful for trans-seasonal wear.  It goes well with my predominately red/black wardrobe.

2012-06-18 04My only true winter cardigan is this turquoise woollen one.  I bought it in Tasmania several years ago.  It is beautifully soft, warm merino wool which is grown and processed in Oatlands, Tasmania.

I have one other cardigan which is an older black one.  It lives on the back of my chair at work for whenever the airconditioning becomes unreasonably cold.  If it wasn’t for this role it would be in the op shop.

The beige Uniqlo cardigan is the least appealing in terms of colour and does not get worn as much as the others.  The final analysis is that the beige one may go.  All of the others are worn regularly and fit with the main colours of my wardrobe.

Decluttering Day

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This afternoon The Duke and I decluttered our wardrobes.  I did not have a lot to go as I had gone through my clothes when I decided to join in Project 333.  However, there were a couple of things which had survived the previous cull.

The Duke sorted through shirts which had seen better days as well as a few other things.

Here is the bag to go to the op shop.

2012-04-25 01All of our clothes are in one large wardrobe (half each) apart from 2 parkas each, The Duke’s suit and good jacket plus my winter coat.  They are hanging in the wardrobe in the guest bedroom.

I also sorted out the hangers.  We now have everything on the same type of hangers (plastic-coated) except for The Duke’s trousers which are on special trouser hangers that we bought from Howard’s Storage World some time ago and clip hangers for my skirts.  We have a lot of excess hangers (we must have had more clothes at some time) so this pile are going to the op shop.

2012-04-25 02I have kept about 16 plain wooden hangers which I intend to cover and give to Belle for the children’s clothes as they are fast outgrowing the child-sized hangers they currently use.

I have kept the spare plastic and trouser hangers that match the ones in use.

We have also made a list of the clothes we need to buy.  The Duke will need 4 more business shirts and 2 pairs of trousers.  I would like 1 or 2 pairs of trousers for work.  I also need to buy an outfit for a wedding we will be going to next year.  None of these are necessary right now as we have enough to get by so we will look until we find the right clothes at a good price.  We are considering waiting until we are in the US later in the year.

It was useful to regularly review exactly what clothes we have and consider what else we want to buy.