Happy Independence Day to my American Friends!
Sadly, as of today, I’m still not independent (financially, that is!), and the golden shackles that my company provides for me will still be restraining me for a while, making me a dependent person on the 4th of July.
I’ll definitely be enjoying the day off (gah, so few of them here in the US. Back in Japan, I had at least 12 national holidays. And in France, I seem to remember I had a billion days off every year), but will probably be enjoying it even more in a few years when a “day off” will just be like every other day for me.
I guess once you’re financially independent and retired, a “Day off” is still special, because that’s when your friends, who are still working (suckers!) finally have time to spend with you 🙂
So, let me use today to have a quick look at our financial independence path so far in 2016. Back in November 2011 I truly believed I was 1 or 2 months away from financial independence: The Yen had been going down steadily since 2012, and since I plan to retire in Japan with investments in USD this was dramatically helping. my investments were doing really well too, and so did my side gig. I was poised to be FI by January 2016. Then stuff apparently hit the fan. The Japanese yen surged by 20% within 6 months, 2016 started terribly for the markets, Brexit happened,… I’m now further away from my target than I was a year ago, which is sad considering that our wealth (in USD) has dramatically increased since then. But hey, maybe this means for me the only way is up.
The Purple line is our wealth in USD. The Green line is our target. It evolves as our actual target is in Japanese Yen. So, our wealth keeps growing in USD, but the target is now evading us
The same data, represented in Yen. The blue line is our yearly target in Yen. The Purple line is estimates of my side gig’s income, and the green line is estimates of how much we could take yearly from our investments with the 4% rule. 2015/11 was so close!
For those who have been following this blog closely, you might remember I had two plans in mind for 2017: either pull the plug, or relocate to Japan within my company to work one more year in Japan. I’m now calling it, it’s going to be the second option. There are benefits to this, in particular it will be probably easier for us to secure a loan for a mortgage in Tokyo if I have a “regular” job. Of course, the drawback will be that I’ll have to work one more year.
I wish Financial Independence was coming faster, but for now I’m still on track to pull the plug from my 9 to 5 before I turn 40, so, so far, so good.