I don’t like to set new year’s resolutions. In general, if I feel a change is needed, I will implement it immediately and to an extreme degree. I do not believe in specific goal setting either. Staying focused is inefficient as it may mean missing opportunities outside one’s immediate line of sight.
All I can really tell you, then, is what I expect will happen in 2010 with some certainty:
- I will finally finish the book I have been working on since summer 2007. Seriously, it is so close to being finished that it is almost crystallized. One of the goals of writing the book was to create a cohesive framework for everything I have written on the blog. Blog posts are often somewhat scattered and incomplete as well. Since it is not a personal finance 101 book I could not really model it on the existing literature either. Writing the book has thus required substantial amounts of thinking and reformulating—in a sense it has been a process of annealing with recurring reheating. For instance, my first draft looks nothing like the final version; in retrospect I think it was a good idea that I did not send in a proposal based on a couple of chapters. It is more of less a “this is what the world is like and here is how to deal with it”-kind of book. Except for a handful of sections (where I stole some of my blog content), it is all new material. It is my sincere hope that the content will not seem trite, sophomoric, a rehash, or all of the above.
- I hope to gain sufficient understanding of Shinkendo to advance from jiho to santen. At some point I would like to teach, but I am certainly not ready for that yet. Regardless, I’ll keep working on it.
- I would like to be able to fill all crew positions, mainsail, jib, pit, mast, and foredeck. So far I can handle the mainsail, the jib, and a bit of the pit. This is not up to me though. One thing I have been thinking about is joining Cal Sailing and achieving a skipper rating. Membership is only $200 a year and there are no charter costs. The problem here is that I would have to go to Berkeley, often: Too much transportation.
In the longer run, I would like to replace the RV with a house. Living in an RV or rather living in CA is just too expensive. We pay $475 in rent each month. Since this is funded with liquid assets this means a cap rate of a measly 4%. Alternatively, our spot is worth $141000. ARGH!
What this means is that if I can find a house with low taxes, say $1000/year; then the tax part could be supported by $25000. The cap rate on the house would be higher so there would be no need to buy a house for 141k-25k=$116000.
Of course we are not going to get anything at that price in CA, so we’d have to move. This is conditional on DW’s career, so it’s really not up to me—being location independent, I just follow along. It is just something which probably will happen if we leave CA.
Something I have been thinking about since Todd mentioned it, is to buy a duplex or a triplex. The beauty of these is that they do not tend to come with superfluous rooms. 1 bathroom and 1–2 bedrooms is acceptable. If I pay less than 116000 cash I will come out ahead already in terms of cash flow, but in addition I would be able to rent out the other unit(s) for extra income. I would expect to be able to handle most all maintenance myself. As a preparation for this kind of maintenance, one of the things I do want to learn this year is basic woodworking.