-Written by Steph
It’s always nice to look back at the path that’s brought you to today. This post is a brief summary of the year by year process of the first half of our early retirement journey, detailing that slow, sucky process that everyone hates – the waiting time where your net worth increases are almost entirely from savings, and your investment returns are minimal. Luckily, it only lasts a few years! Here’s where we’ve come from so far…
We started our journey in the fall of 2011, after returning from our first trip abroad together – a lovely visit to England. However, our record keeping SUCKED at that point, so I have no record of our exact net worth at that time. It was pretty low – a few thousand at most. We didn’t really accomplish much that year, because our income and employment were pretty unstable, but we did make the decision to start the process.
Net worth at year end: ???
2012 was the year we got serious about this stuff, and there was some major upheaval throughout. I ditched my job in February as a warehouse shipping clerk for an office position covering a medical leave, which was supposed to last two months but in fact kept me employed through to July, when I switched over to a hospitality clerk / receptionist position at a law firm. Cel started the year unemployed, worked at a grocery store for a few months, then landed full time work as a typist at a property management firm. Little did we know, we’d be at those jobs for a loooong time!
We did a couple of cool trips in 2012 – a summer trip to Paris, and a winter Caribbean cruise to Miami, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and the Cayman Islands.
Net worth at year end: $31,834
2013 was basically more of the same. We continued at the same jobs, but working for the full year meant we made quite a bit more income. Cel got a promotion from typist to administrative assistant. We did one trip to the French Riviera, Monaco, and Italy, which was very lovely.
Net worth at year end: $71,007 – a $39,173 increase!
2014 brought the same old, same old – gradually increasing income, and some pretty crazy travel. Our jobs stayed the same, and we went to Guatemala, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, and France. Still working as a clerk and an administrative assistant for the same companies, and I worked a LOT of overtime.
Net worth at year end: $124,462 – a $53,455 increase!
Surprise! Nothing exciting happened job-wise in 2015. Same jobs. We ventured into Asia for the first time, with a trip to Hong Kong and Macau, and did a summer trip to Iceland, which was a big bucket-list place. We also started doing Thanksgiving trips, with a brief visit to Montreal.
Net worth at year end: $168,993 – a $44,531 increase!
2016 was the year we both quit our jobs. I very nearly made it to 2017 – my last day of work was December 30th, and my last paycheck was actually in January 2017. We both made the jump into the world of accounting, as an administrative assistant and receptionist. It was an amazing year financially, and there was some very epic travel – we made it out to Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia in the winter, Ireland and Northern Ireland in the summer, and Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon at Thanksgiving.
Net worth at year end: $244,341 – a $75,348 increase!
We’re anticipating another five years of work until retirement, barring any massive windfalls or just getting utterly sick of working. For now, we can enjoy watching our retirement accounts snowball, and keep shoveling most of our cash in to make it go faster.