My goals for the next five years or so are pretty straightforward. I’m basically setting myself up for retirement, but I still have some major decisions to make.  Here are my medium term goals:

1.  I would like to move but I’m torn as to where I want to live.  Do I move closer to my parents so I can help them out more on a day-to-day basis?  On the other hand, I would also like to be close to my grandchildren so I can be involved in and watch their growth.  My own personal preference would be to live on Vancouver Island for the milder weather, but the costs of buying a house there are quite high.  I want this to be my final move so it will be a huge decision to make.

Also, I wish to be mortgage free and not dip into my savings, so the property will have to be paid for entirely with the sales proceeds of my current house.  To maximize this amount I will continue with upgrades – nothing too major, as, like my other investments, I want to maximize the return on what I spend.

2.  I’ve never had a really nice vacation, and again I’m torn as to which destination I will choose, as chances are I will only be able to afford one large trip.  I’ve always wanted to travel around Australia and New Zealand.  An African safari has also been a dream of mine.  I spent my early childhood in England and Germany and travelled with my parents and I’d like to revisit the British Isles and Europe on my own terms.

I contribute monthly to a money market mutual fund (this seems far enough removed from my regular accounts that I won’t be tempted to make a quick withdrawal) and when I’m ready to go I’ll check out what’s available within my price range.

3.  I will be reviewing my investment portfolio to see if I need to restructure any accounts and future contributions or change any investments within them.  I want future withdrawals to not only be sufficient for my needs, but also minimize taxes paid and draw down the principal as little as possible.  I no longer contribute to my RRSP (I manage it by reinvesting dividends from my dividend stocks) and have switched the payment to my TFSA as I think this is more tax advantaged for my situation but I still have more calculations to do.

So, these are my plans to lead up to my eventual retirement.  I believe as long as I do my part i.e. sock away as much money as possible and keep my portfolio producing satisfactory income, opportunities will arise that will make my eventual decisions easier to make.

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