Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

The challenge I set myself that I didn’t tell you about.

A wire-haired dachshund looking like an angel.

It’s coming up to the end of the year and I’m feeling confident that I’m going to finish a challenge that I didn’t tell you about.

Part of my financial strategy within retirement is to have a pool/bucket of money, around 3 years of expenses, that I’ve put in a term deposit to ride out a stock market crash. I rolled over that money at the end of December last year, just before – you guessed it – there was a downturn in the stock market.

I wasn’t concerned. With the piddling interest being paid on the term deposit, it didn’t worry me that I’d have to break into it to pull out some living expenses.

But then I had 3 people separately contact me towards the end of term 1, asking if I’d consider helping the school out with some CRT work because covid was making it extremely difficult to cover classes.

I owed the school big time. Securing an ongoing teaching job nearly 20 years ago absolutely saved our financial bacon. The school has been fantastic to my boys and me; I’d had 3 vaccinations by then; I could teach in a mask; and …

… maybe I could stretch the time before I had to tap into that term deposit???? WHAT a challenge!

I totally didn’t expect that I’d be working as many days as I have. So far, as of this week’s pay, I’ve brought home just over 25K in income from this CRT gig. What with dividends, my CRT wages and my tax return, I’ve more than covered this year’s expenses.

So, in effect, I’ve succeeded in stretching that term deposit into being able to last me 4 years instead of 3. I’m pretty happy with that.

When I come back from Antarctica, it’ll be time to think about how hard I want to tap that term deposit. I’m definitely not working as many days as I have this year – by the end of term 3, I was very unhappy. I was pining for my lost freedom.

However, I’m thinking that working a day a week next year might be ok. That’s around $300 take-home that I could put toward a holiday or another son’s wedding or something. It’s also true that once Ryan27 moves out, I’ll be living on my own. Working a day a week, where I’m forced to interact with people, might stop me from becoming weird.

Or at least, stop me from becoming weirder than I already am.

As I’m typing this, I’m sitting in front of a deathly quiet Maths class. After lunch, I’ll be walking a group of year 8s to the local lawn bowls club for their sport double. It’s not a hard way to earn some money. The kids here are lovely and it’s nice to catch up with my work friends.

I’ve decided that I’ll pull the pin on work this year when I have 2 weeks to go before I go to Tullamarine and try to remember how to get on a flight. I definitely don’t want to catch covid and have to postpone this holiday again!

So, being flexible and taking on some casual teaching has worked pretty well for me, all things considered. The challenge of being able to stave off tapping the term deposit for a whole year was a stretch goal for me, but I DO like to win at a challenge!

But the emotional drain of seeing my glorious freedom ebbing away is something that I don’t want to repeat again next year. I feel that I’ve helped the school out in its hour of need, and having the freedom to heavily pick and choose how many days I work is something that I’ll be exploring next year.

I have to train myself to say ‘no’ if the chance to earn money is offered. Those many years of poverty are hard to break away from.

Dad joke of the day:


  1. bethh

    Very nicely done on your part! How satisfying to stretch out the life of your money.

    You might want to take 3 weeks off ahead of your trip – IF you were exposed your last day of work, it could take 7+ days to show up and 10 days to clear. I almost messed up a trip in July/August by getting Covid closer to the departure date than I planned! I only tested negative the morning of my flight. It probably partly depends on the rules for your trip – in my case it was a very light case, my housemate didn’t even catch it, and I felt fine by the time my trip arrived. Thank goodness for vaccines & boosters!

    I’m excited to see your trip pics & read the stories.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yikes! Thanks for that. I think I’ll take your advice.

  2. sandyg61

    Well done on stretching out that term deposit but I love your reasoning to reduce the CRT work next year. Human interaction is important and I get that with my walking group and my family history activities. That’s the part I miss most about working.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Ahhh, humans. Can’t do without them.

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