Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

Wednesday W’s #56.

What’s top of my mind: My doggie visitors.

The photo above shows Jeffrey sleeping on the couch next to his Mum, with Silver at the back.

Where I’ve been: On yard duty.

I have yard duty twice a week. Wednesday’s is in a section of the school called ‘South’, a thin strip of concrete totally in shadow all the time from the 4-story building that is the actual school. It’s cold and a breeze is usually blowing through it, though the garden along the back boundary cheers it up a bit.

Last year it wasn’t a very popular place for the kids to go – only the loners and weird kids would hang there, which actually made it quite a good place to do the slow-paced ‘yard duty walk’ up and down. These sorts of kids are the quirky and interesting ones. This year it’s far more popular.

Where I’m going: Phillip Island.

My friend Blogless Helen, who I went to North Korea with back in 2018, reads my blogs. When I said that I was planning nothing last week, she was outraged. So a few of us are going down to her holiday house on Phillip Island at the end of April.

When I was a kid, we used to go to Inverloch, a little further up the road, every school holidays to visit my grandparents, who retired up there. So it’s a little like revisiting the past.


What I’m reading: ‘Die With Zero’ by Bill Perkins

Last year, I was driving to work, listening to Aussie Firebugs pod with the author of ‘Die With Zero. I’d vaguely heard of the book before, but never really taken much notice. However, I really enjoyed the interview and it was very lucky for Tom30 that I listened to it – Perkins advocates giving $$ to adult kids when they need it; not simply leaving it all to them when you die. Tom30 was in the throes of house-hunting and I ended up giving him 15K towards his deposit. (5K of that was the amount I’ve earmarked towards helping each boy with a wedding, while 10K was my emergency fund at the time. Of course, I’ll be doing this for the other kids too.)

I finally got around to ordering this book from the library after it came up in conversations with Charlie from Antarctica and another guy from work.

I’m about a third of the way in and I’m thinking that there’s nothing new here – I got it all from the podcast. Still, I’m pushing on. There may be a pearl of wisdom or two still to be discovered.

What I’m watching: OUTLANDER season 6!!!!!!!!!!

It’s finally on Netflix. I’m so happy.

What I’m listening to: ‘The Party Crasher’ by Sophie Kinsella.

I’m listening to this on 1.5 speed just to get through it.

The protagonist is the most immature 26-year-old I’ve ever read and she’s very annoying. It’s a chick-lit ‘madcap’ light read, but just when I start getting sucked in to what’s going on, something unbelievable is done or said and I’m annoyed again.

What I’m eating: Hard-boiled eggs and a salad for lunch.

Quickly thrown together this morning. I prefer a light lunch, especially with my home-grown cucumber and tomatoes.

What I’m planning: Nothing.

Haha! That was just for Blogless Helen’s benefit.

Who needs a good slap: Kids who are away during a Learning Task.

Argh! So annoying!

Yesterday I gave a history learning task (a piece of work that is marked and goes on the kids’ reports) to my year 9 class. SIX of them were absent. That’s a lot of kids to chase up. I really want to have all of these marked before Friday, when my other 3 classes submit their first learning tasks. The correcting has begun in earnest.

What has made me smile: The Mother/Son song at the wedding.

David29 popped in on Sunday and stayed for over an hour, so we had a lovely chat up and chinwag. He brought up the topic of an appropriate song for a mother/son dancer at the wedding.

I said, “What about The Angels, “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?” and he instantly replied with, “No way, get fucked, fuck off!!” and we both laughed.

“Imagine Izzy’s family’s faces if we did?” I said.

(For overseas readers, this is a fantastic song, but it’s an Aussie tradition to yell the “get fucked’ thing every time the question is asked in the song. It’s asked a lot, so it’s kind of fun.)

This morning I woke up with the PERFECT song in my head. Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like a Rock.” I used to use this as a lullaby for the boys when they were babies.

Dad joke of the day:

What do you call a man who gets botox in his face?



  1. Helen

    Lololol Ms J!

    You know you’re coming with us for a weekend to the Pink lake to gather more salt, when we run out, which will be in a few months.

  2. Maureen

    I’ll have to read Die With Zero. It may give me a better frame of mind to deal with my daughter’s crises from the opposite coast which prompt a $$ bailout from me.

    • FrogdancerJones

      It probably will. Or listen to the podcast – it’s quicker.

  3. sandyg61

    We only have one child so he will inherit what might be left anyway, so he might as well use some now to his advantage. We’ve helped with their first home loan and have given them a gift of $$$ for their wedding. I’ve already looked in to the gifting rules for the aged pension and will give the allowed amount each year. Why not if we can afford to?
    Our fin planner is helping us make the most of what we have so it’s easy to share.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I love this!
      It makes it trickier when there’s 4 kids to consider.

  4. Ginger Megs

    We have also helped our kids financially – if we wait until we’re dead we won’t get the benefit of seeing their financial load lighten a bit and their worries lessen. We helped both kids with extensions to their homes, and when we had an unexpected windfall we gave it to them to help pay off part of the principal of their respective mortgages. Our son and our daughter are in very different financial situations (daughter has 2kids, son has none) but we have tried to be even-handed with help. I know what it’s like to struggle when starting out, and that feeling of always, always being frugal is difficult to shake off, so if we can lighten that load for them we’re happy.

    • FrogdancerJones

      That sounds lovely. I’m sure your kids appreciate it.

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