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2016 - year in review, thoughts about the future
A little overview of the past year, both on investments and my own personal life. While it certainly feels a bit odd for me to write more personal things in the internet, I feel like we've got a really good small community in here. So first of all, a big thank you to all of the members for the past year! Also, I highly encourage everyone to post their own thoughts about their year into this thread, and don't be afraid to throw in a word or two about your future. Next year we can read through this and see how far we've come.

It was actually quite enlightening to think about this. While it certainly feels like life is normal and not that different, when I look back to January I can see that there are many things that have improved significantly. This year started with me being jobless, hopping around with a destroyed ankle trying my best to take care of my mother who was very seriously ill. Financially I was ok due to my extra large backup fund, actually it's more of a downpayment for a house fund but it's made to be used in situations like these. But yeah, that fund took a hit of several thousand euros... but that's what it's for.

Fast forward to this day. Most importantly my mom is doing much much better. Nothing is certain but for the moment it looks like the treatments are working as intented and she is even back to working part-time now. My ankle is back to normal, even the beer belly that I got from lying at home for a few months is gone. Big Grin few months ago I started a new job, the best job I've ever had. I finally found a country that I really want to live in (the Netherlands) and I've started looking into permanently moving there. And I even managed to visit two new countries this year, while flying to another new one on the 31st of December.

Financially speaking, I've already managed to do even more than just get back on my feet. The house fund is larger than it was before all of this, my investing accounts are up roughly 10k euros since the beginning of the year, my dividend income missed my goal by only 12 euros. (I can live with that)

So overall I think I've done exceptionally well this year, I'm significantly happier with my life than I was a year ago. But there is always room to improve, right? So quickly a few things I want to accomplish in 2017.
Maybe most importantly, I want to get the moving process started. I'm planning on buying a place instead of renting so it's certainly a lot of work to get everything sorted out. I don't expect to have finished it during 2017 but I certainly want to see some progress. As long as everything goes according to plan, I should be investing roughly 1500 euros of new money every month, plus reinvesting all of the dividends, so I'm certainly expecting to absolutely smash my dividend income goal. And as always I have a well defined goal of seeing a new country every year, this time I'll get that done in the first week of January. Smile

This turned out to be much longer than I anticipated, hopefully I didn't bore you guys to death.
Once again, thanks to everyone for the past year and don't be afraid to throw in a review of how things have been for you.
Thanks for sharing, crimsonghost747. Sounds like 2016 has been a great year for you...likewise, its been a great year for me too. Its great to hear that your mother has recovered and now you are in the process of settling down and buying a house. Have a great rest of the holidays
Great post, CG -- thanks. Sounds like 2016 was a nice uptrend for you. Very glad to hear that. What is life like in the Netherlands? How did you land there?

As for me, 2016 continued a very rough run in my life. Lost my second parent in an many years, my daughter's health was pretty iffy, and I spent a lot of time continuing to work out my divorce. My baseline life demands are pretty high, between the job and caring for my daughter (with the ongoing medical issues). Having to deal with two parent deaths and the divorce on top of that have made the past couple of years pretty sucky.

BUT, I am hopeful that the divorce will be finalized in the first half of 2017. Not only will that free up the time and energy going to that process, but it will also resolve the financial uncertainty I've been living under for a couple of years. It will be nice to be able to start planning again in earnest. I am also hopeful that I will get both of my parents' estates completed in 2017. Again, that will free up a ton of time and energy -- I never imagined it would be so intensive wrapping up their lives. With luck, after all is said and done, there will be a small bit of an inheritance. So maybe I'll be able to think about investing some again before too long.

So, overall my life continues pretty crazy, but not nearly as bad as 2015, and I am really excited to think that 2017 -- busy as it will be -- will see a big move back toward normal (whatever that is). I'm not trying to make too many resolutions or plans at the moment. Just trying to stay productive and move myself toward the easing up that I am looking forward to. Once I get there, I'll start planning what I was the next phase of my life to look like. 

I have started dating again, which has been pretty exciting. Bizarre to feel like I am back in high school at 47 years old.  Tongue
Good luck guys, I hope everything goes smooth from here on out!

Funny, Kerim's mention of dating again reminds me of a little conversation my wife and I had about a month ago. She sits down with a serious look on her face and she says, "I have something to tell you, and, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. After serious thought, I've come to the conclusion that if I died I don't want you dating." I looked, I paused (maybe I paused but that doesn't mean I was THINKING BEFORE SPEAKING), I let out a sigh and said, "Babe, you don't ever have to worry about me going into the dating scene if you should pass away, I just don't have the patience or the energy to date again. Like you know how much energy and time that takes? The games? It's just too much! What I'm going to do is go to work, hang out with a few friends here and there, walk the dog, garden, cook, and relax, watch some TV and probably hang out at my friends barbershop more often, things like that but dating? Naw, can't go there..." So, I look at my wife and her facial expression is just, well, that look a woman gives you that spells shock. Her reply was, "AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN THINKING ABOUT THIS?!? I tell you what, if you die I'm going to start dating again immediately! I wasn't talking about next week! I was talking about many years down the road when we're OLD!" LOL

I told my buddy about it and he laughed and said I should have said, "No, you don't have to worry about me dating again. What I'll do is just bang a couple of high end prostitutes a year."
Kerim, sorry to hear about your parents. But as you said, hopefully 2017 will be a step towards a more normal life. Sometimes life gives you lemons but that's just a part of life, hope you get all of the stuff sorted out. Especially with the divorce, I would imagine things get a lot easier when it's over and done with. And careful with the dating, never know when you run into a crazy one! Big Grin

As for the Netherlands, we'll I've visited it a lot during the years and I've always felt great there. The people are friendly and happy, it's a safe country with not so much to worry about, all of the cities are absolutely beautiful... overall it already feels like home even if I haven't moved there yet. So I figured that if I'm happy there, then I should probably move there, right? :p Seemed like a simple choice.

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