Slow and Steady winds the race – Update for Aug 1, 2019

The standard story of the tortoise and the hare talks about “slow and steady wins the race.” In it, the hare runs fast, but then takes a lot of sleep breaks, while the tortoise just keeps plugging away. For the financial markets, the comment most often made is “Its not market timing, its time in the market.” The idea behind this is that you shouldn’t wait for the best time to invest, you should just invest.

There has been a lot of talk of an impending recession and market correction. We’ve been hearing that now for 6-8 years, and other than the slight “bump” in December 2018 (which the market has already moved beyond) we seem to be moving forward. My intention, like so many other folks in the FIRE community, is to stick with the plan and not deviate just because some “chicken littles” claim the sky is falling.

July was an OK month, with my investments going up 0.64% for the month (equivalent of 7.68% for the year). For the year, I’m up 13.77% overall, and this with 30% of my investments in bonds! I’m pleased overall. Down to eleven months before my FI date, if I don’t include Social Security. If I added in Social Security, we would already be at FI

Retirement Accounts: Remember, my allocation for these is:

  • 30% Bond Index Fund
  • 17.5% S&P500 Index Fund
  • 17.5% International Index Fund
  • 17.5% Small Cap Index Fund
  • 17.5% REIT Index Fund

For the month, I am up about +0.5%, slow and steady. International investments took a pounding, and bonds didn’t really move, but the REITS, S&P5000 and small caps did well. Remember that in June, International was up a lot, so its balancing out.

  • S&P500: +1.4%
  • Small Cap: +1.3%
  • International: -1.9%
  • Bonds: +0.2%
  • REITs: +1.6%

My 401K/Deferred account at work is up a similar amount, with similar returns

Dividend Income Account: Allocation:

  • 25% Dividend Stocks
  • 25% REITs
  • 50% Bond Index Funds

This is up 0.6%, so it was similar to my other investments. Some of my dividend stocks (Chevron, Verizon) were down a little, but overall not bad. I posted a study earlier where I compared my dividend portfolio vs. my vanguard IRA – and the dividend portfolio did better over the last 3 years. I’ll keep track and keep posting on the comparison, so folks can compare.

Value Investing Account: My value investing portfolio is up around 1.0% for July, probably because it doesn’t have any bonds in it. My new ETF, Pawz, is doing about that. I’ve got 55 shares, and expect to get another 25 in August.

Again, I’m up 13.77% for the year, which equals about $133K in returns – for just the first seven months. Its more than Mrs. 39 Months and I made in salary for the first seven months, which is a good sign. We are on track and moving forward – as I hope all of you are.

Mr. 39 Months

Purging your Blogroll – Aug 2019

I’ve written before about “purging your blogroll”. As I noted then, one of the things which has always brought me a lot of pleasure is reading other FIRE blogs and seeing the different facets of the subject. It seems each blogger has a topic which motivates them, and they concentrate a great deal of energy on that topic. The result is some excellent reading and the opportunity to learn in-depth of a wide variety of topics.

It’s a sad thing that as people seem to hit FI, they take off and the level of blogging activity seems to drop. I’ve heard it said that many bloggers (and podcasters) don’t make it past six months. They say what they need to say, and then run out of ideas. When this happens, we often lose an interesting voice and set of thoughts. One of the reasons I enjoy the Post-FI blogs (near the top of the blogroll) is to see what life is like once folks hit the magic number/date.

What is nice is that there are always new people joining our community, and I want to make sure that I can include those in my blogroll (at right) so others can link to and see what they are saying. So I typically every 6-12 months do a blogroll “purge” where I clear out those blogs who haven’t updated stuff over the last 3+ months, and this frees up space for newer bloggers. So today, I’ll be doing my blogroll “purge” and trying to identify new and interesting folks for you to see.

Enjoy, and I hope you enjoy my writing and the writing of those I point out. Enjoy the rest of summer!

Mr. 39 Months

Mid-Year Update: July 2019

July 2019

Well, its early July, halfway through the year, and a perfect time to compare my goals for 2019 to what I’ve actually done, both financial and personal/other. A lot of folks don’t like to do this sort of thing, but as an engineer and amateur financial junky, I actually love taking a look at these sort of things. Even when I’ve had a bad quarter (or bad year) I like to look at the numbers and see what my situation is, and the future outlook.

Ok, I’m a numbers geek.

So how am I doing in comparison to my goals for 2017 (the ones that I listed on April 30th)?

My Goals for 2019 (some financial, some not):

  1. Put in $75,000 in tax-advantaged accounts throughout the year. Grade A. I have put in over $55K this year so far, and I am on track to put in close to $80K by December.
  2. Put in $5,000 in regular accounts: Grade A. Took my rollover from my inherited IRA and put that into my brokerage in first quarter.  
  3. Increase dividend income from our investments to $27,000/year (and reinvest them): Grade B. I have $13,298 in dividends so far this year. Going to be touch and go to see if I hit this, but I usually get a big dividend “bump” in 4th qtr.  
  4. Get Passive income up to 40% of living expenses: Grade C. I am currently at 36.9% with dividends vs. an assumed $72k annual spend. To hit the goal I have to hope for some major dividend payouts in December.  We do continue to keep our living expenses low, though we did have to spend some money on home repairs which bumped it up a bit.
  5. Beat at 6% growth rate on our net worth: Grade A. With the market upswing, we are hitting this out of the park. Looks like we might go as high as 10% increase for year, which will make up for the poor showing in 2018, where we actually lost net worth.
  6. Continue attending local real estate investment association meetings, to learn about and begin preparing for real estate investing in 2018: Grade F. I chose to discontinue this, as I was not looking to do any investing like this in the near future, and wasn’t gaining a lot of knowledge from the meetings at this time. May revisit in the future.
  7. Double number of Blog visitors from 2018. Grade D. I had 6,000+ visitors in 2018, but only 4,100 visitors so far in 2019. Not sure if I’ll hit 12,000
  8. Write/Publish HS graduate book. Grade F.  I have only written 2 additional chapters in 2019. Other things have jumped onto the radar, keeping me from working on this
  9. Fitness: Increase weight lifted by 10% over the year. Grade D. Due to work trips, vacations and other life instances, I haven’t been able to push beyond my current lifting level. Need to concentrate on this.
  10. Average 2 hours of cardio each week. Grade F. Still only averaging around 1 hour.
  11. Take part in at least one long bike ride: Grade n/a. Maybe will do MS bike-a-thon in September
  12. Backpack over 100 miles on Appalachian Trail. Grade C. I have done about 81.5 miles this year, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do any new miles this year. The problem is that I’ve done all the trail within a 5-hour driving distance, so any additional miles are difficult to do for a weekend. May have to cut my goals for 2020 and beyond till I retire
  13. Continue volunteering at Pennsbury Manor: Grade A. Been going fairly regularly
  14. Reduce weight by 20 lbs from Jan 2018: Grade F. Haven’t lost any weight. Any weight lost during backpacking has been gained back
  15. Read at least one new book each month: Grade A. Five books in 2nd qtr. Going to read a lot more later this month at the beach
  16. Visit one national park. Grade n/a. Haven’t visited one yet. May visit the Smoky Mtn park in October.
  17. Visit Family in TN/VT/NY: Grade A. I’ve visited NY and TN so far, and plans in place to hit VT in August and TN again in October.
  18. Weekend at the beach: Grade A. Visiting the beach this month for a week. Hope to spend time relaxing instead of having a frantic, running from site-to-site vacation (our typical one)
  19. Visit Ellis Island: Again, job situation hurt this. Have never been to Ellis Island, so may try for this.
  20. Go on an international trip. Grade n/a. Wanted to do something bigger this year, but Mrs. 39 months job situation killed chances for larger trip.
  21. Visit Asheville area: Grade n/a. Plan is to visit in October. This is a potential retirement location, so this is more research.

So in looking at this, I think I am tracking well for the first half of the year. Still got some work to do (especially in terms of personal fitness).

How were your first six months of 2019?

Mr. 39 months

Re-balancing: make it regular and timely

Its July, and as folks know, I tend to re-balance on a time schedule (ex. Every six months) versus on a percentage “out of balance” where you check your investments and when they are a certain % out of whack, then you re-balance.

African elephant female and her baby elephant balancing on a blue balls.

If you remember, I wrote about re-balancing back in January, and there, I ended up selling off my bonds (and some REITs) who had been more successful (or less sucky) than stocks. The result was that I sold high, and bought stocks at basement prices. Since then, stocks have shot up dramatically, and the result has been some accounts out of balance again.

By rebalancing now, I can sell off some stock winners when high, and buy some bond/REIT losers.

My standard allocation is:

  • 30% Index Bond funds
  • 17.5% S&P 500 Index
  • 17.5% Small cap Index
  • 17.5% International stocks index
  • 17.5% REITs index

When I reviewed my numbers, I found that my S&P500, International and Small Cap stocks have shot up, and the bonds/REITs have not done as well. So I’ll be selling off about $11K in stocks and re-investing in bonds, mostly in my TRowePrice accounts. Plan is to do that work this week, so its done by early July.

Remember to consider rebalancing, so you can “buy low and sell high” yourselves.

Have a great 2019!

Past Posts on Re-balancing

Mr. 30 Months

What, I go away for a week and the market explodes?

Talk about “stay away from May” and ignoring the market! Actually I think the phrase is “Sell in May and go away” and reflects the idea that the period Nov-April has significantly stronger stock market growth than other months. I guess it has a small point. If you sold the S&P 500 on May 1, it was at $2,923.73. At the time of this writing, its at $2,957.15 – only up 1.14% in 2 months.

Still, this smacks a great deal of market timing, and there is no guarantee (either way) that the market will stay frozen from July 1 – Oct 31. We will see. For me, June was a tremendous “up” month, and we are back to pushing new records in the US market. I’ll keep my skin in the game and my money on the table, and see what comes up. For the year, I am up 13.0% for the year, and 3.93% for the month of June alone.

Only 12 Months to go to FI! One year left!

Retirement Accounts: Remember, my allocation for these is:

  • 30% Bond Index Fund
  • 17.5% S&P500 Index Fund
  • 17.5% International Index Fund
  • 17.5% Small Cap Index Fund
  • 17.5% REIT Index Fund

For the month, I am up about +4.4%, erasing all the negative of May. The rally was widely based, with every asset class going up somewhat. The items in my allocation that help to even out the stock swings (REITS and bonds) were up, but not as much as the stocks. They did what they were supposed to do, and continue to “balance out” the portfolio

  • S&P500: +7.0%
  • Small Cap: +7.0%
  • International: +5.8%
  • Bonds: +1.2%
  • REITs: +1.7%

My 401K/Deferred account at work is up a similar amount, and came in at around +4.4%.

Dividend Income Account: Allocation:

  • 25% Dividend Stocks
  • 25% REITs
  • 50% Bond Index Funds

This is up 1.2%, and the dividend stocks are what really drove it up (Chevron rose 9.3% alone). My individual REITs suffered, which drove down the overall performance (as did the 1.1% growth in my bonds, which are 50% of the overall allocation. I think I’ll do some more in-depth study of the dividend portfolio in a later article this month – to see if I’ve learned enough to move on.

Value Investing Account: My value investing portfolio is up around 7.2% for June, erasing the down month I had for May. I found a new ETF I want to pursue, aimed at pet owners and companies that support them. Its sticker symbol (no kidding) is PAWZ. I bought 25 shares in June, and its up 1.9%. I figure with so many people having pets instead of kids, this could be lucrative. I’ll probably buy some more and see how it goes.

Again, I’m up 13.0% for the year, which equals about $126K in returns – for just the first six months. Its more than Mrs. 39 Months and I made in salary for the first six months, which is a good sign. We are on track and moving forward – as I hope all of you are.

Mr. 39 Months

Investment update for June 2019

Only 13 Months to go! Two-thirds of the way there from where I first started the blog.

The market definitely took a downturn, with trade issues and recession discussions causing concerns with investors (can you say “Inverted Yield Curve”). Like so many of us in the FI community, I’m ignoring these issues and just continuing with the plan – investing as much as I can (around 50% of gross pay) and keeping my allocations. I’m up a decent amount for the year, even if the month of May wasn’t that good to me, so I continue to “plod along” as I close in on FIRE.

Retirement Accounts: Remember, my allocation for these is:

  • 30% Bond Index Fund
  • 17.5% S&P500 Index Fund
  • 17.5% International Index Fund
  • 17.5% Small Cap Index Fund
  • 17.5% REIT Index Fund

For the month, I’m down about -3.6% (ouch!). The big losers were the S&P 500, Small-cap and international – the same funds that have been going like gang-busters for most of 2019. The two underperformers in 2019 – Bonds and REITs, were up, which is further proof on the benefits of allocating and rebalancing.

  • S&P500: -6.4%
  • Small Cap: -7.2%
  • International: -5.5%
  • Bonds: +1.8%
  • REITs: +0.1%

My 401K/Deferred account at work is up a similar amount. Since it doesn’t have REITS, it performed a little worse (-4.5%) for May, but it also has performed better for 2019.

Dividend Income Account: Allocation:

  • 25% Dividend Stocks
  • 25% REITs
  • 50% Bond Index Funds

This is up 0.1%, primarily because I am so heavily weighted in bonds and REITs. The dividends they throw off are nice, but at times, they just don’t grow much. My dividend stocks (Chevron, Verizon, etc.) were down more. I continue to use this to learn/experiment with dividend investing, so I’m not too disappointed.

Value Investing Account: My value investing portfolio is down around 7.0% for the month of May. Since its 100% stocks and stocks got beat up in May, I understand. Its done well for the year so far, so no major changes here.

So for the year so far, I’m still up, about 8.94%, and I have put over $42K into the accounts since the beginning of the year. On track to put about $75K for the year.

How was your May?

Mr. 39 Months

Investment update for May 2019

Only 14 Months to go!

Wow, economy continues to go chugging along, GDP growth in the US was 3.2%, and unemployment is the lowest since people were stunned by humans walking on the moon! I know at my company we continue to struggle with hiring folks, and we have had to dramatically increase our wages for hourly employees (warehouse workers, transportation, etc.) Personally, I think it’s a great sign that the wages of the hourly folks, which have been stagnant for a long time, are getting the bumps they need. In my company, the salaries of a couple just starting with the organization equals about the average salary in the US. Depending on where they live, they are already in the middle class. Stick with it a couple of years, and they’ll be earning really good money. Yay!

You’d think this might be a drag on the investments (inflation, fed raising rates, etc.) but it doesn’t seem to be slowing things much. US Markets are hitting new highs. April was another banner month, and we continued to push stuff forward. My investments were up 1.64% for the month, and are up 12.53% for the year. This with me playing it safe with 30% in bonds! Some more aggressive FIRE folks are really “burning it up” in their investments this year.

Realized that I hadn’t done an investment update for February this year. I guess when you hit a certain point on your FI journey, where everything is on “autopilot” you just don’t notice. It’s a shame, really, because February was another good month, coming off a really good January. There are reports of the economy slowing down in 2019, but the reporting of profits in 2018 has provided some positive surprises for companies, and the result has been a continued strong market. Also, the US Fed has backed off its aggressive stance on interest rates (see my previous post on that effect) so the market will hopefully do well in early 2019.

Retirement Accounts: Remember, my allocation for these is:

  • 30% Bond Index Fund
  • 17.5% S&P500 Index Fund
  • 17.5% International Index Fund
  • 17.5% Small Cap Index Fund
  • 17.5% REIT Index Fund

Another positive month, with small caps, International and S&P 500 leading the way. Again, they are making up for a poor showing in 2018. REITs and bonds (better in 2018) continue to perform poorly. Continue to show the need to rebalance, which I do every 6 months.

  • S&P500: +4.0%
  • Small Cap: -+3.7%
  • International: +2.8%
  • Bonds: -0.1%
  • REITs: +0.1%

My 401K/Deferred account at work is up a similar amount

Dividend Income Account: Allocation:

  • 25% Dividend Stocks
  • 25% REITs
  • 50% Bond Index Funds

This is down -1.2%, primarily because I am so heavily weighted in bonds and REITs. The dividends they throw off are nice, but at times, they just don’t grow much. My dividend stocks (Chevron, Verizon, etc.) are also down significantly. I continue to use this to learn/experiment with dividend investing, so I’m not too disappointed.

Value Investing Account: My value investing portfolio is up around 2.9% for the month. Nice bump after getting burned in 2018. The allocation is about 50/50 between a total market fund and a value index fund.

So for the year so far, I’m up 12.53%, and I have put almost $38K into the accounts since the beginning of the year (put 100% of my bonus into investments). On track to put about $75K for the year.

I did an updated analysis of my current situation, and if my wife and I got only 50% of our expected Social Security, we could consider ourselves financially independent right now. Since I still don’t have a lot of confidence my SS will not be cut, I’m planning to continue to work at least the remaining 14 months.

How was your April?

Mr. 39 Months

Spread-sheeting your way to Financial contentment…

Like most of you, I’m a spreadsheet junkie, and I love nothing better than to open one up and redo my financial calculations. I could spend hours doing “what ifs” with our finances (and I often do). What I find fascinating is that there hasn’t really been a good software packaged developed, that I know of, which covers all the variables that you now have to consider.

It used to be that the way you “drew down” your retirement money was fairly straightforward. You took out your taxable money first (investment accounts, etc.) in order to let your tax-deferred (401K/IRA) and tax-free (Roth) money compound. Then you take out your tax-deferred money, especially if you have a Required Minimum Distribution, and that money gets taxed as you are pulling it out (often driving you into a higher tax bracket). Finally, if needed, you pull out your tax-free money (Roth) last, as this money can easily be passed on to your heirs tax free.

It’s a simple, linear process, and most retirement calculators follow it (or something like it). However, with the new school of thought, the idea is to minimize taxes across the life of the retirement.

  • You would do Roth IRA conversions to shift money from taxable to tax-free accounts – up to a point (see next point)
  • Once retired, you would immediately begin drawing from your 401K up to the point where you have to pay taxes ($24K as of 2018 taxes) – so that would be still be tax free.
  • You try to withdraw from 401K earlier, so when you hit the time for RMDs (required minimum distribution) of these accounts, you still are only pulling out what is under the cap for tax-free
  • You would want some money to stay in your 401K/IRA tax-deferred accounts, as you can deduct the first $24K each year. Don’t convert it all to Roth
  • You defer or take your social security early, based again on the need to defer/reduce taxes and maximize overall income.
  • If you’ve retired early, keep your taxable income low, to take advantage of government subsidies on health insurance.
  • You can use other forms (insurance, etc.) if you want to further complicate your retirement plan

I don’t know of any software application available at this time which takes into account all of these complicated factors. Often you have to do the calculations year-by-year, due to stock market fluctuations, life changes, etc. Thus, you end up coming back to the “good old spreadsheet” to do your calculations.

I do my investment update at the beginning of each month (ex. May 1, today) and connected to that spreadsheet is my “retire now” sheet:

  • Current investment amounts for each bucket (taxable, tax-deferred, tax free)
  • Budget for retirement, including expected medical costs, expenses based on current actuals, etc.
  • Investment growth, based on inflation-adjusted numbers
  • Expected social security payments (currently I have Mrs. 39 Months pulling at age 62, and me getting ½ of the expected payout at age 67, due to issues with Social Security trust fund)
  • Annual draw down, based on budget, growth, and pulling from designated buckets.

As of now, if I assume Social Security is solvent (at least to the extent that I get half my benefits starting at age 67) then we could retire now, and still end up with about $500K (in current $) remaining at age 99. This is with paying almost no taxes for age 56 to age 67.

To get back to the original point, I think this might be an opportunity here. To create a software system which allows for all the other variables not currently being used and/or considered.

What do you think?

Mr. 39 Months

Well, my timing sucks…..

I got my first linked article on Rockstar Finance last Friday (4/25/19)! Its amazing the amount of traffic which comes to your site when you get mentioned on it. Suddenly I had a large number of folks coming in, reading, and then reading other articles that I had wrote. Hopefully that means more regular visitors and commenters, and more folks joining the conversation.

I already added several of the commenters sites to the blogroll at the right, after reading some of their writings. Always good to expand the knowledge base.

Then what happens? I get some issues with my provider, and my site gets shut down for 2 days! Major ouch. Took me till this morning to get it all ironed out and back up on the net.

I guess you have to take the bad with the good – like last December’s crushing stock market results versus what has happened over the last four months.

At lease I’m back and able to review other folks work and post my analysis. I hope everyone had a great weekend and is enjoying the week.

Mr. 39 Months.

Quarterly Update – Apr 2019

Well, it’s early April, and spring is in the air! I’ve gotten a start on the goals for 2019, but many of them won’t really start manifesting till 2nd quarter (or later).

My Goals for 2019 (some financial, some not):

Finance:

  • Save $75K in tax-advantaged accounts (saved almost $81K in 2018). 401K, Roth IRA, etc. Dropped this down a bit, due to a need to plus up my savings/emergency fund. Key part of this is using my company’s deferred savings account to push money out till I hit FI. Since the deferred account money will have to be withdrawn (and taxed) when I leave, it actually is a pretty cool FIRE solution for saving. Grade A. Saved $12,875 already and on track to hit goal.
  • Save $5K in regular accounts (compared to $9K in 2017). This will go into my brokerage account. I withdrew a hunk of this to do my ROTH rollover (part of the “power of zero” philosophy). But I still have some bucks here. I have to take about $5K from my father’s IRA every year, so I just move it from there to my brokerage account instead f spending it). Grade A. Made the deposit in January
  • Increase dividend income from all accounts to $27K/year (compared to 26K in 2018). Grade B: 1st qtr was $5,752 compared to $4,868 for 1st Qtr 2018.  This appears to put me on track to hit my number.
  • Passive income covers 40% of base living expenses in retirement (it was38% in 2018). My long-term goal is to get my dividend/passive income up to where it covers over 100% of my expected retirement living expenses, so my investments can continue to grow.  Grade D: It was 32.0% of my expected $18K/quarter (or $72K per year)
  • Beat net worth growth rate of 6% (it was -1.9% in 2018). This is my historical growth rate for the last 10+ years, so I want to beat my average. Grade A; With the stock market rally and my investments, I’m up 8.3% already.

Business:

  • Continue attending regular meetings of my local real estate investors association. They hold a regular monthly meeting, a monthly meeting for new investors, and a monthly meeting for my specific county. All three could be interesting, and it’s free for a paid member. Last year I attended, but it was spotty. Grade F: Did a cost/benefit analysis and deep look on my intentions to do real estate in the near future. Decided to drop out of REIA.
  • Double the number of blog visitors in 2019. Last year it was a little over 6,000. I want to get at least 12,000 this year, so I need to put myself out there more (i.e. comment) and write interesting topics. My thanks to everyone who stopped by, and I try to return the favor, and comment as well. Grade D. Only have around 2,000 visitors in 1st qtr, so just a little up from 2018. Probably need to spend more time on other blogs, commenting, etc.
  • Write/publish a book on finance.  I wrote one for new graduates in 2017, but I have identified an area of the community which hasn’t been served as well in the past. Hopefully I can assist with something here.  I’ve got the first five chapters outlined/partially done, but still have a ways to go. Grade D. Made some additional progress on outline, but still a long way from completing.

Personal:

  • Increase weight lifted by 10% from 2018. Due to my illness, I didn’t make much progress beyond that, but I’m back to full strength now, and lifting what I was in September 2018.  I want to continue to improve my strength as I get older, instead of just wasting away. Grade A. Weight increase of 10% already, but having some struggles getting it higher. We will see.
  • Average 2 hours of cardio per week (currently averaging about an hour). Again, want to improve my fitness. Based on my lifestyle, I don’t think I can push it past 2 hours per week. Grade D. Still averaging a little more than an hour. Need to work on it.
  • Take part in at least one long bike ride, like MS bike-a-thon (80 miles). Didn’t do this last year, but really want to try. Incomplete. Long bike ride scheduled for Sep 2019
  • Backpack over 100 miles on AT (did around 80 miles in 2018). Other aspects of life interfered with my ability to get on the trail. Really want to push it this year. Incomplete. Starting to backpack in late April
  • Continue volunteering at Pennsbury Manor at their joiner’s shop (woodworking). Really enjoyed this. Grade A: Continuing to volunteer at least once a month. This Sunday is next one
  • Reduce weight by 20 lbs. from Jan 2019 (lost 2 lbs. in 2018). Again, I want to get in better shape as I get closer to financial independence
  • Read at least one book a month. I surpassed this goal in 2018, and re-learned the joy of reading. Grade A. I have five books under my belt for 1st qtr, and I already have six lined up fr reading

Travel:

  • Visit a national park (visited two in 2018) Incomplete. Need to plan this
  • Visit family in Tennessee, Vermont and New York. Family is very important to me. One of the things I am looking forward to with financial independence is the opportunity to visit family more often. Need to get up to see my brother in Vermont. Grade B: Visited family in Tennessee in March. Plan to do NY in April, and VT in August., with another TN visit in October
  • Take a week at the shore and just relax. Too many of our vacations are spent running around. I want to see if I can go somewhere (in this case the beach) and just sit and relax. Incomplete. Still on track for July
  • Visit Ellis Island. Wanted to do this in 2018, but didn’t make it. As 50% Czech from immigrant great grandparents from the turn of the century, I believe they went through there, and I want to see it Grade F. Its only 90 min north of us, but we haven’t gone yet.
  • Go on an international trip. Not sure which one (Canada, Caribbean, etc.) but I’d like to get out this year. Incomplete.
  • Visit the Asheville NC area. It’s one of the areas that we are considering retiring to (close to my old home in Tennessee, interesting crafts, shops & outdoor sports, etc.). Trying to learn more about the area (we’ve been there a couple of times). Incomplete. Still on track to go in October

Overall, I’d give myself a B. Got a lot done, but still have a lot to make progress on.  

How are you going on your goals for 2019?

Mr. 39 Months