Now that I’ve gone through the financial side of my “end of year checklist”, its time to review the goals for 2020 and see how I’ve done. I’ve done the goal setting posts before and gone over my 2017-2019 goals in previous posts. As for most people, 2020 was a mixed bag. Surprisingly, most of the finance goals were accomplished, but for the non-financial goals, it was a mix. As I stated before, as the FIRE gets you, you end up with a lot of the finances on auto-pilot, and then you really start to concentrate on what really matters.
For 2020, my financial goals reflect that we are closing in on “coming in for a landing” and need to adjust for that. We continue contributing to the match on our 401K and the max on our Roth IRA, but we’ve shifted a lot of our investments to post-tax, so that we can have more flexibility when we retire early. We started that in 2019, and kept it up.
Officially, I’m 6 months past the original date I set in the blog. When I run the numbers, I believe we have achieved FI, even with the reduced returns that our financial advisor has. Like so many others, I’m starting to rethink actually leaving at that time. No so much because I need the funds (although that would be nice) but because I still enjoy some aspects of the work, and may not be ready to jettison it. I think what is more likely is that I’ll depart at some point, but continue to work on “side hustles” off to the side for some time.
So what about 2020?
- Save $28K in tax-advantaged accounts (saved over $75K in 2019 – but a lot of that was in the Deferred). 401K, and Roth IRA. Grade A – $29,311
- Save $41K in regular accounts (compared to $5K in 2019). As I noted above, we’re going to be taking about $3K per month and sticking it in regular investing, after paying taxes on it versus putting it in pre-tax with the company’s deferred. Starting to build that bucket of funds we’ll need prior to hitting age 65. Grade A – $43,100
- Increase dividend income from all accounts to $30K/year (compared to 29K in 2019). Grade C – $28,912
- Passive income covers 38% of base living expenses in retirement, estimated at $78K per year (previously, I was using $72K, but after meetings with our finance guy and Mrs. 39 Months, the budget ended up being $78K). 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 B- 37.1%
- Beat net worth growth rate of 6% (it was +20.1% in 2019 with the stock market run up). This is my historical growth rate for the last 10+ years, so I want to beat my average. As I stated earlier in January, I’m expecting the market to be flat this year, since we jumped up so much in 2019. Grade A: +14.6%
- While not getting a membership, I want to attend six (6) of my local real estate investors association meetings this year. I’ll probably join permanently in2021. 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. Grade A: Attended 8
- Double the number of blog visitors in 2020. 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 F – decreased by 19% from 2019
- Create TKD Woodworking (my side-hustle name) with an LLC, website, finance tracking, etc. Sort of a trial method for running businesses. Grade A – Created business
- Make $1,000 in sales (not necessarily profit) on items with TKD woodworking. Grade F – no sales
- 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 F
- Increase weight lifted by 10% from 2019. Was able to exceed this in 2019, need to continue to push it. Incomplete. Chinese Virus killed gyms, didn’t get back in
- Average 2 hours of cardio per week, which is about what I’m doing now. Grade B: Completed, but mostly daily walks. No intense cardio
- Backpack over 90 miles on AT (did around 80 miles in 2019). The trail that I haven’t hiked is getting further and further away, making it impossible to do weekend trips. Going to get harder. Grade D: 58.1 miles
- Continue volunteering at Pennsbury Manor at their joiner’s shop (woodworking). Really enjoyed this. Incomplete. Site shutdown due to Virus
- 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. Grade D. Only lost 8 lbs and I think at least half of this is muscle
- Read at least one book a month. I surpassed this goal in 2018, and re-learned the joy of reading. Grade A. 23 books
- Visit three national parks (that is the plan, right now); Incomplete due to virus
- 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 C – Visited Vermont and Tennessee, but didn’t get up to NY
- Take a week at the shore and just relax with family. Currently planned for July, but we’ll see how many family members can come. Incomplete due to virus
- Visit Ellis Island. Still want to do this – its so close. 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 Incomplete due to virus
So those are my somewhat ambitious goals for 2020. I am going to do my best to hit them, so wish me luck.
What are your goals for 2021?
Mr. 39 Months