Quarterly Update on Goals – Oct 2020

Well, it’s early October, and while I’m down for the year in my investments, I still think I’ll end the year OK, maybe a little up. I think there is a lot of uncertainty in the market right now re: the US elections, and that will all be sorted out int he next 30 days. Once that is done, hopefully we will continue moving forward.

The Chinese Corona Virus is still around, still causing issues, but I’m also hopeful that its affects on the economy will continue to recede. We will see.

My Goals for 2020 (some financial, some not):


  • Save $28K in tax-advantaged accounts – 401K, and Roth IRA.  Grade A. Saved $3.5K in our 401Ks for the 3rd qtr, bringing my 401K total to $11.2K. Plan to put my $14K bonus into the Roth in 4th Qtr once I know my tax status.
  • Save $41K in regular accounts (compared to $5K in 2019). Grade A. We’ve saved $43K for the year. Remaining money goes into paying for the Roth IRA.
  • Increase dividend income from all accounts to $27K/year (compared to 29K in 2019). Grade C. Dividends are down for the year in the major accounts/mutual funds. Was only able to put $5.8K in for 3rd qtr, which leaves me at $17.6K for the year. Unless 4th qtr is a “gang buster” dividend time, I won’t hit it.
  • Passive income covers 30% 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).  Grade A. Currently running at 30.1%. 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.
  • Beat net worth growth rate of 6% (it was +20.1% in 2019 with the stock market run up). Grade D. Like most folks, my Net Worth hasn’t moved much. While I’m down in my investments for the year, since I continue to dollar-cost-average in, my net worth is up 2.4% – but unless the market really turns, I don’t think I’ll hit my historical 6% this year.


  • While not getting a membership, I wanted to attend six (6) of my local real estate investors association meetings this year. Grade A. My local real estate group has had free online meetings, at least 2X a month, and I’ve attended eight already. Going to continue to do this, and I’ll probably join permanently in2021.
  • 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. Not seeing a real jump on this – If anything, it’s a bit of a drop. Need to get out in the community more.
  • Create TKD Woodworking (my side-hustle name) with an LLC, website, finance tracking, etc. Sort of a trial method for running businesses. Grade B. Incorporated it, built 5 products, established a website (basic one) and began selling on Etsy. Due to the Virus, haven’t been able to do any trade shows. Still, coming along.
  • Make $1,000 in sales (not necessarily profit) on items with TKD woodworking. Grade F. Haven’t sold anything yet.
  • 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. With all this extra time, you’d think I could make progress on this. A little lazy I guess.


  • Increase weight lifted by 10% from 2019. Was able to exceed this in 2019, need to continue to push it. Grade F. Jumped up about 7% in 1st qtr, but haven’t been lifting due to the Chinese Corona Virus. In September, I went to the online training system called Gynmastic bodies. Looking to get better with that since I can’t go to the gym now.
  • Average 2 hours of cardio per week, which is about what I’m doing now. Grade A. Walking daily, so hitting this.
  • 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. Did 40 miles in August, have 18 miles this month and another 30 scheduled for November. Grade B.
  • Continue volunteering at Pennsbury Manor at their joiner’s shop (woodworking). Really enjoyed this. Incomplete. Site is closed down
  • Reduce weight by 20 lbs. from Jan 2019 (lost 2 lbs. in 2019). Again, I want to get in better shape as I get closer to financial independence. Grade C. I’m down 8 lbs in first 3 quarters, but still have a long way to go, and the virus is keeping me from eating as healthy as I’d like.
  • Read at least one book a month. I surpassed this goal in 2018, and re-learned the joy of reading. Grade A. Seventeen (17) books so far and I really enjoy it.


  • Visit three national parks (that is the plan, right now). Grade F. No vacations this year.
  • 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 Vermont and Tennessee. Just need to see family in New York now.
  • 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. Grade F. Cancelled.
  • 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. Grade F. Cancelled.

How did your third quarter go this year?

Read more

Mr. 39 Months.

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