Quarterly Update

Quarterly Update

October 2019

Well, it’s early October, and as fall hits, I wanted to look at my goals for 2019, and try and figure out where I needed to “sprint it in” in order to get some done. Only 3 months to go before the end of the year.

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


  • 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 Since the deferred account money will have to be withdrawn (and taxed) when I leave, it actually is a pretty cool FIRE solution for saving.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 $68K so far this year, so I’m in good shape to hit this goal, provided I continue to save at my current rate.
  • 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 A: Dividends year-to-date at $19,667, so should easily be able to hit $27K.
  • 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 B: I’m at 36.4% for the year vs. expected $18K/quarter budget. I usually get a big bump in 4th qtr, so it will be close
  • 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: Should be in the double-digits for the year, unless the market dramatically tanks. I’m up 14% in my investments, and they are the lion’s share (75%) of our net worth.  


  • 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 5,700 visitors in the first 3 quarters. On track to beat my 6K visitors in 2018, but not by much. 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 F. I’m about 2/3 of the way done with the outline, but it doesn’t look like it will be done this year.


  • 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, and looking like I’ll bump it up another 5% before the end of the year
  • 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 C. New company HQ is allowing me to take daily walks of 20 min/day, so it looks like I might hit this.
  • 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. Grade F: Chose not to do this in 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. Grade C: Getting further away from home, so its hard to get in miles. Got 82 miles in.
  • Continue volunteering at Pennsbury Manor at their joiner’s shop (woodworking). Really enjoyed this. Grade A: Continuing to volunteer at least once a month. Just completed my last one for the year.
  • 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: Have only been able to maintain weight, haven’t really reduced it. I like sweets too much
  • Read at least one book a month. I surpassed this goal in 2018, and re-learned the joy of reading. Grade A. I got another five books under my belt for 3rd qtr.


  • Visit a national park (visited two in 2018) Incomplete. Planning on doing this in October
  • 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 A: Visited family in TN, VT, NY. Getting back to TN 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. Grade A. Did a nice weekend at the shore in July , though it was pretty hot.
  • 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. Grade F: Doesn’t look like I’ll do it this year.  
  • 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 some left to do.  

How are you going on your goals for 2019?

Mr. 39 Months

4 thoughts on “Quarterly Update”

  1. Awesome work! Lots of ambitious goals. Write that book! (I’ll read it).

    Hiking the AT? On my list too. Check out Bill Bryson’s book: A Walk in the Woods. Light read, pretty entertaining.

    1. Yep – great book, read it a while ago. Very funny, and very much talked about on the trail. Good luck on your plans to hike it. Unfortunately, since I still work, I can only do it on weekends and one week a year. Can’t wait to retire and try and finish it!

    1. Thanks. I think that is one of the things that really drives our community – its the setting and accomplishing goals, both short and long-term

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