Status Update: April 30, 2017

Status Update for end of Month 39

I thought I’d start putting out regular status updates for where I am, and goals for where I am going forward. The idea would be to provide information to the reader, and to help motivate me as I move forward.

I understand that for some folks, they may not be able to relate (the numbers may seem too large or too small for their current situation) but I believe that everyone can benefit from more information. Take what I am doing with a grain of salt and with the other reading you are doing, and make your plans appropriately.

My Goals for 2017 (some financial, some not):

  1. Put in $33,000 in tax-advantaged accounts throughout the year
  2. Put in all bonuses, gifts, and our previous house payments into regular accounts (estimate of $26,000 year)
  3. Increase dividend income from our investments to $18,000/year (and reinvest them)
  4. Get Passive income up to 65% of living expenses
  5. Beat a 6% growth rate on our net worth
  6. Begin attending local real estate investment association meetings, to learn about and begin preparing for real estate investing in 2018
  7. Start a blog (i.e. this one)
  8. Fitness: Increase weight lifted by 10% over the year
  9. Average 3 hours of cardio each week
  10. Go on an international trip
  11. Visit one national park

The primary reason we can devote so much money to investing in our 401K/IRAs and other accounts is that we’ve managed to pay off our mortgage last year, and I got a significant raise. With my wife’s and my salary, and no debt, we are doing the typical thing folks in their 50’s do – pouring a ton of money into investments to try and prepare for retirement/financial independence.

We live fairly frugally (average under $4000 in expenses per month in one of the more expensive places in the US to live). While we have the funds to do a lot of stuff, we chose to keep our expenses low, so we can save and keep our stress level low.

At the end of April, here is where we are:

  • Savings/Checking/CDs: $141,601 (my wife likes to have a lot in cash; we argue about this sometimes)
  • Investments: $220,285
  • 401K/IRA’s: $468,883
  • Roth IRAs: $195,602
  • Total: $1,026,372

For the first time in our lives, we are over $1M in liquid net worth! With the 4% rule, we could take out $40,000/year for the rest of our lives. Just knowing this dramatically decreases the stress that we are feeling.  Based on the social security payments we could get (I know, if we get), we could go to $66,000/year right now, even if we only got 75% of our benefits.

Overall, I would have to say that I’m pleased where we are at this point. Based on savings plan and growth, my hope is to be over $1.1M by the end of the year, as we progress towards financial independence.

I’ll try to go over my investment strategy and allocation in a future post.

Thanks for reading, and let me know your thoughts.

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