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An early financial update on myself...
Old 01-16-2021, 01:56 PM   #1
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An early financial update on myself...

So, hope you guys don't mind me making a post about my personal goals and information. Back in 2007, I made a post here in my late 20s with where I felt I was in life financially, asking for some advice. You can find that post here:


https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ent-27752.html




Then in 2019, I made another post asking for the same advice, and a quick status update on where I was:


https://www.early-retirement.org/for...ast-99080.html




I wanted to make another update to provide perspective on myself, and really to get a better feel of how I "should" be progressing in my financial goals (problem is I don't know what those are). I am being anonymous here, no one knows me, so there's no goal of inflating my ego (if anything I post would even be considered worth of that anyway).




I'm now in my early 40s, and this is where I stand:
  1. - Two pensions, from two separate organizations. If I turned 57 tomorrow, I would get ~$2,000 a month. That will never go away, and will never decrease. Though... only one is COLA'ed. *I have no idea about Social Security, never bothered to look.
  2. - I have a total of 183k invested in my Rollover IRA and current 401k
  3. - I have a total of 48k in savings (which is also in an investment account)
  4. - Wife and I have life insurance until my child turns 20.
  5. - I have 24k in a 529 for my (12 y/o) child's college education
  6. - My base annual salary is ~125k and change, with an additional 10-15k from other sources (side jobs, bonuses, etc.).
  7. - I have two vacant land lots totaling about $30k (fully owned)
  8. - I have a rental property in Miami that I get $2,800 a month for. Property is worth ~$500k (fully renovated) and the mortgage on it is 230k at 3.37% interest rate (investment property)
  9. - I have a primary residence in Texas that is worth ~$330k and the mortgage on it is $187k
  10. - All my college education is paid off and paid for, several degrees (Masters, Bachelors, Associates, and certifications).
  11. - I am maxing out my 401k (as of 2019), $750 every two weeks, and saving an additional $1,000 (minimum) to $1,500 per month in savings / investment account.
  12. - I have absolutely no debt whatsoever except my home mortgages.
  13. - I donate about ~$300 per month (I could be doing more). I sponsor 3 kids in Kenya, and 1 in India.


So, again, apologize for laying it bare. The big problem I'm facing is that I don't really know what my goals are... I don't have any anymore, and I'm not sure what I should be doing.


Next question would be... "What is it you want to get out of your finances?"


... and I would say, I have no idea. The one thing I am doing is trying to live below my means. I have a lot of hobbies, but most of them are income earning or at the very least budget neutral.



I also don't know what to do in my current career. I enjoy it, but I'm not making the money I could be making. $125k is nothing to sneeze at, especially where I live, but I'm also wondering if I should be making an effort to earn more while I'm still somewhat young. I turned down a job that would have immediately doubled my paycheck because I like that my current job allows me to have an impact on society.



Perhaps I'm going through a mid-life crisis (though a fairly mild one). I'm at the point in my life if I want to plan for a relaxing future with as much money as possible, or if I want to make a huge change in my life and take over the world.



Regardless of which direction I decide to take... I am very interested to know how I might stack up with savvy investors and whether or not I'm really positioning myself responsibly.



Again... with the other two posts I made on here in the past... looking for perspective as an otherwise anonymous poster. Criticisms, recommendations, and positive comments all welcomed... thank you!
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:10 PM   #2
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I say keep going what you are doing. Save, save and save some more and keep investing in the markets funds etc..
If your investment property in FL is paying isn't way from rent that is a plus. I might for one sell the income investment property in FL and try to do a better return on that lump sum thou.
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:11 PM   #3
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Early 40s is too early in life to have mid life crisis. Unless you have bought a toy like a 32ft RV trailer, or so I was told.

If you can't find a life goal, maybe use financial goal that you can work with. Something like $3million net worth (not including the pension or SS) is a good start. Once you reach the milestone, set a new one and work towards it. Along the way hopefully you will find something that interests you.

For the near term maybe just pay off both mortgages so you are completely debt free.
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:04 PM   #4
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If your pensions start when you are 57, why not make that your goal - to be in a position to retire on the day you are eligible to get your pensions? If you still like what you're doing, you don't have to retire then, but it seems like a logical point at which to aim. One that's far enough away to allow compounding to do most of the work so that you don't have to live a spartan existence for now, but early enough that you should still be healthy and active.

If I understand your post correctly, out of about $140k gross income, you are currently putting away about $36k per year, while still paying on your residence mortgage (I'm assuming the Miami rental property is cash flow positive after paying the mortgage and all other expenses.) That's quite an accomplishment!

Using a simple compounding calculator with the $230k portfolio to start and adding $36k per year and assuming real (inflation adjusted) return of 4%, you should have $1.14 million in today's dollars when you are 57. Assume your rental property holds its value (i.e. - gains at the rate of inflation), you could sell it then and add another $500k to the pot. A 4% withdrawal rate on, say, $1.65 million would give you $66k per year. Add in another $24k for your pension income and you're at $90k per year, which is probably about what you are actually spending right now. If your residence mortgage is paid off by then, so much the better.

I would not totally discount social security. Go the the SSA.gov website and estimate how much you would get if you work until you are 57. Then give it a 25% haircut.
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:36 PM   #5
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Agree with Street. Itís ok not to have a goal. Just keep doing what youíre doing and like Gumby said, let compounding do itís work.
FI is exactly that. It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Maybe along the way, youíll find your calling/ purpose. If not, you can always sponsor more kids with your money. Kudos on supporting 4 kids!!
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:35 PM   #6
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About 15 years ago, I decided to make a prioritized list of financial goals. I made my list. I then worked my list in priority order by focusing and working completely toward the first unachieved goal on my list.

As time went by, I worked my way down the list. I added some additional goals. I accomplished them all. (Maybe I have low standards! )

At that point, I had to navel gaze for a bit. Now my goals are related to health, my kids, and charity. The financial stuff is mostly just monitoring.

For now, I can't fully enjoy just doing fun stuff. I have to be productive as well.

If you have goals and are a goal-oriented person, I think you end up either achieving them or discarding them, and then setting new ones that are interesting to you. Maybe you get to the point where goals, goal-setting, and goal-achieving all gets thrown out the window.

OP, I'd encourage you not to "should" yourself. Do what you want out of intrinsic joy or motivation, not out of obligation to some externality of guilt or peer pressure or benchmark ages / dates / amounts.
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:20 PM   #7
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It looks like you're entering your maximum earning years. I didn't see a taxable brokerage account listed (unless thats the 48k savings account). After getting the match in the 401k and maximizing tax deferred contributions in the IRA, sock some more away in the brokerage. This will be easier to access before you're 59.5 years old.

You could pay off the mortgages for the peace of mind, but in most cases the numerically optimal choice is to invest in the stock market (long term stock returns are usually more than mortgage interest).

As for goals... thats a bit personal. Have you seen the movie "Good Will Hunting?" What do YOU want to do?
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 82-T/A View Post
I also don't know what to do in my current career. I enjoy it, but I'm not making the money I could be making. $125k is nothing to sneeze at, especially where I live, but I'm also wondering if I should be making an effort to earn more while I'm still somewhat young. I turned down a job that would have immediately doubled my paycheck because I like that my current job allows me to have an impact on society.
I didn't go back to read the other threads or even this one that closely, but this caught my eye. Only you can decide if the trade-off is worth it, but it seems very admirable to me. ER is really nice, but not if you regret selling your soul for money.
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Old 01-17-2021, 12:09 AM   #9
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ER is really nice, but not if you regret selling your soul for money.
There's a middle ground of selling your intellect for money and letting your soul wither. Not really recommended, but I did it.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:00 AM   #10
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Using a simple compounding calculator with the $230k portfolio to start and adding $36k per year and assuming real (inflation adjusted) return of 4%, you should have $1.14 million in today's dollars when you are 57. Assume your rental property holds its value (i.e. - gains at the rate of inflation), you could sell it then and add another $500k to the pot. A 4% withdrawal rate on, say, $1.65 million would give you $66k per year. Add in another $24k for your pension income and you're at $90k per year, which is probably about what you are actually spending right now. If your residence mortgage is paid off by then, so much the better.

I would not totally discount social security. Go the the SSA.gov website and estimate how much you would get if you work until you are 57. Then give it a 25% haircut.
This is a good analysis. When I RE'd, the first year I spent about what I had been doing up to then, or ~80% of income. Since then I have been spending more, going over my pre-RE income. A lot was travel, plus multiple remodel projects on the house. It has helped for the market to have been so good in that period (4 yrs). After this year, the projects are done, and spending might drop back below pre-RE income (we'll see). Your current track is OK, but you might like the flexibility and safety cushion of increasing your savings.
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Old 01-17-2021, 06:17 AM   #11
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So, hope you guys don't mind me making a post about my personal goals and information.
We love it! Itís great that you have a plan and that you are monitoring your progress. Thatís how you get to FIRE and weíre happy to help.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by street View Post
I say keep going what you are doing. Save, save and save some more and keep investing in the markets funds etc..
If your investment property in FL is paying isn't way from rent that is a plus. I might for one sell the income investment property in FL and try to do a better return on that lump sum thou.

Thank you. It is... in the end, I pay quite a bit in property management (6%), but I still take home about ~$250 a month on top of everything, and the tenant is paying off my mortgage, plus the home has continued to go up in value every year. I don't know that I'll ever live in the house again, but I do love the house, and I'm emotionally attached to it... but selling it would be fantastic because I'd likely clear about $270k after taxes and everything... so I'm at least considering that.




Quote:
Originally Posted by teetee View Post
Early 40s is too early in life to have mid life crisis. Unless you have bought a toy like a 32ft RV trailer, or so I was told.

If you can't find a life goal, maybe use financial goal that you can work with. Something like $3million net worth (not including the pension or SS) is a good start. Once you reach the milestone, set a new one and work towards it. Along the way hopefully you will find something that interests you.



Hahah... I guess I should say a mid-life career crisis.



But that's a good idea. I will set a financial goal to save as much as I can in my investment account by a certain point. I'll have to start thinking about that...





Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
If your pensions start when you are 57, why not make that your goal - to be in a position to retire on the day you are eligible to get your pensions? If you still like what you're doing, you don't have to retire then, but it seems like a logical point at which to aim. One that's far enough away to allow compounding to do most of the work so that you don't have to live a spartan existence for now, but early enough that you should still be healthy and active.

If I understand your post correctly, out of about $140k gross income, you are currently putting away about $36k per year, while still paying on your residence mortgage (I'm assuming the Miami rental property is cash flow positive after paying the mortgage and all other expenses.) That's quite an accomplishment!

Using a simple compounding calculator with the $230k portfolio to start and adding $36k per year and assuming real (inflation adjusted) return of 4%, you should have $1.14 million in today's dollars when you are 57. Assume your rental property holds its value (i.e. - gains at the rate of inflation), you could sell it then and add another $500k to the pot. A 4% withdrawal rate on, say, $1.65 million would give you $66k per year. Add in another $24k for your pension income and you're at $90k per year, which is probably about what you are actually spending right now. If your residence mortgage is paid off by then, so much the better.

I would not totally discount social security. Go the the SSA.gov website and estimate how much you would get if you work until you are 57. Then give it a 25% haircut.



Yeah, let me see what this comes out to, I haven't really done the math on that...


140k annually,

- $36k per year (401k, savings, retirement)
- $12k per year (primary residence)
- $9k per year in utilities (car insurance, power / water / cable)
- $1.5k in gas back and forth to work

- $5.2k in groceries per year

- $2.5k in charity



~ Rental property is a wash, I get about ~$250 net income from it after all fees


LOL... so I have roughly $70k that I have no idea where it's going? I know I'm not missing anything substantial... there are a few things like my daughter's Karate, Basketball, and Music lessons, and then vacations... but clearly I'm blowing a ton of money that I could be seriously putting away.


Wow... this makes me realize I have no concept of where my money is going. I pay for everything through a single credit card which gives me points for when I go on vacation (I never have to pay for a hotel stay).



Do you guys recommend any good websites or software that I can use to help me track my expenses? Since I pay for everything through my credit card, it should be fairly easy for me to dump that into a financial tracker...



what a wake-up call for me. I have so much expendable income... I need to figure out where it's going now!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Love This Community View Post
Agree with Street. Itís ok not to have a goal. Just keep doing what youíre doing and like Gumby said, let compounding do itís work. FI is exactly that. It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want to do. Maybe along the way, youíll find your calling/ purpose. If not, you can always sponsor more kids with your money. Kudos on supporting 4 kids!!

Thank you, I hated saying that, but again, no one here knows who I am so it's not really bragging. I really try to add another child every time I have a significant improvement in my income.





Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
About 15 years ago, I decided to make a prioritized list of financial goals. I made my list. I then worked my list in priority order by focusing and working completely toward the first unachieved goal on my list.

As time went by, I worked my way down the list. I added some additional goals. I accomplished them all. (Maybe I have low standards! )

At that point, I had to navel gaze for a bit. Now my goals are related to health, my kids, and charity. The financial stuff is mostly just monitoring.

For now, I can't fully enjoy just doing fun stuff. I have to be productive as well.

If you have goals and are a goal-oriented person, I think you end up either achieving them or discarding them, and then setting new ones that are interesting to you. Maybe you get to the point where goals, goal-setting, and goal-achieving all gets thrown out the window.

OP, I'd encourage you not to "should" yourself. Do what you want out of intrinsic joy or motivation, not out of obligation to some externality of guilt or peer pressure or benchmark ages / dates / amounts.



Thank you, I really appreciate this. I'm very interested in your goals... if you don't mind, would you mind sharing some of them with me? Particularly the financial goals? I'm very interested in those to see if I may apply some of them myself.


I think what I'm going through career wise is... the office I'm currently working in is probably giving me the most impact I think I'll ever have in this career field. I feel as though I've reached the pinnacle of what I'm going to be able to do in this particular field. So now I'm looking for the next huge impact I can have... and I don't know yet where that takes me, but I need to work through that and come up with a plan.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowballCamper View Post
It looks like you're entering your maximum earning years. I didn't see a taxable brokerage account listed (unless thats the 48k savings account). After getting the match in the 401k and maximizing tax deferred contributions in the IRA, sock some more away in the brokerage. This will be easier to access before you're 59.5 years old.

You could pay off the mortgages for the peace of mind, but in most cases the numerically optimal choice is to invest in the stock market (long term stock returns are usually more than mortgage interest).

As for goals... thats a bit personal. Have you seen the movie "Good Will Hunting?" What do YOU want to do?



Yes! The 48k is basically a combination of an investment account, and a savings account. It's only something I've taken semi-seriously since my last post in 2019. But I'm in a better financial situation now than I was heading into that last post, so I can certainly start spending more.


I need to find out what I'm doing with the other $70k of my money!


I've thought about paying off the mortgage, but I suspect with MMT that the value of my debt will likely decrease... and then there's that of course... where I invest in the long-term, I don't know. Seems A-political but both parties seem to be spending like a drug addict.




Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I didn't go back to read the other threads or even this one that closely, but this caught my eye. Only you can decide if the trade-off is worth it, but it seems very admirable to me. ER is really nice, but not if you regret selling your soul for money.

What is ER? Early Retirement?


Yeah, truth be told, I don't think I'll ever stop working. My father in law has never stopped working. He has terminal cancer, and still goes into work every day. When he had prostate cancer, he would work on his investment properties with the colostomy bag hanging off the side.



My dad worked ridiculously hard his entire life, and he's financially set, and has been retired for the past 5-6 years. He retired over 2 decades ago, but then started a few more businesses and then finally retired again. He golfs every other day, but I know he's antsy... always looking for a project or something to do.


I see myself never wanting to retire... but still taking time to enjoy life with family.


The "maximum earning years" thing kind of concerned me. I think my ability to earn is based on how much effort or risk I'm willing to take. I know I have a lot of options that would allow me to double my income... and maybe I do that for a few years and then go back and do something else.



What to do when I grow up has been the most difficult decision in my life.




Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
There's a middle ground of selling your intellect for money and letting your soul wither. Not really recommended, but I did it.

Good point... I'm still deciding how to proceed where I can do both!




Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRoy View Post
This is a good analysis. When I RE'd, the first year I spent about what I had been doing up to then, or ~80% of income. Since then I have been spending more, going over my pre-RE income. A lot was travel, plus multiple remodel projects on the house. It has helped for the market to have been so good in that period (4 yrs). After this year, the projects are done, and spending might drop back below pre-RE income (we'll see). Your current track is OK, but you might like the flexibility and safety cushion of increasing your savings.

I think you're right... this "journey" since my first post in 2007 has been financial security. The more financially secure I feel, the more likely I am willing to take a career risk.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry1 View Post
We love it! Itís great that you have a plan and that you are monitoring your progress. Thatís how you get to FIRE and weíre happy to help.



Thank you so much, I really appreciate the ability to just talk freely about my finances and not feel both embarrassed about any irresponsibility, or arrogant about anything I may have or have done that's so great (or whatever).


Thanks for letting me use this platform to get my "****" in order...!
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 82-T/A View Post
Yeah, let me see what this comes out to, I haven't really done the math on that...


140k annually,

- $36k per year (401k, savings, retirement)
- $12k per year (primary residence)
- $9k per year in utilities (car insurance, power / water / cable)
- $1.5k in gas back and forth to work

- $5.2k in groceries per year

- $2.5k in charity



~ Rental property is a wash, I get about ~$250 net income from it after all fees


LOL... so I have roughly $70k that I have no idea where it's going? I know I'm not missing anything substantial... there are a few things like my daughter's Karate, Basketball, and Music lessons, and then vacations... but clearly I'm blowing a ton of money that I could be seriously putting away.


Wow... this makes me realize I have no concept of where my money is going. I pay for everything through a single credit card which gives me points for when I go on vacation (I never have to pay for a hotel stay).
Taxes? The $140k was gross, right?
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:09 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 82-T/A View Post
...
Yeah, let me see what this comes out to, I haven't really done the math on that...


140k annually,

- $36k per year (401k, savings, retirement)
- $12k per year (primary residence)
- $9k per year in utilities (car insurance, power / water / cable)
- $1.5k in gas back and forth to work

- $5.2k in groceries per year

- $2.5k in charity



~ Rental property is a wash, I get about ~$250 net income from it after all fees


LOL... so I have roughly $70k that I have no idea where it's going? I know I'm not missing anything substantial... there are a few things like my daughter's Karate, Basketball, and Music lessons, and then vacations... but clearly I'm blowing a ton of money that I could be seriously putting away.

Wow... this makes me realize I have no concept of where my money is going. I pay for everything through a single credit card which gives me points for when I go on vacation (I never have to pay for a hotel stay).

Do you guys recommend any good websites or software that I can use to help me track my expenses? Since I pay for everything through my credit card, it should be fairly easy for me to dump that into a financial tracker...

what a wake-up call for me. I have so much expendable income... I need to figure out where it's going now!...
That's why the first questions in the "Can I Retire Now?" FAQ thread ask about expenses But don't be too hard on yourself. At least 7.65% of your gross salary is going to Social Security and Medicare. So that's about $10.7k. Then you have your federal income tax of about $16.7k. I don't know if you pay state income tax, but that also comes out if you do. You don't mention payroll deductions for employer healthcare, but I'd bet that exceeds $10k per year. So you're down to less than ~$23k currently unaccounted for.

I have created my own Excel spreadsheet to track our spending, which we have done for 20+ years now. Like you, I run all our spending through a single credit card. At the end of the month, when I get the bill, I assign each charge to a category (just a simple sum with pencil and paper) and then enter the total of all charges in each category into the appropriate place in the spreadsheet. For the few rare checks that I still write (mostly for property tax), I enter the data as I write the check, but I could do that monthly as well. The only thing I really need to pay attention to are cash purchases (mainly the barber, the cleaning lady and the drycleaner) because I'll forget those quickly if I don't write them down. If I can, I put them in the spreadsheet on the same day, but sometimes if I am busy, I'll make a note on my daily calendar.

Tracking expenses like that allowed me to see places where I was "leaking" money - especially things like subscription services that I rarely used. Every month, as I entered the data, I thought hard about where I was spending my money, what I was getting for it, and about potential ways to reduce that spending. I think it was invaluable in helping us save enough to retire.
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 82-T/A View Post
Do you guys recommend any good websites or software that I can use to help me track my expenses? Since I pay for everything through my credit card, it should be fairly easy for me to dump that into a financial tracker...

[snip]

Thank you, I really appreciate this. I'm very interested in your goals... if you don't mind, would you mind sharing some of them with me? Particularly the financial goals? I'm very interested in those to see if I may apply some of them myself.

[snip]

What is ER? Early Retirement?
I use Quicken, several others do here as well. You could try www.everydollar.com, or Mint or Personal Capital. I did try Personal Capital once, and they bombarded me with requests to meet with me to manage my investments, so I stopped using it.

I started my goals list when I was an unemployed grad student going through a divorce, so it starts off pretty basic. The middle of it more or less lines up with Dave Ramsey's "7 baby steps" Here it is:

Get a full time job
Save up $1000 in cash
Save up 4 months expenses in cash
Diversify away from employer stock (4% maximum is what I chose)
20% downpayment on a 3br/2ba+bonus house
No "high interest" debt
Refinance mortgage to under 3%
Max out 401(k) match
Eliminate student loans
Save for college for kid #1
Save for college for kid #2
Save for college for kid #3
No mortgage debt
Save up 6 months expenses in cash

From this point forward in my list of goals, it's really more monitoring my FIRE status and highlighting areas that require action on my part. Sort of like an Early Warning System for FIRE trouble. Although the goals are still listed in priority order, so if there are multiple ones that are red, then I'd work on them in that order.

FIRE (4.08% was my target)
Get my intended asset allocation to bonds where I want it (4% +- 2%)
Fund my Roth conversion ladder (5 years expenses in taxable + contributions + conversions)
Reach 94.28% success rate in FIREcalc (not sure why this is in here; seems to be a duplicate of the first)
Kid's college money allocated according to plan (I personally do next 4 years of expenses in bonds then rest according to their preferred AA.)
Allocation to bonds based on legacy goal (Since I have more than I need, I divide my portfolio into two chunks - one I intend to use to support myself, and the rest will pass to my kids. The former is 96/4, the latter is 100/0. So this number is the weighted average that I target. This goal really encapsulates and supercedes one above, which should probably be deleted.)

You could also add milestone net worth numbers in the list above where ever you want and where ever they fall for you. Practically I don't because have $X is not really a goal that means anything...if you want to have $3M so your kids can attend Harvard, then I would list "have enough so kids can attend Harvard" and figure out the dollar amount needed instead of an arbitrary round number.

Yes, "ER" means "Early Retirement"
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Old 01-18-2021, 06:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Out-to-Lunch View Post
Taxes? The $140k was gross, right?

Yes, correct... completely missed that part!




Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
That's why the first questions in the "Can I Retire Now?" FAQ thread ask about expenses But don't be too hard on yourself. At least 7.65% of your gross salary is going to Social Security and Medicare. So that's about $10.7k. Then you have your federal income tax of about $16.7k. I don't know if you pay state income tax, but that also comes out if you do. You don't mention payroll deductions for employer healthcare, but I'd bet that exceeds $10k per year. So you're down to less than ~$23k currently unaccounted for.



Yes... exactly... thank you. I'm going to look at my pay itemization tomorrow. I do not pay state income taxes.





Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondCor521 View Post
I use Quicken, several others do here as well. You could try www.everydollar.com, or Mint or Personal Capital. I did try Personal Capital once, and they bombarded me with requests to meet with me to manage my investments, so I stopped using it.

I started my goals list when I was an unemployed grad student going through a divorce, so it starts off pretty basic. The middle of it more or less lines up with Dave Ramsey's "7 baby steps" Here it is:


<snip>



You could also add milestone net worth numbers in the list above where ever you want and where ever they fall for you.



Thank you so much for this information. I looked at a few after reading your post, and I ended up buying Quicken. I spent the past several hours entering everything and connecting all my accounts. Some of it works well, others I had to manually enter. But otherwise, it gives me a really good view of my net work and my assets.



Thank you!!!
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:14 PM   #17
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Location: San Francisco
Posts: 667
Quote:
Originally Posted by 82-T/A View Post
I think you're right... this "journey" since my first post in 2007 has been financial security. The more financially secure I feel, the more likely I am willing to take a career risk.

...

Thanks for letting me use this platform to get my "****" in order...!
Don't worry, it isn't bragging giving status updates on here. Americans have weird hangups about talking about money.

Being FI for a minimum acceptable lifestyle made a huge difference for me. I just don't worry about losing a job or playing nice when people are making bad decisions at work that impact me or my coworkers or our projects. FI definitely enables more career risks, which lets you shape work into something you enjoy if it wasn't already.
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Old 01-19-2021, 06:53 AM   #18
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Location: Mid-Atlantic
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For tracking expenses, do you write a lot of checks, or like many here do you try to put everything on a rewards credit card? If it's the latter, most credit cards will give you a breakdown of your spending, and even let you recategorize the expenses that they got wrong. And with the banks I use, there's a pretty end-of-year statement, but I can look at a pie chart and list of the last 12 months at any time.
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:37 PM   #19
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Most banks (I use bank of America) free account aggregation service which will not only let you track expenses by categories but also cash flow as well as networth. The account aggregation gathers everything including my job related reimbursed expense/income and rental expense/income. So I download the raw transaction data as CSV file every month and I import them to my own spreadsheet that tracks personal expenses, earned income cashflow, rental cashflow, etc.

I have attached a blank copy of my spreadsheet if you want to use.

PS: The spreadsheet extension should be .xlsx but the attachment tool won't let me attach the original extension so I have to use .xls extension which may give you a warning about the incorrect file type.
Attached Files
File Type: xls Transactions Blank.xls (381.3 KB, 1 views)
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Old 01-19-2021, 05:49 PM   #20
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The key for me when I had my wake up call was to control the lifestyle creep and make hard choices about what was important in our lifestyle. Set personal goal of how much you want to save every year and look at cash flow every month. The constant feedback of how we were spending our money was a key factor that let me increase my saving rate over the span of few years. We have been on the downward trajectory in terms of expenses since last 4 years in a row! We are moving to a farm homestead (which I planned for last 5 years) which will allow us to make the biggest dent in our expenses this year. Speaking of which: Focus on what matters i.e. focus of big expenses (housing, car, tax, insurance, etc.) which have big impact on your savings rate and small expense which are simply just a waste.
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