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2011 New Year’s Resolutions – Winter Update

The dreamer in the snow

My favorite public art in Portland.

2011 is almost over, can you believe it? The year practically flew by because we were so busy with work, blog, and baby RB40. This last quarter has been tough on the 2011 New Year’s resolutions – here is the recap.

Financial Resolution

2011 Financial Goal – The only financial goal this year was to acquire a 4-plex rental property. It took 7 months, but we finally got it done in September. The 4-plex was a short sale and had some deferred maintenance. Over the past few months, we have been fixing the place up and I’m quite sure we’ll turn the corner soon. You can read about all the gory details here – 4-plex first 3 months report. Grade: A

The rest of the resolutions

Transfer to a new positionFail. My excuse is that I was too busy this year and the economy shut down hiring, but the truth is I didn’t try hard enough. I really need to work on this in 2012. Grade: F

Stay Alive in 2011Woohoo! I almost made it! Only a few days left until the end of the year and barring any falling meteors, I should be fine. The gym at work has been closed down for remodeling since November 1st so I haven’t worked out much. I’ve been taking walks instead, but I really miss going to the gym and I can’t wait until it opens up again. At least my weight remained stable during this period. I lived a pretty healthy lifestyle this year and I’m quite happy with being alive. Grade: A+

No New Electronics (unless it is a replacement) – Fail! This resolution was too difficult to keep. I guess I am an electronics junkie after all. We got a new fan, cell phone, space heater, electric toothbrushes, laptop, and more. I have no excuse for this behavior. πŸ™ Grade: big fat F

Blog Goals

  • Post 3 times per week – mission accomplished!
  • Participate in blog Carnival once a monthFail. I gave up on this as I needed the weekend to rest.
  • Monetize Retire By 40 – Excellent here! If you’ve been following our monthly cash flow updates, you can see that Retire By 40 is doing quite well.
  • Blog Grade: B+ I’m very happy overall and will set new goals for 2012.

All in all, I think I’m pretty happy with the results. The #1 goal of staying alive went off without a hitch and it’s all that really counts. I can always work on the other goals in 2012. I’ll skip the no new electronics resolution though since I’m not strong enough to resist. πŸ˜‰

How did you do on your 2011 resolutions? I’ll need to sit down and think about 2012 and see what goals I can set. Have you set your goals for 2012?

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, he hated the corporate BS. He left his engineering career behind to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. At Retire by 40, Joe focuses on financial independence, early retirement, investing, saving, and passive income.

For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 44 comments… add one }
  • 101 Centavos December 21, 2011, 3:23 am

    A big, fat “well done!” to you then, sir.
    You and your family are well, free from want, and awash in new electronics. 2012 is going to be a good year.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:22 am

      Thanks! Hopefully, I’ll be able to cut down on the electronic purchases in 2012. I’m looking forward to 2012 too, it will be a great year.

  • The Frugallery December 21, 2011, 4:41 am

    If I can venture to make you feel better about your electronic purchases, at least they are durable products. Better to splurge on things that you can use for years to come rather than something that is consumed. Besides, the space heater could be a cost savings for you.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:23 am

      Haha, thanks. At least I didn’t buy too many throw away products like an RC car or other toys.

  • Niki December 21, 2011, 4:48 am

    You had a pretty good year, I’d say.

    I love that you bought the 4-plex. It’s kind of a ballsy goal. I feel like I need to be more ballsy sometimes.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:24 am

      I have to get the ballsy goals out of the way while I still have a good income. Once I retire (quit the day job), I won’t be able to get a loan anymore. πŸ™‚

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc December 21, 2011, 4:57 am

    You had a great year! I love the accountability too. I agree with Niki, secondary to staying alive, the 4-plex purchase is a pretty hairy goal to accomplish, and you got it done!

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:25 am

      Staying alive was a good goal to have, but I think next year I’ll have to look at staying alive, healthy, and happy. πŸ˜‰

  • My Own Advisor December 21, 2011, 5:25 am

    Well done on your goals. I just published mine as well.


    As for the electronic toys, you gotta live man πŸ˜‰

    I look forward to chatting more in 2012. Keep up the good work on your blog!


    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:25 am

      Haha, that’s true. I’ll head over to see how you did.

  • Jeffrey Trull December 21, 2011, 5:34 am

    Glad to hear you have both your real-life goals and blogging life goals going well! Switching positions and not buying electronics are too pretty difficult ones to take on. But it seems the 4-plex goal was maybe the most daunting, so it’s great that you accomplished that.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:27 am

      You really have to focus on the difficult goals. It took 8 months to finish the 4-plex deal. If I put the same energy into finding a new job, I would have better luck. Thanks!

  • [email protected] December 21, 2011, 5:51 am

    Looks like 2011 worked out well for you Joe.
    Cheers to an even better 2012 πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:27 am

      Thanks Tushar! Hope you have a great 2012 too.

  • Moneycone December 21, 2011, 5:56 am

    I like the fact you are following up on 2011 goals when others have forgotten them and thinking about 2012 goals!

    You did good RB40!

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:28 am

      It’s tough to see what you screwed up on, but we need to go over it or else we’ll never learn. πŸ™‚ I need to make some 2012 goals too.

  • Andy Hough December 21, 2011, 8:53 am

    You had a pretty good year and I like that you followed up on all your resolutions even the ones you didn’t make. I’ll be doing a resolutions post later this week.

  • Christa December 21, 2011, 9:24 am

    Congrats on staying alive and on the blogging goals! My goals were to: work on health, run a marathon, send birthday cards, and start a family. I am proud to say I accomplished all of them!

  • Aloysa December 21, 2011, 10:00 am

    Why are you giving your blog B+? I’d give it A+! You are doing not just great but fantastic! All the best to you and your family. Happy Holidays, my friend!

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 1:30 pm

      I guess I feel like I am barely keeping up. I would ideally have more posts lined up and build more links, but it’s just too much work. πŸ™‚ It was border line B+/A-.

  • Jeff @ Sustainable Life Blog December 21, 2011, 10:09 am

    Glad you were able to get most of your goals done this year joe – I cant believe your gym is still remodelling, it better be nice when they are done!
    I hope you stay alive in 2012 too!

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 1:31 pm

      Haha, thanks! I can’t wait until the gym is done with the remodeling.

  • Invest It Wisely December 21, 2011, 10:24 am

    Congrats on staying alive! πŸ˜‰ Good work also on posting 3x a week and good monetization.

  • krantcentsk December 21, 2011, 11:55 am

    What was your overall average? Staying alive? Did you avoid risky behavior? Congratulations, you have done a good job!

  • Hunter - Financially Consumed December 21, 2011, 1:22 pm

    It’s been eye opening to follow your blog as you’ve progressively monetized. I look forward to seeing how you grow further in 2012.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter December 21, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Looks like you did pretty good overall. Good job! I too am an electronic junkie. I just bought an new camera lens for my upcoming trip to Africa. I also am dying to get an ipad.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:47 pm

      Have a great trip! You can write off that lens right? What lens did you get? I want a canon 15-85mm, but it is still quite expensive at almost $700. πŸ™‚

  • [email protected] December 21, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Looks like you did a pretty good job in 2011. Good luck in the new year! I bet it’s going to be an amazing one for you!

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:53 pm

      Thanks Derek. I think it will be amazing for you as well with all your start ups. πŸ™‚

  • Financial Samurai December 21, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Good stuff not dying Joe! Nice pic! πŸ™‚

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:54 pm

      Yes, I’m quite proud of that accomplishment! πŸ˜€
      Thanks! I’ll try to use my pictures more often too.

  • SB @ One Cent At A Time December 21, 2011, 8:22 pm

    You know what I don’t have to do these tally ups, I didn’t have any resolution. I take life as it presents to myself. If you are happy most of the moment, and feel satisfied about future, then you are good. Very simple philosophy I have.

    • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:56 pm

      I used to do that too and life was good. This year I set up some goals so I have something to blog about. πŸ˜‰
      It was good to keep track of the financial goals. You know what they say – if a goal is written down, you have a much better chance of accomplishing it.

  • retirebyforty December 21, 2011, 9:55 pm

    Right! Whatever I’m doing seems to work so I’m going to stick with it. πŸ˜‰
    haha… I’ll hire some people when I start a new site.

  • Jackie December 22, 2011, 5:31 am

    I didn’t meet either of my two goals for 2011 (which were increasing my income by some huge percentage that I forget right now) and paying off our house. But! We did make a ton of progress on the house, so we’re in good shape for next year.

    • retirebyforty December 23, 2011, 10:30 am

      Good luck on 2012. It would be great to have the house paid off!

  • Little House December 22, 2011, 3:39 pm

    I think you did great! I didn’t meet all of my goals either. If I were to give myself an “overall” grade, it would be a C, and I’m an A student. I need to try harder in 2012. πŸ˜‰

    • retirebyforty December 23, 2011, 10:33 am

      Sorry to hear about the C. I’m sure you can do better in 2012. An A student hmmm? One of those overachievers. hahaha. πŸ˜€

  • Squirrelers December 22, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Well, you did meet some of your goals, so that’s great! As for the ones which you didn’t, that’s the great thing about the new year: time for new goals and a fresh start!

    I’m going to be setting my goals for 2012 after the 25th, and will be try to follow the SMART approach. The key for me is going to be persistence and discipline.

    • retirebyforty December 23, 2011, 10:34 am

      That’s right, a new year is the time to start fresh. Looking forward to see your goals.

  • youngandthrifty December 22, 2011, 10:14 pm

    LOL I remember your “stay alive” resolution from the beginning of this year.

    Congratulations you have done so well and achieved pretty much all of your goals!

    • retirebyforty December 23, 2011, 10:35 am

      Hahaha. Yeah, I made it through 2011. It was so busy though. I’m sure 2012 will be a little bit better. Thanks!!!

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