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July 2016 Goals and Financial Updates

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July 2016 Goals and Financial UpdatesAre you having a good summer? August is the height of the summer season and there are a ton of fun things to do which can seem overwhelming sometimes. It seems like there are 2-3 fun free events every day this week. We’ll try to catch a concert and maybe an outdoor movie. We have to enjoy it because September is coming up soon and everyone will hunker down when it starts raining. There are fun free events, but there are many ways to spend money, too. In July, we spent more money than usual and we had our first negative cash flow month of the year. That’s not good, but it’s only one month. I’m confident we’ll be back to normal in August. On the other hand, our net worth reached a new high again. The stock market seems to have recovered from Brexit and the S&P 500 index ended the month with a new all-time high. It’s nice to see our net worth reach a new high, but it’s a bit scary, too. The economic indicators aren’t that great so I don’t know how the stock market keeps going up. I guess we’ll see how it goes the rest of this year.

Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2016 goals and then check our cash flow for July.

2016 Goals

Non Financial Goals

Improve Fitness (July result = Pass)

I got a Garmin Vivofit 2 for Christmas and I’m using it to track my activity level. July was my best month so far in 2016. The weather is beautiful and we are spending more time outdoors thanks to Pokemon Go. We also went camping and spent some time hiking. I love summer in the Pacific NW!  I had 230,756 steps in July. That’s 7,443 steps per day which exceeded my 6,000 steps per day goal. It’s much easier when the weather is nice.

Control my triglyceride level (WIP)

I’m trying to eat better to control my hypertriglyceridemia. My doctor increased the dosage of my medication and I’m going in for a blood test in August. I’m pretty sure the number will be better, but I don’t want to be over reliant on medicine. It would be much better to eat healthier. I need to eat more fish and vegetables and reduce carbs. It’s not easy to change eating habit.

Try 6 great restaurants (66%)

Alright, we found another great place in July. We went to Bistro Margot to celebrate our 17th anniversary and the food was great. I walked by many times, but never noticed the restaurant. Mrs. RB40 wanted to try some place new so she suggested this French American restaurant. We had a great dining experience and I hope they stick around for a while. Restaurants don’t seem to last very long in Portland.

Take an extended trip to Thailand ($3,697)

I’m planning a 3 week trip to Thailand in November. I want my family to experience the Loy Kratong festival in Chiang Mai. It was a big deal when I was a kid and I had fun with the various activities around the holiday. Saving for this trip is made easy by Digit. Digit deducts a small amount from my account every few days and I don’t notice the “stealth” saving at all. Check out my Digit review if you don’t know about them. The current balance is at $3,697, an increase of $510 in July. This is a great way to save for a trip.

I’m also trying to accumulate points to help with the flight tickets. I have 70,000 points at Chase, 30,000 points at American Airline, and 30,000 points at Alaska Airline. I don’t know how to convert all these point to tickets, though. Do you know anyone who can help with this?

Attend a conference – (WIP)

I got a ticket to FinCon 2016 in San Diego! I booked the hotel room and flight. We’re all set to go. Mrs. RB40 and Jr will take the opportunity to visit her parents while I’m in SD.

Visit a national park – (Done!)

Crater Lake

We went camping at Crater Lake in July. Crater Lake is a caldera lake which resulted from a volcanic eruption and subsequent collapse of the empty magma chamber. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and the deep blue color is breathtaking. It was very cold at night and very hot during the day. That was a bit strange to me. Also, there were a lot of mosquitoes at the campsite, but we had a lot of fun anyway. It was very nice to get out of town for a few days.

Start a non-finance website – (WIP)

I will start this project after kindergarten begins in the fall. This will probably kick off very slowly because I have all sorts of stuff to catch up on.

Financial Goals  (58% of the year is gone..)

Invest $50,000 in our tax advantaged accounts (56%) $27,930

In July, we saved $3,632 in our tax advantaged accounts. That increased our total to $27,930 so far in 2016. We are right on schedule for 2016. I’m contributing $1,500 per month to my i401k, but I’ll hold off on our Roth IRA and the employer contribution portion of my i401k. I still think we could see a big drop in 2016, so I’m waiting for a good deal.

Increase Dividends to $11,500 (56%)

We received $738 in dividends last month. That’s $6,468 so far in 2016. We’re right on schedule with this one. In July, I sold off some of Intel and KMI. I had lunch with my old coworkers and they aren’t very optimistic about the company. I’m holding the cash for now so this could lower our dividend income for 2016.

Surpass $50,000 in RB40 Junior’s 529 account (Done!)

Yes, RB40Jr’s account is worth $50,061! I wasn’t sure if we’d accomplish this goal in 2016 because the stock market has been quite volatile. I’m calling this one done even if the value decreases below $50,000 later. I’m planning to transfer this account to Vanguard at the end of 2016 to take advantage of their low fees.

Increase Net worth by 3x risk free rate (currently +8.3%)

The 10-year US government bond yields about 2%. So my target net worth increase for 2016 is 6%. The stock market did very well in July and gave our net worth a boost. Our net worth increased 8.3% for the year. That’s really good and I hope we can keep it above 6% for 2016. The 8.3% gain includes additional savings, but new savings aren’t a huge part of the gain. Our 2016 savings account for about 1% of the 8.3% gain.

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to manage your portfolio. We have many accounts and Personal Capital helps us see the big picture. Also check out their fantastic retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

Cash Flow

Take Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our income was a little lower than usual in July. In particular, my online income was below average. We still contributed to our 401k, though. Consequently, our take home income was lower than the targeted $5,000. Let’s look at the detail.

Mrs. RB40’s Paychecks: $5,264. This is normal.

Rental income: $643. We had another good month with our rentals because we didn’t have any maintenance issue.

Online income: $794. Our online income in July was below average. Summer is usually slower because a lot of people are on vacation. We also had some lumpy expenses in July. I signed up for 3 years of hosting at SiteGround and got a new phone from Republic Wireless (they just released a bunch of new phones.) I will break down the online income and expenses in our monthly newsletter so if you’re curious, sign up with our email list.

Dividend: $738. Our dividend income was a bit lower than expected as well. I sold off some INTC and KMI. I’m sitting on the money until I can find a good stock to buy. This might lower our dividend income a little bit in 2016. You can see my dividend portfolio if you want to see my investment.

Interest: $15

P2P lending: $78. Our P2P lending investment is doing better now that NSR Invest took over. Our ROI is currently 8.26%, that’s higher than when I was screening the loans. I was thinking about moving the money to real estate crowdfunding, but maybe I’ll just fund the new investment with cash instead.

Misc income: $38. I sold Jr’s old Duplo set and Mrs. RB40 deposited some coins.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Unfortunately, our expense was higher than usual as well in July. It’s not a good month when your expense is high and income is low. There were many expenses which drove the total higher than usual. Here are some significant ones.

  • $200 Cavalia came to town – This is like Circus du Soleil with horses. Mrs. RB40 has wanted to see this show for a while now. I urged her to take Jr, which was a mistake because he didn’t appreciate the show. Next time, Jr will stay home with me.
  • $1,040 Dad – We sent $5,000 to my dad in Thailand. My brothers contributed more because they are holding down well paying jobs.
  • $354 Crater Lake trip – This was well worth it. This includes camp site, food, new sleeping bags, entrance fee, and gasoline. It was great to get out of town for a few days.
  • $175 DEQ – Our biannual check up with DEQ.
  • $134 small appliances – I got a new toaster oven and a new rice cooker. Our 15 year old toaster over broke down and our rice cooker’s nonstick layer was peeling. We got a rice cooker with a stainless steel inner pot so it should last a long time.
  • $92 Goodwill shopping spree – I got a new-to-us stainless steel pan and Mrs. RB40 got some clothes to prepare for winter.

Whew, that was a lot of spending. It was fun to splurge a bit, but we’ll try our best bring it back down under $4,500 in August. Here are more details.

Housing: $2,256. Mortgage, HOA, and property tax.

Cash Allowance: $0.

Groceries: $391. Our grocery bill was good in July. We spent a few days out of town so I think that was the difference.

Child/Dependent: $243. Summer camp, a new backpack, and a little box of Legos.

Healthcare/Medical: $281. Dentist and doctor visits.

Bills: $222. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, my term life, and umbrella.)

Entertainment: $287. Gym membership fee, Cavalia show, and eating out.

Misc: $1,620. I sent money to my dad, went camping, picked up some new small appliances, and Mrs. RB40 got some clothes.

Transportation: $218. A big part of this is the DEQ bill, $175.

Saving

Extra Saving: $11,062 so far in 2016

We had a negative month in July to the tune of -$1,447. This is the first month in 2016 that we spent more than we took home. This reduced our total saving a little bit, but I’m pretty sure we will recover in August. The money here will go into our Roth IRAs and my i401k later this year.

Okay, we didn’t do so well in July. Our income was lower than usual and our expense was higher than expected. I’m not too worried because our net worth reached another all time high and I’m sure we’ll get back on track in August. The next three months should be good on the cash flow side. We have our Thailand trip in November so that might set us back a bit. Anyway, things are going relatively well here at the RB40 household. I hope you’re doing well financially too.

Did you have a good month in July?

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{ 72 comments… add one }
  • Joe August 1, 2016, 12:34 am

    Do you still hold a concentrated position in Intel? I’m guessing not based on your dividend income for 2015. Just wondering how you feel about having a concentrated position in an ex-employer (my case).

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 6:35 am

      I gradually sold off INTC over the last 6 years and I have about 200 shares left. It is a bad idea to have a concentrated position. You should gradually sell them off a little at a time. Good luck!

      • Joe August 2, 2016, 12:08 am

        Believe it or not if I held every share granted me by my ex-employer, I’d be sitting on $80 million today. I have considerably less than that due to selling stock off (and paying a big chunk to capital gains tax) over the past 15 years. For me it’s been a struggle between swinging for the fences, and protecting what you already have, lol.

    • Mr. All Things Money August 1, 2016, 8:21 am

      I have the same issue. Too many Intel shares from SPP and RSUs. I sold bunch off earlier this year when stock was around $32. They still make up close to 10% position in my portfolio. I would be more comfortable with a 5% position in Intel. Waiting for early next year to sell half of my position as I will be in lower tax bracket then. I think the stock should hold above $32 till then.

      • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:43 am

        10% is not too bad. I sold my shares off gradually too. I think INTC was about 10-15% of my portfolio before I quit. I got it down to 5% the year I left and now it’s at 1%.

        • Mr All Things Money August 1, 2016, 11:36 am

          Yeah I am on the same path of reducing share count in Intel. Having no faith and trust in the current leadership, I am just not too optimistic about Intel stock at this point and 10% allocation makes me quite nervous. Though, my dividend YOC is in upward of 6% on Intel shares, and they still have plenty of cash flow to cover and possibly increase dividends as long as PC cash cow doesn’t dry up too soon. So, I think I will still maintain around 5% position and see what happens.

          Cheers!

          • Joe August 2, 2016, 12:17 am

            I don’t think 5-10% is too much at all, especially for a bellwether dividend payer like INTC.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert August 1, 2016, 12:51 am

    Wow, congrats on the NW growth this year! You’re killing it, Joe. 🙂 One negative month will be negligible come year-end.

    July was a great month for us. We finally got our Fed tax refund (delayed 3 months due to ID theft) which was nice. So we were able to put away an extra $7k this past month.

    The last few weeks were a fantastic whirlwind of family trips to the mountains, beach, amusement parks, and parties. Things are finally slowing back down which is nice.

  • Ernie Zelinski August 1, 2016, 1:20 am

    “Groceries: $391.” I am always amazed by how little you spend on groceries for 3 people. I spend a lot more and I am single. Keep in mind that I eat dinner a lot in restaurants too, three times a week on average.

    Weirdly, I may not have had a great month in terms of income in July. My US distributor sent out only 337 copies of my book “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” in July. This is the second lowest month ever since 2004 when the book was first self-published. I end up making about $8 (Canadian) a copy in pretax profits after paying for the printing. So I made about $2,696 on the print sales of this book. I also made about $3,300 on ebook sales. The print edition of “The Joy of Not Working” makes me around $1,000 a month. So I should have earned around $6,996 in pretax profits for the month (my lowest in a long time). After paying income tax on the $6,996 and tallying up all my expenses, I may not have saved anything. But I am too lazy to add all my expenses.

    Regardless of the fact that I could be in negative territory in June, I am still going to buy a new $1,000 mountain bike this week. (I already have two older mountain bikes and a $1,150 “Rocky Mountain” hybrid that is around a year old.)

    I am still confident that I can continue to make some good money for quite some time by working one or two hours a day. These passages from the companion book to “Look Ma, Life’s Easy” apply;

    “Transform your important thoughts and dreams into inspired action.
    This will show the world that you are here to make a difference.
    Otherwise you are all talk.”
    — from “Life’s Secret Handbook”

    “Regularly question what you are doing and why you are doing it.
    With great intention.”
    — from “Life’s Secret Handbook”

    “While effort is certainly important for success in any field, effort by itself will get us nowhere.
    Effort must be directed in the right places.
    If not, effort will show little in the way of positive results — and may even get us to the wrong places.”
    — from “Life’s Secret Handbook”

    “Look to make the smallest move that gives you the biggest gain.
    That’s what genius is all about.
    It’s also known as working smart instead of working hard.”
    — from “Life’s Secret Handbook”

    One more note: Marketing guru Seth Godin recently advised us that, “It pays to have big dreams but low overhead.”

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:22 am

      We went camping in July and ate out a bit more than usual. That’s why our grocery bill was low. I think $500 is appropriate for our family of 4. Our kid eats very little and my mom is the same way.
      That’s strange about your book sale. Did something happens? A down month for you still looks great, though. Hopefully, it will pick up next month. I think summer is just very slow.
      Here is my review for The Easy Rule of Life. 🙂

    • Joe August 2, 2016, 12:19 am

      I have your book! Good to see you here 🙂

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai August 1, 2016, 1:50 am

    Man, I everything from stocks to bonds to real estate looks expensive. I’m hoarding cash. Nice job on your net worth grow!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:23 am

      You are hoarding a lot of cash. We have some cash, but not at that level.
      The net worth growth is surprising, I need to sit down and see where the growth came from…

      • MrRIP August 1, 2016, 2:22 pm

        the growth came from S&P 500 (if you’re investing on a mutual fund / ETF that tracks it).

        P.S. why do you subtract the 401 contribution from the take home pay? isn’t it money you’re taking “home”?

        P.P.S. why do you consider all the mortgage payment as an expense? The approach that is generally considered to be “the right one” is to only consider as an expense the interest portion of your payment, not the principal (which will make your equity growth)

        • retirebyforty August 2, 2016, 11:58 am

          We also have international funds and bonds. Those didn’t do very well this year so it’s a bit baffling that our net worth beats the S&P 500 index. I’ll need to go through the spreadsheet in detail later this year.
          – I subtract the 401k contribution because I’m looking at this from the cash flow perspective. I can’t use the money in our 401k yet.
          – Same thing with the mortgage. Equity growth will reflect in the net worth growth. Cash flow is just how much money comes in and goes out of our bank account every month.

  • Sarah August 1, 2016, 1:52 am

    Hi Joe, I’ve only just discovered your blog but what I’ve read really resonates with me. I think I’m around where you were in 2010, so its inspiring to see how much has changed for you in such a short space of time.

    I find monthly goals or challenges a really good way to move towards a long term goal, its interesting that you have non-finance related goals. In my last post (I’m literally only on post no. 3!), I shared what my goals are as well as financial independence, so I don’t neglect my health or stop being generous in the pursuit of retiring early.

    I’ll delve a bit more into your site when I get chance!

  • Mr. PIE August 1, 2016, 2:21 am

    Nice progress!
    Our portfolio increased by 2.8 % in July alone. Good old Personal Capital tells me that in an instant.
    Regarding travel hacking and points use, two great sites we always refer to are
    The Points Guy
    Travel Miles 101

    Happy travels!

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:25 am

      Thanks for the tips. I have seen The Points Guy before. I think I need a service to help me convert those points to tickets. Actually, I don’t think I have enough points for 3 tickets. The conversion rate seems crazy, 90,000 points for one ticket to Thailand. I need to do more research.

      • The Jolly Ledger August 2, 2016, 1:44 pm

        Brad Barrett at Travel Miles 101 can really help. You might need to do another churn but it is pretty easy and you might have time!

        • retirebyforty August 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

          I will check them out. Thanks! Probably not enough time to churn another one at this point…

  • Josh @ Biglaw Investor August 1, 2016, 3:16 am

    Congratulations on your 17th anniversary! Looks like a good month to me. If you’re ever going to spend more than your income, summer is the time to do it.

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:26 am

      Thank you! I love summer. 🙂

  • Mr. All Things Money August 1, 2016, 3:53 am

    Congrats Joe! Following your foot steps, I recently retired early from my Intel engineering job. Somewhat similar story as yours. Reading through your blog, it seems we have a lot in common including goals to improve health fitness and controlling Triglycerides 🙂

    Faraz

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:26 am

      Congratulations to you as well. Intel isn’t a good place to work anymore. There are much better companies out there. Good luck with improving your health.

      • Mr All Things Money August 1, 2016, 11:27 am

        Thanks Joe. No, I didn’t get any severance package as I wasn’t impacted by the layoff. I left on my own terms in July after the layoffs. Moral was just too low. Intel wanted me to stay but I had to get out of there and didn’t want to stay. Check out my blog at http://www.mrallthingsmoney.com for my story. I think I went through some of the same issues that you did.
        BTW, I am in Portland area as well. I worked in JF. We should meet up sometime and exchange notes 🙂

  • The Green Swan August 1, 2016, 4:18 am

    Wow that is a deep blue in the Crater Lake photo! Pretty amazing.

    I just checked my iPhone heart app, I’ve averaged just 3.5K steps per day. I need to pick it up!

    • Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions August 1, 2016, 6:42 am

      I was thinking the same thing GS! That photo was incredible – totally caught my attention. I like how detailed you are in these posts Joe. Your net worth gains are incredible and you have such a handle on your expenses that a “down” month really is just a “blip” in the big picture. It’s nice to see that you really just go with the flow and realize the next few months will probably be positive. Enjoy the last month of summer!

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:30 am

      I admit, the image was saturated a little bit. 🙂 Crater Lake is really awesome in real life.
      3.5k steps per day is very low. You need to bring it up to at least 6k steps. That’s the minimal for a moderately healthy lifestyle. 10k would be better…

      • The Green Swan August 2, 2016, 9:15 am

        Yeah it is really low, I hardly do any walking during the day at work and need to do better with that. I do exercise on the bike and other exercise that the iPhone doesn’t pick up though.

        • retirebyforty August 2, 2016, 12:02 pm

          If you’re biking and doing other exercise, that’s great! I can see not walking much. I was in the same boat when I was working full time.

  • Kate @ Cashville Skyline August 1, 2016, 4:30 am

    Nice work, Joe! Your family is really killing it with savings goals. I was reviewing my side income for July and was pleased to see I passed the $1,000 mark. I was laid off last week from my full-time job, so I’m incredibly grateful I’ve been so diligent about building my emergency fund. Between my severance and side income, I should be set through FinCon! 🙂

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:31 am

      Sorry to hear about your lay off. Great job saving your EF. Are you trying to find a new full-time job or are you transitioning to self employment? Either way, good luck! See you at FinCon. 🙂

  • Pia @ Mama Hustle August 1, 2016, 5:57 am

    Great month for you guys! That lake looks amazing!

    We had a good month too. July brought an abundance of freelance opportunities that allowed us to cash-flow some dental work for our little kiddo, a flat tire, and few other expenditures. It also brought my quarterly bonus, which went straight towards debt payoff. All around a great month!

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:32 am

      Congrats on a great month for you as well. Extra income usually smooth out everything. 🙂

  • Justin August 1, 2016, 6:22 am

    Looks like another month full of life, Joe.

    What kind of rice cooker did you go with? We’ve always used the Tiger JNP-1500 / 1800’s that Mrs. RoG grew up with. Very basic but reliable units that produce perfect rice every time. However we just noticed the bowl inside the rice cooker is starting to get tarnished on the outside (maybe because we stick it in the dishwasher…). Those rice cookers are expensive! But worth every penny given the quality of rice that comes out.

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:34 am

      Yeap, July was very busy for us and August will be full of fun too. How do people work in the summer? 😉
      I got a Tatung rice cooker. It has a stainless steel inner bowl and indirect heating. I don’t want another non-stick item. All the non stick pots and pans are peeling. Yuk! Our previous rice cooker is similar to the Tiger.

  • Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire August 1, 2016, 6:41 am

    It’s interesting that you (along with everyone else it seems) have distrust in the current stock market highs. I share this concern as well.
    We have trouble keeping spending down in the summer as well. Landscaping expenses get us every time, but I like to make the excuse that we’re increasing our property value. Can’t wait to see what your non-PF website consists of!

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:36 am

      It just seems like the economy isn’t doing that great. Why does the market keeps rising? The global economy is also shaky.
      Luckily, we don’t have much landscaping expenses. We live in a condo and our rental has minimal landscape, just tree trimming. We took the lawn out 2 years ago. 🙂

      • Gary August 20, 2016, 2:31 am

        It is just another bubble in the making due to the QE. This market growth has been too good to believe and, in my opinion, is not sustainable. Many people will be hit hard when the bubble bursts (and it will, we just do not know when)… The whole recovery is really artificial.

  • Mike H. August 1, 2016, 7:04 am

    I find that if I don’t have a month or two with extra spending each year, frugality starts to be a chore.

    It has been awesome to get the “you spent $2,000 less than this time last month” emails from Personal Capital. July was a financial positive month, but I anticipate August not being as lucrative. I continue to retire debts and build a cash position, as I think the market is within 10% of a local maximum. The only investing I’m doing is the normal dollar cost averaging in the company 401(k) and my Betterment account.

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:38 am

      I think you’re right. Usually I get frugal fatigue in the Fall and splurge a bit every year. I’m with you on the cash position. I’ll transfer $5,500 to each of our Roth IRA so we’ll be ready for a buying opportunity, but otherwise no additional investment for now.

  • BuckeyeNut August 1, 2016, 7:13 am

    Hello. As always, love your blog. Especially since we are tracking very closely to you. Unfortunately, after leaving my corporate job my income has dropped off the cliff….we are not able to save like you and are primarily depending upon compounding to take care of us.

    I see you sold off KMI. I also have KMI in my dividend portfolio and have been pained watching what it has done. Was curious about your thoughts on KMI.

    Thank you!

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:39 am

      I still like KMI. I sold some shares off to offset the gain from INTC. I will probably pick some of them up again later this year.
      Good luck with ER. Are you looking to work a little bit? A little income really helps reduce the withdrawal rate.

      • BuckeyeNut August 1, 2016, 6:29 pm

        A part time job fell into my lap. When the universe calls it is hard not to answer. We did some extreme things to balance our cash flow after I left my high pressure corporate career – paid off our mortgage. We should be able to squirrel away $12k in husband’s 401K this year. And I do see we are actually building a surplus in our savings that I may funnel into our IRAs at the end of the year. My struggle is that the part time job is unsatisfactory so I am not sure whether I have it in me to continue. It also is cutting into a lot of my time which I would prefer using to volunteer and be active in my boys’ school. The pay is low so I must fit the work in the 6 hours my boys are at school. Our total dividends (retirement + taxable) would cover 70% of our annual expenditures. Fortunately, the husband likes his job – so he may work another 9 years until he is 55. I was able to completely take the summer off from work and I am having a bit of angst about going back in a few weeks when the kids go back to school. I am fairly confidant we could live off of my husband’s salary (with some mindful financial control). I probably should explore other options for additional income – just drawing a blank on what would be fulfilling and a meaningful trade for my time.

        • retirebyforty August 2, 2016, 11:59 am

          That’s a tough call. Hopefully, you can find a more satisfying part-time gig. It’s great that your husband likes his job. That could change quickly, though. Prepare as much as you can. Good luck!

  • Apathy Ends August 1, 2016, 7:16 am

    Great month!

    We are still getting our butt kicked by summer spending, out of town weddings are a killer

    The market has been kind since Brexit, I expected a little more pain than we actually got

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:39 am

      I’m surprised by the quick recovery too. It seems like investors aren’t that nervous about the market. Over exuberant?

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes August 1, 2016, 7:52 am

    Sounds like you had a great month Joe. I wouldn’t sweat-it that July was cash flow negative. You guys are killing it this year! Net Worth up 8%? That’s fantastic.

    I’m worried about asset valuations too. Interest rates may be low, but with only a 4% earnings yield from the S&P 500, most stock investments look risky.

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:40 am

      I’m surprised by our net worth gain as well. I need to sit down and figure out where the gain came from. I think mostly from the stock market, but I’m not sure.

  • Fiscally Free August 1, 2016, 8:11 am

    I’m just as confused as to how to use all the various “points.” If you figure out a simple system, let me know.
    It seems like you’re doing well on all your goals. Keep up the good work.

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:41 am

      I’m looking to hire someone to help out with this. I will post my experience later. 🙂
      Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Dividend Growth Investor August 1, 2016, 10:00 am

    Always great to read your reports Joe! Slow and steady does win the race. I am not sure where stocks will go next, and neither is anyone else, which is why I continue to buy every month. A drop would be helpful for long-term asset accumulators, but I am afraid since the all time high has been cleared, we may not go below 2000 on the S&P 500 again ( or in the foreseeable future)

    • retirebyforty August 1, 2016, 10:50 am

      Thanks for your input. I see what you mean, but I’m afraid to buy now. Our cash position is only about 5% so it’s not a huge part of our portfolio. Giving up some gain on that part is okay for me this year. 95% of our money is invested.

  • Mr Crazy Kicks August 1, 2016, 1:35 pm

    Nice progress! This market is out of control, but I will take it 🙂

    I did use some AA points for our trip this fall to Costa Rica, I think it was ~30k pts/ticket. And I did that through the AA website. I imagine Thailand will be much more though.

    For your trip the most useful is probably the Chase points. Even if you do not have enough for a flight you can use them for hotels or car. You just do it through the chase ultimate rewards portal. I will probably use some to rent a car for our CR trip.

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2016, 11:56 am

      We did that last year for our Costa Rica trip. I used up all my Chase points for tickets. That worked out really well. Thailand cost a lot more, though. Maybe we should save the points for South/Central America.

  • beth August 2, 2016, 5:21 am

    How does your son’s school feel about him missing 3 weeks of school? Schools in my part of Canada seem to be very frustrated by parents taking their children out of school and a letter goes home mentioning all of the school holidays that are available for travel. The school can’t stop you but they can be unhappy about it.

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2016, 12:01 pm

      I think they will be very unhappy about the 3 weeks off. I need to talk to them about it.

  • Mike August 3, 2016, 6:02 am

    Hey Joe,

    Have you tried something like Aquaponics for growing your own food? It could be an easy way to get some fish and veggies in your diet (it can be set up in a small space too!).

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2016, 2:45 pm

      I have not tried aquaponics. We really don’t have any space at all. We have a nice community garden so that works very well for us. I didn’t know you can raise fish with aquaponics. I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  • BeSmartRich August 3, 2016, 8:35 am

    Thanks for sharing. That was very detailed info.

    What is your portfolio allocation like?

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2016, 2:57 pm

      My target asset allocation is like this currently.
      US = 45%
      international + emerging = 20%
      bonds = 20%
      alternatives = 8%
      Cash = 7%

  • Aaron @IncomeHoncho August 3, 2016, 1:26 pm

    Very nice saving with Digit there, wow! I gotta look into that

    • retirebyforty August 3, 2016, 2:46 pm

      Digit is pretty cool. It saves about $500/month and it is very stealthy. I don’t even notice it. It’s a great tool for beginners.

      • Aaron @IncomeHoncho August 5, 2016, 3:39 am

        so what if you’re about to overdraft? it just knows??

        • retirebyforty August 5, 2016, 11:45 am

          Yes, it should not overdraft. Digit only deduct a small amount from your checking account.

  • Jon @ Be Net Worthy August 4, 2016, 8:02 am

    Wow, you are doing great this year! Thanks for sharing so much detail, so interesting. My portfolio is up a little over 10% through mid-July, check out my site for the details. Really driven by my precious metals fund almost doubling this year.

    I’m looking forward to checking out your new blog!

  • Claudia @ Two Cup House August 4, 2016, 4:05 pm

    Crater Lake is so beautiful. 🙂 Hope to meet you at FinCon!

  • cato August 5, 2016, 11:02 am

    Crater Lake is spectacular. Everyone should see it.

  • Young bob August 8, 2016, 11:37 pm

    Hey retire by 40(add 7.5 yr per kid)

    Never sell your blue chip divided paying stocks, drip them. I wish to open a position in INTC on a pull back

    • retirebyforty August 9, 2016, 10:02 am

      I’m convinced INTC will not do well in the future. There are other blue chip companies out there. 🙂

  • Cash Lab August 21, 2016, 11:36 am

    I experienced much higher expenses in July as well. The nice weather gets us out of the house more and our food budget blew up big time!

    I’ll be curious to see if you re-invested the money from your stock sells. I’ve been having a hard time finding good valued dividend stocks in this market environment.

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