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July 2017 Goals and Financial Update

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July Financial UpdateWhew, what a busy month July was. We went to visit Mrs. RB40’s family in California, went hiking in a lava tube at Mt. St. Helen, and generally enjoyed the summer. I love summer in the Pacific Northwest. The weather is hot, but it is still much better than many other parts of the US. In contrast, the California desert was almost unbearable. The AC was a lifesaver down there. That’s one of the reasons why I prefer to travel in November. Portland would be cold and dreary so going out of town would be an escape.

Sadly for RB40Jr, summer is coming to an end rapidly. Mrs. RB40 already started shopping for school supplies. Our public school begins on August 30th. Woohoo! I can’t wait for our kid to go back to school. Spending the summer with him is a lot of fun, but I’m ready to have more time for myself again.

Also, check out my 5 Years After Early Retirement Update. I left my full time job in July 2012 to become a stay at home dad/blogger. Early retirement has been amazing and these last 5 years flew by. Unexpectedly, ER gets better and better every year. It sounds too good to be true, but early retirement is pretty fantastic.

On the financial front, July was a pretty good month. Our income was good, but our expense was higher than usual. We usually spend more money in the summer because there are so many fun things to do. Once school starts, our expense should drop a bit. In July, the big expenses were RB40Jr’s activities, our CA visit, and Mrs. RB40’s professional clothing.

Okay, let’s go over the 2017 goals first and then see the details of our cash flow in July.

Disclosure: We may receive a referral fee if you sign up with a service through the links on this page.

2017 Goals

At the end of July, the year is 58% over. We’re in the second half of the year now and we need to keep pushing to accomplish our goals. This is pretty tough in the summer because there are so many things to spend money on. In particular, my fitness goal suffered from the unstructured schedule. RB40Jr is out of school so it has been very difficult for me to go to the gym. That’s all right, though. We all need time off. School will start pretty soon and I’ll get back to my regular workout program.

Here is my goal tracking spreadsheet. We’re looking really good except for the Pinterest goal and the site redesign. I gave up on Pinterest, but I’ll keep tracking it for the rest of this year. I’m still planning on the redesign, but I think it will be a minor update instead of a big redesign.

July Goal sheet update

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account– We’re doing very well here and have saved $39,815 in our 401(k) and the 529 college fund. We’re also done with our Roth IRAs contributions in 2017, that’s $11,000 for both of us. We’re way ahead on this goal and should complete it soon.
  2. Dividend Income $11,500– I’ll update our passive income post next week and you can see the details there. In the first 7 months of 2017, we received $6,719 in dividend. We’re right on pace at 58%, that’s great! We should be able to complete this goal by the end of the year.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – This is passive income divided by expense. Currently, our FI ratio is 85%. That’s ahead of our target and I’m quite happy with it. The FI ratio has been decreasing a bit because our expense is higher in the summer. We’re still doing better than expected so I can’t complain.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX– Our net worth gained 7.9% so far in 2017. That’s really good after 7 months. However, it is 4% behind our benchmark. The VFORX (Vanguard’s 2040 fund) is up 11.7%. That’s insane! We’re behind, but I’m not going to worry about it too much. I’m happy with 7.9%. Next year, I probably won’t bench mark our net worth against anything.
  5. Move RB40Jr’s 529 plan to Vanguard – Finished! You can read about our 529 plan transfer here.
  6. Move Mrs.RB40’s IRAs to Vanguard – Finished!

Blog Goals

  1. Online income > $36,000/year– My online income has been incredible this year and I made $44,654 so far. I marked this goal finished at the end of June! I made more in 6 months than the whole 2016 blog income. I’m really grateful to you, our readers. Thank you!
  2. Redesign Retire by 40– This one is a huge job and it is very daunting. I did some investigation in May, but couldn’t find a layout I liked. I’ll keep working on this. The redesign will be put on ice for the summer because I don’t have time to work on it. It will probably be an update instead of a big redesign.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits– I gave up on this one. I haven’t been able to grow our Pinterest traffic and it’s just not my thing. Pinterest is not fun for me at all. Mrs. RB40 will be our media person when she retires from her full time work.

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness – July was another tough month for fitness. RB40Jr is out of school so I can’t go the gym much. We also traveled and I got sick. Consequently, my steps per day dropped to just 6,670 in July. July is the first month it went below my goal of 7,000 steps per day. Oh well, I’ll resume working out regularly when school starts in September.
  2. Start a new site – I started a new site with a focus on fitness– Fit by 40. There isn’t much traffic, but that’s okay. I’m using it mostly for self motivation. It’s working really well and I’m much more active this year than in 2016. I don’t know why blogging helps so much, but it works for me. The site is on hiatus until summer vacation is over.
  3. Join Toastmasters – This one is scheduled for the 2nd half of the year after school starts.
  4. RB40Jr’s after school programs – RB40Jr is now going to Wushu (Chinese martial art) classes and soccer. He doesn’t like them because group activities are difficult for him. He’d rather stay home and goof off, but he needs to learn to be a part of a team. I hope these activities will help him develop more grit.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse – The eclipse is only a few weeks away and we’re really looking forward to it.
  2. National Park – We visited Fort Vancouver National Monument over spring break. That’ll be it this year…
  3. International Trip – We are heading to Cancun in November. It should be a cheap trip because we have plenty of reward points to use on flights and accommodations. We got 4 free nights at a Hyatt so I’m going to book a room at the Hyatt Ziva. We’ve never been to an all inclusive resort before so it’d be interesting to see if we like it. Normally, we like to mingle with the locals.

Net Worth (+7.9% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. For 2017, I’ll benchmark our progress with the Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund, VFORX. Their current allocation is about 52% US equity, 35% international equity, and 13% bonds. I thought this was a good measuring stick and we should be able beat it. Now that we’re more than half way through 2017, we are way behind at -4%! VFORX is killing it this year.

Anyway, our net worth is up 7.9% in the first half of 2017. That’s really good at this stage of our life. I’d be extremely happy to get 10% gain in 2017. We are a bit behind VFORX, but it isn’t a big deal to me. Next year, we’ll probably just avoid benchmarking altogether. It doesn’t seem to add anything useful.

July Net worth

Here is the picture of our net worth on Personal Capital. Zillow increased the estimate on our properties so this chart looks great. I haven’t changed my personal spreadsheet yet, though. Valuing real estate is always tough. The big movements are the 529 plan and Mrs. RB40’s accounts being transferred.

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to help manage your investment accounts. We have many accounts and Personal Capital shows me the big picture. Also, I’m a huge fan of their awesome retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

July 2017 Cash Flow

We had a good month with our cash flow in July. We spent more than usual, but our income was high enough so we didn’t have to worry about it. Let’s go over the details.

July 2017 cash flowTake Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income target is $5,000 and we came in above that at $9,115. All our income streams performed well and we just need to keep this up.

Mrs. RB40’s paycheck: $5,082. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise earlier this year and she is bringing in great income and benefits. That’s one reason why she isn’t ready to quit working full time yet. She also doesn’t want to deal with health insurance uncertainties at this point. Her employer sponsored health plan is working really well for us.

Rental income: $913. I just fixed the sidewalk at our duplex. It’s a temporary fix and I hope it holds for a few years.

Online Income: $6,010. My online income was good in July. This year I’m focusing on increasing our income so Mrs. RB40 can retire sooner. I’m placing more affiliate links and focusing on writing relevant articles that will be helpful to investors. Here is how we generated online income last month.

  • Banner ads: $2,258. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. I hope to make about $1,500/month from these ads.
  • Affiliates: $3,760. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our affiliate link, then we sometimes earn a referral fee. One example is the Personal Capital link at the net worth section above.
  • Brand promotion: $291. I’m cutting way back and probably won’t make much money in this category going forward.
  • Expenses: -$306. Internet, email service, CDN, cell phone, meals, etc…

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. Thank you for your support! 

Dividend income: $978. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $17.

Crowdfunding: $6.

  • P2P lending: $6. I’m slowing getting out of P2P lending. I just don’t think they will do well when the economy turns south.
  • Realty Shares:$0. I funded my first deal at Realty Sharesearlier this year. It’s a commercial property in Arizona. I like RealtyShares and I’m saving up some cash to invest in another property.
  • KickFurther: $0. Currently, I have about $800 invested at Kickfurther. Kickfurther is similar to P2P lending, but investors lend to small businesses instead of individual borrowers. The big difference here is the money will be used to fund inventory. I’m also getting out of this one. Small businesses have way too many problems. You can read more about them next week when I go over our passive income.

Misc: $0

Pre-tax savings: -$3,890. I sent $1,500 to my solo 401k. Mrs. RB40 saved $1,390 in her retirement account. We also send $1,000 to our kid’s Oregon 529 plan in July.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our monthly expense target was $4,500 per month and we spent $5,131. Summer is more expensive than normal because there are so many things to do. In July, we flew down to California to visit Mrs. RB40’s family. Another reason why we spend more money in the summer is because school is out. I’m sending RB40Jr to half day camp every other week because I need a little time to myself. Mrs. RB40 also purchased a few pieces of good quality clothing for work. It should be back to normal for us once school starts.

Housing: $2,289. This includes the mortgage, HOA, and property tax. Housing is a huge part of our monthly expense. We may have to move to a cheaper location to reduce this expense.

Cash Allowance: $100

Groceries: $434. This is good for a family of 4. My mom is staying with us for a while. I’m pretty happy as long as we keep it under $500.

Transportation: $55. This is for gasoline and parking. We share one car and don’t drive much.

Pet: $0.

Kid: $789. This includes the RB40Jr’s Wushu lessons, ice cream, new shirts, summer camp, soccer fee, toys, and back to school supplies. Whew, everything hit all at once in July. We’re done paying for summer camp so next month should be better.

Bills: $233. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $0.

Entertainment: $113. We ate out just once in June, great job! This category also includes my gym membership fee.

Travel: $665. Three tickets to southern CA. We used the companion fare ticket from Alaska airline for this and the bill is pretty expensive. I thought flying is supposed to be cheap this year.

Clothing: $454. Mrs. RB40 purchased a nice top, pants, and a few other things.

Misc: $0.

YTD Extra Savings: $42,328

July was a good month and we saved $3,978 in addition to our tax advantaged savings. Our monthly expense was higher than usual, but our income was able to cover it. What can I say? Summer is expensive. August should be a bit better because we’re only taking local trips and don’t have as many kid expenses. So far in 2017, we saved $42,328 extra. This is already more than the whole 2016 so we’re doing really well this year.

I just sent $11,000 of this fund to our Roth IRA. I stashed $30,000 in VNQI to be used for Mrs. RB40 early retirement fund. My main goal for the rest of 2017 is to build up some cash so I can invest more at Realty Shares.

Can Mrs. RB40 retire?

This is a new section I added for 2017. I want to see what happens if Mrs. RB40 stops working full-time. Basically, I will remove Mrs. RB40’s income from our spreadsheet and stop contributing to our tax-advantaged accounts.

Drum roll please … for July 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early! We had another good month and it looks like we should be able to keep this up for the rest of 2017.

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $2,786 in June! My online income is strong this year so this challenge has been really easy. Online income could be fickle, though. Last year’s online income was much lower than 2017.

July 2017 wrap up

July 2017 was another solid month at the RB40 household. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders. Our expenses were higher than usual, but not by a huge margin. Everything is just going really well this year. We haven’t had a great streak like this in a long time so we feel good. Usually, our finance has more ups and downs.

August is looking much slower on the online income front. Traffic is down and our affiliate income is slowing down a lot as well. I’m pretty sure our expense should look much better in August.

*Oh yeah, if you’re going to retire early, summer is the best time to do it. There are a ton of fun activities to do. Retiring in the winter is the pits. You’ll be stuck at home all day and that’s not a good way to transition into what should be a fun phase of life.

Did you have a good July? What’s your plan for August? Enjoy the rest of summer!

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{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Mr. FWP July 31, 2017, 12:26 am

    Fantastic! We’re ending ahead of expectations in July as well, although in our case, there’s still a ton of progress to go. That’s awesome that your wife can retire! I can only imagine my wife’s response if I told her so one day…

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:01 am

      My online business is doing great this year so that one is easy. I just need to keep it up. 🙂

  • Mr. Tako July 31, 2017, 12:29 am

    Another solid month Joe! Your online income is pretty amazing! $44k and only half done with the year? Wow!!

    It’s amazing how similar our finances are. While I make more in dividend income, your online income seems to make up the difference!

    Glad you’re enjoying the summer. Enjoy the eclipse!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:02 am

      You should come down to see the eclipse. When is the next time you’ll have a chance to see a total eclipse? It will be awesome.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert July 31, 2017, 1:11 am

    Looks like you’re doing great mid-year, Joe! Great job with your online income.

    My July was pretty busy with three trips and an entire week volunteering. I’m finally catching up a little bit and then headed out to Panama for some fishing in a few weeks.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer with RB40 Jr!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:02 am

      Thanks! Your July sounds even busier than our. Enjoy your trip! We’re not into fishing because we’re not good in boats.

  • Ernie Zelinski July 31, 2017, 2:15 am

    Congratulations on your overall financial situation so far this year and particularly on your online income. You say, “Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income.” That is true if are very good at what you do. Joe, you have an incredible ability to write interesting blog posts and have had the determination and persistence to make this work. I give you full credit. But a word of warning to other people. Just like being successful as a self-publisher, not everyone can do it. In fact, only a very small percentage will be successful at blogging or self-publishing. (I could go into this in greater debt but a lot of people wouldn’t like to hear the truth.)

    You ask, “Did you have a good July?” Yes, my revenues were around $23,000 Canadian (approx $18,400 US). My pretax profit margin (after subtracting expenses) is usually around 75 percent of my revenues so my pretax profits were around $17,250 Canadian or $13,000 US. I am not sure how much money I spent during the month because I never keep track. But I am pretty confident that after allowing for income tax, I still saved at least $5,000 Canadian. The highlight of my expenditures was booking a trip to London, England next May during which I will visit Prague for 3 days. This International Business Class trip (which is actually First Class) was booked on Aeroplan miles but it still cost around $1,200 ($6,500 without Aeroplan miles). I also booked an apartment in Prague close to the Old Town Square which will cost $645 for three nights and I will be booking a suite at the Chelsea Harbor Hotel in London which will cost around $900 for three nights. I also booked a flight to Honolulu for one week for early February, because as I tell my friends, “Winter is just around the corner.” Indeed, I already have the snow tires placed on my newer car (to tell the truth, I never take them off, because I am too lazy).

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:06 am

      I think you’re right about blogging. Not many people can be successful at it. The key is persistence. If you keep writing, you’ll improve and hopefully traffic will come. It’s worth a shot.

      Congratulations on your July. It sounds like you’re doing very well this year. Enjoy your trips! I heard Prague is amazing. We might go to Hawaii in a few months also. Mrs. RB40 might have a business trip and we’ll join her if it works out.

  • Lazy Man and Money July 31, 2017, 2:32 am

    You are making me look very bad publishing these monthly reports so early. The month isn’t even over ;-). It usually takes me a week for the rent and mortgage checks to clear. Then it takes me another few days to put the article together usually because there’s some life event going on.

    I like the idea of not benchmarking net worth to anything. As you get older, it becomes mostly appreciating assets that you can’t control. Essentially, you are betting on markets beating other markets.

    Instead, maybe set a goal of cashflowing $40,000 (or whatever the reasonable number is).

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:07 am

      I just want to get it out of the way. 🙂 It’d be a week into it if I wait until next Monday.
      Yeah, bench-marking doesn’t really tell us much. VFORX is amazing this year.

  • Apathy Ends July 31, 2017, 4:06 am

    I was just looking through year to date earnings on our 401k statements, 10.2 and 12.2% through the end of June. Crazy year so far!

    Glad to see your online income is staying strong, has to feel good to smash that goal in particular

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:08 am

      Wow, that’s great! 2017 is turning out to be great for investors. Yeap, beating the online income goal felt great. Last year was tough because I worked on the blog a lot, but didn’t focus on the income side. This year is more balanced.

  • Justin | An Intentional Lifestyle July 31, 2017, 4:06 am

    July has been an incredibly busy month for us as well. Lots of family activities, work training, and starting our blog. Hopefully things will settle down in August. Things are good on the financial front too. We are chugging away at increasing our investment accounts and roof fund. Seems like it’s taking forever but we will get a new roof sometime in the next 6-12 months. Not looking forward to shelling out the money but it will be nice to have that taken care of.

    Congrats on the blog income in July! Looks like the effort you’ve put in for 2017 has really paid off big time. Did you do anything very different to increase your income or make some minor tweaks?

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:13 am

      Keep at it. Saving money isn’t fun, but it’s better than putting the repair on a credit card.
      Blog income – I focused more on affiliate links and added a link in almost every post this year. It’s a bit annoying, but that’s what we need to generate income.

      • Justin | An Intentional Lifestyle July 31, 2017, 11:02 am

        I had a suspicion it was affiliate income. Personally, I don’t mind a few links here and there. Kind of makes me think a site is more professional if it has ads and a few affiliate links. That’s just me though.

  • Mrs. Adventure Rich July 31, 2017, 4:18 am

    Nice! We just rolled over Mr. Adventure Rich’s 403(b) to a Vanguard IRA (it was with TIAA CREF) and are very happy to be now situated with low cost index funds 🙂

    We had a very busy but fun July exploring our new home town in the summer glory (read: lots of beach days) and are looking forward to family visiting in August. Cheers!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:14 am

      You can’t go wrong with Vanguard. Most of our retirement accounts are with them. Beach.. hmmm… I love the beach.

  • Mr. Freaky Frugal July 31, 2017, 5:08 am

    Wow, that’s very impressive income from your blog!

    But I’m curious – why do you think your site needs a redesign?

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:15 am

      It feels a bit dated. I’d like a new logo and banner. Also, it’d be nice to organize the site better. I’d probably need Mrs. RB40 to help with that.

  • Mrs. Groovy July 31, 2017, 5:36 am

    Great month and great year so far, Joe! You gotta cherish the summer time with your family especially while your son is sweet enough to still want your company! Even if that entails going over budget.

    We could no longer justify paying $1600 month in mortgage and HOA when we left NY. But it’s a tough call if you love where you live…Mr. Groovy’s new idea for our next housing venture is a Quonset Hut Home. Gotta love a man who thinks outside the box (more like a octagon sometimes).

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:17 am

      I’d love to move to a more affordable location too. Probably have to wait until our kid is done with high school, though.
      Quonset hut sounds interesting! It looks hot, though.

  • Darren July 31, 2017, 5:44 am

    It’d be interesting to see your online income exceed the 6-figure mark by next year, Joe. I think you could do it.

    You have an unassuming but very interesting way of writing. It helps to already be doing what others want (ER) I suppose.

    I want to keep our spending in check but it’s tough when your spouse isn’t even remotely frugal. I will figure this out one day.

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:17 am

      I seriously doubt it, but you never know. Thanks for the compliment.
      Mrs. RB40 is getting less frugal as she gets older. That’s not the right direction… 🙂

  • Jason July 31, 2017, 5:47 am

    Congrats on being on track to accomplish so many of your goals! I’m curious if you have assessed why you are missing you Net Worth > VORFX goal. Is it that your asset allocation is more conservative by design or is there another factor?

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:20 am

      VFORX did extremely well because the international stock had a great year so far. The S&P 500 did really well too.
      Our net worth includes bonds and properties. Those are dragging us down. I haven’t updated our property prices yet. Our dividend portfolio also didn’t as well as the S&P 500 this year. Many stocks went down this year. Target, Walmart, etc..

      • Preston Hunt August 3, 2017, 8:46 pm

        VFORX also has bonds although only 14% of the portfolio which is less than your allocation. There is value in measuring your portfolio’s performance against a benchmark (you could remove the real estate holdings before doing the calculation). If it ends up that the DIY portfolio fails to outperform VFORX year after year, then why not just save all the work and go with VFORX?

  • [email protected] July 31, 2017, 6:09 am

    I wish our July looked as good financially as yours! We are spending money like crazy updating our house and renovating another house. It’s a little stressful to swipe that credit card so many times in a week when you are not really much of a spender (and you just retired and have no paychecks coming in!) BUT we know we have to spend money to make money in the end too. I was wondering if your fitness center has any kind of child care? Our YMCA has a two-hour free child care option for kids (and they love it!) It is great for parents to keep up a fitness routine in the summer too. Can’t wait to hear about your trip to see the eclipse too!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:21 am

      Good luck with the repair. I hope you can sell your rental. Life will be much simpler.
      There is a gym with childcare, but not enough parking. That doesn’t work for me. I’ll just pick it up in the fall. I needed the rest anyway because I hurt my elbows.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher July 31, 2017, 6:34 am

    Sounds like you’re doing well! Bah, don’t worry about the Pinterest thing. Sometimes you have to strategically abandon things that aren’t working for you. Ugh, I recently did a site redesign and I forgot how ANNOYING it is. Not sure if it helps, but I paid $80 for a Divi theme with Elegant Themes. It’s not too shabby and it was decently easy to throw together myself (I can’t afford a programmer). Good luck!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:22 am

      Thanks! I like your site. It looks great. Modern and clean.

  • Derek @ MoneybyDad July 31, 2017, 7:14 am

    Another awesome month! I can totally relate on Pinterest. So far i’m seeing some growth from my modest amount of work and I can see how it can be a huge traffic source down the road but I really really don’t enjoy it. Haha.

    Hope you all are able to stay cool this week. Not going to be quite as enjoyable as normal for our summers up here.

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:23 am

      I just saw the weather forecast. That’s hot for the PNW. We’ll probably spend a lot of time at the pool and the library. 🙂

  • Dads Dollars Debts July 31, 2017, 7:23 am

    You are killing it! Well done and way to stay accountable with this update.

    As for pinterest, I am trying it again. I tried 8 months ago and gave up. Now it is round 2. I will let you know if I succeed but your site is doing fine without it. So keep up the good work, keep working out, and enjoy the travels.

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:23 am

      Good luck with Pinterest. I’ll let Mrs. RB40 deals with it when she’s ready to tackle it. 🙂

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai July 31, 2017, 7:39 am

    Congrats on making more online than Mrs. RB40 took home! Gotta get excited!

    Quick question though, as a SAHD, would you have liked it the Mrs. also stayed at home as well? I’m finding it difficult as it is for both of us to be SAH parents, alternating every 1-6 hours 24hrs a day.

    How did you do it in the first year or three years? Were you the one waking up in the middle of the night to bottle feed and stuff?

    Every day I’m pretty darn tired.

    Thanks for the insights!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:26 am

      Thanks! She actually makes more money, but she has a ton of deductions. Taxes, insurance, etc…
      Yes, it would be better if she is retired, but it’s working fine for us now.
      When we first had a baby, we both worked full time so we took turn during the night. I think I was up more often, though.
      Yeah, less sleep is a big adjustment. Every parents feel that way. You just have to take a nap during the day to catch up.
      You probably feel it even more because you didn’t sleep much to begin with. Have fun being a dad!

  • Adam and Jane July 31, 2017, 8:16 am

    You are do so well with your online income! $44.6K can be generated from 1.15M of principle invested with 4% tax free munis or a lot more principle is needed with a taxable investment. WELL DONE!

    I agree with your wife on healthcare. I can’t trust our govt to provide affordable healthcare. As a result, I need to work another 2.2 years to retire at 55 for the company sponsored medical for retirees.

    Adam

    • Sam @ Financial Samurai July 31, 2017, 10:10 am

      When my wife left work in 2014, we both started paying $700 each a month in healthcare. So it’s definitely not cheap, but with your income and assets, it’s definitely affordable!

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:27 am

      Health care is a huge issue especially with the current government. It’s a mess. Hopefully, it’ll be more solid before she retires.

  • Mr. ATM July 31, 2017, 8:33 am

    Healthcare cost is also what’s keeping my wife from retirement, so we can get insurance through her employer. She loves her job, so that’s a good thing. Who knows what will happen with Obama Care and the great replacement that GOP has been promising for the past several years. People who think they don’t need health insurance, wait till you get sick or need an expensive procedure. Healthcare cost can bankrupt anyone if you don’t have an insurance or can’t get one because of pre-existing conditions.

    BTW, great job as usual with your monthly update and online income. I really haven’t looked into making any money from my blog, maybe because I hate banner ads :). Though I understand they are a necessary evil.

    Investing remains my favorite method to make money in retirement and I handle it like a business, though wish there was a way to deduct investing cost from taxes.

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly, Retire Early July 31, 2017, 9:47 am

    I take it you decided against DIY sidewalk repair. Since it’s a public walkway, it might not have been the best place to first practice your concrete skills 🙂

    It might be interesting to do a “can Mrs. RB40 retire early?” using your blog income from last year to see if you’d still come out ahead, since you said this has been an exceptionally good year for blogging income for you.

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 10:30 am

      I filled the hole myself. It was pretty easy.
      I just need to keep it moist for another day or so. The sidewalk is still in a bad shape and probably need to be totally replaced, but maybe I can patch it up until we sell it. 🙂
      Last year, we needed about $6,000 to fill the gap. That’s not too bad.

  • Al July 31, 2017, 10:31 am

    Excellent. Our Net worth has only gone up 6.2% this year so you are doing great and in the right track.

  • mary w July 31, 2017, 11:40 am

    You’ll know Mrs. RB40 is serious about retiring when she stops buying work clothes. I stopped about 2 years before I retired knowing that what I had would last and be fine for 2 years.

    • retirebyforty July 31, 2017, 9:21 pm

      I’ll make sure she sees this. 🙂

  • SMM July 31, 2017, 12:45 pm

    Great month and thanks for the insight! I hope you have fun in Cancun, we went a few years ago and it was awesome! Highly recommend a massage on the beach.

  • Buy, Hold Long July 31, 2017, 8:07 pm

    Fantastic work, you’re really kicking goals. Great to see, keep up the excellent work!

  • Done by Forty July 31, 2017, 11:50 pm

    Man, you are so organized with your goals. I’m impressed, Joe.

    My fitness has taken a backseat to work these days. Typical American office worker, I guess. But there’s a lot of 2017 left. Time to get active…

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2017, 11:43 am

      You need to put fitness into your schedule.
      I’m having a lot of trouble in the summer too. Fitness will be back on schedule in the fall. 🙂

  • Turning Point Money August 1, 2017, 12:44 pm

    Congrats on exceeding many of your goals. Fitness is definitely a focus for the rest of the year. Working in a cubicle really starts grinding your body down. My goal is 10,000 steps a day. Now that I am home, chasing around two little kids helps me get there no problem.

    • retirebyforty August 2, 2017, 11:44 am

      10,000 steps a day is a lot. Good luck!

  • Dividend Diplomats August 1, 2017, 6:46 pm

    RB40 –

    Great financial performance, obviously, all around. Have you adjusted your eating with the unstructured days not allowing an easy way to work out, to not have that big of an impact?

    Further – $978 in dividend income in an “off” month is amazing. I think this goes to show how evenly spread your dividends truly are. Pretty cool if you ask me.

    Thanks for sharing RB40, talk soon.

    -Lanny

  • Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash August 2, 2017, 4:22 pm

    Fitness, it’s one of those things a ton of us are struggling with, myself included. And I should be embarrassed because I’m a personal trainer. Looks like you’re doing great Joe. And personally, I like your website design. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes people go overboard on making it feel more modern because it ends up being a bit too flashy. And it loses its “comfortable-ness.” Again, could be just me. I like simple, basic, and clean layouts. I think you can really hit some highs with your online income at the rate you’re going. Congrats!!

  • Josh @ Biglaw Investor August 6, 2017, 3:59 am

    Great job, Joe. Nice to see your efforts paying off in terms of increasing the site’s income. That seems like one of the best things about blogging. There’s a definite connection between effort and reward.

    It’s exciting to think that Mrs. RB40 could retire in 2017! I’m sure every day longer she works and every day she comes home to see you pursuing other interests is another day that the early retired life is tempting to her. Looking forward to seeing what you guys do here.

  • Live Off Dividends August 6, 2017, 12:16 pm

    Great job Joe! You’re killing it this year. You’re online income is hugely impressive. I hope to see your positive streak continue!

  • GYM August 7, 2017, 5:39 pm

    Wow you’re doing fantastic! Your online income is astounding! Your dividend income is fantastic too!

    In the United States, is there a tax advantaged accounts for children? In Canada we have RESP accounts (registered education savings plan) to encourage saving for post secondary education.

    • retirebyforty August 7, 2017, 9:28 pm

      Yes, there are various education accounts. We use the 529 college saving plan. We can deduct state taxes, but not federal taxes with this plan.

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