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May 2017 Goals and Financial Update

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May 2017 Goals and Financial UpdatesSummer is almost here! Our kid only has 2 weeks of kindergarten left and then it will be summer break. He’s really looking forward to goofing off all day at home. That means playing on the tablet, watching TV, and having LEGO wars. However, that’s not going to work. It’s not good for kids to have so much screen time. I’ll drag him out to go see free concerts, swim, hike, and do other activities around town. Also, we’ll sign him up for half day summer camp every other week. That will give me a little time to blog on Retire by 40. Anyway, we’re both looking forward to the longer days and more fun in the sun.

May was another great month for us financially. Our income was high and our spending was reasonable. We also got our tax refund! It’s great to get that little boost and we’ll put it straight into our investments. Our spending was under budget, but it will probably increase a bit over the summer. We’ll have to pay for those day camps and we have a couple of vacations lined up, too. Public school kindergarten really spoiled me. Life was so good this past 9 months. We didn’t have to pay for childcare and I had more time to myself. Summer will be fun, though.

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

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

2017 Goals

At the end of May, the year is 42% over. It’s almost time to do our half year check up. We need to keep working on our goals to make sure everything will be near that 50% mark in just one month. This is important because it’ll be really tough to catch up if you’re behind at the half way point. We’re on track for the most part so I’m pretty happy.

This is my goal tracking spreadsheet. In general, things are looking good. The only one that’s in real trouble is the Pinterest goal. All in all, it’s not too bad for the first five months of 2017.

2017 Goals spreadsheet

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account– We’re doing very well here and have saved $22,035 into our 401(k) and the 529 college fund. This one is right on track, but I need to contribute to our Roth IRAs 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 5 months of 2017, we received $4,446 in dividend. That’s a bit behind, but many funds payout more in Q4 so I think we’ll be fine here.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – This is passive income divide by expense. Currently, our FI ratio is87% for That’s ahead of our target and I’m quite happy with it. I’m optimistic that we’ll meet our goal.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX– Our net worth gained 6.8% so far in 2017. That’s really good for just 5 months. However, it is almost 2% behind our benchmark. The VFORX (2040 fund) is up 8.6%. That’s nuts! We’re behind, but I’m not going to worry about it. 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– Our online income has been incredible this year and we made $30,691 so far. That’s 86% to our goal and we already surpassed our 2016 blog income. I think we’ll be done with this one by the half way mark. 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 like. I’ll keep working on this. This one might be on ice for the summer because I won’t have much time to work on it.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits– This one is a bust for sure. I haven’t been able to grow our Pinterest traffic and I’m getting discouraged. Pinterest is not fun for me at all.

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness – May was a good month for fitness. I made it to the gym almost every weekday and I also met my goal of 7,000 steps per day. In May, I walked about 7,800 steps per day. That’s quite good for me. Also, check out my pull ups below. My goal is 15 20 consecutive pull ups and I’m almost there!

  1. 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.
  2. Join Toastmasters – This one is scheduled for the 2nd half of the year after school starts.
  3. RB40Jr’s after school programs – RB40Jr is now going to Wushu (Chinese martial art) classes and soccer practice. He doesn’t like these activities because group activities are difficult for him. He’d rather stay home and goof off, but he needs to learn to toughen up. I hope these activities will help him develop more grit.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse– I reserved a campsite at the beach and we’re set for August. I’m really looking forward to this trip.
  2. National Park– We visited Fort Vancouver National Monument over spring break. We decided to skip camping at a National Park because our summer schedule is tight.
  3. International Trip– We plan to visit Mexico in November. It should be a cheap trip because we have plenty of reward points to use on flights and accommodations. The Hyatt card mentioned earlier should help a lot. I’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. ** I just found out that Europe is very affordable his year. A flight from LAX to Rome on the Norwegian Airline is just $420 in November! That’s very cheap. We might change our plans from Mexico to Rome instead.

Net Worth (+6.8% 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 make it simple and try to beat 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 a third into 2017, we are way behind at -2%! The international sector is doing great this year. I’m going to rebalance and move some money to international equity. From what I read, US equity might not be able to beat the international stocks for the next few years.

Anyway, our net worth is up 6.8% after just 5 months. I think 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.

Here is our net worth on Personal Capital. It went up about 0.5% in May. The big movements are the 529 plan and Mrs. RB40’s accounts being transferred.

May Net Worth

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.

May 2017 Cash Flow

We had another great month financially. Our income was higher than average and our spending was good. We also received our tax refund checks so those helped our income a bit. Let’s go over the details.

Take Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income target is $5,000 and we came in above that at $10,339. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders and we just need to keep it up.

May 2017 Cash FlowMrs. RB40’s paycheck: $5,132. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise this year and she is bringing in great income. 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: $955. I fixed a burst PVC pipe myself and probably saved $200.

Online Income: $5,470. Our online income was down in May, but it is still very good. The summer slowdown must have started. 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: $2,204. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. I hope to make about $1,500/month from these ads.
  • Affiliates: $3,530. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our affiliate links, then we sometimes earn a referral fee. You can see an example from the Starting a blog post below. The summer slowdown has started and our earning is down a bit. We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes.
  • Brand promotion: $0. I’m cutting way back and probably won’t make any money in this category going forward.
  • Expenses: -$264. 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: $808. Dividend income was good in May. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $24.

Crowdfunding: $120.

  • P2P lending: $49. I’m slowing getting out of P2P lending. I just don’t think they will do well when the economy turns south.
  • Realty Shares:$71. I funded my first deal at RealtySharesearlier this year. It’s a commercial property in Arizonaa. I like RealtyShares and I’ll try to invest in another property soon.
  • KickFurther: $0. I invested about $1,300 at Kickfuther. 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. The investors own the inventory and we can vote to liquidate the inventory if the business can’t sell it. You can read more about them next week when I go overour passive income.

Misc: Our tax refund.

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

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our monthly expense target was $4,500 per month and we spent $4,102. That’s under budget so I can’t complain too much. We spent a little more than normal on our kid because school will be out soon and we need to put him in childcare occasionally.

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: $0

Groceries: $466. 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: $37. This is for gasoline and parking.

Pet: $20.

Kid: $389. This includes the RB40Jr’s Wushu lessons, summer camp, and his school’s fundraiser. He also got some new clothes and shoes.

Bills: $243. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $0. Wow, no healthcare spending this month! Nice.

Entertainment: $129. We ate out a couple of times in May. I got eclipse glasses for this summer. Mrs. RB40 got some gardening stuff. This category also includes my gym membership fee. Not too bad for a month.

Travel: $138. We paid the Alaska Airline’s annual fee. Mrs. RB40 went on a business trip.

Clothing: $143 I got a new library T-shirt for $12. Mrs. RB40 got some new clothes and shoes, too.

Misc: $253. This is mostly the county tax. I also got a new fan from Amazon for $40.

YTD Extra Savings: $30,389

May was a very good month and we saved $6,236 in addition to our tax advantaged savings. Our income exceeded our expenses by a large margin and it felt great! This is when you feel rich, when you have plenty of positive cash flow. So far in 2017, we saved $30,389 extra. This is already more than the whole 2016 so we’re doing really well this year.

Part of this extra savings will be sent to our Roth IRA later. For now, I put most of these into our brokerage account for the 1% dividend from the money market fund.

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 May 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early! We had another great month and it would be awesome if we can keep this up for the rest of the year.

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $4,995 in May! This is due to our excellent online income. 2017 is looking really good so far.

May 2017 wrap up

May 2017 was another solid month at the RB40 household. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders and our expenses were reasonable. 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.

Now, let’s go on to summer. School will be out soon and I’ll try my best to keep up with blogging. We’ll probably have a few hiccups because I won’t have as much time while our kid is home. There probably will be fewer posts about investing and more about relaxing in the summer. The site redesign will have to take a backseat for a while as well. Anyway, summer will be a ton of fun and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.

*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 May? Are you looking forward to summer?

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{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Tako June 5, 2017, 12:35 am

    Another great month Joe! That online income is impressive as always!

    Our income is a lot heavier skewed toward dividends, but I feel like we’re doing great, all things considered.

    Congrats on the nice net worth change too!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:42 am

      Thanks! I think you’re doing great too. I’m very jealous of your dividend income.

  • Ernie Zelinski June 5, 2017, 1:09 am

    I am impressed with your overall success and how you track all these elements so carefully. I am particularly impressed by your blog income. Way to go!

    Insofar as whether I had a good May, it was pretty good. In early May, I visited London, England for 6 nights, flying International Business Class (which is actually First Class) on my Aeroplan miles. About a week and a half later, I flew Business Class to Toronto for three nights to talk books with fellow authors and visit friends. As I recently posted on Facebook, “There is one thing better than flying Business Class. It’s flying Business Class with the seat beside you empty. That’s when I am most creative in coming up with great material for my new books.” Fact is, I have come up with a strategy that has resulted in my having the seat beside me empty in Business Class over 50 percent of the time on domestic flights. Particularly in May, this has led to some great material for my new books.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:44 am

      Thank you! I heard Europe is more affordable this year. That’s why I’m thinking about going to Rome. It’s a long flight, though.
      Wow, I never thought of that particular benefit of flying business class. I’m usually just too cheap and go for economy. That’s a good tip.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert June 5, 2017, 1:10 am

    I’m so impressed with your pull ups, Joe! I don’t know that I could do a 1/3 of those. 😉

    Nice numbers again. I went a little negative with cash flow this past month, but over NW ticked up again due to our portfolio and real estate holdings (though, I’m not counting a lot of the RE uptick this past month… seems to high).

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:45 am

      Thanks! Negative cash flow again? That’s not good. 🙂
      I haven’t updated our properties in my spreadsheet. It just seems hard to find the real price.

  • Mustard Seed Money June 5, 2017, 3:19 am

    I saw a nice 2% bump in my net worth in May. So I figure each month that I can have these nice bumps is going to be a win for me. It mainly came from the market rising and then shoveling money into my 401k.

    Looks like you are doing amazing with your blog especially if you’ve been able to make $30k in the first 5 months. Awesome job!!!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:45 am

      Oh wow, 2% bump! That’s really awesome. I’ve been working harder on the blog this year because my online income was pretty low last year. Time to hustle.

  • The Tepid Tamale June 5, 2017, 3:23 am

    Joe:
    I love how you track all the financial goals, and so much more! Excellent, consistent work (which is the key isn’t it?). Thanks for the inspiration! I need to define my other, non financial goals, better. However, summer is just starting, and right now so is softball. Wow, we are new to organized sports, and have mixed feelings. But, wow, the time commitment is insane. Thanks again, love the updates!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:47 am

      Our soccer practice is pretty easy at this age. We just need to be there for 90 minutes on Saturday morning. I’m sure it will get crazy when he’s older. We’ll see if he’s good at a sport. I’m not looking forward to driving all over the place for sport league, though.

  • [email protected] June 5, 2017, 3:41 am

    I think it’s great that RB40Jr. is going to go to half day summer camps every other week. There can be so much pressure for you to spend “every minute” with your child when you are home. I bet he’ll have a great time and it also introduces him to socializing in a different way than a more structured classroom. New people to take direction from, new kids to have to manage friendships with, etc. All great stuff! Amazing that if you took out Mrs.RB40’s pay that you’d still be so far ahead!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:48 am

      I agree. If he stays home all summer, he’ll have a rough adjustment when school starts up again. He needs to spend more time with other kids.

  • Al June 5, 2017, 4:05 am

    You put most of us to shame..LOL!

    We use the Vanguard 2015 originally and now the 2020 as a benchmark. Our imvestment allocation is 55 equities and 40 bonds and 5 cash not including our rentals or home. Its a balanced allocation to minimize volatility.

    We are upwards of 3% in our networth but still do it by hand. It helps me look at our allocations closer.

    During our 15 day vacation to Portugal and Spain, our investments alone grew 2%. Wow! Told Mrs Ortiz, we need more vacations.

    Something that concerns us is the increase of the value of our real estste holdings. They are becoming a larger % of our networth than investments as we pay down the mortgage and values increase. We have concluded that it will be over 50% of our networth at some point.

    Two things I will like to add. The standard retirement age in the US is 63+.
    Any time before that is early so the rules of early retirement apply whesther is 30, 40, 50, or 60 IMHO. Each age has a different horizon.

    The second addition is that at some point in the FI journey the networth is less important than the people and the experiences.

    We have observed people struggle spending money on themselves or their experiences. Is sort of a guilt for rewarding or living.

    We just completed a self guided tour of Portugal and Spain that was both adventurous and exhilarating.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:50 am

      It sounds like a great vacation, especially with the 2% growth. Nice! We’ve been to Spain, but didn’t make it down to Portugal. Mrs. RB40 got sick and we had to take it easy. Hopefully, we’ll make it down to Portugal next time.
      I’m starting to get a bit concern about our real estate holdings too. They are nearly 30% of our net worth. It will be better when we sell our condo, but that’s still a few years out.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance June 5, 2017, 4:36 am

    Wow congrats on the amazing blog income. You are such an inspiration! I haven’t monetized my blog yet and have focused primarily on growing it, so there’s a lot to learn from you!

    I was also behind on my Pinterest goal last moth. It’s such a mystery to me. I have had more success with Twitter and have enjoyed it so far. It’s great to interact with other bloggers.

    Have a great week!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:52 am

      Thank you! It’s good to focus on growth first. That’s what I did over the first few years. Once you have good traffic, it’s not hard to monetize.
      I hate Pinterest… Twitter is much better for me as well.

  • The Grounded Engineer June 5, 2017, 4:49 am

    Great job, Joe! You’re killing it on the blog income and on pull ups! How long did it take you to build up to 20 pull ups?

    Keep up the great content – I love reading your posts!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:52 am

      Thanks! I started training at the beginning of 2017. I was able to do 8 at that time. So 5 months to 19.

  • Mr. Freaky Frugal June 5, 2017, 4:55 am

    I really love the level of detail you provide! I’m particularly impressed by your Blog income. Still seems like you have lots of upside potential.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:53 am

      Actually, I feel like we’re at the upper limit of my blog income potential. Traffic isn’t growing much anymore and our income is optimized already. I doubt we could increase the online income much.

  • Apathy Ends June 5, 2017, 4:56 am

    Nice work on the pull-ups! That is awesome!

    Happy to see The online income is up this year, 5 months in and you are closing in on your yearly goal.

    Does Mrs RB40 have a passion project lined up when she retires?

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:54 am

      Thanks!
      Mrs. RB40 doesn’t have a project lined up. She is a busy body so I’m sure she’ll find something to do.

  • FromUSA June 5, 2017, 5:09 am

    Appreciate your write-up, Joe.

    >> From what I read, US equity might not be able to beat the international stocks for the next few years.

    Altogether over the last 5 years, US equity has outperformed international equity by a huge margin. And it’s not even close. Over the last year though the two is about even. I wonder if we are at the close-over point now.

    >> Banner ads: $2,204
    >> Affiliates: $3,530
    Holy smoke! You’re killing it. Perhaps you can give us tutorials/advice on how to add banner ads and affiliate links to blogs.

    >> Groceries: $466 This is good for a family of 4.
    What?! Are you guys eating ramens every meal or something. 🙂

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:56 am

      Thanks!
      I’ll work on a blog post about how to make money blogging. I use AdThrive and MyFinance for banners. Affiliate is tougher. You need to experiment to find what’s best for your readers.
      I’ll work on a post about groceries too. 🙂

      • Natalie June 6, 2017, 2:40 am

        Please share groceries and meal planning tips – very interested!

        • retirebyforty June 7, 2017, 1:43 pm

          I will work on this post. Thanks for the idea!

  • Budget on a Stick June 5, 2017, 5:21 am

    May went great. Inching closer to the 1/4 million mark. Got our baby prep done just in the? nick of time. Baby 2 decided to come early! Our summer will be spent hanging out with the new kid!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:57 am

      Great job! Keep at it. I’m sure you’ll be a millionaire soon. 🙂
      Enjoy your summer with the new baby!

  • The Green Swan June 5, 2017, 5:56 am

    Wow congrats on the blog income, your killing it! What a start to the year, looking forward to seeing how it will shape up by year end.

    We ended up deciding on keeping our 529 plans with Utah but will continue to evaluate this going forward based primarily on fees. I have a summary post today on that and why we ultimately decided to fund $40K (in a lump sum) into each kiddos plan, definitely don’t want to risk over-funding.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:58 am

      Thanks! Usually, the blog income will slowdown for the summer and then pick up in Q4. Hopefully, we can keep it up.
      I’ll drop by to see about the 529.

  • Bob Pet June 5, 2017, 6:03 am

    Hi: I know this is a bit off topic, and might have been asked before.
    When you go to negative savings (withdrawals from the IR’s), What is the best way to do it. Do you take the amount for the year all at once and place in non-volatile accounts, or periodically, like once a quarter, so that you get the benefit of the investment (if any)?

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:59 am

      I’m not sure about this one. I’d probably keep a cash buffer of about 1 year expense. Withdraw once every quarter to refill sounds like a good plan. I’ll have to do some research for this.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher June 5, 2017, 6:10 am

    Oooh, fun idea with the total eclipse!! For the site redesign, are you hiring someone to do it or are you doing it yourself?

    May was pretty good, all things considered. I started a new job and won’t get my first paycheck until June 15 (ugh), so it was a little scary to see little income coming in during May. But hey, that’s what FIRE is all about–not being reliant on a paycheck if life changes course.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:00 am

      I’m trying to do it myself, but I’m open to hiring if I can find someone good.
      Good luck with your new job!

  • Jen June 5, 2017, 7:15 am

    Wow – Great job in May! I love hearing about both your financial and non-finance progress. It is so inspirational and you are rocking the blog income! I hope to get there at some point too, but it takes time and patience. I’m also curious what Mrs. RB40 plans to do when she retires – any detailed plans like you have?

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:01 am

      Thanks! It took us a long time to achieve this level of blog income. This year is our best yet.
      Mrs. RB40 doesn’t have a solid plan, but she is a busy body. I’m sure she’ll be busy after she retires.

  • Esmeralda June 5, 2017, 7:18 am

    Progress is looking great. On the pull up front I like what I see there too. Only thing I would say is try going all way down on all the pull ups – some you stop 3/4 of way down. Also if you do,more overhand pull ups you will build more muscle and it will be easier to get to your goal – anyway you are almost there. Keep up the good work!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:02 am

      I will work on that.
      I do overhand pull ups when I train. For max, I use natural grip. It’s easier on the shoulder if you do a lot of pull ups.

  • Andrew June 5, 2017, 7:52 am

    Great that they have half day summer camp every other week. I figured most camps would require more of a commitment. This way you can have some time for yourself and junior can interact with others, but you still get to do stuff with him and save some money on camp. Does Mrs. RB40 want to start a blog too when she retires?

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:03 am

      It’s at a community center so it’s pretty flexible. I love that place. 🙂
      I’m not sure about Mrs. RB40 blogging. She’ll help here and that might be enough blogging for her.

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life June 5, 2017, 9:12 am

    Welcome to Vanguard!!

    I always find redesigning the site is so hard. I’m never *quite* satisfied with the layout I have and am always looking for better elements that I want from it.

    That income was amazing! Even taking out the once a year income like the tax refund, you did so well.

    Our May was quite good considering money was flowing right out the door with the new property. I’m taking the long view that we have the year to make up the “loss” of cash to real estate. In the meantime, we have a lot of summer plans, some travel and celebrations, and a mix of pricy / free events to enjoy, so we’ll be trying to do that along with the house renovations. Wish us luck 😉

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:16 am

      It sounds like you found a home. Congrats! Good luck with the renovations. 🙂

  • Mr. All Things Money June 5, 2017, 9:18 am

    Very impressive work!

    Pinterest is no fun. I’ve tried it and didn’t like it. It seems too cluttered and confusing to use. I like reading simply laid out blogs like yours without the annoying popups asking to signup for a newsletter or something like that.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 10:17 am

      I hate Pinterest. I don’t know why people like it. Google image does the same job.

  • Tim Kim @ TubofCash.com June 5, 2017, 10:53 am

    Joe, your online income is impressive to say the least. It’s astounding how much a blog can make. Your blog and Sam’s Financial Samurai blogs are the ones I’ve followed the longest. I’ve found some others through your recent article sharing other FIRE blog sites (like Mr Tako and ESI so thank you for sharing that list). And yeah, it always surprises me that you can make between $60-80K from blogging income. Congratulations on a good year so far!

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:37 pm

      Thanks for the compliment. This blog generate okay income. Sam is in another league altogether. I’m sure he makes $200k+ per year.

  • Freedom 40 Plan June 5, 2017, 1:50 pm

    Great job man!

    I had a good May as well, with some travel out west to see the Grand Canyon, and some quality time with the wife. (Not to mention the short break from work).

    My net worth was good too – gaining nearly 2% on the month and now up over 12% on the year.

    Fantastic news on the blog income! My little blog doesn’t really make anything. It’s good to see it is possible though. What do you find is the best way to drive traffic to your site?

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:40 pm

      12% for the year is great! Nice job.
      In the beginning, the best way is to comment on other blogs in your niche. Also, you need to get your site indexed by Google. Social media is big for some sites, but they don’t send us much traffic. Good luck!

  • Dividend Diplomats June 5, 2017, 2:19 pm

    RB40 –

    Sounds like an awesome month of May and that amount of dividend income is quite stellar for an “off” month – excited to see what June brings for you there. Also – nice job on the fitness, each day compounds, just like investing so keep that up. Further, great job on the rental income component, the bad boy is really cash flowing for you.

    Appreciate the update and talk soon!!

    -Lanny

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:41 pm

      Thanks! Everything is going quite well at the moment. The duplex is doing quite well this year.

  • Dividend Diplomats June 5, 2017, 3:15 pm

    Wow – those are some nice results. Congrats on the great progress and as always, the very detailed and transparent report about your finances. Love to see the numbers trending in the right direction.

    Also – seeing the Total Eclipse will be awesome. Good thing you already have your spot booked, I could imagine how hard that would be to secure at the last minute. How far are you going to have to travel to see it?

    Good for you for starting your own site about something you are passionate about. It is helping you hit your goals now, and the viewership will follow once people see how passionate you are about the content.

    Keep up the great work here.

    Bert

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:43 pm

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to the eclipse weekend. We’ll be camping at the beach and relax the whole time. I think it’s about 3 hours drive from Portland. I’ll have to check. The hotels and campsites have been booked out for months now. It’ll be very busy that weekend.

  • Mr. Grumby June 5, 2017, 5:00 pm

    Great job with your income and pull ups! Since I quit Crossfit a couple years ago (minor injury) I haven’t done any. Maybe I can use your video as inspiration to get off of my ass and do some pull ups.

    Our cash flow was great in May and we had our lowest expense month in 7 years; about $2300. Every dollar gets us a day closer to pulling the plug. We are struggling a bit with “one more year” syndrome, because we could quit now but we want a little more cash. So May 2018 it is for us.
    I would encourage MrsRB40 to consider jumping and t sooner rather than later. It looks like you guys can pull it off.

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:44 pm

      Yes, do some pull ups! I hurt my left elbow last week and it’s tough to do anything this week. I’ll probably take it easy for a while.
      Great job with your expense! Good luck meeting your retire by date!

  • Lazy Man and Money June 5, 2017, 5:20 pm

    Awesome report! This really motivates me to try to improve in many of the same ways.

    We have children of similar ages. I’m aiming to introduce PBS Kids Scratch Jr. to my son this week. It’s beginning “programming” for the 4-5+ crowd. While it is “screen time”, I think it’s valuable screen time.

    And if you want to limit screen time, you might want to email me about a new secret project that I’m working on 😉

    • retirebyforty June 5, 2017, 9:46 pm

      Thanks for letting me know about the app. That sounds interesting. Good luck with the secret project. 🙂

  • Buy, Hold Long June 5, 2017, 6:15 pm

    Fantastic work by you and the wife. Keep going and you will reach your goals in no time. Excellent work!

  • Savings Odyssey June 5, 2017, 6:54 pm

    Just found your website (via twitter). Really excellent stuff! My net worth is up 4.2% YTD so you’re doing very well. Love to see the breakdown of your passive income. Very inspiring! Keep up the good work!

  • Tony Miller June 5, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Just found your site through google. I enjoy these goal update posts. Your especially have a different take than others I’ve seen, like dividend and 401k plan. Thanks!

  • Financial Coach Brad June 6, 2017, 3:05 am

    Congrats on your goals progress!

    The schools here are already out. Crazy, right? I’m thankful that it has helped with the traffic levels a bit though for sure!

  • Dividend Daze June 6, 2017, 8:47 am

    Great month for you! Seems like your cash saved is right on par with how far we are into the year (about 45%). Which puts you right on pace for that goal. Being ahead in FI ratio is awesome. The passive income may be slightly down but it covers a lot of your expenses so that is the main goal anyway. Glad to see you have a few fun goals on there as well. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mrs. BITA June 6, 2017, 10:17 am

    The only thing more impressive than your blog income is the number of pull ups you can do! I have wet noodles instead of arms, so both pull ups and push ups are my nemesis. Congratulations on your most fantastic May!

    • retirebyforty June 7, 2017, 1:45 pm

      Thanks! I’m impressed with my pull ups too. 🙂
      I should have worked on it when I was in my 20s.

  • SMM June 6, 2017, 12:54 pm

    Great goals and great round up. Your form looks good. I’m trying to run 2 miles in 20 minutes by the end of the year…..actually a combo of walk and jog 🙂

    I also want to visit another state park sometime this year. They have so much to offer and usually at a very cost-effective price.

    • retirebyforty June 7, 2017, 1:46 pm

      Thanks! I think my form looks good for the most part too. There were a few that I didn’t go down far enough. I’ll work on those.
      We’re going camping at the beach in August and I’m really looking forward to it.

  • Terence June 8, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Pull-up is very impressive.
    On the take-home table, estimated tax is $0. How is it possible?

  • Rat Race Ninja June 26, 2017, 11:28 pm

    I’ve been following your site for a while. Very ambitious set of goals for 2017. Best of luck!

  • newparentinvest July 7, 2017, 1:05 pm

    Great post! I completely agree with your outlook on p2p and decided to scale down on my lendingclub account. Instead, if I do continue investing in this space it will only be through debt deals that are backed by actual assets (like realtyshares).

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