Wow, can you believe 2012 is almost over? Now that I’m a bit older, I’m much more conscious of the passage of time. 2012 flew by very quickly and it was a tumultuous year for me. I finally retired from my corporate job after exactly 16 years to the day (7/22/96 to 7/21/12.) Earlier this year, a reminder to quit popped up on my Outlook appointment. I actually set the quit (and get a new job) date to 2009, but I delayed it in outlook for 3 years because the economy was so bad. Anyway, it all worked out and I’m very happy to be out on my own. Every year is flying by and there is no point going to a job I don’t like every day if I don’t have to. Anyway, that was my big goal for 2012 and I accomplished it. See how I did with the rest of my goals after a brief interlude with Baby RB40.
Baby RB40’s goals
Baby RB40 blew through every goal we set for him. He is 22 months old now and he can run, jump, and climb everywhere. He is building his vocabulary every day and he just learned how to say giraffe, baby, and work recently. He is a pretty good eater and his favorite dishes are Mapo Tofu and Nam Prik Ong. He even ate a salmon fish taco last week. He doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwich though, what a silly guy. We’ll see what 2013 brings, but we are very happy with his progress. We’re not tiger parents and he can develop at his own speed.
- Rental Income: The goal was to average $700/month in rental income. The last quarter was very rough on our rental income. We painted the 4plex and had some expensive repair and maintenance issues. With all the problems, we are turning slightly negative for the year as far as cash flow goes. Once we count the tax deductions, we should come out slightly ahead. This goal was a little too ambitious for 2012 because we had several big repairs on the 4 plex. Next year should be much better because there aren’t any big repairs scheduled. I’m really just hoping for one big repair per year. Grade: Fail.
- Online Income: average $1,000/month in Q4 2012. We averaged over $1,000 per month in 2012! My online business is turning out to be a viable source of retirement income and I’ll keep working to improve the revenue in 2013. Grade: Pass.
- Dividend & Interest: average $500/month in Q4 2012. The dividend portfolio averages over $500/month in Q4. I’m almost done with converting our taxable account to dividend stocks. The dividend income should continue to increase because I’m reinvesting the income into more dividend stocks. It would be really nice to eventually see $1,000/month in dividend income. Grade: Pass.
- Monthly positive cash flow: $500/month. In 2012, we have about $1,000/month left after all is said and done. We’ll need to keep it up in 2013. Grade: Pass.
- P2P income: $100/month by the December 2012. We invested $10,000 at Prosper and the loans have been generating a little over $100/month. Next year, I’m planning to open a Roth IRA at Lending Club and invest $5,000 there. P2P lending is quite lucrative and I’m making around 13% ROI. If this holds up over the long term, I’ll probably keep increasing my investments. Grade: Pass.
2012 Learnings: I’ve been concentrating on making the cash flow work in 2012 and that’s why there are so many $xxx/month goals. In 2013, I’ll avoid these and make more solid yearly goals like maxing out Roth IRA. Another learning experience is from the rentals; I’m glad we kept a big stash of cash so we didn’t have to sell stocks to pay for the repairs. I think 2013 will be better, but we’ll see.
- Change job. Done! I quit my engineering career and became a stay at home dad/blogger. It’s been 6 months and we are doing OK so far. 2013 will be a full year of retirement and we should be able to see if I can stay away from a corporate job forever. Grade: Pass.
- Stay healthy by eating well and keeping active. The transition to staying at home didn’t work out well for this goal. I’m not eating as healthy and I’m less active even with running after baby RB40. It’s a lot more difficult now that it’s cold and wet. We couldn’t go out as much so I barely got any exercise at all. I’ll keep this one on the list, but I don’t know how to solve this problem right now. Grade: Fail.
- Join Toastmasters. I will probably have to wait until Baby RB40 goes off to school before I can do this. Grade: Fail.
- Pursue other side ventures. Being a stay at home dad blogger takes up every minute of my time. I’m keeping in touch with one of my college buddies, but we don’t have any good ideas right now. He wants to open a dive shop in Belize. I’m thinking about going along and setting up some kind of small business too. Grade: Fail for now.
2012 Learnings: It’s hard to keep a routine after a big change like retiring. I used to go work out 4-5 times per week during lunch break and I can’t do that now that I’m a stay at home dad. Health is very important to me so I need to figure something out for 2013. I think this is a short term problem though because Baby RB40 should let me exercise more when he’s a bit older. Right now he just needs attention all the time.
- Retire By 40. I’m still able to consistently post 3 times per week after I became a stay at home dad. The traffic seems to have plateaued though. I’ll have to work harder and smarter in 2013 to keep growing. Overall, I’m pretty happy with our progress this year. Next year, I’ll set more concrete goals. Perhaps 100,000 pageviews/month by the end of 2013? Grade: Pass.
- Develop a few more sites. I started two more sites and hired writers to help out. I can’t write for more than one site. I’ll focus on the backend on those sites and we’ll see if the investment pans out. These new sites are just starting out and are a little rough around the edges. Check them out at Midlife Finance and Ready To Quit My Job! We should start making a little income from these sites in 2013. Grade: Pass.
- Attend one blogging conference. I attended the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference in Denver and had an awesome time. Now that I know what to expect, I should be more prepared next time. Grade: Pass.
2012 Learnings: Set more concrete goals in 2013. Don’t hesitate to hire some help if I need it.
2012 is Done!
I think I did pretty well in 2012. I accomplished my big goal of retiring and that made 2012 awesome. I failed 4 goals and some of those were big ones. We need to turn the rental income around in 2013 and if we can’t do that, we’ll probably have to think about cashing out. I really need to exercise more in 2013 as well. I feel much better overall since I left my job because I’m not stressed out all the time, but feelings could be deceptive. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and we’ll see what l the ab results indicate.
Well, I hope you enjoyed following my journey in 2012. Next year, I’m going to aim for more Fails. Yeap, I need to set the bars higher in 2013. We learn the most from our failures and I can’t be complacent yet. I’ll turn 40 next year so it will be another big year for me. I don’t think I’m going to have a midlife crisis, but you never know… So stay tuned. 🙂
What about you? Have you tallied up your accomplishments this year? How did you do in 2012?
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.