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2013 New Year’s Resolution – Spring Progress Check


Hooray, It’s Spring!

I am so happy that winter is coming to a close. We had a mild winter in the Pacific Northwest this year, but I am still very glad that warmer weather is on the way. The year is almost 1/4 over. Time really flies and it’s time to check on my 2013 New Year’s resolutions and see if I’m making any progress. Here we go.

new year's resolutions progress

Baby RB40

Our goal for 2013 is for him to make a friend. Unfortunately, we are not making much progress here. He plays with other kids when we go to the playground and to story time, but he doesn’t have a close friend that he plays with regularly. This is the hard part about being a stay at home dad. It’s hard to connect with moms and set up play dates. We’ll keep trying.

Financial Goals

  • Contribute $11,000 to Roth IRA – Done! I sold off some stocks last year and earmarked $11,000 for our Roth IRA.
  • Increase Mrs. RB40’s 401(k) contribution to $17,500 – Done! This didn’t impact our cash flow much because she maxed out last year and only needed to increase $500.
  • Contribute $10,000 to Baby RB40’s 529. The stock market seems frothy to me so I’m going to wait a bit.
  • Generate $18,000 of passive income. WIP, but this is not looking good. The rentals and peer to peer lending are not generating much income for us so far this year.
  • Generate $18,000 online. This one is on track.
  • Stretch Goal – contribute $5,000 to a solo 401(k). Put off until later this year.
  • Put together a will. No progress.
  • Buy life insurance – WIP. I got a quote, but haven’t followed up on it yet.

Personal goals

  1. Take a trip. Summer.
  2. Avoid a midlife crisis! I’ll turn 40 next year and I really don’t want to have any kind of melt down. Holding steady here. I don’t have an itch to buy a new sports car or anything like that.
  3.  Enjoy being a stay at home dad. Wow, this one is hard with a 2 year old. Baby RB40 can be so unreasonable sometimes. Lately he has been waking up at 2 am crying to change into a different pair pants. At that hour, the last thing you want to hear is, “Green pants, green pants!” sob*.
  4. Come up with a sustainable exercise program and do it. I came up with a program, but the weather turned a bit colder this week so we haven’t gone out much. We’ll see if I can keep it up.
  5. Go to a convention. I signed up for the 2013 World Domination Summit. This should be a lot of fun.
  6. Join Toastmasters. Not looking good. I just don’t have any spare time.
  7. Go camping at the beach in the summer.
  8. Go for a short hike in the Columbia George.
  9. Get a Zoo membership. I’m rethinking this one. I found out we have a discount on Tuesdays, so we might just take advantage of that instead.
  10. Go to 10 local festivals in 2013. No festivals yet. 🙁  Have to wait until summer.
  11. Picnic at an Oregon winery.
  12. Go to 10 free musical/tourist destinations/theatrical performances. Let’s not miss the Symphony at the Waterfront this year. We’ve been to the Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, Oregon History Museum, and the Children’s Museum. Not bad so far.
  13. Have a drink with blogger friends in Oregon and California. Doing well here.
  14.  Try a new beer – Done! I guess this was a freebie. I tried about 5 new beers already and I still have 9 months left.
  15. 2013 No Spend Challenge: Clothing. Doing well here so far.

Blog Goals

My main goal for 2013 is to hit 100,000 page views per month at some point. This is very slow going. Our growth rate is much slower now in our 3rd year. At this rate, we might hit 100,000 page views around the end of the year. We’ll see.

Slow going so far

Well, it looks like we didn’t get much accomplished so far in 2013. I only see three items checked off. I’m not too worried though because many of these are going to take the whole year to do. Some things will have to wait until summer.  I think I’ll concentrate on keeping up the SAHD exercise program and getting life insurance over the next few months.

What about you? Did you make any New Year’s resolutions in 2013? How are you doing so far? 

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

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

Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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{ 38 comments… add one }
  • My Financial Independence Journey March 22, 2013, 2:20 am

    Just keep pushing on your goals. Not every month will be solid stepwise progress. In aggregate, I think that you’re making good progress towards your goals.

    I think I actually cried when Google announced that they were killing off reader. I need to find a Google reader alternative – preferably something that is accessible at home, at work, and on my phone.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:22 pm

      Feedly seems OK. I tried it and it’s not as convenient as Google Reader, but I guess it will do.

  • Money Beagle March 22, 2013, 5:17 am

    That’s a lot of goals, but it sounds like you’re making great progress. Even if every one doesn’t get met, that’ll be OK, because chances are your priorities will change during the course of the year, plus you’ll have completed many more than most.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:23 pm

      It’s hard to keep focus as the year goes by. I’ll keep working on them though.

  • Greg March 22, 2013, 5:58 am

    Looks like a pretty good list. Since one of my goals is to expand my real estate investment, I am curious why the rentals aren’t generating for you? Unforeseen expenses?

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:23 pm

      We had a lot of repairs in 2012. This year is looking a little better, but we’ll know by the end of the year.

  • Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle March 22, 2013, 6:26 am

    Perhaps a nursery school 2 mornings per week seeing the same faces every time would help the little one make a friend. I know it is a cost but good socialization skills are priceless.

    My goal is to average 150 readers per day for some future month in 2013. This is more a wish than a goal because I am not sure how to get there although I have been reading that longer posts may increase my readership.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:24 pm

      I need to find an affordable preschool in our area. 2 days/week would be perfect.
      Good luck with your blog goal! I’m sure you can do it.

  • Dennis Willett March 22, 2013, 6:56 am

    I have your blog on the “read” list after finding it recently. However, it seems a little less like “Retire by 40” and a little more like “Work for Yourself by 40”.

    Anyway, I’d like to hear more about your rental experience. I owned a property and rented it, but only briefly long ago. I keep deciding not to get in to that business but are always evaluating.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:25 pm

      You got me. It’s more like work part time for yourself by 40. 🙂
      I’m planning on a rental article in about 10 days or so. Stay tune…

  • John S @ Frugal Rules March 22, 2013, 9:43 am

    I think overall you’re doing a very good job with your goals. We did not have m any this year other than to further expand our business and be able to start throwing money in SEP’s for us and things are really looking good so far.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:26 pm

      How is your business going? I haven’t seen an article about that recently.

  • krantcents March 22, 2013, 11:03 am

    I decide to commit more to my writing this year. Higher quality, longer and more interesting. I think I have changed and my stats improved, but not as much as I thought. I keep comparing it to last year which was great until Google made a change. I think it was around now, so I will see the difference soon.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:26 pm

      Growth has been slow since summer last year. I guess Google is to blame, but who knows…. Good luck!

  • SavvyFinancialLatina March 22, 2013, 11:43 am

    You are doing pretty well. Thanks for keeping parenting real. I noticed the only thing stay at home parents talk about their kids is the “good times.” Especially on facebook. ;p

    I went to Toastmaster’s this year. I made it part of my development plan this year, so I have to attend regularly. 🙂 I need to improve my public speaking.

    • retirebyforty March 22, 2013, 3:27 pm

      It’s mostly fun, but it can be frustrating sometime too. The little guy is so stubborn and he doesn’t know how to communicate well yet. He just resort to crying whenever he doesn’t get what he want.
      Great job with Toastmaster. I need to improve my speaking period.

  • [email protected] March 22, 2013, 12:55 pm

    Great goals – best of luck with them all! Great post and insight, as always.

  • Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey March 22, 2013, 4:25 pm

    for 2013, we are aiming for a new car, new house, and zero debt. So far, we have achieved two of them. We are now looking for the house that is big enough for our growing family. We hope to find one this summer so that we can move in before the next school year starts.

  • Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey March 22, 2013, 4:28 pm

    for 2013, we are aiming for a new car, new house, and zero debt. So far, we have achieved two of them. We are now looking for the house that is big enough for our growing family. We hope to find one before summer is over so that we can move in before the next school year starts.

    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 10:54 am

      Good luck! Are you paying cash for the new house? 🙂 Hope you find the perfect one soon.

  • Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin March 22, 2013, 5:06 pm

    Definitely a lot of goals, I noticed you are sharing a goal that I am currently pursuing, fitness. I recently listened to a podcast by Pat Flynn with the guys from Hybrid Athlete, you should check them out. Good stuff.

    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 10:55 am

      OK, thanks for the tips. I’m not really interested in hard core workouts. I just want to firm up just a little. 🙂

  • Silly Lily March 22, 2013, 5:39 pm

    Didn’t know you guys are looking at Life Insurance… hubby just got his this year from Metlife, maybe you can look into it. I’ve been with Metlife for 17 years.

    Yes, summer, summer, come on down! We’re trying our first family camping at the end of June. Don’t know how it will turn out. :0

    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 10:55 am

      I had life insurance when I was with my old employer so now I don’t have anything. I don’t think we need a lot of insurance. Maybe 250k. I’ll have to sit down and calculate it.

  • nicoleandmaggie March 22, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Put together a will.
    Buy life insurance.

    These are so important! The life insurance is so easy– they will send someone to your house to fill out the paperwork for you. Yes, you can try to optimize by shopping around tons of different companies, but if doing that means you’re going to put it off and never actually get the insurance, then just call up your current insurance companies and ask what their life insurance policies are (and if you get a bundle discount). (Btw, we use Liberty Mutual.)

    Re: the will, your wife can ask a colleague for a recommendation for a lawyer, or you can ask other parents. It’s incredibly important, even if it’s just to say who will take care of Baby40 if both of you die in a car crash. (Ours cost ~$500, but they will change it for us for free for the rest of the time we use them so long as we stay married with the joint will.)

    Honest, these things are easier than you think they are going to be. You just have to *do* them. So do them!

    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 10:56 am

      Got it. Thanks for the push. I will get at least one of those done in Spring.

  • Tushar @ Everything Finance March 23, 2013, 9:22 am

    You may not have made some of your goals, but it’s great that you have goals and that you are planning for your future (and your child’s future). I have also always wanted to do Toastmasters.

  • Mike March 23, 2013, 10:19 am

    The biggest thing is to stay committed towards the goals, even if they hit rough patches. Everyday can’t be a sunshine day nor can everyday be a rainy day. There will be days of both but if you can wake up looking forward to doing what you are doing, then that’s got to count for something. If worse comes to worse, I am sure you can find a part-time job or consult or something for a little extra while you get back on track. I know those ideas aren’t the greatest, but they are things to look into!

  • Mike Hunt March 23, 2013, 8:58 pm

    Hi RB40,

    My big goal this year is doing 10 single day fasts, where I only take water from getting up until dinner time. I am also turning 40 this year and my weight has been steadily creeping up to 205 lbs (I am 6’2″) from 185 lbs, which is what I weighed 7 years ago when I first moved to Asia. Throughout this time I’ve been working out 6 days a week but that didn’t seem to help hold my weight.

    Update as of end March: I’ve done 5 of the single day fasts, mostly when I have to do regional trips by plane… it’s easier not to eat that day plus skip the airline food. Breaking the fast with some apples or other fruit tastes and feels great, followed by a balanced dinner. The bonus is that I’ve reset my perception of hunger and feel full with much less food, which allows me to take foods that are more rich in protein and fat, while reducing refined carbohydrates. I’m also down to 188 lbs, and am targeting to get to under 180 lbs. I’m still as fit and physically strong in terms of strength.

    I am a big believer of fasting and using a low carbohydrate diet to put your body into ketosis and burn fat. It’s a great way to adjust your habits as you reach middle age. I’m amazed by how little the body needs to eat while still performing efficiently.


    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 11:00 am

      Great job getting down to 188 lbs. I want to try a juice or water fast too, but not right now. It’s too hard when you have a small child. My weight is ok for now. Thanks for your input.

  • First Gen American March 24, 2013, 3:08 am

    I wouldn’t stress about baby rb40’s lack of friends. My son didn’t care about that stuff til he was in 1st grade. As long as he had someone to play with, he was happy. It didn’t really matter if the kid changed from day to day. Just being at the park was good enough.

    You have LOTS of goals. I love it.

    • retirebyforty March 24, 2013, 11:02 am

      OK, thanks for your input. I guess I’ve been hearing about the Montessori thing too much lately. Seems like every moms want to get their kids socially accepted…

  • Felix Lee March 24, 2013, 9:09 am

    Those are quite a lot of specific goals. Anyway, the year end is still too far and I’m sure a lot of those goals will still be accomplished this year along with hardwork, determination and good will.

  • Multimillionaire Road March 24, 2013, 11:04 am

    I’m really impressed. How are you making $18,000 online?
    Furthermore, I recently invested in peer-to-peer lending. How do you feel about this? Is this a viable form of passive income? How do you rate it with other forms of passive income?

  • Buck Inspire March 24, 2013, 5:59 pm

    Way to check in on your goals. Looks like you’re doing alright! Who would have thought making a friend for Baby RB40 would be so difficult. I think I’ll have similar issues when Baby Buck gets older. Save your notes for me. Have you ever thought about hitting the Dad 2.0 Summit? Good luck with the rest of your goals!

  • Alice March 28, 2013, 7:13 am

    YOU have a two year old. Please get a will and health insurance ASAP! This is to protect the child AND your family unit as a whole. It takes minutes and will make their lives easier should anything happen to you (or your spouse).

    I don’t want to scare you but you never know what could happen. My friend’s uncle is in his early 40s. Unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, no previous symptoms, and they are struggling as his wife has been a stay at home mom. I’m sure this will not happen to you, but you never know.

    • retirebyforty March 29, 2013, 1:29 pm

      I’ll get on it ASAP. Thanks for the reminder. It’s a bother, but I just have to do it.

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