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2013 New Year’s Resolutions – Fall Update

by retirebyforty on September 30, 2013 · 40 comments

in goals and milestones

2013 is flying by and now it’s down to the wire! How are your New Year’s Resolutions doing? Summer was so busy for everyone and now it’s time to buckle down and finish up those resolutions before the holidays arrive.

I had way too many goals this year. Next year I’ll concentrate on just a few big goals. Having too many goals aren’t good because I can’t keep track them all. Life is just too busy. At least now I have a better idea of what to concentrate on for the rest of the year.

RB40 Jr.

Our goal for 2013 is for him to make a friend. He is learning to socialize with other kids and we are very happy with his progress. I was hoping he’ll be able to start preschool too, but that didn’t work out. He just wasn’t ready yet and we’ll hold off until next year.

Setting goals for RB40 Jr. isn’t very useful. Kids just change too fast at this age and a year is such a long time for him. I think I’ll just let him go at his own speed. No more goals for RB40 Jr. next year.

2013 Financial Goals

  • Contribute $11,000 to Roth IRA – Done in Q1.
  • Increase Mrs. RB40’s 401(k) contribution to $17,500 – Done in Q1.
  • Contribute $10,000 to Baby RB40’s 529. Done in Q2.
  • Generate $18,000 of passive income. We are not going to meet this goal in 2013 because we only made about $7,000 so far. I’ll need to recalibrate this for 2014. Maybe $10,000 to $12,000 is a more realistic goal. Fail.
  • Generate $18,000 online. Done in Q3.
  • Stretch Goal – contribute $5,000 to a solo 401(k). WIP. I talked to Vanguard and got the forms. I just need to sit down and fill them out. I think I’ll send in about $20,000 for 2013.
  • Put together a will. I kept putting this off. I know it’s terrible, but it’ll probably be put off until 2014… WIP.
  • Buy life insurance – WIP. I got some quotes and had blood drawn. Now, I’m waiting to hear back from a couple of places. The price seems really high, so I might have to work on my triglycerides first and then apply again later.

new year's resolutions Fall update

Personal goals

  1. Take a trip. Done. We went to visit Santa Barbara and the Bay Area this year.
  2. Avoid a midlife crisis! I’m turning 40 soon and I really don’t want to have any kind of meltdown. Doing well here so far. WIP.
  3.  Enjoy being a stay at home dad. We are doing pretty well here. RB40 Jr. can still be a handful sometime, but I think I’m adjusting to it. He is starting to listen a bit more, so that’s progress. WIP.
  4. Come up with a sustainable exercise program and do it. Fail! I haven’t been able to keep up with my exercise program. I think I’ll have to join a gym next year.
  5. Go to a convention. Done. I went to World Domination Summit and it was great. It was such an inspiring experience that I got a ticket for Mrs. RB40 next year.
  6. Join Toastmasters. Fail! I think I’m going to give up on this goal. I’m just not enthused about it. Maybe when RB40 Jr. is in school full time.
  7. Go camping at the beach in the summer. Done! We went to Cape Lookout. It was a lot of fun and RB40 Jr. had a blast.
  8. Go for a short hike in the Columbia George. Done! We went to see the waterfalls a couple of times over the summer.
  9. Get a Zoo membership. Pass. We have been to the zoo 3 times this year. There are free days and discount days so we don’t really need to get a membership at this time.
  10. Go to 10 local festivals in 2013. Pass. We went to a bunch of festivals this summer, but I don’t think we hit 10. This goal doesn’t really need to be here.
  11. Picnic at an Oregon winery. Done. We went wine tasting a couple of times this year.
  12. Go to 10 free musical/tourist destinations/theatrical performances. Pass. We went to a bunch of free events this year. It’s probably around 10, but I lost count because there were so many. Not a big deal.
  13. Have a drink with blogger friends in Oregon and California. Done! I met up with bloggers and readers in Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco so far. I’ll see a bunch of people at WDS next weekend too.
  14.  Try a new beer – Done! I guess this was a freebie. I tried a bunch new beers this year.
  15. 2013 No Spend Challenge: Clothing. I got a new pair of tennis shoes from the Adidas employee store (50% off!) They’re still in the box and I’m saving them for when my shoes are worn out. I think I can give that a pass, right? :) WIP.

Blog Goals

My main goal for 2013 is to hit 100,000 page views per month at some point. We are very close, but I don’t know if we can do it this year. September was our best month so far at about 95,000 page views. October will be our best chance because during the holidays, traffic drops off quite a bit. We’ll see in a month if we get lucky somehow. Thank you for reading Retire By 40!

Down to the wire

Like I said, it’s down to the wire. At least now I know what to work on and what to ignore. I’ll get my solo 401(k) contributed to and follow up with the life insurance agents. Once that’s done, I might work on our will. I’m not going to stress out much about the rest of the list.

Anyway, having a written list of goals is extremely useful. It gave me a chance to follow up on them and refocus every quarter. If I didn’t have this list and a blog, I probably would have forgotten many of these New Year’s resolutions by now. That’s one of the reasons why maintaining a blog is great for self motivation.

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

photo credit: flickr Coconino National Forest

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane Savers @ Solving The Money Puzzle September 30, 2013 at 4:03 am

You could cost your wife and son a lot of money and give you wife extra headaches at a terrible time if you don’t get your will and life insurance in order. I hope you have at least legally determined who will get RB40 jr in case something terrible happens.

If this post was about me it would be called Fail Update instead of Fall Update. I have not had a very successful year.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:23 am

Actually, they would be OK even without life insurance. They’d get social security and they’ll have my retirement saving. We really need to get our will done though.

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Holly@ClubThrifty September 30, 2013 at 6:02 am

I didn’t really make any resolutions this year. However, I hoped to quit my job and write full-time. I definitely hit that goal!

My husband just started a new job and we’re moving next month so right now I’m just trying to stay current on everything in my life. My current goal is to not go crazy! =)

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

That’s great! Congratulation. I hope your husband’s job work out better than the sales job. Good luck.

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Insourcelife September 30, 2013 at 6:49 am

One financial resolution that we made was aggressively paying down our mortgage until it’s gone. So far we’ve made over $30,000 in additional principal-only payments in 2013, so I’d say we are doing well in that area. Our 2014 and 2015 resolutions will probably be to continue doing the same! It’s amazing how much work it takes to get back to zero debt that we had when we were 18. Of course back then we also had zero wealth, but still!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

Great job! We are paying down our debt a bit, but not too aggressively. I’m not in a huge hurry. :)

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Justin @ RootofGood September 30, 2013 at 7:02 am

Wow, you are ambitious! My list would have something like “get better at video games” and “verify I still have the lowest cost investments”. ;)

It is great to see you have a variety of financial and personal goals. And even RB40 Jr had a goal (he’ll make friends eventually).

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

I like video games too, but it just takes too much time. Maybe when our kid is out of the house in 15 years…

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Justin @ RootofGood October 1, 2013 at 5:24 pm

What’s retirement for if not video games? ;) I know what you mean though. With a kid (or 3) running around, there is always something to do and video games get bumped from the priority list.

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Pretired Nick September 30, 2013 at 7:26 am

The will wasn’t that hard to put together once I got going. The only thing you really need to do is make a list of any signficant things you own and decide where you want them to go. In your case that should be pretty straightforward. We just used LegalZoom and knocked it out in an afternoon.
I didn’t really formalize my goals this year. I had a few things I wanted to accomplish, much of which is left undone. Maybe next year I’ll itemize things better. I don’t find action goals (work out every day) as motivating as achievement goals (lose 5 lbs).
Great job on your traffic. There are well-known publications that would die for that much traffic!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks for the tips. I’ll try to get it done by the end of the year. I like LegalZoom too.

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SavvyFinancialLatina September 30, 2013 at 7:34 am

Congrats on passing all your goals!
We have already completed most of our financial goals for this year. All we have left is to max out our IRAs, which I will do at the end of the year. I find financial goals easier because you have to do x to get to y. Some of my personal goals are a little fuzzier, and there’s no concrete way to pass them.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:29 am

Yeah, the personal goals are tough. It’s good to have them written down though.

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Andrew@LivingRichCheaply September 30, 2013 at 7:39 am

Just read about RB40 Jr.’s preschool week…sorry to hear about it. I stayed home with Baby LRC Thursday and Friday, he was okay but had a meltdown because my wife has been nursing him and he now refuses the bottle. He slaps it away or chokes on the bottle. It was pretty stressful. He’s with my parents today…hopefully he learns to take the bottle. And the other thing is that he needs to be constantly held…can’t get anything done! Oh boy. Well…your goals look pretty good otherwise!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

Enjoy Baby LRC for now. Pretty soon he’ll give you a lot of lips. :)

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Michelle September 30, 2013 at 8:43 am

Sounds like you are doing great with your goals. Good job with the blog views, you’re almost at 100,000!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:30 am

September is better than I thought. I just need an extra day! Oh well…

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dojo September 30, 2013 at 10:07 am

I’m close to getting my financial goals for this year and also met 2 more in my personal life (got married and am pregnant). So 2013 looks OK so far :)

Good luck with your remaining goals, you’re on the right track

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I hope in that order. :) Great job and good luck to you too!

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wallet engineer #1 September 30, 2013 at 10:25 am

As far as your exercise goal the only way I exercise regularly is by doing something I love – rock climbing. RB40 Jr. would be welcome where I climb, too. Perhaps there is something similar in your area!

Also, well done on your page view goal – you’re quality content keeps us coming back!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Thanks for the tips. I’ll see if I can find something in my neighborhood.

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Wilson September 30, 2013 at 11:15 am

I did make a similar list of goals at the start of the year but haven’t really looked at them since. They’re on some scraps of paper somewhere in my cluttered desk drawer. Thanks for reminding me to dust them off while I still have some time this year to hit them. I definitely need to make a few more deposits into the 529. I think next year I’m going to stop adding into the Coverdell ESA and redirect that to the 529.

Good luck finishing out the year! We were just talking this past weekend about taking the kid beach camping in Fla next week. My wife was concerned it might be too soon for a not yet 3 year old, but sounds as if it went well for you guys.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

That’s why you need a blog! :)
I always lost my scrap of paper too.
Enjoy your camping weekend.
We had a great time with our 2 year old. He just ran around until he get exhausted and had a great time.

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Kurt @ Money Counselor September 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

My New Year’s Resolution was to avoid new contact with medical people, except socially. So far, so good!

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Good luck with the rest of the year. That’s a great resolution.

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Bryce @ Save and Conquer September 30, 2013 at 11:46 am

Wow, lots of resolutions/goals. Congrats for the ones you completed.

You should not put off a will until next year, though. Both you and your wife should have wills. You can do it for free using the forms that my post, Create a Will at No Cost. You should also each have advanced health care directives. Each document takes less than 30 minutes to complete. Most of the time is spent reading the forms. I would think the peace of mind is worth a couple hours of your time. Please get some term life insurance, as well. Even if you just get a few hundred thousand coverage, that’s much better than nothing.

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moneystepper September 30, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Get that life insurance & will sorted man!! If not for the secure future of your wife and child, it means you can easily tick stuff off your goals! :)

Good luck on reaching 100k.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I’m on it. :)

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krantcents September 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Time for a check up! I would say the results are mixed.

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Thirtysomething September 30, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Wow… Are you saying you saved $17.5k (401k) + $11k (IRA) in 3 months? If yes, I need a face punch. I thought we were doing ok, but now I’m thinking I should think less and save more. Time to ratchet the savings up another notch (or 5) and scale back on the leisure travel.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm

We transferred 11k in our personal account to the Roth IRA. As for the 401(k), we just increase the monthly contribution to make it 17.5k by the end of the year. Sorry I wasn’t more clear. :)

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Lance @ Money Life and More September 30, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Joe! Go get the will done! It isn’t expensive and you can make it pretty simple if you want.

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Tushar @ Everything Finance September 30, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Good luck with your traffic goal – I’m here so that’s one (two, actually) extra pageview toward your goal! You may not have met all of the goals that you were wanting to go for, but you still did quite well. Sometimes things don’t work out exactly how we expect.

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retirebyforty September 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Thanks Tushar.

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[email protected] September 30, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Joe,
Do you have a living revocable trust with a health directive? That’s really important to have.

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retirebyforty October 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm

No, I don’t have a revocable trust. Our assets are co-mingled and my wife can have everything when I go. I’ll probably take a look at it more when we have a lot more money.

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Bryan @ The Fast Letter October 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Good work Joe. You’re chugging along and knocking off those goals. I am with you on your insurance goals, I’ve been putting them off too long also. Kudos on the blog count….you’re obviously doing something right to keep us coming back :o) I’m curious how you are feeling holding so much Intel stock, given the move we’ve seen.

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retirebyforty October 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm

Thanks! I’m comfortable right now with Intel. They are paying good dividend and I’d have to pay a ton of tax when I sell. I’ll probably sell some when it goes up a bit.

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Kasey October 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm

I was told by my company that the max a person ould contribute to a 401k and IRA is $17,500 a year combined between the two. I assume the $11000 IRA you funded is $5,500 for each of you. How is your wife putting in an additional $17,500 for her 401K then?

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retirebyforty October 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Roth IRA is not the same as traditional IRA.
You can contribute an extra $5,500 to a Roth IRA even after maxing out $17,500 on your 401k and traditional IRA.
You can double check with your company’s retirement guy.

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