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2017 Goals and Financial Wrap Up


2017 Financial Wrap UpHappy New Year! Let’s bid a fond adieu to 2017 and welcome 2018 with open arms. 2017 was an incredible year for investors and we were fortunate enough to ride along. Now, I’m ready for 2018. The economy seems to be holding up well and most investors are optimistic so we might be in for another great year! Is this irrational exuberance? I don’t think we’re there yet because the economy is doing well, but a couple more years like 2017 and the stock market will reach the Dot Com bubble territory. Anyway, we’ll stay invested, but I plan increase our bond allocation a bit this year. Nobody knows what’s going to happen with the stock market.

At home

On the personal front, we had a mostly uneventful year. RB40Jr settled into his school routine and he is behaving better in 1st grade. The big issue this year was that we found out he has hearing impairment in his left ear. We got him a hearing aid, but it doesn’t seem to help that much. Anyway, we’re dealing with it and life goes on. As long as his right ear is working well, I think he will do okay at school. They brought in an FM system so hopefully that will help.

Mrs. RB40 transitioned into a new role at work and she did very well. I’m also holding steady as a stay-at-home-dad/blogger. Nothing really new to report there. I’m pretty happy with where I am so I’ll probably hold steady for 4-5 years.

Oh, I almost forgot. My mom stayed with us for most of 2017 and she is starting to need more help. She is relatively healthy for an older female (70), but she still has quite a few doctor appointments. Her mental faculty is also starting to decline. She functions well when she sticks to her routine, but she can’t really handle anything new. Last year, her doctor prescribe some new pills and it caused a big problem for all of us. I don’t want to get into it too much, but now I know what it feels like to be part of the sandwich generation. Anyway, we’ll just have to adjust to the new reality and accept that she isn’t young anymore.

Personal finance

As for personal finance, 2017 was very good for us. Our income was higher than normal and our expense was low. That’s a great combination and we were able to invest more than usual. Our net worth grew 15% which was the best we’ve done in a long time. We also didn’t have any huge unexpected expenses last year so that was a huge win for us. Okay, let’s go over my 2017 goals first and then I’ll share the details of our net worth and cash flow.

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2017 Goals

Whew, I had too many goals last year. I accomplished most of them, but had a few failures. The good thing is that I learn a lesson from those mistakes. I need to schedule my goals in the first half of the year. Life got busier in the summer because RB40Jr was out of school. In Q4, we had vacation and holidays so it was tough to get anything done.

Alright, let’s wrap up the 2017 goals. Check out my goal tracking spreadsheet and then read in detail below.

2017 Goals Spreadsheet

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account – I’ve had this goal for years and we accomplished the mission again. In 2017, we saved $61,050 in our tax advantaged accounts. That’s really awesome. It always feels great to finish this one. I might not keep this goal in 2018 because it is automatic now.
  2. Dividend Income $11,500 – I just added a new Passive Income page. It is right on the top menu. You can see our passive income anytime and I’ll update it monthly. In 2017, we received $12,601 in dividends. That’s perfect and we just need to maintain it.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. For 2017, our FI ratio is 109%! That’s awesome. We’re doing much better than expected here. Our rental duplex did well last year and it gave a big boost to our passive income total.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX– Our net worth gained 15% in 2017. That’s huge. I was hoping for 10% gain so 15% is way better. However, it is 2% behind our benchmark. The VFORX (Vanguard’s 2040 fund.) I’m not going to worry about it too much because 15% already exceeded all expectation. You can read more detail in the net worth section below.
  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 $64,942. That more than doubled the whole 2016 blog income. You can see the detail in the Blog Income page under passive income. Thank you everyone. I’m very grateful for your support.
  2. Redesign Retire by 40 – I gave up on this one. It’s too much work. I’ll try to do a minor update in 2018 instead of a redesign. Alternatively, I could just hire it out.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits– I gave up on this one too. I haven’t been able to grow our Pinterest traffic. It’s just not my thing. Pinterest is not fun for me at all.

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness – December was a very slow month for fitness. RB40Jr is out of school for the winter break and I skipped the gym during that time. It was also cold and rainy so I didn’t go out much. That’s okay; I’ll get back to it in January. All in all, 2017 was not a great year for fitness. I walked about 7,096 steps per day which is barely more than my goal of 7,000 steps per day. The winter months really brought the average down.
  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.
  3. Join Toastmasters – I planned to join Toastmasters in November after we came back from our Cancun vacation, but it didn’t work out. There were too many things to do. I’m moving this one to 2018 and I’ll get it done early. Putting this one off was a mistake.
  4. RB40Jr’s after school programs – In the fall, RB40Jr was on a soccer team. We really needed to get him out of the house because he’d get too much screen time if he stays at home. Soccer is a great activity, but he doesn’t follow directions very well. Hopefully, he’ll get better at some point.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse – We saw the eclipse from Newport Beach, OR. It was totally awesome.
  2. National Park – We visited Fort Vancouver National Monument over spring break. That’ll be it this year…
  3. International Trip – We visited Cancun and had a great time.

Net Worth (+15% in 2017)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we made every year. 2017 was an outstanding year for us. Our net worth gained 15% which is huge. In dollars, we gained almost $350,000 and now our net worth is $2,644,628. That increase is mind boggling considering I don’t even work full time. Our net worth never gained this much in one year even when I made over $200,000 in 2012. Investing really is the key to building wealth.

For 2018, we’ll keep investing, but I want to move some money into bonds. The valuation will be sky high if the stock market keeps going like this. Here is our current asset allocation, not counting physical properties.

  • US stocks: 33%
  • International stocks: 35%
  • Bonds: 22%
  • Alternatives: 8%
  • Cash: 2%

I’d like to increase our bond allocation to 30% before the next stock market crash.

Check out the graph of our net worth from the beginning of 2017, from Personal Capital. It is somewhat distorted because of Zillow. They pumped up the estimates of our properties earlier this year and then dropped since September. I haven’t changed my personal spreadsheet yet. Valuing real estate is always tough. If we don’t include real estate, then the graph would rise steadily throughout 2017.

2017 net worth

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

2017 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was great in 2017. All our income streams came together and created our best year since I retired in 2012. We also kept our expense low which enabled us to invest more. Everything worked out almost perfectly. Let’s go over the details.

Annual Take Home Income (target > $60,000)

My target for our take home income target is $5,000 per month which is $60,000 per year. We nearly doubled that target and brought in $113,419 last year. It was a great year on all fronts. Mrs. RB40 made good income from her job. Our rental duplex was occupied the whole year and there were no big repairs. My online income was the best since I started blogging. Dividend income was also good. Like I said, it was an awesome year.

2017 cash flow

Mrs. RB40’s paycheck: $71,748. This is after tax, insurance, and other deductions. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise in 2017 and she is bringing home 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 very well for us.

Rental income: $10,973. It was a great year at our rental duplex. There were no big repairs and it was fully occupied for the whole year. Next year, we may need to paint the exterior so the income will probably be down.

Online Income: $64,942. My online income was great in 2017. I spend 20-30 hours per week on this blog so this isn’t exactly passive. I think it is still pretty darn good, though. Here is how I generated online income last year.

  • Banner ads: $23,549. These are the banner ads you see on Retire by 40. This category exceeded expectation because I hoped to make about $1,500/month.
  • Affiliates: $43,836. 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.
  • Private ads: $2,671. Occasionally, we worked with a company to advertise their products. I rarely do this anymore and this will be close to zero next year.
  • Expenses: -$4,778. Business equipment, internet, hosting, email service, CDN, cell phone, etc…

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. You can see my tutorial here – How to Start A Blog and Why You Should. Check it out if you’re thinking about blogging. 

Dividend income: $12,601. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $204.


Misc: $2,114.

Pre-tax savings: -$50,050. We both maxed out our 401k accounts. I also contributed $4,660 to our kid’s 529 College Savings fund. RB40 LLC also contributed $9,500 extra to my 401k.

Annual Expense (target < $54,000)

Our monthly expense target is $4,500 per month so that’s $54,000 per year. This year we came under budget at $49,131. That’s great! I checked against 2016 and we spent less money in these categories – kid (no more preschool), health care, entertainment, and travel. I suspect 2017 was a lull year so our expense will probably creep back up next year. Anyway, I’ll bask in the glow of moderate expense for now.

Housing: $27,587. This includes the mortgage, HOA, and property tax. Housing was more than half of our annual expense. We may have to move to a cheaper location to reduce this expense.

Cash Allowance: $300. Wow, we didn’t use cash much this year. We put almost everything on credit and debit card. I may have missed some withdrawals.

Groceries: $5,603. Our grocery spending was pretty good. We spent less than $500/month on average. It was about the same as 2016.

Transportation: $613. This is for parking, maintenance, and gasoline. I drove about 5,000 miles last year. It was a low miles year for us.

Pet: $88.

Kid: $2,888. This includes summer camps, lessons, soccer, school supplies, cloth, gifts, etc…

Bills: $2,906. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $940. This doesn’t include health insurance premiums because that’s deducted right out of Mrs. RB40’s paycheck. This is the cost of prescriptions, deductibles, glasses, and dental care.

Entertainment: $1,218. Gym membership, eating out, going to see shows, etc…

Travel: $4,282. We visited Hawaii, Cancun, California, and a few local destinations.

Clothing: $1,961.

Misc: $746.

New cash flow graph

Here is the Sankey graph for our 2017 cash flow. Let me know if you like this graph. I’m trying to decide if I should use this instead of the usual cash flow spreadsheet above. If you’re interested, you can try making your own Sankey graph here.

Retire by 40 cash flow from 2017

2017 Extra Savings: $64,288

2017 was a good year and we had some extra money to invest. What did I do with the extra money?

  • I stashed $30,000 in VNQI. This fund will be cashed out when Mrs. RB40 retires.
  • invested $28,000 with Realty Shares. This is working well so far and I’m planning to ramp it up much more next year.
  • The rest is in our savings account for now. Higher online income also means we’ll pay more taxes next April, at least $5,000 extra. I didn’t send in estimated tax because I didn’t have to pay in previous years. There should be no penalty in this case.

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 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early with no problem! 

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $42,590 in 2017. My online income was higher than usual so this challenge was easy. Let’s see if we can repeat it again in 2018. However, my wife isn’t quite ready to retire yet so she is still sticking around at her job.

2017 wrap up

Whew, what a year. I really didn’t think it would turn out this well. I thought the market was overpriced in 2016 so I was somewhat hesitant to invest more. Luckily, I stuck to the plan and kept investing. Our income was great and our expense was lower than normal. Everything just came together in 2017. It was our best year in a long time and I’m going to miss it.

Hopefully, 2018 will be just as good, but I seriously doubt it. I’d be ecstatic if our net worth gains 10% this year.

Did you have a good year in 2017? Do you think 2018 will be better or worse financially? Happy New Year and good luck with 2018!

The following two tabs change content below.
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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{ 68 comments… add one }
  • Joe January 2, 2018, 1:28 am

    You should account for health insurance in determining if Mrs RB40 can retire. It’s by far our biggest expense. Your income level even without her income is probably too high to qualify for subsidies.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 7:27 am

      You’re right. I checked recently and I think $10,000/year would cover it. We’ll see.
      I need to go through healthcare.gov again.

  • Team CF January 2, 2018, 1:43 am

    Sweet year! Think you guys can be proud of yourselves.
    Best of luck in 2018 and we wish you well with your mom, that must be one of the toughest things for this year.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:38 am

      It really sucks to get old. I knew it was coming, but I was hoping it would be later. We’ll just have to deal with it somehow.

  • Ms99to1percent January 2, 2018, 2:13 am

    Looks like it was a very productive year. Keep up the good work!

    I love the sankey graph, you should join the chain happening over in the RSF forums.

  • David @iretiredyoung January 2, 2018, 2:54 am

    What an awesome year you’ve had Joe – Congratulations. Hopefully 2018 will be good to you too, I have a suspicion it will be.

    Love the Sankey chart by the way. Would be awful if I borrowed the idea for my blog?

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:39 am

      Thanks! I added a link to the Sankey tool. It turned out better than I thought. It was pretty easy to make since I already have my spreadsheet.

  • Accidental FIRE January 2, 2018, 3:07 am

    Wow Joe, you’re killing it with the blog. That’s a real nice income from doing something you like!

    Good luck with the fitness blog and happy 2018!

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:40 am

      Thanks! I still enjoy blogging so I’ll keep at it while I can. Eventually, I’ll get tired of it and probably cut back. Hopefully, that will be way off in the future. Fitness blog is just for keeping track of fitness. I’m not going to stress out too much about it. 🙂
      Good luck in 2018.

  • Chris Urbaniak @ deliberatechange.ca January 2, 2018, 3:09 am

    Well done, Joe, on your progress last year! I love the openness and sharing of so many details.

    “That increase is mind boggling considering I don’t even work full time. … Investing really is the key to building wealth.”

    We’re starting to see that in our life, too, as the stock market growth explosion in Q3/4 resulted in a few months of our investments earning more than our paid work, for the first time ever. Obviously that market growth is not sustainable, but what a great feeling!

    Oh, and I like the Sankey graph 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:41 am

      Last year was crazy on the stock market. I hope it will be good in 2018 too, but who knows. We’ll just have to prepare for all outcomes. Thanks for the feedback. I’ll add the Sankey graph to my regular updates.

  • [email protected] January 2, 2018, 3:52 am

    You saved $64K this year without your highest potential income. That’s incredible. Well done Joe. Hope 2018 is just as prosperous for you.
    I had a great 2017 as well including starting my blog. I’m planning to update my spreadsheet later today for a final tally.
    Happy New Year.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:42 am

      Thanks! I hope 2018 will be good too.
      Great job with your blog. Keep at it. It usually takes one to two years to really get traction. Good luck in 2018!

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify January 2, 2018, 4:15 am

    Hi Joe, I like the Sankey diagram. For some reason my brain doesn’t grasp charts very well, but that one is easy to follow. Very prudent asset allocation. I’m even a bit more conservative than you. Great 2017. Congrats. Tom

  • Turning Point Money January 2, 2018, 4:47 am

    Sorry about your mom. Watching parents age is difficult. My mom had a major medical issue in early 2017 she is still recovering from and now takes many pills every day.

    Congrats on the 15%! Thats a great number.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:43 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom as well. It’s tough when roles reverse like that. Now we’re the caretaker instead of the other way around. Good luck in 2018!

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance January 2, 2018, 5:49 am

    Congrats on a successful year! It’s great that you kept your expenses below $50,000 despite having solid cash flow every month. And I didn’t know you made $10,000 of blog income in your second year of blogging. WOW!

    I read that Passive Income MD is also pulling out of P2P lending too. I wonder if other PF bloggers will do the same. We’ll see in 2018 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:44 am

      Thanks! I think we did very well with our expenses last year. Let’s hope we can keep it up this year.
      Blogging was a bit easier in 2010. There were only a few early retirement blogs. 🙂

  • MissSaraBee January 2, 2018, 5:58 am

    For saying you made too many goals, you sure conquered the majority of them! Achieving all but a couple goals out of an extremely ambitious list is something to be very proud of. Great job with keeping yourself accountable!

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:45 am

      Thanks! I appreciate the encouragement. I’m pretty happy with how I did. It would have been better to accomplish everything on the list, but it was too hard at the end.

  • Tom @ DIY FI January 2, 2018, 6:14 am

    Congratulations on a great year! What do you attribute the increased blog income to? Increased traffic or did you change your ad/affiliate strategy?

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:46 am

      I added more affiliate links and ads. I had more time to focus on monetizing in 2017. In previous years, I was too busy with being a SAHD.

  • Budget on a Stick January 2, 2018, 6:26 am

    Wow what a year! We did really well last year too. I haven’t figured out how much of that was due to market gains so I can compare it closer to 2016.

    I’m hoping for the progress to continue into 2018 since we have a lot of aggressive goals. If the market does tumble (like everyone is waiting for) I’m hoping we will be able to take advantage of it.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:47 am

      I hope 2018 will be good as well. I think the market can run up a bit more. Trump wants to pump it up to the max. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, we’ll be done with reallocation to bonds before the next tumble. It might be a 2-3 years off. You never know with the stock market.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher January 2, 2018, 6:38 am

    Congrats on a great year! I’m sorry to hear about your mom; that can’t be easy for her or for you either. I’m sending positive vibes. 🙂

    2017 was a good year, personally and financially. We decimated $25k in student loans and finished the first round of renovations on our home (round 2 will happen after the rest of the loans are paid off). On the personal front, I’ve found healthy ways to deal with my anxiety/depression and have been feeling better. I’ve been trying to prioritize exercise and healthy eating. I’m not perfect, but I make steps in the right direction every day, and that’s what it’s all about. 🙂

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:50 am

      Mental decline is really tough on everyone. I hope it doesn’t get much worse this year. We just need it to stabilize.
      Congratulation on paying down your student loans. $25k is big. Good job with anxiety/depression as well. I had depression in the past and it’s tough to get out of it. Good luck in 2018!

  • Mrs. Groovy January 2, 2018, 6:43 am

    What a great year you had! Wishing you continued success in 2018. I’m very impressed with all categories, especially fun. That’s not easy to pull off when you’ve added family responsibility to the mix. Your mom is very fortunate to have you and Mrs. RB40.

    We had roughly a 17% market return, even with our very conservative 35/65 ratio. But that’s because our lithium stock soared. Otherwise it would have been around 9%. We’ll continue to keep ourselves guarded from risk this year, but I might sway Mr. G to go 40/60.

    I think the market will continue to rise in 2018, but not as 2017. I’d say 10% for the S&P.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 8:51 am

      Thanks! Hopefully, we’ll have some fun this year too. 🙂
      Great job on your returns. 17% is big. Good luck in 2018!

  • DocG January 2, 2018, 8:55 am

    Wow. What a great year. My daughter has no hearing at all in one ear. It has minimally affected her (she’s 10). Look forward to more of your great posts in 2018.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:38 pm

      Thanks for letting me know. He seems to do okay without hearing aid too. We’ll keep working with audiologist and hearing specialists. They really push the hearing aid, but it just doesn’t seem to help much.

  • Jen Syee January 2, 2018, 9:16 am

    This is really good and I’m glad you guys had such an awesome year! What does Mrs. RB40 do that makes her such good money?

  • ChasingSolidReturns January 2, 2018, 9:32 am

    Congratulations! +15% is a great number and would put anyone into retirement if consistent. Dividends of $11,500 and online income of $36,000 is a great feat. Keep up the good work in 2018. Make your interest returns compound!!

  • Lily | The Frugal Gene January 2, 2018, 9:50 am

    Talk about frugal living!! Look at that Sankey and how small the bands are for non saving related expenses! Mrs RB40 is a high earner too! Total power couple package! Glad to hear Jr is doing better hearing aid or not.

    I worry about the declining health of my parents as well. It’s a very real issue that should scare most people. We went home for Christmas and there was family talk of having to declare an aunt “incompetent” but no one wanted to explain to me what that meant exactly.

    Still very much would like to be in your shoes one day Joe! 😀

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

      Thanks! We really aren’t that frugal compare to other bloggers. Quite a few people spend less than half of what we spent. It’s pretty crazy. The west cost is expensive.
      Sorry to hear about your aunt. I think incompetent basically means she can’t make decisions for herself. My mom is getting there. Every decision is another round of endless discussion. It’s no fun.

  • Mr Defined Sight January 2, 2018, 10:23 am

    Fantastic summary. My wife recently joined Toastmasters a few months ago and she loves it! Every time she attends, she brings home good for me haha. Hopefully you will have a similar experience with it.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:41 pm

      Mrs. RB40 has been in Toastmasters for years. She is taking a little time off from it, though. I think they will really help with my speaking skills and socializing in general. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Chris @ Duke of Dollars January 2, 2018, 10:57 am

    Overall an awesome year – let’s get 2018 started!!

  • Retiring On My Terms January 2, 2018, 10:58 am

    Congratulations on a great year and best of luck with your mom. It sounds like you have built yourself a great life both personally and professionally!

    We had a good year financially in 2017, highlighted by paying off our mortgage. Getting rid of that large monthly expense should provide a great boost to our savings rate in the coming years as we get closer to financial independence and early retirement. Like you, I am increasingly wary of the stock market, but plan to transition to other asset classes, including bonds, slowly, as stocks could continue climbing higher even though valuations seem rich.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:42 pm

      Thanks! Great job of getting rid of the mortgage. That’s a huge accomplishment. I don’t think we’ll get there anytime soon.
      Good luck in 2018!

  • Jason January 2, 2018, 11:14 am

    Congratulations on the continued upward swing in things. Hope 2018 is just as good, if not better!

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 2, 2018, 11:49 am

    Banner year, Joe, congrats all around. May you have many more 🙂

    I spent quite a few years as Mom’s secondary caretaker, and it was an enormous burden as her dementia set in because I was too young and inexperienced to manage the financial AND emotional effects. I truly dread dealing with Dad’s decline when it happens.

    Looking at your NW increase, it occurs to me that the higher our NW gets the harder it is to gain double digit percentages year on year, so 10-15% is pretty good after all.

    I’m still finetuning our goals for 2018.

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:44 pm

      Thank you! Dementia is tough on the caretakers. It is very frustrating for everyone. My dad is still doing well. I don’t think he’ll have that problem. His family doesn’t have that history. They had physical problems first… That’s not good either.
      Yeah, it’s tough to hit double digit. I would have been happy with 10%. That’s already a great year. We’ll see where we go from here.

  • Friendly Russian January 2, 2018, 12:00 pm

    I’m pretty sure that people have pointed out that you should consider the cost of health insurance. In our area, for a family of 4, it’d be around $1,500/month

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:45 pm

      I’ll do that for the next report. I think it’s around $800/month for a family of 3 here.

  • Tony January 2, 2018, 12:40 pm

    Hello Joe,

    Amazing job in 2017!

    So is the full Zestimate for all your real estate baked into your $2.7M net worth?

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 12:49 pm

      No, I haven’t updated the real estate because Zestimate for our properties are all over the place. I kept the real estate value the same as last year. Once we sell, we should see the net worth jump (I hope…) Thanks!

  • Tawcan January 2, 2018, 3:20 pm

    Amazing stuff Joe & family. You guys had a great year and that passive income is looking great!

  • Michael @ Financially Alert January 2, 2018, 4:59 pm

    Happy New Year, Joe!

    Nice to see you hit a lot of your goals and even exceeded your online income goal by a wide margin. Your numbers are solid and no doubt you are excited for 2018. 🙂

    Our 2017 was fantastic NW wise, and terrible cash flow wise. Time to flip around cash flow in 2018.

  • Buy, Hold Long January 2, 2018, 7:23 pm

    That is fantastic, you have absolutely smashed it this year, well done to you!

  • Ryan January 2, 2018, 8:06 pm

    I think you should be ok tax wise as long as your total with-holding is equal to how much your tax was last year. In any event, you shouldn’t have to pay too much on your online income since you funnel so much into your business IRA right? Disclaimer, not and accountant so any statements made should not be relied on.:-)

    • retirebyforty January 2, 2018, 9:59 pm

      I’m pretty sure you’re right. I’ve had years like this before and I didn’t have to penalty, just a little interest.
      Yes on the retirement fund. I put $23,000 into my i401(k) and can probably put about $5,000 more. That’s a big chunk of the income.

  • Mr. Tako January 2, 2018, 10:30 pm

    Looks like you had a great year Joe! This market is really something isn’t it?

    I’m about ready to hit publish on our annual net worth post and we saw similar huge increases in our net worth (18.4% or 570k). Far more than I could ever earn in a job.

    It just boggles the mind.

  • Caroline January 3, 2018, 5:18 am

    Congrats on another great year Joe! $2.6M in net worth, nice!
    To another great year:)

  • Helen January 3, 2018, 7:41 am

    Congratulations! You had a great year in 2017. Job well done. For the market in 2018, somehow I feel there might be some correction this year. Who knows. Have a fantastic 2018!

  • Lazy Man and Money January 3, 2018, 11:37 am

    It seems a little odd to say that you might have to move due to the expense giving all the numbers. The mortgage will be paid off at some point and you are still saving a lot of money with a huge net worth.

    To each their own I guess, but it doesn’t seem to be a dire need ;-).

    • retirebyforty January 4, 2018, 8:58 am

      That’s how I feel every winter when it’s rainy and cold. You’re right, though. We’re doing pretty well and don’t really need to move.

      • Lazy Man and Money January 4, 2018, 10:52 am

        Well on the bright side, at least you don’t have a foot of snow in blizzard like I do right now ;-). I’m off to do some more shoveling.

  • Mr. [email protected] Cents January 3, 2018, 4:54 pm

    Awesome year RB40! You really killed it on the blog income! Hope you have a great 2018 as well!

  • FrugalUrbanFarmGirl January 3, 2018, 6:40 pm

    Great post! Your 2017 net worth increase was great and I wish you a successful 2018, as well! Our 2017 was about the same increase on net worth so this makes me feel good for comparable. I’m new to the PF blog community as hubs and I have just been doing all this (FIRE prep) on our own for so many years and now that I am considering SAHM status am looking for some comparables to reference. Just made a comment on your old post from previous year–Why Engineers Should Plan For Early Retirement…this is how I found you!! I’m looking forward to really digging into your blog more and I am happy to see the support and encouragement of your RB40 community. The like-mindedness of the FIREs and the RB40 community is so motivating to me!

    • retirebyforty January 4, 2018, 9:21 am

      That’s great! Good luck with planning. It sounds like you’re doing well financially so you probably can do it in a few years if you really want to.

  • Financial Samurai January 3, 2018, 8:42 pm

    Congrats on a dream 2017!

    I’m impressed with your frugality despite your huge net worth. What do you think is driving you guys to be so frugal and conservative? You guys literally have like 45 years of living expenses as your net worth!


    • retirebyforty January 4, 2018, 9:22 am

      I think it’s mostly growing up relatively poor. I prefer saving than spending money. We’ll probably relax more once we’re 55 or so. I’d like to spend more on travel.

  • Al January 3, 2018, 10:20 pm

    Passive income, $52K on retirement not including home or rental real estate equities. Net Worth, 9.7% up with a 50 /50 allocation.

  • Shawn January 11, 2018, 5:41 pm

    I came to your site for person finance advice but was surprised to know that your son has hearing impairment in his left ear. I am 30+ old and was born with the same hearing impairment. I never used hearing aid and the hearing impairment really does not affect vast majority of daily tasks. At times I felt embarrassed when someone sat on my left side and talked directly into my left ear but that’s about it. I am sure it will not slow down your son. Good luck!

    • retirebyforty January 12, 2018, 8:29 am

      Thank you for your comment. That’s very reassuring. The healthcare people push the hearing aid so hard. It’s good to know that you can function without it. Thank you.

  • Sam January 28, 2018, 12:05 pm

    on the net worth what percentage of that is housing?

    • retirebyforty January 28, 2018, 3:00 pm

      Very little. Our primary residence is about 5% of our net worth.

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