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April 2018 Goals and Financial Update

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April Goals and Financial UpdateHey everyone, how was your month of April? It flew by for us. The weather finally improved in Portland and activities picked up for us. RB40Jr started spring soccer and he enjoyed it for the most part. The soccer spring season is pretty relaxed. They play a game every week with no practices. I’m the assistant coach this season so I can help him out a bit more. We’re also practicing a bit on our own and that should improve his game. He’s not too bad, but he needs to be tenacious and go after the ball more. Some kids tend to stand back and try to strategize (or goof off.) But at this age, that doesn’t work. At this level, they just need to get in there and mix it up. Kids that go after the ball persistently are much more successful. Anyway, it’s fun coaching the soccer league. It’s not too serious at this level and most kids are having fun without a lot of pressure.

The other thing that kept me busy was helping my mom with her doctor appointments. She visited her primary care physician, got an MRI, followed up with the neurologist, and saw the dentist about a broken crown. Whew, that’s a lot of health related appointments in one month. Yeap, I’m officially a part of the sandwich generation now. Helping my mom and taking care of our son is a lot of work. It’s difficult to add any activities at this point. My mom is turning 70 in a few months so she’s not really that old. Her health is okay, but her analytical ability is in decline. She can’t decide anything on her own so I need to make many decisions for her. This is another big reason why I think retiring at 65 is a terrible idea. I know some people are still going strong and enjoying life to the fullest at 70, but I probably won’t be. My genetics aren’t that great so I’d better enjoy life while I’m young. Early retirement is the right choice for me.

On the personal finance side, we had a very good month. Our income was great and our expenses were low. Our passive income held steady and everything is rolling right along. Okay, let’s go over my 2018 Goals first and then I’ll share the details of our cash flow in April.

2018 Goals

This is my goal scheduling spreadsheet. Last year, I found that I needed to start these goals in the first half of the year. If I wait until summer, they just won’t get done. The first 4 months were slow. It’s hard to get be motivated in the winter. Hopefully, I can get myself going now that the weather is warming up. You can get a quick status update from the chart and see the details below.

2018 goal sheet

Financial Goals

  1. Increase our real estate crowdfunding investment to $100,000. We’re doing well with this goal and now have $38,000 invested. I’m looking to invest more, but I haven’t found the right project to invest in yet.
  2. FI ratio > 100%. FI ratio is passive income divide by expense. So far, our FI ratio is 64for 2018. This is slowly improving and I think we’ll do pretty well by the end of the year. Our expense was higher than usual in Q1 because we paid for our summer vacation to Iceland.
  3. Increase bond/cash allocation to 30%. Going to 30% bond/cash will beef up our opportunity fund. However, I’m not in a big hurry to do this because I think the stock market will go up this year. I plan to get to 30% before the end of 2018.
  4. Travel hack 100,000 points. We’re doing well with this one. Mrs. RB40 signed up for a card and we should get the bonus soon. That should push us over 100,000 points.

Blog Goals

  1. Minor Redesign RB40. This one is really difficult to do because I can’t seem to budget time for it. It’s all I can do to write and keep the site running. I’ll work on this one in May.
  2. Blog 12 times at Fit by 40. This one is way behind now. I’m not motivated to write about fitness this year. At least, I’m still going to the gym regularly. For now, I’ll keep FB40 as test site for the redesign. You can see how I started the site here – How to Start a Blog and Why You Should.
  3. Blog income $100,000. This one is going to be very difficult so I’m grading it on the academic system. Q1 is the best quarter for blog income and we did very well. I made $23,344 so far in 2018. That’s actually pretty darn good, but we’re behind the pace. Maybe I should look at revenue instead. The taxes take a big bite out of the income. You can see more detail on my Blog Income page.

Personal Goals

  1. Join Toastmasters. I visited a local club and it was a nice experience. However, there are too many things going on right now. My mom needs help with her various doctor appointments. Also, summer is coming up soon and I’ll spend more time with RB40Jr. I just can’t squeeze Toastmasters into my schedule. This will have to be put off until RB40Jr is more independent.
  2. Not paying for leaf removal. Showdown in November.
  3. Consolidate down to one property. We plan to move into our rental duplex and sell off the other 2 properties. This one will definitely take more than one year. Our rental condo is rented for at least a year so the earliest we will be able to consolidate is 2019.

Fun Goal

  1. Visit Iceland. The trip is a go. I already booked our flight tickets, lodging, ferry, and rental car. Iceland is a very expensive country to visit, but it should be a great trip.

Net Worth (+0.2% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. 2018 started off with a bang and we had a great month in January. However, the stock market turned volatile after that and we gave up all the gains. I still think 2018 will be a good year for the stock market, but nobody knows how it is going to turn out. There is so much uncertainty now.

My bet with Warren Buffett – I’ll benchmark our net worth against VFINX for 10 years starting in 2018. VFINX is down about 1% since the beginning of 2018. Our net worth is flat so we’re ahead for now. We’re doing well against VFINX so far, but it’s early yet. Our net worth is diverse so it does better when the market drops.

Here is a graph of our 2018 net worth on Personal Capital. Our net worth decreased a little bit in April even with good income. Some of our stock holdings had a rough month. Philip Morris and Altria both dropped 30% YTD. These have been great dividend stocks for years, but the party might be ending for tobacco stocks.

2018 net worth YTD

*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in almost every day to check on my accounts and cash flow. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

2018 Passive Income ($12,458 YTD)

Here is a quick summary of our passive income. You can see all the details at my new Passive Income page. We had a slow start in 2018 because one of our rentals was vacant for the first 2 months. It’s occupied now so the passive income is looking better. Hopefully, it’ll be smooth sailing for the rest of 2018. The only trouble spot now is P2P lending. We’re seeing more defaults and the interest payments aren’t enough to overcome the hits. I will look into selling these loans off. It’s probably better to get out fast.

2018 passive income

April 2018 Cash Flow

Our cash flow was good in April. Our income was great and our expense was reasonable. The only hiccup was P2P lending. We had another small negative month, -$44. This is not looking good. It might be best to just sell the loans at this point. There is a way to do that, but I haven’t tried it yet. I will put this on my to do list in May.

Check out my Sankey diagram and see the details below.

April Sankey diagram

Take Home Income (target > $10,000)

For 2018, our monthly take home income target is $10,000. April was a good month and we did pretty well. My blog income was good and it is still holding up well. It usually drops off in the summer when everyone is on vacation. We’ll see how it goes this year.

  • Mrs. RB40’s paychecks: $5,875
  • Blog Income: $5,354. You can read more details at my Blog Income pageRB40Jr is on the payroll now as model and photographer. The income will go straight into his Roth IRA. I’m excited to see how this experiment will turn out.
  • Rental Income: $902. All our rentals are occupied and we didn’t have any big repairs last month. Read more at the Rental Property Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income: $999. More details at my Dividend Passive Income page.
  • Real estate crowdfunding: $239. RealtyShares is starting to pick up now and it is looking good. Read more at my Real Estate Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Prosper P2P lending: -$44. P2P lending was negative last month.
  • Interest Income: $15.

Monthly Expenses (target > $4,800)

For 2018, our monthly expense budget is $4,800/month, an increase of $300 from 2017. This does not include contributions to 401k, Roth IRA, and college savings. We did pretty well in April and came in under budget at $3,804. We didn’t have a big expense in April.

  • Housing: $2,365. Our housing expense is getting spendy. This category is over 50% of our expense every month. There’s not much we can do at this point. This includes mortgage, HOA fees, and property taxes.
  • Groceries: $448. Our grocery bill was under control in April. I cooked many delicious meals and at well this month. Check out some pictures. Clockwise from top left – Pacific sole with shallot and caper sauce, Pajeon Korean seafood pancake with gyoza, Mrs. RB40’s baked empanadas, Shrimp tacos with mimosa. Yummm! Follow me on Instagramif you’d like to see more of my unglamorous early retirement lifestyle.

April food

  • Cash: $180.
  • Transportation: $64. We share one car and we don’t drive much. I drop RB40Jr off at school in the morning and go grocery shopping on the weekend. That’s about it. We drive more in the summer when we visit local attractions.
  • Kid: $59. RB40Jr got a Lego set from Ebay for $21. We spent $30 on his art to help the school raise funds. Lastly, he went to an indoor playground with his friend for $8.
  • Pet: $34.
  • Bills: $240. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella.)
  • Health: $328. Dentist, eye specialist, vitamins, and gym.
  • Travel: $0.
  • Clothing: $20. RB40Jr got 2 new shorts from WMT.
  • Misc: $67.
  • 401k: $3,060. I contributed $1,630 to my 401k. Mrs. RB40 contributed $1,430 to hers.
  • Extra Savings: $6,475

Extra Savings 2018: $17,917

2018 is going very well and our extra saving totaled $17,917 so far. Unfortunately, about $10,000 went to the IRS in April. I didn’t send in estimated tax payments last year so we owed the tax man. I’ll do a better job this year and try not to owe as much. At least, taxes are done. Now I can focus on investing our extra savings.

Here is what I plan to do with our opportunity fund in 2018.

  • Invest more in real estate crowdfunding.
  • Pick up some dividend stock if I see a good deal. I purchased 50 shares of PM in April.

April 2018 Wrap Up

Overall, April 2018 went well for us. Our income was good and our expense was under budget. Our net worth went down a bit due to the IRS payment, but that’s not a big deal. I think the rest of 2018 should be pretty good. We’ll see how it goes.

May should be pretty similar to April. It looks like the blog income will stay about the same. Passive income might drop a bit because I need to get new window blinds for one rental unit. Our expense should be good next month because we don’t have a big expense planned in May. As for net worth, it depends on the stock market. I’m not too worried about it, though. Nobody knows what the market is going to do so we should focus on what we can control – our saving rate. The stock market will do well in the long term so don’t worry about short term volatility. Just stick to your plan and keep investing.

Did you have a good April? It was a busy month for me. May should be more relaxed because we have fewer healthcare appointments. Hopefully, I can get going on some of my New Year goals. Time is running out because summer is approaching fast. It will be really hard to get anything done once RB40Jr is out of school.

*Sign up for a free account at Personal Capital to help manage your investments. I log in almost every day to check on my accounts and cash flow. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

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

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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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{ 63 comments… add one }
  • Mr. Tako April 30, 2018, 1:44 am

    Looking good Joe! Your income is hitting on all cylinders right now and expenses were good too!

    I hear you about being busy — Last week I had to take a break from social media. We were just too darn busy!

    We’ve been trying to cut back our expenses after our really expensive March. I hope we did better. Still need to tally up the numbers.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:26 am

      Social media is okay for me. I check once in while when I have a few minutes. I don’t dedicate time for it.
      Thanks!

  • Accidental FIRE April 30, 2018, 3:25 am

    Great month Joe, hopefully your Mom will be done with medical stuff for a while. My April was okay but I also had to pay up on my taxes from last year. That’s okay though, I get credit card points for taking an interest -free loan from Uncle Sam and then paying him later 😉

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:27 am

      Thanks. My mom have 3-4 appointments this month. I really hope it slows down after that. It’s no fun getting old.
      We paid some of the taxes with a credit card too. That’s a good way to get the bonus points.

  • The Poor Swiss April 30, 2018, 4:55 am

    Excellent results Joe! I’m always so impressed by your blog revenue and passive income. This is incredible. And you manage to really your expenses very low for a family! Keep it up!

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:28 am

      Thank you! Our expense was great in April. I think we’ll be good in May too. Summer will be more expensive, though. We’ll take more local trips and do more fun activities.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 30, 2018, 5:18 am

    Sounds like a great month of expenses and cash flow!

    Your food looks delicious as always! I’ve been in the mood for cooking a lot lately. This past weekend I made buffalo wings, French fries (failed as always), rice pudding and flan. I started having some back pain due to standing in the kitchen too much, but it was fun.

    I bought an airfryer yesterday. I’m ready for.more cooking adventures!

    • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance April 30, 2018, 5:20 am

      Oops! I meant airfryer. Autocorection doesn’t like me >.<

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:29 am

      Thanks! I got frozen fries from the store today. That’s the easiest way to make fries. It’s not that healthy, but we don’t eat it very often. Good luck with the airfryer. Cooking gets more fun once you’re good at it. 🙂

  • [email protected] April 30, 2018, 5:20 am

    Wait a minute. Don’t we have another day before we start adding this month up?

    So far, April has been pretty good. I made some progress with traffic on the blog. My income is pretty regular so savings are in target. We even ended up paying less in taxes than expected!!!

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:30 am

      I got it out a day early. 🙂 That’s good news with taxes. It was a painful year for us, but I think next year will be much better with the tax cut.

  • Tom @ Dividends Diversify April 30, 2018, 5:30 am

    Hi Joe, This spring is a little expensive for us. It marks one year since we moved into a new house and town. There are several projects we are doing to maintain/improve the property value and maximize the enjoyment for us. I’m not much of a DIY, so it gets a bit costly. Tom

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:31 am

      Ugh. I hate moving. We’re planning to move soon and it will wreck havoc on our spread sheet. I’m not looking forward to it.
      Enjoy your new home!

  • Jonathan April 30, 2018, 5:31 am

    Hi Joe,
    I really enjoy reading your monthly breakdowns!

    Bills: $240. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella.)
    >> Did you include internet, cell phone expenses in this category too?

    Travel hack 100,000 points. We’re doing well with this one. Mrs. RB40 signed up for a card and we should get the bonus soon. That should push us over 100,000 points.
    >> Which credit card did you guys sign for?

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:33 am

      Bills: does not include internet and cell phone. I put those on the business account.
      She got the Chase Ink Business card. The bonus is 80,000 points after $5,000. We used it to pay the IRS so we should get the bonus points very soon. 🙂

      • JC May 5, 2018, 12:15 pm

        Congrats! This card also gives you cell phone insurance on all lines under your business account. Also after you get the bonus, you may want to downgrade the Chase Ink Cash which has no annual fee and you can use it to get 5X on gift cards from Staples/Office Depot on (Amazon, Whole Foods, Chipotle).
        Recently converted 60K points to get a roundtrip flight to Europe for tennis (Switzerland, Nice France, Monte Carlo, Belgium): https://instagram.com/tennisbargains/

  • RAnn April 30, 2018, 6:43 am

    I’ve decided that unless you know something (a lot) about underwriting loans and the risks associated with various data points, p to p isn’t worth the risk. With any loan, you are looking at the risk that the borrower him/herself is a poor risk, likely to default, and are trying to quantify that risk via the interest rate charged. You are also looking at the risk of a downturn in the economy that makes the individual borrower more of a risk that you earlier determined. Right now the economy is good, and has been for several years. If p to p loans were propertly priced, lenders would be making “too much” money on them; instead most people’s experience seems to match yours–months of negative return. Last year I broke even on a Lending Club account that was at about $15,000 when the year started. The returns need to be “too high” now, to make up for the inevitable defaults with the economy slows and unemployment rises. As it is, if that happens, my p to p experiment will end up losing money.

    The other problem with p to p is that the rules can change any time, as they have with LC and Prosper changing interest rates and underwriting standards. Unless you have the expertise to evaluate these moves, you are trusting companies whose interest is in creating and servicing loans, not in seeing them paid back.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:34 am

      I agree. The lender isn’t getting the premium risk. We used to have positive returns, but once we stop reinvesting it turned negative. Thank you for your input.

  • Dave in Sunny FL April 30, 2018, 6:44 am

    Great update, Joe! I hope you won’t mind if I pick a few nits. You mention that the “extra savings” was offset last year by taxes. So, wouldn’t you be shaving off some of that for the business expense; and extra savings is truly just extra savings? (You were already paying the taxes in April each year, even if not quarterly in advance.) Another tax hiccup: if you don’t address the deductibility of the expenses from your business and rentals, and the phantom cash flow of depreciation from the rentals on your tax return, then your “true” cash flow is distorted. It’s the same thing with your stock dividends: returns are overstated, to the extent they are taxed. You describe your blogging income as pretty active, but I disagree. The money you make from advertising is pretty much unconnected to the amount of time you spend on it. Instead, it’s directly proportional to the number of people you serve, which is a function of the value of the content. Great job! (**I would suggest, though, taking a stroll through your blog with a fresh eye. The ads are starting to weigh on the experience; particularly on mobile, and particularly the “bottom banner” that covers about 20% of the page.) Thanks!

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:39 am

      Yes, I updated the 2017 spread sheet to include those payments to the IRS. This year, I’m paying $800/month in estimate taxes and I take those off the 2018 business income. Taxes get complicated.
      No, I don’t address the taxes on the rentals. I’m just looking at real cash flow. This is already complicated and I don’t think I can add more detail.
      Dividend income is somewhat distorted. Some years we pay 0% capital gain tax and some year we pay 15%. Once Mrs. RB40 retires, we should be firmly in the 0%.
      Thank you for your feedback. You can close the bottom ad. That’s what I do when I read the blog. Those bottom banner ads are very common now and I think it is way better than pop ups and video ads. I’ll consider removing them. Let me check with the advertising net work.

  • Alexander @ Cash Flow Diaries April 30, 2018, 7:11 am

    Great month! Congrats! My april was crazy busy and I had tons of money moving around. Im actually getting ready to do my write up and am looking forward to it. Finally got paid pack on a Hard Money loan that I lent out which was awesome.

    Wow you guys keep your grocery bill pretty low. How do you do that? I feel like my wife and I spend $150 per week and its just two of us.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:20 pm

      Have fun with your write up. It’s good to go over everything once a month.

      Grocery is not too bad. We buy things on sale and minimize processed food. I guess we don’t eat that much either. 🙂

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 30, 2018, 8:30 am

    I presume the projects you’re picking with RealtyShares aren’t local? I certainly would hesitate before investing in new apartment projects in the Northwest, as we’re starting to see signs of a correction, though there’s no guarantee how big or how long of one it will be.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:36 pm

      Right. They’re in Arizona, North Carolina, and those cheaper states. There are so many new constructions here in Portland too. Hopefully, they finish these before the next crash…

  • Chris Urbaniak @ deliberatechange.ca April 30, 2018, 10:19 am

    Good call, Joe, on pushing back Toastmasters a little bit, but not too much (for now).

    It can be super-easy to overcommit to things. And when you say yes to something, you are always saying no to something else.

    Life is a series of trade-offs and constantly changing circumstances. As you’ve done, it’s important to prioritize, observe, reprioritize, and repeat.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:21 pm

      I was hoping I could do it, but the timing isn’t right. For now, I’ll just focus on family. They keep me busy already.

  • Doc G April 30, 2018, 10:29 am

    Great wrap up. Hope your mom is doing ok. Carting your parents to the doctor is exhausting. With these posts you do an exceptional job of proof of concept. I think they are very beneficial!

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:22 pm

      She’s doing okay. It’s just part of aging. Thanks!

  • [email protected] April 30, 2018, 11:17 am

    Last day of April at it’s high 40s low 50s here in NYC. Supposed to get up to the mid 80s mid week. I guess there’s no Spring…we just transition into Summer! It’s great that you’re able to help out your mom with doctor’s visits. My co-worker deals with that a lot and either has to take off from work or try to schedule on the weekends. I know you seem to have somewhat soured on real estate (physical rentals) but I’ve thinking that this is my best route to reach FI. Blogging income is tough…you have to treat it like a business and I don’t have time for a second job. I’m hoping to acquire more properties and use some leverage to fast track that… We’ll see how that goes. I should be closing on a property in the next week or two.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:24 pm

      We had strange weathers too. It was 80 last week and now 55. Yeah, it’s no fun when you get older.
      I still like rentals as a concept, but I want less work now. The local market is also a bit too high.
      I think it’s a good way to generate passive income. Good luck on your new property!

  • Lazy Man and Money April 30, 2018, 12:51 pm

    We got the kids started on soccer this weekend. They also saw Star Wars for the first time. We continue to be about a year or so behind you :-).

    You point of “Our net worth is diverse so it does better when the market drops” inspired my article today about not following benchmarks. It’s something that I’ve been talking with friends about too.

    How much longer do you have your mortgage? While 50% of expenses may seem spendy, I imagine you could probably pay it off if you wanted to and cut your expenses in half. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t focus too much on FI ratio. It can be manipulated in huge ways sometimes.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:27 pm

      Great! Soccer is a good way for kids to get out. Our son isn’t that good, but at least he gets to run around a bit.
      The mortgage is less than half of our housing cost. The HOA and property tax are pretty expensive here. That’s why I want to move to our duplex soon. All these will drop, but then we won’t have rentals income. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Lily | The Frugal Gene April 30, 2018, 1:12 pm

    Things are coming along on your end Joe. Excited for your Iceland trip.

    I’m due on reports for March and April. There are too many random home expenses on there and business expenses on there too that I’m just….dragging my feet on how to exactly report it because it confuses me. It’s financial acrobatics.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:28 pm

      Right. April was confusing for me too. The taxes were a drag and I wasn’t sure how to report it. I decide to fix the 2017 spreadsheet for the back taxes. That way we don’t have to take 2018 income to pay 2017 taxes….

  • The CFO April 30, 2018, 2:25 pm

    I agree the blog income is pretty darn good. Good luck on the step up to 100k$! I will be following your progress 🙂
    From where I stand on the blogging front, I would be happy with anything right now, but I guess everyone starts somewhere.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:29 pm

      Thanks! I think I’ll have to look at gross income. Taxes took such a huge bite out. We’d have to gross $150,000 to take home $100,000. Or something like that. Good luck with your blog!

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life April 30, 2018, 4:24 pm

    April was ok for us. Not too much movement with our total net worth but a little bit of progress on all fronts. We’ll try to build up some momentum, and cash reserves, going into next year when we may be seeing better pricing for home reno and other necessary home projects.

    It’s a little drastic but we lost my mom before age 60, and same with half a dozen other friends and their parents, so waiting to 65 to retire sounds a lot to me like never retiring.

    At the same time, if we do last longer than 60-65, then we definitely don’t want to run out of money. I have to make some really good decisions with our money in the next ten years, I think, to make sure we can retire in any kind of timely way.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:31 pm

      Sorry to hear about your mom. Yeah, with our genetic, we’d better enjoy life while we’re young. That’s a big morbid, but it’s true…

  • Laura April 30, 2018, 8:09 pm

    Glad you guys are having fun with soccer! DD is trying to decide if she’s done w/ it, go back to rec, or do track next year. She was competitive from 3rd grade to U13, but doesn’t look like our club will have a competitive U14 team this year so…

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:32 pm

      Good luck! I think we’ll just do recreational soccer. RB40Jr isn’t very competitive.

  • Financial Orchid April 30, 2018, 8:39 pm

    I need to learn to keep my food expense # low. It is actually more expensive for a single person per capita with more socializing outside. Cooking is much more a socialized event when there is family at home to talk with, set the table, clean the table, clean the dishes on top of cooking can pretty much take up half a Saturday already.

    • retirebyforty April 30, 2018, 9:34 pm

      Yeah, going out is definitely more expensive. When I was single, I cooked a lot simpler food. Grilled chicken breast on rice and salad or something like that. It was easy, but not very exciting. 🙂

  • GYM April 30, 2018, 11:52 pm

    Man your grocery spending is so great- for a family of 3 adults and one boy?

    What kind of pet do you have?

    Did you find any results from your mom’s appointments with the neurologist and from the MRI?

    MRI’s take like months to get up here in Canada (depending on reason for the test), it is good that you were able to get an appointment for her. Is her health insurance covered under your health insurance?

    I’m not looking forward to experiencing the sandwich generation. My mom finally agreed to see a doctor and get some blood work since 2012 which was nice… now I have to convince her to book a follow up appointment haha!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 11:05 am

      I guess we don’t eat that much. I thought about $500/month is reasonable for a family. This will increase as our son eats more.
      We have a cat. She’s old and doesn’t eat that much either. 🙂
      Her MRI was good. The neurologist said her brain looks a bit older than a person her age, but still within range. This was covered so it didn’t cost that much. Good luck with your mom. The appointments take a lot of time.

  • Janet May 1, 2018, 12:09 am

    Thanks for sharing! I wish I could earn that much passive income one day, that’s my goal.
    I joined Toastmasters when I was just starting my career and I only have positive things to say about it. I would definitely say it changed my life for the better and gave me a new-found confidence that I still carry with me today. Go if you can find time for it!

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 11:05 am

      Mrs. RB40 was a part of Toastmasters for a long time. She gained a lot of confidence from them too. I need that if I want to get into public speaking more. Not sure if I really want to get into it, though.

  • David @iretiredyoung May 1, 2018, 3:36 am

    You just reminded me that I also set myself some targets, but I don’t think I’ve even looked at them this year, oops!

    Your expenses really seem under control, and I guess at sometime your housing costs will reduce as the mortgage gets paid off. You’re going to be happy when that day comes.

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 11:06 am

      You should check them once per month or else you’ll just forget about them. Doing a monthly update really helps.

  • abuckeye May 1, 2018, 7:18 am

    Joe,
    As always thank you for sharing. You are my benchmark – it is interesting to follow your financial journey as yours is the path not taken. We have tracked very closely to you financially and even our personal situation mirrors yours. As of the middle of 2016 our net worth was about $100K less than yours. The big difference is that when I left my job of a corporate drone 6 years ago I have not had much income. Without the income, contributing to retirement and saving is challenging. I have an 8 year old and my Mom just turned 80, can no longer drive, and has medical issues which typically involve several specialist appointments a month. Again, thank you for sharing – I enjoy seeing how your strategy of multiple income streams compares to our performance with a sole dependency on the whims of the stock market. Congratulations on such a strong April.

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 11:09 am

      Your situation is very similar to ours. Having some income gives us a lot of flexibility. We’ll be able to weather the stock market volatility much better. I’d be a bit more stressed if we depend solely on the stock market. Thanks for your input.

  • Dividend Earner May 1, 2018, 8:11 am

    Looks like a good month. I find we are often the hardest critics of our achievements. I have a list of To Dos that never ends, and all I need to do is tackle them one by one in the expected priority.

    Time is an important commodity and there is no way to buy it back. Take the time you need with what is important – family, health or business.

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 11:10 am

      Thanks! My goals are more ambitious this year and I’m having a hard time with them. Next year, I’ll probably go back to more achievable goals. I prefer a more relaxed approach. 🙂

  • Richard May 1, 2018, 7:20 pm

    Censure working quite well in this blog…my comments are rarely posted

    • retirebyforty May 1, 2018, 8:05 pm

      I’m not sure what happened. Maybe the spam filter sent your comment to the spam folder. I’ll try to keep a look out, but there are a lot of spams. Sorry about that.

  • Eric May 3, 2018, 12:23 pm

    How was the Real Estate Crowdfunding as far as doing your taxes? K1s come in time, etc?

    • retirebyforty May 3, 2018, 1:04 pm

      The K1s came in pretty late, but that’s typical for K1s. I received most of them by April 4th. I think one was a bit later around April 8th or so. I was able to add those info and filed tax on time. It’s not great, but at least they arrived before April 15th.

  • My Early Retirement Journey May 4, 2018, 8:04 pm

    What? April’s over? Where’d it go? Another solid month for you!

  • Debt free Dr May 5, 2018, 3:04 pm

    Love how you are open and honest with your income and expenses.

    As a side note, I have NOT had good success with Realtyshares. If you want to hear more about my issues, feel free to contact me.

    I have a AWESOME success in investing with Joe Fairless, joefairless.com.

  • Offroad Investor May 11, 2018, 9:42 am

    RB40 – love the comprehensive drill down on income and expenses. Are you using Personal Capital for all the tracking? If so, how are you doing the private investment side of things (real estate, etc)? Most of my investment assets are private investments so I had kind of given up on using PC but maybe there is a workaround?

    • retirebyforty May 11, 2018, 12:01 pm

      I use Personal Capital for a quick overview. I also have a spreadsheet that I update manually once a month.
      Personal Capital can track real estate. I add my rentals under the Other Assets tab and they connect them to Zillow. The value is updated automatically, but a little inflated.
      Is there a specific investment you’re talking about? If it’s hard money lending, then you’ll probably need to add it manually.

      • Offroad Investor May 13, 2018, 12:12 pm

        Yes – real estate debt (hard money lending funds) and RE equity funds (private funds), private litigation finance, venture debt and life settlement funds. I can see where Zillow would work well for individual investments but private funds would be a challenge. I used to use Quicken and track manually but dumped that and now just use a spreadsheet. I really like aspects of PC but haven’t used much because of the limitations on the private investments. I’ve given them the feedback – maybe they will make some updates!

        • retirebyforty May 14, 2018, 8:54 am

          I use a spreadsheet and update everything once per month. It’s just easier. You can add private investment manually in PCAP, but it’s a bit clunky. I think a spreadsheet is much easier for manual entries.

  • Scott May 29, 2018, 7:08 am

    Your tobacco stocks are likely getting hit because they are high dividend stocks and those do poorly as people move to safer bond investments as interest rates rise.

    Also, remember that you do not need to do your taxes by 4/15 so the K1’s can be late. The IRS understands these issues and is the reason they allow extensions.

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