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Declare Your Financial Independence Day


Declare Your Financial Independence Day

Woohoo! It’s Independence Day, my favorite holiday of the year. Life is good and it’s easy to take freedom for granted sometimes. I am very grateful that we live in a country where we’re free to do almost anything we want (within reason). The US has its share of problems, but they are relatively minor compared to many places in the world. Most of us have a very good standard of living and we should be thankful for that. This year, we’re going to relax at home, BBQ some ribs, go swimming, and enjoy the Blues Festival. The fireworks should be a ton of fun as well.

July 4th is also the perfect day to declare your Financial Independence Day. Financial independence is about having the freedom to work the way you want. We live in a free country, but most Americans are completely dependent on their employers. If you leave your job, would you be able to maintain the same standard of living? Once you’ve achieve financial independence, the income from your investment will generate enough money to cover your expense. Life will be full of possibilities then. Imagine what you would do if money isn’t an issue. Would you keep working in the same job or try something else? You can follow your dream and dictate your own agenda. You’ll be the one to fire your boss when you decide to retire instead of the other way around. Now, that’s freedom.

Financial independence (FI) is a concept many aspire to, but only a few achieve. FI is difficult because it can only be achieve with deliberation and perseverance. It is a simple concept, but the execution can take a lifetime. Here are the 3 essential steps to financial independence (more in-depth article through this link.)

  1. Track your finance– Most people have no idea what they spend their paychecks on. Money flows through their hands like water. The first step toward financial independence is to figure out how to cut back on unnecessary expenses. This can be done by tracking your expenses carefully and getting rid of the expenses that don’t add real value to your life.  The goal is to spend less than you make. As long as you can achieve this consistently, your finances will keep improving.
  2. Save and Invest as much as you can– The next step is to save and invest as much as you can. This will determine how fast you can reach FI. If you save 10% of your income, it may take 50 years to achieve FI, i.e., a lifetime. However, if you can save 70% of your income, you will most likely reach FI in less than 10 years.
  3. Passive income exceeds expenses– It’s simple, once your passive income exceeds your expenses, you will be financially independent. There are other ways to define financial independence, but this is the safest way. You will never run out of money if your passive income covers your cost of living. It’s best to build in a little margin, of course. The expenses will inevitably increase over time.

Financial Independence Day

Our FI goal is to generate enough passive income to exceed our expenses by 2020. Mrs. RB40 plans to retire by 2020 and it would be ideal if our passive income can cover our expenses by then. Right now, we could support our lifestyle with the combination of passive income and my online income. However, the online income is volatile and we never know how long it will last. We’ll keep on ramping up our passive income and shoot for completion by 2020.

Coincidentally, July 4th is the half way mark of the calendar year. It’s a great time to take stock and see if we’re on track. I do this by checking our FI ratio. In previous years, I only checked it twice per year. Now I do it every month in our monthly passive income report.

FI ratio = passive income / expense

Once our FI ratio consistently tops 100%, we’d be set financially for the rest of our lives. Here is how we generate our passive income.

  • Dividend Portfolio– The dividend stocks in our taxable brokerage account.
  • Rental properties– We have a rental duplex and own half of a one bedroom condo.
  • Real Estate Crowdfunding – This is our first year at RealtyShares. It is looking good so far and I’m looking to add more investments here.
  • P2P Lending– Unsecure personal loans through Prosper.com.
  • Interest– This is the interest from our saving account.
  • Joe’s Retirement Accounts– My 401k, rollover IRA, and Roth IRA. These are pretax accounts.
  • Mrs. RB40’s Retirement Accounts – Mrs. RB40’s tax-advantaged accounts.

Some of these are tax-advantaged accounts and we don’t plan to access them yet. We’ll focus on reaching 100% FI ratio first. We’ll deal with the taxes and how to access the pre-tax accounts later. The best way to minimize tax is to build a Roth IRA ladder. Assuming the law doesn’t change too much, we should be able to access our retirement funds without paying the 10% penalty.

Passive Income 2017

For this post, I’ll only look at passive income and ignore gains and losses.

Financial Independence Day!

2017 is looking really awesome so far. Our passive income streams are doing much better than the previous year. Let’s go through them one by one. We should be around 50% mark because we are half way into 2017.

  • Dividend Portfolio– We’re doing quite well with our dividend portfolio. I’m pretty sure we’ll break $12,000 by the end of the year because I recently transferred some money into this account.
  • Rental Properties– We are way ahead in 2017 with our rentals. We haven’t had any big repairs this year so the income had a chance to accumulate. This might be our best year with the rentals yet.
  • P2P Lending– I’m slowly pulling money out of P2P lending and investing in real estate crowdfunding instead. The return seems to be on par and real estate is much more tangible than unsecured lending. Unsecured loans will be the first thing borrowers default on when the economy turns south.
  • Real Estate Crowdfunding – I opened an account at RealtyShares in January and invested $8,000 in a commercial property in Arizona. The ROI for this project is estimated to be in the high teens after 3 years. That’s amazing and I’m anxious to see if they can deliver.
  • KickFurther – Kickfurther is similar to P2P lending, but investors lend to small businesses instead of individual borrowers. I’m slowly pulling out of KickFurther as well. It’s been fun, but small businesses have too many problems.
  • Interest–This is the interest from our banking accounts.
  • Retirement Accounts– Our retirement accounts are all invested in low cost Vanguard index funds. We are a bit behind here because most of the dividend will be paid out in Q4. I think we will be okay here.

You can sign up with Realty Shares through this link if you’re interested in real estate crowdfunding. I will write about my experience investing with RealtyShares at some point. Currently, only accredited investors can invest at RealtyShares. Accredited means your annual income exceeds $200,000 or your net worth is at least one million dollars. You can still browse the investment listing even if you’re not accredited. 

FI Ratio

What about the FI ratio? How are we doing so far?

FI ratio = passive income / expense

Our FI ratio = $22,503 / $23,856 = 94%

Wow, we’re doing very well with our FI ratio this year. At this rate, Mrs. RB40 might be able to retire before 2020! The big difference this year is the rental income. We haven’t had any expensive repairs so the YTD rental income looks great. Our expense is also a bit lower than in 2016. Our kid started kindergarten at the local public school so we didn’t have to pay for preschool anymore. RB40Jr has more activities and lessons, but they are still cheaper than preschool.

There is still a little gap between our passive income and our expenses – $1,353. My online income can easily cover this gap so I feel pretty good about that. A big part of my early retirement strategy is to work part time. This way we could put off withdrawal from our retirement accounts until we’re about 55. A little active income goes a long way in retirement.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure we won’t be able to maintain 94% FI ratio for the rest of 2017. Our expense will increase in the 2nd half of 2017. We’re paying for summer camps (childcare) in the summer and we have a few vacations coming up. The 2nd half of the year is usually more expensive for us. We’ll see how it goes.

To reach 100% FI ratio by 2020, we need to increase our FI ratio every year. Here is the progress we need to make.

  • 2015: 54% ($28,415/$53,037)
  • 2016: 71% ($38,222/$54,000)
  • 2017: 78% (We doing great so far this year at 94%.)
  • 2018: 85%
  • 2019: 92%
  • 2020: 100%

All in all, I’m very happy with our progress through the first half of 2017. The 2nd half will be tougher, but we should be able to exceed 78%, my goal for 2017. Anyway, it’s a great idea to keep track of your personal FI ratio. It will let you know how much progress you are making toward financial independence. It is also a good early warning system. If your FI ratio decreases, then you know you need to fix something.

Do you keep track of your passive income vs expense? The ratio should improve every year if you hope to reach Financial Independence.

If you plan to track your passive income, you should consider signing up for Personal Capital to help manage your investment accounts. They are very useful and I can get all my passive income data from one site.


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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{ 70 comments… add one }
  • The Green Swan July 4, 2016, 4:20 am

    Hi Joe, happy Independence Day! It’s my favorite holiday as well. I’ll have to start tracking my FI ratio once or twice a year too since I’m starting to get close. Thanks for sharing!

    • retirebyforty July 4, 2016, 9:51 am

      You should! I love tracking progress. It helps me feel like I’m getting somewhere. 🙂

  • Kenny July 4, 2016, 4:53 am

    What sources are you looking at for real estate crowdfunding? I’m intrigued by this method.

    • retirebyforty July 4, 2016, 9:52 am

      I was looking at Fundrise, but I read that they went downhill in 2016. So now I will have to do more research.

      • Gopi July 5, 2016, 11:49 am

        An excellent vehicle for investing in Real Estate Crowdfunding is Realty Shares – relatively safe and very good returns


  • [email protected] Turtle July 4, 2016, 8:04 am

    How are you figuring out your passive income from the retirement accounts? Is it from the dividends that are given quarterly?

    You have a lot of different sources of income. Great job! That’s an area I really need to think about.

    • retirebyforty July 4, 2016, 9:53 am

      Yes, the income from the retirement accounts are just the yields. The yields aren’t that great because they are all low cost index funds. The yield is around 2%. Good luck with your investments.

  • Leigh July 4, 2016, 8:42 am

    Yup, I do! 2015’s year end was 17% passive income / expenses. My record single month so far this year was 28%, which was pretty exciting at 28 🙂 If I spend the same amount this year, it’ll be up to 22%, then 27% in 2017, 50% in 2018, 58% in 2019, 73% in 2020, 90% in 2021, and 109% in 2022. The next few years should show some fast progress!

    • retirebyforty July 4, 2016, 9:54 am

      28% is great! Keep it up. 50% in 2018? That’s a huge increase. Good luck!

      • Leigh July 4, 2016, 2:12 pm

        Yes, my current forecasting includes paying off the mortgage in 2018, which eliminates about 25% of the expenses, hence the huge jump.

  • Gopi July 4, 2016, 9:30 am

    Interesting article. I assume all our figures are per year.
    How do you calculate the income from retirement accounts ?

    • retirebyforty July 4, 2016, 9:55 am

      I just look at the statement from my retirement accounts. They are just the yield from our index funds.

  • Justin July 4, 2016, 10:30 am

    We’re golden. 🙂 Income is around $60-65k per year (half passive; half from the blog) and expenses run $25-40k per year.

    Now to figure out how to spend the surplus… 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:37 am

      That’s great! Our income and expense aren’t quite optimized yet. We still have a mortgage and our rentals aren’t yielding very well. Some day…

  • Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes July 4, 2016, 11:33 am

    Congrats on a great first half of the year Joe. Congrats on Kindergarten too! You made it!

    It’s interesting that you classified rental income as passive. I might consider it ‘semi-passive’, but I guess for simplicities sake, it was probably easier to just put it in the passive bucket.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:40 am

      Thanks! Rentals aren’t very passive for me, but maybe someday…

  • Dan July 4, 2016, 11:50 am

    I’m planning on adding a margin of error to my expenses figure say 30-50% for greater wealth building and safety purposes. I also plan on including income from passive business ventures.

    I used to be way more focused on total return investing. But a few years ago I heard of a family friend investing all of his net worth in blue chips during the financial crisis. He’s now pulling in about 40k a year in dividends which enabled him to finance a business venture which is now fairly successful.

    Attempting to make 25% every year can be exhausting, outside of a few crisis years where the bargains are great. The amount of research that goes into that kind of return can be immense. I’m looking forward to having at least a reasonable amount of my money in lazy dividend investments.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:42 am

      Wow, 30-50% is a big margin. Good luck!
      25% ROI every year is amazing. You should start a hedge fund if you can do it consistently.

  • Gopi July 4, 2016, 12:58 pm

    Does your expenses include morthages )primary and investment)? 25k seems too low to me

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:44 am

      Yes, that includes about $2,200 in housing every month. $25k is 6 months.

  • Teri July 4, 2016, 2:51 pm

    Happy 4th of July! I agree with you, we have our problems and it’s still the only place I would consider living. Congratulations on your Financial Independence!

    I question your returns of P2P lending. I am with Prosper and just waiting to get out. Here is what I receive from them.
    /Users/theresaray/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 2.45.25 PM.png

    They get 10% of my small percentage and they don’t experience any loss when someone defaults. I earn .21 interest, of that, they take .02 or 10%.

    /Users/theresaray/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 2.48.35 PM.png
    To date I have lost 57.08% using their numbers.

    Of the 2% return I receive, they get 10% of it. I’m avoiding them like the plague and recommend others do also.

    Hope you enjoy your 4th.


    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:46 am

      I can’t see your images. My Prospers investment seems to be okay. Our ROI is at about 7.5%. This past month was pretty bad because we had more defaults than usual.

  • Jeff Moore July 4, 2016, 3:18 pm

    Hi Joe great article! What method has worked for you best in tracking your expenses for the year? Do you use any special type of financial software program for this or something simpler? Thanks for your thoughts. Jeff

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:48 am

      For tracking income and expense, I use my trusty Excel spreadsheet. It gives me time to think when I update it manually.
      Personal Capital is great for tracking our investments, but not that good at tracking cash flow.

  • Marc July 5, 2016, 5:22 am

    Congrats on your success so far this year! I recently came upon your blog and am now hooked, and even started my own. Before finding the FIRE community, I thought investing was scary and I instead focused all my attention on debt. Next month I’ll be debt free (except for the mortgage) so I’m beginning my romance with the market. Hopefully when I’m 40 (10 years) I’ll have enough passive income to leave the full time lifestyle forever.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:49 am

      Good luck with your blog and investment. It’s great that you got rid of all your debt. That way you’ll start with a clean slate. Keep investing and you’ll get there someday!

  • Jon July 5, 2016, 6:21 am

    Hi Joe, I really enjoyed this article. I have been thinking about my passive income to expense ratio, but never tracked it too closely. Ours, I’m afraid, is very low!

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 7:50 am

      Keep working on it! There are a few ways to quickly increase your FI ratio. The easiest way is to cut your expenses. 🙂

  • freebird July 5, 2016, 8:12 am

    One way to make your FI ratio grow quickly is to swing towards high-yield. If you move half of your typical large cap 2% payers into a mix of mREITs and junk bonds where yields now exceed 10%, your FI ratio literally triples! This is something I wouldn’t recommend because my feeling is the risk would be too high, but it shows how unless FI ratio is corrected for sector concentration exposure, the number may be misleading.

    This is one reason why I prefer to use net investment portfolio market value in the numerator and aim for a ratio of 33 years– I’m willing to deplete principal. Like someone with a $5M nest egg mostly in cash plus some growth stocks both yielding nada may have FI ratio = 0, but if his expenses are like yours, I’d say he’s financially set to retire.

    If your passive income covers all of your expenses and the principal matches inflation, and assuming RB40jr is an only child who spends the same as you as an adult, perhaps your nut covers his retirement as well? In which case one may argue he’s also FI.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 1:25 pm

      You’re right. It’s up to the person to figure out their own investment mix, of course. I aim for around 3% and I agree that 10% isn’t sustainable.
      Net investment portfolio value is good too. We’re at about 35-40x our expense.
      As for RB40Jr, I hope he finds his own way. We will help with college, but not planning to help after that.

  • Dividend Growth Investor July 5, 2016, 8:29 am

    That’s great that your family will be FI by 2020!

    I was wondering, once you pay off your home, wouldn’t your expenses be even lower? Do you have a guesstimate when this would happen?

    Good luck in your FI journey Joe!


    • retirebyforty July 5, 2016, 1:26 pm

      Paying down our mortgage isn’t a big priority right now. We’re still a long way off, way after 2020. The interest rate is so low, there is no point paying it off, IMO. Thanks!

  • Arrgo July 6, 2016, 5:10 am

    I think having a part time job that you enjoy can be a big part of your FI plan. Making a little extra money (instead of $0) every year can really help with your withdraw rate % ratio. Plus it keeps you active and engaged and usually has at least a few good perks that go with it. Thats my plan. I don’t mind working. I just don’t like having to work 40+ hrs a week plus commute time etc.

    • retirebyforty July 6, 2016, 10:45 am

      Exactly! That’s my plan. Working a little bit is good for your finance and your moral. Lounging around the pool all day is fun for a while, but I get bored easily.

  • BeSmartRich July 6, 2016, 6:44 am

    We just achieved $200K milestone of our financial independence journey. Started less than 2 years ago and I can already see growth is getting faster and faster. Why wait? right?



    • retirebyforty July 6, 2016, 10:46 am

      Congratulation! That’s a great milestone for just 2 years. Great job.

  • CashFlowDiaries July 6, 2016, 11:59 am

    Glad to see your goals are on mark and I hope your siding repairs dont put too much of a dent on that rental income. I feel your pain though on that! I just got word today that one of my rentals needs some unexpected repairs so im kind of bummed out about it but it just comes with the territory on owning rental properties.

    • retirebyforty July 7, 2016, 11:19 am

      The siding repair should be pretty minor. I just need a handyman to caulk and paint. There are a few spots that need repair. We also need to put in 2 new hot water tanks, though…

  • Kevin July 11, 2016, 9:35 am

    Perfect article on Independence on perfect day. My last day at work was 4th of July for my independence. You are spot on about knowing your spending/expenses.

    • retirebyforty July 12, 2016, 10:08 am

      Congratulations! Enjoy your early retirement!

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance July 3, 2017, 4:28 am

    Happy 4th of July! I’m so happy to see that you had another great month of passive income. Rental repairs can be so unexpected and painful, but I think the pros usually outweigh the cons. I usually freak out if we have home repairs at our house lol.

    Your son looks so so cute and happy!?

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 8:33 am

      Thanks! He was only 2 in that picture. Little kids are so cute and fun.

  • FullTimeFinance July 3, 2017, 5:20 am

    We’re not tracking passive income to expenses yet since I’m not looking to pull the plug anytime soon. But I see the value. A question, is your goal 100 percent or something perhaps higher to cover for potential down periods?

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 8:35 am

      Our goal is 100 percent for a couple of reason.
      1. That’s already really difficult. Mrs. RB40 is starting to feel the itch and she wants to retire soon.
      2. I have online income so we don’t need to depend on 100% passive income.
      As for down periods, we’ll probably just cut back a bit.

  • [email protected] July 3, 2017, 7:14 am

    Happy independence day to all!

    On rack to declare my financial independence July 4, 2020. Hope to see everyone there.

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 8:35 am

      Good luck! It’s a race between you and Mrs. RB40. 🙂

  • Shelby July 3, 2017, 7:21 am

    Great article! I got tired of my job in a big corporation mainly because of the politics and am in search of a different work/life style. I found your blog while surfing online and enjoyed your articles. You provided a lot of information supported by real numbers, which I really like. I like the idea of working part time with flexible hours. I guess semiretirement is the direction I am heading toward.

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 8:36 am

      Good luck! Semiretirement is the way to go. It’s much better than full retirement.

  • zhao July 3, 2017, 8:47 am

    Hi, Joe, when you count your passive income to calculate the FI ratio, do you count in the principle paydown for your rental as part of it or only the free cash flow is got counted?

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 9:07 am

      I just count the free cash flow. The principle paydown is nice, but doesn’t put cash in our pocket. 🙂

  • Fromusa July 3, 2017, 11:57 am

    (1) “Currently, only accredited investors can invest at RealtyShares.”

    Uh….do they even do due diligence to verify if you indeed meet those income/net worth ‘requirements’ ?

    (2) The link above for Dividend Portfolio is only for 2015. Do you have a similar summary of the performance for the 2016 portfolio? Or those from previous years?

    (3) It’s impressive that you’ve been able to beat VIG the last 2 years. I have been wondering whether I should manage my own portfolio, too …. or just buy BRK.B instead. You could do no wrong with BRK.B. No? 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 3, 2017, 12:22 pm

      1. I’m not sure if they verify. I doubt it,though. I’ve invested in a few things that specified accredited investor. None of them really checked rigorously.
      2. I updated the link. https://retireby40.org/passive-income-2017/
      3. Thanks! You can’t go wrong with BRK.B. VIG is beating me this year. They’ve been doing really well. I have some investments that are not – Target, Mattel, etc….

  • Dividend Diplomats July 3, 2017, 12:57 pm

    RB 40 –

    Well on your way there! And yes – your dividends will have a massive 2nd half of the year, especially if your funds only pay in December. Further – you’ve been able to manage expenses very well so far in the first 6 months, something that should be noted.

    Also – just a heads up – one minor typo I saw – “Our expense will increase in the 2nd half of 2016. ” I believe you meant 2017, did you want to change that at all? Thought I’d give you a heads up!

    Thanks for sharing RB40 and you just gave a new meaning to Independence day, that’s for damn sure.


    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 9:05 am

      Thanks for the heads up. I fixed it. The first 6 months always look better for us because the expense is usually lower. The extra income in Q4 is great, but we really need to work on smoothing out expenses. Oh well..

      • Dividend Diplomats July 5, 2017, 3:50 pm

        Nice and I can see what you mean. What’s funny is how everything, though, is “OK” – I never take time to think about that piece to all of the math numbers and events happening in life. Something I need to get back to. Excited to see what the 2nd half brings! Thanks again RB40.


  • Karl Steiner July 3, 2017, 3:03 pm

    It’s pure fireworks to see your real life example of how to achieve FI. I am planning on “retiring” at the end of this year, although I’m not particularly fond of that particular term. I like your 100% FI ratio metric, but I don’t think I will achieve that by the end of the year. My main problem is getting the expense side down low enough to be fully supported by passive income alone. We are hoping to get sufficient portfolio growth over the next 30 years of so to make up the difference. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time calculating different portfolio trajectories etc. The nice thing about your FI 100% approach, if I could do it, is that I would be less at the mercy of the stock market ups and downs. I will check in next 4th of July (if not sooner) to compare your progress with my own. Good luck!

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 9:06 am

      Good luck with your pending semi retirement. I don’t like the term semi retirement. It’s ambiguous. I’ll stick with early retirement. 🙂

  • Your First Million July 3, 2017, 9:08 pm

    Success is no accident!

    I think that many people are not as successful as they would like to be because they have not made the conscious DECISION to be so. I love this post because I can’t get this idea out to people enough!

    Decide and commit to become financially free, and one way or another you will find a way to make it happen. If you never make the decision, you will never take action on making it a reality.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 9:07 am

      Exactly. A lot of people just don’t have long term goals. You can’t move forward if you’re don’t have a destination to shoot for.

  • Darren July 4, 2017, 3:23 pm

    Happy Independence Day!

    It looks like you’re on track for a great year. I wish my wife was working, but we have young kids so she stays home. I’d love to be able to achieve financial freedom earlier so we can really do what we want to do.

    I’m like you about P2P. I liked the returns, but I didn’t shelter them in a ROTH IRA so trying to figure out my tax bill on them was confusing. I shut off my auto-invest in both Lending Club and Prosper last year and have been cashing out.

    Thanks for the Realty Share tip. I’ve just signed up, because I would love to get those kind of returns. I own two rentals and might have reached my limit in that area, although I’ll probably end up renting out the home I’m in and move into something smaller in the years ahead–maybe an RV? 😉

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 9:08 am

      Thanks! I hope you had a great Independence Day as well.
      I like RealtyShares much better than P2P lending. It seems much more secure and the ROI is good. The only downside is that you can’t diversify as much. I’ll have to invest more if I want more diversification. Good luck with the RV. Seems to work for some people. 🙂

  • SMM July 5, 2017, 6:49 am

    Very nice progress here!
    Passive income exceeds expenses– this would be the ultimate one for me, but I have a long way to go. I’m trying to put more in my before tax accounts to lower income and the the taxes I will have to pay on dividends earned in my after-tax account. The little bit of passive income I’m earning is being reinvested into more dividend stocks/ETFs.

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 9:09 am

      Keep at it! I don’t like paying capital gain tax either. Luckily, we haven’t had to pay much over the last few years because we’re in the lower tax bracket. We might have to pay a bit this year, though..

  • mARK July 5, 2017, 9:38 am

    God forbids but would you be able to retire in 2020 even if you would divorce from Mrs RB40 ?

    • retirebyforty July 5, 2017, 2:37 pm

      I’m not sure if I’m reading this right, but it sounds like you’re asking what happens if we get a divorce. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen, but it would be much easier for me as a single guy. I could live cheaply and travel a lot more. I don’t know about Mrs. RB40, but I’m sure she can figure something out.

  • Duncan's Dividends July 5, 2017, 1:06 pm

    Happy belated Independence Day! 94% is a fantastic number and even if you dip ten percent, you’ll more than make up for it with the blog and your wife’s work. Keep up the inspirational story and the photo of junior is fantastic! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun over the holiday.

  • Supermoneywoman July 6, 2017, 12:54 pm

    I’m a History teacher….and my daughter was born on 4th July.
    Great post.
    Do you think there will be extra expense with older/more children?

    • retirebyforty July 6, 2017, 1:21 pm

      I feel like daycare was the big expense for a lot of families. Once that’s done, the expense will down for a while. Yes, there are sports and other activities, but they are still cheaper than childcare. Our grocery expense will increase once our kid eat more, though.

  • Anil July 6, 2017, 3:35 pm

    Nice post Joe! One question I have is regarding managing the ad on your page. I see you have a lot more now then few months ago. But they don’t seem to clutter so far. Is it a standard template or it’s something you have full control over how to display, how many and where? And who decides what ads to show up? I see lot of other websites, especially the news outlets that show these ads and at some point they just take over the whole site. That drives the readers away. How are you controlling all this? I hope you keep it clean.

    • retirebyforty July 7, 2017, 7:05 am

      I changed the ad layout early this year. I’m working with AdThrive and they help set it up. I can change the number of ads and that kind of thing. This is already a bit too much advertising for me. I wouldn’t add anymore. I may remove the top banner at some point. It takes up a lot of space and Google doesn’t like top banner ads.

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