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2012 Goals and Resolutions Wrap Up


Wow, can you believe 2012 is almost over? Now that I’m a bit older, I’m much more conscious of the passage of time. 2012 flew by very quickly and it was a tumultuous year for me. I finally retired from my corporate job after exactly 16 years to the day (7/22/96 to 7/21/12.) Earlier this year, a reminder to quit popped up on my Outlook appointment. I actually set the quit (and get a new job) date to 2009, but I delayed it in outlook for 3 years because the economy was so bad. Anyway, it all worked out and I’m very happy to be out on my own. Every year is flying by and there is no point going to a job I don’t like every day if I don’t have to. Anyway, that was my big goal for 2012 and I accomplished it. See how I did with the rest of my goals after a brief interlude with Baby RB40.

Baby RB40’s goals

2012 goals resolutions wrap up

Leaning to count

Baby RB40 blew through every goal we set for him. He is 22 months old now and he can run, jump, and climb everywhere. He is building his vocabulary every day and he just learned how to say giraffe, baby, and work recently. He is a pretty good eater and his favorite dishes are Mapo Tofu and Nam Prik Ong.  He even ate a salmon fish taco last week. He doesn’t like grilled cheese sandwich though, what a silly guy. We’ll see what 2013 brings, but we are very happy with his progress. We’re not tiger parents and he can develop at his own speed.


  1. Rental Income: The goal was to average $700/month in rental income. The last quarter was very rough on our rental income. We painted the 4plex and had some expensive repair and maintenance issues. With all the problems, we are turning slightly negative for the year as far as cash flow goes. Once we count the tax deductions, we should come out slightly ahead. This goal was a little too ambitious for 2012 because we had several big repairs on the 4 plex. Next year should be much better because there aren’t any big repairs scheduled. I’m really just hoping for one big repair per year. Grade: Fail.
  2. Online Income: average $1,000/month in Q4 2012. We averaged over $1,000 per month in 2012! My online business is turning out to be a viable source of retirement income and I’ll keep working to improve the revenue in 2013. Grade: Pass.
  3. Dividend & Interest: average $500/month in Q4 2012. The dividend portfolio averages over $500/month in Q4. I’m almost done with converting our taxable account to dividend stocks. The dividend income should continue to increase because I’m reinvesting the income into more dividend stocks. It would be really nice to eventually see $1,000/month in dividend income. Grade: Pass.
  4. Monthly positive cash flow: $500/month. In 2012, we have about $1,000/month left after all is said and done. We’ll need to keep it up in 2013. Grade: Pass.
  5. P2P income: $100/month by the December 2012. We invested $10,000 at Prosper and the loans have been generating a little over $100/month. Next year, I’m planning to open a Roth IRA at Lending Club and invest $5,000 there. P2P lending is quite lucrative and I’m making around 13% ROI. If this holds up over the long term, I’ll probably keep increasing my investments. Grade: Pass.

2012 Learnings: I’ve been concentrating on making the cash flow work in 2012 and that’s why there are so many $xxx/month goals. In 2013, I’ll avoid these and make more solid yearly goals like maxing out Roth IRA. Another learning experience is from the rentals; I’m glad we kept a big stash of cash so we didn’t have to sell stocks to pay for the repairs. I think 2013 will be better, but we’ll see.

Personal Goals

  1. Change job. Done! I quit my engineering career and became a stay at home dad/blogger. It’s been 6 months and we are doing OK so far. 2013 will be a full year of retirement and we should be able to see if I can stay away from a corporate job forever. Grade: Pass.
  2. Stay healthy by eating well and keeping active. The transition to staying at home didn’t work out well for this goal. I’m not eating as healthy and I’m less active even with running after baby RB40. It’s a lot more difficult now that it’s cold and wet. We couldn’t go out as much so I barely got any exercise at all. I’ll keep this one on the list, but I don’t know how to solve this problem right now. Grade: Fail.
  3. Join Toastmasters. I will probably have to wait until Baby RB40 goes off to school before I can do this. Grade: Fail.
  4. Pursue other side ventures. Being a stay at home dad blogger takes up every minute of my time. I’m keeping in touch with one of my college buddies, but we don’t have any good ideas right now. He wants to open a dive shop in Belize. I’m thinking about going along and setting up some kind of small business too. Grade: Fail for now.

2012 Learnings: It’s hard to keep a routine after a big change like retiring. I used to go work out 4-5 times per week during lunch break and I can’t do that now that I’m a stay at home dad. Health is very important to me so I need to figure something out for 2013. I think this is a short term problem though because Baby RB40 should let me exercise more when he’s a bit older. Right now he just needs attention all the time.

Blog/Online Goals

  1. Retire By 40. I’m still able to consistently post 3 times per week after I became a stay at home dad. The traffic seems to have plateaued though. I’ll have to work harder and smarter in 2013 to keep growing. Overall, I’m pretty happy with our progress this year. Next year, I’ll set more concrete goals. Perhaps 100,000 pageviews/month by the end of 2013? Grade: Pass.
  2. Develop a few more sites. I started two more sites and hired writers to help out. I can’t write for more than one site. I’ll focus on the backend on those sites and we’ll see if the investment pans out. These new sites are just starting out and are a little rough around the edges. Check them out at Midlife Finance and Ready To Quit My Job! We should start making a little income from these sites in 2013. Grade: Pass.
  3. Attend one blogging conference. I attended the 2012 Financial Blogger Conference in Denver and had an awesome time. Now that I know what to expect, I should be more prepared next time. Grade: Pass.

2012 Learnings: Set more concrete goals in 2013. Don’t hesitate to hire some help if I need it.

2012 is Done!

I think I did pretty well in 2012. I accomplished my big goal of retiring and that made 2012 awesome. I failed 4 goals and some of those were big ones. We need to turn the rental income around in 2013 and if we can’t do that, we’ll probably have to think about cashing out. I really need to exercise more in 2013 as well. I feel much better overall since I left my job because I’m not stressed out all the time, but feelings could be deceptive. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow and we’ll see what l the ab results indicate.

Well, I hope you enjoyed following my journey in 2012. Next year, I’m going to aim for more Fails. Yeap, I need to set the bars higher in 2013. We learn the most from our failures and I can’t be complacent yet. I’ll turn 40 next year so it will be another big year for me. I don’t think I’m going to have a midlife crisis, but you never know… So stay tuned. 🙂

What about you? Have you tallied up your accomplishments this year? How did you do in 2012?

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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{ 41 comments… add one }
  • Steve December 20, 2012, 12:45 am

    It sounds to me that even with the failures (some of which were beyond your control) 2012 was a pretty successful year. Keep up the momentum and keep building on that and 2013 should be even better!

    I can definitely empathize with you on the exercise front. I have been in the same situation, but with my daughter starting school finally I will be getting back to the gym and back to a semblance of fitness. Hope to hear the same from you in 2013.

    Congratulations Joe and keep up the great job!

    P.S. Belize…really?!?

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement. I don’t think Baby RB40 is going to start school anytime soon so I’m going to be stuck trying to make it work somehow.
      Belize is quite nice. I’ll keep an eye out for your destination too. If you really move down there, we’ll definitely go visit. 🙂

      • Steve December 20, 2012, 5:30 pm

        Yeah, Belize is just a short drive down the coast, so if we both end up moving we will definitely have to have a meet up 🙂

  • Scott @ Financial News Group December 20, 2012, 2:30 am

    Sounds like you had a great year – don’t worry about not hitting all your goals, at the end of the day there is always next year 🙂

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:37 pm

      Thanks! It’s always disappointing to see the failures.

  • Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank December 20, 2012, 2:39 am

    Every year I get older the time seems to move faster 🙁
    Great work on completing so many of your goals. I plan on doing a similar style post closer to the end of the year so that I can review my overall performance.

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I think life just get more and more busy as you get older. That’s why time seems to pass by so quickly. I’m looking forward to your performance too. 🙂

  • My Multiple Incomes December 20, 2012, 7:33 am

    I’m doing something similar to see how well I have been able to accomplish my goals. It’s really a good way to look back in order to know what we need to work harder on for the next year.

  • SavvyFinancialLatina December 20, 2012, 7:43 am

    I’m only 22 and I feel like time is going by so fast! I can’t believe it’s about to be 2013 already, and I’m 22.5 lol. I don’t know how stay at home parents do it. Little kids are so energetic and demand so much attention! Props to you for keeping up with him.

    I’m planning on writing a post similar to yours and writing down my 2013 goals 🙂

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:39 pm

      Little kids are crazy! 🙂 I’m working on my 2013 goals too. They should be interesting.

  • krantcents December 20, 2012, 9:02 am

    I will post my update soon, but I am reflecting on my progress and making a lot of changes.

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:40 pm

      I’m looking forward to it.

  • Christa December 20, 2012, 11:32 am

    Yay for Baby RB40 reaching all of his goals! Running and jumping are pretty major, so I’m impressed. For your workout goal, can you switch to a gym that has on-site babysitting? Or you could do video workouts. I finally started working out again after the cold hit, and video workouts are the only way to get it done. We’ll see when my LO starts walking, though!

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:41 pm

      I think I’ll just need to make it work without a gym. I like going to the gym and all, but video workouts is probably the way to go until Baby RB40 goes off to school. Enjoy your little one. 🙂

  • My Own Advisor December 20, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Sounds like you had a good year overall – well done 🙂

  • JC @ PassiveIncomePursuit December 20, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Wow, the online income is really impressive. Setting a goal of $1,000 average for the last quarter and blowing past that and averaging it for the year is impressive. One of my goals for next year will be to start trying to monetize my own blog. You can never have too many income sources. I’m hoping to hoping to bump my average monthly dividend income way up in 2013. It’ll be interesting to see where exactly I end up at the end of the year. Some of my goals were apparently set too low, but I didn’t have a great base line to see what I could possibly expect. 2013 will have some pretty aggressive goals. Congrats on all the progress, despite the few failures.

    PS. Work on Baby RB40’s dislike of the grilled cheese. I don’t see how anyone can’t love that sandwich.

    • retirebyforty December 20, 2012, 3:42 pm

      Good luck with the monetization! It’s more fun when you make a little money. 🙂
      I’ll work on the grilled cheese, but they all seems to end up in my tummy….

  • Lance @ Money Life and More December 20, 2012, 3:40 pm

    Congrats on achieving all you have this year. Quitting is huge and the fact that you’re still cash flow positive is great!

  • Jeremiah December 21, 2012, 6:36 am

    Great year – Congrats!!!

    I wouldn’t lose sleep over the 4-plex. With one property, there is going to be a lot of natural (and dare-I-say, healthy) volatility, and years like that are going to happen.

    I’ll be interested to see your goals for next year. The theme this year seemed to be on cash flow. Given that current cash flow is so positive ($1000K/month!!!!), do you think that you’ll shift towards net worth or something else?

  • Andy December 21, 2012, 10:41 am

    Interesting to read your story. But honestly I don’t know if blogging on its own can provide sufficient income to give up one’s day job. At one point I was making $10K a month blogging, but over the last year with all of google’s changes and the increase in competiton, I am making far less. Mind you, I have had other competing priorities.

    But I like your story and look forward to following your progress.

  • Sustainable Life Blog December 21, 2012, 11:58 am

    You had a great year joe, congrats! Looks like everything has fallen into place, and hopefully the rental income comes up a bit in 2013. What will baby rb40 be focusing on for 2013?

  • Amanda L Grossman December 22, 2012, 5:28 am


    Many changes for you this year, but it sounds like they were the right ones.

    On the exercise front, I have noticed that some of the gyms and yoga studios around here in Houston offer babysitting while you work out! I would definitely look into that if I were you. It sounds like you need some time to yourself during the day a few days a week (as any staq-at-home mommy/daddy does).

    Happy Holidays,

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:34 am

      I’ll have to try to find a gym that cater to a stay at home dad. 🙂
      Thanks for the idea. Happy Holidays!

  • 101 Centavos December 22, 2012, 6:52 am

    Mapo Tofu and Nam Prik Ong?
    That’s a good lad right there.

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:35 am

      Heh heh, he is an Asian baby.

  • Lisa @ Thriftability December 22, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Great layout with your Pass/Fail view of what you have accomplished over the past year. This was an awesome post – you have inspired me to take a long hard look at our own 2012 accomplishments and fails to post up as well. Thanks for the motivation!

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:37 am

      I hope you had a good 2012! It’s tough to see our failures, but we’ll have another chance in 2013. 🙂

  • Financial Samurai December 23, 2012, 8:19 am

    Sounds like a good year Joe! May you achieve your goals for 2013!

  • Brick by Brick Investing December 23, 2012, 12:29 pm

    All and all a great year for you, congratulations. I look forward to following you more in 2013.

  • Dividend Growth Investor December 23, 2012, 4:27 pm

    That is a very decent stream of dividend income you have. If you held more dividend growth stocks in your portfolio, your income would increase whether you reinvest dividends or not..

    Good luck in 2013

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:38 am

      Most of the dividend stocks I have are dividend champions. 🙂

  • Cherleen @ My Personal Finance Journey December 23, 2012, 5:22 pm

    Congratulations for a wonderful 2012! May your 2013 be as great, if not better. I look forward to more informative and helpful posts from your blogs next year.

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:38 am

      Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays!

  • David Landen December 23, 2012, 7:09 pm

    I love the idea of creating an Outlook reminder to quit your job! I think that is hilarious! I need to the same thing! Congratulations of your retirement.

    • retirebyforty December 24, 2012, 11:39 am

      Thank you! I forgot all about the Outlook reminder until it popped up. 🙂

  • Buy & Hold Blogger December 24, 2012, 6:32 pm

    Great job retiring at 40. Very few people can accomplish such a goal. I feel inspired by your blog. I too have slacked off working out. I need to hit the gym more often in 2013.

  • Evan January 1, 2013, 7:34 am

    Looks like a fantastic year, but how can it not be when you are spending more time with your boy!

    I’d love to hear more about your dividend income – An average of $500 a month is fantastic. Are you reinvesting it? using it to supplement life? etc.

    • retirebyforty January 1, 2013, 9:25 am

      The 2nd half of the year was really awesome.
      I just put the dividend income into the general pool. Then I just invest the fund whenever we have $3-4,000 extra.

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