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2013 New Year’s Resolutions – Summer Update


Quick message to everyone

I’d like to apologize to our regular readers for the Retire By 40’s problem last week. Our host server was under a denial of service attack throughout the week and the site was down intermittently. We moved to a different server now and I really hope things will be stable for quite a while. Thanks for your patience.

Portland Rose Festival parade new year's resolutions update summer

New Year’s Resolutions

Wow, the year is half over already. We are in the midst of a heat wave (low 90’s) here in Portland. Our AC is still out of commission, but I think we can deal with the heat.  We have a pool in our complex and we’ll be spending a lot of time there and we can always hide in the library if we really need to cool down.

I’m not looking forward to checking our progress at all because we just got back from vacation. Everything is in a bit of shambles and I’m way too relaxed to do anything about it. Oh well, might as well get started.

Little RB40

Our goal for 2013 is for him to make a friend. He is doing pretty well actually. He can recognize and remember a few kids from story time and that’s quite good.

We also went on vacation with our college friends who have a same age daughter and they played together pretty well. Little RB40 doesn’t really know how to behave around other kids and he pushed and kicked the little girl around a bit. Our friend taught us how to do a timeout and he’s getting more disciplinary actions now.

I’m also planning to send Little RB40 to preschool this coming school year. Man, he is such a handful now. All the parents I know with kids this age are trying to find a preschool. At 2 and a half, kids are constantly pushing boundaries and that’s tough to put up with all day long. We realized that we need some help from expert teachers to guide him. I’m looking for 3 half days so I’ll have a little time to write.

Financial Goals

  • Contribute $11,000 to Roth IRA – Done! I sold off some stocks last year and earmarked $11,000 for our Roth IRA.
  • Increase Mrs. RB40’s 401(k) contribution to $17,500 – Done! This didn’t impact our cash flow much because she maxed out last year and only needed to increase $500.
  • Contribute $10,000 to Baby RB40’s 529. Done! I made the contribution during last week’s market correction.
  • Generate $18,000 of passive income. WIP, but this is not looking good. The rentals and peer to peer lending are not generating much income for us so far this year.
  • Generate $18,000 online. We are doing very well here and should finish this goal before the Fall update.
  • Stretch Goal – contribute $5,000 to a solo 401(k). I’ll try to open a solo 401(k) account with Vanguard soon. Hopefully, I’ll have an account by September and start contributing by then.
  • Put together a will. Putting off until Q4.
  • Buy life insurance – WIP. This is the next thing on my to-do list. I’ll try to get it done in July ASAP. Summer is busy though…

Personal goals

  1. Take a vacation. Woohoo! We went to visit Santa Barbara and the Bay Area. It was so much fun and I’m ready to take on the rest of this year.
  2. Avoid a midlife crisis! I’ll turn 40 this year and I really don’t want to have any kind of meltdown. Doing well here.
  3.  Enjoy being a stay at home dad. In the last update I said – Wow, this one is hard with a 2 year old. This is still true, but I think once he goes to preschool, it will be much more enjoyable again.
  4. Come up with a sustainable exercise program and do it. The exercise program went out the window due to vacation and cooler weather. We still go for a long walk every day, but I’ll need to pick it up again. We plan on doing more swimming this summer.
  5. Go to a convention. World Domination Summit is coming up this weekend. This should be a lot of fun and I’ll let you know all about it.
  6. Join Toastmasters. Not looking good. I just don’t have any spare time.
  7. Go camping at the beach in the summer. Made a reservation at a campsite in 2 weeks. We have to go pick up some camp pads, but other than that I think we’re ready for a one night camping trip. J
  8. Go for a short hike in the Columbia George. Done! We drove out on the first nice day of the year and enjoyed some short hikes to see the waterfalls.
  9. Get a Zoo membership. I’m rethinking this one. I found out they have a $4 Second Tuesdays, so we might just take advantage of that instead.
  10. Go to 10 local festivals in 2013. Actually, this might be a bit too ambitious festivals. We have been to to Cinco de Mayo, the local flower festival, and Rose Festival (parade) so far.
  11. Picnic at an Oregon winery. We went picnicking in the Santa Ynez valley when we went wine tasting during our vacation. Oregon wineries are so much nicer (and cheaper) though and we still need to schedule something. Maybe in August.
  12. Go to 10 free musical/tourist destinations/theatrical performances. We’ve been to the Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, Oregon History Museum, and the Children’s Museum. Not bad so far.
  13. Have a drink with blogger friends in Oregon and California. Done! I met up with bloggers and readers in Seattle, San Jose, and San Francisco so far. I’ll see a bunch of people at WDS next weekend too.
  14.  Try a new beer – Done! I guess this was a freebie. I tried about 5 new beers already and I still have 9 months left.
  15. 2013 No Spend Challenge: Clothing. Doing well here so far. The only time I was tempted to buy something was when I saw the library’s “support the summer reading program” t shirt. I’ll support them next year. 🙂

Blog Goals

My main goal for 2013 is to hit 100,000 page views per month at some point. This is very slow going. Our growth rate is much slower now in our 3rd year. At this rate, we might hit 100,000 page views around the end of the year.

new year's resolutions summer update slow

Slow and Steady

The year is half over and we’re doing okay so far. The top priority for me in Q3 is to get life insurance, and then deal with the solo 401(k) and draft a will. Having a list of goals is actually quite useful. It gives me a chance to take stock of the last few months and refocus on short term goals. If I didn’t have a list, I probably would have forgotten many of these goals by now.

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


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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, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

Joe also 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 DIY investors analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.

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{ 26 comments… add one }
  • mayanqueen July 15, 2013, 6:19 pm

    Wow, I didn’t know blogging was so profitable. I know you work hard at it, so you deserve it.
    But, how do one start doing the blogging? I am interested, probably a bilingual blog. Do you have to pay? Any specific website that you would recommend? In regards to the will, I did a living trust… is that the same? I heard a living trust is easy to adapt changes to it…not very sure. I do have on my 2013 to get health insurance for our dog. Does anyone have one, what are the recommendations? All I say if you don’t have a pet, don’t get one.
    Our dog got sick before our vacation and we had to take her to emergency! At midnight, everything was closed! $850.00! ouch! For X-Ray, specialist, medicine…she had 104 fever. We also had to make a few changes to our vacation until she got better. So, people with pets get health insurance! Pets are good therapy and bring joy to families but they are expensive!!!

  • The Phroogal Jason July 2, 2013, 10:43 pm

    I love how you’ve combined both financial and personal goals. They are equally important in my mind. Travel as well is on my top list. But, yes you definitely need to work on that will and get on that insurance. 🙂

  • Anton Ivanov July 2, 2013, 10:16 pm

    I think you’re doing great Joe! You are completing many of your goals already and you know what you need to do to make the other ones happy!

    Sorry to hear about the server denial attack on your servers. I’m going through the same thing this week and I know it can be stressful.

    • retirebyforty July 2, 2013, 11:05 pm

      Ugh… Don’t these people have better things to do? Why are they attacking us?

  • Mike July 2, 2013, 10:42 am

    The traffic figures tends to be one of the harder things to achieve. But if you can succeed getting that many visits a month then you’ll be golden!

    • retirebyforty July 2, 2013, 11:05 pm

      Things are not looking all that great right now actually. The summer is a slow time for blogs, but I’m sure it will pick back up in September.

  • Pretired Nick July 2, 2013, 8:54 am

    I hope to have some good news about dumping my rental property in about two more weeks. Cannot. Wait.
    Also, I have a lot of camping equipment you’re welcome to borrow. We’d just have to coordinate getting it to you and back again…

    • retirebyforty July 2, 2013, 11:04 pm

      Good luck! The market is heating up so it’s a great time to sell. We’ll keep the camping gears in mind if we go camping nearby. 🙂 Maybe San Juan islands someday.

  • Little House July 2, 2013, 7:06 am

    You’re doing fantastic on your progress. I didn’t realize you had so many goals! Though I’d get that will done (dude, you’ve got a kid!).

    • retirebyforty July 2, 2013, 11:02 pm

      I’ll get right on it. I’m just slow… 🙂

  • thepotatohead July 1, 2013, 8:13 pm

    100,000 page views would be awesome! Good job on the online earnings as well, sounds like things are doing great on that front. So no midlife crisis sports car in your future :p? Corvettes are nice 🙂

    • retirebyforty July 1, 2013, 10:46 pm

      I’m too cheap to spend that much on a midlife crisis. 🙂 Maybe when the kid is done with college, then we’ll be more free with our spending.

  • Greg @ Thriftgenuity.com July 1, 2013, 5:40 pm

    This all seems pretty amazing to me. Even with the goals you are missing, a pretty impressive list.

    I am closing in on one of my goals, which is another rental property. We are looking now and hopefully can close by year’s end.

    • retirebyforty July 1, 2013, 10:45 pm

      Good luck with the rental property!

  • krantcents July 1, 2013, 1:27 pm

    My half year performance has mixed results, but I am reporting on that on Thursday. My number are improving and I am still making changes.

  • Michelle July 1, 2013, 8:57 am

    100,000 page views per month would be amazing. I hope to be at that point sometime!

    • retirebyforty July 1, 2013, 10:43 pm

      Good luck to you too. 🙂

  • I have been forced to change hosts as well. I have almost no views on my site this past week due to the attacks. I have selected GreenGeeks as my new host but it is a long weekend here in Canada so it is going very slowly.

    Nursery school is the best think for socialization. Being without his parents and having to play by the rules of the school will do incredible things for his independence and social skills. I am sure he will adjust and fit in wonderfully well – it is the parents that seem to struggle with the separation.

    • retirebyforty July 1, 2013, 10:36 pm

      Good luck with the new host. Moving host is tough.
      Preschool should be good for our little guy. He is so used to having his ways all the time and could use a little more discipline and social skills.

  • nicoleandmaggie July 1, 2013, 5:43 am

    Why are you putting off the will and life insurance?

    • Yah?

      • retirebyforty July 1, 2013, 10:35 pm

        I know. It’s terrible. I’m just slow… I’ll try to get them done ASAP.

        • Pretired Nick July 2, 2013, 8:50 am

          We found doing the wills was actually not that bad once we got started. Hardest part has been getting around to getting the notarized signature!

          • retirebyforty July 2, 2013, 11:03 pm

            Did you use an attorney? I’m not really sure how to do this actually.

          • nicoleandmaggie July 3, 2013, 11:57 am

            We used an attorney. It’s so important just to have the “who gets the kids if we die at the same time.”

            With our attorney, it was ~$500 for the whole package (two wills, medical directive, some other random stuff) with DC1, and free to update when DC2 was born.

            Life insurance was even easier– they sent someone to our house!

          • retirebyforty July 4, 2013, 12:54 am

            Ok, thanks. I’ll do the life insurance first and then the will next.

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