2018 in review and looking forward to 2019

Even with all the carnage going on in the markets in the last few months of 2018, and especially December, we still ended the year in a net gain of ~$79k! It just boils down to three things really.

a) Keep automatically investing every month in retirement and taxable accounts

b) Keep reducing debt every month

c) Take advantage of market downturns and sock aside more in taxable accounts. Since you’ll be on track to maximize your retirement accounts no matter what, the excess investment has to go in taxable accounts which do not have any contribution limits.

Since we started tracking our progress from January 2017, our net worth has gone from $458k to $686k. In two full years, we’ve manged to increase our net worth by almost $230k. That’s incredible to me.

Here’s a graphical representation of how our Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth have changed over the course of 2 years.

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For 2019 we have some plain vanilla and some ambitious goals. None of these are “new year resolutions” – I hate that crap!

First, we’ll be maximizing our 401(k) at our respective employers. With an increase to $19k in 2019, that’s $38k tax-free shaved right at the top.

Then, we’ll be contributing to the max in in either Roth or T-IRA. With new limits of $6k this year, that’s another $12k for both of us.

Next, we plan to invest at least $9k in our taxable accounts for the full year. This will almost certainly bump up to $10k by the end of the year. As a comparison, for 2018 we invested $6,850 in taxable accounts.

With automated pulls we’ll be putting $2.4k in our child’s 529 account for the year. I want to top it off to $3k.

Our mortgage balance stands at $206k right now. Aim is to bring this down to $160k, mixed between regular payments and additional payments applied towards principal. This will be the stretch goal!

Other than that, nothing special really. We’ll take a couple of vacations, one probably internationally. We will go on a number of road trips. And work our asses off in our respective jobs.

2017 in review and looking forward to 2018

Here is a graphical representation of how our Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth changed throughout 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are very cognizant of the fact that our assets have continued to grow not only because of what we put into the accounts but also, significantly, due to the historic stock market run we’re in the middle of. The markets will probably not continue at this pace for long. But hey, make hay while the sun shines!

We also love the first few months of the year. Annual bonuses, yearly raises, 401(k) match from the employer – all come in the months of January to March. The next few posts should be fun!

Looking forward to this year: M got a job offer, starting later this year. The new salary would be an increase of 48% over the current pay; with (guaranteed) bonuses, it’s a 60% jump. This change should provide a powerful push in our search for FIRE. With this development, we’re setting up new goals.

Here it then:

1. Pay off all student loans by end of 2018

2. We hope/plan to pay off our mortgage by the end of 2022 

Outstanding student loans today stands at tad under $19k. This WILL be wiped off by the end of the year, possibly by October.

Our mortgage is currently at $226k. It’s more than just “hope” – we are paying around $800 extra towards principal each month. When the student loans are paid off, that will free up $1.4k a month which will then be directed towards the mortgage. When M starts the new job, we estimate that we’ll be able to pump in a total of $3k towards extra principal each month.

Will this be hard? Almost certainly! If you ain’t sweating for it, you’re not doing it right. At that point (when we’re mortgage free) we’ll be that much closer to FIRE.