As I mentioned last week, I’m not big on New Year Resolutions. But I do think it is important to make goals, and track our progress. The past few years, I’ve done an informal, high level yearly review of my financial situation, and it’s really helped me gain a perspective of how my goals change over time. I’d like to share with you my 2017 review.
I wrote this list down at the beginning of last year, in a calendar item set for the beginning of this January. Notice how high level it is:
- Kill the boat loan
- Move onto boat
- Move to remote job
- Fully Fund Roth IRA’s
- Maximize 401(k)s
- Have a retirement portfolio worth of more than $340,000
So how does this list compare to where I stand right now?
Kill the boat loan, and move onto the boat
DONE! I’m going to combine these two goals into one, because they are related in how I achieved them. I did this one by selling my house, moving onto the boat, and using some of the proceeds to pay off the remainder of the loan.
Move to remote job
SORT OF. I quit my job, and am working at building my own business (Money Coaching, FTW!). Much of this work can be done at home. It has the added advantage of being very flexible, and it’s empowering to work for myself.
Fully Fund Roth IRA’s
DONE! Even though I don’t have a job anymore, I had a job for half the year, which means I can fund my Roth. I may need to figure out a different retirement vehicle for next year, if I continue to not have a traditional job.
Maximize my 401(k)
SORT OF. I maxed it for some of the year, but when I realized the coming changes in my life, I reduced it to the percentage that my company made contributions for. When I quit my job, even that went away. But I’m going to count this one as a success, because I did the right things at the right time. Remember, don’t be a slave to your goals, just for the sake of checking them off! Do what is important is to do what is right for your life, at that moment.
Have a retirement portfolio worth of more than $340,000
DONE! I set this goal when I was looking at my retirement situation from a combined perspective. When my husband and I separated (see below), I think this goal needs to be separated, too. That makes my goal $170,000. I hit over $250,000 this year, so I’ve definitely surpassed it!
What else happened this year?
- I separated from my husband of 15 years, and we’re on track to get divorced early this year. We’ve both made it personal goals to stay good friends, and so far, I feel we’ve done very well at that. While this isn’t a financial goal, it has wide-ranging ramifications on all of my financial goals, so I included it anyway.
- I quit my job. This one is huge for me. I loved my job and I had been at the company over five years. I loved the people I worked with, and enjoyed the kind of work I did. But over the last year and a half or so, the company had been making increasingly poor decisions. Several people I enjoyed working with either moved on, or were laid off. And worst of all, the environment turned toxic. I ended up having a terrible panic attack, directly related to the job. I’ve never seen such a fast change in attitudes. I was quite frankly appalled at the way people were treated, and finally couldn’t stomach staying there another day, especially as it was affecting my mental health. I took the leap, and I haven’t looked back.
- I turned in a leased car, thus eliminating that lease, and I bought a car with cash. It’s a simple older Toyota Yaris, but its mine, and I never owed anyone for it!
- I am now completely debt free! I am my own woman, and not beholden to anyone else. Except my cat. I’m always beholden to her.
What conclusions can I draw from this review?
Well, it’s always interesting to me to see how far off my life is from what I imagined, even over the course of only one year. I got a divorce, which sent me scrambling for security in my personal life, even while I used it as an opportunity to take a huge chance in my professional life.
What are my goals for 2018?
Well, I think I’ve learned a lot over this past year. My retirement goals are still very important to me, but I’ve been easing off on them a bit in order to concentrate on shifting my career. It’s become more important to me to contribute to the world around me in some beneficial way, and I think that coaching people to improve their financial health is a very good contribution to the world. I haven’t put my other goals completely aside, but I have to concentrate on other things right now.
So here is my list for 2018:
- Be making enough money with my own business to sustain myself at my Bare Bones Number. Right now that is about $2800/mo
- And if I haven’t achieved that, have a part-time in a related field to continue growing and expanding professionally.
- Stay debt-free!
- Contribute to my retirement funds
- Have a retirement portfolio worth $275,000.
What about you?
What does your 2017 review look like? And what goals have you set for 2018?