Goals for 2014

by FI Fighter on January 27, 2014

in Goals

Wow, it’s somewhat hard for me to believe it’s already 2014! Since the inception of this blog, this is now going to be my third Goals list I’m filling out. Time sure does fly. It seemed like only yesterday when I was just getting started, trying to get ANY cash flow going… One of my first goals was to simply build a $60,000 dividend portfolio.

So, now it’s 2014 and I can honestly say I’m excited for the new year. For the first time since I started working, I actually got to take an extended vacation (18 days in Hawaii) and can now begin a new year without feeling completely depleted.

But enough rambling, let’s get to the goals for 2014!

Goals

1) Acquire Two Additional Rental Properties

Hmm, this one is kind of anti-climatic, huh? If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, I’m guessing you are somewhat surprised that I’m not aiming for more this year. What gives?!? Wasn’t this supposed to be Year 3: The Accelerator?

Martin, if you are reading this, can you believe I’m aiming so low?!?

Well, for one thing, my cash reserves are now sitting at alarmingly low levels. After Rental Property #5 closes, I’m going to basically just have scraps to work with. And as we know, the more rentals one owns, the more things there are to go wrong! So, for this year, I want to backtrack a little bit, and go with a more sustainable (safer) strategy.

Buying two rental properties in a given year is still considered pretty good, in my book. If I buy right, I can potentially increase my passive income by $1000 or more. So, not all is lost. And there is still a way for me to get to 10 rental properties prior to retirement at age 30…

2) Forward Looking Semi-Passive Income of $3000/month

By the end of 2014, I would like to own six rental properties. If everything goes right (I’m aiming high), I should be close to, or just at $3000/month in forward looking semi-passive income. If I can get to this point, I will have a lot more confidence in being able to pull off my retirement sometime in 2015. As a refresher, we closed 2013 with a forward looking income stream of $1573.87/month. I still have some aces up my sleeve that I haven’t fully revealed to readers just yet… although the next moves to get to “checkmate” would be pretty obvious to anyone reading comments, and following along on some of the discussions I’ve had in the past.

3) Cash Reserve of $40,000

By year’s end, I would like to have $40,000 in straight cash, or in a dividend portfolio. It’s very important to stay liquid, and I will definitely need a strong cushion before I am even comfortable with the thought of attempting early retirement. There are so many things that can go wrong, I need to be as prepared as possible.

I look at it this way — If I attempt early retirement and things go wrong, I’ll have cash to hold me over. Since I’m planning on starting my adventure overseas in a cheaper country, I really don’t anticipate spending much money. I’m thinking less than $1000/month in expenses will be entirely doable. I might even aim for $600/month. If you do research into some of the countries in SE Asia that I’m looking at, you’d be amazed by how little most folks get by with.

Anyway, if things get bad, I’ll have some cash to back me up. If things continue to get progressively worse, I’m definitely not afraid to halt my early retirement and hop on board back to the States to seek employment again. Granted, it probably won’t be in high-tech, but I’d be open to seek employment in a different field.

A lot of people look at what I’m doing and think everything is just one big risk after another. However, what they fail to understand is that even if things don’t work out for me, the alternative isn’t exactly the end of the world. At worst, I’ll have to postpone my vacation and go back to the grind… A place where these folks already feel right at home!

4) 500 1000 Visitors/Day on Blog

I’m not going to set any monetary goals for this blog, but I would like to build it up some more and attract more traffic. I really appreciate all the readers that follow this site, and I would love to grow it even more. I’m hoping to get to 500 1000 visitors/day by the end of the year. No, it doesn’t have to be unique visitors, just total visitors. I’m already thrilled with the number of visitors I get now. 🙂

5) Be Happy!

This goal is generic, but so important. I think it’s easy for us to get lost in the hustle and bustle of work… With enough time, we can even forget something as important as happiness. Happiness is essential to life… without it, there’s really no point in living. You know, I had a wonderful time in Hawaii. I loved slowing down the pace of life, enjoying my daily breakfast, and just being at peace for once in a long time.

For this year, I want to continue and make strides in this department. I want to take what I got out of Hawaii and carry it over into my day-to-day life in fast pace Silicon Valley. More specifically, I want to focus on my health. I’m starting to take breathing/meditation classes and am already feeling more calm and relaxed. I’m not going to sweat work so much anymore, and am even planning on taking some unpaid days this year. I will travel more and see what this great country has to offer.

I don’t care about my reputation at work. I don’t care about pay raises. I don’t care about climbing anymore ladders. I want my peace of mind. I want to be happy!

2014 is going to be a wonderful year. Let’s go make it happen!

 

What are you goals for this year? What do you want to most accomplish? Are you optimistic for the new year? What are some of the challenges you’ll be facing?

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fast WeeklyNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 1:12 pm

Looking good FI. I imagine a $40k cash cushion would take the edge off your leverage. $3000 monthly free cash flow from your rentals is awesome! I think the best one is #5. Even though goals are supposed to be specific, and this one isn’t, I think seeking greater balance should be a goal for all of us. Have a great night.

-Bryan

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2 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

Bryan,

Yes, definitely the $40k buffer would allow me to sleep more freely at night.

In regards of #5, it’s becoming increasingly more important in my life. One day I’ll write a post about it, but one thing I’ve found is that if you bust your ass early in life, you get to flip the switch over and have your fun much sooner. It’s kind of like going from one extreme to another. I didn’t know better back then, so I’m going to try and make up for lost time.

I wish you the best and much happiness in 2014!

Take care!

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3 writing2realityNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

I’m with Fast Weekly that the final goal is definitely the best of the bunch. Without your sanity and happiness, all is for naught.

As for the other goals, I would definitely say they are obtainable. The cash flow from your existing properties should be enough to help recapitalize your finances will still acquiring that sixth property.

Looking forward to following along!

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4 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am

writing2reality,

Amen to that! You can never be too happy 😉

Yes, I’m planning on using the rental income to help pay for all my living expenses so that my work income can be used to save up for rental #6 and help rebuild the cash reserves.

All the best!

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5 The First Million is the HardestNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 3:36 pm

2 rental properties in a year is still pretty good. I’m hoping to pick up my first this year. Best of luck with all your goals!

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6 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:49 am

Jay,

Thanks! Best of luck on your first rental this year. Don’t hesitate to send me a PM if you want to discuss more, go over strategies, etc.

Cheers!

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7 Don @ Breath of OptimismNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I love the goal of being happy. So many times we get caught up in the rush of life and we never take the time to relax and see all of the beauty there is around us. It’s great to hear you are taking breathing classes to work on relaxation. I’m interested to see an update in a few months to see how everything is going.

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8 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:50 am

Don,

Yeah, the breathing classes are starting to make a difference. It was wonderful when I first decided to attend… I saw so many different types of people at the workshop with very different backgrounds. One thing we all wanted was to live a better, more fulfilling life and to reduce stress.

I’ve found removing the stress (toxins) does help one feel more clarity and peace of mind. It’s been great so far.

Take care!

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9 Jon @ MoneySmartGuidesNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Great goals! Here is a question you might have covered before, but how do you finance all of the properties? Do you just put 20% down? Can you use the rental income from the other properties (and the potential one) to help you qualify? Just curious as I have 1 rental now and am saving to buy a second one this year.

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10 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:53 am

Jon,

Thanks! I use a conventional lender, although a different one for each market. Any loan backed by Fannie/Freddie will let an individual investor borrow up to 10 loans. If your spouse wants to buy as well, she could also potentially qualify for another 10 loans. So between the two of you, that’s 20 residential loans to work with.

Most lenders will require 20% down, minimum at the beginning. If you have a few rentals, that number will probably be 25%. After 4 rentals, your fifth will start at 30% down. If you want better terms (less money down) you may have to resort to using a portfolio lender, or private money. I have no experience in regards to those methods, I’ve been purely using conventional lending up to now.

Best of luck on #2!

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11 Dave @ The New York BudgetNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I am killin it on goal #5!

Congrats on everything else. I realize these are goals, but where you have set your goals clearly indicates how well you have done up until now!

You are living the dream!

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12 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:55 am

Dave,

Congrats to you on excelling on #5! We can all use more of that 😉

Thanks! I’m doing my best to get to the dream… I’m longing to live on a tropical island… can’t wait!

All the best!

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13 LeighNo Gravatar January 27, 2014 at 10:43 pm

I love it! You’re so close to freedom that I can even feel your freedom from here across the internet! It’s contagious. Now that my plan shows the mortgage being paid off next year, it seems so much closer! I can’t wait to see that gone!! Gotta love calendar mental tricks 😉 It would be great to pay it off before my 27th birthday, but that would take quite a bit of extra money to happen.

I almost can’t believe that you’re only going to acquire two more rental properties this year, but if you’re really going to hit $3,000/month in cash flow, I kind of believe it.

I’m still a bit further out from retirement than you, so I do care a bit more about my reputation at work. If I can get some good bonuses in the next couple of years, that’ll be really helpful towards my retirement goals…

2014 is going to be amazing! I have a new job that seems pretty aligned with my interests so far, an awesome boyfriend who I love, a condo I love, and my financial situation is pretty great. My main goal is to get the mortgage under $100,000. My Roth IRA is maxed for the year and my 401(k) is on auto-pilot for the year, so I just get to throw everything else at the mortgage 😀

P.S. There’s something wonky with your layout. There’s text over other text everywhere. I’m using the latest version of Chrome on some reasonably recent-ish version of Ubuntu.

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14 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 8:59 am

Leigh,

Maybe the breathing classes are working! They say energy flow gets enhanced, maybe that’s why the posts are resonating out to you? 😉

Wow, that’s amazing that you could potentially be mortgage free in another year. Absolutely incredible how you managed to pull that one off so soon…

Yeah, I stopped caring about work awhile ago… haha, maybe the incentives aren’t quite so great so there’s really no reason to overdo it? In any case, I’m just gonna try to keep marching on for just a little bit longer.

Sounds awesome, I’m glad you are having so much success in your life. Seems like everything is coming together for you. All the best in 2014!

Hmm, not sure about the layout issue. I’ll have to look into that… If anyone else is seeing any problems, please let me know. Thanks!

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15 Retire Before DadNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 4:28 am

FIF,
I like these goals. They do sound a bit conservative for you, but I think you are smart to build up some cash to make your overall situation a little safer. It will keep you happier (#5). So you right on with your list here.
-RBD

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16 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

RBD,

Thanks! Yeah, maybe I was being a little conservative with the goals, particularly the blogging goal.

This year might end up being more conservative than I had originally planned. Initially, I wanted to buy 3 rentals this year, with the possibility of stretching out for a fourth one. Once I learned that lenders require 30% down after 4 loans, I was more skeptical. I think at that point I decided it’s probably a good warning sign to scale back and reduce risk exposure.

Take care!

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17 MattNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 5:06 am

Looks like a solid set of goals – I always love reading about what others are striving for. I’m definitely impressed by the $3k/month in cash flow, way to go! I’m looking to just break into the real estate game this year (maybe), so I definitely appreciate your perspective on passive income.
Also just a quick encouragement to push hard for the cash cushion goal. I go back and forth on how much to hold in cash, but I do think a nice cushion is always advisable.

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18 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 9:03 am

Matt,

Thanks! Definitely, feel free to reach out and send me a PM if you want to discuss rentals, passive income goals, etc.

Yes, I totally agree. Having a surplus of cash is never a bad idea. I’m going to work hard to make this happen this year.

All the best!

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19 Fig @ Figuring Money OutNo Gravatar January 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Wow, great list of goals! I hope you achieve them all this year. #5 is also on my list and I might steal #4 from you since growing my blog is a priority this year as well. Good luck achieving all your goals!

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20 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 31, 2014 at 8:41 am

Fig,

Thanks! Best of luck to you on growing your blog. I’ll try and stop by and comment soon!

Cheers!

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21 theFIREstarterNo Gravatar January 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Nice set of goals you have there FI!

I don’t care about my reputation at work. I don’t care about pay raises. I don’t care about climbing anymore ladders. I want my peace of mind. I want to be happy!

Totally with you on this one. I have been very stressed at work over the last 2 years and since I’ve gotten into the quest for FI I’ve kinda stopped giving a cr*p about work, which is ironically making me more relaxed at work and actually resenting it less and enjoying it more. But still… I’d still rather be doing what I wanna do each day, obviously! So we march on regardless.

All the best.

TFS

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22 FI FighterNo Gravatar January 31, 2014 at 8:42 am

TFS,

LOL! We are very much alike, my friend. Yeah, I stopped caring a long time ago, and have been especially apathetic these days… Just don’t really see the point anymore.

Forward march! We will get there soon enough. Just stick to the plan 🙂

Cheers!

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23 Free Money MinuteNo Gravatar March 5, 2014 at 10:01 am

Nice list of goals. I guess I tend to be conservative, especially on the financial end. I hope you knock your cash reserves out of the park to reduce your risks significantly. I would hate for you to end up like Dave Ramsey and lose it all. I am sure you are aware of his story. What you have sounds awfully similar to where he was when he lost it all (although he had a little more debt and few more rentals)

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24 Passive Income MavericksNo Gravatar May 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Those are excellent goals. $40K is something I would love to have and retire 😉

Keep it going!

Best wishes.

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25 JohnNo Gravatar January 26, 2015 at 11:29 pm

New reader who stumbled across your blog in search of FI in the bay area. What is your current monthly living expense because I was surprised at the size of your nest egg (unless I misread your posts)?

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