Goals for 2014

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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Fast Weekly
Guest

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

writing2reality
Guest

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!

The First Million is the Hardest
Guest

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!

Don @ Breath of Optimism
Guest

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.

Jon @ MoneySmartGuides
Guest

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.

Dave @ The New York Budget
Guest

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!

Leigh
Guest

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.

Retire Before Dad
Guest

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

Matt
Guest

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.

Fig @ Figuring Money Out
Guest

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!

theFIREstarter
Guest

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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[…] always brings a flood of new goals. I’ve set my own for 2014, Passive Income Pursuit, W2R , FI Fighter, DGSI  all set out theirs as well. It’s always interesting to me to see how folks seek to […]

Free Money Minute
Guest

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)

Passive Income Mavericks
Guest

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

Keep it going!

Best wishes.

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[…] 2014 is more than half way over, so I thought now would be a fitting time to update readers on all the progress made so far this year. We are now in Year 3 of the journey to early FI, and it’s time to reflect back on the goals set earlier this year! […]

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[…] see if I was able to hit my goals for this […]

John
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John

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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