Am I On Track To Meet My Financial Goals?
Since 2012 I’ve managed to pear down my life to something fairly simple, compared to what it used to be. I live in Portland, bike and walk everywhere, I have no debt, I cook most of my meals and my entertainment consists of bouldering and socializing with friends.
In this post I want to review my financial goals, which ties in with my life-goals. How much do I want to save? What’s my plan with my career? Am I living the lifestyle I want to live? Is there enough redundancy in my financial plan to ensure high likelihood of success? Am I staying true to my morals?
My work is slowly getting more manageable as well. I’m not a full-time sort of guy anymore, it wasn’t easy to make the transition but I’ve managed. In the average week I do 25 hours of income-generating work.
My overhead went from something absurd to <$1,500/month. To sustain this I need about $300k invested on Wall Street. By selling appreciated funds and spending the dividends I could live off that $300k indefinitely, assuming the market will behave as it has for the past few decades.
My Personal Financial Statement
I wrote my initial draft of my personal financial statement a few years back and I like to visit it regularly, especially when making new financial decisions. It’s important to have a personal financial statement because as life gets more complicated and stressful it’s easy to veer off track, a personal statement keeps you in check.
Overall I’ve done well sticking to it. My statement reads “don’t quit working full-time until I’ve saved at least $1 million in investments”. Cute. I’ve since grown a bit, my definition of financial independence is no longer dependent on a dollar amount but a sum of investments, assets, skills and savings.
I realized just a year ago that cutting expenses is far more powerful than increasing earnings. I also learned that trying to save a ton of money is the hard way of reaching financial independence, generating steady income is much smarter and easier.
I am down to somewhere around $900-1,100 per month of base expenses. My actual expenses are closer to $3,000 per month which is quite a lot for a single person but 2016 was a very busy year, I worked a lot of hours and the majority of my expenses were for sake of convenience.
Looking towards 2017, I think I can get my expenses closer to $2,000/month. I’m hoping to end up with around $25k for the year, which should be achievable as long as I don’t work like mad-man, thereby creating more unnecessary expenses.
I’m really excited about all the different projects which I’m pursuing. There are so many that I have to make a list every day. Here is what I’m working on:
- Writing for this blog
- Writing for different websites
- Learning about alternative investments (more to come on this)
- Looking for my first real estate income property
- Applying for new interesting jobs/gigs
- Active on Remedy, JustAnswer, Figure1, HealthTap, Reddit, Project Inside-Out
I will likely continue to put in about 20 hours a week of income-generating work. It will definitely be enough to pay for my overhead. More importantly, it will give me some seed capital to get some of these project off the ground.
Saving & Investments
Here is the plan, I will flex my brain for the next 1-2 years and build some income-generating vehicles, not sure exactly what they will be. It might be a brick & mortar business, real estate, an online business, or intellectual property.
If this plan fails then I will go back to my index fund strategy, involving saving enough money in order to generate a set amount of passive income. This concept is fairly popular and most of us know about it by now.
For the index fund strategy I only need about $300k invested, depending on what I’m going to be doing with my cash over these next 1-2 years, it wouldn’t be hard for me to save this amount, thankfully we are fairly well compensated as doctors.
Do you have a personal financial statement?
What are your financial goals for the next 1-2 years, the next 5 and the next 10 years?