I had a really hard time setting goals for the year. I’m not sure if it’s being tired and a little stressed from buying another rental property at the end of last year or if maybe I’m having a mid life indecision. I would not call it a crisis. I feel no need to go buy a convertible or take up with a younger man (do women do that or is it just middle aged men?) I almost skipped this post, but if you don’t put some sort of plan in writing, you run the risk of not accomplishing very much.
My Goals Are Boring
Last year was a really good year for our family. Jim got his dream job. I didn’t have to manage one employee crisis. We made good money. We lived on less that 50% of our income, and we invested lots. We also got to travel quite a bit. If this year is a repeat, I’ll be happy. Boring I know, but why mess with a good thing?
Does this mean I’ve lost the fire? Maybe. I’m not sure.
I know that ever since junior high, every year has been a push to be the best, whether that meant getting the best grades, getting scholarships, getting a good residency, buying a practice, making the practice the best, then finally realizing our error and working my a$$ off to get out of debt and into a better financial place. Heck, even selling the business took two years of what felt like mental gymnastics to pull off. Last year was awesome, but there was still that fear of what would happen without having my practice. Thankfully, it worked out.
We still have a long way to go and should probably have double the amount of money in retirement that we do at this age, but our plan is in place and we can still retire within a decade if we lather, rinse, repeat.
While, I could take on more work, I’m not sure that’s a good move at this time. Boring it is. I’ll take it and like it.
I still have to have some goals, so even if they make your eyelids heavy. In 2015, we hope to….
Max out our HSA and the employee portion of my solo 401k
We are going to pull back on other investments to concentrate on…
Remodeling our 4-plex
The fourplex we bought at the end of last year already had tenants in 3 of the units. After reviewing their crappy leases, we need to make some changes, namely putting most of the utilities into the tenants names. Currently, they all have month to month leases, and none of them are consistent. One guy had to pay a $100 deposit while the next one didn’t have to pay anything. Two of them have no smoking clauses, the other does not, stuff like that. The former owner also paid all the bills, which is a chunk of change when you multiply by 4.
I believe two of the units will sign on with the new deal. The other is on the fence, so if he leaves, we’ll probably go ahead and do some updates in the kitchen and with some of the windows in his apartment.
The fourth unit is a whole other ball of wax. It was a commercial space at one point, but has been vacant for several years. We ended up changing the zoning to residential because the commercial aspect caused all sorts of problems with the loan, plus the insurance and utility deposits would be a couple grand extra to keep it commercial.
So we are going ahead with turning the space into an apartment. It needs just about everything except a front door. We even need a kitchen sink! We will have to hire out the big work, but I’m hoping to further my DIY skills to do what I can. Jim is crazy busy and out of town at least twice a month for the foreseeable future, so it’s all me.
This project will take lots of energy. I feel OK with not adding more financial goals at this time. I’m hoping to have it all done and rented before the end of the school year. When we have all four units rented, it should cash flow between $1000-$1200 per month.
Again, 2014 was a breakthrough year for me as far as health. After years of borderline cholesterol and an increase in my triglycerides, I really stuck to a pretty healthy eating plan with strenuous exercise at least 5 days a week, usually all 7. I know that I have to do this to escape my genetics and remain off medication (I’m speaking to you, Lipitor). Last spring’s lab tests were the best I’ve had in over a decade, so I’m hoping for a repeat this year.
My health goal is to continue to sweat every day and eat lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains (not at the same time). I’m so used to this now, that it makes my stomach hurt to think about a Sonic cheeseburger or a Krispy Kreme. I’m not saying I won’t treat myself on occasion, but it’s almost all healthy eating for life as far as I’m concerned. Also, since I’m not buying clothes this year, I can’t afford to gain weight!
Take a Trip To Europe
We already have this planned thanks to our credit card reward points. I’m hoping we can be adventurous and not be those type tourists that expect everything to be like it is back home.
Visit Some New States in the US
One of our family goals is to visit all 50 states with our daughter before she leaves home. We’ve been knocking off 3 or 4 per year since she has been old enough to enjoy trips. She has 18 crossed off her map so far, and we hope to add Massachusetts, Indiana, and New York in 2015, an odd mix I know, but it works with our travel plans.
Join a Charity Board/ Volunteer More
I took last year off after serving for 10 years on the humane society board. I need to find a new cause. Right now, I’m leaning toward the public library since we spend so much time there. The other things I’m looking into are Friends of Recreation, who work to fund ways for low income people who want get into fitness but maybe don’t have the tools or resources, or just volunteering at the city animal shelter.
I would also like to foster another dog, now or later this fall.
This is a continuous goal that I’ll have until I kick the bucket. During the years of working to keep up with credit card debt, I limited my opportunities. You can’t stray too far when you have that huge payment looming…..
From now on, I hope to have many choices about how I earn, spend, or save money, which ultimately leads to more enjoyment out of life.
Are your goals boring or dynamic? How many states have you visited?