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August 2017 Goals and Financial Update

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August 2017 Goals and Financial UpdateI hope you’re having a relaxing Labor Day weekend. It’s unusually HOT here in Portland. I was thinking about heading to the beach to escape the heat, but we were too lazy. We’ve already been to the beach 3 times this year and we have 2 more beach trips scheduled. Summer has been really busy for us so we decided to hang out at the pool instead. I also made BBQ beef ribs for Labor Day. Mrs. RB40 made a bunch of sides too. They were fabulous. You can see the picture of our Labor Day spread at the end of this post.

RB40Jr started first grade last week and he is very happy that we have a long weekend. He is such a strange kid. Every kid I know wants to go back to school so they can see their friends. He’s the only little kid that dislikes school. He seems to be doing better this year, though. The first week went very well and he didn’t hit anybody. (Yes, we have a pretty low bar…) He also seems to be having fun with his friends so that’s good. Anyway, we really need to turn that attitude around. He still has at least 16 years of schooling left. It’s way to early to dislike school. Does anyone have tips on how to get kids to like school?

On the financial front, August was a fantastic month for us. Our income was rolling and our expenses were under control. Mrs. RB40 had 3 paychecks in August and that gave our income a nice boost. Woohoo! Our expense was good as well. We had a mini vacation and went camping at the beach to see the eclipse. The camping trip was a ton of fun and very affordable. We spent about $160 for the campsite, grocery, and gas. We cooked almost all our meals this trip because the TV said Oregon small towns would be overwhelmed with tourists. However, the beach towns didn’t seem much busier than usual. I think most eclipse tourists went to central Oregon instead.  The weather can be iffy at the beach because of morning fog. It turned out fine and we saw the totality without any problems. It was an awesome sight. If you have a chance, you must make a trip to see it next time. On the way home, we splurged and went to our favorite seafood restaurant in Newport – Local Ocean. The lunch cost $80 for 4, but it was delicious after a few days of camp cooking. It was worth it. Check them out if you’re at the Oregon coast. They make great seafood with local ingredients.

Okay, let’s go over the 2017 goals first and then see the details of our cash flow in August.

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2017 Goals

At the end of August, the year is 2/3 over. We’re in the last third of the year. Now is the time to review your New Year goals and see what you can still accomplish. Personally, I’ve been doing well with most of my goals. The goals that take the whole year are on track. There are 2 goals that I won’t accomplish this year and I gave up on those. The main thing I’ll focus on for the rest of 2017 is fitness. Summer break wreaked havoc on my exercise schedule, but school is back in session now. I’ll start working out again next week and hope to stay on track for the rest of the year.

Here is my goal tracking spreadsheet.

August Goal Spreadsheet

Financial Goals

  1. Save $50,000 in our tax advantaged account– We’re doing very well here and have saved $43,400 in our 401(k) and the 529 college fund. We’re also done with our Roth IRAs contributions in 2017. We’re way ahead on this goal and should complete it soon.
  2. Dividend Income $11,500– I’ll update our passive income post next week and you can see the details there. In the first 8 months of 2017, we received $7,479 in dividend. We’re right on pace at 65%, that’s great! We should be able to complete this goal by the end of the year.
  3. FI ratio > 78% – This is passive income divided by expense. Currently, our FI ratio is 91%. That’s way ahead of our target and I’m quite happy with it. We’re doing better than expected here.
  4. Net worth gain > VFORX– Our net worth gained 9.8% so far in 2017. That’s really good after 8 months. However, it is 2% behind our benchmark. The VFORX (Vanguard’s 2040 fund) is up 12%. We’re behind, but I’m not going to worry about it too much. I’m extremely happy with 9.8%.
  5. Move RB40Jr’s 529 plan to Vanguard – Finished! You can read about our 529 plan transfer here.
  6. Move Mrs.RB40’s IRAs to Vanguard – Finished!

Blog Goals

  1. Online income > $36,000/year– My online income has been incredible this year and I made $49,747 so far. I was able to finish this goal at the end of June! I made more in 6 months than the whole 2016 blog income. I’m really grateful to all our readers. Thank you!
  2. Redesign ossite – I gave up on this one. It’s too much work. I’ll try to do a minor update in 2018 instead of a big redesign.
  3. Pinterest > 25,000 visits– I gave up on this one. I haven’t been able to grow our Pinterest traffic. It’s just not my thing. Pinterest is not fun for me at all. Mrs. RB40 will be our media person when she retires from her full time work.

Personal Goals

  1. Fitness – August was a tough month because school is out. I will have a better plan next year. My workout season will be from September to May. Once summer break starts, I’ll just take it easy and relax. Summer will be the off season for me. I did pretty well with steps in August, though. I walked about 7,330 steps per day which is more than my goal of 7,000 steps per day.
  2. Start a new site – I started a new site with a focus on fitness: Fit by 40. There isn’t much traffic, but that’s okay. I’m using it mostly for self motivation. It’s working really well and I’m much more active this year than in 2016. I don’t know why blogging helps so much, but it works for me. The site is on hiatus until summer vacation is over.
  3. Join Toastmasters – I plan to join Toastmasters in November after we come back from our Cancun vacation.
  4. RB40Jr’s after school programs – RB40Jr is done with Wushu (kung fu) for now. He doesn’t follow instructions well. This fall, he is in a soccer team and that’s plenty of activity for him.

Fun Goals

  1. See the total solar eclipse – We saw the eclipse from Newport Beach. It was totally awesome.
  2. National Park – We visited Fort Vancouver National Monument over spring break. That’ll be it this year…
  3. International Trip – We are heading to Cancun in November. I booked our tickets with points and we’re ready to go! Next, I will need to book our 4 free nights at the Hyatt. I also need to find another affordable hotel for the other 4 nights. I’m looking forward to this trip.

Net Worth (+9.8% YTD)

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006 and it is very motivating to see the progress we’ve made. For 2017, I’ll benchmark our progress with the Vanguard Target Retirement 2040 Fund, VFORX. Their current allocation is about 52% US equity, 35% international equity, and 13% bonds. I thought this was a good measuring stick and we should be able beat it. Now that we’re 2/3 of the way through 2017, we are a bit behind, about 2%. VFORX is killing it this year.

Our net worth is up 9.8% so far in 2017. That’s really good at this stage of our lives. I would be extremely happy to get 10% gain in 2017. Recently, I shifted some of our stock allocation to bond. The market seems too high and I want to be a little more conservative. We are a bit behind VFORX, but it isn’t a big deal to me. Next year, we’ll probably just avoid benchmarking altogether. It doesn’t seem to add anything useful.

August Net Worth

Here is the picture of our net worth on Personal Capital. Zillow decreased the estimate on our properties in August, but I haven’t changed my personal spreadsheet yet. Valuing real estate is always tough.

If you need help keeping track of your finances, try using Personal Capital to help manage your investment accounts. We have many accounts and Personal Capital shows me the big picture in just a few minutes. Also, I’m a huge fan of their retirement calculator. You can read my review here – The Best Free Retirement Calculator.

August 2017 Cash Flow

We had a great month with our cash flow in August. Our income was great and our expense was low. Everything went right in August. Nice! Let’s go over the details.

Take Home Income (target > $5,000)

Our take home income target is $5,000 and we came in way above that at $11,937. This is much higher than usual because Mrs. RB40 had 3 paychecks in August. I love those 3 paycheck months! Our other income did very well also.

August Cash Flow

Mrs. RB40’s paycheck: $8,542. Mrs. RB40 is doing very well at her day job. She got a raise earlier this year and she is bringing in great income and benefits. That’s one reason why she isn’t ready to quit working full time yet. She also doesn’t want to deal with health insurance uncertainties at this point. Her employer sponsored health plan is working really well for us.

Rental income: $971.

Online Income: $5,093. My online income was good in August. This year I’m focusing on increasing our income so Mrs. RB40 can retire sooner. I’m placing more affiliate links and focusing on writing relevant articles that will be helpful to investors. Here is how we generated online income last month.

  • Banner ads: $2,236. These are the banner ads you see on ossite. I hope to make about $1,500/month from these ads.
  • Affiliates: $3,182. These are referral fees from affiliate links. If a reader signs up for a service through our affiliate link, then we sometimes earn a referral fee. One example is the Personal Capital link at the net worth section above.
  • Brand promotion: $0. I’m cutting way back and probably won’t make much money in this category going forward.
  • Expenses: -$325. Internet, email service, CDN, cell phone, meals, etc…

Starting a blog is a great way to build your brand and generate some extra income. Thank you for your support! 

Dividend income: $759. You can see our dividend portfolio here.

Interest: $17.

Crowdfunding: $140.

  • P2P lending: $46. I’m slowing getting out of P2P lending. I just don’t think they will do well when the economy turns south.
  • Realty Shares:$150. I started investing with Realty Shares earlier this year. So far, I’ve invested in a commercial property and an apartment complex. I like RealtyShares and I’m planning to invest much more next year.
  • KickFurther: -$56. A couple of businesses went sour last month. Kickfurther is similar to P2P lending, but investors lend to small businesses instead of individual borrowers. The big difference here is the money will be used to fund inventory. I’m also getting out of this one. Small businesses have way too many problems. You can read more about them next week when I go over our passive income.

Misc: $0

Pre-tax savings: -$3,585. I sent $1,500 to my solo 401k. Mrs. RB40 saved $2,085 in her retirement account.

Expense (target < $4,500)

Our monthly expense target is $4,500 per month and we spent $3,777 in August. Summer is more expensive than normal because there are so many things to do. We did pretty well in August, though. Our camping trip was cheap and we didn’t spend a lot of money on other activities.

Housing: $2,289. This includes the mortgage, HOA, and property tax. Housing is a huge part of our monthly expense. We may have to move to a cheaper location to reduce this expense.

Cash Allowance: $0

Groceries: $603. Our grocery bill was higher than usual last month. That’s not a big deal and I’m sure we’ll get back under $500 next month. Groceries seem to be getting more expensive recently.

Transportation: $75. This is for gasoline and parking. We share one car and usually don’t drive much.

Pet: $0.

Kid: $216. This includes the RB40Jr’s Wushu lessons, soccer uniform, and a few things from Walmart. School is in session now so next month should be much better here. We still need to get new shoes and a winter jacket for him.

Bills: $234. Electricity and insurance (auto, home, term life, and umbrella).

Healthcare/Medical: $0.

Entertainment: $95. We ate out quite a few times last month. It was still summer break and I wanted to try a few restaurants. It was mostly lunch with RB40Jr. This category also includes my gym membership fee.

Travel: $254. Our camping trip.

Clothing: $0.

Misc: $10. Not sure what this was. Probably some charges from the summer camp.

YTD Extra Savings: $50,489

August was a good month and we saved $8,160 in addition to our tax advantaged savings. Everything worked just right and we were able to save a substantial amount of money. So far in 2017, we saved $50,489 extra. This is more than the whole 2016 so we’re doing really well this year. What I did with the extra money.

  • I stashed $30,000 in VNQI. This fund will be cashed out when Mrs. RB40 retires.
  • I invested $13,000 with Realty Shares. This is working well so far and I’m planning to ramp it up much more next year.
  • The rest is in our savings account for now. My online income is much higher than last year and we’ll have to pay more taxes in April, at least $5,000.

Can Mrs. RB40 retire?

This is a new section I added for 2017. I want to see what happens if Mrs. RB40 stops working full-time. Basically, I will remove Mrs. RB40’s income from our spreadsheet and stop contributing to our tax-advantaged accounts.

Drum roll please … for August 2017, Mrs. RB40 could retire early! We had another good month and it looks like we should be able to keep this up for the rest of 2017.

If we remove Mrs. RB40’s income from the spreadsheet, we’d still be ahead $3,203 in August! My online income is strong this year so this challenge has been really easy. Online income could be fickle, though. Last year’s online income was much lower than 2017.

August 2017 wrap up

August 2017 was another solid month at the RB40 household. Our income streams were firing on all cylinders. Our expense was lower than usual as well. Everything is just going really great this year. We haven’t had a nice streak like this in a long time so we feel good. Usually, our finance has more ups and downs.

September should also be pretty good. We have a trip to Hawaii coming up, but it isn’t going to be expensive. Mrs. RB40 has a business trip there and we’re tagging along. I used our airline points for RB40Jr and my tickets. We only have to pay for 2 extra nights of hotel. I haven’t been to Waikiki for a long time so I’m really looking forward to it.

*Oh yeah, if you’re going to retire early, summer is the best time to do it. There are a ton of fun activities to do. Retiring in the winter is the pits. You’ll be stuck at home all day and that’s not a good way to transition into what should be a fun phase of life.

Did you have a good August? What’s your plan for September? I’m ready for the cooler weather after this scorching weekend.

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you’re enjoying the long weekend. To celebrate Labor Day, I made BBQ beef ribs and Mrs. RB40 made some great sides. Yumm!

Labor Day ribs

Other than the BBQ, we just went swimming and grocery shopping. The 99 Ranch Market, the biggest Asian grocery chain in the US, just had a opened up in Beaverton so we went to check them out. The take out dim sum was a good deal, but the groceries weren’t any cheaper than at Fubonn. It was a fun excursion, but we probably won’t make it out there too often. I hope you had a great Labor Day too. Stay Safe!

{ 60 comments… add one }
  • Joe September 4, 2017, 1:12 am

    I’m amazed by your expenses every month. Take your electricity & insurance for example. On average, I pay $750/month for those unavoidable expenses. We do have two cars, but everything else is pretty basic. Just my homeowners’ insurance is higher than your entire electricity & insurance expense…

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 8:55 am

      Our homeowner insurance isn’t too expensive since we live in a condo. We only have to insure the interior. The building’s insurance is included with the HOA.

  • Ernie Zelinski September 4, 2017, 1:14 am

    Great results. I believe that your wife and you saved a lot more than me in August. I don’t know for sure, however, because I don’t keep great financial track of anything I spend money on. All I know is my financial worth keeps going up at a rate that I wouldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.

    Enjoy yourself in Honolulu. I went for the first time in February and have already booked another flight for February 2018. I may even go three times between January and April.

    I am heading to Vancouver for a week soon and then I fly to Toronto for three nights around September 20. I will meet with a representative from Marquis Printing to discuss the print run of the Leather Edition of my next book “Life’s Secret Handbook: Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World.” I am printing only 500 copies of this Leather Bound edition. The suggested retail price on Amazon will be $97 a copy — but I will send you a complimentary autographed copy. I hope you don’t end up selling your copy on eBay.

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 8:57 am

      I love Hawaii. I’ve always had a great time whenever we visit. We should try living there for a year and see if we like it. Living there and being a tourist is very different.
      Good luck with the meeting. It would be great to get a copy from of the book. I won’t sell it. 🙂 Thank you!

  • [email protected] September 4, 2017, 1:16 am

    Sounds like you had a great summer joe !! September is always a nice month on the west coast and the kids are back in school !!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 8:58 am

      It’s so great to have the kid back in school. Summer has been so busy for us. It’s always nice to slow down a bit in the fall.

  • Mr. Tako September 4, 2017, 1:32 am

    Wow, great month Joe! Your online income is really killing it this year! Great job!

    Most of your income seems to come from non-passive sources. Do you plan to grow your passive income significantly at some point?

    You never know when a bad year “online” is going to come along and kill that online income. For me personally, we like to focus on dividends as our big passive income source!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:00 am

      We have more passive income in our retirement accounts. Once Mrs. RB40 retires, we’ll build a Roth IRA ladder.
      I plan to grow our passive income, but it’s going to take time. Next year, I’ll move some money to Realty Shares. It has been great so far.

  • Michael @ Financially Alert September 4, 2017, 1:40 am

    Nice month for you, Joe! August was pretty flat for us. Not too much going on except fishing in Panama. It’s good to be back and hoping to have more time to write now. 🙂

    Awesome job with the online income again. BTW, what types of bonds did you re-allocate to?

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:01 am

      I moved some money to the Vanguard total bond index fund.

  • Grant @ Life Prep Couple September 4, 2017, 2:00 am

    Dang Joe, you guys are killing it. Only $3777 in expenses and two-thirds of that was housing. I gotta stop making excuses and get our expenses under four grand.

    You should try working out with your son next summer. Some kids really take to it. Especially CrossFit type workouts where it is more of a race and not 3 sets of 10.

    Thumbs up to JR for not hitting anyone so far. Some kids just don’t like school. I always loved it and my older brother always hated it and fought going (every single day). No clue what the answer is but know that your son isn’t alone in hating school. Good luck.

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:02 am

      Good idea about working out with my son. I’ll try it next summer. Thanks!

  • Mr. FWP September 4, 2017, 2:22 am

    Wow, incredible Joe! You had me at the rib picture….and then you ended with another one! Those beat my burgers. And the burgers are great.

    Truly impressive what you’re doing on the income side – and congrats that the Mrs. can retire! I would love to be able to tell my Mrs. that she could retire. But I can’t tease….she would do it tomorrow.

    This encourages me to do August’s numbers and post July’s up. We’ve been doing better than expected but without tremendous progress currently. Though expenses are great here too (well under 4k).

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:03 am

      Burgers are good too. 🙂 Yum..
      Keep at it. Passive income takes a long time to build up. Good luck!

  • GYM September 4, 2017, 2:54 am

    Wow you are killing it this month! I agree, those ribs look delicious. That’s wonderful you are going to Hawaii and to Cancun, that’s a nice interval between the two trips. Are you finding vacation trips as enjoyable as before you were retired? I know for me I really look forward to vacation from the day to day grind!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:04 am

      We still love international travel. It’s a lot of fun to see and learn about other cultures. Vacation is even better because I don’t get stressed out when it’s over.

  • Dividend Portfolio September 4, 2017, 3:19 am

    Incredible report RB40. It’s good to take stock at how the year is going and to reassess when necessary. I did the same thing around the half-way point.

    Good luck with all your goals including your fitness one. I started going to the gym for about a week and then I got injured. So, while recovering I lost the motivation to go to the gym. And what’s really said is that it’s about a 5 minute walk from my house.

    You have a solid and impressive income stream coming in from several different source. Congrats on the blog success and I hope one day I can come close to your income from dividends.

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:05 am

      I injured my elbows earlier this year too. I was doing too many pull ups.
      Good luck with your blog and hope you get back to gym.

  • Retiring On My Terms September 4, 2017, 4:06 am

    Congratulations on the steady progress towards most of your 2017 goals!

    I admire your flexibility in moving on quickly from some of the goals that weren’t in the cards for this year, like the website redesign and progress with Pinterest. I am sure you can remember situations from your time working for someone else, and how hard it could be to convince the powers that be when a goal was simply unrealistic. People would be forced to bang their heads against the wall and pretend something was going to happen, when it clearly wasn’t. Another one of the benefits of being your own boss!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:07 am

      Self employment is great in that regard. I’ll work on those the site redesign next year. It’s difficult for me. Maybe I need to hire someone to help with that one.

  • Ember @ An Intentional Lifestyle September 4, 2017, 4:12 am

    That’s an awesome month! I can imagine that Mrs. RB40 feels great knowing it would have been possible for her to be in retirement.

    Don’t worry about RB40jr. Some kids just don’t enjoy school, although that may change as he gets older. I know many kids who are bored and that’s why they don’t like it. I was always bored, I was just lucky enough to love reading and that kept me from getting into trouble. 🙂

    I had no idea you started a fitness blog! I am the same as you, having a blog keeps me focused and accountable. So I am much more likely to stick with a goal if it’s on a public blog. I can’t wait to see it!

    Congrats on a great month and on the future travels y’all are looking forward to!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:08 am

      Thanks! I’m still worried about our kid. He seems to have more problems than other kids in his class. We’ll just have to work with his teachers and hope for the best.

  • [email protected] September 4, 2017, 4:43 am

    Congrats on a great month Joe! August was kind to us as well. I think it’s fanctastic that you were able to see the eclipse from a beach camping trip. I love vacations that keep us outside as much as possible. Can you share how much traffic the blog received for the month? It would be helpful to understand the relationship between your monthly page views and blog income.

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:09 am

      We get about 150,000 pageviews per month. It’s a bit slower in the summer and should pick up again soon.

  • Ms. Frugal Asian Finance September 4, 2017, 4:46 am

    Congrats on a successful month! It’s amazing your blog income this year has far surpassed that in 2016! Woohoo!!

    Baby FAF is only 2.5, but when he’s older, I’ll also want him to learn kung fu. With all the bullying going on and the fact that Baby FAF is Asian, I want him to be prepared to deal with any bullies if I’m not there to protect him.

    We also planned to go to the beach this summer (yesterday to be exact), but we also got lazy and went to a dim sum 7 minutes away from our house. The BBQ and the side dishes look absolutely delicious! ^.^

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:10 am

      RB40Jr just isn’t good with kung fu. He doesn’t follow instruction and he gets discouraged easily. Maybe he’ll be more motivated when he’s older. He’s better with other stuff.

  • MyMoneyDesign September 4, 2017, 4:53 am

    Your comment about your Pinterest goal was kinda funny to me. Every time I post anything to Tailwind, the “recommended” screen that pops up afterwards is always full of your posts! I guess Tailwind is trying to help you out.

    Congrats on starting a fitness related site. I’ve thought more than once about making something like that as another side project. It could be a good way to keep motivated!

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:12 am

      Really? Thanks Tailwind. I don’t know what that is, though. 🙂
      The fitness site has been neglected this summer. I’ll get back to it now that summer break is over. It’s tough to run more than one site.

  • Mr. Freaky Frugal September 4, 2017, 5:02 am

    Nicely done!

    When do you estimate Mrs. RB40 will be able to retire?

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:12 am

      Maybe late next year if we’re doing well. Otherwise, 2020 at the latest. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Dads Dollars debts September 4, 2017, 6:34 am

    How are you earning so much from banners? That’s great and I am going to.m have to refigure my strategy.

    As for Pinterest, I have also given up on that for now. I do post new pins to my boards but otherwise am not putting in a ton of effort.

    Good job with the expenses. That is not easy to do and am glad to see you guys are making it.

    • retirebyforty September 4, 2017, 9:14 am

      The payments are lumpy. Some months we get paid more than usual. August was one of those months.

  • Adam and Jane September 4, 2017, 8:57 am

    Excellent job with your online income and savings!

    Keep it up!

    Adam

  • Anil September 4, 2017, 9:31 am

    Weather this labor day has been crazy. The whole northwest is engulfed in smoke due to wildfires and California is seeing record high temperatures (110deg) in Bay Area. It’s good time to head over to the beach.

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 2:58 pm

      It’s terrible. We left our windows open last night and there are ashes all over the house. It’s too hot to close all the windows.

  • Adam @ Minafi September 4, 2017, 1:46 pm

    I like how you have the quarterly breakdown of your yearly goals — that really helps to visualize things. I’m going to have to try that approach sometime!

  • Lily @ The Frugal Gene September 4, 2017, 6:19 pm

    I came for the ribs! Its a wonderful feeling when you hit your year goal before the year ends. I set a goal for myself on Airbnb and we’ll meet it by the end of October, it relieves my anxiety.

    I’m also suprised at the prices of the Asian supermarkets. We have Ranch 99 here too. When I was younger I remember things being more affordable compare to Safeway or Albertsons. It’s getting less and less the case now. The meat is so expensive. If they have hot pot meat slices, it’s twice the price. Even pig feet and chicken feet cost more! They’re scrap pieces!!! *Tries to not rant anymore*

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:01 pm

      Great job with Airbnb. I hope to do that someday. Maybe when we move into our rental. Mrs. RB40 will have to help with that one.
      Yeah, the Asian markets are not cheap anymore.

  • Jeff @ Maximum Cents September 4, 2017, 6:33 pm

    Great job on your August goals and finances. It’s always interesting to see how you are progressing. Looks like you will be able to meet most of your goals and the others you are not worried about missing. Enjoy your trip to Honolulu in September!

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:01 pm

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to Waikiki. Should be a relaxing trip for us.

  • Sam @ Financial Samurai September 4, 2017, 9:27 pm

    Ever thought of hiring someone for Pinterest? Pinterest seemed like all the rage last year, but have you noticed it dying down?

    I haven’t bothered to do anything on Pinterest. Mistake perhaps?

    Congrats on Mrs. RB getting to retire early!

    Sam

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:03 pm

      I had a Pinterest person, but she moved to greener pasture. Pinterest slowed down a bit this year. I think it’s mainly because I toned down my effort. Any tips for Oahu? I’ve been there twice and have seen most of the tourist stuff.

  • Working Optional September 4, 2017, 10:05 pm

    Congrats on a great month! Love your detailed updates, and the fact that you also track your goals openly.
    If you ask my kids, they never like school itself but go because they love to play in recess and after school w/ their friends. As long it doesn’t involve ‘work’ they’re happy 🙂

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:04 pm

      Our kid’s favorite thing about school is recess. It’s great to see friends.

  • Buy, Hold Long September 5, 2017, 3:05 am

    Another excellent month, well done to you!

  • Mr Crazy Kicks September 5, 2017, 7:36 am

    I couldn’t tell you how to make school enjoyable, I never liked going. Mrs CK on the other hand loves academia. She has half a dozen degrees, and now teaches for fun. To me that sounds like torture!

    Nice work getting to the point where Mrs RB40 is comfortable retiring. I think you’re plenty conservative. I do agree that spring is the best time to quit work. There are too many fun things to do all summer long 🙂

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:05 pm

      Sounds like torture to me too. 🙂 I wouldn’t mind taking some interesting classes, but I can’t do a full load now. Too old…

  • ChrisCD September 5, 2017, 9:59 am

    I’m assuming your son goes to a traditional school. If a child doesn’t fit their mold, it can be very difficult. It would be impossible for a traditional school to cater to 25 – 35 different needs. But, there may be a school that can fit his needs better.

    OTOH, you may be able to come up with incentives to get him to enjoy the traditional school more. Of course, need to be careful to not making them bribes.

    One of our daughters did not fit the usual mode. We homeschooled her. Another son didn’t do well with homeschooling so he was at a private school.

    cd :O)

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:06 pm

      Thanks for your input. I don’t think we are patient or strict enough for home schooling. We’ll try when we go on our RTW trip in a few years. Hopefully, he doesn’t fall behind…

  • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life September 5, 2017, 11:54 am

    Sounds like a good end to the summer!

    I felt the most stress in August but also the most relief because we started the process of listing our place for sale which was a Big Deal, and we hit a huge milestone in the reno project towards the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to being settled in and done with two places. September and October are going to be big months for getting everything settled down and I’m really looking forward to that feeling of being done done done!

    I don’t know how to get someone to like school! I both liked and hated school at the same time but because I was also obedient to my parents, and they said I was going to school, that was the end of story.
    Maybe if you can hone in on the things that are boring him, you might find ways for him or the school to adapt to make it a little easier on him. I assume he’s bored, that’s often why my classmates acted out in class. I just secretly read a book during class all the time and the teachers let me get away with it because I wasn’t disruptive.

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:08 pm

      I think he just doesn’t like being told what to do. I don’t know exactly. We need to talk to his teacher more this year. Thanks for your input.

  • SMM September 5, 2017, 1:09 pm

    Vanguard funds are great. There are many to choose from and pretty much all offer low fees! i hope you have fun in Cancun. We went – too many years ago and need to go back. one word: MOJITOS!

    • retirebyforty September 5, 2017, 3:08 pm

      Mmmm.. I’m looking forward to mojitos. Hope my liver can handle it…

  • Darren @ Learn to Be Great September 5, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Joe,

    I just spoke with my mother last night who asked me how the fires were going. I said, “Huh? I’m not aware of any fires.” I don’t watch TV or read much news these days. This morning, my wife opened the door and asked me why it smelled like smoke. That’s when I noticed all the white ash on our cars.

    I’m always impressed at the discipline you and Mrs. RB40 have to keep your spending so low. It’s so important for couples to be on the same sheet of music financially. Your monthly expenses are ridiculously low for the Portland area. Great job!

  • Laura September 5, 2017, 11:31 pm

    Good job on the progress!

    No real good tips to get JR to like school. My son hates it, but daughter loves it. Combo personality, learning issues and learning styles.

  • Paul September 6, 2017, 12:28 am

    Hey there, I’m amazed by your goal tracking spreadsheet. Excellent results there. Many people suffer from low-money management skills but thanks to your model, they can learn something that will never leave their minds. Younger generations burn through money, that’s just how we are and it’s pretty cool to see what a tiny percentage of your overall checking account can become over time. Thanks for encouraging your readers to track their finances on their expenditure. Wish you well in subsequent months and may you have the zeal to give people detailed updates and means to tack their financial goals.
    Best Regards,
    Paul.

  • YoCO September 6, 2017, 11:06 pm

    Hi,

    My first time on your site so I dont know if you have considered going tiny… Being in OR you are in the Land of tiny houses! Conferences, movers & shakers, and venues for trying tiny. It’s not just a smaller home but a whole different way of looking at life. It will suit your RB40 lifestyle.

    RB40 Jr. – sounds like he’s not made for government compulsory indoctrination, i.e. public school. Thank God!! For his sake, check out Alliance for Self Directed Education. You’ll need a couple if hours as it’s so fascinating. If you need the “how-to” part of it, check out Pam Laricchia at livingjoyfully.ca. Blake Boles has it covered with his website filled with resources and best of all his podcasts. A varied group of guests at all stages of alternative learning. ASDE will help or start you out with alternatives to education and the other two will give you the help.

    I wouldn’t doubt that soon they will be your new affiliate links, or simply people & ideas you want to promote.

    I have no financial connection with any of these suggestions, simply wanting to pass on other ideas.

    • retirebyforty September 7, 2017, 8:26 am

      Well, our place is 950 sq ft so it’s already pretty small. I don’t think we can go tiny. We need some space. Tiny house seems a better fit for singles and couples with no kids.
      Thanks for the tip on Alliance for Self Directed Education. I will check it out. We’re planning an RTW trip so we’ll need to home school for a year at some point.
      Cheers!

  • Lin September 13, 2017, 9:12 am

    I just wanted to chime in on little RB40Jr disliking school. You mentioned in another post that you had gone in to talk to the school about his hearing loss. Are they doing absolutely everything they can do? Does his teacher use a microphone all the time? I feel like some districts need to come under a bit of parental pressure before setting things like that up. Some schools are resistant to “blasting” teachers’ voices, but the evidence that’s out there so far generally suggests it benefits all the kids, even the kids with typical hearing. Anyway, just a thought, likely one you’ve heard before. Here’s a link if you’re curious:
    http://edweek.org/ew/articles/2007/03/07/26hear.h26.html
    I know I would get frustrated if I couldn’t hear what people were saying at work every day, or had to concentrate so much on hearing that it was hard to process the information.

    • retirebyforty September 13, 2017, 5:35 pm

      Thank you for your input. We’re getting hearing aid now, but it’s taking a lot of time.
      The school has an FM system. I’m not sure how this work and I’ll have to follow up.
      I’ll keep working with the school. He is doing better this year. THanks!

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