Why I Can’t Wait for 2017

This morning I have been thinking about “next year”, not in the Cleveland Browns sense where “there is always next year”, but that I am eagerly awaiting what is to come next year.  If you have read my articles, there are probably a few reasons that you can come up with as it relates to next year, but I was hoping to write about them and the impacts that it will have on my life , beginning January 2017.

2017

Over the last few months I have begun talking about how I really cannot wait for the next year to start, I know my girlfriend can attest to it and is more than likely tired of hearing it, but it is true.  There are so many great things to come in the upcoming year, and that is not to belittle the year of 2016 (heck, our Cavs won an NBA title and the Indians are going to the World Series!), but something about 2017 seems “fresh”.  I’ll list out the overarching ideas and thoughts that have come through my mind when I begin to think and discuss the upcoming year and what will be different, what it will bring and what I’m ultimately looking forward to.

Why 2017 will be another great year

My Tax Strategies: Ah, the big one!  My tax strategies can be smoothed over in 12 months, as opposed to a shortened 4.  As you may recall, this year I was trying to maximize my 401(k) of $18,000 in a few short months and the $2,850 (2016 max less $500 employer contribution) in the same time frame.  That, after excluding what I did for the 401(k) through the first 8 months with no HSA contributions, has been $3,436 per month of contributions to these vehicles (pre-tax of course), which definitely limited other areas of my life (as it is just a pure number adjustment).  However, creativity helped me bridge the gap, such as side hustles, swagbucks rewards, credit card rewards redemption, you name it – that all helped cushion the amount that was going out of the pocket into these pre-tax vehicles.  However, now I have the chance to do this over 12 months instead.  For pure math purposes, instead of $3,436 per month, this now breaks down to $1,500 for the 401(k) and $325 for the HSA (maximum 2017 is $3,400 less $500 employer contribution) per month.  The new total per month is $1,825, which is a whopping $1,611 less!  Now that will be able to keep the engine moving, but also providing more liquidity to buy individual stocks, other investment vehicles, other events that come up, etc..  This will greatly reduce some of the stress and intense monitoring that I do on my budget (well, I’ll still be like white on rice as it relates to my budget!).

Career: With busy season coming up in about 2 or so short months, I just may be sitting on the saddle for my 6th run.  Damn.  My hair definitely isn’t staying black, the greys/whites are coming in like crazy.  With 2017, though, on the horizon, post-busy season if I go through it, will allow me to really sink my teeth into what is next.  Is this what I want?  I love my clients, don’t get me wrong, but I have to find out if I like the direction of the company I am with and the overall group that I work with.  Some are phenomenal people, and would consider them some of my closest, if not, best of friends (Bert – big shout out to you here), but others – get praised for being a person I don’t agree or want to associate myself with, and I see more and more of this occurring.  I thought at the level (manager) that I am at, that I would be able to make changes to the overall feel, but I have tried and failed.  Not saying I am giving up, because I am here, but I have failed, thus far.  Trust me, it is difficult to swallow when you know in your heart and others, that some people are just being very incorrect in how they are carrying themselves and that you’ve tried to change it, but that it is not always easy.  So 2017, will be a year of finding and discovery of, well, me.

Big EventsThere are big events in 2017 coming up already.  I recently found out one of my siblings is going to be a father, which makes me a soon to be Uncle!  So I want to take time to make sure I’m there for a long period of time, so that I can be there for whatever is needed.  Definitely shocking news that we received a few weeks ago, but am very hopefully and excited that the baby will be healthy.  Pending all of the other items listed above, my girlfriend should be finished with the CPA exam, which opens up even more free-time, as well as her sister finishing up school officially.  It should be nice to see these big pieces moving and in the right direction.  Also – it will be tax filing time come March/April for me, and given the tax strategies I deployed above, this should be a fun form to submit.  I am very curious and excited to see what my 1040 ends up concluding at and to see if my projections were fairly accurate on the tax savings side of things.  Additionally, I may even be on the hunt to potentially live somewhere else, as I am in a spot that no close family member or friend lives (within a 25 minute radius), so that is something to consider in 2017.  Additionally, I am officially in ZERO weddings next year!  I find this funny, but honestly it should also open up quite a few weekends, as well as should keep my suit closet at status quo.  Too funny, and Bert – i loved your bachelor weekend and your wedding, so don’t think that’s what I mean, those were two of the greatest weekends and moments, period.

Challenges: As 2016 Goals and challenges are coming to a close, this brings new items to take on.  During the month of November is typically when I have quiet time and illustrate out the challenges for the upcoming year.  I’d like to somehow do a two to three day deep thinking, hiatus of a sort, to really find out what would be fun, challenging and rewarding for 2017.  I don’t want to have more than 5 goals, I’d love to keep this a focused year.  This is easily a reason why I can’t wait for 2017, just new experiences that await ahead, overall.

Closer to Freedom:  This wouldn’t be an article unless I brought in financial freedom into it.  It’s funny how when the calendar churns another year older, we feel like we are closer to something, almost something innate in our souls tells us that it’s a new chapter.  The year 2017 will signify yet another step closer to financial freedom.  I’ll be turning 29, the last of my twenties, and I believe I’ll have a few years left on the intense path I’ve been on.  So very lucky, that as of this writing when including dividends, almost $35,000 has purchased assets that produce income.  What 2017 means is that all of those assets that are producing income, have the ability to buy more assets in a faster, snowball-like fashion.  2017 will be another year to see if all of this hard work, saving, investing, pursuit to freedom is paying off.

Overall, I am excited, scared, anxious and curious on the year 2017.  So many things can happen that are least expected, such as my little brother’s news above, and all of the unknown elements are welcomed.  That’s what life is sometimes all about, right?  However, I also want to take more control over the time that is being committed to other/various aspects of life, to lean the pendulum more towards what brings more happiness.  I am starting to find out that if you have more happiness in life, that it ends up being more contagious to others and in the other areas of your life.  Needless to say, the year of 2016 has been a roller coaster ride on the time spent on things not adding to the happiness-side on the pendulum swing.  I’ll start the process on all of these items now, but 2017, just has that feeling, of the next chapter in life and my hand is already on the page to turn.

-Lanny

 

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24 thoughts on “Why I Can’t Wait for 2017

  1. Lanny so imagine my shock a few months ago when follow a Rockstar Finance link a few years ago and see my former Toastmasters Co-President’s picture next to the article. Congratulations, that is awesome! Since then the more articles I read the more my investment strategy shifts to dividends.

    Your opinions and optimism in your articles show you are still that solid guy I knew in college. Looking back now I laugh at how little we knew before we started down the path of becoming CPAs. Your comments today regarding your career I understand. There are some creative people out there. But you should know all firms tolerate that kind of behavior. I think we are still friends of facebook, message me or shoot me an email. We should have a chat.

    • Katie!

      Thanks – I’ll definitely shoot you a message, so awesome that you stumbled upon this site. When did you start reading rockstar finance? J Money is awesome and hilarious.

      Yep… the CPA talks, it’s hilarious, just so life-wrenching. I am pumped to hear though that I haven’t changed through my writing haha, definitely have fun writing on the site and being involved with everyone here. Have you wrote before? It’s great, fun and you really have the ability to demonstrate your thoughts to engage others on their feedback… in public accounting you can’t do that too often haha.

      I’ll shoot you a message though and see how everything has been! Pumped, though, that you are reading our site! Appreciate it, talk soon Katie.

      -Lanny

      • Have been reading them for about two years now, not too long. I still consider myself a newbie. Why did they not teach this stuff in school?

        As for writing I have, but it is not on finance. The blog is on fashion and I am thinking of reengineering it. However have you ever heard of Poshmark? It is a fashion app which I am addicted to. It is used to buy and sell clothes. I have found that I am better at taking photos than writing. Who would have thought the girl who lived in jeans, a hoodie, and a ponytail would get so into fashion?

        It has become a good side hustle for me. And it offers a break from the normal grind. An added perk is I have a new understanding of the operational side of business not just the accounting. A few of my co-workers now think I have a shopping addition and can’t understand how I have developed an understanding of operational thinking.

        Also I should say I just reread what I wrote above. I left out a key word. What I meant to say is “But you should know NOT all firms tolerate that kind of behavior.” I did mention writing is not my thing. haha

        I look forward to hearing from you and until then keep up the good work.

  2. Only a PF blogger can get that excited about taxes! Haha. It is nice when your understanding of personal finance nets you a nice little loophole that will turbocharge your retirement efforts.
    I love the idea of taking a mini-hiatus to sit down and work out whats important to you. I think its a really great initiative and you will see results immediately from something like that, whether its shifting direction slightly or maybe making bigger efforts in some areas at the expense of others.
    I love planning for the year ahead because of all the possibilities that open up. Potential is the thing I’m consistently most grateful for.
    Looking forward to following your journey in 2017!

    • ADI –

      Haha, I read your opening line and literally cracked the smile. I am, though, thoroughly excited on what the official $ and % is from a tax standpoint, just a few months away!

      Thanks ADI. I am hoping that within that quiet time, I can see, think and feel about what makes me most happy and what does, the plans to have more of the former than the later and then execute on that to see if it works. Very excited to do it. BUT the question is – WHEN haha. I think I have a few days I can take coming up, so I’ll have to strategically place it.

      Appreciate the comment, as always, talk soon and have a great Sunday!

      -Lanny

  3. Just wanted to say, Go Cubs!!! 🙂 I only lived in Chicago one year but made it to a couple games at Wrigley. Would be awesome to be in Wrigleyville right now!!!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts opportunities for 2017. Sounds like a good year for you!

    Scott

    • 2I –

      OOPH! Love the challenge, cannot wait for Tuesday! Pumped the Cubs are in, no doubt, at least we know a baseball drought will be broken regardless.

      Looking forward to taking control in 2017, pumped, very pumped. ROLL TRIBE!!!

      -Lanny

  4. I really enjoyed this post. I wish, I had your focus at 28. Your mention of no weddings definitely brought me back to that age and being invited to multiple weddings a year. Have to say looking forward to 2017/2018 As well. For me 2017 will be my first year as a dividend investor. Also have some major moves of my own. Having my oldest complete daycare should open up some more money to invest. Also looking to move from teacher to Principal in that time. Good luck.

    • Seedling,

      I really appreciate that, especially when I feel like I’m behind or losing focus haha. No way – 2017 will be the entrance to dividend investing? You have come at a great time, no doubt, very excited for you to start – it is damn contagious.

      No more day care = more $ hopefully. No way – when is your expectation to become Principal? Also – I assume that no more daycare – does that mean someone is able to be home to watch or does that mean kindergarten or pre-school? Appreciate the tips and info!! Looking forward to your year.

      -Lanny

      • Lanny,

        Thanks for the encouragement. I recently took a half a step towards My goal of being a Principal. I was just promoted to Dean of Students at my school. I’m hoping to be a Principal or Vice Principal within 2 years. As for daycare it has been brutal in terms of cost. Putting two kids in a high quality daycare is well over 2k a month. My oldest is 3. So can’t wait until she hits Kindergarten. In the mean time I’m just squeezing the dollars I have leftover after expenses and my Roth and putting it into Dividends. You are right, it is addictive. My main investments I’m still dumping into a Betterment Roth IRA. But I noticed I found ways to squeeze dollars I didn’t think I had into my Dividend investments. In a way I like being on a tight budget. It lets me learn the ropes a little more before putting investing large amounts of cash.

  5. Last year I did a similar thing with my 401k and I was in the same boat as you – looking forward to the turn of the next year! This year I smoothed out my contributions in order to get my full company match (9.3% of earnings) until the last month only to find out as long as I max out I don’t have to contribute each month…the company will still match the earnings even if I’m no longer contributing. ???? Again, looking forward to next year to not have to mircomanage the details which can be quite tedious when your monthly paycheck fluctuates. 🙂

    No weddings is a good thing! I’m 10 years older than you and thought I was out of that phase but now all my young cousins are getting engaged! You may be off the hook this year but I’m guessing invites to a babies 1st birthday or two are coming your way soon! 😉

    • Mazuma,

      Whoa, whoa whoa – 9.3% is their match?!?!?! No fricken way – where at?! hahaha. That is awesome and definitely excited to hear you are taking full advantage of that. And jealous they match even if you aren’t contributing, this sounds like a great place to be.

      Yes – automation reduces the micromanaging to ensure everything is the right $ amount and that you are on the right track.

      Actually, I am now thinking – there may be two weddings in 2018 lined up… out of the country as well. So… this should be a goal to save for. Should be interesting. Yes – so many friends are having their first and second children, how do you balance your weekends so you are able to tackle your big projects, goals and the like?!?? Ah… will the completely full weekends ever end?

      -Lanny

  6. I can’t wait for 2017 either guys! New city, new income, new goals and a year full of impossible impossibilities. Can’t wait to see how your taxes come out! I’ll have to apply some of those tips myself.

  7. Hi Bert and Lanny,

    Your site has convinced me to invest in dividend stocks. I have around 8k available to invest — looking at INTC, CS and VZ. What are your thoughts on these bad boys?

    -Mike

    • Mike –

      Thanks, always appreciate this! I own INTC and T, actually; and am a promoter again for AT&T, as their stock has taken a bit of a hit after the Time Warner Announcement, and think it’s a great stock for a foundation portfolio – internet, cable/tv, phone, etc.. just own quite a bit of services that people have. Additionally, am always a fan of JNJ and TGT if you are starting out. WHat are you leaning towards?

      -Lanny

      • Hi Lanny,

        As per dividend stocks, I own AAPL, CS, DIS, FL, INTC, FIN, STM, SMYC. Also looking at Vodafone which has a 5+ div. I think the reward outweighs the risk on CS right now.

        -Mike

          • Hi Lanny,

            I live in the states — NYC. I see why you ask given my European exposure. I try to limit that as much as I can, but I like semiconductors and STM is pretty cheap, and I had to buy CS when it tanked during Brexit. Hoping when Feds raise rates I can get another deal.

            -Mike

    • Tristan –

      Maybe they will, maybe the TRIBE will win this year/NOW! We are up 3-0 in game one at the moment against the Cubs, could be Cleveland’s year! But for sure, cannot wait to attack 2017 with aggression, I am not, but something already sounds appetizing about 2017.

      -Lanny

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