Here we go again! Another rendition of establishing my goals for the upcoming year. As we remember, I cannot wait for the upcoming year of 2017. This has been a whirlwind of 365 days and very happy to close the books on the year. I am ready, today, now, this moment to take more control and to leap forward into the challenges that await, as well as the growth that I know these next 365 days will contain.
Also, I’m excited for Bert and his 2017 goals that he posted last week. He is set to really crush the year, making moves on the student loans with his wife and accomplishing other milestones, especially after they recently combined their dividend income portfolios. With each item that I have personally established below, with talking with my girlfriend, as well, I am keeping in mind the purpose or the why in the goal that I am establishing. This is very critical, as we would be wandering aimlessly at doing “things”. 2017 will be more of what I’ve been doing, but a little shorter on the goal list. I have found out that it is better to have a more focused approach, as well as to establish those that are truly attainable.
1.) Dividend Income Projection by 12/31/2017: To begin with the question – why do I need/want this goal? Because I love investing and want to increase my dividend income to be financially free, in order to do more of what I want and spend time with whom I want, at any given time! Given the extreme challenge I set for myself for 2016 – where I began at a projected $6,505 on 12/31/15 and set a goal of $8,000 – I was very ambitious, to say the least. I thought with the compounding of the dividend reinvestment, plus the dividend growth and my desire to place as much capital into the market as possible would get me there. What’s awesome is my new tax-efficient strategy of maximizing the 401(k) and H.S.A. has kept me on an automatic buying spree, which helped propel me over the goal of $8,000. Going into the end of 2016, I am currently at roughly $8,067 for projected income. I do not plan on making any further contributions as of right now, and am hoping to open 2017 with a new systematic strategy that really dumbs down my investing approach. Therefore, I am setting a nice target of $10,000 by the end of 2017 in projected income. I achieved increasing my annual amount by $1,500+ (even more so when you include BBL’s cut) during these last 12 months – well, with more income and more power, $2,000 appears to be massive but attainable. Here is how I will get there:
a.) Dividend Income of $8,067 reinvested at a weighted average yield of 3.41% = $275 added via reinvestment alone.
Article: Dividend Reinvestment
b.) Dividend Growth on $8,067 on a weighted average dividend growth rate of 5.50% = $444 added via dividend growth alone.
Article: Impact of Dividend Growth Rate
c.) 401(k) Matches, considering I still will be at my employer, of $2,517 (approx.) at 2.25% yield = $56 added via 401k Match.
Article: Power of the 401(k) Match
d.) Contributions of $18,000 into the 401(k) pre-tax at 2.25% yield from VINIX = $405 added.
Article: Maximizing Pre-tax 401(k)
e.) Maximizing of $2,900 + employer’s chip in of $500 towards the H.S.A at 2.25% yield from VTSMAX = $77 added
Article: Maximizing the H.S.A.
f.) Invest in IRA & Investment Account $19,800 throughout the year or $1,650 per month at 3.75% on average = $743 added.
Total Amount to be added above = $2,000. This is intense. Section f is the most daunting without a doubt. Luckily that is entirely up to me and will be the only “more manual” process, which it is my intention to automate that as much as I possible can.
2.) Donate 30+ Pieces of Clothing – This goal is fun. The reason why is to reduce the amount I own, clear space and give back, with the final topping of a tax itemization. In 2016 I was lucky enough to donate 2 suits, 4 pairs of dress paints, 4 pairs of jeans, unused/unfit boxers, 3 dress shirts, a pajama set, over 15 t-shirts, athletic shorts and multiple polo shirts. It felt so nice being able to donate the clothing, clear out my closet/declutter my house and receive a small tax-break for this. Given that was over 30 pieces of items in 2016, I bet I can achieve that again in 2017 – being more true to the questions one needs to ask. Those questions are – Have I wore this in the last 3, 6 or 12 months? If the answer is “No”, then donated they go. It truly does feel nice when I open my drawers or my closet and it seems very simplistic and not complicated. I simply wear what I love to wear. If they ever wear out/really start to become thin or fall apart, then I will purchase new clothes, but only in that instance.
3.) Increase my Salary – Yes, going against my grain. However – this is to increase my salary beyond a normal increase. Why do I want to do this? It’s been one hard as hell year for me professionally and I am still standing, fulfilling all commitments and going above what my role is/should have been. Further, this has been a crazy year in our firm, as I am the only manager, outside of senior managers in our audit group within the state. Therefore, this has required me to be a part of a lot more than others have had to. Why would I like a higher salary? To recognize this, and the easy other answer – to have more income for other financial endeavors, as in, invest more to retire earlier. Now, the question is, how will I accomplish this?
a.) Have hard facts on the fiscal year I’ve gone through – client relations, extra billable work, business development opportunities, training younger staff and managing the 15+ senior staff/staff under me.
b.) Come in with a fair market value assessment elsewhere. I don’t fully recommend this, but I am also thinking of a career change, so having this in paper, will also be of aid.
c.) Comparable managers in my area of Ohio to show where I stand versus where I’d like to be, to compare that to a scale. This way, what I would be asking or seeking – would not be uncommon, either.
4.) Travel – Why do I want to travel? To experience life, explore, learn about other cultures and to take what life has to offer, truly in. I believe my girlfriend and I would like to go on a road trip to DC, New York, Boston or somewhere else east; as well as explore another trip internationally. Also – we’d like to drive to Canada to visit both of our relatives, which it would be our first time exploring Canada together, as well.
5.) Study – Italian and or for a certification in an area (no further details). Why would I want to do this? Easy – to learn. Italian is my family’s older/main language before taking the boat here in the 60’s and most of my relatives continue to speak it. Therefore, I’d love to learn this language to converse with them, as well as to broaden my speaking skills with other languages (should be fun to travel there and know the language too!). As it relates to a certification – this could be helpful for a career change that I may consider doing either soon or within the medium term/time frame. No disclosures yet here, but I am sure one can guess/assume which one fairly easily, haha. How will I accomplish one of these? Here is the plan:
a.) Study/Read Materials – minimum 3x per week for 5 hours. With all of the driving I do, I actually should have time to do this. This will be a way to keep track of my progress.
b.) Talk to family members to hone on the language even more. My girlfriend’s family also has a bit of Italian in their background, so the combination of my family + hers, should be beneficial.
c.) Document & track my studying/reading/practicing. It always works better for me if I know I have to record my activity. This should keep me motivated.
With that, you’ll notice I did not have a mortgage paydown goal. As of right now, especially give my recent article due to change in interest rates, I am not sure if I want to make further additional payments on the mortgage. I dislike debt, of course, but not sure if that is the ultimate best use of my capital, right now. Don’t worry, you know I’ll still be saving at least 60% of my income, each and every month, and making every single dollar county as much as possible!!!
There those bad boys are. Obviously, these can be adjusted given circumstances throughout the year, but these are my stops on the way to what I am trying to pursue. I really just want to submerge myself into taking more control over, which some would say I have a fairly decent grip, my finances, career, money that comes in, knowledge that I learn and experienced I’d love to have. Life takes turns in all sorts of directions, very open to those experiences as you never know what you’ll learn, who you’ll meet or what it may end up meaning/doing for you.
Which one do you think will be the hardest to accomplish? Are you mixing both financial and non-financial goals? Which one don’t you like above or that I may be missing some suggestive points to accomplishing the goals, that I could benefit from?
Thanks everyone and best of luck in 2017!!!