Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday. We just got back from vacation and reality is tough. RB40Jr doesn’t want to go to school. Mrs. RB40 doesn’t want to go to work. Even I don’t want to write a blog post. That’s why I’m late this week. I apologize for that. But we all had to bite the bullet and get back to real life.  

Anyway, it’s a new year and we all get a fresh start. Yay! I have a feeling 2024 will be a fantastic year. Let’s get to it.

Setting goals

In previous years, I had moderate expectations and set goals accordingly. This worked well because I was able to accomplish most of the things on my list. I find that setting high expectations doesn’t work for me. I can’t achieve them and then I become discouraged. My style is to go slow and steady. Shooting for the moon is probably better for younger folks, though.

Here is my approach to New Year Goals.

  • Identify barriers – Figure out the barriers to accomplishing your goals. Can they be overcome? Are they controllable?
  • Set achievable goals – Don’t shoot for the moon unless you have a sterling record of high achievement. Most of us will become discouraged and give up.
  • Make specific and measurable goals – New Year goals need to be very specific. Don’t make vague goals like saving more or eating healthier. You can’t keep track of it and you’ll forget about them by April. A better goal would be maxing out your 401(k). That’s measurable. You also need to figure out a way to get there. Will you increase your 401(k) contribution right away? You need a plan or else it’ll be much harder to achieve these goals.
  • Write them down and track your progress– Write down your goals and put them where you will see them. The refrigerator door is a good spot for many people. Personally, I put my goals here on Retire by 40 and update the spreadsheet monthly. This worked very well over the last 13 years. I have a public audience and all of you give me the motivation to improve. I made tremendous progress with our finances and personal life since I started blogging. It’s been amazing.
  • Academic scale – These days, I grade my New Year goals on an academic scale. It works out well. 90% is still an A-. It’s motivating and I feel good about the result.

2024 NY Goals

Here is my goal sheet below. It’s simple and helpful. I can see my progress at a glance and it’s easy to update every month.

Financial Goals

FI ratio > 100%

The FI ratio is passive income divided by expense. If you can generate enough passive income to cover your expenses, then you’re set. When I was younger, I set this goal to 120%. However, we are getting older and we are ready to live it up a bit. For 2024, I reduced this goal to 100%. You can’t take it with you, right?

*FI Ratio = passive income / expense

3% Rule

Everyone is familiar with the 4% retirement withdrawal rule, right? Basically, you should have a successful retirement if you withdraw less than 4% of your investable assets annually. Let’s see if we can spend less than 3% in 2024. This is a good way to test your retirement readiness.

Track net worth and hope for +10%

I’ve been tracking our net worth since 2006. It’s great to see the progress. This year, I’d like to see 10% gain. At this point, it’s all dependent on the stock market and there isn’t much I can do to influence this goal. I’ll just track it and keep my fingers crossed.

Health Goals

Exercise 3x per week

Now that I’m 50, health is job 1. I need to exercise more consistently so I can stay healthy longer. I joined a gym and plan to go at least 3 times per week. It’s been many years since I go to the gym regularly so this goal will be difficult. I’ll try my best.

Health checks

Another important thing I need to do is to get various health checks done. Here is the list for 2024.

  • Colonoscopy. I’m due for a cancer screening.
  • Annual physical.
  • Dental exam.
  • Glaucoma screening. I have a family history.
  • Immunization. I’m due for a Tdap booster and may need a shingle vaccine. Also, I’ll get the annual flu and Covid vaccine.

Fun goals

International trip

Mrs. RB40 will turn 50 this year and she wants to go on a fun memorable trip. Japan is the top contender, but we’re open to suggestions. We’ll go in the summer when RB40Jr is out of school.

Happiness level > 8

I’m a naturally happy guy so this should be easy. Life has been great over the last few years.

Help RB40Jr start a YouTube channel

RB40Jr wants to start a YouTube channel. I’ll help him get it going in the summer. I believe he wants to make gaming videos.

On to 2024!

Alright! Those are my goals for 2024. I’ll update monthly in my FIRE update posts. This is the key. If you don’t track your progress, you’ll forget about your New Year goals by spring. What are you waiting for? Make a goal sheet and start tracking your progress.

Do you have any goals for 2024? Happy New Year and good luck!

*Passive income is the key to early retirement. These days, I’m investing in commercial properties with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the United States. It’s been working so well that I’m planning to sell our rental condo so I can invest more. Go check them out!

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. After 16 years of investing and saving, he achieved financial independence and retired at 38.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is investing in commercial real estate with CrowdStreet. They have many projects across the USA so check them out!

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools that will help you reach financial independence.

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