Having achieved all but my most aggressive goal in 2013, it’s time to set some goals for the new year – 2014! 2013 was a year of transition. I transitioned into a new work format, by leaving the office early enough to be home at a reasonable hour. We had our first calendar year of marriage and living in our new house back home, which involved beginning to reconnect with family and friends after being away. I see this year and the next few as foundational to building our long-term lifestyle. With that said, this year’s goals echo that feeling. With no further ado:
1) Finish the house renovation. This is both extremely aggressive and realistic. Last year was about getting gruntwork (gutting, redesign, etc) done. This year, we’re all teed up to have the whole renovation fall in place. We’ve been waiting on our contractor to move a wall, which has been holding up drywall and flooring (and other finishing work) in most of the house given our open design. Once the wall is moved, we should be flying. Accomplishing this goal will take dedication and not too many weekends off.
2) Bench 275 pounds and work out with my wife more regularly. I bought a weight set last last year and have gotten back into lifting a bit. I’m hoping to be dedicated to lifting and get my bench press up to 275 from about 230 right now. I’m not sure how conservative or aggressive that kind of increase is. And my wife and I began Sean T’s Focus T-25 workout in October. After taking most of December off, we want to get back into it and be consistent about working out.
3) Figure out what to do in early retirement. We’ve thought of doing anything from opening a resale shop with antiques/custom pieces of furniture to simply building custom furniture for folks around the area. I’ve also thought about becoming a truck driver, professor, and various other things. With PhD applications due in January for fall enrollment, and entry exams that need to be studied for and passed, having clarity on what I’ll be doing with the second chapter of my adult life is a requirement.
4) Earn $10,000 of dividends in 2014. My portfolio sits at about $9,000 of expected dividends in the next 12 months. If I invested all of the cash in my account tomorrow, I could achieve this goal for the year. The issue here is that I’ve had trouble finding cheap stocks, so I’ve managed to accumulate a decent cash pile. I am trying to get better about making more normal purchases in addition to opportunistic buys.
5) Have my portfolio primed to earn $12,000 of forward dividends by year-end 2014. Again, sitting at about $9,000 today for the next 12 months. To add $3,000 of dividends at 3.5% requires about $85,000 of new investment. That may sound like a lot (because it is), but I’ve got a lot of cash in the account today, and a whole year of earning and saving ahead. This is a stretch goal, to be sure, but something I’m striving to accomplish.