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January 28, 2014

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We have a similar plan. I started to compile the list of accounts and passwords, we need to get a will and we will be reviewing the retirement number as well.
Of course we have some home improvements to add in the mix as well.

1) mine only get more complicated; have to add a college savings account for one new grandchild and a tradional IRA for myself, since I can't use my Roth this year.
2) I'm maxing out anything tax-advantaged
3) no debt, except mortgage, and I pay a few hundred extra each month on that
4) always a good idea
5) I don't know what good it would do; my problem is large, unpredictable expenses; medical bills, need to replace roof, and a lot of work-related travel

I always make a list of specific financial goals each year, and last year was the first year that I met them all; that felt very good!

For #1 and #2 - I gave one of my retirement accounts (about 15% of my total savings) to an investment advisor with the standard 1% fee and who is fairly active with accounts. Curious to see what/how he does in comparison to what/how I do.

I've always kept track of finances but this year I signed up for mint.com. My goal is to save at least 50% of my income this year and pay down the mortgage. I would like to get the mortgage over with in the next 4-6 years so I've got an aggressive timeline. Mint helped me to see how much I spent on groceries and gas. I managed to get both of those numbers down. Even though it is cold, we are walking much more for errands and that is saving money and increasing health at the same time. I'm also looking for a new job. If I can increase my income to get the mortgage paid down, semi retirement will be very doable in the near future. My goal is to spend more time with my kids when they get to high school.

I have a 2-year goal to pay down the mortgage - in March when I see how much our flood insurance rates have gone up I'll see whether to relax it to 3 years or not(since I intend to cancel that particular insurance the moment I send our payoff amount to the bank). We just gave some sizable gifts to family abroad ($30K+) so 2 years is rather aggressive, but what is a goal worth if not aggressive:-)

And a small goal to reduce our grocery spending. We've done amazingly well in January, 40% down from last year's average, but I am not sure yet which of the 3 things we tried has worked, or even whether this will hold through the next months. But it's encouraging nevertheless.

Refreshing the "death book" (i.e. accounts, passwords, etc) is a good idea, I haven't done it for 2 years at least, and every time I get on a flight I worry about this. Since I manage all family finances I can easily imagine my husband having no idea how to access funds easily if something happens to me.

I just finished thinking through our families financial goals yesterday night! 2013 was a great year for us, as I'm sure it was for most investors. We saw our net worth increase 100.6% which put us just into the six figures! When your net worth is small it's easier to double it. :)

My overarching goal for this year is to increase our net worth 50-75%. This requires us to save at least 50% of our income. If we can do it we'll have close to one years salary in retirement accounts, which feels like a major acomplishment. We'll also need to double our cash on hand and pay down our mortgage.

One of our somewhat financials goals is to go on a vacation. We're live on the east coast and would love to visit Lake Tahoe.

Here's to a great 2014!

My main focus has been to max out every option for retirement. Our company has a great 401k that I max out as well as a nice pension, but this year, I have also maxed out the executive deferred comp plan by deferring most of my bonus and half of my salary. In 2014, I really need to get my wife up to speed on how to handle the finances if something should happen to me. I have put things on paper, but she still needs some hands on experience as she afraid of making a mistake.

Our goals are mostly just a continuation of things.

- We want to continue saving for a down payment on a house.
- We are saving for a trip to the west coast and to Hawaii, and for a big trip next year.
- My goal is to make $10,000 in non-job income to start to try and diversify where I am making money!

Those are our big goals... we got our student loan paid off last year, so that was a big checkmark off the list!

ALR
There are many great places out West worth a vacation visit. In California, in addition to Tahoe you have Yosemite, King's Canyon and Mount Shasta. North of us, Washington has some great attractions, especially Mount Rainer. New Mexico also has lots to see, such as Santa Fe, and Monument Valley just to name a couple of interesting places.

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