February 2024 FIRE Update – Retire by 40

Hello, everyone. It’s March and spring is almost here. The weather is still cold though. I saw a few snowflakes on the way to the gym this morning. It’s been winter for a few weeks in Portland. In February, I made good on my exercise goal. I went to the gym 15 times. That’s quite a short month. Hopefully I can keep it up as the year goes on.

*Side photo was from the Portland Winter Light Festival. It was a great free event.

On the financial side, it was a mixed month. Our net worth went up because the stock market crashed. Investors are optimistic about AI and very bullish. At some point, the bubble will burst, but I’m enjoying the ride for now. On the other hand, our cash flow was not good last month. I bought plane tickets for our summer trip to Japan and booked a few rooms. I was expecting a case, but it still hurt when I put everything together. Wow! It’s hard for a frugal person to see that kind of negative cash flow.

Ok, I’m going to share how I’m doing with my New Year’s resolutions. Then, I’ll look at our net worth and cash flow. Let’s go!

2024 Terms

Here is my goal spreadsheet for 2024. It works well. Try it if you can’t keep up with your New Year’s resolutions. The key is to review the spreadsheet every month to track your progress. That way, you can see which goals need more attention and work on them.

Financial Terms

FI ratio > 100%

The FI ratio is revenue divided by expenses. If you can generate enough income to cover your expenses, you’re good to go. By 2024, I have reduced this goal to 100%. The FI rating looks bad so far, 52%. We spent a lot of money on our spring and summer trips. It should improve from here, though.

*FI rating = income / expenses

3% Law

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% by 2024. This is a great way to assess your retirement readiness. We will put everything together by the end of the year. Looks good so far.

Track net worth and hope by +10%

I have been tracking our value since 2006. Nice to see progress. This year, I would like to see 10% gains. At this point, everything depends on the stock market and there is not much I can do to influence this goal. I’ll just keep track and keep my fingers crossed.

Our total has gained 5.2% since the beginning of the year. Wow, the stock market is doing very well this year. I have high hopes. It’s just the beginning of the AI ​​boom.

Health Goals

Exercise 3 times a week

Now that I am 50 years old, health is a job 1. I need to exercise regularly to stay healthy for a long time. I joined a gym and plan to exercise at least 3 times a week. February was a good month. I’m on my way. However, the gym will start to get very busy soon. Most people will feel relieved as their New Year’s resolutions fade. I’m looking forward to easy parking at the gym soon.

Health check

Equally important is going to the doctor. At this age, we have more care and protection to deal with. Here is my list for 2024.

  • Colonoscopy. Done!
  • Physical year.
  • Dental examination.
  • Glaucoma screening. I have a family history.
  • Immunization. Tdap booster Done! Flu vaccine and later Covid.

Happy goals

International travel

Mrs. RB40 turns 50 this year and wants to go on an unforgettable adventure. We are planning to visit Japan for 3 weeks in the summer. I bought plane tickets and already booked a hotel. I can’t wait for this trip.

Happiness level > 8

I’m a happy guy by nature so this should be easy. Life has been good these past few years.

February was a consistently good month. No worries.

Help RB40Jr start a YouTube channel

RB40Jr wants to start a YouTube channel. I’ll help her get through the summer. I believe you want to make gaming videos. No progress here.

Total Merit (+5.2%)

I have been tracking our value since 2006. It is very encouraging to see the progress we have made. The power of compounding is unbelievable. The first two months of 2024 were good. The stock market went up a lot. Investors are crazy about AI stocks. I enjoy riding, but I’m also nervous. This is starting to feel like 1996. The AI ​​bubble is still young so I think we have a few good years ahead of us.

The key is to keep investing whether the market goes up or down.

***Important*** My best advice is to stay with the lesson. Don’t stop investing. You should keep investing when the stock market goes up. You may think stocks are expensive, but they will look cheap in 10 years. Keep investing and you will be fine.

This is our total value chart from Empower. (Personal Capital is now Authorizing.) Sign up for a free account at Empower to help manage your net worth and investment accounts. I log in to check our value and use their free tools. It’s a great site for DIY investors.

February 2024 FIRE Cash Flow

This FIRE cash flow chart includes my online income, side gigs, and taxable income. Mrs. RB40’s salary is not there because she will retire soon.

February was the month we wasted time. In particular, travel costs were high. I bought our plane tickets and booked accommodation. I used a bunch of credit card points and saved about $2,000. Unfortunately, our cash flow was poor. We will have to fix this in the next 10 months.

February 2024 FIRE Income: $5,126

Our FIRE salary was good in February. The problem was on the spending side.

  • Real Estate crowdfundingPrice: $296. Our real estate crowdfunding is doing very well. You can read more on the RE Crowdfunding Passive Income page.
  • Dividend Income$1,028.
  • Rental Fee: $665. We’ve had an uneventful month in rentals.
  • Blog income: $2,166. Blog income was good in February.
  • Unusual activities: $519. I spent about 4-5 hours a week delivering.
  • Miscellaneous: $428. We received some reimbursement from the insurance for the RB40Jr instruments.
  • Interest: $24.

Cost: $10,541

This year, I plan to spend about $65,000. How much money did we spend last year? However, we are also planning to renovate the kitchen this year. Maybe I should increase our budget to accommodate that. We’ll see how it goes.

Here are some details.

  • HousesPrice: $1,207. This includes mortgage, utilities, furniture, repairs, and maintenance. Our housing costs are very low because we live in a duplex. We split most of the costs with our tenant.
  • Transportation$208. Gas and insurance.
  • WalkingCost: $6,452. This trip to Japan will probably cost more than $10,000. Airline tickets already cost around $5,000. Luckily, I was able to use some points on hotels. It will be a great summer trip, though.
  • Entertainment: $78. We ate out a few times last month.
  • GroceriesCost: $701. This was slightly higher than normal. I gathered a few things. In general, I think we do well with groceries.
  • LifeCost: $535. Health-related expenses inevitably increase as we age. Me and Mrs. RB40 we saw a doctor last month.
  • A childPrice: $726. Unfortunately, child-related costs also increase as the RB40Jr grows. Last month, we spent money on his birthday party, bike fenders, an Xbox controller, and other items.
  • A parent: $250. My brothers and I send $250/month to my dad to help with expenses. He lives in Thailand so their cost of living is much lower than in the US

It saves:-$5,415

Completion in February 2024

Wow! I want to stop spending this year, but I was shocked when I looked at our cash flow in February. There was a very bad cash flow. I’m going to tighten up a bit over the next few months. Although, I shouldn’t stress too much. Our number has just peaked. The stock market is doing very well. Consumer confidence is good and the economy should be strong this year. I have high hopes for 2024.

That’s it for today. Did you have a good month?

A minimum wage is the key to early retirement. These days, I invest in commercial properties with CrowdStreet. They have many projects throughout the United States. Go check it out!

Disclosure: We may receive referral fees when you sign up for a service through the links on this page.

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

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

Joe also highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. They have many useful tools to help you achieve financial independence.

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