Our 2017 Plan

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We wrapped last year having accomplished almost all our goals. Almost, because we got our car totaled right before Thanksgiving. We missed our net worth target by 1%. Let’s say that was a pretty good year financially. And we had a daughter, who’s awesome, so 2016 was definitely terrific.

How’s 2017 going to look like?

Choosing a framework

Oh the ugly word, that sounds corporate doesn’t it? Haha, sorry! Influenced by how we design our corporate objectives, I’ve ‘borrowed’ the format to define and track my own goals. Once set in this tracker, categorized as below, they are reviewed on a quarterly basis. My wife and I already have monthly reviews so that should be pretty effective.

This year, I’ve decided to categorize my goals in 4 different areas:

  1. Growth : whether personal or professional, it covers goals that can have an impact on the income side of the equation. The impact may be short or long term.
  2. Health : there’s no point being FI and sick or unable to live a healthy life for many many years. I want to have a sustainable lifestyle and these goals support that.
  3. Finance : covers the spend & investment side of the equation, the part that is mostly under control now.
  4. Legal : is for all the stuff that we typically do not need to do until shit happens and we realize we should have. It’s the safety net.

Here they are:

Goals 2017

Growth

In 2016 I managed to read 12 books and I feel like I learned a lot. I didn’t do a very good job capturing that knowledge and applying it consistently so a goal I have for this year is to improve that process. Still read, but read better.

At work, I am currently on a project management track which started after the company let go truckloads of people. The remaining folks would have to be trained and meet a certain level (or else…). I’m already 12 months into the training with probably 6 more to go. The promotion at the end isn’t automatic, but it isn’t possible either until the training is completed. We’ll see.

I often hear that we are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with and it seems quite true. This year, I’d like to join an entrepreneur or investment community and meet people with more ambition, success or net worth than I do. If I could find a mentor or two there I’d be super excited.

Health

Health is a tricky one because I’ll be happy even I failed trying. What truly motivates me is to lower my BMI under my 2016 levels. During the last medical check-up, the nurse told me I was ‘borderline’ overweight. WTH? No way I’m crossing that line.

So I’ve designed several objectives to keep myself moving. Running is an activity that I’ve come to enjoy and now that I’ve run a half-marathon once, I have a personal record to beat. If I can keep running throughout the year for about 10k / week, it should also prepare me for a marathon in 2018.

Anyway, getting into a running routine on the week-ends and possibly during the week would be an awesome achievement.

Finance

Ironically, I do not have much planned in terms of finance. My goal is to stay the course and remain above the >50% savings rate. Our finances are pretty much under control at that point and I can’t think of many ways we can optimize it further. If we do, I think it’ll be for ‘peanuts’.

What we now need is increasing our income.

I did add 2 objectives for home maintenance on the list because they can have a large impact on our budget. If done well, we will benefit from them for many years but without proper research costs can go up quickly.

One of these project to protect our pergola that the previous owner never maintained. I’d rather spend a few $$ now than losing it in a few years for lack of maintenance. We also have a large sliding door in the back that isn’t very safe for kids and provides almost 0 insulation from the outside. I need to find good contractors that can help me with this.

Legal

Lastly I added a legal category this year mostly to cover the need to have a will ready. My grandfather passed away 2 years ago and without a will, his entire estate was divided as per the local laws. It was a mess and it took forever. We already have a rather complex estate and we want to make it easy to manage would something happens to one of us (or both). I might be overthinking it, but I’m sure it’s going to take several months.

This will also be the opportunity to review all of our insurance for auto and home insurance. Our coverage hasn’t changed in 5 years and I’m sure it needs to be reviewed carefully. I’ll need to evaluate if an umbrella insurance makes sense too.

Finally, I’d like our daughter to have global entry. Last time we passed the customs, the officer made it clear that she can’t go through with us if she doesn’t have it. Some more paperwork to fill.

2017 and beyond

Our goal is currently to be Financially Independent in 5 years. With 1 kid in the budget, that will be more difficult but if we have another one, that will have to wait until after daycare / nanny costs go away.

Also, one plan that is on the table for the next 5 years is to find a business to buy, take over, optimize and resell. Something of a reasonable size for which we would have to partner with investors to raise equity. I have met 2 couples who have done this over the last 12 months and they have amazing stories to tell. It has actually opened my mind to completely new opportunities and I need to explore this a little more. The income limit is virtually unlimited and the experience invaluable.

In parallel, I get more and more signals that investing in real-estate rentals is a serious way to accumulate wealth. This might be a strong objective for 2018.

Another option is actually starting a business. My wife has some great ideas that we’ve been refining over the last few months and I think there’s a lot of potential in many ways. Once the ideas have matured, I’ll share with you guys!

I’ve picked the objectives this year so that they can directly impact every one of these post-2017 goals. I like the idea of having more than one way to achieve a long term goal. If we can’t hit our Financial Independence date, I’m fairly confident that it’ll be to surge past it a little later on.

Here’s to a wonderful year!

-Nick

 

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10 COMMENTS

  1. Very ambitious goals, Nick, that’s great. I have to be honest though…I had to Google pergola…! Hopefully you can fix the one you have up nicely because I see they are fairly expensive!

    That’s great you’re thinking about buying a business. As you may know, my brothers and I did that last summer. There’s challenges, that’s for sure, but we are working through them and how to get it on track soon. There’s great tax benefits (and possibly getting better based on Trumps tax proposals) and with a stable business the cash flow can be very strong. Our goal isn’t to cash out and sell, but instead to use the cash flow to pay down debt then lever back up to buy more businesses. I’d love to chat more about it if you ever want to.

    Cheers to a great 2017!

    • To be fair, I didn’t know how it was called either when we bought the house 😀
      I love your posts about the Green Condor, there aren’t many people in the community with a business and it’s very interesting to hear from your experience. I’ll send you a note, I’d love to chat more about it.

  2. Nice set of goals for the year, so ambitious! In regards tos tarting a business, if it is O&G related the AAPG conference this year is hosting a session called “Pitch-a-palooza”. It basically lets each aprticipant pitch a 15 minute idea or concept to a room full of potential investors. I don’t think it’s all “shark Tank” style of grilling afterwards, but it at least gets the idea out there in case interested people want to invest then they’re aware of it. I have a packet I can send you if you’re interested.

    I haven’t looked into buying businesses much, so I’m really interested to hear about that.

    A will is a great way to go, and especially with a daughter now and a complex estate to deal with, it’s even more important. Also, umbrella insurance was something we added last year. It was peanuts to add ~$2million in coverage which would cover our investments and assets if someone ever decided they wanted to sue due to auto accident, accidental injury, etc… I think ours was around $300 for the year, so ~$1/day or less.

    Good luck on your 2017 goals!

    • Thanks for the tip on the AAPG conference, this could useful 🙂 The Shark Tank style of grilling is definitely good for TV, it’s very entertaining!
      I could write something up about buying businesses, you can find more information if you Google “search fund”. That’s the concept we like.
      Good to know the umbrella insurance isn’t too expensive, definitely something we’ll do then!

  3. Great plan and good luck on you goals!
    Too often our health is forgotten during the weekly grind.
    Starting a business is an incredibly rewarding (but difficult) experience. We started our business about 2.5 years ago and never looked back. Learned a lot… failed a lot… but starting to succeed. Happy to chat if you are every interested.

    • Thanks Nate! So awesome that you took the plunge to start a business and are happy with it. “learned a lot, failed a lot”, this is what I’d like to experience. I’d definitely like to hear more about your experience, I’ll drop you a note on the subject.

  4. That is a nice way to think of goals. The 4 categories do make sense to me.

    Good that you had a little wake up call on the BMI. You have the right reaction: act now!

    I wish you all the best in finding the right investments for 2017: be it a business or real estate

    • Thanks ATL, all the best for you in 2017 as well!
      My BMI still isn’t too bad at 24, but overweight starts at 25. Hopefully regular running will help improve that!

    • Evensteven! Yes, all is well but with the baby I’ve had less time to dedicate to blogging. Will you be at Fincon this year? Would love to have a beer.
      Our FI goal is still on track, let’s see if the market can continue like this for another 5 years…

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