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January 2024 FIRE Update – Positive Outlook for the Year

January 2024 FIRE Update - Positive Outlook for the Year

Hey everyone, it’s time for our January 2024 FIRE update! The new year has begun on a positive note, with the US economy showing impressive growth in 2023 and continuing its upward trajectory in 2024. With low unemployment, moderating inflation, and increasing wages, the consumer market is thriving. Investors are reaping the benefits as the stock market reaches new highs each week. It’s an encouraging start to the year, and despite potential slowdowns as the presidential election approaches, there is optimism for the months ahead.

At the RB40 household, we had a good month overall. However, we experienced a snowstorm in the Pacific Northwest that resulted in Portland being shut down for a week. While it may seem unusual for just 2 inches of snow to cause such disruption, it’s a regular occurrence in our area. Unfortunately, the city lacks sufficient snow removal equipment, and many residents don’t have tire chains. This year was particularly challenging as the snow was followed by a cold snap, causing widespread icing, fallen trees, and power outages for thousands of households. Thankfully, we were prepared with stocked-up food supplies, and our electricity remained unaffected. We mostly stayed home and kept safe during this time, and the rest of the month was uneventful.

Turning to our finances, we had a positive month. Although our FIRE cash flow showed a slight negative, our net worth reached a new high. This progress is reassuring, and it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate our achievements along the way. Now, let’s delve into my New Year goals and discuss our net worth and cash flow.

To help me stay on track with my goals, I have created a 2024 goal spreadsheet that has proven to be effective. If you struggle with keeping up with your own New Year goals, I encourage you to give it a try. The key is to review the spreadsheet monthly, allowing you to track your progress and identify areas that require additional attention and effort.

One crucial metric we monitor is the FI ratio, which is calculated by dividing passive income by expenses. Achieving a FI ratio of 100% means that our passive income covers all our expenses, providing financial independence. In January, we made significant progress with a FI ratio of 119%. This positive outcome was largely due to a substantial interest payment from our bonds. We are off to a strong start this year.

Since 2006, we have been diligently tracking our net worth, and it’s truly gratifying to witness the progress we have made. In 2024, I have set a goal to achieve 10% gains. However, as this goal is heavily influenced by the stock market, there is limited control over its outcome. Nonetheless, I will continue to track our net worth and remain hopeful for the desired growth.

In the pursuit of a fulfilling retirement, health takes precedence. As I turn 50, I recognize the importance of consistent exercise to enhance my well-being in the long run. Joining a gym and committing to a minimum of three weekly workouts is my plan. Despite the challenges posed by the snowstorm, I managed to make up for the missed week and completed 12 exercise sessions in January. I am determined to maintain this commitment throughout the year.

Additionally, I have prioritized various health checks for 2024 to ensure comprehensive well-being. It’s crucial to stay proactive about our health and address any potential issues promptly.

This year, my wife, Mrs. RB40, will be turning 50, and she has expressed her desire for a memorable trip. We have planned a three-week visit to Japan during the summer. As we research and look for tickets, we anticipate an exciting adventure ahead.

With a naturally positive outlook on life, I find it easy to appreciate the blessings we have experienced in recent years. January was a good month overall, with no significant problems to report.

RB40Jr, our son, has expressed interest in starting a YouTube channel focused on gaming. Although we haven’t made progress on this front yet, I am committed to helping him get started during the summer months.

Lastly, it’s important to emphasize the significance of consistent investment, regardless of market fluctuations. Staying committed to our investment strategy, irrespective of market ups and downs, is key to long-term financial success.

As we reflect on January’s achievements and challenges, we remain optimistic about the year ahead. With a focus on our goals, health, and personal growth, we are confident in our ability to navigate the ever-changing landscape of retirement planning.

Remember, the journey to retirement is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay committed, remain adaptable, and enjoy the process along the way.

Source: Retire by 40

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