What A Difference One Year Can Make…

Welcome back readers!

It’s been 16 months since my first blog post and a lot has changed in a year, so I thought now was a good time to share my progress towards financial independence (F.I.)!

First the good news … I’m still on track to being F.I. at the end of 2026. I can’t believe I’ve been able continue towards this ambitious goal that

looks a bit crazy, when viewed in the abstract on paper. Over the last year my net worth has increased to $533k, up nearly $200k since October 2016, when I posted last. Incredible.

This progress has not been mere luck, but rather it’s the result of my automated (i.e. boring) plan to retire early. My wife and I max out our 401ks (plus 10.5% employer contribution), Roth IRAs, and use what’s left overs to pay off my law school loans. Additionally, we have been reaping the rewards of switching to a 15 year mortgage on our primary residence. Each month we pay off $1,500 worth of principal on our mortgage, which adds up surprisingly fast! Our rental property helps too, contributing about $300 in profit each month.

While we’ve been doing our part, this huge gain really is a testament to how strong the market has been over the last year. Here is a chart showing our net worth growth since I started tracking it way back in 2010, two years into my career.

Over half way to the seven-digit club! The financial bloggers I’ve read say that when they hit a cool million, it didn’t feel like a big deal. While that may be true, I hope it feels fantastic…

Here is a brief recap of my assets & liabilities:

  • Home Residence: $410,000 Value; $284,000 Mortgage
  • Rental Property #1 (more to come post-law school): $150,000 Value; $103,000 Mortgage
  • Second Home: $200,000 Value; $97,000 Mortgage
  • My dad lives in this home and we stay there when we travel back home several times each year
  • IRA/Roth/401k: $340,000 invested between these accounts
  • Student Loan Debt: -$125,000, mostly due to law school
  • Cash: $10,000
  • Lending Club: $1,120 (just for fun)

More good news … I got a massive promotion! My work recently boosted my compensation due to me leveraging a competing offer from another employer. The result was about a 60% boost in income. I now make about $150k/year, up from about $90k. My wife makes $100k/year, up from $85k a year ago.

Where is all this extra money going to go you ask? Well taxes for starters. Man, I looked at the numbers and it’s pretty rough. SMH. Oh well… The budget surplus that I can control will go towards paying off $125k in student loans from law school. This should take a few years. Once operation Crush Student Loans is complete, I plan to buy several more rental properties, assuming the housing market has cooled off by then.

Time for the bad news … I’ve got some health issues. It’s not cancer or anything like that, but it’s not good, and has been knocking me on my ass for the last 8 months, including spending some significant time in the hospital. This experience is new to me, I’ve otherwise been in very good health for my life. While I’m still able to work, everything in my life has gotten harder and requires more effort than it used to, both physically and mentally. Hopefully this is a temporary situation … but it’s unclear at this point if things will get better or worse in the near future.

But overall things are good … they could be better … but isn’t that true for everyone?

Well that’s my update for now, but I promise I’ll post more frequently in the future. Please subscribe to stay up to date on my journey to F.I.!

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