Another quarter of pandemic life is behind us, but life’s certainly not back to normal. New cases of COVID-19 are climbing around the country, and it seems like the dreaded “second wave” could emerge over the coming months. We’re also just weeks away from the U.S. presidential election. Regardless of whether President Donald Trump or Joe Biden wins, the result will ultimately have an impact on our personal finances and pursuit of FIRE.Continue Reading
My employer recently went through a round of layoffs. While my job was safe, many of my colleagues, and millions of Americans, have lost their jobs over the past several months. COVID-19 cases continue climbing in many parts of the country, massive social changes are taking place, and what seems like one of the most important presidential elections of my lifetime is just four months away.
The world has changed a lot in 2020, which has caused us to rethink our plans around our pursuit of early retirement and financial independence.
Part of me has been tempted to use the massive uncertainty as the impetus to walk away and focus on what’s most important to us.
But the more rational part of me thinks it would be crazy to abandon a good paycheck until we have a much better idea what life in the United States might look like in 2021, 2022, and beyond.Continue Reading
It seems frivolous to be writing our latest financial scorecard in the midst of everything that’s going on in the world today. The first quarter of 2020 will go down in history as one of the most eventful for the American economy, global financial markets, and society at large, as the COVID-19 coronavirus reached pandemic levels, impacting life around the world.
The coronavirus is closing in on two million confirmed cases, and has already killed over 100,000 people in what will likely become the most significant global pandemic since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu a century ago. In addition to the grim human toll, the coronavirus contributed to the worst first quarter performance in the history of the S&P 500 Index, which plunged 20% as fear of what the future holds ended the longest bull market in American history, triggering record jobless claims and a likely recession.
The result on our personal finances was, predictably, quite negative. While the ROMT family may have reached financial independence in late 2019, that’s no longer the case. But right now our family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues are all safe and healthy, which more than makes up for some smaller numbers in our financial spreadsheets!Continue Reading
The U.S. stock market finished the decade on a strong note, with returns of 8.5% for the S&P 500 during the fourth quarter of 2019. For the full year, the S&P 500 climbed 29%, its best performance since 2013!
Those great returns helped our financial situation improve more than expected over the last three months of the year. As a result, the ROMT family achieved one of the three financial goals we set on our path towards financial independence and early retirement!
After a great first half of the year financially, the third quarter of 2019 was less eventful for the ROMT family.
The S&P 500 climbed 1.2% during Q3, which helped offset our spending being a bit higher than normal, as we took a few trips over the summer. Although our progress slowed from the pace we set earlier in the year, we continued to move closer to each of the three goals we are tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income.
After a setback late last year, 2019 has been good for the ROMT family’s finances.
During the second quarter, we continued to make progress on each of the three metrics we are tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income.
The resilient U.S. stock market was the primary driver of our good results. The S&P 500 rose by 3.8% in the second quarter, as strong performance in April and June offset a decline in May. During the first six months of 2019, the S&P 500 climbed 17% – its best first half performance in 22 years! As the second half of the year begins, the U.S. stock market is once again near all-time high levels.
It has been two years since we introduced our quarterly financial scorecard, and with our target early retirement date now just two years away, our recent progress has me believing we may really be halfway to financial independence!
When we last reported on our finances at the beginning of the year, the results were not good. The worst quarter for the stock market in almost seven years resulted in our net worth moving in the wrong direction for the first time since we started posting our Quarterly Financial Scorecards here at Retiring On My Terms.
Fast forward three months, however, and we seem to be back on track.
The S&P 500 Index returned more than 13% during Q1 2019 – it’s best quarter in nearly a decade! While the U.S. stock market is still a bit below the all-time high set last September, the strong returns so far this year have been great for the ROMT family. We made progress over the past quarter on all three of the metrics we are tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income.Continue Reading
The first six times we reported on our quarterly financial progress here at Retiring On My Terms, the news was always positive.
The three key metrics we’re tracking on our path towards early retirement and financial independence – net worth, 529 account funding, and passive income – all increased every single quarter.
Sometimes the growth was fast, and sometimes the growth was slow, but fairly consistent income, responsible spending, and a generally supportive stock market enabled us to make steady progress towards our goals ever since we started this blog.
Of course, that all changed during the fourth quarter of 2018, when the S&P 500 index plunged nearly 14%. As good as we try to be at saving and spending, a quarterly decline of that magnitude, the likes of which we hadn’t experienced in more than seven years, is bound to leave a mark on just about any investment portfolio.
And ours was no exception, even though, somewhat surprisingly, we still managed to make progress on one of our three key metrics despite the market rout over the past three months.Continue Reading
During the third quarter of 2018 we continued to make good progress in our pursuit of financial independence and early retirement!
Our efforts were helped by the strong stock market. The S&P 500 delivered its best quarterly returns in almost five years during Q3 18, climbing by more than 7% during July, August, and September! The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 9% during the quarter, while the Nasdaq 100 rose by over 8%.
Those great returns from the market gave our finances a boost, and we made progress on the Net Worth, 529 Account Funding, and Passive Income goals we are tracking to measure our progress. We even hit one of our short-term financial goals a quarter early!
It has now been well over a year since I started Retiring On My Terms and began chronicling our quest for financial independence and early retirement.
This marks the fifth quarterly financial scorecard I’ve posted on these pages. I’m pleased to report we made good progress on each of our financial independence and early retirement goals during the second quarter, increasing our Net Worth, 529 Account Funding, and Passive Income.
The S&P 500 climbed by nearly 3% from the beginning of April through the end of June, which provided a nice tailwind for our finances. That said, we still have A LOT of hard work ahead of us if we expect to achieve our Target FIRE date of Friday, July 2, 2021!