Looking back can sometimes show us the way forward

I enjoy reading about others who have achieved financial freedom, it motivates and inspires me to do the same, sometime however, it makes me impatient.  These people are where I want to be, doing things I want to be doing, and yet here I am with student loans totaling $45,668 and a mortgage balance of $113,620.

I want to pay off these debts, invest in my tax advantaged accounts, and continue to grow my real estate business.  As you can see, I have several different goals, all competing for my hard earned, but also limited, investment dollars.

I need patience.

I’m just not there yet, although I believe I’m close.  Debts are shrinking, retirement accounts are growing, and I hope to increase the pace of my real estate investing shortly.  At times I feel like a college student during the spring semester of senior year.  As much as I loved college and didn’t want to leave, I developed a strong impatience wanting to just be done so I could move on to the next phase.  As I struggled with these feelings lately, I began to reflect on the progress that has been made thus far.  Looking back can sometimes show us the way forward, which is what my moments of reflection has done.  I just need some more time and patience, I’m on the right path.

  • In 2011 I received $851.15 in dividend income.
    • In 2016 I received $3,546.91 in dividend income.
  • In 2012 I bought my first rental property and had revenue of $850 / month.
    • In 2016 I bought my 6th rental property and had revenue of $4,975 / month.
  • In 2011 my wife finished PT school and combined we had $80,000-90,000 in student loans.
    • As of March 2017 we have $45,668 in student loans.
  • In 2012, we bought our house and had a mortgage balance of $142,290.07.
    • As of March 2017 our mortgage balance is $113,620.33.
  • In 2011 our combined IRA balance was $47,258.13.
    • As of March 2017 our IRA balance is $135,443.77.
  • In 2015 I had a 403b balance of $0.00.
    • As of March 2017 the account balance is $24,689.31.
  • (We also have a 401k, Pension, and ESOP accounts but I lack the historical data, making comparisons difficult – keep decent records, your future self will thank you)
  • In 2015, I didn’t know early retirement was really possible, and I was concerned that I was saving to much money in my retirement accounts.  What was I going to do with all this money at age 65?
    • In 2017 I knew about early retirement and am two years into my 5 year goal of getting there.  I’ve been writing semi-consistently to help mark our progress and as a way to clarify my own thoughts and strategies.  I’m also smartly pursuing income opportunities in addition to my regular paycheck.

Unfortunately, I don’t have good records prior to 2011, but looking back over just the past few years highlights all the progress that we have made.  Sure, we still have debts, but our investments and passive income streams are growing, and each of these items will only continue to accelerate, as smaller debts shrink quicker due to less interest, and bigger investment grow faster due to more interest.

Every so often take a look back to see where you are going.


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2 thoughts on “Looking back can sometimes show us the way forward

  1. Jacq

    Great work! Look at how far you’ve come!
    As much as people are anti-facebook, I like the ‘on this day’ section, because I can see how much I’ve changed & grown both socially and related to work and activities.

    1. moderngol

      Thanks, it was definitely an article that felt good to write.

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