2023 Financial Samurai Goals: Back To Easy Living

Happy New Year everyone! I've made goals publicly for over ten years because it helps keep me accountable. Making goals also makes the year more exciting and challenging. Hence, here are my goals for 2023.

Once again, I've divided the goals into five categories: Health, Wealth, Family, Financial Samurai, and X-Factor. My goal is to achieve 70% of my goals.

Health Goals For 2023: Maintenance Mode

1) Stay the same weight

Instead of a weight loss goal, my goal is to play tennis or pickleball four times a week on average all year. Better fitness and mental health will naturally come with regular activity.

I will stay the same weight of between 167-168 pounds all of 2023. The ideal weight chart says I should be between 151 – 163 pounds at 5'10”. But screw that! I'm not a teenager any longer.

2) Stay injury-free

At 45, my mind is often stronger than my body. I think I can play five days a week but I really can't without pain or a heightened risk of injury. Everything from my heels to my hips to my shoulders aches after playing sports.

I will stretch for five minutes before and after every match. A foam roller will be my new best friend. Every off day I will soak in the hot tub. Finally, I will use elastic bands to strengthen my shoulders four times a week.

Getting injured would also prevent me from playing with my children and I can't let that happen at their current ages of 3 and 5. We play “fly” where I pick them up and they pretend to be birds or planes. Then we play “jumpy jump” where I help them jump really high on the sofa. Healthy shoulders and knees are a must for these activities.

Wealth Goals For 2023: Flat Is The New Up

1) Follow the first rule of financial independence: never lose money

I think we'll be lucky (~40% chance) if the S&P 500 closes the year in the 4,000 – 4,250 range. I expect a 60% chance the S&P 500 will go down another 10% at some point in 2023, i.e. <3,500 for S&P 500. Here are the 2023 Wall Street forecasts.

With ~30% of my net worth in public equities, a 10% decline will drag down my net worth by 3%. The Fed seems determined to cause another recession, despite all signs clearly pointing to declining inflation.

I expect the national median home price to decline by about 8% in 2023. This will result in a 4% drag on my net worth given real estate counts for about 50% of my net worth. However, I've already priced my real estate portfolio about 10% below market prices. Here are the 2023 housing price forecasts.

Based on the above expectations, my realistic downside scenario is a 7% decline in net worth.

A realistic upside scenario is that stocks close up 5% – 10% to 4,000 – 4,235, resulting in a net worth increase of 1.5% – 3%. Meanwhile, I think the realistic best-case scenario is for housing prices to stay flat. As a result, my best-case realistic upside scenario is a 3% increase in net worth.

Based on the blended assumptions, I expect my net worth to be down about 3% in 2023. As a result, I need to generate enough after-tax income to cover the shortfall.

I should have a 95%+ chance of generating enough online income to make up for a 3% net worth decline without extra effort. If not, I'll just work harder to not violate the first rule of financial independence. Consulting is also another option.

2) Increase passive income by 5% to $400,000

I expect CPI to go below 5% by year-end, if not by July. Hence, my real passive income goal is to beat the average inflation rate for 2023.

The rise in interest rates helped boost our passive income by 10% to ~$380,000 in 2022. As interest rates come down and my Treasury bonds mature in 2023, I'll need to find new ways to generate more passive income.

My hope is that by mid-2023, there will be more private real estate deals at lower valuations and higher yields. If so, I will roll hundreds of thousands of dollars into private real estate funds and deals from my expiring short-term Treasury bonds.

Given there is more risk involved with real estate, I expect a higher rate of return than the 4.2% – 4.7% risk-free from Treasuries. 8-10% returns seem reasonable but are obviously not guaranteed. Ironically, with higher inflation and rates, it's easier to generate more passive income.

In addition to boosting investment yields through real estate, my plan is to reinvest 80%+ of all online income into stocks, real estate, and private investments.

Once again, cash flow is more important than net worth. It is cash flow that funds your lifestyle. If you have a lifetime pension that can pay for all your living expenses, rejoice! Your pension is worth more than you realize.

3) Boost spending by 20%

We spent about $240,000 a year after taxes in 2022, which is equivalent to about $320,000 a year in passive income. Therefore, we plan to boost spending by $48,000 to $288,000. $288,000 equals $384,000 in gross passive income. In other words, we plan to spend all of our annual passive income in 2023.

Although we are happy with our current spending, I've started my decumulation phase given I'll be 46 in mid-2023. Some ideas for spending an additional $48,000 include:

  • $5,000 donation to the Pomeroy Rehabilitation & Recreation Center for disabled children and adults
  • $12,000 more on yummier foods
  • $10,000 on nicer flights for my parents and in-laws to come visit
  • $12,000 on family vacations
  • $5,000 on childcare
  • $4,000 gifts

Losing lots of money in the stock market in 2022 has made spending more money in 2023 easier. Given I expect another difficult year, I'd much rather spend my money than lose it.

If I manage to keep our net worth flat in 2023, then we should really increase our spending by 50% – 100% to decumulate. But this dramatic of an increase is tough to implement.

If we upgrade to a more expensive forever home decumulation will be easier if there is no appreciation. But not now.

4) Beat back real estate FOMO

If my expectations are correct, there will be more housing deals by mid-2023. By then, prices could be down 10% and mortgage rates could be back down to 5% for the average 30-year fixed. The temptation to upgrade to a nicer home will be great!

But just like how eating a fifth slice of key lime pie is bad for your physique, buying a fifth property in San Francisco is bad for my sanity. Being a landlord decreases the quality of my life. Something always comes up. Plus, my wife doesn't want to move and I need to appreciate what we have.

Besides, I'd rather diversify toward the heartland rather than have more concentration risk in San Francisco. Heartland real estate is a multi-decade trend I can't miss.

With mortgage rates staying stubbornly high, there's no rush to buy real estate in 2023. In fact, I've been happily buying Treasury bonds yielding 5%+. 5% is higher than the cap rates in San Francisco without having to deal with the pain of being a landlord!

Family Goals For 2023

1) Give as much attention to my daughter as I did to my son

My intensity towards childcare has waned. Part of the reason is that I've already read all the books, watched all the videos, and know what to expect. Another reason is due to an increase in laziness.

When my son regularly gave me the cold shoulder between ages 1.5 – 3, I tried harder to create a bond. When my daughter displayed similar behavior at that age, I found myself giving up more easily. From experience, I believe sooner or later she'll come to appreciate her dad always being there for her.

Now that our daughter is three, it's time to focus again! Her memories will form and I've noticed, just like our son, she now wants to spend more time with me. As a result, I'm going to do just that.

To be specific, my goal is to spend two hours in the morning with her, two hours in the afternoon, and 30 minutes in the evening. She will be attending preschool two days a week.

The average time a college-educated mother spends with their child in America is two hours a day. Hence, my goal is to spend double the amount of time on average until she no longer wants to spend time with me.

Average amount of time a mother and father spends with their children a day by country

2) See my parents twice

It sounds kind of sad to have a goal of seeing my parents only twice a year. But they live in Honolulu and I live in San Francisco. They made a big effort to visit us in 2022. I hope to convince them to visit for a week again in 2023.

I will also fly out to visit them for a week at least once this year, either by myself or with family. We still haven't taken the kids on an airplane yet. But maybe we will this summer!

3) Teach my boy how to swim.

I looked into private lessons and they cost $80 for 20 minutes! WTF. The swim school said it will take a child roughly 24-48, 20-minute lessons to learn how to swim. Hence, we're talking $1,920 to $3,840. Actually, adding up the total cost doesn't sound as bad as the 20-minute rate.

Given we don't have a pool and I can't seem to ever get a spot at the much cheaper group lessons, I may have to go this expensive route. Regardless, I will definitely give my boy lessons when we go up to Lake Tahoe.

4) Be better aligned on parenting styles.

Although I think I'm nice, I'm sure my wife would say I have a more “tough love” type of parenting style. She, on the other hand, has a more gentle parenting style. I'd like for us to narrow the gap.

Example: Son slips and falls after being told five times not to run on a wet sidewalk. He is crying.

Me: “Embrace the pain. If you did not want to feel pain, you would not have run.”

She: “Are you OK? I'm sorry you are hurt. We told you to not run. Please listen next time.”

Oh, snap! Maybe I am being too militant!

One of my greatest fears is raising soft kids who cannot launch as adults. In my neighborhood, there are at least five sons between the ages of 26 – 35 still living at home with their parents. Then there are the people online who get upset at the littlest things. What happened?

If we coddle our children too much, they may become weak. If a perpetual safety net removes their fear of failure, they might end up always being dependent on us.

Struggle is a privilege! The satisfaction of overcoming a difficult challenge is wonderful.

Financial Samurai Goals For 2023

1) Publish three times a week on average, not four times

I said I've published three times a week on average since 2009. But in reality, I've averaged closer to four times a week due to my free weekly newsletter.

My newsletter usually comes out on Sunday morning, which means I often spend Friday night, Saturday morning, or Sunday morning writing it. This also means I can never fully take the weekend off. This will change in 2023.

I will either publish two posts a week and one newsletter or publish a bi-weekly newsletter going forward. I also need to update ~200 posts, so I will republish them over the years as well.

For my 14th year operating Financial Samurai, I need to take things down to rejuvenate the mind. My eyes are also getting more easily fatigued, which means less screen time.

2) Write 25% shorter posts

Thanks to social media, fewer people read great personal finance books and long-form content online. Hence, as a writer, I should evolve with the times if I want to attract a younger audience.

Writing shorter posts also reduces my workload, as well as my father's and wife's workloads as editors. I will get to the point quicker.

3) Record at least 30 more podcast episodes

In December 2022, I came up with the practice of recording podcast episodes in my car after dropping off my son at school. The acoustics are good enough and my thoughts are fresh. I also wanted to be productive before playing sports.

Releasing podcasts is a fun way to connect with readers and share nuanced thoughts about my latest posts. I often incorporate reader feedback, which comes in the comments section after posts are published.

The years of recording podcasts also helped me become a better interviewee when I was on my three-month book tour for Buy This, Not That. Finally, I want to record a large archive of episodes for my kids in case I die prematurely.

X-Factor Goals For 2023

An X-factor is something out of the ordinary that can bring you joy, meaning, and/or income.

1) Become a 4.5-level pickleball player

I'm addicted to pickleball. It is a sport I see myself playing through my 70s, if I live that long. After several winning years at 4.0 tennis, I got bumped up to 4.5. Then at the age of 39, I got bumped up to 5.0 and stayed there for five years until 2022. The progress was exhilarating! I’d like to do the same with pickleball.

I've already played against and with 4.5 players and did fine. Therefore, all I need to do is get my official DUPR rating and play in some tournaments. A 4.5-level pickleball player is a top 6% player.

By 2027, I want to get to 5.0 and win at least $1,000 a year playing professional tournaments. 2027 is when I turn 50 and get to compete on the senior tour! Oh, how time flies.

2) Write another book

Although writing a traditionally published book is extremely hard, I'd like to do it again. My first book, an ebook entitled, How To Engineer Your Layoff, has helped thousands of people negotiate a severance. Being able to walk away from a job you no longer like with money in your pocket feels like winning the lottery.

My second book, a traditionally published book entitled, Buy This, Not That, went on to become a Wall Street Journal bestseller. I think it has a good chance to become a classic personal finance book that will stand the test of time.

Publishing a physical book with a reputable publisher has given me a tremendous amount of unanticipated satisfaction. My children are proud to see my work. I realized having some status is nicer than being a nobody. Helping readers gain financial courage is gratifying. Finally, it's always wonderful to create something from nothing.

Now I just need to hammer out a new book deal. Update 3/24/23: I'm writing another book! In fact, I signed a two-book deal with Portfolio Penguin.

3) Make one good new friend

Making friends seems to get harder as an adult. However, I'd like to make at least one good new friend from my son's school or through sports.

Pre-pandemic, I used to go to a lot of fintech and startup meetups. Pre-kids, I used to go to conferences domestically and internationally. I'm not lonely, but I would like a better social life to make up for 2020-2021.

So far, as of 4Q 2023, I've made several new friends from pickleball. However, I' haven't met a good new friend yet. As an adult, it's hard!

4) Maybe get a job again

Another X-factor for 2023 is getting a full-time job again. My daughter is going to school three days a week and I have more time. It's really hard to stay retired once you retire early!

A Simple Life For 2023

With potentially another difficult year for our investments, I will focus more of my time on family, friends, and personal endeavors. Early retirement and minimalism go perfectly together.

If you can afford to, an economic downturn is the time to have more fun. The return on effort (ROE) to make more money is lower. Can you imagine working 60 hours a week only to see your company's share price go down 60%? What a waste of time!

I've embraced the Fed's desire to hurt the livelihood of millions so we can save money at the grocery store. Personally, I’d rather eat all the food I buy to save money, instead of waste 25% like the average American. But that would be too logical. Fighting the Fed is futile.

If green shoots begin to sprout once more, I'll be ready to capture some of the economic upside. But for now, I plan to enjoy a more relaxing 2023.

The best reason to retire early is greater happiness. I finally see this now after 11 years of early retirement!

Reader Questions And Recommendations

Readers, what are some of your goals for 2023? What are some of your expectations for this year?

Check out Empower (previously Personal Capita)l, the best free tool to help you manage your finances. With Personal Capital, you can track your investments, see your asset allocation, x-ray your portfolios for excessive fees, and more. Staying on top of your investments during volatile times is a must. 

Start your year off right by picking up a copy of Buy This, Not That, my instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book helps you make more optimal investment decisions so you can live a better, more fulfilling life. 

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58 thoughts on “2023 Financial Samurai Goals: Back To Easy Living”

  1. 1- Dedicate personal time, hours after school, to make sure my kid gets A’s (some B’s are ok) by helping him with his homework every day.
    2- Save as much as possible, which means about 80% of my income (passive and active)
    3- Keep current levels of fitness, weight, and health. I am currently in the ideal-excellent range on everything.
    4- Grow my business revenue by 15% by way of increased pricing, new products, and increased marketing.
    5- Launch a new website for content creators
    6- Travel as much as I can
    7- Buy condo or house by the beach
    8- Enjoy current and new female company
    9- Make a good return on my margin trades. People say it can’t be done, but I think, after more than a decade of test trading I am going to deploy my margin on my investment accounts. If I can generate enough profit from that for a down payment for the condo/house I’ll be super happy and intellectually vindicated. If not, it will be a lesson learned.

  2. Vaughn McGuire

    Great stuff Sam. For whatever it’s worth; one thing I really appreciate about your writing is that it is fairly long and detailed. I’m 53 however and probably not representative of the “times”…

  3. Steven Ortel

    Hello Sam, I was reading thinking you should teach children to swim. Then #3. I suggest you teach the children to swim because they will remember this for a life time. How to swim first get child relaxed in water by putting your hand on their back. Learning to float on your back is the key to swimming. Teach gentle arm motion and gentle flutter kick on the back. Remember the child is all muscle so sinking will occur. Learning to float with head up is the key skill to being relaxed in the water. Perhaps a family trip to the pool a couple times each week. I taught many of my neices and nephews to swim on week long vacations. Go with Uncle Steve he will teach you to swim this week. Remember swimming is naturally fun and a sport for a lifetime. We visited Waikoloa Big Island Hawaii 6 weeks November into December for 20 scuba dives at 66 and 69. This always happens I swim laps and someone at pool wants to talk to me. Why to tell me how beautiful my swimming strokes look. Your children memories will be full of water and smiles. Fun fact about swimming no talk because all laughs. Just some thoughts from a life of swimming. Rent the condo for a month in Hawaii and swim with the children.

  4. Hey Sam,

    It has been great following you over the years. I found you in 2014, shortly after I started Gen Y Finance Guy. Back then, I found a handful of bloggers out there who were where I wanted to be and used them as a gravitation pull of sorts. I’m a big believer that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with (virtually or otherwise). I know you practice much more stealth wealth, but I stumbled across a coaching page of yours that I don’t think is up anymore that gave me a bit more insight into where you were net worth wise when you left investment banking and where I guessed you were over the years based on numbers you do share on the site.

    Anyways, I “networked” with a lot of like-minded personal finance bloggers whether they knew it or not and went to work applying my ambition to chase the net worth of a handful of 5-10 bloggers. You could say I was on a mission to chase down my targets and “take them out” by catching up to their net worths and eventually surpassing them. I haven’t taken out all the targets yet and don’t know if I will, but the chase is the fun part. I’m pretty sure I’ve hit most of my big milestones faster because of this gravitation pull of PF writers.

    For those interested, the folks I put on a list to keep me motivated:

    – Financially Alert
    – Money Commando
    – 1500 Days
    – Financial Samurai
    – The Wealthy Accountant
    – The Sport of Money
    – Physician on Fire
    – The White Coat Investor

    Anyways, I just thought I would publicly say thank you for being a part of the circle that has kept me motivated these past seven years.

    My goals for 2023:

    (1) 250 Workouts and 12% body fat
    (2) Bio Marker Optimization (I have a baseline test and targets to hit for a number of these)
    (3) 25+ Books
    (4) Write and publish 12-24 new blog posts
    (5) Complete Major House Projects: pool, Solar, batteries, sauna, steam room, fireplaces.
    (6) 6-8 weeks vacation time with family & friends
    – 12 dedicated Friday’s split 50/50 with son and daughter
    – 3 weekend getaways with my wife
    – Annual retreat with my friends and their families (who also are partners in business secondary)
    – One big trip Mountain house rental (Snow trip)
    – Camping locally with the kids (more like glamming though)
    – Beach house rental

    I’ve decided not to include any financial goals as I will naturally tend (and obsess) to the financial things without setting any goals.

    Wishing you and all your readers a healthy, happy, prosperous, and fulfilling year ahead.

  5. Great content as usual, Sam, but I want to make a suggestion for your podcast (which I am listening to now). I notice that when you speak – and you have a smooth speaking voice – there is a slight echo. But when your wife speaks she is even more ‘echoey’ and a distinct lower volume and comprehension. Is there a way to have you speaking close at equal distant to get a similar hearing experience? Not sure if you are using a professional podcast mic. Your output sounds worse than most podcasts I listen to.

    Hope to give some feedback to improve the experience. Thanks.

    1. Hi Thomas, We’re low tech, sitting in our car without a microphone recording into my phone. I figure it’s good enough. I listen to podcasts too.

      Do you have a podcast? I’d like to check it out. Thx

  6. Jake Palmer

    Really curious – how does the 240k break down? Mortgage (if any), home maintenance, childcare, sports, children education, dining out / ordering in, groceries, travel, etc. etc.

      1. Mine is probably in-line with what you would expect. we have variable income, 1.3-1.6 expected in VHCOL. Half is taxes so call it 700k post-tax income. 1 kid, dual income

        – 125k on apartment maintenance, mortgage (IO), utilities (I think our apartment was slightly less than “market” because it has high condo fees)
        – 60k childcare
        – 30k on food (which probably includes 2-3k of entertaining)
        – 20k of travel
        – 12k of dog care
        – 15k on insurance – home, term life, disability
        – 10k on house cleaner
        – 15-20k of clothes
        – 12k on baby items and activities
        – then of course you have a lot of various costs – medical, furnishings, various things on amazon, ubers, dry cleaning, coffee, haircuts, etc.

        probably takes our all in spend (not including 401k, 529, etc.) to 375k, and I connect dearly with your articles on how living a non luxurious lifestyle with high costs is possible. Looking at our budget, could we cut some clothes, order in more chipotle instead of less sushi, sure. Will 10-15k actually swing things? No. It’s really our childcare (which affords us the ability to make what we make) and expensive apartment (similarly, we live close to our jobs to keep sane).

        The goal is to be a little more thoughtful on spend (clothes and food), but the realistic goal is to try to earn more $$ (which we have little control over)

        1. Thanks for sharing! The two items that stand out are:

          $60K for childcare for one child
          $12K for dog care.

          How does $60K for childcare work? Here in SF, private high school is at almost $5K a month now. But daycare/earlier grades are between $1,500 – $3,500/month.

          For dog care, I’m assuming there’s some variability in it depending on health?


          1. 60k is FT nanny. ~20 bucks an hour, 45 hours a week, plus some noise for bonus, on the books, etc.

            The dog cost is almost exclusively dog walking for 2 dogs. 25 bucks a walk, 2x a day, 4 days a week. Walking and doggy daycare are basically the same cost

            And to your point with two kids, that 60k for a nanny will turn into 120k for private school plus probably some level of part time care for after school. To your point we could go the daycare route, but we believe nanny provides the most flexibility, the best care, the best development and will produce the best long term outcomes. All of our friends with kids in daycare end up having to take off from work once every two weeks due to them being sick

            Nanny vs. dog walking – over time may the nanny do some dogwalking? Maybe. But I don’t really expect it, and it gets more complicated (can’t take dogs to kid activities, playgrounds, etc.)

            1. Ah, makes sense! Thanks for the clarification. You might look into the au pair route if your house is big enough. Au pair route is about $20,000 a year with even more childcare support and flexibility.

              How many hours a week do you and your wife work?

              1. We don’t want a live-in, we need someone long term, etc. You’re right, we probably could have looked into it, but the separation of someone leaving and us having our space is very important to us. We’re in an apartment so not like we have a 6k SF house and she’d have her own area.

                The “hours” is tough. In-office 8:30 – 5:30 or 6, WFH one day. But always responsive on emails and frequent travel (both in PE) that requires a ton of coordination

  7. Hi Sam.
    Those are all great goals for 2023. Long time reader and fan of Financial Samarai, I was just curious about your Personality Type.. Are you an INFJ?

  8. Great goals Sam, and I totally agree with you and your tough love strategy. I would have reacted the exact same way as you and my wife the same was as yours. So funny. But you’re right, kids need a little struggle and disappointment, or they will be soft and not able to handle difficult circumstances that life may throw at them. Good luck with getting to 4.5 on pickleball too, I just got a racquet for Christmas, guess I need to play now!

  9. I’m hoping to hold on to my job in 2023. I think I’m going to renegotiate my pay structure so that I’m only compensated for hours actually billed (transactional attorney) – I don’t want to be a liability in what looks like it will be another slow year. I tend to appreciate my career the most when it feels like I could lose it!

    Financially, I hope to continue to dollar cost average into my 401k, 529 plans and brokerage account. 2022 knocked me off my targets.

    Hoping to run a Boston qualifying marathon time this year.

    My parenting goal is to spend more quality time with my kids, and I’m off to a great start because we are skiing together a lot and nothing beats chair talk because they are in a life stage ight now where it’s really hard to get them off screens at home.

  10. Ms. Conviviality

    This is the year to finally do what I have been dreaming of for the past 15 years. I would have been a florist working in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco if I were single, but I’m married and I wouldn’t give up my husband for anything. I’ve done flowers for about a dozen weddings but they are not frequent enough to fulfill me. I’m tired of working on all sorts of hustles over the past several years but never really devoting time to building the flower business that I want. My goal for this year is to post one flower arranging video per week in 2023. While I can understand the different avenues for monetizing the videos, I want to just get started by uploading videos.

    By the way, I sent my friend a copy of your book a while ago but he never thanked me for it. A couple of days ago, he was telling me how he received some random stuff from Amazon, including a book called “Buy This, Not That” that he quite liked. :)

  11. You can teach your kid to swim. I did……… The benefit is it really builds trust and your relationship which you will really need for teen years. Trust me:)

    1. Sounds good. Did something happen to your kid during his or her teenage years?

      I’ll look into open swim pool access. I did take my boy how to ride a bike, and that was very gratifying.

  12. Solid goals, best for you and your family in 2023!

    For growth investors like me (15+ year horizon till retirement) I’m thinking to continue indexing into a growth fund 70% and S&P fund 30%. As long as my cash flow is in tact and I can continue to put money aside into investments, I’ll feel ok this year despite the bleak outlook short-term. Does this make sense?

    1. If it makes sense to you, that it makes sense to me. 15 years out is a long time and growth stocks have gotten pummeled. I prefer growth stocks over dividends, stocks for people who were under 40 years old, and still want to work for 15 years.

  13. Hi Sam,

    To share my new year resolutions:

    1. Accomplish a long waited renovation – increase one bathroom and renovate the masterbath to our likings

    2. Take parents for an epic trip to create memories for us (haven’t seen one of the parents for 4 years thanks to pandemic)

    3. Take a trip with my husband without kids (in 2022 we did two international trips with kids which was a lot of fun, but really exhausting and stressful for us. This year I’m counting on my parents to help us babysit for a week in summer!)

    4. Stay active – excercise at least three times a week

    5. Be a nurturing Mom

    6. Try to start a side business (this will be the most exciting and challenging one! I’m not sure how much I can accomplish in 2023, but definitely the year to start learning and trying)

    7. Be more assertive at work: dare to say no to bullshit in order to protect my love for the work and organization

    1. Excellent goals! Thanks for sharing. I wish you the best of luck on the renovation. The process was so painful for me from 2020 to 2022 that I never want to renovate again.

      But if you can tackle one room at a time and just have low expectations, it may help!

      Regarding the side hustle, the hardest thing is just getting started. Once you start, you learn along the way. Good luck!

  14. 2023_BloodInStreets

    I didn’t invest a penny in the market outside my 401K contributions in 2022. We did spend a lot of money in 2022.. new car, needed home improvements ect. But we aren’t planning on spending big in 2023. We may consider a much needed bathroom remodel…. we decided not to do in 2022 because everyone wanted WAY to much money.

    I’ll give the contractors gouging me a call in late 2023, if we enter a deep recession. When they haven’t worked in 6 months… that’s when I’ll ask for it a 50% discount on the old quote. That’s the only way I’m remodeling this year.

    I’d much prefer to invest in tech stock this summer when there is blood in the streets. Tech across the board has been slaughtered. Any IPO in 2021 is down 90% from IPO. Disney stock is back to 2014 prices. Can it get worse? Sure, but I’m betting anyone investing in stocks in 2023… will make out the same as those who invested in housing in 2011-2012.

    So in reality… I think the time to spend money was early 2022… The time to save.. and invest is 2023.

    1. I am in agreement. We looked at adding a bathroom on to our home, as well as possibly an ADU for an aging parent. The prices were astronomical. Tradespeople seems to have a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. We decided to leave it.

      We even looked at adding a tree house between to ash trees on our property for the kids based on a plan we got off the internet. The friend we brought over to look at the project was pretty frank. He said a year ago this would have been $1000 in materials. Now? More like $10,000.

      I’d love to have a new car, but the average price of a new vehicle is nearly $50,000 and everyone seems to be driving six figure cars somehow. I’ll keep on riding with my 16 year old Accord. Paid off for a decade and a half.

      Eventually things will come down in price, but I have a feeling it might be a while before that happens. Sooner or later, though, those of us who save and have money in the bank will end up in the driver’s seat — no pun intended.

      Till the, keep fully funding the 401k and let the chips fall where they may.

      1. BloodInStreets-2023

        Yeah we had pre-ordered an EV in early 2022… and it finally arrived 10 months later. Since it was a pre-order.. it guaranteed no dealer markups atleast, plus the $7500 fed and $2000 state credit. We also got an insane offer on our old car we sold to Carvana. Now I know why Carvana is going bankrupt… the money they gave us for our 10 year old econo-box car was hysterical. It needed new brakes, tires, suspension work I’m sure… squeaked over every speed bump. And they bought it without even test driving it. Just cut me a check and loaded it on the flatbed.

        1. 100% agree about Carvanna. We did the exact same thing with our Honda Cr-V and upgraded to a newer used truck.

  15. I love the intentionality towards improvement each year. And goals help with the direction.

    For your children’s swimming, I spent similar money and effort on swim lessons when my children were like 2-3-4-5ish y/o. They got comfortable in the water, but not really learning to swim.
    Then last summer we joined our HOA swim team (ages 5 & 7) and had daily swim practice and weekend swim meets and it exponentially increased their swimming ability. My son went from being on the sink team (day 1) to swim team on the final day.

    1. Repetition is the best teacher for swimming and your child would greatly benefit from 10 days in a row vs 10 weeks of once per week. Consecutive lessons are a game changer. Good luck!

        1. I echo the comments above. Our daughter was swimming once a week and although progressing it didn’t compare to her progress this summer. We spent a month in the South of France on a campsite. She made a ton of friends and essentially was swimming the length of the pool by the end of it having spent every day in the water.

          Book a decent holiday surrounded by other kids and let them flourish.

  16. Gosh, that’s a lot of goals! Good luck with everything. The family goals are very interesting. I think one parent has to be the tough love parent. Otherwise, it’s coddling the kids too much.
    For net worth, my goal is to gain back what we lost in 2022. That might take more than one year, though.. Ugh!

  17. Sam, I enjoyed seeing your goals. And glad, too, that your are accepting applications for new friends. Me also. We have quite a bit in common but I have 14 years on you. Your returns are better than mine. I train 3x per week in Brazilian jiujitsu before my body gives out! Would like to get 5x. There’s always yoga. I hear ya!

    Thanks again, Warren (Seattle)

  18. Hi Sam!

    Happy new year! After discovering your blog earlier in 2022, a friend purchased your book for me and it’s been great so far. I felt compelled to comment on this post for two reasons:

    I am 24 years old, graduated a little over a year ago, and am figuring it all out. I have found Financial Samurai to be informative, light-hearted, and easily digestible, and I’m sure the younger audience will follow.

    As a San Francisco native, it warms my heart to know that donors are choosing the Pomeroy Center. I clocked about 150 volunteer hours there during high school.

    Excited to reading more blog posts this year!

    1. Hi Naomi, what a nice friend! Please tell them thanks for me.

      Awesome you volunteered at the Pomeroy Center! I may ping you about your experience there. My plan is to do more volunteer work with disabled kids this fall, when my daughter goes to school more days a week.

      24 is a time of wonder and fear. You have so much upside. Believe everything will be OK. If you follow a consistent process over a 10-year period, I’m confident you will be thoroughly surprised by your results!



  19. Hi Sam!

    I really enjoyed reading about your 2023 goals. You’ve given me some inspiration for mine. :)

    I bought your newest book for my husband for Christmas! This was somewhat of a selfish purchase since I want to read it, and he probably would have preferred something fiction haha. I’m sure he will enjoy it though.

    One more thing– I have to agree with your wife’s approach to speaking to your son after a fall. (I’m not criticizing, just smiling.) I agree with you about raising kids who don’t ever experience failure or have any discipline though! I’ve been following the Love and Logic method for parenting guidance– you should check it out if you haven’t already. :)

    I hope you enjoyed the holidays! Looking forward to reading your blogs and newsletters this year!


  20. Laughing Forest

    Genuine question: why not more time in Hawaii? Or more time for your parents in SF? Or both?

    Being retired from a corporate or mandatory time-schedule situation should let you spend way more time in situations like that, no?

    Cheers for your content, always a pleasure. And enjoy your research you include in nearly every post.

    1. School schedule. Hence, the goal is to spend time in Hawaii during the winter and summers once they both are old enough to remember. It’s soon.

      What are some of your goals for 2023?

  21. Happy New Year! Very good balanced goals! I am trying to do the same. I’ve got some health, work, and lifestyle goals that I really want to work on throughout the year. I firmly believe that we make more progress and growth when we actively set goals and specific targets. I like how you set a 70% success rate target. I should do something similar to hold myself more accountable.

  22. Love it! Your balances are a way high for the average retiree, but your directions are spot on! But really, no vacation condo in Hawaii? 1031 some SF property and go learn to surf with your kids!

    1. No condo for us. But we already have a house in Honolulu, so no need! We might travel with the kids this year. But the opportune time is probably one more year when our daughter turns four and our son, six. In the meantime, my plan is to convince my parents and in-laws to come visit us and provide them wonderful accommodations.

      What are some of your goals for this year?

  23. This is a fantastic post.. thank you for sharing.

    Would you consider writing a post on your family budget of $240,000 per year? You had a – very plausible – budget for a family of 4 living in a HCOL location some time back https://www.financialsamurai.com/400k-income/comment-page-1/

    Curious how you (as another family of 4 in a HCOL location) manages to find the 40% savings (between their budget and yours)

    1. Sure! That’s a good topic. Although, our plan is to spend 100% of our estimated $380,000 in passive income this year.

      The post will be a good exercise in our budget too. Thing is, passive investment income is taxed at a lower rate. And we do live below our means in terms of housing.

    2. Christine Minasian

      I thought the same thing. Your spending of $240K was not as high as I thought it would be in your area!

        1. Christine Minasian

          Yes, cut our expenses as we have been living off of our market gains since we sold our business a few years ago. Cash flow is king!

    1. Now that is wonderful! Seriously, doesn’t it feel like winning the lottery? To be able to walk away with money in your pocket from a job you no longer enjoy doing is amazing. It was exactly the catalyst my wife and I needed to walk away for good.

      I hope you enjoy your freedom and are doing what you really want to do!

      Where there is a plan, there is a way!

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