My Financial Goals for 2010

As per the annual tradition since I’ve started Million Dollar Journey, it’s time to declare some financial goals for the New Year.  As I’ve written before, I believe that setting realistic goals are important in making progress towards desired, bigger picture milestones.  For me, one of my bigger picture financial goals is to be a millionaire (in net worth) by the year I turn 35.  Setting these baby step financial goals help me stay the course.

As last years financial goals were somewhat of a success, I’m inclined to set similar type goals for 2010.

  1. Pay off Mortgage – With about $25,000 remaining on my mortgage balance, it’s well within striking distance to being paid off.  It will be quite the personal achievement to have the mortgage paid off in less than 3 years.  Providing things go as planned, we want to be mortgage free in 2010!
  2. Maximize TFSA’s – I was pretty slack with the TFSA’s in 2009, but I plan to change that in 2010.  I plan to make good use of the $15,000 remaining in contribution room.  My goal is to fully fund 2 TFSA accounts in 2010.  As of this post, I only have 1 TFSA which was recently opened with Questrade.
  3. Optimize RRSP’s – With higher reported income for 2009, there should be plenty of RRSP contribution room available for 2010.  However, with 2010 T4 income being questionable, I may only contribute enough to optimize taxation.  However, I may simply max out my contribution but carry forward the RRSP deduction should 2010 prove to be a low income T4 year.
  4. Generate More Passive Income – After selling my rental properties, passive income has taken a major hit.  The only remaining source of passive income is via Canadian dividend stocks in my leveraged portfolio.  If stocks become attractively priced in 2010, I will become more aggressive in purchasing dividend equities.
  5. Consolidate Accounts – I have way too many accounts at various institutions.  For example, I have 3 non-registered trading accounts with 3 different institutions.  In 2010, my goal is to consolidate some of these accounts and simplify our finances.
  6. Blog Goals – Grow readership to 15,000 subscribers. As this site has become a large part of my life, I plan to put even more energy towards growing the readership. 15k subscribers is quite the jump from 8k at the beginning of 2009, but a nice round number to work towards.

If you would like some ideas for financial goals, check out Kathryn’s post listing 8 financial resolution ideas for 2010.

Care to share your financial goals for 2010? Feel free to use this thread as your personal finance goal diary.  Big or small goals, it will help keep me motivated (and hopefully you) in knowing that readers are working towards achieving their financial goals as well.

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FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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canucktuary
10 years ago

Time for a mid year review of my goals. FT, how are you doing on yours?

1. Under budget on wedding by $2,500, over budget on honeymoon by $1,500. Net – under budget by $1,000
2. Still plan to contribute $10,000 to mortgage in the next six months.
3. Maxed out TFSA in Q2 – 1 quarter ahead of schedule!
4. Will – On my to do list still.
5. 30% growth in net worth. On track.

kiramatali shah
11 years ago

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Future Money-Bags
11 years ago

Hey Everyone and FT,
I have re-stumbled upon your site once again!

First time was a couple years ago when trying to make money online, that failed miserably but I learned a lot. This site is AMAZING and offers probably thousands of hours of reading. Many articles I have read more than once as I love to learn about finances and investing.

As of last year I have studied much and learned much about preparing myself for the rest of my life, and helping everyone I know to do the same.

My goals are as follows:

1. Purchase a condo this year. This will be used to rent out as I continue to pay rent in an aparentment. I live in Vancouver, so it has been very hard to save money to purchase a home, but it is becoming more possible every day.

2. Accumulate 20% for a downpayment to avoid Mortgage Insurance.. Due to the new drop from the 25% requirement to avoid CMHC Mortgage Insurance, I sill soon be able to afford this! I am reading up on the SM, and plan to buy the book to familiarize myself with it 100%. I hope I am able to use this method.
Although my main problem as of today, is my TDS ratio is too high; despite saving 60%+ of my monthly income.

3. Achieve 100k status at age 25. Considering 4 years ago I started my first job, I knew at that point I would save as much as I could. Starting with high interest savings accounts and GIC’s, I soon learned that I had to pay tax on the measely 100-200$ I received a year as interest, I realized this would not accomplish my goal of being financially independant any time soon!

4. Having a new property in vancouver that I am able to rent out, will cover much of the cost associated with the residence itself. Meaning I can still save ontop of that and invest in other ways such as diversifying my portfolio inside a TFSA since my limit is now $10,000.

5. $1Million by age 35 is my goal! And I know it is realistic if I stay focused.

cannon_fodder
11 years ago

As of this past weekend, my wife and I are embarking on a 4 year plan. I read an article about retiring to places south of the border and my wife and I are excited about retiring well, and early, to South America.

Although we have enough assets to permanently leave Canada and retire, we have 2 daughters (1 each from previous marriages) that have yet to hit university. Once the oldest is through and the youngest in her 2nd year, we should be comfortable that they are independent enough to look after their own interests.

It’s amazing to us that we could sell our home in the Toronto area, and use that along with our Smith Manoeuvre portfolio to purchase not just a home on the beach but also one higher up towards mountains. And, we can easily live off our a portion of our dividends from the RRSP’s and SM portfolio without any worry of depleting them.

To make this happen, we will:

1 – Eliminate any capital improvements to the house and refrain from significant purchases (e.g. furniture, electronics, car). My wife laughed at electronics – I quickly underlined SIGNIFICANT. That doesn’t mean I’ll stop altogether!

2 – Pay off mortgage by 2011

3 – Continue to maximize RRSP contributions.

4 – Start paying down SM HELOC after mortgage is eliminated.

5 – I don’t know that there is any point putting money into the TFSA now that we will leave Canada in 4 years. We are going to seek an accountant with expertise in taxation as it relates to those retiring outside of Canada.

I did learn that we would still be eligible for about 75% of our OAS. Our CPP would be significantly reduced because we would be retiring so early. We both would only have about 25 decent working years to count for our contributions.

We haven’t informed the children yet as we don’t want them worrying unnecessarily… we will wait until they are older…. or when they really tick us off.

4 –

Freedom 40?
11 years ago

Similar Goals. Comments/Questions on goal #1 and #4……

Still waivering over paying down mortgage vs bulking up my stock portfolio. Currently have a $150k mortgage on a $400k home. Have about $75k in non-reg investments (stocks, etc). I’m yielding about 9-10% in dividends on the non-reg stuff. Much of these dividends will almost certainly be slashed over the next year or two. My mortgage is a 5 year fixed term at 3.94% and is due in November of 2010. Should I liquidate my non-reg stuff and attack the mortgage? I’ve done ok in terms of capital appreciation as well on the stocks (purchased almost all of it when the market was down).

I really hate having a mortgage, but I really love having the passive income.

DMac
11 years ago

@me

Thanks for the insight…

High interest consumer debt… done!

Emergency Fund… working on it..

We (my wife and I) put money away into RRSP, some non-registered accounts, RESPs, and a vacation fund so this seems to cover your points 3 and 4.

Where does paying the mortgage off come in? (I don’t consider it high-interest consumer debt).

I was interested to see your comments on education costs. Given the costs of today’s post-secondary education it is very difficult to have someone “work their way through school”. Thus they have two choices… a large student debt or parents who have helped along the way. I think I’d rather help a little than give a new graduate a shiny new diploma attached to 5 to 10 years of debt. I plan to educate my kids on money along the way so that they can appreciate that yes I am helping, that yes they have to put something in as well and that yes education is worth it.

As a parent of young kids (at least 10 years before they go to university) these are my current thoughts. I’ll ask the collective intelligence of experienced parents what they think…

Nelson
11 years ago

How did you manage to pay off your mortgage in 3 years?

me
11 years ago

@DMac
While doing a variety of things is probably optimal (ie will result in the most gains), I would say its better to do a few small things very well, and be ok in the others. I say this because trying to do alot of things very well can be overwhelming.
In my mind the priority list is:
1. Pay off High interest consumer debt
2. Emergency Fund
3a. Invest (RRSP (ETFs), TFSA (ETFs), and Eligible CDN dividend stocks)
3b. Fun Money (Live Life!)
3c. Charity (Do some of each, 3a,3b,3c concurrently)
4. RESP — Kids can pay for their own school, none of our parents did, why should we pay? They can work and get scholarships like the rest of us did. Oh and they can skip the designer jeans and expensive laptops and learn what sacrifice for eventual gain means.

Did i miss anything?

Ice cream on a stick
11 years ago

Could you please clarify how you got $15,000 of the TFSA contribution room? I though the TFSA was introduced on January 2, 2009. So, 2009 ($5K) + 2010 ($5K) = $10K max, no?

Ms Save Money
11 years ago

My goal this year was to pay off all my debt – and now I’m proud to say that – I listen to your guy’s suggestions and used all the cash laying around in my bank account and paid off the entire amount on my car :)