2018 Financial Goals – Final Update

2018 Financial Goals – Final Update

Passionate fans of this site will know I’m not an early retirement zealot.

We don’t scrimp and save every dime to live in a small apartment and call ourselves “retired!”….but….we are somewhat focused on money management.  Heck, I do have a blog after all!

And for good reason…

I want to share what I know.  I want to share what I don’t know.  I want to learn from others.  I want to hear different perspectives – to try and improve.  Life is for learning.

And when it comes to money management this truth remains:  nobody cares more about our financial well-being than us.

So, by setting goals, hitting some and failing at others – we at least push ourselves to better heights over time.  We try.  We learn.  We try again.


We’ve come a long ways in recent years.  By documenting and following up on our financial goals each year, we’re getting closer to these major financial milestones:

  • Big goal #1 is to own a $1 million investment portfolio for retirement. That portfolio value excludes workplace pensions and excludes any house equity.
  • Big goal #2 is to own a paid off home/condo and retire from full-time work with no debt.

How are we marching towards these goals?  One week, then a month, then a few months at a time.

2018 Recap

For 2018, these are the goals we set for ourselves:

  1. Maximizing contributions to our TFSAs (for long-term dividend income and growth), and
  2. Killing debt.

2018 Results

In January 2018 we kept our annual commitment to maximize contributions to our Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).  If you don’t already know, there are many great things you can do with your TFSA this year – here! 

As done in previous years, we decided to buy more Canadian dividend paying stocks inside this account.

Based on those contributions in early 2018, dividends reinvested throughout the year, assets inside those two tax-free accounts are now churning out close to $8,000 per year in dividend income tax-free. 

While very nice we don’t dare touch that money that money though.   We have long since considered our TFSAs as retirement accounts even though other people don’t.   This means investments within these TFSAs will help us cover future needs and wants in retirement when we’re no longer working and/or when we no longer have a decent job to rely on.

These are our wants and needs in retirement.  What are yours?

So, we nailed the TFSA contribution goal and are proud of it.   That was $11,000 invested in early 2018.

How did we do on the debt?

Throughout the year, we paid down our mortgage debt.  We need to.  Otherwise, the bank will take our house away!

All told, we reduced our mortgage by just over $20,000 this year, thanks to our routine, bi-weekly accelerated payments.  Our debt remains in the six-figures still, and will remain there for another year or so, so we have a ways to go to be completely debt-free.

Given my RRSP contributions are fully maxed out; so no financial goal there, and my wife’s RRSP now has less than $28,000 left in contribution room (well down from where it was a few years ago – no financial goal there either) – we’re starting to feel OK about our assets and debt-management plans.  We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.

No travel specific travel goals in 2018 but you gotta live – life is short!

We had no specific travel goals in 2018 but we took a trip anyhow.  This time, we visited Whistler (pic of Whistler Village below) in the fall.  It was beautiful:

Whistler Village October 2018

With 2018 long gone, my attention has turned to 2019 and what we need to do to make this year a financially successful one.  I certainly have some ideas on what that could be and I hope to share those goals soon.

Thanks for following along and being a fan.

How did you make out on your 2018 financial goals?  Did you set any?  Why or why not?

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

19 Responses to "2018 Financial Goals – Final Update"

  1. Nice car May. I know it doesn’t have the range we’d need. As electric car prices come down and batteries (range) improve more people will want them.
    I’m still trying to wrap my head around the public paying for other peoples cars, and how roads can be built and maintained when there is an increasing number of vehicle owners using them that won’t be contributing through fuel taxes. Or maybe I’m missing something. I’m sure politicians have it all figured out. LOL

    1. It’s ideal to be a commuting car. If your family have only one car, it’s not suitable.

      I think the government is paying for EV cars to reduce carbon emissions? The government will figure out some other ways to tax people for the construction I guess. There was proposal in Metro Vancouver to toll all bridges e.g.

      We got $5K from the government, $6K from another program called scrape it. Looks like scrape-it is not a government program.

      If you can wait, better to wait for a better EV. Technology is changing fast and an EV just gets better every year. We originally wanted to wait until our old car broken, but then we noticed that EV can drive on carpool lane if there is only the driver in the car. That will save my husband quite some time for commuting and we figure time is the most valuable resource for us at this time.

      1. We’re now rural and have 3 cars and a motorcycle. I’m a car guy but don’t drive much anymore (more on my motorcycle in 4 mths than in cars 6.5 other months avg we’re home). 5 days a week I drive round trip only 6k to gym. Some days I run it. Maybe 8-10x per month one of also drive between 100 and 150k round trip for shopping, city and visiting. Then we might do long trips periodically – thousands of kms. One electric would probably work but in winter, driving at night especially might be pushing it for range with EV cars now. We’ll be in the market for new cars or at least one in the next few years but I’m doubting an EV will be a choice for us at that time. Who knows?

        Yes, I know EVs are being pushed to lower emissions, but IMO the government isn’t paying – other taxpayers are. I guess its the way our system works, but it strikes me as odd. It seems taxes are going to have to rise elsewhere to pay for incentives and lost fuel taxes. Our 2 bridges have tolls now and they have a hard time paying for themselves.

        We don’t have carpool lanes here and being retired I can time my driving to avoid traffiic, and I’m rarely in a hurry anymore!

        1. I think a Nissan Leaf would fit for you perfectly. It has a mile range of 240 KM with a full charge. Even in winter, you won’t have any problem for 150 KM.

          1. Thanks May. You might be right. Would need to know more about overall life of batteries.Costs of replacing etc. Coming up with the big bucks for one might be another issue though! EVs extremely rare here and I’ve never seen one.

            Or maybe a used one with good batteries.

  2. Congrats on another good year.

    Expense was out of control last year and I had excuses that I need to make my new home comfortable. I wanted to control my expense this year but unfortunately, I just signed to buy a new electronic car. Well, let’s hope I can control the expense next year then.

    The car is nice, a Nissan Leaf, very quiet and spacious, drive very smoothly. Well, maybe it’s not a bad idea to enjoy a nice new car while we can still drive. Plus we will save some money on gas as both of us commute long way everyday.

      1. Hopefully the EV incentive program in Ontario will come back when you want to buy an EV. We got $11K incentive for buying a new EV. Without this, it will be much harder for us. It’s very expensive. But it’s the best EV other than Tesla. We cannot afford a Tesla.

  3. When a goal list gets shorter one can assume they probably have things well under control. My goal list for today was to re-fill the cinnamon shaker. (still haven’t got it done yet though)

  4. “nobody cares more about our financial well-being than us.”
    What I like about your site is that you are trying to help people, at least those that visit, become aware of the fact that they should think about their financial well being, and that they should personally take charge, start saving, planning, investing and monitoring their finances towards their own goals. Too many people don’t even think about their future till they are in their 50’s and then the process is more difficult and they often don’t know how or what to do. Old saying,you can lead a horse to water, ……!

    1. Thanks cannew. I’m glad that comes through on these pages from time-to-time because it’s exactly what I’m trying to stress the importance of. I wouldn’t be in the financial position I was in/we are in (i.e., growing income stream, killing debt slowly over time) if I didn’t have some personal accountability.

  5. Congrats to you and your wife Mark……I love your your enthusiasm and guidance…..I have been going along the same route……..being a self directed investor…….you just solidify that I am on the right track …..keep up the postings

    1. Thanks Bob! We figured a balanced approach is good because who know what the future holds – so we save a bit, spend a bit, kill some debt. We’ll keep marching along 🙂


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