Well, 2012 was a pretty tumultuous year politically, and I was angry about the dereliction of duty by our Congress for most of it. Luckily for you guys I left my rants out of this blog. Coming into 2013 it looks like the Congress is setting itself up for the same sort stupidity that got us where we are already with short-term fixes and a tax code so bloated that anyone can recognize it’s dead and it stinks.
For myself and my family I did not set fiscal goals or other kinds in 2012 besides increasing liquidity. In December 2013 our liquidity was 67% higher than in 2012 so I count that as a raging success. I also was able to max out 2 Roth IRA’s and my 401k by year-end. That’s $27,000. This year I’ll need to save an extra $1,500 due to the increase in limits on both the Roth’s ($5,500) and 401k’s ($17,500) so that’s goal #1 for this year.
Overall net worth increased by 25% this year. If I remove property value from the equation, the number is even higher (37%). I have to say that both numbers are shocking to me. Given the state of the economy, I expected much worse. This was coming on the heels of 2010 where net worth increased only 13%. So doubling the rate of growth off of an even larger base is really great. For 2013, I would at least like to match the 2012 growth rate. That’s goal #2. (And yes, I know that talking in % terms is only semi-useful. I’ve moved all my actual net worth posts private.)
This year is starting off rough. The payroll tax holiday has expired which means that I and most all of you are starting out this year only earning 98% of what we did the year before. Plus, I need to save an extra $1,500 as I stated in goal 1. This is further compounded by my employer switching me over to a new health plan that is going to significantly increase my costs. Add it all up and I need almost a 4% raise just to stay even in terms of my take home liquidity. That’s not going to happen so hopefully we can find some areas of savings somewhere. It’s hard to think of where though as we rarely splurge.
On the positive side the new health plan I mentioned comes with an HSA. That’s a health savings account for those of you that don’t know it, and they’re another great savings vehicle. They act much like your standard FSA, but the money you put in stays with you, even if you don’t use it all up by the end of the year or even if you leave the company. You put money in pre-tax, and you can use it for healthcare expenses. It’s like getting a discount off everything related to healthcare in your life. You can put in $6,000/yr. and that’s goal #3 for 2013.
For the blog, I’m not setting any goals. I’ll post when I have something to say. No more no less. Personal goals this year include taking a family vacation and me getting in better shape. In fact, I’m ending this post and headed to a workout!
To recap, the goals for 2013 are:
- Max out 401k and Roth’s despite the increased limits.
- Match or exceed 2012’s real estate included growth rate of 25%
- Max out new HSA and hopefully not need to spend it all.
- Take a family vacation.
I’d love to hear your goals for the new year!