Christmas Update

The last few weeks have been very busy at work — to the point its almost outside my comfort zone.  I’ve assumed a lot of responsibility for my cases and it feels imposing.  This makes me want to hit my magic number even faster.   But, this professional growth  is  necessary if I want to make partner and really rake it in and significantly lower amount of time to FIRE.

Expenses: 2010 expenses look like they will be between $33-34K.  I did not move to my lower cost rental until June.  A lot of automotive expenses in December.  Also the usual Christmas spending, although I only gave three gifts this year.

Net worth increase in 2010 was over $100K.  About $65K in cash savings, $20K in retirement savings, and the rest from the market.

Investments:  In 2010, I waded into the stock market (~10%) in May and it’s paid off handsomely (>20% in seven months).  I also waded into a municipal bond fund (~5%) recently when municipals took a rapid dive.  I still believe the worst is to come given the Fed’s policies and high unemployment.  I still hold significant amounts of cash.

Miscellaneous: I signed up for a high-deductible health plan.  Will open an HSA next year.   Due to some uncertainty, I will wait to fund it in December 2011.

Personal: Not engaged/married yet.  May happen in 2011.

Here are some projections for 2011.  Assuming my expenses stay at the current level ($27K), I should be able to save >$130K next year, with >$105K in cash.  This works itself out to almost 4 3/4 years of expenses.  I will consider investing periodically, while keeping quite a bit of powder dry if the economy blows up.  This way, I will not be making a 100% bet on a downturn.

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