OurNextLife.com // What's Got Us So Excited! First quarter of 2016 financial progress update! early retirement, financial independence, charts, graphs

What’s Got Us So Excited // Quarterly Financial Update

It’s that time again — when we share our quarterly stats and progress on the road to early retirement (since we hit financial independence around the end of last year). Also in this update, something that’s got us so flipping excited — like party confetti emoji excited, you guys.

OurNextLife.com // What's Got Us So Excited -- financial update for 2016 Q1 // financial independence, early retirement, finances

But first, the progress report. Because we don’t share our numbers (read this if you want to know why), our updates come in the form of lots of percentages and graphs. We’ve added a few new ones this go-round to try to better represent our progress and show what’s doable.

Related posts: 2015 Q3 Update (All the Charts // Our Progress Toward Early Retirement) and 2015 End-of-Year Update (Of Mice and Money // 2015 Wrap-Up and 2016 Rundown)

Overall Net Worth

Like it was for most people, March was a great month for our numbers. The declines of January and February reversed, and we got back above where we started the year in our overall net worth:

March2016_NetWorth-ByYear

Hooray for that little tick up. Breaking that down a little more, we see that all of our numbers went in the right direction overall for the quarter, despite the January/February slump:

March2016_NetWorth-Components_ByMonth

401(k)s were back up, taxable investments went up from both market increases and focused saving on our part, and the mortgage ticked down as scheduled.

Traditional Retirement Funds

The part of our portfolio that’s been in good shape for a few years now — our 401(k) accounts — continues to be in good shape. We crossed above the amount that we think we need once we hit “traditional retirement age” (age 59 1/2 onward, when we can access these funds without penalty) some time last year. We’re still adding to reduce our tax liability now, but it’s all gravy at this point.

Related post: How We Calculated Our Numbers for Each Phase of Early Retirement

March2016_TaxDeferred

Mortgages

We paid our last big chunk against our primary mortgage at the end of last year, and since then have been paying the regular monthly amounts. We’re currently prioritizing investing in our taxable investments over extra payments against the mortgage, though we’ll plan to make another giant payment at the end of the year. [Update: We ARE planning to pay off the house before we retire. Adding this because it was not clear in this post, though we’ve talked about it before.] So not huge progress since year-end, but big progress since last fall:

March2016_Mortgage-Primary

And the rental property mortgage is all about slow and steady. Our tenant is currently paying the mortgage for us, and we’re not paying a penny extra. We’re currently planning to keep the rental mortgage for its entire 15-year term, and we’re two years into it so far.

March2016_Mortgage-Rental

Fluctuations

Just for fun, we updated our skewed scale chart to show the seemingly-wild fluctuations in our entire portfolio since last spring. Of course, when you zoom in close and chop off the whole bottom of the scale, it’s easy for things to look quite dramatic. If you want to scare someone out of investing in the markets, show them this chart. :-)

March2016_NetWorth-FluctuationsSkewed

Taxable Savings FTW

Besides numbers generally going in the right direction on the year now, this is the part of the quarterly report that we’re most excited about:

March2016_Taxable-Pie-Chart

We’ve been looking for a way to better represent how quickly it’s possible to save for early retirement if you make more than you need and you make saving your primary focus. Between 2014 and 2015, we accumulated almost half of the taxable funds total that we’ll need to sustain us in Phase One of early retirement (before Mr. ONL turns 59 1/2). That’s in addition to nearly maxing our 401(k)s during those years and paying on an extremely accelerated mortgage payoff schedule. And we know the 2016 progress looks small, but that’s reflecting how skewed toward year-end deferred compensation (“bonuses”) our paychecks are.

But here’s the even better news, looking at the numbers a different way:

March2016_Taxable-Pie-Chart_Percents

All that we have left to save is only slightly more than we saved last year (25% last year vs. 29% left to save). Our 401(k)s already have as much in them as we’ll ever need, and our mortgage payoff is happening on schedule. By upping our game and saving more per month in 2016 than we did in 2015, we’re now more ahead of schedule than we were at the end of last year.

Which gets us to the best part of the post…

Why We’re So Excited

It’s starting to dawn on us that we may not need to wait until the end of 2017 to retire. The deferred-compensation models that we’re both in give us both a huge incentive to stay through the end of the calendar year. We’ve always assumed that we’d find out our year-end bonus in December of next year, and then give notice. But we’ve recently heard rumors that senior-level people who left our companies mid-year got prorated bonuses.

!!! This is gamechanging news. Let’s throw in a few more exclamation points for good measure. !!!!!!!

As good as this news is, it would be meaningless if we weren’t ahead of schedule on our investing and mortgage payoff. But we are. And we’re getting more ahead of schedule every month, with early indications that year-end bonuses should be good ones this year. That’s a big if, but if those bonuses are good, and if the markets don’t take a nosedive before year-end, then we could be looking at a significant timeline revision this coming December.

In the Meantime…

We’re going to do our best not to get too excited. There’s still plenty that can happen to slow things back down, and we have learned the lesson that when you invest as you’re supposed to, and build up a sizeable portfolio, you lose a lot of control over what the balance sheet says. The markets get that say instead. And we all know the markets don’t always behave rationally.

So we’re not holding our breath over here. We’re going to keep on keeping on, saving aggressively throughout the year and planning for a big mortgage payment and a big Vanguard investment at the end of the year. We’ll consider ourselves lucky if we get any market tailwind at all, and certainly won’t expect it.

But I’m not gonna lie — knowing that we might be able to shave months off our timeline next year has sure put a little more spring in my step. The first three months of this year have felt like six, and if we could shave three months off our timeline next year, it could just feel like getting six more months of freedom! :-)

How was your first quarter? Any surprises? Anyone out there upping your game to try to get to your end goal faster? Tell us all about it!

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81 thoughts on “What’s Got Us So Excited // Quarterly Financial Update

  1. That is wonderful! Prorated bonuses are great! We just crossed over to 80% of our goal – which feels awesome. Of course, with me taking a new, low-paying job this coming fall, that is going to end our dramatic climb to the goal. Although – my trusty spreadsheet says that we should still hit our FI number summer 2018. But, if we both love our jobs, even though we are in a climate we don’t love, I could see us staying here a little longer.

    1. First off, CONGRATS on your new position! I think you should change your handle to Prof SSC. :-) I think it’s amazing that you can take a big pay cut for a passion job and STILL hit your numbers by mid-2018. So awesome. And while I hope you love your new job, I am also rooting for you guys to escape to the mountains ASAP. :-)

      1. I was thinking with the summers off, maybe I can find a inexpensive cabin to rent and me and the kids will spend the summer in the mountains, while Mr. SSC slaves away in the blistering hot city!

  2. Great new! It seems like you are very cautious about making sure you have more than enough to make this move, so I’m sure you’re excited about moving forward with what you’re already so close to. I hope you can shave off a few months! I’m excited to read about all you do after early retirement.

    1. You’re totally right — despite all the excitement, we ARE super cautious. So we wouldn’t quit earlier than end of next year if it meant not having a decent cushion in addition to hitting our magic taxable number and paying off the house. We also won’t announce until we’re fully set, in case they don’t give us a prorated bonus or say, “Great, you can leave tomorrow.” Haha — unlikely, but better to be prepared for the worst!

  3. Wow! Congrats on so many fronts! I hope all works out according to plan. We’re slow and steady over here, with the only big news being that someone actually wants to buy the big house. May 16 is the day we’re supposed to sign off–fingers crossed! Have an awesome day!

  4. Have you considered part-time work? What about working 20 hours a week at a ski lodge (or some other fun job) the first few years into retirement to balance out any blips in your portfolio? Could this help move your retirement data closer?

    1. Hi Michelle — We have definitely considered part-time work, and for sure think it’s in our future. Because we live in a high cost-of-living area, part-time work wouldn’t give us enough to pay off the house in addition to building up our taxable funds, BUT it will definitely be part of the mix for the first few years of ER to help us stretch out our nest egg and hedge against bad markets. Your comment is a good reminder that we should all get out of our all-or-nothing mindset, and be willing to think creatively to get to our goals!

  5. Ok, this is seriously amazing you guys – I think seeing the percentages of what you’ve saved over the years was the biggest eye opener and could be a post on its own! As if it’s only been a few years to ramp up to where you are now. That is seriously impressive!

    Plus, I’m super excited for you and will cross my fingers that you’re on track for mid-year retirement AND a partial bonus next year!

    1. Thanks, Des! I agree — we should do that standalone post on how big of chunks we were able to sink away once we really focused. The hard part is we couldn’t say how to replicate that except “be several years into your career so you earn an ample salary.” Haha. And thanks for the well wishes for next year! We’re keeping our fingers crossed too! (Well not literally, but you know what I mean.) ;-)

  6. Excellent news, and I love the pie charts! It’s cool looking at how much was saved after you got to the FIRE mindset. Ours would look pretty similar in that our pre-ER savings was good, but nothing game changing, and around 2011-2012(?) when we got serious about saving it totally changed. Like your pie chart, just Bang! bang! bang! holy cow we’re at 80%!! :)

    That’s great you can get a pro-rated bonus though! The plus side with me being here, hopefully through the other side of the downturn, is that maybe I’ll get to experience a full share bonus which would be an awesome boost to our portfolio.

    1. Yeah, it’s seriously crazy how fast things can happen when you really focus… assuming you’re earning more than you need. We feel lucky every day that we earn what we do, or our timeline would for sure be longer. We for sure HOPE that the prorated bonus thing ends up being true. I think you gave the good advice sometime last year not to give notice until as late as we can, and we’re still going to follow that sage advice. Even if we’re willing to work several more months, we won’t actually announce until we’re fully set and don’t NEED that prorated bonus — though we sure hope we get it anyway! :-)

      And fingers crossed that you can get a full share bonus! Let’s all root for higher oil prices! (Haha — can you tell we’re the big enviros, so we’re happy if gas prices go up? I’m sure every other frugal person in the world is cursing us right now.) :-D

    1. Thanks, Tonya! It has definitely been quite a mindset shift, which you can see reflected in when our numbers started to climb for real. But, it certainly helps that we have incomes that are well above average! It would be a lot tougher if we didn’t have an excess of disposable income.

  7. The first quarter is when DH gets his bonus, so it is when we regularly save 60%+ of our total savings for the year. That plus the market ticking back up in March made this a nice quarterly update for us too! We are at about 75% of my goal for me to RE, though DH will no doubt work longer (we are about 50% of the way to where he’ll feel comfortable calling it quits). But if I can stay home and make his work life a lot easier, since he won’t have to do any chores or kid drop-off (unless he wants to), it will feel like a vacation compared to where we are now!

    I also loved the chart showing the percent saved per year. I think ours is similar except we are probably about 2 years behind you–I’m going to have to chart that out when I have some free time!

    1. Hooray — so glad you guys had a good bonus and a good quarter! :-) That’s so awesome that you’re 75% of the way there and DH is halfway — I bet you’ll see some acceleration as you get closer. Even with flat and bad markets, we’ve still surpassed our goals each year and continued to get better at it. I’m sure that’s not just us. :-) And it would be cool to see your charts! Please let us know where to see them once you’ve posted them!

  8. Fantastic news! All that hard work is really paying off. Congratulations. Mr. AR and I were just talking about this issue yesterday (retiring early), and I asked him if he ever regretted the loss of additional income from me leaving the work force several years before our original goal for me to do so (and even a few years before our revised goal), and he surprised me by saying not even for a minute. The precious time we’ve had together this past year and a half has been worth more than any numbers on a spreadsheet, even if it meant a more restrictive budget than we originally planned for. Every once in a while (rarely these days), I get a wave of guilt that I’m no longer out there “contributing,” but listening to him talk about how much better the quality of his life has been since I stopped working reminds me of all the things in life that are just so much more important than money. It’s great to see your progress, it’s reminds me of that early excitement I felt when I ran the numbers, saw that it could be done, and then actually did it! You’re almost there, hopefully the markets keep cooperating, bonuses get prorated and you get to spend holidays 2017 retired. Fingers crossed, but I think you’ve got this.

    1. Thanks, AR! I love your reminder that the time is worth way more than the money — that’s what we keep reminding ourselves, and what we feel on a deep gut level. We’ve been saying for a while now that we’d retire at the end of 2017 even if we didn’t hit our numbers, and just find a way to make it work, but now seeing that we’re ahead of schedule feels both super exciting and like a huge relief. We know the markets could still screw with things, but we’re feeling good right now!

  9. It has been a GREAT five weeks for the markets, hasn’t it? I felt a little awkward announcing my resignation on 2/9 – when the market was -10% for the year. Now it’s up a little bit & MegaCorp stock has been soaring. My advisor called me on Friday to congratulate me on my last day and the MegaCorp hitting a huge new all-time high.

    A couple observations on your numbers. First of all – they look great! A couple things you’ll see soon: your taxable investments will soon soar by your 401k savings (and someday dwarf them). I used to always look at my 401k, but after a while it became a small % of our nest egg. You can see why in you ‘taxable savings by year chart’ – it’s growing every year. Another comment is I hope you are planning on paying off the mortgage before you hit your FIRE date. People debate this all the time, but we really appreciate the security that comes with that.

    1. I’m sure that felt good to actually retire on a better market note than the one you announced on! LOL

      I hope you’re right about our taxables surpassing the 401ks! The 401ks have a BIG head start. :-) But we’re okay with that, too, since we want to live it up a bit more once we get into our 60s, so knowing that we have a bigger nest egg awaiting us will be a nice comfort too. Win-win. :-) And YES, we are definitely planning on paying off the house. Million reasons including Obamacare, taxes and peace of mind. But we’re totally in your camp — get that security in place, reduce our income needs in retirement, and get that sucker paid off! We’ll be close by end of this year, but will still have a little to pay off next year, which is why we can’t hit all our targets this year, even if we stopped our 401k contributions.

  10. I love those blue pie charts, awesome visuals! And as someone who doesn’t care much for math, I appreciate your lack of actual numbers :).

    I know there would be a tax hit, but if you changed contributions from fully-funded 401k to nearly-funded taxables, in addition to increased savings, plus year end bonus, wouldn’t you meet the remaining 29% THIS year instead of next?? (I’m positive you’ve already thought of this, so it must not quite tip the scale eh?)

    1. Glad you enjoyed! :-) We have definitely considered taking our 401(k) contributions down to speed things along this year, but the taxable savings alone doesn’t tell the full story. We also have to pay off our house, and it is probably not possible to pay off the house AND hit our magic taxable number this year. But we think we can get awfully close even with the 401(k) contributions. We’ll see how this end-of-year shakes out, and then come up with our endgame strategy and timeline. :-)

  11. There’s some excellent progress here! You may have to make a tough decision next year; retire at year’s end, or months ahead of schedule. If it were me, I’d opt for the bigger cushion that a few months could provide, but that may be a tough one.

    I love how you’ve laid everything out in terms of percentages. I’m not big on sharing actual numbers either, although the voyeur inside of me likes to see other people’s raw data.

    I’ll probably reveal our annual spending once we have a year of Mint tracking under our belt, but I don’t see myself putting my net worth out there. Whether I lift the veil of anonymity or not, I wouldn’t be excited about that number being out there for the world to see.

    1. You are spot-on with the decision that we’ll face if we’re lucky. :-) We tend to be overly cautious on these things, so we will likely make sure we have a good cushion, but if we can do that and STILL retire earlier than end of year, then hooray!

      I know what you mean about loving to see other people’s numbers — we’re the same way. But like you, we don’t want to put it all out there, because we plan to have our names and faces up here when we retire, and we just don’t want that stuff out there.

  12. Congrats on the continued success. Q1 was awesome for me. I put a lot of money away and the market cooperated so every week or so lately has me hitting new net worth highs which is always exciting. Have some big things happening in Q2 which I’ll share in the blog, but these should also help me outpace my goals :)

  13. Congrats guys! That’s super exciting! I am sort of counting on this phenomenon. If we can actually get 3 months ahead of schedule for every year of our journey, we may actually be able to pull off FIRE at a decent time! Until then… we’ll keep saving as much as possible and coming up with brilliant ideas that will turn into wealthy ones. :)

    1. Thanks, M! :-) You already know I think you guys are going to catch this wave as well. We were originally planning on 2020, after all, and the timeline has never gotten longer — only shorter. And it seems like others have followed the same pattern, so we’re not just some anomaly. :-)

      1. I’m totally counting on that anomaly! I’m actually having a really hopeful day (and hopefully week/month/year). Things are jiving right now and I’m excited about what’s happening, so whatever the outcome, I’m enjoying the current wave!

  14. Excellent! I love hearing news like this. It is amazing how many of us find that we can usually retire before our original target. We went through the same realization last year, and you guys have realized that this year. Definitely kick ass. Well done, guys. You all rock hard core.

    On our side, we are chugging along very well. Like everyone, we lost a good bit of money early in the year but took advantage of the cheap stocks. Now we are well above our highs of last year. We have moved into our Airstream and will be paying double-rent until the house sells, so we are very hopeful that the house sells as quickly as possible. Once that happens, our financial situation moving forward will reveal itself pretty clearly.

    But so far, so good. :)

    1. Thanks, Steve! We’re getting there… :-) And totally agree that timelines have a way of moving up. If you recall, our original timeline was 2020. Then we moved it to end of 2017. Maybe at the end of this year we can shave a little more off. Fingers crossed!

      And fingers crossed, too, that your house sells quickly! I’ve loved seeing the initial photos from your new campsite — can’t wait to hear how that’s going!

    1. Paying off another credit card IS exciting!!! Congrats! We were at that point once, too, and it’s a hugely important stepping stone on the path to FI — don’t knock it! :-)

  15. I’m curious the formula you use to calculate how much you need in your 401(k)s. The formula I’m using says I already have 75% of what I need and I’ll surpass 100% in 2018, so two more years. I passed the 50% towards my current FI number (it’s a moving target) for the first time which is really exciting!!! That also means my net worth is now higher than the $ remaining to FI :D

    Mid year prorated bonuses would be amazing! The bonuses are smaller at my current job than my last one so I don’t feel like it’s much of golden handcuffs – if I hit my target it’s about one to two months pay versus 4-5x at my old job.

    First quarter was great for my net worth. Sometimes I wonder about including my condo value in my net worth and updating it, but eventually I realized I should because if I hadn’t bought the condo, I would probably have a lot more stock investments and I would be updating their value in my net worth.

    1. Mr. ONL is a magician with projections, and has done a bunch of them. Basically, he calculated how much we’d need to save to be able to double our annual spending when he reaches 60, compared to what we expect to spend during the in between years, all adjusted for inflation of course, and assuming modest market growth (4-5% a year — we’re not banking on big growth). Email if you want more detail. :-) But, even though we’re past that point, we’re still close to maxing because we can afford to and already pay SO MUCH in taxes that we’re fine trimming a bit off of that.

      Congrats on getting past 50% FI! That’s huge!

      That’s great that you don’t have the handcuffs in your current job — it’s super weird having to think of FI in terms of whole year increments, when obviously there’s nothing magic about quitting in December. Fingers crossed that the prorated bonus thing turns out to be true and we can trim a few months off next year! Either way, I think we won’t announce our retirement until we feel like we have enough in the bank, whether or not they give us another penny… just to be safe.

      We do count our home equity in our overall net worth, btw. Though I haven’t adjusted it upward in a while, though I could, because I don’t want to feel like we’ve made a bunch of progress that we haven’t “earned,” especially because that progress is meaningless if we stay put! But we also do a net worth calculation with just investments plus rental property equity, and another with just investments and cash. (We don’t factor in our cars or stuff ever.)

  16. I hit a new net worth high! The markets really helped boost that up in March. My deal for a duplex fell through, so that was a bit of a bummer, but my downpayment fund should be more than sufficient for anything I find. Which will hopefully be soon!

  17. Great stuff our next life, I’ve been thinking sharing our net worth on my blog without giving out any numbers. Think I’ll do something similar as you. Could you explain a little bit what you meant by taxable fund saved? Is there an amount you’re trying to reach?

    1. Hi Tawcan. It took us a while to arrive at these particular charts, but now we think they give a good sense with no actual numbers attached. Taxable fund saved means the amount we’ve saved thus far, or still have yet to go, to reach our “magic number” of what we think we need between retirement and when we can access our tax-deferred accounts penalty-free. Our tax-deferred accounts are well stocked at this point, so taxable is what we’re focused on!

      1. Ahhh I thought it’s the amount of money you need to save to reach your magic number. That totally makes sense now.

  18. Nothing but good news in the post! hooray for you!!! And then finding out the possibility for retiring sooner… That is just awesome news.

    What strikes me in your stories is the “down-to-earth” approach. You tak nothing for granted and only count it when it is there! That is how it should be done.

    I wish you the best for the rest of the year.

    On our level, we did not reach a new high in March ;-). In a few years, this will all be forgotten!

    1. Thanks, ATL! It is probably our favorite update yet. :-) Maybe it’s because we’re in our late 30s and have been through several market crashes at this point (I graduated from college during the dotcom bust — finding a job then was NOT fun!), but we’ve learned not to take anything market-related for granted. Though we’re thankful to have learned that lesson early in life! Here’s hoping your next update gets you to a new high point. :-)

      1. Getting a new high would be super! Shaving off a year and being FI 1 year sooner is even better. That is the true goal!
        I was not fully invested during the 2008 crash and having too much fun during the dot com to notice… I am curious to see how I will react when it crashes really hard (and it is when, not if)

        1. We’re curious how we’ll react to a crash, too — because although we’ve been through it before, the value of our investments was not nearly so important the last few times! :-)

  19. You guys continue to crush it! The possibility of a prorated bonus is amazing!

    Not sure if this is upping our game, but as I look around our house, I keep thinking about all the things we could sell to simplify and make some decent money at the same time. I’m sure they’re will be more to come on that over the next few months.

    1. Thanks, DTG! We sure hope the partial bonuses come through, but we’ve decided we won’t give notice until we’re sure we don’t *need* them. That way we don’t accidentally screw ourselves in our eagerness. :-D And yeah, downsizing your stuff to fit your new life — and making some money from it now — totally counts as upping the game!

  20. Y’all were already in a great position but the news of prorated bonuses is certainly wonderful. I love getting to be a financial voyeur and it’s so motivating to see how well y’all are doing. It’s amazing how the end date seems to keep being reeled back in once you get things working for you. All the best.

    1. Thanks, JC! We for sure hope that the prorated bonuses work out, though we’re hoping not to *need* them, since they wouldn’t be automatic. So we’ll only give notice once we feel sure that we don’t require any additional funds, and then anything else we get can be gravy. But glad to share progress — thanks for taking an interest! :-)

  21. That’s super exciting!!!! Do you have a month in mind, based on your likely prorated bonuses?

    Also, I like your skewed chart. Skewed charts are nuts. I see them occasionally in published research articles, which is hilarious.

    And why yes, as a matter of fact, I totally am upping my game: yesterday I decided to increase my monthly retirement savings goal from $416 to $500. No joke. Read all about it (well, read a sentence or two about it) in tomorrow’s post!

    1. I’m too superstitious to aim for a specific month — that would feel like jinxing it. (I’m only half kidding.) Ask me again in December, after we know how this year shakes out! :-) And I feel like so many charts we see are skewed, they’re just not labeled that way. And that totally counts as upping your game — wohoo! Can’t wait to read about it tomorrow! :-)

  22. Congrats on the progress, and the potential earlier early exit. :-)

    I’m still on sabbatical, so anything towards transitioning out of it would be upping my game. (!) Nice comfortable plateau, successful stealth preview of retirement, just letting time and compound interest work their magic too.

  23. Prorated bonuses are sweet! Congrats on the awesome progress. Hopefully this means for you guys a nice, well-cushioned early 2017 exit. :)

    Q1 was pretty good here. Got a raise, yearly+quarterly bonus both hit, got my tax refund, and maxed my 401k. That said, since everything’s so front-loaded, progress will be less dramatic for the rest of the year.

    1. (Is this Taylor?? If so, welcome back!) And thanks! We’re definitely hoping for the well-cushioned part. We’re more attached to that than to what month we finish up next year. :-) Glad you had an awesome Q1, too! Congrats on the raise and bonuses!

  24. Excited for you! Is your recent mega growth due to the power of compounding of your accounts relative to current contributions or are you able to do some heavy backloading because of where you are in your careers and your decision to consume less than the baller years?

    No prorated bonuses to be had here!

    1. Thanks, TJ! The recent growth is really a combo — in 401ks, it’s definitely from compounding, but in taxable it’s a combo. We’re contributing fast, but we’ve also gotten critical mass where the markets have more control over the ups than our new investments do.

  25. Where do I start , you must be an excel spreadsheet pro in either of your professions because the data entry and importing into graphs is next level. Wanna do mine ? LOL
    I would keep crushing things to the year end to allow a better percentage for margin of error. Slow and Steady wins the race and would hate for you to charge up the first pitch of that mountain too soon and forget your rope at the bottom.

    1. Haha — we’re just Excel enthusiasts. :-) And it helps that we’ve been tracking our numbers for years now, so have the historical data to throw in here. And you make a good point about a margin of error — we’ll only quit early if we’ve achieved that margin ahead of schedule. We are not people who are comfortable with a thin line between success and failure!

      1. I’m hoping! The new job is great! Good people and I feel like it’s a place where I can make a positive impact! I felt the last place I was just doing random projects for the owner that didn’t really add too much value to the company overall.

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