2016 Year in Review: It’s a PIE Life

So, readers, you thought that you would not hear from us again! Ha! Unfortunately, you will.

In our “last post”, we were overwhelmed by your feedback and quickly realized that our little blog had made a much bigger impact than we ever imagined. To the new readers, we needed to put our blog on pause to be able to spend more time with the kids since weekends- our only spare time to blog- were quickly getting ridiculously busy with writing. Massive thanks to all who urged us not to quit the blog. We heard you and we thank you for your sage advice. We promised that we would check in periodically with some posts and here is our year-end update on an amazing 2016.

We’ll take you through financial progress towards our FIRE goals and a summary of things we achieved as a family during 2016. We have a lot to be proud of and this post is a little summary of what we achieved.

Let’s start with the pi-lights from our PIE life. See what we did there? How many more “almost PIE” words can we fit into this post? And you really wanted to hear more from us….?

PIE Life PI-lights

  1. We started our little blog on April 10th and managed to publish 43 posts by November this year. With 1153 comments (OK, half of those were OUR replies!) , we have been delighted to see such enthusiasm and engagement on our writing. Thank you! Thank you! It means so much to us.
  2. We put our blog on pause (Boo!) in November for many of the reasons that are at the heart of our decision to leave the workplace in the summer of 2018 – July 3 to be precise. More time with family, more time with each other, just more time.
  3. We started our family quest to hike all 48 4,000 ft’ers in New Hampshire. With the kids, we managed to knock-off 8 of the mountains in 2016. Mount Washington (a 9 hour round-trip on a searing hot day in September) and Mount Pierce (a beautiful winter hike on a clear, crisp and cold day in November) were the most enjoyable. The boys (9 and 7) continue to amaze us with their stamina for long hikes and joie de vivre for the great outdoors. I guess we are doing something right!
  4. The PIE family continued to spend intentionally on family vacations. In February, we spent a week at our mountain home in NH, took a long weekend in New York City (thanks to an award from Mr. PIE’s employer), vacationed for two weeks in NH and Acadia in the summer and will head to Quebec City for four nights between Christmas and New Year. Mrs. PIE also visited family in Britain in April for an extended weekend. Quality family vacation time is a big deal to us and use of travel hacking helps us keep the budget in check. In February, 2017 we are heading out west to Jackson Hole and our respective derrieres will be subject to some serious butt-kicking from the steep and deep stuff while skiing in the Tetons.
  5. We launched our Donor Advised Fund (DAF). Other bloggers (Frugalwoods, Physician on Fire) have written about the power of a DAF, the most important being a tax-advantaged way of making philanthropic gifts. Giving back is important to us and doing it from an investment vehicle that can grow tax free over time is a great feeling. In December, we directed some funds to a series of our favorite charities – including National Public Radio (NPR) and a number of charities to help needy children and the less privileged in our local area.
  6. We told close family and a few friends about our plans to retire early. A series of unique conversations and diverse reactions provide much amusement for Mr. and Mrs. PIE. Well, it was amusing once we got over the shock of some of the responses. The jaw-dropping that will ensue when we tell our employers and work colleagues is going to be yet another level of fun. Oh boy!
  7. One of the true highlights was making a whole bunch of on-line friends through our blog – too, too many to mention but Dividends Down Under, Our Next Life, Slowly Sipping Coffee, Early Retirement Now, FinanciaLibre, Physician on Fire, Jim Collins, Can I Retire Yet, Go Curry Cracker, Green Swan, Amber Tree Leaves, Think Save Retire, Northern Expenditure , She Picks up Pennies, Retirement Manifesto, Make Smarter Decisions, Budgets are Sexy, Mrs BITA and Freedom is Groovy are a few of our favorites. And a very special shout out to the first blogger who commented on on our site – Investment Hunting. And so many more of you that brighten our lives. Folks, we are honored to have met you on line and love everything y’all do.
  8. We snagged two fantastic tickets to see Adele at the Boston Garden – proof in the pic below!
  9. We lost our sweet little cat Charlie to old age and deteriorating health. She’ll hopefully be running around like a crazy, happy thing somewhere….

And this section would not be complete without a liberal sprinkling of photos of the PIE’s doing what they do…..

PIE Life FI-lights

2016 was a big year for us in our quest for financial freedom. We are already fortunate to be in a position of financial independence and 2016-2018 are the years to push onward towards financial freedom. We are both at our peak earning years. Combined with an understanding of everything that goes in and out of our various accounts and a laser-focused approach to saving, we have the necessary tools to get the job done. Summer of 2018 still seems so far away on some bad days at work, but taking a step back and looking at the big picture, we are fortunate to be contemplating this whole thing. It’s a beautiful thing when we stop and think about it.

The figure below shows the growth of our investment portfolio during 2016. Note the scaling of the figure is misleading – our portfolio has NOT actually doubled!! Wishful thinking….. :>)

There are a few points we should make that add a bit more context to the figure:

  • The large jumps in first half of the year were mainly due to payment of 2015 bonuses and restricted stock exercises for both Mr. and Mrs. PIE. Mr. PIE received a performance bonus equal to 42% of salary (gross). Yep, his jaw dropped to the floor also when he got the news in early March. The company, division and himself all apparently had a very successful 2015.
  • June through December was fueled by large monthly deposits to our Vanguard taxable account and maxing out all major saving accounts (both 401K’s, HSA). Saving into the kids 529 plans is not captured in the growth figure above.
  • The bump in growth from Oct-Dec was the rally in the market post election as the DOW marches towards 20,000 – if you take that milestone to be anything of significance. Like air in footballs significance. Don’t you get Mr. PIE started on that one….

The figure below summarizes how all our assets are broadly allocated in the four major buckets.

Let’s look at each of the four buckets in turn.

Taxable / Cash

  • Majority of assets in this bucket are in low cost index funds at Vanguard. The main funds in our account are VWIAX and VTSAX, along with some international funds. These two funds delivered a YTD performance of 8% and 14.2% respectively in 2016. The international funds were quite flat (2-4% YTD). Our cash position is a small percentage of our overall portfolio. Most of our savings currently funnels over to Vanguard (monthly deposit, bonuses, any restricted stock awards that vest).

Tax Deferred

  • This is where the majority of our funds are allocated, with most within the 401K’s of Mr. and Mrs. PIE. The 529 college plans (with Vanguard) for small PIE’s are in this bucket also. We don’t factor these assets into our withdrawal rate planning as they are earmarked for specific things. Mr. PIE’s savings plan (aka pension plan) from his former employer in the UK are also in this bucket. The fund in this plan delivered a whopping 18% YTD return so far in 2016.

Equity in Primary Home

  • We still carry a small mortgage at a low 2.75% interest rate. The proceeds from selling this home (our family home for the last 17 years) in 2018 will go directly to our Vanguard taxable fund when we relocate to our mountain home. 2016 was the first full year of owning our mountain home mortgage free. The peace of mind from moving fully into that home with zero mortgage is huge.

Pension

  • This is a non-contributory pension fund. Mr. PIE employer currently pays ~12% of his salary (base plus bonus) into this fund each year. At separation form service, it will be taken in the form of an annuity rather than a lump sum.

As you can see from the percentages in each bucket, there is a healthy distribution of assets. We thinks so at least. The taxable : tax deferred will ultimately be ~50:50 in 2018 once proceeds from our primary home transfer over and we continue to aggressively squirrel money away into our funds at Vanguard over the next 18 months.

So there you have it. A short summary of the year that was. Another year older, another year wiser, another year closer.

What were you happy with in 2016, personal finance wise or otherwise? Any accomplishments that you look back on with a sense of pride and satisfaction?

 

 

69 comments

  1. SOOOO happy to hear from you again PIE’s 🙂 It looks like you had an awesome year – and that your priorities are quite clear! Looking forward to more updates from you – at your pace. May you have a wonderful holiday season full of love and adventure!

    1. Thanks Vicki. Fun looking back on the year and writing this one! All the very best to you and family as you head south for some Florida fun! I think the temperature differential between where we are heading (Quebec City) and Florida coast will be quite substantial!

  2. Awww. I’m so glad you popped back in to update us all. (And thanks for including me! I love having you guys as friends! I really think our kids would have fun… sledding? Ice skating? My kids don’t ski because I don’t ski! 🙂 ) – Happy holidays to you and yours!

    1. Hi Maggie,

      I think our kids would certainly love the environment of Alaska. Funny you should mention skating as they went skating for the first time ever last weekend!. I wimped out and sat on the sidelines…..Boo!
      The eldest had a blast and the little one is still finding his feet (skates). I hope the holiday season brings lots of fun to the NE family.

    1. Thanks Doc.

      More of the same indeed in 2017. Although I would be happy with a little less drama (Brexit, US election mess).

      Hope Santa brings some continued festive cheer to your Vanguard funds through end of 2016 and into 2017. All the best!

  3. Cheers, friends! So glad you had such a successful year, even if it means that we’re hearing less from you. (But at least we’re hearing something — that’s a win for all of us!) Hope you all keep getting out there, and sending warm holiday wishes your way! xoxo

    1. Hi there Mrs ONL,

      Thanks for swinging by and the kind words. We are indeed looking forward to some skiing this break, both in NH and up in Quebec (Mt. Ste Anne). Fingers crossed for lots of snow – I think Mt Ste Anne could get 8-12ins next week.
      Wishing you and family a fantastic holiday season and all the best in 2017 as you both pursue that dream to the finish line! Or starting line – you know what I mean….!

  4. Heyyy! Good to hear from you!

    Sorry to hear about the family pet, that is always a tough one.

    Glad to see your family is enjoying the outdoors – looks like you have a few life long outdoorsman in the works.

    1. Thanks AE.

      We miss our little cat dearly, especially after we lost her sister two years ago. They both had crazy catty lives though and made us smile lots.

      We are glad our boys are “outdoorsy”. Makes life easy in many ways.

      All the best for a fantastic holiday season and New Year!

  5. PIE’s! So glad you didn’t disappear into the abyss. Loving both the FI-Lights AND the Pi-Lights. WIshing Mr. PIE, Mrs. PIE and all the Little PIE’s a wonderful holiday season.

    For me, I guess 2016 was noteworthy in that I started a blog.

    1. Hey TJ,

      Good to hear from you. And well done for getting your blog off the ground, reaching out so much and being a big part of this community, both on the blog and on Twitter! Fine stuff, you should be very proud!

      Holiday season wishes right back at ya!

  6. Ahhhh haaaaaa, you couldn’t stay away, Mr and Mrs PIE. The allure of being a PF blogger was too strong. Nice to see you back and I’m pleased you didn’t leave for good. Occasional updates will be appreciated and looked forward to. Great photos too. I love that your boys enjoy the great outdoors so much. That’s becoming a rarity these days as virtual reality seems to be taking over from real experiences. Anyway, great to see you back. Have a great Christmas and New Year PIEs.

    1. Hello Martin.

      Good to hear from you and thanks for your lovely words about our little blog and the boys. Although they also like the iPad for gaming, we are blessed that they also love their iPads for reading and listening to stories. Quite remarkable. Long may it continue!

      Hope your Christmas and New Year is merry, bright and 2017 brings more prosperity to you and family!

      Cheers!

  7. Yay! An early Christmas present – a post from you. Enjoyed the pictures and I’m sorry about the loss of your cat.

    A 42% bonus. That is just….wow. Mr. Pie is doing something right. Congratulations on your excellent year, and your steady march towards financial freedom. In a few short days you will be able to begin sentences with “Next year, when we retire….”.

    Happy holidays to you and yours!

    1. Mrs. BITA,

      Thank you. We still miss Charlie, always will.

      I nearly choked when my manager relayed the news about my bonus. I guess there are some upsides to working (albeit a few….)

      And the very best to you and family for the holiday season! Here’s to a great 2017 as you pursue FIRE!

  8. So glad to see your update. Wow, you really seem to have it figured out. Love the pictures and sorry to hear about your cat. We have an aging one ourselves. Anyway maybe someday we can hook up after we both rip the cord. It sounds like you folks live fairly close to us. Happy Holidays!

    1. Hello there Secret Retirees,

      Great to hear from you and glad you enjoyed the pictures. I hope your cat keeps catting on!

      Yes, we do live near each other and we’d love to meet up with fellow bloggers, Tweeters! . Just send us a private Twitter message or something like that and we can take it from there.

      Enjoy the festive season. All the best!

  9. Hey, a surprise serving of PIE, just in time for Christmas!! Brought a smile to my face to read your words again, and looking forward to “surprise” updates whenever you feel the urge. We’re all here for you, one big happy family! Whenever you’re up for it, we’ll take whatever kind of PIE you’re serving!

    1. Thanks Fritz.

      This community is just the best. Couldn’t agree more. That has been the most amazing thing about blogging.

      Glad we brought some early PIE cheer and smiles across the interwebs!

      Any freezing cold water swims planned this holiday season?!?

      All the best to the whole family Retirement Manifesto and look forward to following your journey in 2017. We’re both getting closer…!

  10. Welcome back to the blogging world! It was a little less sweet with you guys around (see what I did there?)

    2016 was a banner year for me. I traveled around, made some really awesome friends, got a new job and crushed my savings goals!

    1. Gwen,

      Ha ha! I did indeed see what you did there. Mrs. PIE has the sweeter tooth. I prefer the savoury Pies.
      Thanks for the funny and kind words, much appreciated.

      And that sounds like a super successful year. What is not to like about ALL that?! Sounds like you have things figured out long before we ever did. That’s fantastic.

      Happy holidays!

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the pics. I think we are lucky to have these kids – being able to enjoy the things we do with them is simply awesome.

      Agreed, you cant beat the tranquil serenity of the White Mountains. Calming on the one hand and also darn dangerous at times – especially for the unprepared in Winter.

      Peace and best wishes to you for the holiday season!

    1. Hi Jeff,

      I had never heard of that phrase before. I like it….. :>)

      Best wishes to you and family for the holiday season and the New Year!

      1. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
        When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

        All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

        They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

        You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

        Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

  11. It’s all I wanted for Christmas, and now it’s mine: The PIEs are back!! Ah, well, kinda back. Back for a little while anyway. I’ll take what I can get!

    Big-ly congratulations on the great year. And many thanks for sharing the highlights, pictures, etc. (If, by the way, you’re looking for a part-time third PIE dependent to go on exciting family trips and hikes, I know a guy…) On that note, I hope you’ll post about the upcoming trip to Quebec City. Lady Libre and I often thought about popping up there for Christmas/New Year’s while living in Chicago, but could never make it. Stupid work. Would love to get the PIE guide to Ville de Quebec.

    It’s been a highlight of this guy’s year to get to know the PIEs, and I look forward to more PIE fillings in upcoming years. Other highlights aqui: Little Libre turning uno. Surviving Little Libre’s tyrannical journey to uno. Accounting issue resolved in my favor on book royalties. Some fun trips of the non-chemical variety.

    Thanks for the great update, PIEs, and very happy holidays to you all. See you again soon!

    1. Mr. FL,

      Wonderful to hear from you and really glad we could find each other through our respective blogs. Speaking of our trip to see our French – Canadian friends, Mrs. PIE will be taking plenty pics and we will no doubt be composing a paragraph or two on the visit to the Old Town. Look out for that in January some time on the blog. It must be at least our fifth visit to the fine old city. Just a magical place in Winter, walking the cobbled snowy streets, a hot chocolate or two for sustenance and perhaps a libation (or two, three..) of the stronger variety. The quality of food (including various PIES of the sweet and savory kind) are indeed nourishment for the soul. When little Libre gets a bit older, you should head up there en famille. One year old, eh? They are chaotic, energetic and a ton of fun at that age for sure. If you get to one year and have not dropped them, you pass go. Please collect $200 for getting round the board.

      I am so very glad to hear whatever wool was being pulled over your eyes by the legal folks on the book front did not work. That must be a weight off your mind. Excellent news!

      All the very best for the holiday season, playing with the little Libre toys and generally having a blast! Cheers to a wicked awesome 2017 for you and your family!

  12. Hi, so great of you to check back in and thanks for the CY2016 review! We also appreciate the shout-out! Yes, what a year it was! I don’t want to jinx anything because who knows what will happen between now and 12/31, but considering how badly it started (-5% in the first week, shudder) it turned out pretty well after all. Lots of good memories, vacations, family time and even the stock market cooperated in the end!
    Have a great Christmas and Holiday season everybody!

    1. Hi ERN,

      I am glad you could stop by and say hello. I don’t know how you find the time with all that awesome writing on your blog. That SWR series is an absolute gem! Can’t get enough of it.

      January 2016 is a distant memory for sure. Like a bad hangover.

      Sounds like we both got to do that vacation, family stuff in abundance. Cheers to that!

      Hope the holiday season lets you rest up, chill and be thankful for everything!
      All the very best to you and family.

  13. Wowza, what a year. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear a few things didn’t go well, but that’s life, eh? Way to go for setting up a DAF! It doesn’t make sense for us to do regular giving until we achieve FI, but it’s good to start planning for it, and I love the idea of a DAF.

    I think our 2016 was great, if not spendy. We crushed a good amount of credit card debt, bought a house, and renovated said house with cash. We just started our plan to pay off $65,000 of student loan debt in 18 months, so that’s the next hurdle for 2017-2018. 🙂

    1. Hello Mrs. PP,

      Thanks for the kind words. I fully understand where you are coming from and sounds like you are getting some major things done – crushing debt, paying off loans, establishing a home. Congrats on all of that! That $65K debt crush plan is a lofty goal and sounds like you are going to kick it out of the park.

      Keep on crushing on in 2017/18! Happy holidays!

    1. Hi there,

      Yes – winner, winner comment prize dinner!! You were the very first and we will always appreciate that someone checked us out and commented!! Thank you.

      It was long overdue getting the DAF set up. Better late than never, I guess.

      Happy holidays to you and family!

  14. yay you are back! I love following this one as I see my future given similar family structure and from what I can see, interests…

    How did you get your kids into outdoor stuff? We LOVE hiking and think our kids (2 years beyond yours, same gap difference) may be ready to come in short ones with us but if you have any tips I would love to hear about them!

    Also dying to know the funniest reactions you have gotten about your plans…

    2016 has been really good for us in terms of our FIRE plans…we are still a long ways away but it is starting to be fun to look back and see how quickly we are making progress now vs previous years that we did not have this as a focus. Baby steps!

    1. Hello TT&R,

      Happy to hear from you!

      Regarding the family/friends reactions to our retirement plans, we wrote about it here:

      http://www.planinvestescape.com/revealing-our-fire-plans-one-story-four-ways/

      On the tips for hiking with the kids, here are a few – 1) Involve them in the little things like picking out their own day-pack 2) Packing little candies into their back-pack helps 3) Showing them the map and route gets them involved. 4) Quality hiking boots and socks. A must. The rest is fluff. But you gotta do the feet thing right!! Yes, they grow out of them quickly but ugly foot sores and kids don’t mix well. 5) Ice cream treats for knocking off a long hike.
      Our kids have been on skis since 3 and hiking since 4. Not too early to get them started. Hiking is an inexpensive, healthy family activity that everyone can enjoy.

      Congrats on those baby steps. They are so important. Those little things become second nature and you will be amazed what they lead to.

      Best wishes for a restful holiday season and all the best for 2017!

  15. So nice to hear from you again! The PIE family she knows how to spend a year. 😀

    In 2016 we were able to have some fantastic vacations with family, I wrote more, and Fluffster did not eat (as many) random things off the ground! Okay, that last bit is not true..but no emergency vet visits, so that’s an improvement.

    1. Hi Felicity,

      Good to hear from you. It sure was a great year. Intentional spending on things we love and lots and lots of saving. A good combo!

      Your dog not eating as many things off the ground reminds me of our boys at a very young age. If it was visible and within arms reach, they would try to eat it. Like you, we were lucky to not having any emergency extraction procedures either!

      Have a lovely Christmas and great New Year!

  16. Very happy to read that this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing from you! 🙂

    It sounds like you’ve had a great year PIEs. Congratulations on the bonuses, the big jump in progress towards retiring early, on getting out and doing what you love best (love the pics!) and doing what’s right by your family. I think every blogger would love to have the mindset that you both do. I can really tell that you’re both a tight knit team and this is why you’re so close to retiring!

    I really appreciate you mentioning us – we are really enjoyING your journey and are excited for your retirement date – in a couple of weeks you can say ‘we’re retiring next year’.

    Tristan

    1. Hi Tristan,

      Those really kind words just made my day. Thank you so much!
      We missed the blogging interactions a lot when we put the blog on pause yet we know our kids are our top priority.

      Being on the same page as your partner for life goals is so important. I know you guys are ALL IN together. I hope 2017 brings you much joy and you get closer to your dreams as a couple.

      And I love your parting comment on the “next year we are retiring”! Good one!

      All the best to the DDU family for a great Christmas and a 2017 to remember! We’ll be following your journey, for sure.

    1. Chris, thanks for stopping by. Good to hear from you. I hope 2016 was good to you and family and 2017 gets even better.

      Have a great Xmas and merry New Year!

      Cheers!

  17. What a great year and glad you plan to pop in every now and again with an update on the Pie-Life!

    That’s awesome you made it to Adele! Not easy tickets to score at all. I’m sure it was a great show.

    Also, love what you’re doing with the kids and the outdoor adventures! Quality family time is the best. We’ll have to think of fun family things like that for when the kids grow up.

    Thanks for the update!

    1. Thanks GS.

      Adele was an absolute blast. What a talent! She is a favorite for sure of the PIE’s.
      We are lucky that the kids fully embrace the outdoors thing. A great family activity at minimal cost ,although skiing can get pricey if you don’t watch out.

      Hope you have a fantastic holiday period and New Year and 2017 brings more joy to the Swan life!

  18. Hi, Mr.Pie,

    When I first saw the title, I knew that I would be commenting on it. It’s good to hear from you again, and by the way, I love the name Mr.Pie. You are making progress and also inspiring many others to do the same. I was happy to after update popped in my inbox.

    It’s good to have you guys back. Make sure to share your progress on a regular basis.

  19. Great to hear from you guys again, and sorry I didn’t see this in my email earlier, whoops. 🙂

    Sorry to hear about your cat, we’re proably a week or so away from that with our dog Quinn. Sigh…

    It’s great reading all about your progress, and hell yeah to the nice bonus! That rocks! My current company has a nice bonus and incentive structure, although, it’s been a wee bit lacking the last year or so with the downturn. As long as I keep getting a paycheck every 2 weeks and not a pink slip, I won’t complain. 🙂

    We’re happy with Mrs. SSC becoming Prof SSC and changing our lifestyle already to a much more family-centric one. It changes our date a little, but it’s worth it for the extra family time. We’ve got a goal to get out and do more fun stuff with the kids and I’m looking forward to that, even if it is still in the 70’s here – 80 today, lol.

    Hope you have a great holiday (what’s left of it) and I’m looking forward to reading more, whenever that may be in the future.

    1. Hello there,

      Good to hear from you and apologies for my tardy response. The holiday vacation was a time to completely disconnect from work, email, blog stuff, the lot!

      I hear you about the lifestyle change -it is all about trade off’s. Glad you are both finding what works for you / family and your plan is still essentially intact.

      My whole face may drop if I get another bonus like last year, never mind my jaw dropping! As you say, a regular pay check keeps the plans moving forward and socking as much away as possible each month remains the priority for us.

      Hope 2017 brings much fun and joy to you and your family and the markets remain kind to our respective plans.

      All the best!

  20. Wow, PIE’s are back, good to hear from you guys, thanks for updating us. I hope you had an exciting and awesome year, Will be waiting for your next updates, and a big congratulations for achieving your life goals. I wish you will have an awesome year ahead, all the very best for your future goals and aims. Don’t forget to update your achievements and about your future goals. Looking forward to see more from you guys! You guys rock, YO!

    1. Thanks for checking us out.
      Yeah, 2107 is another important year for us in terms of our plans so focusing on the goals is a biggie.

      Cheers!

  21. Yay – another post! You certainly did a lot in 2016 and I hope things are even better for the PIE family this year. I doubt that we will be doing much traveling with newborn twins in 2017, but someday maybe we can make a pit stop in your neck of the woods on our way up to Maine. The PIE family just always seems to be having so much fun 🙂

    We’re still finalizing goals for 2017, but our number one priority will probably be to survive, LOL.

    1. Hi Harmony,

      Thanks for the very kind words. 2016 had a lot going on for sure. It was fun!!
      If you are making a trip through NH, let us know and we’ll be happy to host the CMK clan. I am sure you will survive 2017 ( although I had to laugh a ton at your humor) and I wish you a healthy and very productive 2017.

  22. Super inspiring seeing all that you are doing as an outdoor family. We have made two trips to NH in the past 3 years and hopefully have one more this fall before planning to move west. As little EE is getting bigger and out with us, hopefully we can cross paths at some point for outdoor family adventure. Our big family project is trying to hit all 50 state high points together.

    1. Hello EE,

      Thanks for stoping by. Like you guys, we love the outdoors although have never gotten round to anything like climbing. Hiking and skiing is our thing. The small PIE’s have been on skis since they were 3 and are now showing us how it is done. Mrs. PIE and I only started skiing as adults……oh well, better late than never….

      If you have plans to be in the NH area, let us know by a private Twitter message or something and we can see if we can connect!

      Cheers.

      1. We actually didn’t start climbing and skiing until about 30 as well. Little EE has been climbing on the wall since before she could walk and on skis at two. Exciting to see her loving it and starting to make some turns on the bunny slopes. Trying to cherish each stage, but really excited to have her dragging us around in a couple years rather than us dragging her.

  23. We totally missed this. Thanks for the shout out! We LOVE your writing, please continue.

    Best to you and the Mrs. in 2017! Can’t wait to see some photos from Jackson Hole.

    1. Hi there Mrs Groovy,

      Great to hear from you! We are trying to post as frequently as our schedule allows and to get out and about on other blogs.

      We are certainly eagerly awaiting our ski trip out west to Jackson Hole and will post some photos on Twitter for sure.

      Cheers to a fab 2017 for you and Mr. G!

  24. I was shocked when I got the report from my IRA that my account had returned 14.0%. I’m at the other end of the spectrum from y’all, but I’m a little glad that my first year of investing went well so that I got the psychological boost that should teach me how to stick with it during the downturns.

    1. Nice work ZJ. We will take 14% any day. And smart to be watching out for those expected downswings. They come for sure and mentally prepping is one of th hardest things to do in investing. Hope 2017 is treating you well!!

  25. Don’t know how I missed this post. It’s great to read your blog PIE’s, I am commenting for the first time. Looks like you enjoyed the break! I am known to say “take a hike” to a person who irritates me at work – now I am seeing how enjoyable that hike is 🙂

    1. Thanks TFR. For sure hiking can be a sweet thing when one takes the hike without “prompting”….! I am inclined to say a few less diplomatic things under my breath to those who irritate me in the workplace. But biting the lip for the next 17 months is not too hard an ask of us before we quit for good!!

      Thanks for checking us out and reading our rambles!

  26. Yay – more PIE for hungry readers! While I have never commented before, you guys are my fave new blog from 2016. I was so sad that you were stopping. I love the quality of your writing and your character which comes through loud and clear. I know the blog and all your social networking must be very time consuming, but please write when you can. I will eagerly anticipate your next post! All the best for an even better 2017!

    1. Marla, thanks so much for the kind words and apologies for our very tardy response. We just have not been checking out anything to do with the blog. We do have a post about to publish today (yay!). Maybe we can find some more time in the next month or so for 1-2 more posts. Thanks again for being a fan!! :>)

  27. Well. Glad you are back and you are having fun on the side, keep us updated on how your life goals are going. None of my family members or friends know that I plan on Retiring Early also, I tried to help them in the past and they thought I was crazy with all the “investment scams”, learned to keep it to myself. I just tell them what they want to hear now to avoid those awkward moments.

    1. Its one of the hardest things to keep it all quiet. I shared Jim Collins book “The Simple Path to Wealth” with my father and that worked out a treat. He read the book, understood the concepts and it made life easier when we spilled the beans. Thanks for stopping by!

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