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December 26, 2016

2017 Goals: Marathon, Mortgage, Millionaire


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2017 is right around the corner!  

I've made some exciting and challenging goals for myself for the new year.  Some are short-term and some are long term.  I like to dream big with my goals, but also infuse some reality into the process.

2017 is my “M&M&M” year … Marathon, Mortgage and Millionaire.

Goal 1:  Marathon

My sister got me into triathlons about 10 years ago.  I could never fully get into the swimming part, but the biking and running were right up my alley.  Then I decided to sell my road bike to pay down debt.  I was left with my running shoes.  So alas, running became my go-to exercise by default.  

In all seriousness, going out for a run is my favorite way to start the day. The simplicity of waking up, throwing your shoes on and heading out the door is like no other exercise.  It's fun, challenging and brings a sense of freedom that sticks with you throughout the day.  

This year, I'm signing up for my first full marathon.  I've always wanted to check that off of my bucket list as a life long accomplishment.  Since I've been doing half marathons for the past few years I feel confident that I'll complete my first marathon without reporting to the ER.  

Here are the simple steps I'm taking to make this marathon a reality:

  1. Sign up by January
  2. Tell a lot of people I'm doing it (oh, I guess I just did) so I won't back out
  3. Set a 6-month training schedule
  4. Swap runs every other day with my wife Nicole so we can do this marathon together (with two small kids we need to cover for each other)
  5. Stretch before and after every run
  6. Listen to my body and rest as needed
  7. Hydrate like the world is running out of water
  8. Run the marathon
  9. Smile as I'm crossing the finish line

Goal 2:  Mortgage

2017 is the year that our mortgage will be no more.  Dead.  Gone. Eliminated.  PAID OFF!

As of this morning, we have $52,952 left to pay on that bad boy.  By December 2017, our balance will be $0.  

I detail this process on my site, but here is the 10-second version:

  1. In 2013, we got a $200k mortgage on a 15-year fixed for 3%
  2. We have thrown approximately $500 extra toward the mortgage principal each month
  3. I get paid 26 times per year and throw 2 of those paychecks toward the mortgage principal annually
  4. We sell stuff we don't use or need anymore and those dollars go toward the mortgage too.  See a pattern?

And through the cosmic power of mathematics, our 15-year mortgage will be gone in less than 5 years.

Once the mortgage is paid off, we'll drive down to Nashville as a family to scream “We're Debt Free!” with Dave Ramsey.

Goal 3:  Millionaire

No, I won't be a millionaire by the end of 2017, but I'll be setting the course to make that a reality by 2022.  An arbitrary date?  No, it is slightly before my 40th birthday.  

Here is what I plan to do in 2017 to make my “Millionaire by 40” dream become a reality:

  1. Pay off my mortgage
  2. Max out our retirement savings through tax advantaged vehicles like our 401k and Roth IRA accounts
  3. Crush my sales goals at work so I receive a fist-pump worthy bonus
  4. Side hustle and increase my income through writing, blogging and podcasting
  5. Start researching and reading up on how to make money in rental real estate

By my calculations, the Hill Family should be approaching the $600k net worth mark by the end of next year.  

It has taken a lot of time, patience and perseverance to get where we are today as a family.  By setting annual goals, we are creating a driving force that helps us realize our dreams, no matter how big they are.  

Now … Bring on the sweet M&M&M new year!  Where are my kid's Halloween candy bags? What are your goals for 2017?

Andy Hill

Andy Hill, AFC® is the award-winning family finance coach behind Marriage Kids and Money - a platform dedicated to helping families build wealth and happiness. With millions of podcast downloads and video views, Andy’s message of family financial empowerment has resonated with listeners, readers and viewers across the world. When he's not "talking money", Andy enjoys being a Soccer Dad, singing karaoke with his wife and relaxing on his hammock.


  • Knocking our your mortgage in 5 years is incredibly impressive. Dave Ramsey would definitely be impressed and I’m sure be honking the horn as you all drove down the road together :)

    Good luck with your MMM goals this year, it looks like you are well on your way!!!

    • Thank you! One more year until we’re there with the mortgage. Can’t wait for the FREEDOM!

      I signed up for the marathon last night so step 1 down!

  • I caught the running bug around 7 years ago and have done 3 full marathons so far. It’s a great experience and there are going to be times during training and during the race where you ask yourself – why am I doing this? I highly recommend joining a local running club and participating in their marathon training program if they offer one.

    We are also aggressively paying down our mortgage and should be done by April 2021. We live in the DC metro area where home prices are pretty high, so our outstanding balance is still around $270k. One of the best decisions we made was to refinance about 4 years ago at 2.75% for 15 year mortgage. We also apply our ‘extra checks’ towards the mortgage, pay a significant amount of extra principal monthly, and use some of our bonus to get that principal down.

    For 2017, we want to continue our aggressive mortgage pay-down and build up our after-tax accounts. We always max out our 401k and we are in good shape in our pre-tax accounts. I also need to register for my next marathon! Good luck in 2017!

    • Great suggestion on the running club. My church has a group that sets up long distance runs on the weekends with water stations. I’m planning on looking into this as the camaraderie and partnership will definitely keep me motivated. Smart recommendation!

      Having a paid off mortgage in one of the most expensive locations in the country (DC) would be quite a feat! Keep up the great work and yes, that is a stellar mortgage rate!

      Thank you for the well wishes and best of luck crushing your goals in 2017.

  • Lots of solid goals! I am considering a half marathon, though my toe bleeding after two days of 3 mile runs is making me hesitant (still not sure why it did). I’ve run one half marathon but got pretty injured training for it but was too stubborn to back out. Really considering doing it again, though.

    My goals for 2017 are a bit more ambigious in the sense that they don’t have specific metrics, which I know is not the proper way to set goals ; ) But launching two products by April is my first goal. I’ve been working on both with a friend for nearly a year now, almost entirely behind the scenes. The second is to continue to build up my blog, and finally my third is to do the preparations necessary to launch another site. So really a year of launching products and building towards things. It all aligns to my long-term goals and it will be a year of pouring into my projects.

    • Excellent – I’ll be following your progress David as I’m hoping to increase my income through side hustling. Thanks for the inspiration!

      Consider buying some running shoes that are a half size larger than you would normally choose. That may help with the toes. If you go to a specialty running store, they can help fit you properly.

      Good luck with launching your new products!

      • Good tip on the running shoes! Probably TMI (well the blood was probably TMI haha) but I put some gauze in between the two toes that bled and 3.5 mile run today with no issues! Would like to get in a 6 mile run tomorrow but it’s been a (long) time since I’ve done that haha so we will see.

        I’m confident you can increase your side hustle income! This year I re-invested most of my side hustle income, plus with the product launch we’ve spent a few grand on it and it’s obviously not making money yet. Loving the long-term side hustles though that can pay off more down the road.

        • Good progress! Also consider just using some petroleum around your toes to reduce friction (blisters, bleeding, yum!).


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