2024 Looking ahead…

It’s hard to believe it’s 2024 already. A lot has changed in the last year.

On the work front… In January 2023, I was part of the engineering organization, managing and working with a small team in Taiwan. The company was in the final stages of being acquired. I was told that I’d report to a new boss once the acquisition was completed and continue to be a part of the new engineering team organization.

Then in late January, shortly after the acquisition was completed, the EVP (Executive Vice President) of the new business unit asked me if I’d like to rejoin the product management team (I was a product manager for almost 7 years). The product management team was going to be headed up by my previous boss whom I’d worked with for about three years. After a day or two of consideration, I decided to switch roles by managing a larger number of products and taking on more responsibilities.

Throughout 2023 I continued working from home, only heading into the office a handful of times. I also travelled to Taiwan and Hong Kong three times. It was common for my day to be filled with meetings. It was a frequent occurrence to pull 10+ hour days and be double or even triple-booked throughout the day.

Working from home meant work-life balance could get thrown out of whack and things would start to blend into one another. I had to work hard to make sure I had a proper work-life balance by doing the following:

  • Blocking specific time slots in my calendar, for example, early morning, lunch, and evening
  • Decline meetings when they were too early or too late
  • Asking people if I was needed for meetings or if I could skip them
  • Delegate tasks
  • Avoiding cell phone calls or checking emails on my phone when I was “off” work… I’ll admit that I need to do much better here!

Being a product manager is like being the center of a wheel spoke – I need to work and collaborate with different functional teams. I also need to frequently talk to our customers and partners to plan and develop future products. It’s a lot of responsibilities and I do enjoy it. I particularly like the long-term strategic planning aspect of my job and the need to collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders.

I also tend to take the leadership role and take on additional responsibilities whenever possible. As a result, this meant additional tasks for me from time to time. 

Since becoming part of the new company, we have had a new CEO and gone through a few rounds of layoffs. Having worked for the same company for over 17 years and switching roles along the way, I have learned not to take anything for granted. 

Looking back, I could point to three different occasions that I could have been on the “list.” But somehow I dodged the pink slip by switching my role a few months before the layoffs. Knowing all the changes in the engineering organization, I felt that if I didn’t jump back to product management a year ago, there was a high chance that I could have been on the chopping block.

Since nothing is guaranteed in high tech, (or in any industry) I could be easily impacted by that next round of layoff. I can never get too comfortable when working in high tech. I must continue to learn and develop new skills to help me evolve and to protect my job.

What makes me sleep easy at night is knowing that we have options. Our dividend portfolio is now generating a sizable dividend income, sufficient to cover our core expenses in 2023. Sure, our dividend income doesn’t cover 100% of our annual expenses yet, but we can supplement the shortfall with income generated by side hustles or a part-time job.

Essentially, I’m no longer worried that we will be in a bad place if I were to get laid off. I know we would be fine financially – we should be able to live off the severance package for a few months. We can also tighten our spending a little bit, and finally, we can rely on our other income streams. 

The absolute worst scenario? We sell some stocks to cover our living expenses.

Either way, we have lots of options and many levers we can adjust. This makes me sleep easy at night. 

It has been over a decade, 14 years to be exact, since our financial epiphany. We have increased our net worth and passive income significantly since. It’s also nice that our savings rate has been on a constant upward trajectory over the last few years as we increase our income through the various income streams. 

The financial independence journey is pretty boring and it should be boring. It’s about having a long term strategy and sticking to it.

What does 2024 hold for us? 

  • Continue the earn, save, invest strategy we have done for many years
  • Continue building our dividend portfolio and generate over $55,000 in dividends in 2024
  • Grow our cash wedge and build up some saving buffers 
  • Enjoy life while we can – spend time with my family, travel, and explore the world when the opportunities arise
  • Enjoy what’s available in our local community
  • Continue setting annual goals and resolutions for myself – and monitoring them
  • Learn new skills and explore 

Due to various reasons, I haven’t done any photography in the last few years with my Canon DSLR. Most of the photos were taken with my phone. It would be nice to pick up my old camera and shoot more landscapes and portraits.


Knowing myself, spending more time with photography would increase my desire for one of the Canon R cameras and RF lenses. And a new camera would mean the need to upgrade our home computer. It’s a slippery slope…


On the blog front, July 2024 would mean hitting the ten-year anniversary for this blog. It’s hard to believe I have been writing for this long. I have seen blogs come and go and not too many blogs make it past the five-year mark or stay active for over ten years. I am still having a lot of fun writing posts and connecting with like-minded people. Therefore, I plan to continue publishing new articles every Monday and stay active for the foreseeable future. 

Happy New Year everyone, here’s to a prosperous and healthy 2024!

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18 thoughts on “2024 Looking ahead…”

  1. Happy New Year Bob and always great reading your blog! I’ve learned a lot and slowly building up my Divs too. Long way to go to hit your levels but the results are compounding 🙂

  2. Wishing you and your family a fabulous 2024! I enjoy your blog a lot and have recommended it to many people. It’s fun and always interesting. I look forward to all your blogs in 2024!

  3. Happy New Year to you and your family!! Its always interesting to read your blog as one can learn a lot from it. I can relate to your work experience as I am also in Product Management and work from home. It is really challenging to get work/life balance specially when you work from home but it has its benefits and I don’t think I can get used to be in the office 5 days a week.


  4. That’s great Bob! 17 years at one company proves how dedicated you are. I’m at my company for 3rd year and I already want to leave (haha). 4 yrs at my first one, 2 yrs at my 2nd one, and currently in 3rd year at my 3rd company. I hope to reach FI within the next 10-15 years and be able to have a lot less stress like you… been quite stressful in these layoff times for sure. My dividend portfolio is still very small but increased 50% last year (mainly due to contribution though). Definitely will keep going at it until I can reach similar level like yours!

    • Thanks FIREing. To be fair, I did change positions a few times so these changes kept my job interesting. But being a millennial and most millennials seem to change companies quite regularly, I’m surprised I have stayed at the same company for so long. Keep up with your FIRE journey!

  5. Bob all the best to you and your family in 2024!! Your blog has inspired and continues to inspire my wife and I on our path as we also invest in dividends to supplement our retirements. We have about 17 and 19 years to go respectively. Looking forward to what you will write about in 2024.


  6. Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Thanks for all the education I got from your blog this past year.
    I introduced my sister to your blog since she, too, is very interested in dividends and passive income (I referred to you as my ‘financial guru’ ).
    Looking forward to learning more and increase my dividend income in 2024.

  7. I love working from home and left a salaried job over 10 years ago to do contract work. It’s a different kind of hustle but affords me the luxury to work from home 99% of the time. I have a terrible habit of always being “on” but I have gotten better over the years, carving out time to workout, chat with my kids, or take a walk break. It doesn’t always pan out, but it’s better than the office commute in rush hour and being caged in a cubicle. I am close to pulling the full-time plug because we’ve saved enough to retire comfortably. I will be doing something – part time, side gig – so I don’t get bored! Your blog has helped me with my DIY journey which I only started a few years ago. I had a lot of catching up to do because I relied on the “experts”, and I’m constantly learning from my mistakes.

    Thanks for posting your insights and Happy New Year!

    p.s. I always dreamed of “getting the package” which never panned out for me. Maybe you’ll get lucky one day! 🙂

    • Contract work sounds interesting and it might be something I need to explore in the near future. Yes, I need to figure out how to separate “work” life and “home” life. 🙂

  8. HNY! Congrats for having the drive to keep working for 17 years at one company! That’s pretty incredible.

    I burned out at age 34 in 2012 and engineered my layoff and haven’t been back.

    It was hard to not earn a steady paycheck the first year. But that’s the sacrifice I made for freedom.

    Now that my youngest is turning 5 and going to school full time this Fall, I may join you in working full time again!

    I figured, the kids are only kids once, might as well be a stay-at-home parent for the first five years of each of their lives.

    Congrats on the 18th year of work. How much longer you plan to work? And what are some of the motivations you have to keep on working for so long? I’m trying to gather the motivation to return to the grind, but it’s hard.



    • Thanks Sam. Yea hard to imagine that I’m at 18th year with the company… changing positions along the way helped to keep things interesting that’s for sure. No definite plans yet in terms of when to quit. Still having fun with work. 🙂


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