We have lived debt free, excluding mortgage debt, since 1999. We bought our first house in 1999, and we paid it off in 2004. Then in 2009 we got the crazy idea to get the house of our dreams. Well, it didn't start out as the house of our dreams, but it will be after we put in the time, effort and money. At least that's what we tell ourselves. :o)
Goal 1: Accumulate $4 million in retirement savings between the two of us before we retire. This sounds like So. Much. It is a lot. And we have nowhere close to this. Thank goodness for compound interest in year 2040. This is the one goal that makes me nervous because the quantity needed is massive, and there are several variables involved.
Goal 2: Pay off the new house before we retire - at the very least, before I turn 52. Update: in late 2010, we refinanced to a 15-year mortgage. At the very latest, even with no extra mortgage payments, the house should be paid off before I turn 48. Hopefully before I'm 43, but let's not count those chickens before they hatch. Update January 2015: DONE! It's so great to own this house outright. We still have a number of updates to do to the house, but I foresee we will be able to pay cash for these within the next couple of years.
Goal 3: Pay for an undergraduate education for Julia (we're talking state school, folks). Amount already invested is coming close to covering that, unless the market really goes in the crapper for a decade. More in the account would be nice in case Julia wants to go to a private college, or we can also change the beneficiary to someone else in the family if she ends up not going.
Goal 4: Enjoy the small extras in life along the way if there is enough money after Goals 1-3 are on track to being achieved.