Should I Go for a Pension Purchase Option or Invest the Money? – A Reader Question

Pension Purchase Option

A few weeks ago I receive a really great question from a friend of mine (we’ll call him LJ) regarding whether or not he should take a pension purchase option that his employer is offering him.  Here’s the email he sent me: I'm thinking about buying 5 years of generic pension service time. Seems like a no brainer, right? Not quite. I've had the actuarial done and it will cost me $37,800. A good chunk. I have the money in a 457 account and can roll it over to my pension administrator. I plan to retire in 22 years at 60 when I am eligible to draw the pension. I have 13.5 years of service currently. This would make it 18.5 years. The reason that I'm considering this is that my pension multiplier is going to be reduced on Jan 1st from 2 to … [Read more...]

How to Become Independently Wealthy … Outside Your Job

How to Become Independently Wealthy

How does someone actually get rich? Should they make more money at their jobs by working harder?  Should they take on longer hours and more responsibility … all in vain hopes of getting a better raise or bigger bonus? Is your job even really the only way how to become independently wealthy? In this post I want to dig a little deeper into what it takes to actually become “rich”.  People who have made it – whether they are in the top 100 of Forbes or even people that you know in real life - more than likely didn’t get there by running the rat race and working themselves to dead.  While that might be the case for a small fraction of individuals, I think you can find in just about any good book or biography that the successful and … [Read more...]

2015 Maximum 401k Contribution Increases to $18,000 – How You Can Get There

2015 Maximum 401k Contribution

If you’re one of those people who are really good at saving their money diligently for retirement, then the IRS has some good news for you next year:  The 2015 maximum 401k contribution has just been increased to $18,000 (up $500 from 2014). For those people 50 and older, the $5,500 catch-up limit was also bumped up to $6,000. I’ve personally been saving up to the 401k maximum for a while now and am looking forward to bumping up my contributions.  By saving so much I know that I’m not only helping my family to get closer to reaching financial freedom, but we’re also taking advantage of a few other extremely important benefits. Here are what they are and what you can do to help yourself get that point too.   Why Max Out or … [Read more...]

 Niche Website Update 23 – $1,052 Income – Finally Growth for My Amazon Site

Books from amazon

Hello again to another edition of my monthly niche website update. As many of you know this is the part of my wealth building ambitions where I charter my attempts to create more and more passive income streams that will increase my monthly income.  This is being done by building up my online business portfolio of various niche websites; each one targeting very specific strategies for making money online. October was an interesting month to say the least.  There were more surprises from Google and a few other let-downs.  But all-in-all progress wasn’t too bad.  And most importantly my Amazon-based site is finally starting to show signs of growth! Here’s what happened in October:   Niche Website Income Report – October … [Read more...]

How Much Should I Put in My 401k Plan? My Surprising Answer

save money for retirement

It’s one of the most commonly asked questions of employees when they start saving for retirement: How much should I put in my 401k?  5%?  10%?  15%? Especially when you’re young (in your 20’s and 30’s) and just starting out, retirement can feel like such a long ways away.  You know that you should be contributing, but at the same time you want to enjoy your earnings and save towards other goals like a house and family needs too. To simply answer this question with “save as much as you can afford” feels too much like an easy-out.  I’ve recommended that advice to friends in the past only to find out that they end up saving only a measly 2 or 4% of their paychecks.  Since I’m friends with them, I KNOW they can do much better than … [Read more...]

Do Grades Really Matter?  What Really Counts When It Comes to Your Career

light bulb

I was an A-student back in school.  I worked very hard to get them.  I knew that they were my ticket to something bigger and greater.  At least that’s what I used to believe – until I realized that the only things bigger and greater were the ones I found on my own. Don’t think that that’s true?  Then how is it that you and your colleagues can all be so diverse in your backgrounds and academics, yet you all do the same job.  You probably all get paid roughly about the same too.  In some instances the people who did worse in school are the boss or actually make more than you do. If that’s so, then do grades really matter?  What’s the point of killing yourself for a 4.0 grade point average or going to a good college if you’re all going … [Read more...]

Good Scary Movies to Watch this Halloween – 2014 Edition

sinister

I wanted to take this opportunity to break up our normal regimen of posts devoted to serious personal finance topics and dive into something far more entertaining: Good scary movies to watch this Halloween! If you’re like me and always looking for some good, cheap fun around Halloween-time, then there is nothing better than renting a couple of really scary movies from the Redbox or Netflix that will leave you scared to go to bed. This is the third edition of my “good scary movies” post.  You can find my past horror movie picks from 2013 and 2012 at these links with reviews of some of my favorites like The Ring, Sinister, Insidious, Drag Me to Hell, Cabin in the Woods, Trick r’ Treat, Donnie Darko, etc. Here are my new additions for … [Read more...]

Should I Do a 401k to IRA Rollover?  The Benefits and Drawbacks

401k to ira rollover

Recently during a discussion with my money coach client there was a very important question that came up:  “I have an old 401k with a former employer that is still sitting right where I left it.  I’m wondering if I should make a 401k to IRA rollover or simply leave the money right where it is?” That’s a really good question. I’m sure for a lot of people (myself included) that the money you have in your 401k account is probably the largest percentage of your wealth you have saved up – anywhere!  Even if you’ve got nothing more than the average 401k balance of $81,000 as reported by Fidelity, that’s still a very serious amount of retirement savings that you want to be putting to work as hard as possible. Unfortunately, however, … [Read more...]