How to Retire By 55 (or Sooner) on a Salary of $50,000 or Less

How to Retire by Age 55

If you’ve got dreams of retiring early by age 55 or sooner, then you’ll be very delighted to know that this goal is well within your reach! Believe it or not, our ability to reach financial independence is something that is always possible to achieve. Though the path to get there may not always be clear, there are always certain actions we can take that will cut through the brush and reveal a clearing at the end of the forest. The biggest question and sometimes most challenging obstacle: How? You might think that the dream of financial freedom is something that is only reserved for … [Read more...]

Countering The Arguments Against P2P Lending

p2p lending

MMD: Today we have a mega guest post from fellow personal finance blogger ARB.  Take it away! Hello, readers of My Money Design! I am ARB, the Angry Retail Banker! Over on my blog, I offer what I call “An Insider's Take On Retail Banking”, which means that between bouts of raging out and threatening my entire customer base with physical harm, I talk about both life as a branch banker and ways for you to maximize your banking relationship. I am here today to talk about absolutely none of that stuff. Before you all hit the back button on your browser and type “funny cat videos” into … [Read more...]

How Much Do I Need to Save for Retirement?  Probably Much, Much Less Than You Think!

how much do i need to save for retirement

When it comes to your retirement savings, how do you know when enough is enough? According to an article from CNBC, a global investment management firm surveyed investors and you know what they came up with? An average retirement nest egg of $2.5 million! That’s how much they believe it will take to have the same quality of life they’re enjoying today. As I found out first hand at a lunch outing with a friend, this sort of belief is all too common! But what if it’s not at all true?  What if you really sat down and actually figured out how much do I need to save for retirement and … [Read more...]

A No-Brainer Way to Lower Your Bills – For Free!

lower my bills

One of my favorite blog series to follow along with is J Money's "Challenge Everything" series over at Budgets are Sexy. In case you don't know this one, basically what J does is take a different bill every month and tries to get it lowered. Or another thing he'll try is to look for some other side hustle to make a little extra money on the side. Collectively this ends up going into a special fund that he can do whatever he wants with when it's all done. So far he's done quite well with himself. At last count he was over $4,000 bucks!   Lower Your Bills With a Little … [Read more...]

How a Backdoor Roth IRA Conversion Could Help Your Early Retirement Strategy

convert money

In the past I’ve talked before about how a 72t is a key part of my early retirement strategy. In case you’re not aware of what that is, a 72t is a special exception in the IRS rules that allows you to take money out from your 401k or IRA before age 59-1/2 and without facing that stiff 10% penalty (we’ve got a whole post about it here).  For anyone looking to retire early, that’s a massive win! While that’s all fine and good, one of the things I like to make sure of when it comes to my money strategy is to always be searching for something better. Maybe an option with less rules or … [Read more...]

How a Good Asset Allocation Model Can Impact Your Financial Future

Asset Allocation Model

Assets allocation is just not one of those topics that most people find particularly sexy.  Usually it’s the sort of thing that gets about as much attention as the instruction manual to your Blu-ray player. But as you’ll see below, it’s one of those parts of investing that you simply can’t ignore – largely because it can have a MAJOR effect on your finances and how long they ultimately last. The reason I wanted to bring this up is because of the roller-coaster of market activity lately.  In case you haven’t checked your stocks or 401k balance in a while, there have been some pretty big … [Read more...]

Where to Park Your Rainy Day Savings for Growth Without Much Risk

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We all know that part of a good, healthy financial well-being is to have a decent sized chunk of money set aside in your emergency fund or rainy day savings fund as some people call it. Some advisers tell us it can start off with as little as $1,000 (I believe that one is a Dave Ramsey thing).  More commonly I see suggestions to have as much as 3 months, 6 months, even 12 months worth of living expenses set aside in easily accessible bank account. Fortunately for my wife and I we have done a pretty good job of building up our rainy day fund over the years to as much as $20,000!  That’s a … [Read more...]

3 Painless Ways to Build Your Emergency Money Fund

emergency money fund

The other day I was having a conversation with a few of my coworkers about how long we'd be "okay" financially if we were to lose our jobs.  (None of us were in any sort of trouble, it was just one of those conversations.)  Much to my surprise most of them said they didn't think they'd last more than a month. A month?  Perhaps I'm brain-washed from living in this money-blog community of mine, but doesn't everyone know by now that you're supposed to have 3 to 6 months worth of emergency money stashed up at all times?  Disaster could strike at any time whether you're ready for it or not!  And … [Read more...]