After reading enough personal finance blogs, this whole financial independence thing starts to sound pretty good! But what exactly are the steps to retire early? How does someone acquire enough money to never have to work again (if they choose)? What was the path that got them there? And more importantly, what are the habits and routines in our daily lives that we can adopt that will help make early retirement an option? You might be surprised to learn that much of achieving financial independence has less to do with earning a lot of money and more to do with how you go about getting it. Your ticket to freedom doesn’t necessarily have to include some fancy high-paid position. Although it might help accelerate … [Read more...] about 10 Steps to Retire Early – What You Should Be Doing Right Now!
Do you pay taxes on the money you earn from your side hustle? If so, then he's a hack you'll want to know: Contributing to a SEP IRA can help lower your taxes as well as allow you to stash away more money for retirement! For years I’ve enjoyed making money on the side from blogging. But in the eyes of the government, that money is “business income”, and therefore taxable. So while it was fun to earn several thousand dollars per year, it wasn’t so great having to pay roughly a quarter of that money back into taxes every year. Just like all the steps I’ve taken to reduce my personal taxes down as much as possible, I knew there had to be a way to do the same with my business income. That’s when I discovered the SEP IRA. By … [Read more...] about How We’ve Saved $1,000’s in Taxes By Contributing to Our SEP IRA
We all know that budgeting is the key to managing our money. But have you ever considered how an annual budget might work better than a monthly budget? Tell me if this is how budgeting usually goes for you … You take your annual income, divide it by 12, and then make a goal to not spend over that amount each month. Things might go well for a little while. But then you find that you’ve over-spent by $500 because of a bill you weren’t expecting. Then the next month its $1,000 more than you anticipated. Perhaps you’d like to buy a new car, but you’re unsure of how much you can actually afford each month. Or maybe you’d like to boost your 401(k) savings rate. But again – how much extra can you … [Read more...] about Monthly Budget Not Working? Why An Annual Budget Is Better
Admit it ... You’ve probably asked yourself “How do I become a millionaire?” more than once in your life. Don’t be shy! I can certainly tell you that I have. With all the images of happiness and security we see associated with wealth, how could you (or most anyone) not wonder about such a thing. Regardless of what your actual financial goals are, the act of having a net worth of one million dollars or more is still heavily regarded as quite an accomplishment! In fact, in a survey conducted by investment service Charles Schwab, less than 10% of Americans had accumulated a net worth of $1 to $5 million. So while 10% may sound like a small sliver of the population, keep in mind that this represents 9.4 million individuals. Is … [Read more...] about How to Become a Millionaire – The Simple Way to Save $1,000,000
It's pretty safe to say that if you want to do a better job managing your money, one of the first changes you're going to need to embrace is how to live frugally. I know, I know ... The word frugal makes most people want to cringe! Why? Because they associate it with another word that brings about unpleasant thoughts: Cheap! I think we can all agree - no one wants to be thought of as "cheap". And for good reason. The idea of people being cheap implies that they are being stingy with their money. It means you hold yourself back from buying the things you want or even need, and for no good reason. That's not how you want to be! "Frugal", on the other hand, implies that you are simply being conscious of your money and making … [Read more...] about How To Live Frugally Without Being Cheap
If you’ve got questions about how 401(k) matching works, there’s only one phrase you need to remember: Don’t leave free money on the table! 401(k) employer matching contributions are one of the biggest reasons why American workers should utilize their 401(k) plans. Simply put, they are an opportunity to earn more money from your employer without any extra effort. When some generous employers match their employees’ 401(k) plans dollar for dollar, this is effectively the same thing as getting a 100% return on your investment! When was the last time you found an investment opportunity like that? And what’s crazy is that all you have to do to take advantage o this opportunity is to merely participate in your company’s … [Read more...] about How 401(k) Matching Works – Don’t Leave Free Money on the Table!
Whenever someone asks “What should I be investing in?”, they’re usually looking for some kind of magic stock or once in a lifetime opportunity that will make them rich. But in reality, there is something far greater that everyone could invest in that will pay them back over and over again for the rest of their lives. It’s called their “financial education”. A financial education is one of the single greatest assets a person can have. Yet, for too many, it often gets ignored or even neglected altogether. Take, for example, the topic of saving for retirement. This is something we all know we must do. But according to this article from Money, less than 40% people surveyed can answer basic questions … [Read more...] about How a Financial Education Can Bring You Success With Money
Are you wondering about the benefits of starting a revocable living trust vs just a will? For years, my wife and I put off what we know we have to do as responsible adults and parents, and create a will. Without a will, the courts decide what happens to everything you leave behind: Your kids, your money, the house, the family dog, … everything! Ask yourself this simple question: If my spouse and I were to get hit by a car tonight, is there anything in place to protect all of those things I just mentioned? If the answer is “no”, then you absolutely need to sit down and do a little estate planning. I know … it’s hard. It’s not fun to think about times when you’re not here anymore. It took me battling cancer and a … [Read more...] about Why We Started a Living Trust Instead of Just a Will