In Episode 42 of the podcast I talked about how to use a particular type of savings account (referred to as a 529 account) to save for your children’s education. I gave some general information and urged people with children to look into them. However, I always wanted to revisit this topic later for a deeper dive.
That’s why on this episode of the podcast I talk with Michael Karwic, a Certified Financial Planner in Pennsylvania, to take a more in-depth look at educational savings accounts to help you get started in saving for your children’s future!
In this episode you will learn:
The retirement plan for a self-employed individual is often different from those who work for someone else. If it is a small business, it usually doesn’t have a pension plan or a 401(k), although the owner can set up an IRA and an SEP to put money aside.
What the plan does include that makes it different is what that person does with their business upon retirement. Do they shut it down, pass it on to their children, or sell it to their partners or a third party? So in this episode of the podcast I talk to Australian podiatrist and entrepreneur Dr. Tyson Franklin for his tips on how to prepare your business for eventual sale, come up with a price, and find a buyer.
In this episode you will learn:
As we enter into the December holiday season, many people look to purchase a new car, as manufacturers advertise heavily in the media offering lots of deals to encourage you to buy. Toyota, for example, often holds their “Toyotathon,” which ends soon after the first of the year.
For this reason, in this episode of the podcast I talk about the best way to choose the right car, shop for it, and make sure you end up with a monthly car loan payment you can afford and that won’t break the budget. Bear in mind, however, that this is about a car purchase, not a lease, as it is my firm belief that a “buy and hold” approach to cars is better for your long-term financial freedom.
In this episode you will learn:
These days, expenses continue to go up, but your salary at work doesn’t. There’s often a constant struggle to bring in enough money to cover all budgeted expenses, plus maintain an emergency fund and save for retirement! In Episode 91 I talked about how passive income can help to supplement the earned income at your job.
In this episode of the podcast I talk about another way to bring in more money with what is known today as a “side hustle,” or second job. It takes more time and effort than straight passive income but can still help you to achieve or maintain financial freedom.
In this episode you will learn how to earn more on the side by:
It can often be difficult to pay the bills on your current income due to increases in costs or unexpected expenses. If you don’t have an emergency fund, one big car repair can derail your budget. But absent your boss giving you a raise, what can you do?
There are only so many hours in a day, so a second job may well be out of the question. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t bring in more money. In this episode of the podcast I talk about passive income and how it can not only make your budget much easier to keep to, but also help you pay down debt, save for emergencies, and plan for retirement.
In this episode you will learn about:
Travel is expensive, and people living on a budget trying to pay their bills and stay on an even financial keel often can’t afford a vacation. We all need some time off from the daily grind but finding the money to do so can be difficult.
Credit card companies like Capital One have recognized this market and advertise products that allow you to accumulate airline “miles” with each dollar you spend on their card. Using them is part of a process called “travel hacking,” which allows many people to afford a decent vacation.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk with Lee Huffman, a personal finance writer who helps people get started on their journey to a better, and more affordable, travel experience.
Financial planners and retirement experts all preach on the importance of starting early in saving for retirement. The sooner you start, the more time your money has to grow. But what if you got a late start because life got in the way: marriage, children, financial setbacks and the like? What do you do then?
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Dr. Fred Rouse about Short Window Retirement Planning and how you can use it to create financial independence in retirement, even though you started in your 50s with not a lot of savings.
June was that they were issuing their own credit card, in partnership with Goldman Sachs. Lots of great features were detailed, and a sleek, modern design for the card was revealed.
But now that the card is generally available in the United States, the question becomes, should you get one? Are all of the features that were announced worth it? Is it for you or should you look to get another card (assuming you are looking for one)? That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about the pros and the cons, and help you to decide whether the Apple Card is right for you.
Being in financial difficulty is stressful. You have debt that you can’t pay, you keep getting letters and phone calls demanding money you don’t have, and court officers are standing at your door to serve you with lawsuits. This can really weigh you down.
Under these circumstances, it is natural for people to come up with reasons in their heads as to why things aren’t so bad; it’s a coping mechanism. They tell themselves things to make themselves feel better. That’s understandable. The problem is, those reasons are seldom true, can lead them into more trouble, and away from the very solution that they need.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about the 5 lies people tell themselves about debt. I have heard these many times over the past 30 years, and it pains me every time because it prevents them from doing the right thing for their situation.
Anyone who wishes to achieve financial independence needs to start taking the appropriate steps as soon as possible. The earlier in your life you start, the sooner you will reach a point where you no longer need a paycheck. That’s when you know you can retire and start enjoying life full time!
There is a growing movement now in the world called FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) that argues against the idea that you can’t or shouldn’t retire before age 65. Its members advocate for an early start towards savings and investment, in order to reach financial independence sooner and retire early.
Two of the biggest champions of this movement are Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung, who managed to build a net worth of over $1 million and retire at age 31 to travel the world and live a nomadic lifestyle. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to them about their new book, how it came about, and how you too can quit like a millionaire!
Home ownership has, for decades, been the “American Dream.” It gave people a financial goal to work towards, saving their money for a downpayment and trying to get their credit up to a point where they could qualify for a mortgage. In many ways, it has also become a bit of a status symbol.
But lately, the Millennial Generation has been questioning the wisdom of this and saying it is better to rent, rather than own, and tie up your money in a downpayment. But are they right? Is it better (and financially smarter) to rent these days rather than own? To get a realtor’s perspective on this I spoke with frequent guest Lynn Stambaugh of Cardinal Real Estate Services here in Woodbury, NJ, on her thoughts as to which is better and why.
The vast majority of the people that come to me to file bankruptcy do so because of out of control credit card debt. The totals can run from the tens- to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Credit card debt can drag you down and prevent you from having financial freedom.
But are credit cards, in and of themselves, bad? Is it the card (and the system) itself that is bad or how we use them? Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey writes on his web site questioning whether you really need a credit cards and gives six reasons why you shouldn’t. But is he right? That’s why in this episode of the podcast I take a look at those six reasons and discuss the case for (and against) credit cards.
Graduating from college or university with your degree is a momentous occasion. You finally made it! You’re ready to go out into the real world and make your mark. But this occasion brings with it new challenges that you will have to face, such as finding a job (if you haven’t already) and figuring out how you are going to deal with your student debt.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about how you can meet those challenges by finding the right job, figuring out how you are going to live on the income that job will provide, and how you are going to start payments on your student loans before the grace period ends!
We all fall into some bad habits at one time or another, and it can be difficult to get out of them. But sometimes those bad habits can have lasting effects on your life and can affect your financial freedom. They can get in the way of your saving money, spending responsibly, and having an enjoyable life both now and in retirement.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about 8 bad habits that you should avoid or break that could be keeping you from saving money and realizing your dreams for a great retirement!
In order to complete any project, you need the right tools, and it’s no different when you are trying to establish and maintain financial freedom. For that you need the financial products that line up with your needs, priorities, and goals. They need to be the right ones for you.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about how to identify and find the right banks, credit cards, and financial advisors that will give you the greatest chance for success. You might end up switching products down the road as your goals and priorities change, but these will at least get you started.
Even with the Affordable Care Act, many people, especially millennials, struggle with the cost of health insurance premiums. People in their 20s are less likely to need healthcare than those over 40, but when they need it, it can be beyond reach without insurance.
But how does a young adult, just starting out in the workplace, balance rent, car payment, student loan payment (if they graduated with debt), and a health insurance premium? The answer may lie in something called a Health Savings Account. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about these accounts, how they help balance health insurance costs, and can benefit you later in life.
A key part of establishing and maintaining financial freedom is having a job you love that provides you with an income that allows you to have the lifestyle you want while still saving and investing for the future.
But what if you don’t have that job right now? What if you find yourself dead-ended in a position with no real opportunities for advancement and increased income? What if you followed all of my tips from Episode 66 on asking for a raise, but didn’t get one?
If that’s the case, then you need to move on to a new position elsewhere. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about what you need to know to look for and secure a better job with a better future!
When it comes to investing for retirement, the earlier you start the better. People that start in their 20s, rather than their 30s, or even 40s, give their money more time to grow and therefore give themselves the best chance at financial freedom.
No one knows personal finance for 20-somethings like Broke Millennial Erin Lowry, a writer, speaker, and blogger that I had on the show in Episode 70. She is returning in this episode to talk about her crusade to get us thinking about “investing for retirement,” not “saving for retirement,” and to make a big announcement!
Before anyone sets out to find financial freedom, they need to understand what that term means to them, as it is different for everyone. This definition can depend on your financial goals, both now and in the future. Do you want to retire or keep working? Do you want to travel? The financial strategies for each can be different, and it is better to know that now rather than later.
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk with Ross Stryker, the CEO of Smart Asset Opportunities to get his thoughts on defining financial freedom, “Finding Your Why,” and making the right plan for it now.
For those in their 50s and early 60s, planning for retirement has a different, more immediate feel. For millennials, it’s starting to save for it; for those further on in life, it’s figuring out its implementation. A lot of decisions have to be made, including the downsizing of your home, especially if you’re an “empty nester.”
That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Jeri McClenaghan-Ihde and Julie Whelan Capell, whose podcast, SeniorTopia, recently launched to talk about all things related to opportunities and challenges on the road to retirement. Every week they talk relocation, long-term care, housing options, wellbeing, dementia, end-of-life and more. However, in my discussions with them, we will talk about downsizing your home in retirement.
Financial planning and a good investment strategy, started as early as possible, is key to achieving financial freedom in retirement. The sooner you do it, the better off you are (and will be).
But many people start off doing this with no clear idea of what they are doing, which can really derail the train soon after it leaves the station. Out of ignorance, or listening to the wrong advice, people can cause serious problems for their retirement plans.
That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Lorraine Ell, of the company Better Money Decisions, to talk about what she sees as the Top 10 Mistakes People Make in Financial Planning and Investing.
Getting your financial house in order means cutting down on spending, living within your means, and staying within a budget. You need to reduce or cut out spending, while using your money wisely and for the right purpose.
In many ways, this is like going on a diet, but instead of cutting calories, you are cutting spending (dollars), and instead of eating the right foods, you are putting your money in the right places.
That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk with a personal finance expert who actually coined the term, The Financial Diet, through her blog and YouTube channel. Her advice goes beyond finances to discussions about lifestyle and mindset, and I encourage you to listen to what she has to say.
A major part of any effort to attain financial freedom is establishing and maintaining a good credit score. It can make the difference not only in whether you get a loan, but the interest rate that you will pay if you do. It can also decide many times whether you will get a particular job or affordable car insurance.
But how can you work to establish and maintain good credit if you don’t know how it works? How can you increase your credit score if you don’t know what goes into it? That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about credit reports, credit scores, what they reflect, and what you need to do to maximize it and maintain it!
In this episode, you will learn:
Starting a new year, to a lot of people, means starting fresh. One popular new year’s resolution, in fact, is getting one’s financial house in order. The first step to doing that is to have a budget, so that you will know at the outset whether you are living within your means or overspending. But is there more than one way to budget, and if so, what are they and which one is best for me?
That is why in this episode of the podcast I talk about the five budget types discussed in Erin Lowry’s book, Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together. Discover which budget will do the job for you this year, so that you can take that essential first step towards financial freedom.