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Financial Freedom Podcast

A semi-monthly podcast that brings you advice and interviews with experts on various important topics to help you make better and smarter financial decisions in order to improve or maintain your financial situation.
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Financial Freedom Podcast
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Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 12, 2022

The news media has been talking a lot lately about inflation and the growing possibility of a recession. This has people worried about their short term financial plans, in dealing with inflation, and what a recession could do to their long term financial plans.

That's why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about not only inflation (which I've addressed in previous episodes), but recession as well, and offer a few tips for preparing your finances. In this way I hope to reduce your stress by knowing that you are ready for whatever comes.

In this episode you will learn:

- How to Prepare for Possible Layoffs
- How to Take Advantage of Higher Interest Rates
- What Financial Advisors Are Telling People They Should Do
- Ways You Can Prepare for Recession Now

Jul 22, 2022

With inflation driving up prices and straining our budgets, we’re all looking for ways to save money. That includes increasing our take home pay by reducing the bite taken out of our paychecks by the government.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about ways in which you can increase your tax deductions and decrease your taxable income. Also, because people are often afraid to do this because they fear an audit, I will also talk about audit red flags and how to avoid them.

In this episode you will learn:

- How your college education can help pay your taxes
- How to leverage state sales tax to lower taxes
- How personal mortgage insurance can help
- How unreported income and mistakes can lead to an audit
- How the home office deduction can get you in trouble

Jul 8, 2022

Although unemployment is low these days, there are many that are warning that we are headed into a recession, and that not only will the hot job market cool, but that layoffs may be headed our way.

In addition, many companies that have made offers have since withdrawn them, often with people who accepted those offers having given notice at their previous job. That’s why in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to talk about what you should do if you should lose your job, or how to prepare for it if you think it will be happening in the near future.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • How to negotiate your exit
  • How to maximize your benefits before they end
  • Networking and building job skills
  • How to conduct an effective job search
Jun 24, 2022

At its Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Apple announced that it would be offering a Buy Now, Pay Later program as a part of its financial services to customers. This alternative form of payment for goods and services has had a resurgence during the pandemic, and Apple’s announcement has put it in the news.

But what is Buy Now, Pay Later, and should you be making use of it as part of your household finances and budget? In this episode, I will dive deep into this service and advise as to whether it is a good idea for you.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What Buy Now, Pay Later Is
  • Its Pros and Cons
  • How it Affects Your Credit
  • Whether You Should Use It

 

Jun 10, 2022

Back in Episode 80 I talked about Health Savings Accounts in conjunction with some high deductible health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act. An HSA is a great idea if you have one of these plans.

However, since I have been talking about retirement planning and saving lately, I wanted to revisit this great savings option, as these accounts can serve two purposes: protect you from medial costs in a high deductible health plan and help you save for retirement at the same time. Find out how in this episode!

In this episode you will learn:

  • What an HSA is
  • The pros and cons of having one
  • Who can set one up
  • Who can contribute to one (and how much)
  • How an HSA helps with retirement planning
  • Is one right for you?

But to learn the most, talk to the HR person with your employer and/or a financial professional to get the right advice for you.

May 27, 2022

In the past two episodes, I have talked about financial education for our children and instilling them with a basic working knowledge and literacy when it comes to money. I also discussed in Episode 136 about how you should start saving for retirement in your 20s and how it can be done.

But what if you started earlier than that? What if our kids started saving for retirement even before they graduated from high school? In this episode of the podcast, I will talk about how parents can help their children start saving for their retirement and get the earliest start doing it.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why starting your child in saving for retirmenet is a good idea
  • Why a Roth IRA is a better choice
  • How to set up the IRA
  • How to fund the IRA
May 13, 2022

In the last episode I talked with Jake Cousineau, a California educator who teaches financial literacy to high school students. But looking into this further I discovered that attitudes about money (called Financial Personalities) form way before a child reaches high school. Thus, teaching children from an early age (as I discussed in Episode 130) becomes very important.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk with Vince Shorb, a financial wellness advocate and educator, who has developed curricula to shape financial personalities early in a child’s life.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What a Financial Personality Is
  • When They Are Formed
  • How Parents and Teachers Can Guide How They Are Formed
  • Why People Make Financial Decisions That Don’t Align With Their Goals
  • About the Behavioral Aspects of Money
Apr 22, 2022

When I was growing up, the boys took shop, and the girls took home ec. The latter, as we would say today, stressed gender roles, and consisted of cooking, sewing, and the like. But real home economics should deal with household finances, budgeting, credit, and the like. It should help to prepare high school students for the real world.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast, I wanted to talk about how that should change, and has been changing in some schools around the country. To that end, I invited teacher and author Jake Cousineau onto the show to discuss how he is accomplishing just that!

In this episode you will learn:

  • About how personal finance is taught in a high school in California
  • About the importance of learning personal finance at an early age
  • Why high schools should teach personal finance to seniors
Apr 8, 2022

There are many challenges that face people on the road to financial freedom, including credit card debt, student loans, and a loss of employment or reduction in income. Overcoming them can be a real struggle, but necessary in reaching financial independence.

But women, particularly widowed or divorced women, face particular challenges that need to be addressed in order for them to get back onto their financial feet. That’s why, in this episode of the podcast, I talk with Certified Financial Planner Maryann Keith on how she helps women with these issues.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • Why Designating a Deceased Spouse’s IRA as Inherited is Important
  • Dealing with Mortgages in the Deceased Spouse’s Name
  • Accessing the Pension of a Spouse that Dies Before Retirement
  • Financial Planning for When the Alimony Runs Out
  • Educational Planning for the Children After Divorce
Mar 25, 2022

The pandemic has been disruptive economically to many people, to say the least! Jobs have been lost, income has been scaled back, and as we come out of all this, people are looking to rebuild and get a fresh start financially. Part of this is rebuilding their credit.

But there are those out there who will be hampered from the start because of all the misinformation and misconceptions out there about credit and how it works. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to bust those myths and give some accurate information on how to get back on your feet with, eventually, a 700+ FICO score.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why carrying a balance can hurt, not help, your score
  • How to get your credit reports (and scores) for free
  • How canceling a credit card can hurt your score
  • Why a higher income doesn’t mean a higher score
  • How to get a new credit card without hurting (and maybe even helping) your score
Mar 11, 2022

U.S. News reports that more than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt. Even as new infections wane, and it looks like we are coming out of the pandemic, it may still have a longer term economic effect on many Americans.

That is why, even though I covered this topic in Episode 11, I wanted to discuss it again for those who may be struggling with it who weren’t before. There are some things you can do about it, and you should know what they are.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why you shouldn’t assume the bill is accurate
  • Why you should negotiate the balance early on
  • About programs that can help you pay the bill
  • About the new No Surprises Act
  • How to plan to pay for future medical treatment
Feb 25, 2022

Tax time approaches as we head into spring, so it's a good idea to start thinking about what to do once your return is prepared and ready to file. Do you owe money? If so, are you able to pay it? On the other hand, if you're getting a refund, have you thought about what to do with it once it arrives in your bank account?

So in this episode of the podcast I wanted to help you to answer these questions, so that when the time comes to either pay the piper or dance merrily to his tune you'll be prepared with a strategy in place. Think about these ideas and then take action.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Payment Plans with the IRS
  • Offers in Compromise
  • The Best Ways to Spend Your Refund
  • Why Stopping the Refunds is a Great Idea

 

Feb 11, 2022

At this time of year, high school seniors are trying to select a college or university for their higher education. They’ve made their applications, filled out the FAFSA form, and are starting to get financial aid award letters. It’s an exciting time!

But the decisions they make now can have far reaching consequences for their future, either good or bad. So in this episode of the podcast I talk about things you can do to increase the likelihood of success after graduation, and decrease the likelihood of a future with debt!

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to evaluate school financial aid offers
  • Whether Parent Plus loans are a good option
  • How to choose an affordable school
  • Whether you should take out private student loans
Jan 28, 2022

In Episode 136 I talked about how important it is to start planning and investing for your financial future as soon as possible, preferably in your 20s. In the last episode, Episode 144, I talked with Joe Okaly on the challenges families in their 20s and 30s face in achieving financial freedom.  Certainly, the earlier you start, the better.

But is it ever too late? What if you are in your late 30s or in your 40s? Is there still a way to invest and plan for financial freedom in retirement? So in this episode of the podcast I wanted to answer those questions and provide some ideas on how late starters can still live comfortably in retirement.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to Leverage a 401K
  • The Importance of Setting a Retirement Goal
  • How Annuities Can Help
  • Why Downsizing Might be a Good Idea
Jan 14, 2022

In Episode 136 I talked about how important it is to start planning and investing for your financial future as soon as possible, preferably in your 20s. Even if you can’t put aside that much initially, that money has the maximum growth potential between now and retirement.

But young families face some unique challenges that can make it difficult to “pay yourself first” (and not all the bills that fall due every month). That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Joe Oakley, a Certified Financial Planner with a young family to talk about how it can be done!

In this episode you will learn:

  • The Financial Challenges That Face Young Families
  • The Biggest Financial Mistakes Families Make
  • The Most Important Steps to Financial Freedom for Young Families
  • The Importance of Life and Disability Insurance
  • Why Financial Mindset is So Important

 

Dec 24, 2021

Once the holidays are over and our attention is drawn to the coming new year, it is inevitable that we start thinking about New Year's resolutions. How can we make 2022 better than 2021 as far as our financial freedom is concerned?

That's why in this episode of the podcast, as in December podcasts in previous years, I wanted to talk about the resolutions you should be thinking about making in order to improve your financial situation and get that much closer to financial freedom.

In this episode you will get tips for resolutions to:

  • Control spending
  • Be prepared for financial emergencies
  • Create a financial strategy and long-term plan
  • Build or rebuild your credit
Dec 10, 2021

These days, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is in the news quite a bit. People are talking about using it for online purchases of goods and services, as well as investing. It is, in effect, becoming the “next big thing.”

Buy what is cryptocurrency, how do you get it, and how do you spend it? Plus, is it safe or even a good idea to use? So in this episode of the podcast I get into the details of cryptocurrency and answer those questions!

In this episode you will learn:

  • What is cryptocurrency?
  • How does it work?
  • How can you get it?
  • How can you spend it?
Nov 26, 2021

With all that has happened with the pandemic to date, holiday shopping this year will be a challenge to say the least. Between supply chain problems, inflation, and employment shortages at retail establishments, staying within your budget and still getting the perfect gift for everyone on your list will not be easy.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to give you a Top 10 list of tips (plus a bonus) on how to get through it all with the least amount of fuss and the most amount of holiday joy.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to Deal with Supply Chain Issues
  • Leveraging Loyalty Programs
  • Using Social Media to Find Deals

 

Nov 12, 2021

When it comes to the job market and the economy, the pandemic has created an interesting and unusual phenomenon. Called The Great Resignation (or the Big Quit), it is an ongoing trend of workers quitting their jobs that started in the Spring of this year. Characterized by Wikipedia as being in response to the pandemic, the government refusing to provide necessary worker protection, and wage stagnation despite the rising cost of living.

But those that quit still have to find another job to pay the bills, or they’ll have an even bigger problem! That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Bonnie Negron, a certified career coach and resume writer, about the best way to succeed in this job market and find the perfect fit for a post-COVID life.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to get clarity on the job and income you want
  • Tips on preparing a killer resume
  • Great ways to find, and apply for, the kind of job you want
  • Preparing for the interview

 

Oct 22, 2021

In Episode 110 I talked about how to become a millionaire and discussed the book, The Millionaire Next Door by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley and Dr. William D. Danko. It showed that the vast majority of American millionaires are not who you think they are, and that becoming wealthy is something that can be done.

But the path to wealth is a choice and a mindset. You have to think the right way about money in order to acquire and grow it. That’s why I wanted to follow up on that topic in this episode by talking to my guest Tony Bradshaw about what he calls the Millionaire Choice and how you can make that choice with the right mindset.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why mindset is important to becoming wealthy
  • The Ten Keys of the Millionaire
  • How to Make the Millionaire Choice
  • How to Make the Millionaire Plan

 

Oct 8, 2021

In the last episode, Episode 137, I talked with Myles Gage about starting a business after graduation. We talked about whether you should take the entrepreneur path, what kind of business you should start, and how you should prepare yourself financially for this step. But starting a business is very risky, as most businesses fail.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to address that fact and look into the reasons why these businesses fail, and how you can try to prevent this from happening to you. To get those reasons, I spoke with CPA and entrepreneur Joe DiChiara.

In this episode you will learn:

  • The three questions you should ask yourself before starting a business
  • The importance of positioning
  • Why it’s important to perfect your “message” or “pitch” to your audience
  • What your key metrics are
  • Where to spend, and more importantly not spend, your money
Sep 24, 2021

Those that graduate with a degree and enter into the real world face a challenge and a choice. How do they make a living? How do they start paying back their student loans? How do they make a successful start down the road to financial freedom?

In this episode of the podcast, I address that issue and whether you should get a job and work for someone else or create a job and work for yourself by starting a business. To give some insight on this choice, and some tips on how to prepare financially for starting your own business, I invited Myles Gage of Rapunzl Investments onto the show.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to Determine If You Have the “Entrepreneurial Itch”
  • How to Decide on What Business to Start
  • How to Start a Business and Still Pay the Bills
  • How to Prepare Financially for Starting a Business

 

Sep 10, 2021

When it comes to saving for retirement, there is no better time to start than yesterday. The sooner you start putting money away, the sooner it has a chance to grow and ensure your financial future. But most people, fresh out of school and into their first job aren’t thinking about something that will happen in 40 years or so.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about why it’s always best to start retirement savings early and how starting early actually makes it easier to do and more likely to result in financial freedom in your golden years.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How starting in your 20s makes saving for retirement easier, not harder
  • How to find money to invest
  • What to do if you're starting after your 20s

 

Aug 27, 2021

Although we are slowly coming out of the pandemic, nobody knows when it will be over, especially with the delta and lambda variants out there. People are still hurting economically, especially couples with children. Even if they’re back to work, childcare costs can really eat into the increased income.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about two tax breaks for families that can really ease the financial burden until we are fully out of the pandemic. Whether you need the money up front, in a big refund, or in a tax credit, these breaks can help!

In this episode you will learn:

  • How the Enhanced Child Tax Credit can help you
  • How to get the money if you don’t file a tax return
  • Why you may want to opt out
  • How to leverage the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit
Aug 13, 2021

One of the most stressful parts of back-to-school season is making sure your children get everything they need, while spending on a budget and within your means. Teachers today seem to request more and more supplies than ever before. Whether physical or electronic, it’s a tall task to find and purchase the items at a reasonable cost.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to give you some tips and ideas on how to save money while ensuring that your children are well-equipped for the school year to come!

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to Save Money on Back to School
  • How to Save Money on Back to College
  • How to Save Money at the Drug Store
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