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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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Jul 24, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has now reached over 3.9 million cases in this country (with over 179,000 in New Jersey) and has caused over 144,000 deaths (with over 15,000 in New Jersey). Even those who have survived the illness have had a tough time, with many having lengthy hospital stays.

This taste of our own mortality has been sobering for all of us; something like this hasn’t happened for over 100 years! But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be prepared for its eventual arrival. Way back in Episodes 18 and 21 I talked about the importance of having an estate plan and how to go about doing it. But with all that is going on in the world today, I thought I would revisit the subject, as the pandemic has emphasized its importance.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Why it is important to have an estate plan
  • The documents you need to create to have one
  • What you need to think about to prepare them
  • Federal and NJ tax issues
Jul 10, 2020

Due to the pandemic, lots of people are either working from home or have lost their jobs because they cannot be done from home. Those in the latter group may be looking for a job that allows them to do so. On the other hand, many small businesses are looking for help, but are unsure whether hiring someone (and taking on the payroll and other administrative tasks that go along with doing so) is the right move.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk with Connie Gray, the owner of Virtual Solutions 4U on how to be a virtual assistant, whether that’s the right career for you as an employee, and whether taking one on is the best move for your small business.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Things you should consider in whether to hire a VA or an employee for your business
  • The tasks that VAs can perform for your business
  • The skills you should have if you want to become a VA

 

Jun 26, 2020

On March 27, 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law to help people deal with the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus. Many of the provisions help student loan borrowers, and while they provide some welcome relief, the law doesn’t address all of the problems that student loan borrowers face.

In addition, these provisions are set to expire on September 30, 2020, so the relief is a short-term solution. Therefore, anyone with student loans, whether they are federal, state, or private, need to act soon to have a plan by the deadline. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk about some strategies you can look into to use this breather as an opportunity to get your loans back on track!

In this episode you will learn:

  • Ways to get out of default on federal and NJ CLASS student loans
  • How to get an affordable, income driven loan repayment plan
  • How to pay off your loans sooner if you are a public employee
Jun 12, 2020

Social distancing orders in light of the coronavirus pandemic have forced companies to send workers home and have them work remotely. The trend might continue. According to a Gartner survey of 317 finance executives on March 30, 3 out of 4 chief finance officers and finance leaders are considering moving at least 5% of their on-site workforce to remote positions permanently after the pandemic.

In addition, many people have reported an increase in quality of life and a shift in the work-life balance after having worked from home for a while. But all of this can raise tax issues for you that could come back to haunt you. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I wanted to talk about those issues, so that if you’d like to make your kitchen, your spare bedroom, or your beach house  your permanent office, you will know what it might mean for your taxes.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What bordering states have reciprocal tax agreements
  • How being taxed by two states can work for or against you
  • The good and bad news about home office deductions
May 22, 2020

Being in debt is stressful, no question! It can weigh on your mind with constant worry about how you will ever be able to pay the debts and avoid bankruptcy. It can have you afraid to open your mail or answer the phone.

But there are helpful and constructive ways to deal with this stress, which is why in this episode of the podcast I talk to psychologist Dr. David Weiman on how you can address that stress head-on and keep it from ruling your life!

In this episode you will learn:

  • How financial stress can affect your health and mental state
  • Key steps to lowering financial stress
  • What you can learn from people who handle stress well
  • How knowing your risk tolerance can lower stress in retirement planning
May 8, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge disruption in our economy, as millions of people experience job loss or pay reduction, leading to great difficulty (or outright inability) to pay their bills. Congress responded with the CARES Act in March that gave aid in several different sectors, including student loans.

As a student loan attorney, I have been following these developments and was encouraged by the help given in that area by this legislation. But as the assistance provided in the CARES Act doesn’t solve everyone’s problems, I wanted to talk in this episode about what you need to do during the pandemic to keep your student loans on track, whether they are federal or private.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What the CARES Act covers and what it doesn't
  • How to deal with federal loans not covered by the Act
  • How to deal with your CLASS loans from HESAA
  • How to deal with your private loans
Apr 24, 2020

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing non-essential businesses to work virtually, the needs of those businesses have changed. Many may even discover that a virtual business model is better and change forever how they operate.

This is made possible by a growing number of cloud services that can allow companies to run smoothly with a distributed workforce. Some may realize that they can run with a reduced workforce and outsource some tasks to outside vendors.

But can that be done with things like your accounting department? To answer that question, I invited Frank Lunn of Kahuna Accounting, a virtual firm with clients all over the country, to talk to us on how it can be done!

In this episode you will learn:

  • How cloud accounting services can integrate with your other cloud platforms
  • How accounting services can be molded to your strategic financial goals
  • How accounting services can help you grow your business and reduce overhead
Apr 10, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has shut down a lot businesses and forced many others to operate virtually, often times with reduced staff. Revenues have dropped, and businesses are looking for ways to pay their expenses until the crisis is over.

Our situation today is a much bigger example of what happens to businesses every year, where they are going through tough times and need financing to keep going until things get better. That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk with Ty Crandall, CEO of CreditSuite, on how you can get business credit for bridge financing to make sure your business stays in business.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • Tips on Bridge Loan Financing Programs
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the SBA
  • Payroll Protection Program
  • General Tips & Advice on How to Apply for and Get Bridge Financing
Mar 27, 2020

The outbreak of the Corona Virus and the recent drop in the stock market has a lot of people worried about their retirement investments. What does the current bear market mean for their retirement? Should they stop investing or keep going? Or if they are already retired, will they be okay, or will they have to go back to work?

To answer these questions, I invited back financial planner Michael Karwic to talk about what this means to 20-somethings who have just started investing, 50-somethings who are starting to see retirement on the horizon, and retirees, who are already living on their retirement investments.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How the 2020 market drop happened
  • How to deal with a market drop in your 20s
  • How to deal with a market drop in your 50s
  • How to deal with a market drop when you are already retired
Mar 13, 2020

I started this podcast in January of 2016 with the hope of providing helpful information to folks either after I had assisted them through a difficult financial situation to keep them moving towards a better financial future or to prevent them from having a difficult financial situation in the first place. 

Many of the episodes were solo ones where I would discuss a topic in detail in a short enough period of time that you could listen to the whole thing on your way to work. But I also interviewed local businesspeople to elicit their expertise and show how they could help people in my area. This then grew to experts and authors further flung from my office in Woodbury, but still ones that had some great information for listeners.

Now that I have reached the milestone of 100 episodes I wanted to look back at some of those interviews and provide some highlights from them that will take you down a path from getting on a good financial track yourself through building wealth, and then doing what's necessary to pass success on to your children.

In this episode, you will get a taste of information on:

  • Personal Credit Reports & Scores  (2:01)
  • Negotiating Tax Debt with the IRS  (13:13)
  • Getting the Most from the Sale of Your Home (20:33)
  • Retirement Investing & Financial Planning (25:59)
  • Business Credit and How to Get It  (38:45)
  • Expanding Your Business (49:05)
  • Selling Your Business  (55:53)
  • Saving for Your Children's Education (1:04:34)
  • Choosing the Right School & Thinking Like a Rich Person  (1:13:58)

Listen straight through or skip ahead to the time codes!

 

Feb 28, 2020

Many Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet, and having no plans, or hope for the future. Their only goal is to make it to the next payday, so they can pay the next bill. But unless something changes for them, they will never achieve financial freedom.

Which is why in this episode of the podcast I talk about the steps you need to take to break the cycle, pay down debt, plan for unexpected expenses, and be able to dream about the future.

In this episode you will learn about:

  • Cutting back in spending and increasing income
  • Breaking out of the debt cycle
  • Developing delayed gratification on non-essential purchases
  • Creating an emergency fund against unexpected expenses
Feb 14, 2020

There is a popular saying among entrepreneurs that most people don’t go out of business, they grow out of business. This can be due to several factors, including whether to expand at all or just raise prices with demand, whether or not the proper systems are in place pass off effectively to employees those things the owners did themselves, and whether the markets they’re expanding into have the requisite demand to produce the desired profits.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I talk to Somnath Sikdar who, along with his business partner Lonnie Beck, successfully expanded their martial arts school, Dragon Gym, from one location in Exton, PA, to two more in Berwyn and Malvern.

Jan 24, 2020

According to the book, The Millionaire Next Door, seven out of ten American Millionaires are first generation. Unfortunately, this means that 70% of the time, the money mindset that made them rich never got passed down to continue the financial winning streak.

That’s why in this episode of the podcast I decided to discuss how people can communicate money matters to their children and teach them lessons that will increase the likelihood that they will continue on to financial freedom in adulthood.

In this episode you will learn:

  • How to start the conversation with a child as young as 5
  • Talking to pre-teens about money
  • Getting your child to think like an entrepreneur
  • Getting your child financially ready for life
Jan 10, 2020

Getting married is a big step. You are making a lifetime commitment to another person that will be tested in so many ways over time. One of those ways is financial stress, which has caused problems in many marriages, and ended many others, so how you prepare for it before the wedding becomes very important.

Because this episode is being released on January 10, 2020, 33 years to the day from when I proposed to my wife, I thought the perfect topic would be a discussion of what a couple should do, from a financial standpoint, to prepare for the big day and their lifetime together!

In this episode you will learn:

  • The 4 Financial Issues to Discuss Before Marriage
  • The 5 Money Mistakes That Can Destroy a Marriage
  • Prenuptual Agreements
  • How to Spend Money Wisely on the Wedding
Dec 27, 2019

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:

  • What is a 529 Fund?
  • How do you set one up?
  • Who can set one up?
  • Is a 529 plan right for everybody?
  • If not, what alternatives are out there?
Dec 13, 2019

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:

  • How to prepare your business for sale
  • How to set your price
  • How to find a buyer
Nov 29, 2019

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:

  • How your credit score affects your car payment
  • How to choose your car before you go to a dealership (and why you should)
  • How to determine the cost of operation of the vehicle
  • How to shop for the vehicle
Nov 15, 2019

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:

  1. Blogging
  2. Writing a book
  3. Starting an online store
  4. Creating an online course
Oct 25, 2019

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:

  • 8 Different Forms of Passive Income
  • Practical Tips on How to Implement Them
  • Information on How to Choose Which Type is Right for You
Oct 11, 2019

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.

Sep 27, 2019

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.

Sep 13, 2019

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.

Aug 23, 2019

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.

Aug 9, 2019

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!

Jul 26, 2019

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.

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