Whether you are a millennial just beginning your career, or a baby boomer nearing the finish line, retirement should be something we look forward to.
There are many roads to get there and like with any trip, the key to making things run smoothly is to plan ahead.
Rosland Capital, a premier precious metals firm, has put together an infographic that maps out the various routes to retirement. This informational guide highlights everything from precious metal IRAs, to Simplified Employee Pensions, and Medicare benefits.
When talking with different people about the joy of spending time with family during the holidays, there are many who aren't too excited about it because their family usually gets into arguments whenever they all get together.
In most cases, the reason is because of money. This reminds me of a story a banker friend of mine told me some time ago pertaining to people's attitude towards borrowing money from (or loaning money to) family.
His story compared two families where one person borrowed money from a family member, didn't pay it back, and both parties show up to the family's holiday dinner. He talked about how it was looked at in each family.
If you’re like me, when making a decision, you like to
research and compare different methods before deciding which way to go. This has definitely been true for my wife and me as we’ve pursued our wealth journey. And once again, if you’re like me, what you’ve probably found is there are so many different perspectives on how to build wealth. It could be enough to drive you mad!
So who’s right? Believe it or not, I would go so far as to say that much of the financial information, strategies, etc. out there is good in it own way. Until discovering my own personal finance strategy,we tried a lot of different things before just narrowing it down to what has worked consistently for us. So I’m not one to say that there is one specific philosophy to follow. Heck, I even encourage you to contrast different “gurus” to see which one works best for you. Because you will find that you are able to pick and choose from different advisors and tailor it to your needs in order to reach financial freedom.
Guest post from Trea S. Branch of Trea's Two Cents
- We dream of being able to support family financially without being set back
- We dream of traveling at will, all over the world
- We dream of sending our kids to college, completely paid for
- We dream of quitting the 9-5 gig waaaaay before we’re 65
- We dream of not having to work for money
- My husband and I dream of financial freedom, and here’s how we plan to get there
So, let’s play a game: you loan me a dollar. In about a year, I’ll give you $1.02 back. Not bad huh? You do practically nothing and get a return on your money. Pretty fun game huh?
Now let’s add a twist to the game: I’ll loan you a dollar as well. But at the end of the year, you’ll owe me anywhere from $1.05 to $1.23, depending on how trustworthy I initially felt you were.
I forgot to mention that if you pay me late, you’ll owe me an additional one to three cents. Plus, I’m going to smear your name to others and tell them they shouldn’t loan you anything.
An often debated topic within marriages is whether the spouses should keep their finances separate or combine them?
Before getting married, each person usually has their own source(s) of income, their own debts, bills, etc. FYI: in most cases, the man is coming in with
more debt than the woman. Go figure!
Once you tie the knot, do you continue to operate as “His and Hers”? Or is it time to make it “Ours”? I know people who will vehemently say that once you get married, “there is no more Yours or Mine; it all belongs to Us”. I also know folks who take the stance, “As long as she pays her bills and I pay my bills, we’re fine”.
Which is the right way? Well before answering that, let me tell you what Gina and I do. Every single dollar that comes into our household, whether generated by her or generated by me, goes into a “combined pot”. From that, we take care of all our financial obligations i.e. saving, giving, bills, expenses, etc.
Over the years, I have learned the following: Make poor decisions with your money and you will become poor; make wealth enhancing decisions with your money and you will become wealthy.
So how is it that some individuals end up in the middle? They do some of both!
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with individuals at all walks of life. From high income to low income and everywhere in between. I have provided input to attain healthy financial goals with many of them. I’ve also learned and experienced that not everyone will follow the coaching and/or instruction provided. Let me share a story of one individual who comes to mind.
Guest post from LaKeisha Mallett of Mallett Coaching
In our world today we make promises and vows often, especially at the beginning of a year. We make vows to lose weight, stop over eating, be a better parent than our parents, and many of us make the vow to live together in holy matrimony as husband and wife. There is a common saying in most marriage vows, ‘til death do us part’. But in America where money issues are noted as the number one cause of divorce, what we really mean to say is ‘til debts do us part’. And while we don’t actually mean that, our daily actions communicate that point.
So I’ve attended a few conferences and seminars recently. A few things I’ve noticed at these events, or when just meeting/networking with people, is that many people needlessly complicate things.
They tend to use a lot of big words, fancy diagrams, complex methods, matrixes and models. In most cases, I find it unnecessary and believe the same point(s) could have been made in a much simpler way. It seems too many people and organizations are suffering from “Rube Goldberg Syndrome”.
[NOTE: Rube Goldberg is the inspiration for various international competitions, which challenge participants to make a complicated machine to perform a simple task. And many are doing just that.]
I received this pearl of wisdom second-hand some years ago. A millionaire associate who was a few years older than me, told me that a millionaire who was many years older than him, gave him this advice.
The younger millionaire was telling me that when he first started making a lot of money in his 20s, he wasn't doing much saving or investing. Instead he was living a rich lifestyle, spending his money on the typical toys and material things we see so many young people buying.
That's when he came across the older millionaire, who decided to mentor him and stop him from making costly mistakes which would haunt him in his later years.
He stated the elder let him know that although it might seem fun to have all the fancy cars, clothes and gadgets, he would come to regret it later in life when he'd be stuck working into his
golden years because he didn't have enough (if anything at all) to enjoy them.
A major step in achieving financial freedom is cutting costs and managing expenses. It’s important to understand how an expense differs from debt.
I define debt as money you already owe someone else. An expense, on the other hand, is money that you will pay someone else in the future. This is a crucial distinction to understand. To give you an example, let’s take paying for your monthly electricity bill. When you receive your bill, it usually comes before the due date. That makes your electricity bill an EXPENSE (for now) because you will pay it by the due date (let’s say the 15th). Now, if the 16th of the month comes and you haven’t paid that bill, it becomes DEBT because you now owe it to the electric company.
A good way to think of it is this:
Because of this, I don’t classify expenses as good or bad. Instead, I like to think of expenses as necessary or unnecessary.
After several years of research, reading all types of money making books, investing in all types of business opportunities, Gina and I realized a simple way that’s helped many people become financially free.
I won’t pretend that I have the magic formula that will: make you $100,000 in 3 minutes while you sit on the couch, or allow you to retire next week without ever leaving the house! I’m not saying that folks who sell those programs are lying because I haven’t done them all, but years ago, I tried a couple of them and let’s just say the only thing that happened while I sat on the couch was I made an imprint!
Let’s face it: If you truly want to get rich & achieve financial independence, it’s going to take some work! However, if I told you that you could become rich and increase your net worth (regardless of how much money you currently make) by using a tried and true formula that consists of 3 simple steps, would you believe me? Well you should, because it works!
How do I know? Because We Have Used This Formula to Continually Increase Our Net Worth Over the Past 14 years!
So it’s getting close to time to replace the vehicle. What is the game plan?
Like many individuals, I don’t look forward to the time when it’s necessary to replace a vehicle. A recent trip to the mechanic came back with the diagnosis of the car as “needing some tender, loving care”.
We’re prepared to provide the care it needs for now while coming up with the plan to purchase another debt free vehicle. Therefore, it’s time to decide:
You’ve said “I do “. Married the one of your dreams. Now let’s talk about OUR money.
Approximately 65% of married couples combine their incomes. About 35% do not.
Sometimes our mate has a money personality different from our own. This can cause unpleasantness surrounding a very important aspect of our marriage: Our Money!! So what do we do to get on the same page?
Free spirited individuals are authentic to themselves and the world around them. Oftentimes, the need to reel them in is mandatory. These individuals can spend, spend, spend and/or give, give, give.
Savers, on the other hand, still need to be reminded that life is a gift meant to be enjoyed. It’s OK to enjoy life.
Sometimes it’s about the experience of the day, not the premium price tag for the day! Example: I am fully aware of the premium cost of goodies when going out to the movies. However, we all enjoy having a good time so I won’t let it bug me.
Recently one of our vehicles was set to have some scheduled maintenance (which required the dealer to need the vehicle for the entire work day). The dealership provided a courtesy shuttle so I wouldn’t have to sit in a waiting room all day.
On my return to pick up the car, the shuttle driver and I had an opportunity to talk one on one. He was retired and provided transportation services part-time which allowed him to keep busy. He mentioned that for 25 years he was a car salesman, and informed me that he made much of his money providing a solution to a problem that began in the service department. I listened closely as my ears perked at this revelation!
He stated that when service representatives would inform a customer of a major repair item, most people’s head and shoulders would drop, in a state of despair. He would take note and eventually confirm that the customer had no way of funding the needed repair.
A recent report shows a link between financial stress and depression. 72% of the population indicates that they were stressed out about their money.
Financial stress has a way of bringing about an array of emotions to the surface. They can range from worrying about paying your bills to feeling like you are a total failure.
Money has a way of touching nearly every aspect of our lives. The lack of it or worrying about money influences our mental health, emotional health as well as our physical well being. Taking control of the money we steward is vital. I know that money makes an excellent servant but a terrible master! Isn’t it time to master your money, rather than allowing it to master you? Let us show you how to never worry about money again!!!!
Part of this post is excerpted from The Dark Link Between Financial Stress and Depression by Elizabeth Renter. Read the full post at:
I have a relative who admitted that when she is depressed or stressed, she makes it a priority to shop. This shopping trip is not to pick up an item or two on a short list of needs required by her wardrobe. It is a full blast budget breaking income wreaking disaster!
She indicates she feels much better while shopping. However once she returns to her stress-free self…... well let’s just say her net worth took a hit and she may need to return merchandise.
I notice this frequently with individuals who may have been told they have acquired expensive taste. You know who you are! Vehicles that retail for the same as revenue generating income
property. Shoes that cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment.
Not to mention a clothing allowance which, if invested properly, could make you a millionaire in record time.
As a financial coach, I am constantly looking to enhance my financial education through a variety of means (books, courses, audio, seminars, etc.). As an avid reader, my preferred choice of continual learning is through books.
I’ve read dozens of finance related books over the years. Some good, some bad. But today, I want to save you some time and effort, by listing 5 of the greatest financial books of all time.
1. Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki – this book is the one that got me serious about financial education. I would read a financial book every now and then, but not really implement what I was learning. After reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, I began to understand why I would take one step forward towards financial freedom but then two steps back. Making more money doesn’t do anything for you if you don’t know what to do with it and how to keep it.
Primary takeaway: Definition of an Asset vs. a Liability
It is nothing new that disagreements over financial matters is one of the primary reasons behind couples ending up in the divorce court. Although financial advice for married couples is readily available, yet they prefer continuing their fight over petty fiscal issues. If you and your partner are like most other couples, chances are high that you fight about money.
While you might hear advices that tell you to talk about money with your partner, talking is not always the only trick that works. In fact according to a study by a famous magazine group, it has been found out that 75% of couples talk about money every week. Still where's the problem? The problem is that most of us don't know how to talk about money as most couples tend to be emotional and reactive about money rather than being strategic. When emotions take a grip on you, you tend to take wrong fiscal decisions and this leads to couples drowning in debt. If you want to follow a debt free life, educate yourself on the most common fiscal mistakes that can wreck your married life.
They say those who can, do; those who can't, coach...
While I don't totally agree with it, I believe there is a hint of truth to it. This can be evidenced by the gamut of "coaches" that you can find in various industries nowadays.
Being a financial coach, it is important for me to stay aware as to what other coaches in the market are doing. I like to make sure that what we teach is still relevant and at the forefront of the financial coaching spectrum. I also like to see what I can learn from others and where I can improve.
However, I can tell you that I was NOT prepared to find such a large number of folks claiming to be financial coaches. It seems just about everyone is throwing up a blog with some tips on how to budget and using it to call themselves a financial coach.
For the individual who is looking to work with a financial coach, how do you find a good one?
Although it can be overwhelming, it really boils down to the following:
Many banks are now allowing you to take cash out at an ATM even if you don't have enough in your account. This may sound generous of them until you realize they are doing this to make big overdraft fees from you.
Of course, it would be easy for the bank to program the ATM to alert you if you try to take more than you have in the account, so the intention is clear. They want those fees, even if getting them comes from a mistake on your part. To avoid this, check your balance before you make a withdrawal (so far there is no fee for this).
This article comes from Steve Gillman's Secret Information Newsletter. I highly recommend signing up for it at: www.TheSecretInformationSite.com
Don't let the recession/economy get you down. Learn how to strive and succeed regardless of what the economy is doing.
"We're in an economic recession!"
"No, it's a depression!"
"Woe is me!"
"How will I survive!"
If you've been watching TV, reading the news or just talking with friends, family or coworkers over the past 2 years (maybe longer depending on where you're located), then you've probably heard some version of the above. Turn on the news or read the newspaper and most of what you're going to hear is doom and gloom about how terrible it is. About how we're in (or on the verge of) a recession maybe even leading to a depression (depending on how bad the station is itching for ratings).
Even through soaring gas prices, skyrocketing grocery costs, and disappearing jobs, I've noticed that many people are still spending money as if it's not affecting them. I've seen no shortage of people at the malls/retail stores, eating out at restaurants, no shortage of cars at the gas stations, etc.
So even in a recession, it's safe to assume that people are still going to be spending. The question is: are you going to be one who continues to complain about it, or are you going to be one who recognizes that in times such as this, there is an abundance of opportunity?
I find that for a lot of people, pursuing wealth is a frightening endeavor, not because they are afraid of failing, but because they are scared of actually succeeding in becoming wealthy.
Many feel that they don't deserve to be wealthy. They perceive financial freedom as being so far out of reach, that they find all kinds of excuses to not pursue it.
On the flip side though, a lot of people feel they can "get rich quick". By playing the lottery, gambling at casinos or partaking in other get rich quick schemes, they think there's some easy way to get a lot of money.
The different perception of getting rich vs. building wealth is the only reason I titled my book "Getting Rich is Simple...But It Ain't Easy!" instead of "Financial Freedom is Simple". I knew the current title is likely to get more readers because people are looking for the magic pill to take, or magic wand to wave and then just watch riches fall into their lap.
In the financial classic, The Millionaire Next Door, it was shown that 80% of millionaire households are first generation. This is encouraging because it proves that just about anyone can achieve true wealth. But it is also a little disturbing because it shows that much of that wealth is NOT being passed down to future generations.
Now, I know some of you may be thinking, "I don't want my kids to just inherit millions; I want them to work for it like I did" or "I don't want them to be spoiled rich kids thinking the world is owed to them". That's understandable to feel that way. But know that the stereotypical "rich brat" that we see on TV (e.g. Paris Hilton, Brandon Davis, etc.) is an exception, NOT the norm.
In a day and age where material excess has been the cause of financial disaster for lots of people, we find that many tend to misunderstand that having material possessions is NOT a bad thing.
The problem is that most don't know how to have balance; they instead are either at one extreme or the other.
What do I mean?
Well, they are either at one end of the spectrum where they are frivously spending money they don't have, maxing out credit cards, over leveraging themselves to purchase things.
Digging themselves deeper and deeper in debt, stressing themselves out to "keep up with Joneses".
But I've heard it said several times over the past few years, "quit trying to keep up with the Joneses, because the Joneses are broke also!!"
While deciding to read this blog, did you have an internal struggle going on about whether I can truly show you how to never worry about money again? Did you feel like, "If he has no money worries, how come I haven't heard of him before?" Or even worse, "If he’s so rich and financially free, why is he still trying to sell stuff"?
If you didn't have these questions, great. But I run into a lot of people who do. And this is how I handle it.
First of all, let me clear up never worrying about money again. It doesn't mean not having any money problems at all. Lord knows we get our share. But by applying the formula we describe, we can say with absolute certainly that when they do happen, we can quickly and confidently create a plan to solve the problem and keep right on moving forward on our journey towards financial freedom.
I recall my pastor mentioning something in a recent sermon on the subject of money that is very valuable for someone looking for a breakthrough where their debt and finances are concerned. So let’s start with something that is important to God – your character.
I am a firm believer that a person’s character is one of the best indicators of how much success they attract in their future. We all have areas under construction, but at some point victory should be won! So here is one area we’ll consider today.
Let’s say you and I have a similar passion and interest and think we would make a good team. We begin tossing the idea around about how to take what we love to do and make profits. We set up meetings, research, obtain new information and educate ourselves through seminars in an effort to make this a success.
We start a company and are making money! It gets good and we lean on one another for our various strengths as we recognize how to bring out the best in one another. But after awhile, I don’t keep appointment times, I cancel meetings, I don’t return your calls as quickly as before and you are carrying the load.
Sometimes, it only takes a few moments to save several hundred dollars. Reassess your insurance needs and see if you're paying too much.
One of the best places to cut back on expenses is monthly memberships. Most memberships people have are not being used enough to justify paying the monthly fee.
Businesses know this, and they realize if they can get you into an ongoing membership, it's a continuous stream of income for them. In fact, they make it easy for you to forget all about it by getting your credit card number once and then conveniently billing you monthly so "you don't have to do anything!"
If you start paying close attention you'll find these continuity programs, as they're called, popping up everywhere. Salons/spas, auto clubs, professional associations, nutritional products and just about anything you might think of buying through an infomercial.
You must determine whether the benefits (i.e. discounts, savings, etc.) you get from the product or service justifies the monthly cost. Here's an example:
I was listening to a podcast and the host had made the statement "The Wealthy Hate Waste". This struck a chord because I realized that wealthy people don't spend money frivolously.
You might be thinking, "What about those athletes or entertainers who buy 20 cars, 80 room mansions, in ground fish tanks, etc.?" I don't count them in the group I'm referring to because in most cases it wasn't true wealth accumulation that made them their money. They are actually just highly paid for their talent or skill, which is rightfully deserved, but to me it is not an indication of a person who has really built wealth. For a lot of those people, they are for the first time in their lives getting some money, and their lack of discipline and the euphoria of it all causes them to spend it unwisely.