What To Expect Working With A Financial Planner

What To Expect Working With A Financial Planner

I have often heard people question “if financial planners are so valuable, do financial planners have their own planners”? I thought that was an interesting point, but even I had a hard time justifying the cost. Especially since I have the training and figured I could do all the work myself. What we do isn’t exactly dentistry or brain surgery–I should be able to do my own planning work right? … Read more

My Garden–How I Cut My Produce Budget In Half

My Garden--How I Cut My Produce Budget In Half

Right about now, my garden really is in high gear and I am harvesting a belly filling and grocery bill neutralizing amount of produce. This will be the third summer we have been in our house and we have been able to have a productive garden each year, easily eliminating the need to purchase vegetables from about May through October. Can everyone do it on the scale that we do … Read more

Why Investing Conservatively Is Better

Why Investing Conservatively Is Better

When doing work with clients, I have several ways to determine the correct allocation they should have to stocks and bonds. More often than not, I find that clients are over allocated to stocks and are therefore taking more risk in their portfolios than is needed. Today, I want to discuss why investing more conservatively is usually better at helping clients meet their financial goals.  Having a lower allocation to … Read more

Overcoming The Desire To Shop

Overcoming The Desire To Shop

I’m not sure if it’s just this time of the year when I’ve been stuck indoors for months or what, but I’m feeling awfully spendy nowadays. Fortunately, this urge doesn’t come up too often. Here’s a few items I’ve been looking at for a few months and considering purchasing. In late January, I bought myself an expensive toy. Now that some time has passed, I am just as happy with … Read more

Why This Homesteading Property Is Perfect For Us

Why This Homesteading Property Is Perfect For Us

I recently purchased a property that my wife and I plan to use to homestead. Here are the reasons why this property fit the bill for us and see if I can convince you to be as excited as I am! Location The location of the property is about as good as we could get I believe. It sits between two small towns, about 10 minutes from each. Those towns … Read more

Our Homesteading Journey Begins!

Our Homesteading Journey Begins!

My wife and I would like to move out of the DC area at some point. We have dreams of leaving the hustle and bustle of the city and homesteading. I’ve been on the lookout for properties that will meet our needs. Well a few weeks ago I found one that seemed perfect and we made an offer! We are still waiting for the closing date, since our contract is … Read more

The Breakdown Of Our Budget–Why Following A Budget Doesn’t Always Work

The Breakdown Of Our Budget--Why Following A Budget Doesn't Always Work

After months of pushing to reduce our expenses, I have recently come to the realization that we can’t really cut them down any more. We have a budget and we largely stick to it, but I don’t think those expenses can be reduced much further. Below, I will lay out our monthly expenses and then discuss why it doesn’t really matter anymore! The budget breakdown Mortgage: $1,853 (We live in … Read more

An Interview With FI-nancial Planner About Becoming A Financial Advisor

An Interview With FI-nancial Planner About Becoming A Financial Advisor

One of my highest priority 2018 goals is to start down the path towards becoming a financial advisor. I’ve always said that I wanted to help people with money once I was financially independent. After I started my blog Winning Personal Finance, I realized that it would be a mistake to delay this goal (that I’ve already had for 12 years) much longer. If I was still a student, becoming … Read more

Why You Should Fund Your Roth Even If You Won’t Need It

If you’ve read anything from the financial independence community, you’ve read about Roth IRAs. They provide tons of benefits to all retirees, like tax-free growth and the absence of required minimum distributions. There are some benefits more applicable to early retirees, like the ability to access principal before age 59.5. But, what if you don’t need to access principal early, or expect to have enough passive income to sustain your … Read more

How I Convinced My Wife To Join The FI Journey

I have been on the FI train for a long time now and it seemed like my wife has just tolerated it. She has always been a good saver, but we had short term goals to save for, like travel or a home purchase. She had career aspirations and didn’t see the point of leaving work behind to pursue other endeavors. Lately, she has gotten much more interested in financial … Read more

Social Security Benefits When You’ve Retired Early

Social Security Benefits When You've Retired Early

Does Social Security play any part in your calculations of projected retirement income? If you’ve included social security benefits, have you accurately estimated what those benefits will be, especially if you plan on retiring from work early? For Americans, social security should probably be included in their calculations, but potentially at a lower amount than the estimates provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Let’s look at why that is … Read more

When To Claim Social Security

Are you afraid that you won’t be able to “get yours” when it comes to social security and therefore plan to take it early? Or do you procrastinate so bad that you don’t think you’ll claim social security until 70? Well, there’s some planning you can do that could significantly change the lifetime benefits you receive. Once you get to retirement, you have the choice of when to start claiming … Read more

How To Plan Itemized Deductions With The New Tax Bill

This new tax bill has really gotten some press coverage, huh? And let’s be honest, it hasn’t been too good. So, how about some real analysis so you can use it to your advantage instead of worrying about how it’s going to be detrimental? By Bunching Deductions, You Can Deduct More Than Your Expenses! Given that the new tax bill contains a higher standard deduction and limits itemized deductions, is … Read more

A Series Of Fortunate Events

I’m having a hard time even remembering when I first found out about the concept of early retirement, which began my journey towards FI.   You could say that I’m second generation FIRE as my parents retired in their mid 50s. By that point, I was already in my working career and I’m proud to say that I was able to work on a financial plan with them and confirm … Read more

Why I’m Choosing FI

He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.–Friedrich Nietzsche To succeed on the path to financial independence and/or early retirement, we can definitely connect with the “bear almost any how” portion of that statement. Some of us take great pleasure in the how, especially the nitty gritty techniques and planning opportunities. However, lately I have been spending a lot more time thinking about the “has … Read more