When And Why Your Child Should Open A Roth IRA

When And Why Your Child Should Open A Roth IRA

As someone interested in financial independence (FI), you’re likely very familiar with the concept of compounding returns. The concept of compounding returns is one of the most powerful forces in the financial world. In general, the longer you leave your money invested, the more your initial investment will grow. For example, $10,000 earning a 10% return for 10 years will be worth about $27,000. Give it another 10 years of … Read more

Investing Inside Your HSA: Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret

Investing Inside Your HSA Healthcare's Best Kept Secret

Most people have some experience investing through an IRA or 401k. They may even trade stocks in their spare time. It’s easy to assume that for the most part, managing one investment is much the same as any other. But a Health Savings Account (HSA) is a different animal. While it has a host of unique benefits that make it a top-tier investment vehicle, it also has its own restrictions … Read more

How To Buy Real Estate In A Roth IRA

How To Buy Real Estate In A Roth IRA

Did you know you can actually buy real estate in a Roth IRA? And it’s completely legal too, not the least of which since you can hold just about any asset in an IRA account. Some real estate promoters seriously pitch this option. And while it is certainly possible, you need to be fully aware that it’s also a very complicated process. We’re going to do a high-altitude report on … Read more

How Substantially Equal Periodic Payments (SEPP) Can Help Your Early Retirement

Maybe you’ve heard of substantially equal periodic payments, sometimes referred to as SEPP, or maybe more commonly “72(t)” or “72(t) distributions”. Most people probably haven’t, or if they have they have only a vague idea what they are about. It’s something of a complicated topic, but rest assured it can help your early retirement plans in different circumstances. There are two fundamental dilemmas facing just about anyone who wants to … Read more

You’re Debt Free, Now What?

Debt free

You’ve worked hard for months, possibly years, to become debt free. For some of you, this may mean you’ve paid off your student loans and credit cards. And for others, it means you have tackled your mortgage as well. “Debt free” is a term that means different things to different people, but if you’ve been laser focused on a particular goal for a sizable amount of time and you’ve crossed … Read more

Are You Maxing Out Your 401(k)? Don’t Miss Out On The Employer Match!

Don't Miss Out On The Employer Match!

One super easy way to put an extra few percent toward your savings rate is earning a retirement savings match at your employer. Every additional percent of your income, or your employer’s match, that you put away puts you a few months or sometimes years closer to financial independence (FI). If your employer offers a retirement savings plan at work, such as a 401(k), 403(b), 457, Thrift Saving Plan or … Read more

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Or Invest?

mortgage or invest

When it comes to optimizing your money, one hotly debated topic is whether you should use your available income to pay off your mortgage faster or invest the money for the greatest return. The future is unknown, but there are emotional and logical arguments to be made for investing or paying off the mortgage first. Planning for financial independence means you consider even more factors to find the right answers … Read more

How To Build A Perpetual Money Machine

How would you live your life if you knew you were the owner of a money machine that perpetually put out enough for you to cover your expenses, year after year without having to work? As long as you maintain the machine, it keeps pumping out money to cover what you need to live. Pretty fabulous isn’t it? The concept of the perpetual money machine is essentially the bedrock concept … 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

Beyond Stoicism, Building Your Unique Path To FI

Beyond Stoicism

On Episode 52, Brad and Jonathan sat down with Todd Tresidder from the Financial Mentor to discuss the FI State of the Union. They discussed that there was currently a one dimensional path to FI, popularized by Mr. Money Mustache and widely followed and his fan base that involved stoicism and low-cost index fund investing. Stoicism from the Mustachian point of view, involves being happy with less and avoiding the endless … Read more

How And Why To Set Up A Roth IRA Conversion Ladder

How And Why To Set Up A Roth IRA Conversion Ladder

A lot of people would love nothing better than to be able to retire early. But saving for it, and actually doing it, are two entirely different endeavors. The basic problem is the way most people save, and that’s through tax-sheltered retirement plans. But that creates an early retirement dilemma: if most of your money is sitting in retirement plans, you won’t be able to access them early without incurring … Read more

M1 Finance Review-Completely Free Automated Investing!

M1 Finance Review--Completely Free Automated Investing!

It’s no secret that investing is complicated. So anytime it can be made easier, folks get pretty excited. That’s why there’s been a lot of hype about M1 Finance, a completely free automated investing robo-advisor brokerage hybrid. Today, I’ll take a closer look at all that M1 has to offer. What is M1 Finance? M1 Finance was founded out of pure frustration by Brian Barnes. He (and many others) believe … Read more

Retirement Plans For The Self Employed: SEP IRA Vs. Solo 401(k)

Retirement Plans For The Self Employed: SEP IRA Vs. Solo 401(k)

The SEP IRA vs. Solo 401(k)–which is the best retirement plan if you’re self-employed? In truth, you can’t go wrong with either. They’re the very best plans available for the self-employed, especially if you’re a sole practitioner But, let’s take a close look at each and see where they’re similar, where they’re different–and most important–which is most likely to work for you. Simplified Employee Pension (SEP IRA) The SEP is … Read more

Personal Capital Review–The Ultimate Net Worth Tracker

Personal Capital Review--The Ultimate Networth Tracker

Personal Capital is by far my favorite networth tracker. It has an incredibly intuitive interface. It allows you to aggregate all the different accounts that you have–and it’s free! If you take some time to think about it you may realize how spread out your investments really are. Maybe you have a 401(k) with your employer and a taxable account with Vanguard. You might also have a traditional or Roth … Read more

403(b) Vs 401(k)–Which One Is Best For You?

If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve contributed to a 401(k) at some point in your life. It’s usually intentional and not automatic, though that is changing. A good thing about that change is that new employees are automatically enrolled as opposed to having to sign up. The bad part is that the percentage is usually only 3% of their salary. Either way, contributing has many benefits. Forced savings, … 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 I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Index

How I learned to stop worrying and love the index

It’s been reported that only one in three Millennials own any stock. For many, this is due to low income and high debt. This makes it tough to even have the money to invest. However, I also think that many of us have just grown up with a lack of understanding in how investing even works. Combine that with a mistrust of the market, based on the dot-com bust and … Read more

How Will The Trump Tax Plan Affect Investors?

The ink is barely dry on the Trump Tax Plan, more formally known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), and taxpayers are beginning to fret about its impact. Most people are at least vaguely aware that the plan lowers most marginal tax rates, increases some deductions, but lowers or eliminates others. But how will the Trump tax plan affect investors? At this point, many of the details of … Read more

The Failing 403(b) Was My Wake-Up Call

Have you ever been so eager to get, do, or have something that you couldn’t see its failings? We’ve all been there, at some point in our lives, wearing those rose-colored glasses. Many times we’re not fully to blame, and sometimes we are. Massive marketing makes it easy to see only the roses, while the reality is vastly different. Join me as I shed light on my failing 403(b). The … Read more

Why I’ll Date Personal Capital and Elope with VTSAX

“And instead of saying all of your goodbyes, let them know you realize that life goes fast, it’s hard to make the good things last. You realize the sun doesn’t go down, it’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning ’round.” — Wayne Coyne, Do You Realize?, The Flaming Lips, 2002 Musical Interlude … Skip if you must. The Flaming Lips are among my all-time favorite bands. I’ve seen their … Read more

The Wealth Building Triangle

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Earn More, Spend Less, and Invest the Rest.” The Wealth Building Triangle is a way of visualizing each piece of that equation and how they combine to move you towards FI. Our engineer readers may know that triangles are the strongest shape out there. The reason for that is that weight (or any force) is distributed across all three sides. The sides all work together … Read more

052 | FIRE State of the Union | Todd Tresidder | Risk Management

Risk Management

Todd Tresidder from Financial Mentor comes on the show to share his perspective on the traditional way FI is taught ( FIRE State of the Union)  and where it could be improved. We discuss the unique characteristics of all three asset classes and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Create a framework for your wealth plan and understand the importance of risk management. In Today’s Podcast we cover: An in-depth … Read more

047R |The Rule of 72

047R The Rule of 72

In today’s podcast we recap Episode 47 with Bryce and Kristy from Millennial Revolution including talk of home ownership and world travel, but a reader case study and voicemail. In Today’s Podcast we cover: A recap of our main takeaways from Episode 47 with Kristy and Bryce from Millennial Revolution How Brad explained the concept of compound interest to his daughter Anna and it was a lightbulb moment How Brad’s … Read more

043 | Drawdown Strategy | The Retirement Manifesto

In this podcast we have a far-ranging conversation with Fritz from the Retirement Manifesto about retirement drawdown strategies, his ‘buckets’ system, and his upcoming retirement. In Today’s Podcast we cover: Retirement drawdown strategies with Fritz from Retirement Manifesto How Fritz focuses on what life is about after retirement such as how you’re going to spend your time Fritz is 9 months away from retirement himself A background on his story … Read more

039R | Cruise Control

Friday Roundup 039R -Cruise Control

In today’s podcast we discuss Episode 39 with Gwen from Fiery Millennials, plus a ‘Cruise Control Path to FI’ case study example and voicemails from our community members. In Today’s Podcast we cover: The Friday Roundup after Episode 39 with Gwen from Fiery Millennials A whole new FI world for Brad and Laura after their youngest daughter went to kindergarten They have the opportunity to live more of a FI … Read more

035R | The 4% Rule | Friday Roundup

Friday Roundup 035R

In today’s podcast we discuss our takeaways from Episode 35 with Big Ern from Early Retirement Now, plus paying off mortgages and student loans early and frugal wins of the week from the community. In Today’s Podcast we cover: The Friday Roundup after Episode 35 with Big Ern from Early Retirement Now This episode was long awaited, but was necessary to wait for until we provided the background of FI … Read more

035 | Sequence of Return Risk | Early Retirement Now

035.Sequence of Return Risk

In today’s conversation with Big Ern from Early Retirement Now we discuss safe withdrawal rates, sequence of returns risk and much more. In Today’s Podcast we cover: A wide ranging discussion with Big ERN from Early Retirement Now on sequence of return risk and safe withdrawal rates This is Big Ern’s first podcast! And a thank you to him for helping with Paul’s case study Ern’s thoughts on social security … Read more

034R | What’s Your Risk Tolerance | The Friday Roundup

034R | Risk Tolerance & Asset Allocation

In today’s podcast we discuss our thoughts on Part 2 of the Stock Series conversation with JL Collins, risk tolerance, doomsday scenarios and rebalancing. In Today’s Podcast we cover: The Friday Roundup and the episode Part 2 of our discussion with JL Collins from The Simple Path to Wealth and JLCollinsNH What do you do when there’s a large crash in the stock market? Big takeaway from Jim’s episode You … Read more

034 | The Stock Series Part 2 | JL Collins

034.The Stock Series Part 2

This podcast is Part 2 of the Stock Series discussion with JL Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth and the website JLCollinsNH; we discuss the Great Depression and the mindset you need to be a successful long-term investor, plus how to allocate between equities and bonds. In Today’s Podcast we cover: Part 2 of the Stock Series conversation with Jim Collins If you have not yet listened to … Read more

021R | Our First Ever Crowd-Sourced Case Study | Paul

Friday Roundup 021R

In today’s episode of the Friday Roundup we review our discussion of the Pillars of Financial Independence, take questions and comments from the community and go in-depth on Paul’s live case study. In Today’s Podcast we cover: Review of Episode 21, the Pillars of Financial Independence What areas of financial independence did we leave out of the episode? Might have under-discussed savings rate as a pillar of FI Choose FI … Read more

021 | The Pillars of FI

021 - The Pillars of FI

In this episode of the Choose FI Radio Podcast we focus on the essential Pillars of Financial Independence including index investing, affordable housing, the psychology of FI, tax optimization and more. Not a good time for a podcast? You can read the article inspired by this episode here. In Today’s Podcast we cover: ChooseFI Episode 21: The Pillars of Financial Independence While we intend to focus on the roughly 10 … Read more

019R | Index Investing | How to buy VTSAX

VTSAX

In our Friday roundup Jonathan and Brad discuss the highlights and takeaways from the Monday episode with JL Collins. Then the podcast is opened up and crowd sourced to the community. Find out the specific travel reward perks that are available for active duty military and how to get started with VTSAX if you don’t have $10,000 to invest Review of podcast with Jim Collins Jonathan’s baby was born! And … Read more

019 | JL Collins from jlcollinsnh | The Stock Series | Part 1

JL Collins The stock series

In Today’s Podcast JL collins from jlcollinsnh joins Jonathan & Brad on the podcast to bring the Stock Series to life. The Power of Index Investing is one of life’s greatest secrets & JL Collins is the ultimate travel guide. This multi part series turns the stock series into an interactive audio companion and this first part is sure to compel you to stick around for each additional entry The … Read more

F.I.R.E. Essentials: Low Cost Index Fund Investing

Index Fund

Intro to Low Cost Index Fund Investing   Have you heard of low cost index fund investing? Investing your money in the stock market doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful and you certainly don’t have to spend dozens of hours researching to succeed for the long-term. In fact, I would argue that the most effective long-term wealth building strategy for the stock market also happens to be the simplest. … Read more

003 | Let’s Talk About Fees | Why Investment Fees Are Evil and How to Avoid Them

only-use-index-funds

Learn how devastating Fees can be to you net worth and how to avoid them How to invest your 401k?  Nobody knows! Index funds and low cost ETFs are the way to go Readings that changed our investing trajectory Who outperforms the market?  Nobody.  Hold the course and buy the entire US market. You aren’t going to find a brilliant financial advisor who can outperform the market Running an investment … Read more

Early Retirement: 20 Must Read Websites To Retire In 5 Years

Interested in Early Retirement

Early Retirement should be attainable for everyone. Do you want to be financially independent in 5 years. Not sure where to start? These 20 websites will give you all the information you need. for free. This is a living list and will be subject to change as the quality of content available continues to grow.

Read moreEarly Retirement: 20 Must Read Websites To Retire In 5 Years

Congratulations! You’re Broke

Congratulations you're Broke

Well, maybe things aren’t so bad. As of July 4th, 2016 my retirement accounts matched the remaining balance on my student loans. Neither of those numbers is particularly impressive but it allows me to claim a net worth of $0. Net worth is a snapshot in time, it does not define you or even give you a good idea of where you are going. Instead, we need to look at savings rate and the trend over time

Read moreCongratulations! You're Broke