Radical Personal Finance
148-Save Money By Establishing a Non-Profit Corporation For Your Business Instead of a For-Profit Corporation: Inerview with James O'Neil from Training For Safety

Have you ever thought about the money you could save if you didn't have to pay taxes on the profits of your business? Might be nice, eh?

Well, have you ever considered establishing a not-for-profit corporation instead of a for-profit company?

Perhaps it might have some advantages for you!

My guest is James O'Neil. James is a former police officer and now is involved in a company called Training For Safety.

Having run both types of companies, James is a great guest to introduce the topic.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Pros and Cons of a Not-for-Profit Entity

Pros

  • No Corporate Income tax, often no State or Local Income Tax
  • Eligible for Public and Private grants
  • Donations – Cash and Non cash (e.g., batteries)
  • Corporate structure / Liability protection
  • Cost savings – Insurance, business license, business discounts
  • People view nonprofits differently
  • IRS (kinder and gentler IRS)
  • Lots of free or low cost assistance
  • You are a “real” business
  • Volunteers

Cons

  • Must have a nonprofit goal (charitable, educational, religious, literary, or scientific purpose)
  • Expense to setup (about $1,000)
  • Lots of time to setup (IRS and State forms & waiting for approval)
  • Paperwork (but applying recently got easier)
  • Lack of privacy (tax returns are on Internet)
  • Shared control (Board of Directors, corporate officers)

Book Recommendation:

Direct download: RPF0148-NonProfit_Corporations_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:26pm MDT

147-Overcoming Investment Anxiety: Interview With Dr. Alice Boyes, Former Clinical Psychologist and Long-Term Traveler!

My guest for today's show is Dr. Alice Boyes, former clinical psychologist from New Zealand. She is an expert on overcoming anxiety (her new book "The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points" comes out next month). She also happens to be quite tuned in to the financial independence and early retirement lifestyle! She's here today to give us some practical ideas and tools for how we can overcome anxiety about investing.

The conversation includes:

  • The impact that a fluid mindset vs a fixed mindset can make
  • How to gain investment confidence in simple, small baby steps
  • Tricks for how to get yourself to do what you know you should do.

Enjoy the interview!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF00147-Alice_Boyes_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:00pm MDT

Good data is incredibly important to making good financial decisions. If you don't know where you are or where you've been, it's hard to know if you're on track and making measurable progress towards your goals.

Today I've invited Ryan Marquez CPA, MSAT on the show to give an introductory overview. Ryan is an instructor in the Masters of Taxation program at Boise State University. He also runs a bookkeeping and tax business.

Enjoy this introduction to business bookkeeping systems!

Joshua

Show Outline:

  • Overall Theme
    • Change Your Mind Set on Bookkeeping and Accounting
      • Accounting is the Language of Business
      • Don’t need an accounting degree or CPA designation
        • However, should try to understand basic concepts.
      • Bookkeeping = getting accounting information organized so that you can start to make better decisions about your business.
        • Some information you can get out of good bookkeeping is:
          • Which areas of my business make the most money?
          • Getting a high level picture of expenses so you can analyze and see where costs can be cut.
    • Accounting Needs to Be Simple
      • If you follow one rule… accounting needs to be SIMPLE.
      • Two Reasons:
        • Complicated provides little value.
          • Large spreadsheet hard to process and takes time.
        • Complicated has less likelihood of getting done.
          • Entrepreneurs want to be out running their business, not sitting around doing bookkeeping and analyzing reports.
          • Simple system = less time doing and analyzing numbers.
  • Source of Funds
    • Open Business Checking Account & Credit Card
      • Only run business expenses through this account AND run ALL business expenses through this account.
        • Put business in this account and personal in another account.
        • DO NOT mix the two.
      • The reason you want to do this…
        • Everything is in one place and electronic.
          • Less likely to lose deductions.
          • Everything will be on statements. One can go down and categorize.
        • Avoids having a box of receipts that you have to sort through, figure out what is business vs. what is not, try to make sure nothing is double counted, etc…
      • How to get a business account
        • Go to a bank and open a business checking account and credit card (debit cards are fine… the point is an electronic payment method that will show up on a statement)
        • Will likely need two things:
          • EIN from IRS. Can do online. Will get letter by paper / electronic.
          • SOS documentation. In Idaho, just fill out a one page form. The SOS will stamp and mail back.
    • Avoid Cash
      • I know a lot of people like to use cash. However, I like to recommend not using it for business purposes.
      • The reason I recommend not using cash is.
        • Easy to lose track of.
          • Receipt could get lost, accidentally thrown away.
          • Pay with wrong source of “funds” or “cash”.
          • Main reason is the transaction is never recorded at all.
            • Want an accurate picture of your business.
            • Lose tax deductions.
        • Gets more important if you have multiple businesses.
          • Take what I just mentioned, and multiply it by 2 or 3 times and that’s how complicated it can be.
          • Tough to remember which business it was for.
        • Cash adds complexity to the accounting system.
          • Doesn’t sound too complex, but it’s just one more thing you have to do / remember.
          • When you’re trying to rack your brain to figure out what was paid for… it can get complex, but most importantly it can become frustrating.
        • You’re most likely not going to find cash on a bank statement, which makes it harder.
  • Recording the Transaction
    • Use Accounting Software Such As QuickBooks / FreshBooks
      • You want to do this because…
        • Saves you time.
          • Mainstream accounting software is made for non-accountants to be able to follow and use the software.
    • Use App or Other 'On the Go' Software
      • Easy because you can pull up your phone and categorize transactions on the go.
        • I’ve found people that do this almost feel like they’re not
    • Keep A Balance Sheet
      • The balance sheet is important because in business you're always going to have people that owe you money or people that you owe money to. In addition, you could have sales tax, payroll tax, deposits on hand, etc… that is money you have in your bank account but you'll have to pay to someone else at a later date.
      • A simple excel spreadsheet or even something like Mint that tracks your income and expenses from your bank account won't be able to track this for you
      • For example, if you're thinking about taking money out of the business or getting ready to make a large investment in a piece of equipment or something, you want to make sure that the money is available and that you don't need it to pay sales tax next month or something like that.
      • Some things a balance sheet is helpful for:
        • Record Deposits Correctly
          • Don’t want to record income that isn’t income.
        • Track Accounts Receivable / Payable
          • Want to keep track of who owes you money and who you owe money to.
        • Inventory / Payroll Liabilities / Sales Tax
          • Inventory not an expense when purchased.
          • Payroll liabilities are usually withheld from employee paychecks and need to be remitted to the government at a later date.
          • Sales tax is collected when product is sold and needs to be remitted to the government at a later date.
  • Documentation / Retention
    • Write on Receipts / Invoices Immediately
      • Helps to document the business purpose of the expense and can capture some valuable information that's easily forgotten later.
      • Why is this beneficial?
        • Quickly recall the purpose and payment method for each receipt that you have.
        • Most questions from an auditor or bookkeeper / accountant can be answered by looking at the receipt.
        • Helpful for locating a receipt from a specific transaction in your accounting software.
      • How do I do this?
        • Start to get in the habit of writing on all of your receipts and invoices. You don't need a dissertation for each receipt, just a brief description. An example of a meal receipt could be, "Amanda / Todd / Michelle… discussed the marketing campaign for the XYZ product launch".
  • Create A Filing System
    • Scan All Receipts
      • Electronic system can cut down clutter and could potentially be easier to find something you're looking for.
      • Can be backed up in the cloud or external hard drive in case something happens to the paper file.
      • I see a lot of people wanting to do a bunch of folders to keep their receipts in. Either by year, month, vendor, or what have you.
        • I'm a fan of less folders because for each folder you have, that's one more folder I have to click into to see what's in there if I can't find something.
        • I usually name the PDF by the date (year, month, day) and then the vendor and category.
      • Some apps / software allow you to take a picture of your receipt and link it to the expense.
  • Getting It Done
    • Set Specific Time to do Books
      • Either weekly or monthly. Anything over that it starts to not get done.
Direct download: RPF0146-Ryan_Marquez_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:05pm MDT

145-Brilliant Market Timing or Pure Serendipity? Interview With Nick O'Kelly, Co-Author of Live On The Margin

My guest today is Nick O'Kelly. Nick is the co-author of Live On The Margin, a book about taking a different approach to regaining control of your time. (We previously interviewed Pat Schulte, his co-author, in Episode 50: "From an $8/hr Job After College to Financial Independence at Age 30 to 10+ Years of Global Travel With Family! Interview With Pat Schulte From Bumfuzzle.com")

Nick is a meteorologist, a pilot, a captain, and an adventurer. He's also a writer, producer, and voiceover artist.

Enjoy this in-depth interview in which we discuss:

  • Nick's seemingly brilliant timing
  • The advantages and drawbacks of travel
  • How to learn to trade stocks
  • And more!

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF00145-Nick_OKelly_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:58pm MDT

144-Friday Q&A: Can I Retire With $1.4M, What Do I Do With Too Much Cash, and Should I do a Roth 401(k) or Traditional 401(k)?

Today, I bring to you three very fun but straightforward questions. Here they are:

Question #1: @01:56

Dear Joshua, 

My wife and I are well read in the areas of index fund investing, frugal living, early retirement, and financial independence (including your podcasts).  We have been on the path to early retirement for many years and we think we are there.  We both have high stress jobs and want to quit to raise a child and do whatever interests us whether it brings additional income or not.  We want to have a significant financial cushion, but also don’t want to be so conservative that we work years longer than necessary.  We are worriers and are very conservative in our estimates.

Although we are fairly confident in our calculations for early retirement timing, we hired a fee only financial planner for an outside opinion, and the experience was positive, but we believe the timing recommended was extremely conservative (4 years from now without a child; 5-6 years from now with a child).  We have a very good handle on our spending as we have been tracking it closely for several years.

The financial planner did not seem to understand our frugal lifestyle and rather than reducing our current spending by the “cost of working” that we clearly communicated, he added $15,000 per year to our current spending, which significantly changes the projections for retirement.  The explanation given was to account for “unexpected expenses”, but that amounts to >$20,000 per year in excess of our retirement spending estimate below.  We would be very grateful for your opinion of our plan to retire NOW, given the following data, which we have abbreviated to the most important points.

Ages: Him-45, Her-37

Debts: None (own a house and 2 cars free and clear)

Assets ($1,300,646)
$714,200 – His/Her TSP (Federal 401k)
$347,554 – Taxable Account (Vanguard Index Funds)
$216,165 – Cash/I-Bonds
$22,727 – His/Her Roth IRA
$31,000 – His Pension (starting at age 60)
$6,000 – Her Pension (starting at age 62)
(Minimum of $100,000 net after moving and downsizing our house – not included in assets total above) 

Asset Allocation:
40% Total US Stock Market (Vanguard/TSP Index Funds)
12% Total International Stock Market (Vanguard/TSP Index Funds)
33% Bonds (TSP G Fund)
15% Cash (CDs)

Spending:

Current Spending: $45,000
Retirement spending estimate $37,000
*This is after removing the easily calculated “costs of working” ($10,000 in property tax!; $3,000 in gas!) and adding estimated cost of health insurance ($5000?)
Note: We will be moving from a very high cost area (suburban Chicago) to a very low cost area (rural Florida)

Question #2 @26:20

Joshua,

Came across your podcast and dig the advice/honesty.

I've read numerous articles encouraging the use of fee-based financial advisors but haven't had a lot of luck finding the right person.. discouragement set in after numerous canned responses/what seemed like aggressive sales tactics.

I made somewhat of a half ass attempt in my early 20s with regularly maxing out a roth/always contributing enough to various company 401k to get the contribution match.

I've not paid a lot of attention and recently realized I'm holding roughly 50% of my total assets in a standard savings account yielding only 1%.

Without pulling the actual figures that'd be ~90k in retirement accounts Roth/Traditional rollover and ~90k in straight up cash... terrible I know.

My question is how do i fix/prevent it? I currently have one investment property with a mortgage that's less than what it's leasing for.

I see a couple fix it options:

Buy another house 

Pay down existing mortgage

Invest outside of a retirement account

I believe adjusting my 401k contribution may be a start to preventing it but what about after I max it out?

I don't mind paying for advice but what I really want is someone that's hands on/up to date.. helping me get the most out of my money.

Question #3: @46:37

Joshua

My name is Joe and I’m 24 years old.  I’ve been listening to your show for a while now and really enjoy it, keep up the good work.

My question has to do with whether or not a Roth 401k is the right move for me.  Currently my gross income is $58,616.  This year, I’ve contributed 6% of my AGI into a regular 401k and my employer matches .80 cents on the dollar up to the first 5% of my pay. ($3,517+$2,344 = $5,861)  I also contribute to my Roth IRA and will max it out at $5,500.

My employer just recently began offering a Roth 401k option and my question is whether or not it is the best move for me to make to begin contributing to the Roth vs the regular 401k?  I understand the tax benefits on the front end at my young age and do believe taxes will rise in the future and also that I will hopefully be in a higher tax bracket in retirement than I am now.  In my mind, the advantage of the Roth is the higher contribution limit (18k vs 5,500) but the advantage of the Roth IRA is I have it at Schwab and have lower fees and more investment options than inside my 401k.  I would like to keep my net take home pay the same and am having trouble running the math to figure out which would be the better option.  In addition, I have the option to do a Roth 401k conversion on the $12k that’s in my Regular 401k.  Your advice would be much appreciated.  

About me:

Assets: $27k in Roth IRA, $12K in 401k, $3k in taxable investment acct, $6K in savings acct, $2k in checking acct

Debts: $41,200 Federal Parent PLUS @ 7.65% and $16,500 @ 5.25%. I currently am on the standard repayment plan (10 yrs) and make an extra $100 payment each month on top of that. No credit card debt or any other type of loan, own a 2005 Camry that is paid off.

***

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Direct download: RPF0144-Friday_QandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:26pm MDT

143-Intro to Self-Directed IRAs: How to Invest In Real Estate, Tax Liens, Physical Gold and Silver, Structured Settlements, Horses, Livestock, Farmland, Timberland, and More In Your IRA

I've been looking for an expert on self-directed IRAs to bring on the show and I was thrilled to meet Kirk Chisholm at FinCon last year.

Kirk is an expert in both the self-directed IRA niche and the alternative investments world. His firm, Innovative Advisory Group, helps serve clients in this space with advice.

Self-directed IRAs can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Just think of the magic of Mitt Romney's $100,000,000 IRA!

When you combine an IRA with alternative investments, you might really be able to work some magic.

What is an Alternative Investment?

Well, right from Kirk's site: "The term “alternative investment” has become a trendy term in the financial services industry to describe new approaches to investing. It is frequently used to describe different asset classes or investment types such as: hedge funds, structured products, managed futures, or even Timber REITs. If you describe traditional assets as stocks, bonds and mutual funds, then by contrast everything else is an alternative investment.

"We look at the term “alternative investments” differently. We take a step beyond the current industry definition and use it to describe assets or investments such as physical real estate, tax liens, physical gold and silver, structured settlements, horses, livestock, farmland, timberland, and more. We would characterize alternative investments as an asset or investment which is: not publicly traded, has a low-correlate to most traditional investments, is too small for institutional investors, is illiquid, is not easily able to be securitized, or is not reliant on the publicly traded markets to be profitable.

"The characterization of what is a suitable asset for diversification purposes is a fluid concept. Some asset classes, which have traditionally provided a low or negative correlation to other assets, have become much more highly correlated since early 2000. Asset classes such as managed futures, timberland, farmland, and certain types of hedge funds in the past did provide a low correlation to the traditional markets, however, due to a higher level of institutional interest in these areas, as well as changing market conditions, they have become more highly correlated to traditional markets. This minimizes the effects of diversification as a risk management tool."

This interview is super fun and super deep.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0143-Kirk_Chisholm_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:38pm MDT

142-One Possible Business Model For an Ethical Financial Planning Practice Serving Middle-Income Families

I designed a potential financial planning practice structure a year or so ago. It has been my backup plan if Radical Personal Finance were unable to be financially productive. (It's probably still a backup of a backup.)

In light of the Episode 139: "My Advice for People Interested In Getting Into Financial Planning," I decided to follow up with some specific ideas for a practice I considered creating.

Here are my ideas. 

The show includes a discussion of:

  • The problem of providing planning for middle-income households
  • The idea of a planning model for a monthly fee
  • How to align advisor and client incentives
  • The benefits of a virtual financial planning meeting
  • The importance of having a clear marketing plan for your practice
  • Ideas for building trust
  • The importance of demonstrating expertise
  • The importance of a niche market focus
  • Limitations on income with this model

Enjoy the show!

Links:

Direct download: RPF0142-Proposed_Financial_Practice.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:13pm MDT

141-Establishing a Success Mindset In Preparation for Urban Farming: Interview with Curtis Stone

The most popular episode--by a long shot--of the Radical Personal Finance podcast is Episode 40: "Making $80k on 1/3 Acre With an Urban Farm Without Owning Land? Yes, Please! Interview With Curtis Stone."

Today, Curtis is back for another appearance.

We set out to record a show with a basic overview of how to get into urban farming with some practical steps lined out.

The first step is to get your mindset right. Although our interview got stuck on step one, it wound up being a fascinating discussion of business principles.

We discuss:

  • Setting intelligent goals for urban farming
  • Focusing on a triple bottom line: 1) economic 2) social 3) environmental
  • The value of education and especially specific, focused education

I hope you enjoy!

Joshua

NOTE: Curtis is on the road over the coming weeks with seminars in Florida, California, Washington, British Columbia and Mexico. Details are here: http://www.greencityacres.com/events/

Links:

Direct download: RPF0141-Curtis_Stone_2nd_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:19am MDT

On Fridays, I answer your questions! And, even though this is going out on Monday, I still answer your questions! :)

Today, I handle these four questions:

  1. What practical steps can a couple take when planning for one spouse to stay at home?
  2. Is it wise to borrow money on a paid-off house to fund a real estate investment?
  3. How should I factor a defined-benefit pension plan into my asset allocation plan?
  4. How should I set my personal financial goals and pull my life back together after a divorce?

Enjoy!

Joshua

 

Direct download: RPF0140-Friday_QA_Marriage.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:05pm MDT

At this point, I'm honored to get about an email a week from someone asking about how to get into the financial planning business. Sometimes, I get multiple emails in a day!

Here are four examples that I mention on the show today:

  • Hi Joshua, I consider personal finance and financial planning a hobby and I dole out my amateur advice to friends, colleagues and family. A little bit of background -- I'm 25 years old and currently working as an auditor in big 4 in my third year and I've just been early promoted to Senior Associate.  The thing is I don't see myself auditing forever and I really want to get into financial planning.  My plan is to start taking the courses for the CFP in May/June 2015 after my busy season is over.  I feel secure in my job but I just don't love it.  Do you have any advice for a 20 something wanting to transition to a career in financial planning with zero experience?
  • Hi Joshua, I’m writing because I’d love to get your insight in a career as a financial advisor.  A little background on myself, I’m a 28 year old CPA who has worked as an auditor at a large CPA firm for the past 4 years.  I’ve been thinking about making a career change, and given my interests I’ve begun looking into possibly starting a career as a financial advisor.  I really enjoy the technical side of financial planning, including the tax side of planning, but am also enjoying learning about the investing side as well. In talking with a few other people, I have heard that being a financial advisor is basically a sales job where you are asked utilize your own contacts to push financial products on.  What I have heard is basically the only way to make money is to have rich friends or family to get established.  I really like the fact that I could be helping people, but the cold calling/pushing financial products on people does not sound appealing.   Also, I don’t believe I have the wealthy contacts needed to get established. I would love to get your insight on this matter, and to hear if the stories I hear about careers as a financial advisor are correct.  Additionally, I would love to hear any recommendations you would have for somebody looking to get into a career as a financial advisor.
  • Hi Joshua, In 2013 I became completely obsessed with all things finance. I first picked up books about "stock picking" because I thought that was the way to go, but within a month or two I was recommended The Intelligent Investor, and I've been going with the "boglehead" strategy since then. I have been very lucky in getting a job straight out of college that pays quite well (software industry) and since I started in July 2013 I've saved 70-80% of my take-home income. I figure within 2015 I will become "FI" at age 25. I've been listening to your podcast daily since I discovered it last month, and needless to say it has quickly become my favorite podcast. Keep up the awesome work, I listen to every new episode! I am interested in becoming a fee-only financial planner. Every time I get the opportunity to talk with someone who is also interested in finance (believe me, this is super rare!) I get very excited. Nothing makes me happier, basically. I have a bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering right now. I am wondering, what is the shortest path that I could take to get to the place where I can "hang out a shingle" and start advising people for a small fee? I am not interested in charging for "assets under management"; I simply want to share knowledge with people so they can make their own investments and financial decisions. I want to do the opposite of most advisors basically! I'd be okay charging very little money for just a consultation, because I will be FI. You mentioned in one episode that you got a master's degree in financial planning, and I know you need the CFP certification. With just my bachelor's degree, could I get this CFP and start taking clients? Or would I need other certifications as well?
  • Hi, Joshua, I have realized over time that I am a poor candidate for the traditional early retirement, and instead, would like to focus my next 15-17 years (roughly age 52-67) on doing something that I like--be it an administrator in a medical business that I believe in, being a health coach for middle age guys trying to get back into shape, or opening a gelato shop in my neighborhood. Actually, my dream job would probably be selling tickets in a booth at a ski resort! Maybe later... I have also thought about becoming a personal finance coach or advisor for docs. I see them make stupid mistakes all the time. I could probably do a series of podcasts on stupid things my partners have done. 

It's a great question and there are a bunch of ways to answer it. I decided for today to focus on the big picture answer which is primarily about having a good fit between your skills, your firm, your firm's abilities, and your prospective clients.

I might do another show on the actual steps needed to set up a firm if you want to do it independently.

In this show I go through:

  • Historical practice models for financial planning
  • Current practice models
  • The importance of sales and sales skills
  • Why you need to know what you bring to the table as a planner
  • The importance of a great marketing plan
  • The importance of a solid transition plan
  • The importance of gaining clarity on what you want to do, who you want to work with, and how you want to work with them

Enjoy!

Joshua

 

Direct download: RPF0139-Advice_for_Getting_Into_Financial_Planning.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:00pm MDT

We're continuing our college series with an in-depth discussion of 529 plans.

529 plans are incredibly popular in all their permutations. (Many people who are currently participating in a 529 plan don't actually realize it because they refer to it as a pre-paid tuition program.)

They're also under attack. President Obama's most recent budget proposal targeted them for change. (It also targeted Coverdell ESAs.)

Personally, I think 529 plans are often misused and mis-applied. The majority of the mass affluent who participate are simply not getting a huge benefit in exchange for giving up the freedom and flexibility of the money.

But, there are a number of things that can be done with these accounts that are really unique.

Enjoy part 1 of our class today and learn:

  • What the differences are between various types of 529 plans.
  • Who they're a great fit for.
  • How to use them to pay for travel and real estate tax-free.
  • The history of the legislation affecting these accounts.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0138-529_Plans_Pt_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:02pm MDT

137-Ideas To Make More Money on the Side: Interview with Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation

As we rattle around and around the iron triangle of wealth (income, expenses, and intelligent use of the difference), we come today to the topic of income. Specifically, how can you create some extra income?

The world is changing and there are more opportunities to earn some money from a side project than ever before. No longer are you limited to throwing papers early in the morning or delivering pizzas in the evening; now, you can work in all kinds of interesting ways with people from all over the world.

Listen to today's show and enjoy some of the ideas. But, if none of the ideas appeal to you, use them as a jumping off point and create your own idea.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0137-Side_Hustle_Nation_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:54pm MDT

We need to get into some economics today and I'm going to do some prognosticating. This is a very rare event on the show, so here goes!

Prediction: there will be a global recession in the future. And gas will go up to $20/gallon.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about what we can do to get ready for it! After all, that's the only thing that likely matters to you or me.

One of the keys to being financially successfully over the long term is to avoid the big mistakes. One big mistake (of many) might be getting laid flat by the coming recession and increase in gas prices.

Today I share with you some thoughts on some of the things you can do today to prepare for this eventuality.

I hope these ideas are useful to you!

Joshua

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0136-Gas_Prices.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:14pm MDT

135-Be Confident in Your Unique Offering and Then Stick To Your Knitting

Today's show is a bit of a pep talk--for you but also for me! 

We are taught by society to compare ourselves with other people. Even though we're all supposed to be "unique and different, we're really not. After all, we're measured on our weight as a baby (compared to all other babies), our grades as a student (compared with our class ranking), and the amount of money we make and have (thus defining us as successful)!

Well, let's challenge that a bit. Sometimes we need a reminder to forget about what everyone else is doing and focus on what we're doing and why we're doing it.

Join me today for a bit of a pep talk. I hope you find it encouraging. I was encouraged as I created the show.

Joshua

Here are the influences on today's show:

  1. Farnoosh Toorabi's new podcast.
  2. This chapter in Richard Feynman's book: "The Chief Research Chemist of the Metaplast Corporation.
  3. Gary North's publication today of his free new book "The Covenantal Structure of Christian Economics."

 

Direct download: RPF0135-Be_Confident.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:39pm MDT

134-Q&A: Incorporating in California vs. Wyoming (or Nevada or Delaware) and How to Decide Asset Allocation for an Investor in Sri Lanka

Q&A continues with two very interesting questions today:

  • 2:30 "Should I incorporate my business in California or in Wyoming? Also, for my son, should I establish a corporation for my 16-year-old son?"
  • 33:26 "I live in Sri Lanka and have some money saved. How should I decide my asset allocation strategy?"

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Direct download: RPF0134-QandA_on_WY_Corp_and_Sri_Lanka_Inv.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:58am MDT

133-Q&A: Paying off Your Primary Mortgage With a HELOC (Mortgage Acceleration) and How Safe is My Deferred Comp Program?

We're continuing our Q&A series this week and today I handle these two questions:

  • 00:01 Melissa heard about an idea of using a HELOC to pay off your primary mortgage as a method of paying off the loan faster and saving interest costs. This was referenced in the book "Master Your Debt" and the website TruthInEquity.com.
  • 38:13 Robert asks about the safety of the deferred comp plan that he and his wife participate in at her Fortune 500 Public Utitlity company.

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Direct download: RPF0133-QandA_on_HELOC_Strategy_and_Deferred_Comp.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:02pm MDT

132-Q&A: Thinking Through Buying Life Insurance on Your Kids' Lives and Clarification on 72(t) Substantially Equal Periodic Payments for Retirees

When I started recording the show, I planned to answer six questions. But, after finishing the first question and realizing how in-depth the show would be if I covered all six in one show, I decided to break it out into multiple shows.

Today, I cover these two questions:

  • 8:41-I'm thinking about buying life insurance on my two kids' lives. What do I need to know?
  • 47:53-Will it work for me to use the 72(t) rules to retire at 50 and then change the payment terms at 59.5?

Notes-Life insurance for kids:

  • This is one of the most controversial areas in finanancial planning so I'll try to fairly represent the various points of view.
  • It's tough to have a low-key discussion here because it's such an emotionally intense subject.
  • There are three major philosophies that I've discovered:
    1. Buy lots of life insurance to protect your investment in your kids.
      • Few people in the US will go for this one; much of the world will understand it though.
      • The reality is more and more of us will in fact be depending on our kids as we age due to many factors including the amount of savings most retirees have and financial challenges facing social security and medicare.
    2. Buy just the minimum amount of insurance to cover burial costs.
      • The problem here is that the rich and middle class don't really need it and the poor often don't think of it and can hardly afford it.
      • It's also simply not very high as a priority due to the relatively low risk. Consider this model: http://radicalpersonalfinance.com/do-i-need-insurance-a-mental-model-to-analyze-methods-of-dealing-with-risk-rpf0091/
    3. Buy some insurance for now and as a hedge for the future.
      • Hedge for the future with an Additional Purchase Benefit.
  • How to actually buy the policy?
    • The advice is conflicting.
    • People say to buy term policies for kids. But I've never been able to find a company that will sell a stand alone term product on a minor's life. (Let me know if you know of one, please.)
    • If you're buying a big policy (#1 above) and your child is over 18, it's easy. Buy an Annual Renewable Term policy for them.
    • If you're buying a big policy (#1 above) and your child is under 18, it's harder. If you want to get closer to term coverage, consider a stripped-out universal life policy. If you have the cash flow, go with a traditional whole life insurance contract. Make sure it's a contract that your kid will be happy owning forever. Shop carefully.
    • If you're buying a simple burial policy (#2), do it as a term rider on another policy. You can get these at work, bundled with a banking or property and casualty insurance product, or as a rider on your own term policy.
    • If you're hedging now and later (#3), buy a small whole life policy with an Additional Purchase Benefit. That way as health, hobbies, and occupations change, your child will be able to buy more insurance if necessary. Shop carefully.

Notes-72(t) Calculations

  • Use this calculator to get an indication of the numbers: http://www.dinkytown.net/java/Retire72T.html
  • IRS info: http://www.irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Retirement-Plans-FAQs-regarding-Substantially-Equal-Periodic-Payments
Direct download: RPF0132-Q_and_A_on_life_insurance_and_72t.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:07pm MDT

131-Filter Your Financial Advice Through the Lens of Scale

I read a lot of financial advice from many different perspectices. I also frequently am asked about financial advice. "Is this a good idea?" "What do you think about this investment idea?"

Over the years, I have noticed that I have developed a filter that many people don't have: I view all financial advice through a filtering lens of scale.

When I hear advice, I don't immediately accept is a blanket statement; rather, I think, "what type of household profile would this be appropriate for?"

When I talk to someone who's asking for financial advice, I try to ascertain where they are in their financial journey so I can give them the most appropriate advice.

Having this filter helps me to give advice that matters. It also helps me to coach myself more effectively by identifying where I am in my own journey so that I can focus on the things that are most appropriate for me.

In today's show I share with you many examples, including:

  • Buying large commercial real estate can be a great investment. But is it right for you? Should you be buying low-dollar mobile homes instead?
  • Investing in low-dollar real estate can be great. But is it right for you? Should you be buying larger commercial projects instead?
  • Investing in stocks of publicly traded companies can be a great plan. But is it right for you? Should you be investing in the tools of your trade or business so that you can be more effective at work?
  • Investing in the tools of your trade or business can be a great idea. But is it right for you? Has it reached the point of diminishing returns and now you'd be better served by investing in the stocks of publicly traded companies to get you closer to your financial goals?
  • Etc.

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

 

Direct download: RPF0131-Lens_of_Scale.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:30pm MDT

130-My Personal Development Plan for 2015

I like the change of the calendar year. It's a convenient time to sit down and take an inventory of where things are and assess the plans for where things are going.

2014 was an awesome year. It was certainly one of the more challenging times of my life and was filled with change of all types. But it was awesome.

2015 will be transformative. This year, I'll be heavily focused on stepping up my game and making everything I do to be world class.

I have plenty of goals. But for me, the end result of achieving a goal is less important than who I become on the way.

Also, since there's no way for me to achieve a lofty goal without developing as a person, I tend to focus less on the goal or outcome and more on the plan of what I need to learn and who I need to become.

In today's show I share with you some of my areas of focus for 2015 and some of the plans I have for my personal development.

Here are three of my areas of focus for the coming year coupled with some of my action plans for development as an example with resources:

  1. I am a world-class business owner.
    • In order to be a world-class business owner, I need to sharpen and hone my personal productivity skills.
    • In order to be a world-class business owner, I need to strenthen my habits in these areas:
      • Work from a list of prioritized importance.
      • Plan each day's work in advance.
      • Complete my weekly reviews, without exception.
      • Complete my comprehensive monthly reviews, without exception.
    • In order to be a world-class business owner, I need to establish new skills and a new comfort level with outsourcing and team building. I also need to focus on automation and systematization.
      • Chris Ducker
        • Read Virtual Freedom and implement/test ideas
        • Read his blog archives and implement/test ideas
        • Listen to his podcast archives and implement/test ideas
      • Sam Carpenter
        • Read Work the System again and implement/test ideas
        • Read his blog archives and implement/test ideas
      • Ari Meisel
        • Read Less Doing and implement/test ideas
        • Read his blog archives and implement/test ideas
        • Listen to his podcast archives and implement/test ideas
      • Tim Ferris
        • Read Four Hour Workweek, Four Hour Body, and Four Hour Chef again and implement/test ideas
        • Read his blog archives and implement/test ideas
        • Listen to his podcast archives and implement/test ideas
    • In order to be world-class business owner, I need to build new skills with Wordpress on my site and other aspects of internet business.
      • Wordpress
        • Look for Wordpress training and complete
      • Membership software
        • Look for membership software training and complete
      • Aweber
        • Look for Aweber training and complete
        • Look for email marketing training and complete
      • Screencasts and video production
        • Look for screencast solution and create presentations
  2. I am a world-class podcast host.
  3. Radical Personal Finance is a world-class financial education resource. 
  4. etc... (listen to the show!) 

Enjoy!

Joshua

Direct download: RPF0130-2015_Personal_Development_Plan.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:14am MDT

Teaching Canadians to be Financially Independent By Age 45: Interview with Timothy Stobbs, Author of Canadian Dream-Free at 45! RPF0129

As we begin a new year, I think it's fitting to start with a discussion of financial independence!

My desire for all of you is that you may experience financial independence as you define it and that you may establish a workable plan this year toward its achievement.

Tim Stobbs is right in the middle of his financial independence plan. After stumbling across the idea of early retirement/financial independence, he was awakened to the possibility that an ordinary person could achieve it. 

He set out a plan and started following it. He's now ahead of schedule!

Along the way, he wrote a book to teach others how to accomplish the same goal.

Topics include:

  • Tim's personal plan
  • Details on how to use Canadian retirement accounts to maximum effect
  • Flexible work schedules and alternative working arrangements
  • How financial independence (even partial) can lead to the easier achievement of other goals
  • How having savings impacts the ability to get better jobs

Enjoy the interview!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0129-Tim_Stobbs_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:14am MDT

The Financial Advisor Who Can't Retire: Interview with Paul Merriman RPF0128

My guest today is Paul Merriman. I was introduced to Paul by a couple of listeners who requested I bring him on the show. I'm glad they did!

Paul is an experienced financial advisor. But, he did that as a retirement hobby rather than as a wealth-building strategy.

To build his wealth, Paul took over, built, and then sold a manufacturing company. After retiring in 1982, he proceeded to build Merriman, a Seattle-based investment advisory firm. 

He grew the firm from nothing to $1.6B of assets under management and then sold it and retired to run his financial education site: www.paulmerriman.com.

Topics on this interview include:

  • The role of goals and affirmations on Paul's journey
  • What it was like to build an advisory firm in the 1980s
  • What Paul's retirement schedule looks like

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0128-Paul_Merriman_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:51am MDT

Money Advice For Teens: Interview with Eva From Teens Got Cents RPF0127

Today, I bring you an interview with a dynamo: Eva from TeensGotCents.com.

I met Eva in New Orleans at the FinCon conference. She was attending with her mother and I was incredibly impressed with her.

Eva writes about about personal finance for a teen audience. She began at the age of 15 and she shares her own journey and also gives advice for other young people.

In the interview, we weave two themes:

  1. Eva's advice for teens
  2. Eva's own experience/example as a financial blogger

Both of these themes are valuable. Frankly, I'm a bit jealous of Eva's early start in writing about the topics of personal finance. I wish I'd had the foresight to begin at her age.

Listen carefully to the story of her site and consider how you can help your children--or yourself--to start something similar. It's a really neat story.

Other topics include:

  • Budgeting basics for teens
  • The envelope system
  • The value of attending professional conferences--especially for young people
  • How to teach teens to get jobs

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0127-Eva_Teens_Got_Cents.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:59am MDT

Personal finance touches every aspect of life by definition. Every aspect of our life involves finance in some way.

As we make the decisions of life, we're constantly faced with cost and opportunity cost:

  • Is it wise of me to allocate this $100 to a memorable evening's entertainment with my family or to set it aside toward a larger vacation fund?
  • Should I use some extra money to upgrade the look and style of my wardrobe or purchase some extra books or classes to advance my knowledge?
  • Am I better served by investing my money into ownership of publicly traded securities through my 401(k) account or will I get a higher return on my investment by improving the insulation of my house and upgrading my windows to an energy efficient version.

These are ultimately the decisions we face. Culturally, we usually separate these areas of life into different decisions. But we shouldn't. Each of them (and many thousands of additional options) impacts the other. 

We're far better off if we view our life as a web of integrated decisions and we should be able to flow seamlessly among our different options.

My guest today does just that.

Jeff and his wife are raising a young family and are working toward financial independence together. Their personal interest in sustainability and green living has naturaly integrated with their financial planning. DIY activities and home improvement have had benefits in both areas.

Enjoy today's show! 

Joshua

Links:

 

 

Direct download: RPF0126-Jeff_Sustainable_Life_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:59am MDT

Establishing Rites of Passage to Ease the Transition to Adulthood: Interview with Dr. Vern Poythress RPF0125

My guest today is Dr. Vern Poythress. Dr. Poythress is a mathematician and a theologian. Most important for this discussion, he and his wife, Diane, are parents to two children, both boys.

Dr. Poythress authored an article entitled "How I Helped My Boys to Become Christian Men," in which he outlined his family's approach to establishing a formal rite of passage for his sons to become men at 12 or 13 years old.

His formal test and qualifications for them included religious training, knowledge, and behavior, specific acts of service to others, and specific areas of wisdom needed in an adult life.

Much of this conversation is built on the Judeo-Christian tradition and Dr. Poythress outlines much of his curriculum from a religious perspective.

It's key to recognize, however, that most cultures have a rite of passage for young men and women; these ceremonies vary and many are cultural, not religious. For example, toward the end of the interview we discuss the tradition of the debutante ball, a "coming-out" party for young women.

If this concept interests you, consider designing your own curriculum based on your family's vision and values. Certainly, anything you intentionally design will be better than the negative rites of passage we currently promulgate in our culture.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0125-Vern_Poythress_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:31am MDT

Designing Human Habitats for an Abundant Lifestyle: Interview With Ben Falk, Permaculture Designer and Founder of Whole Systems Design RPF0124

My guest today is Ben Falk. Ben is a really incredible permaculture designer with a comprehensive focus.

Ben runs a planning firm called Whole Systems Design. Through this firm, he "identifies, designs, and develops human habitats - landscape and infrastructure systems - that yield perennial abundance and enduring value. These are adaptive, resilient and secure places in a future of peak oil, climate instability, and deepening economic insolvency."

They also "plan, develop, and manage land-based wealth preservation and security projects for those with the forethought to invest an abundance of present day resources to reduce their familly's vulnerability to future food, energy and other supply-chain disturbances, as well as peak-oil, climatic, economic and other events."

The interview covers a variety of topics, including:

  • Ben's path from architecture to comprehensive design.
  • How to approach personal lifestyle design from a systems mindset.
  • How to prioritize needs and investment.
  • How he heats his house, heats his water, cooks his food, and dries his clothes in Vermont with a very small amount of wood.
  • How he grows 80 to 90% of his food intake.

My favorite quote from the interview: "Don't fight something that's wrong. Make a new system that makes the old system obsolete."

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0124-Ben_Falk_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:54am MDT

On Fridays, I answer your questions! I decided I didn't want to handle any of the in-depth, math-related questions today so I chose these three questions to handle.

  • 1:41 - What can I do to prepare for being the executor of someone's estate?
  • 16:49 - How can I reconcile the idea of being a specialist in my field with the advantages of being a generalist?
  • 48:09 - What can I do to ensure a smoothe transition to a single-income household?

I hope you enjoy the show!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0123-Friday_QandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:55pm MDT

Today, we welcome Jim Rawles, Founder and Editor of SurvivalBlog.com back on the show to discuss improving your lifestyle and personal resilience by moving.

We talk about optimizing your lifestyle within the United States by carefully selecting your location as well as the pros and cons of international expatriation.

Topics include:

  • Ideas for playing the "State Line Jumping Game" (living in a no-income-tax state and shopping next door in no-sales-tax state).
  • Brief mention of the "Five Flags Theory." In essence, the idea is that you can arrange your affairs over five different countries:
    • Flag 1: Business Base-These are places where you make your money. They must be different from your personal fiscal domicile, the place where you legally reside.
    • Flag 2: Passport & Citizenship-These should be from a country unconcerned about offshore citizens and what they do outside its borders.
    • Flag 3: Domicile-This should be a tax haven with good communications. A place where wealthy, productive people can be creative, live, relax, prosper and enjoy themselves. Such a place should not be threatened by war or revolution and preferably should enjoy good levels of banking secrecy.
    • Flag 4: Asset Repository-This should be a place from which assets, securities and business affairs can be managed anonymously by proxy.
    • Flag 5: Playgrounds-These are places where you would actually physically spend your time.
  • Jim's idea for "The American Redoubt"
  • The Free State Project and Free State Wyoming
  • Estimate your own tax savings with SaveTaxesByMoving.com
  • Considerations for international expatriation:
    • taxation, language skills, friendly to foreigners, strength of the economy, crime rate, climate and lifestyle, gun laws, homeschooling laws. etc/
  • Discussion of Finland, the Philippines, Swizerland, New Zealand, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uraguay
  • For more information check out the Sovereign Society and International Living
  • For a Second Passport opportunity, consider St. Kitts and Nevitts
  • Check out Jim's novel: Expatriates

Enjoy!

Joshua

Direct download: RPF0122-Rawles_on_GeoArbitrage.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:57pm MDT

Today on the show, I've got some last-minute tax planning ideas for you. These are all ideas and tactics that you can use in the last two weeks of 2014 to lower your income tax bill.

I hope you don't defer your tax planning to the end of December. The end of the year is far too late to start talking about the really good stuff. Good tax planning should begin before January 1.

But, these types of ideas can still be useful for you. It's possible that you've simply been too busy to do effective planning.

It's also possible you had an unexpected windfall and you need to wipe out some tax liability.

I'm here to help! :)

Let's start with the easy ones and move to the harder ones:

  • Last-minute retirement account contributions.
    • 401(k)s and 403(b)s are tough becausec you have to have made your contributions as you go. Consider talking to HR about diverting a bonus check into the account if you can.
    • IRAs are simple. You can contribute any time until you file your return. You can contribute up to $5,500 in 2014. Don't forget about the $1,000 catch up if you're older than 50.
    • Almost everyone I've ever worked with is confused by the contribution limits. Read them for Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs.
    • Little tricks for IRAs: You can make a separate payment for custodian fees, brokerage commissions, etc. in excess of the contribution limit. That will allow you to get the maximum value from the account.
    • Consider establishing a an HR10/Keogh Plan or a SEP IRA.
      • Keogh plans were very popular for self-employed people prior to 2001. There was a tax law change in 2001 and now they're largely replaced by SEP IRAs.
      • They have the same contribution limits but the SEP paperwork is much simpler.
      • A Keogh plan has to be established by the end of the year but it can be funded prior to filing your return.
      • A SEP IRA can be established after the end of the year and funded after the end of the year. 
      • The maximum contribution is the lesser of 20 percent of earned income, less your deduction for half your self-employed payroll tax, before the deduction, or $52,000. (This winds up being 25% of net earned income after the deduction.)
      • Remember that you can have one of these plans in addition to a 401(k) and an IRA.
    • Don't forget about the HSA. If you're covered by a HDHP, you can make your HSA contributions any time up till you file your return. Your contribution limits are $3,300 for an individual and $6,550 for a family. Remember also that there's a $1,000 catch-up contribution for 55+. This won't save you on your employment taxes but it will save you on your income taxes.
    • One final little trick on IRAs. Look to see if you'll be eligible for a saver's credit. If you're at a low income level, this might help you...even if you can't afford to save for retirement. If you need to and you want to be aggressive, you can contribute to your Roth in December, take the savers credit on your return, and then take the distribution in January. (You'll owe tax on any gain but not on the contributions/basis.)
  • Consider deferring your income in other ways.
    • You can enter into a binding agreement until January to defer the grant of a bonus that you would otherwise receive in December. You need to enter into the agreement before the bonus is "constructively received."
    • The easy way to defer your income is if you are in business for yourself is to simply delay billing your clients until late December. You won't receive payment until the following year. Thus, no taxes in this year.
    • Remember that this only works if you are a cash basis tax payer. If you are an accrual basis taxpayer in your business, you have to report the income when it is earned, not when it is received.
    • If you have income from the sale of property, consider using an installment sale to defer income to a different tax year.
    • Consider accelerating your expenses to lower your net income.
    • In business, you can think through any end-of-year transactions you need to pay: accounts payable, conference fees, insurance premiums, marketing and advertising expenses, etc.
    • Remember that you have to follow the 12-month rule.
    • Consider buying equipment. In general, equipment will primarily be depreciated rather than expensed. But remember that you can make a Section 179 elect to expense up to $500,000 and then take your depreciation after that.
    • Consider bunching certain expenses such as medical expenses. If you've had a lot of medical expenses this year, consider going ahead and getting your dental expenses and eye expenses taken care of and pay forward the annual premium on your LTC insurance. That may result in enough deductions to take advantage of the medical expense deduction.
    • Consider accelerating your tax payments: real estate taxes, personal property taxes, and state and local income taxes. Pay them now to take the deduction. (Be careful of AMT.)
    • Consider making your charitable contributions and make sure to bunch them in years that you can fully use them.
    • If you're making charitable contributions, be smart about how you do it, especially with regard to your taxes. Don't only think in terms of cash.
      • If you have appreciated property that you've held over 12 months, contribute it to the charity and take a deduction for the FMV. (Avoids the tax on the gain.)
      • If you have loss property, sell it, take the tax loss and give the cash.
    • You can take deductions for items paid by check in the current year even if you mail the check on New Year's Eve, as long as there is no reason why the check can't be cashed in January.
    • Credit card charges can be taken this year even if you don't pay the bill until next year.
  • Think through the tax ramifications of your relationships.
    • If you're planning an end of the year or New Year's day wedding, calculate your taxes and see when you should actually schedule the marriage. Doesn't have to be the same day necessarily as the wedding itself.
    • In general, marriage will only cut your taxes if one spouse works or earns almost all the income. Marriage will actually boost your taxes if both spouses work and earn good income.
    • Dependents: Most people think purely about kids. There might be a planning scenario involving them. For example, if you're having a planned C-section and the safe zone covers new years, have it on 12/31. Or, if you're adopting, try to get it finalized before the end of the year.
    • But, the major benefit for some of you might be if you're caring for parents. There are a bunch of detailed rules. The one I want you to focus on is if you're providing more than half of a dependent's support. Doesn't mean income...it means support. Might be worth it to bunch some of your support here at the end of the year so that you can claim them as a dependent.
  • Make sure you harvest your tax losses but also that you harvest some gains. Ratcheting up your basis in your investment portfolio over time can really save money in the long run.
Direct download: RPF0121-Last_Minute_Tax_Planning.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:33pm MDT

Is education something that we buy or something that we work for? Ever thought about that?

My guest today is Scott Young. I first heard of Scott when I watched his TEDx talk on "How to Get an MIT education for $2,000."

This interview is filled with tidbits that will be useful to you whether you're designing your own education or whether you're helping someone else with their educational plan.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0120-Scott_Young_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:44pm MDT

I love real estate investing. I think it's one of the most accessible, realistic ways for people to grow their long-term wealth at an excellent rate of return.

Today, I'm thrilled to bring you an interview with John Schaub. John is widely renowned as one of the good guys.

John has been investing in real estate for decades. He's also been teaching the subject for decades.

He has a wealth of ideas and knowledge to share with us today.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0119-Schaub_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:10pm MDT

Today, we have a really fun Q&A for you! I hope you enjoy!

Here are the questions I answer:

  • 2:25 If I have the cash, should I pay cash for a house or invest it?
  • 17:13 Should I use my Coverdell ESA to speculate on early-stage biotech stocks?
  • 28:05 Should a physician try to continue a private practice with a partial ownership interest or take a full-time hospital job?
  • 40:38 How can I account for the business deductions in my side business?
  • 49:40 Is multi-family, multi-generational living a good idea?
  • 1:03:40 What do I need to know about disability income insurance?
  • 1:26:03 Which college expenses can I pay for out of my 529 account?
  • 1:33:27 Why do I use different inflation rates on calculations?
  • 1:39:26 What kind of account can I use to gift money to my nephew?

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0118-Friday_QandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:34pm MDT

Today, I have a really great interview on finance from a Canadian Perspective. But make sure to listen whether you're Canadian or not.

My guest is Dan Bortolotti, founder of the Canadian Couch Potato website. He has a really great story where he began as a personal finance writer and blogger and later moved into the space of being a professional financial advisor.

We chat about:

  • The value of a paying fees to a financial advisor
  • The fit between PF writer and advisor
  • Canadian tax law and retirement accounts
  • Indexing from a Canadian perspective and similarities to the US market
  • Home country bias
  • And more!

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0117-Canadian_Couch_Potato.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:23pm MDT

The new year is fast upon us. Even though we're in the midst of the busy holiday season, this is a convenient time to consider the success and failures of this year and look forward to plans for next year.

Even though the articles you're now seeing in your feeds on "10 End-Of-The-Year Planning Ideas" can be useful, they just don't get it done because they're not focused on the core need.

The fundamental key of financial planning is to understand the process. Building wealth is a process. Achieving goals is a process. It's simple and can be readily replicated if you understand it.

It starts with a clear desired outcome. A.K.A. a goal. Or objective.

Then, it's a matter of laying out a strategy that is likely to work. And that strategy is connected with specific action steps.

And then you simply repeat the cycle over and over and over again.

Enjoy the show. I hope that it's useful for you!

Joshua

p.s., this might be a great show to share with others. Let me know if it's helpful.

Potential Journaling Prompts:

Simple Goals:
What are 10 goals you'd like to accomplish during 2015?
 
What I Want list
Make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die.
 
Ideal Day
Think through what a perfect day would look like for you. Describe it (in writing) with as much detail as possible. Where are you, what does it look like, who are you with, what do you do, etc.
 
Strategic Coach Questions
1. If we were meeting three years from today, what has to have happened during that three-year period for you to feel happy about your progress? (Personally, Professionally, Financially and any other category you want to think about.)
 
2. What are the biggest dangers you'll have to face and deal with in order to achieve that progress?
 
3. What are the biggest opportunities that you have that you would need to focus on and capture to achieve those things?
 
4. What strengths will you need to reinforce and maximize, and what skills and resources will you need to develop that you don't currently have in order to capture those opportunities?
 
Visioning Exercise (excerpted from Jack Canfield's "Success Principles" book
This is an exercise that is designed to help you clarify your vision. Although you could do this as a strictly mental exercise by just thinking about the answers and writing them down, I want to encourage you to go deeper than that. If you do, you'll get deeper answers that serve you better.
 
Start by putting on some relaxing music and sitting quietly in a comfortable environment where you won't be disturbed. Then, close our eyes and ask your subconscious mind to give you images of what your ideal life would look like if you could have it exactly the way you want it, in each of the following categories.
 
1. First, focus on the financial area of your life. What is your annual income? What does your cash flow look like? How much money do you have in savings and investments? What is your total net worth?
 
Next...what does your home look like? Where is it located? Does it have a view? What kind of yard and landscaping does it have? Is there a pool or a stable for horses? What color are the walls? What does the furniture look like? Are there paintings hanging in the rooms? What do they look like? Walk through your perfect house, filling in all of the details.
 
At this point, don't worry about how you'll get that house. Don't sabotage yourself by saying, "I can't live in Malibu because I don't make enough money." Once you give your mind’s eye the picture, your mind will solve the “not enough money” challenge.  
 
Next visualize what kind of car you are driving and any other important possessions your finances have provided.
 
2. Next, visualize your ideal job or career.  Where are you working?  What are you doing? With whom are you working? What kind of clients or customers do you have? What is your compensation like?  Is it your own business?
 
3. Then, focus on your free time, your recreation time.  What are you doing with your family and friends in the free time you’ve created for yourself?  What hobbies are you pursuing?  What kinds of vacations do you take?  What do you do for fun?
 
4. Next, what is your ideal vision of your body and your physical health?  Are you free of all disease?  How long do you live to?  Are you open, relaxed, in an ecstatic state of bliss all day long?  Are you full of vitality?  Are you flexible as well as strong?  Do you exercise, eat good food, and drink lots of water?
 
5. Then move on to your ideal vision of your relationships with your friends and family.  What is your relationship with your family like?  Who are your friends? What is the quality of your relationships with your friends?  What do those friendships feel like?  Are they loving, supportive, empowering?  What kinds of things do you do together?
 
6. What about the personal arena of your life?  Do you see yourself going back to school, getting training, attending workshops, seeking therapy for a past hurt, or growing spiritually?  Do you meditate or go on spiritual retreats with your church?  Do you want to learn to play and instrument or write your autobiography?  Do you want to run a marathon or take an art class?  Do you want to travel to other countries?
 
7. Finally, focus on the community you live in, the community you’ve chosen.  What does it look like when it is operating perfectly?  What kinds of community activities take place there?  What about your charitable work?  What do you do to help others and make a difference?  How often do you participate in these activities?  Who are you helping?
 
You can write down your answers as you go, or you can do the whole exercise first and then open your eyes and write them down. In either case, make sure you capture everything in writing as soon as you complete the exercise.
Direct download: RPF0116-Achieving_2015_Goals.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:29am MDT

Financial Planning is--and should be--fully integrated with every aspect of life. Often, there are non-financial ways of hitting financial goals that are more efficient than just simply "buying the solution."

Helping your children develop their talent is one such area of focus. If you can launch a young man or woman with real, useful skills that have an economic value in the marketplace and which are aligned with their individual personality and interests, they will be far ahead of many of their peers.

This early start can launch the magical cycle of compounding earlier which can have a lifetime impact. 

Consider the impact of an early start:

  • If a 16-year-old can learn to earn and invest $100 per month through developing and marketing their talent, they could accumulate a nest egg at 66 of $1,746,876.07. (50 years of investing, $100/mo each month, 10% interest compounded monthly, starting with $0.)
  • If a 22-year-old begins when they graduate college, they will wind up with $955,649.56 at age 66. (44 years of investing, $100/mo each month, 10% interest compounded monthly, starting with $0) 

My guest is Jonathan Harris and he writes at the website www.10kToTalent.com. He is the father of 8 children and is a both a learner and an expert at developing talent in children.

Enjoy the interview!

Joshua

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0115-Jonathan_Harris_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:43am MDT

Doug Nordman is a really neat guy who has made an incredible contribution to the Early Retirement (ER) community. Known affectionately in various forums as "Nords," he contributes a rational, learned perspective on financial topics.

He and his wife both retired from the US Navy. Doug was 41 and has somehow managed to stay retired for the last decade. ;)

Join us today for a really neat discussion of the history of the early retirement movement and some of the contributions from its early leaders.

(It's not all fun and games...we do get into some technical details on early retirement as well!)

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0114-Nords_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:36pm MDT

It's Friday! That means a Q&A show for you. Today, I answer all of these questions.

Here are the questions and the time stamp for where each can be found in the episode.

Enjoy!

Joshua

  1. 10:00 - Brandon: How do I convey our financial information to my executor if my wife and I die? Should I have my testamantery trust managed by a professional trustee?
  2. 29:43 - Kyle: How do I save money on taxes as a young, single physician resident?
  3. 54:01 - Daniel: Is it ok for a young person to have a 100% stock allocation?
  4. 1:02:44 - Greg: I have $2.5M, can I afford to retire?
  5. 1:10:44 - John: How do I find a good team of advisors?
  6. 1:28:00 - Tom: Could I take a loss on a house I transfer into an ESA and then get the gain out tax-free?

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0113-FridayQandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:24pm MDT

In today's world, it's easy to find reasons for pessimism. And yet, we truly live in a time of greater abundance and quality of life than ever before.

Join me today as I share some reasons for being thankful and grateful to be alive today. It's a good time to be alive.

Joshua

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0112-Reasons_for_Optimism.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:40pm MDT

Buying A House Debt-Free...In Your 20s! - Interview with Steve Maxwell RPF0111

Today we have a really fun interview with Steve Maxwell.

Steve is the father of eight and his three oldest sons have all purchased their houses debt-free, in their 20s, and before marriage! His younger two sons have the same vision and are on track for a similar result.

How cool is that?!

Steve is an electrical engineer by training. He left his engineering job however and now spends his time writing books and traveling the country speaking and encouraging others with his ministry organization, Titus 2.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0111-Steve_Maxwell_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:08pm MDT

Today, I have a really great show for you with Christopher DeLaney. Christopher and his wife have two little kids and they maintain a modern lifestyle without a car! Impressive!

Christopher is gentle, unassuming, knowledgeable, and very helpful!

Enjoy this interview!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0110-Christopher_DeLaney.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:52pm MDT

Well, it took a few days longer than I planned because of the fact that its 600 incredibly dense pages, but today I share with you my review and critique of Tony Robbins' new book.

This was a very challenging project for me and frankly, it simply bogged me down in research.

It's really a great book. Highly recommened. But, it also has some things I'm not imporessed with and some minor and major flaws.

The show is long and in depth and my comments are organized around these themes:

  • Intro & Preamble
  • Summary of the general layout of the book (16:40)
  • Things this book does really well
  • Major Lessons I Learned (1:52:23)
  • Minor and Major Flaws in the book (2:02:00)

I hope you enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0109-Robbins_Book.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:27pm MDT

Achieving the American Dream? Yes, It Is Still Possible! Interview with Mark and Lauren Greutman from I Am That Lady and The Simpler Happier Life Podcast RPF0108

In our current culture, it's easy to become discouraged and feel as though the American Dream is out of reach for the common person. Is it easier to achieve now than in the past? Is it harder? Let's leave that debate for another day. Frankly, it doesn't much matter in your individual situation.

What does matter is whether it's possible to improve your circumstances and to pursue your version of happiness.

My guests today are proof that the American Dream is alive and well for some people.

In many ways, Mark and Lauren Greutman embody an oft-repeated scenario. Married young, four small kids, strongly middle class circumstances, mild to moderate overspending and being stuck in circumstances that felt beyond their control.

And yet, a few years after their wakeup experience, they're in a very different place.

Mark recently left his job in the corporate world and he and Lauren now work together in the family business.

Many of the tools we talk about each day in the show were instrumental in their journey and you'll hear how they are all interwoven.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

 

Direct download: RPF0108-Greutman.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:30pm MDT

Today, we take a look at one of the most misunderstood and underutilized accounts in your tax-planning aresenal.

The Coverdell Education Savings Account can be incredibly useful as a tool for you to pay for:

  • elementary school expenses
  • secondary school expenses
  • homeschool expenses (in some states)
  • college expenses
  • vocational school expenses
  • and more!

Perhaps more importantly, there are very few things you can't use as an investment in the account. You can choose to invest in:

  • real estate
  • notes
  • tax liens
  • companies 
  • precious metals
  • etc.

But what about the income limitations? Meaningless. You can circumvent them so easily they're utterly meaningless.

This account is constantly criticized as being useless. Check out my discussion of the details and see if it deserves the criticism.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0106-Coverdell_ESA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:45pm MDT

My guest today is David Downie, an attorney from Australia. David found himself stuck in the middle of his career, frustrated at life and simply decided to quit without much of a backup plan. 

Many adventures have ensued!

Since that time, David has:

The interview is thought-provoking in every way!

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0107-Radical_Immediate_Retirement.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:21pm MDT

What can you do if you're feeling a bit stuck financially? Basically stuck in the rat race? Expenses about equal to income and some debt hanging on?

Well, one strategy you could pursue would be to dramatically reduce your expenses by getting rid of your stuff, downsizing into a "tiny house," and getting rid of your cars.

Today's guest did that! And it ultimately led to her being able to build a lifestyle of financial freedom through entrepreneurship.

Tammy Strobel has a Bachelors of Arts in Economics, a Masters degree in Public Administration, and a Masters of Arts in Education. 

Before starting her micro-business in January of 2010, she worked in the investment management industry and in the social service sector as a peer counselor. 

As an entrepreneur, she sustains herself through writing, photography, and teaching. Over the last two years, hundreds of students have taken her e-courses to explore photography, writing, and what it means to make time and space for what matters. 

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0105-Rowdy_Kittens_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:23am MDT

I've done a number of interviews on the show with early retirees and early retiree hopefuls. One common theme is that many of them are using traditional retirement accounts but are planning to retire before 59.5. 

How is that possible without paying a bunch of penalty tax?

Today, I share with you the answer to that question.

  1. They may not actually take distributions from the retirement accounts. 
  2. They might pay the 10% penalty tax because it's cheaper than the alternative.
  3. They might do a Roth Conversion Ladder
  4. They might use the 72(t) SEPP rules.

Enjoy the show!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0104-Get_Money_Out_of_Retirement_Accounts.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:11pm MDT

It's Friday! Today, I have a Question and Answer show for you and I've decided to handle a bunch of your questions. I felt like I cheated you last week by only answering 3 questions.

  1. (6:27) How do I calculate a portfolio distribution amount that retains 50% of my portfolio at my death?
  2. (20:31) Is it ok to keep money in cash or do I need to invest right away to start getting compound interest?
  3. (40:21) How do I rebalance my accounts to get a proper bond allocation?
  4. (52:28) Should I pre-pay my mortgage in a lump sum or should I invest the money and then make extra monthly contributions?
  5. (1:02:12) I have an unpaid medical bill and CC debt. What do I do?
  6. (1:12:04) How do I apply the trivium method to a new job?
  7. (1:30:01) Any tricks for how I can pay for a big dental bill in a better way?
  8. (1:42:25) How do I figure out whether I should switch custodians for my investment accounts?

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF-0103_Friday_QA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:03am MDT

Survivalism As a Financial Plan: the Tactics for "Surviving the End of the World as We Know It" Applied to Modern Life - Interview with James Wesley, Rawles RPF0102

There's a lot of interest in our current-day world with the ideas of survivalism and prepping. One visit to your local bookstore's magazine rack will illustrate this to you.

Economic recessions and depressions, market instability, political gyrations...all of these things contribute to a general sense of unease for many people.

What could we learn about financial planning if we applied the mindset of a survivalist to our current reality?

I'm thrilled to bring you an interview today with James Wesley, Rawles. James literally wrote the book on how to survive the end of the world as we know it, among others.

Jim has authored 6 books on the topics of modern survivalism:

  1. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times
  2. Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You're on Your Own
  3. Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse (his brand-new book)
  4. Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse
  5. Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
  6. Founders, a Novel of the Coming Collapse
  7. Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse

Jim's blog, SurvivalBlog.com has had almost 70,000,000 unique visits since July of 2005 and is one of the most comprehensive compendiums of survival information online.

The interview covers:

  • Stockpiling as a financial strategy (the "Alpha Strategy")
  • Alternative investments such as precious metals, ammunition, and productive farmland
  • Functioning in a barter economy
  • Buying nickels for a guaranteed investment return
  • Applying ethics and morals in an immoral society

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0102-Rawles_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:43am MDT

Planning for a child's college expenses is a major financial goal for many parents. Unfortunately, this is an area filled with conflicting advice. 

Some people feel that saving for college is a financial goal of utmost importance; others feel it's not worth the money. Many that desire to save for the goal get constantly conflicting advice on whether to do a pre-paid tuition plan, 529 college savings plan, EE education bonds, cash value life insurance policy, or any of a couple other dozen exotic ways to plan for this expense.

Today, we continue our college series by teaching how to do a calculation of the need. I teach you how to use a simple financial calculator and paper and pen and come up with a precise dollar amount to save for.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

How to manually do the math for the college need on a financial calculator:

Step 1: Calculate the cost of the first year of college with a simple future value (FV) calculation.

PV = -$20,550 (cost of college today)
n = 17 (years between today and first year of college)
i = 6% (rate of inflation of college tuition)
PMT = 0
solve for FV
FV = $55,336.48 (cost of college in the first year)

Step 2: Calculate how much money you need to have available when your child is in their first year of college.

PMT = $-55,336.48 (cost of college each year)
n = 4 (four years of school attendance)
i = 1.89% (inflation-adjusted return: [(1.08 / 1.06)-1] x 100 = 1.89%
FV = 0
solve for PV (make sure your calculator is in BEGIN mode)
PV = $215,262.97 (amount needed in first year for four years' tuition)

Step 3: Calculate how much the parents need to save in either a lump sum (PV) or yearly amount (PMT) or monthly amount (PMT-convert i and n to monthly amounts).

LUMP SUM VERSION
FV = $215,262.97 (amount needed in first year for four years' tuition)
n = 17 (years between today and first year of college)
i = 8% (rate of return of investment portfolio)
PMT = 0
solve for PV (if you want a lump sum)
PV = $-58,178.90 (lump sum amount needed today to fund the cost)

YEARLY SAVINGS VERSION
FV = $215,262,97 (amount needed in first year for four years' tuition)
n = 17 (years between today and first year of college)
i = 8% (rate of return of investment portfolio)
PV = 0 (current amount of savings)
solve for PMT (if you want yearly payment amounts...look for info in a case scenario on whether to use BEGIN mode or END mode)
PMT = $-5,905.67 (yearly amount needed to fund the cost)

Direct download: RPF0101-Calculate_How_Much_For_College.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:39am MDT

Today, we celebrate our 100th episode! I'm thrilled to hit this milestone!

In today's show I share with you a bit about the genesis of the show, the path we've been on so far, and why I have done it the way I have.

Additionally, I share with you my vision for the future of the show. Specifically, today I'm launching The Irregulars, my new membership support program.

Please listen to the show and understand why I've chosen a listener-support approach to earning money from the show instead of accepting advertisers, affiliate programs, etc. It will make a huge difference in the show.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: RPF0100-Launch_of_Irregulars.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:44pm MDT

Today, we continue our education series with a discussion of my ideas and vision for primary and secondary school education. 

One large problem in the world of financial planning is that often parents wait too long to consider college planning. I propose that we instead consider college planning at birth and build flexible, comprehensive plans.

This show is purely about some of my ideas for my son's education. I hope you'll consider them and create your own list.

Enjoy!

Joshua

Links:

Direct download: 141110_99.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:20pm MDT

It’s Friday! Time for another Q&A show! I was able to answer a total of three questions: I basically doubled my income from $100,000 to $190,000. I’m spending $30,000 per year. How do I invest all the extra money? My parents want to retire but they only have $150,000 of home equity and Social Security. What […]
Direct download: RPF0098-FridayQandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:37pm MDT

Sometimes it’s easy to think that financial independence is accessible only to “extreme” people. That’s simply not the case. You don’t have to live in a tent in the woods in order to gain financial independence. Certainly, you might be able to do it faster by living in a tent, but if you don’t want […]
Direct download: RPF0097-Eat_Financial_Elephant_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:00am MDT

Many of you have asked me to do a show on dividends and dividend investing. I decided to do it with an interview format instead of on my own. Today, we talk with Jason from DividendMantra.com about his path to financial independence. Jason woke up financially at the age of 27 to realize that he was […]
Direct download: RPF0096-Dividend_Mantra_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:53am MDT

Today, we continue the Early Retirement FAQs series with Arebelspy, one of the lead moderators in the Mr. Money Mustache forums. We tackle the question of “Should I pay off debt first or invest first?” from every angle we can think of. This show is packed with ideas and perspectives, many of which I’ll bet […]
Direct download: RPF0095-Pay_off_Debt_or_Invest.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:45am MDT

Babies are expensive! Right? Well, Mrs. RPF and I haven’t found it to be so. Today, I’d like to introduce you to my wife and we’ll share with you some of the strategies we’ve found useful in raising our son. General themes: Kids will cost you exactly as much money as you have. Or as much as […]
Direct download: RPF0094-Saving_Money_on_Babies.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:02am MDT

It’s Friday! That means it’s time for Q&A! Today, I take one comment from a listener and two questions: A listener did their cash flow statement “Joshua’s way” and discovered taxes are the biggest item in their budget!!! How many different business entities do I need if I want to start some sideline businesses? Should […]
Direct download: RPF0093-Friday_QandA.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:33pm MDT

I’m constantly asked about the topic of hiring and working with a financial advisor. I’m asked how to find a good advisor, what makes a good advisor, and how to know if you have a good one. I’m also asked how anyone with morals or scruples could ever be a financial advisor, why anyone would ever […]
Direct download: RPF0092-Michael_Kitces_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:26am MDT

Many of us have had exposure to various forms of insurance throughout our lives. But how do you make the initial decision whether insurance is appropriate for you? Today, I share with you a framework for considering various risks that you face and various ways to deal with those risks. Enjoy! Joshua Terms from today’s show: […]
Direct download: RPF0091-Do_I_Need_Insurance.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:49am MDT

This is an audio recording of Dorothy Sayers‘ well-known essay entitled “The Lost Tools of Learning.” The Lost Tools of Learning Dorothy Sayers That I, whose experience of teaching is extremely limited, should presume to discuss education is a matter, surely, that calls for no apology. It is a kind of behavior to which the […]

Direct download: Lost_Tools_of_Learning.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:00pm MDT

Today we have Part 2 of my interview with Brett Veinotte on the history of school. If you haven’t heard it yet, start with yesterday’s show! Joshua Links: Brett’s website: www.schoolsucksproject.com Gatto’s book: An Underground History of American Education Dorothy Sayers: The Lost Tools of Learning The Story of Two Buses
Direct download: RPF0090-School_Sucks_Interview_2of2.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:00am MDT

Today, we continue our education series by exploring the history of school with a special focus on the information you probably don’t know.. Education is a fundamentally important topic in financial planning both within the context of our own learning and also within the context of planning for our children’s education. It’s also often incredibly […]
Direct download: RPF0089-School_Sucks_Interview_1of2.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:52pm MDT

Intentional minimalism is a powerful strategy to consider for personal financial planning. The richest man is not he who has the most but he who needs the least. My guest today is Joshua Becker. He is a normal, married, middle class man with two children. He and his wife discovered the joy and abundance of […]
Direct download: RPF0088-Joshua_Becker_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:10pm MDT

Do we really need another book on finance? There are already tons of really great books on finance extant. But, how can we reach those who really don’t read very much? My guest today is Joey Fehrman, CFA and he decided to create a pirate adventure novel as a conduit for teaching the lessons of […]
Direct download: RPF0087-Joey_Fehrman_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:04am MDT

The Personal Finance blogosphere is healthy and growing. Many of the writers who heavily influenced and contributed to the growth are no longer writing. And, many new writers are doing an excellent job! But, only a few have been around since the beginning and are still going. My guest today is one of those few. […]
Direct download: RPF0086-Todd_Tresidder_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:36pm MDT

Since we’re constantly working our way around the triangle formula of wealth (income, expenses, rate of return on the difference), there is a consistency to all aspects of financial planning. We’re either focusing on increasing/optimizing income, decreasing/optimizing expenses, or we’re optimizing rates of return. That’s it. That’s the essence of financial planning. Today, we focus […]
Direct download: RPF0085-Steven_Harris_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:03am MDT

Many people today are concerned with the potential impact to their wealth of long-term inflation, mass inflation, and hyper inflation. Few have a plan to deal with it. Today, I present one strategy that could be implemented which would help to protect your standard of living. It’s called The Alpha Strategy. The Alpha Strategy is […]
Direct download: RPF-0084-the_Alpha_Strategy.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:24pm MDT

I’ve got a great Friday show for you! Today, we’re going to interview early retiree Justin who writes at www.rootofgood.com. Justin has a great story. Why should you listen to him? Well, he retired at 33 as a millionaire, even though he followed a relatively mainstream path through college and law school  I’ll pull this […]
Direct download: RPF-0083-Root_of_Good.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:09am MDT

I’m interested in the topic of Peer-to-Peer lending but I’m not an expert on the subject. So, I went out and found an expert to teach us about the basics! Simon Cunningham is the founder of www.LendingMemo.com and is an expert on Peer-to-Peer Lending. He has borrowed through the system, he’s lent through the system, […]
Direct download: RPF-0082-Intro_to_P2P_Lending.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:06pm MDT

Today, I have an interview with Rob Roy for you. Rob is an awesome guy. He’s the author of “Mortgage Free: Innovative Strategies for Debt-Free Home Ownership.” He and his wife live in a house they built in upper New York State. They’ve never had a mortgage! Today’s interview covers: Rob’s strategy for debt-free homeownership […]
Direct download: RPF-0081-Mortgage_Free_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:03am MDT

I have a special spot in my heart for teachers. In many ways, the teaching career is an ideal career for building financial independence. But, it comes with its own unique set of challenges. Many people automatically assume that because of the “low salaries” that teachers earn, they can’t easily build wealth. But, our guest […]
Direct download: RPF-0080-Millionaire_Educator_Interview.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:53pm MDT

I’ve always been interested in bus conversions and people who live in them. Today’s show is an interview with a young family who is living in a bus while saving and building their house. Sarah and Noah Springfield have three young children and they’re expecting their fourth in the next month or so. They’re saving […]
Direct download: RPF-0079-Little_Bus_on_the_Prairie.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:23pm MDT

I’m excited about the massive growth of the early retirement community online. I’ve benefited hugely from the information and I want to serve and give back to the community. One of the most active forums I’ve found which is focused around early retirement is the Mr. Money Mustache forum. Over the years, I’ve admired the work […]
Direct download: RPF-0078-ER_FAQs_Real_Estate_v_Stocks.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:37pm MDT

Today, we start our series on intelligent and radical ways to pay for college. We will arrive quickly at the technical discussion on this topic but first, we start with one of my new interests: early education for infants and toddlers. Today, I share with you my recent discovery into this world and what I’ve […]
Direct download: RPF-0077-How_to_Pay_For_College_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:40pm MDT

Today’s show is about prudence and preparation in all areas of life. One of the oft-ignored aspects of personal financial planning is to plan appropriately for the areas of life that can’t be solved with the purchase of a financial product. This risks can vary from the mundane, common things of daily life to the […]
Direct download: RPF-0076-Prudent_Preparation.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 11:23am MDT

Today, we have some excellent questions submitted from some very smart listeners! I was excited to be able to answer the questions for you and I’m really pleased with the variety, interest, and depth of this show. I hope you agree! Questions answered in today’s show: How do I plan for an appropriate amount of […]
Direct download: RPF-0075-QA_on_Life_Ins_Special_Needs_etc.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 3:28pm MDT

After yesterday’s deep dive into the science of financial planning I decided today we need something a bit lighter. And, in many ways, more practical. Today we jump into some very practical and useful tips and ideas for saving money with a special focus on groceries and travel. Enjoy! Links: SavingsAngel.com – Josh’s coupon site […]
Direct download: RPF-0074-Interview_with_Josh_Elledge.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:28am MDT

There’s a great deal of information online about the “4% Rule” for retirement income. Much of the information is excellent. Some of it is flawed. It’s very challenging to work through the data in this area of research because much of it is highly technical. But, it’s worth the effort! In celebration of the 20th anniversary […]
Direct download: RPF-0073-4_Rule_Interview_with_Wade_Pfau.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:24pm MDT

I’m back! After two weeks out of the office and on the road, it feels good to be home in front of the microphone! Today’s show is a bit more personal. I share with you some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last two weeks from two very different but very complementary events. I […]
Direct download: RPF-0072-FinCon_and_MSFS_report.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:54pm MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short story for you about the compounding of a career. I think you’ll really enjoy this story of success. Links: The original James Clear article Investors Earn Handsome Paychecks by Handling Buffett’s Business
Direct download: Compounding_of_a_Career_-_Ready_for_Upload.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short essay for you on the importance of choosing your hobbies carefully. No yelling. No prescriptions of exactly how you need to do it. Just some gentle encouragement!
Direct download: Choose_Your_Hobbies_Carefully_-_Ready_for_Upload.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short essay for you on the importance of investing in your health. No yelling. No prescriptions of exactly how you need to do it. Just some gentle encouragement!
Direct download: Invest_in_Your_Health_-_Ready_for_Upload.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short essay for you on the importance of investing in your marriage. No yelling. No prescriptions of exactly how you need to do it. Just some gentle encouragement!
Direct download: Invest_in_Your_Marriage_-_Ready_for_Upload.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m very, very interested in strategies that work to help people build better lives for themselves in every way. One major area of interest to me is simply opting out of the confiscatory tax regime of the United States. I’m not an expert on this area, so I’ve brought you today an interview with Andrew […]
Direct download: RPF-0067-Interview_with_Andrew_Henderson_Nomad_Capitalist.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m often asked what I really think about Dave Ramsey and his work. And I’m generally fairly slow to answer the question simply due to my desire to focus on things that I love that are positive rather than being negative or critical. But, I’m aware that this is a continual question. And while being […]
Direct download: RPF-0066-Does_Dave_Ramsey_Do_More_Harm_Than_Good.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

Today’s show is live from #FinCon14! And, it’s an answer to a listener question. Here’s the question from a listener named Jeff: Hey Joshua, I have been listening to your podcasts ever since I found them a few weeks ago. Here is my question for you. Do you think I should pursue earning a financial […]
Direct download: RPF-0065-Financial_Planning_Designation_for_my_own_Knowledge_only.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:19pm MDT

It’s not easy to retire early. But it’s also not necessarily complicated. In many ways, there’s a well-worn path to success and our guests today are a good example of one way that works. Jeremy and Winnie set out on a ten-year plan. Living in Seattle, they worked in the tech industry, lived frugally, and […]
Direct download: RPF-0064-Interview_with_Go_Curry_Cracker.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short essay on the importance of tracking your time and some tips to help you set up a system that will work for you. This is episode complements the recent discussion of tracking your money. I hope you enjoy!
Direct download: RPF-0063-Track_Your_Time_on_the_road.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I love adventure and really love to hear adventure stories from people who have  gone out and fully embraced a unique adventure. I’m especially interested in how to fund these adventures. My new friend Erik Hemingway, the host of the Family Adventure Podcast tells a great story and spills the beans about how he and his family […]
Direct download: RPF0062-Interview_with_Erik_Hemingway.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

I’m on the road today so the show is a little different. Today I have a very short essay for you on the importance of tracking your money and some tips to help you set up a system that will work for you. No yelling. No prescriptions of exactly how you need to do it. […]
Direct download: RPF-0061-Track_Your_Money_on_the_road.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

Today I’m going to share with you one important question (and four follow-ups) that have really helped me in my own life and in my past work with clients. Also, I share two errors I made recently that I need to correct. Details in the show! A Powerful Question (originally from Dan Sullivan’s Strategic Coach […]
Direct download: RPF-0060-Things_I_Got_Wrong_and_4_Questions_to_Ask_Yourself.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:54pm MDT

What would you do if you were $25,000 in credit card debt, unemployed, and had $200 to your name? Would you go get a job or would you start buying and selling stuff on Craigslist to dig out of your hole? Our guest today is Ryan Finlay. He found himself in exactly the same situation […]
Direct download: RPF-0059-Interview_with_Ryan_Finlay_ReCraigslist.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am MDT

Wednesday was a sick day around the Sheats household and RPF HQ! But, I wanted to still bring you a bit of thought-provoking audio and today’s excerpt is here! Enjoy this short clip from Tim Ferriss’s interview of Kevin Kelly and check out the links for the full show! It’s an excellent interview! Links: The full […]
Direct download: RPF-0058-Sick_Day-Tim_Ferris_Excerpt.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:00pm MDT

Today’s show is an interview with David Stein, a former professional portfolio manager and now host of the “Money for the Rest of Us” podcast. We had an amazing conversation and dug into some of the behind-the-scenes information on what the world of professional money management is like. You’ll also be interested in hearing how […]
Direct download: RPF-0057-Interview_with_David_Stein.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:10am MDT

Today, we tackle head on the myth that financial plans should be the same for all people.  They simply shouldn’t. But we’ve probably all swallowed that line to some degree or another. I was inspired by Friday’s show at how many unique variables and plans could be developed. So I sat down and made a list […]
Direct download: RPF-0056-Financial_Plans_Should_be_Unique.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:02pm MDT

We have a really fun question from a listener today! Essentially, it’s this: I’m 35 and I don’t like my job…I have a $1,000,000 and I want to retire but no one can agree on whether I can or not! Tune in to hear my answer–it’s probably not what you think! Links: The original Trinity […]
Direct download: RPF-0055-Friday_QA-is_one_million_dollars_enough_to_retire.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:56pm MDT

I’m thrilled to bring you today’s interview with John Pugliano. John has followed the prudent path of the Millionaire Next Door–starting with nothing and becoming rich over a couple of decades by working hard, living frugally, and investing wisely. This is a path that is repeatable by most people in our Western societies. John came […]
Direct download: RPF-0054-Interview_With_John_Pugliano.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:09pm MDT

Many people today have no idea how the tax return works. This is probably because many people today (including me) use either a computer program or an accountant to prepare their tax returns rather than calculating it by hand. This is probably much faster and more accurate but, in some ways, it’s a loss because […]
Direct download: RPF-0053-Explanation_of_Structure_of_1040.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:59pm MDT

We’re back from a most excellent three-day weekend with a great interview with my new friend Kraig Mathias from www.CreateMyIndependence.com. I met Kraig in Dallas at the Podcast Movement Conference. We hit it off and I really loved hearing his story. Kraig was living a fairly normal financial life until 2010 when he was inspired to […]
Direct download: RPF-0052-Interview_with_Kraig_Matthias.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:48pm MDT

Today, I answer your questions for the show! And we’ve got quite a mix of questions! How do I adjust my accounting system to handle irregular expenses? (Accrual accounting vs cash basis and double-entry accounting vs. single-entry accounting.) How can I use a Roth IRA for an emergency fund? How can I learn about permaculture? How […]
Direct download: RPF-0051-Friday_QA_Accrual_Accounting_Roth_and_Walmart_Reaction.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:53pm MDT

Today we have a very special interview to share with you! I’m thrilled to bring you an interview with one of my favorite writers, Pat Schulte. Pat and his wife Ali have a really neat story: Pat and his wife were highschool sweethearts. After college he started working an $8/hr job as a clerk to […]
Direct download: RPF-0050-Interview_with_Pat_Schulte_from_Bumfuzzle.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:20pm MDT