Every day, it feels like we are barraged by more and more responsibility for company mistakes while they suffer fewer and fewer consequences. After banks went into bankruptcy in 2009, we bailed them out. Meanwhile, if you have a credit card at 29% and can’t pay it, you are given the choice of bankruptcy and being hobbled financially for 10 years. When I lived in Germany, a country with a generally strong economy whose inhabitants almost never use credit cards, I shared American CC interest rates. “Here we would put someone in jail for rates like those,” they said. I could spend a day on the credit situation in this country but that’s for another article. What I want to talk about is the numerous hours each of us spends every year fixing company mistakes. Problem with your phone bill? That’s an hour on the phone. Computer breakdown? Three hours. Gas or internet set up? You might have to take off an entire day of work to be home between the hours of 10 and 6pm when the repair man might or might not come. Is there a reason we aren’t allowed to charge for our time? If I’m a graphic designer at $50 an hour, those three hours fixing my computer just cost me $150. Depending on your salary, these losses could be anywhere from $45 dollars to $600 each time. Why aren’t companies paying us for that time?
Once upon a time, companies used to pay us back when they made a mistake. It was called, credit. Companies seemed to be concerned with making us happy. When problems arose, you spoke with a human being who most often, would give you a refund to pay you for your trouble and inconvenience, A win-win for everyone. In the past decade, with the rise of digital companies who opted for no customer service and no way to reach a human being, other firms followed suit. After all, business is about money and customer service costs money. Since those days, it seems as if today’s business strategies revolve around how much money they can make with the least amount of effort and how much of their responsibility they can shove onto us. Here’s what is fundamentally wrong with that business format. We’re human. Paying someone for their time shows respect. It shows that you value that person’s expertise. By not reimbursing us, companies are in effect demonstrating that we don’t matter. Now on top of taking up our time, they are also taking our private, personal information. And what was the solution to protect our privacy? Use up more of our time. Take the current privacy crisis with social media. What solution did great minds come up with to solve this problem? They decided to set up light boxes that force anyone who wants to protect their privacy to read through pages and pages of legal documents few understand and no one has time for. That might be fine if each of us dealt with only one online company, but we don’t, we deal with hundreds. The other solution? Make us give our personal email and location information in order to have “privacy” with zero assurance we are actually getting it.
I am continually amazed by how kind, thoughtful, generous and nice people are, by how long they are willing to put up with persecution and only stand up to fight back when things have gotten to a point where they can no longer survive. Why are humans so patient in the face of injustice? I for one, say, companies should pay us for our precious time that they waste. Credit card companies should cut us the same breaks they get, our data should be private without having to read a legal forms, and none of us should have to miss work for a day for the repair man.
Last night, we slept in our bed covered with an extra sheet and a few towels after I removed other slimy sheets and soft-food-cube-covered towels because my dog had puked all over the comforter, herself and the rug. 3AM.
But hold tight, because this is a P.S.A.
Maude, the cutest and sweetest, has an infection because of her urinary bladder stones. Not uncommon in a poodle-bichon mix. All this inbreeding gets you to some good places and some really bad places. She was put on some very strong antibiotics and these did not agree with her. (We switched to milder antibiotics today. No more puking.)
These damn bladder stones, first, you just hope the stones are Struvite, which are very soft and can be melted with a special diet. We tried that. And some stones did melt. But the mother stone, the one in the X-Ray that looks like a space ship coming in for a landing, that one wouldn’t change, so that means that stone is made from good old fashioned, hard, nasty calcium, which cannot be melted.
This causes trouble for the pooch. First of all, she struggles to pee. Secondly, she gets infections. Then, she needs antibiotics for the infections. This is a common problem and we just have to fix it. The fix? She needs to be ripped open like a melon and have the stones all taken out, then she gets sewn back up, and then she’ll be as good as new. It’s a very common surgery. Usually there are no complications. All will be fine, I assume.
But how much did you say this will cost? Well, I live in LA, so it’s $2200, all in.
I’m in no mood. So I asked how insurance works, payment plans, all that. Insurance is just like the old timey human kind: preexisting conditions are not covered. Payment plans are like something out of a 1950s TV show and they do not exist in this office in Hancock Park. But there is this thing my vet offered, my friends: CareCredit
Fab! You can use it for pets, and for yourself. You get a credit card — it’s very quick and easy to do online — and then you can get up to a year or two with small monthly payments to pay off your surprise expense with no interest. It’s good for copays and deductibles. You name it. Yes, animals and people can both use this credit card to get free money to take care of their health. It’s worth it. Get a card today. You can finally take care of that “thing” you’ve been meaning to fix for the past two years but you didn’t want to pay your high deductible at this time. The website is in very plain English. You do need to do a search to see if your preferred physician will accept this card. But many do.
Grab a card. What the heck. We were given $4500 in interest free money. Nice thing to have. For your dog. Yourself. Your cat. Even your horse. Take care of your damn horse!
Maude is all for fiscal responsibility, healthy cash flow, and a clean bill of health. And so are we.
Sleep, calmly, in clean puke-free sheets and know that sometimes, there is a little help just around the corner.
I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.
Legendary investor Warren Buffet said that. He was right, wasn’t he?
And now, I’m saying it:
I’m going to be rich. It’s inevitable.
To be clear, I’m not saying I will be professionally successful (by my definition).
I mean, I work hard for that too but there are too many factors at play to be sure.
So how do I know I will be rich?
Money is an interesting subject because it’s a mystery to most people. Just thinking about it gives them a headache.
I used to be like this(sort of) until I decided to learn about money.
The rich few get richer and the poor get poorer. This trend is a fact. So by definition, the majority struggles with money.
Consequently, many also have a strong opinion about money. Being rich is often associated with being a greedy, egotistic and bad person.
And yet, everyone wants to have a lot of money.
I find that fascinating.
With these facts in mind: how many people have ever opened a book on personal finance?
How many have calculated exactly how much money they need to create their dream life?
There are no mysteries
We always fear what we don’t understand — Carmine Falcone, Batman Begins
Every skill or area of knowledge is a mystery to us at first.
Unraveling the mystery is a matter of actually doing the work to acquire the knowledge and then having the fortitude to turn that knowledge into experience and later wisdom.
Rocket science, ever thought about that? That’s a big fat mystery to most people.
Imagine going to a seminar where some of the concepts of rocket science are explained and demonstrated on a surface level. After attending that seminar, you would certainly not be a rocket scientist. But rocket science in the whole will have stopped being a complete mystery to you.
After the seminar you find yourself interested in the subject and eager to learn more. You then spend a year taking night classes on the basic math behind rocket propulsion and aerodynamics.
That information turns out to be enough for you to actually build a small scale, make-shift version of a rocket that can propel itself in water or something (I don’t fucking know, rocket science is still a mystery to me, remember?).
All of the sudden, despite not being a fully fledged rocket scientist, you now understand rocket science in the whole.
It’s the same thing with money
Learning about money is free and available to everyone. And to learn enough to be able to achieve a financial life that most people can only dream of is actually not that hard.
To make this even easier for those of you who’ve read this far, I will share my self-imposed curriculum for learning about money.
(Keep in mind I was raised in an environment where financial intelligence was present and encouraged. And I have always been a little interested in the subject. But even if you start from scratch, these books will get you a long way).
Here it is:
I Will Teach You to Be Rich — Ramit Sethi
Rich Dad Poor Dad — Robert Kiyosaki
The Richest Man in Babylon — George S. Clason
Money: Master the Game — Tony Robbins
Your Money or Your Life — Vicki Robin
Many people who come into money spend it on stuff that don’t really matter, just so they can show off their “success” and hopefully impress their neighbours.
S’a bad idea.
If you only spend money where it counts in your life, you will be amazed how far you can stretch what you have!
To help reassess what actually matters to you when it comes to money, I would encourage you to take a look at the Mr. Money Mustasch blog.
Also, read Chris Guillebeau’s book The $100 startup.
If you are too lazy to learn how to take charge of your finances but still want to do something about them, here is what you do:
Each month, take out 10% of your income for investing. DO NOT, under any circumstances, disregard or undermine this rule.
Put the money in a low-cost index fund (the fee should be less than 0.75%). Be sure to review the fund’s performance over the last 10–15 years before you choose which one to use.
I hope this post was helpful to you. If you are one of those people, I urge you to clap your hands in solitude and then also click the clap button on the left so that more people can find it. Thank you for reading.♡
The first time I read one of the most useful books of my life, I’m ashamed to admit that I read it for free online in a scanned PDF.
I’m not quite sure how I found it — whether it was a referral from another personal finance blogger or it made a ‘must read’ list for personal finance beginners like myself.
Either way, I remember the feeling of my world slowly being turned upside down as I scrolled through each page of the Millionaire Next Doorby Dr. T. J. Stanley.
At the time, I was horrible with money. I was making more than I had ever made, and I was spending more than I had ever spent before. I thought I ‘deserved’ to spend frivolously because I was a newly minted lawyer.
Thankfully, I stumbled upon this book right at the moment I needed it.
Here are five key lessons that I learned from reading The Millionaire Next Door.
 Most millionaires are self-made. I used to think that the majority of millionaires in the U.S. inherited their wealth. I mean, how can one accumulate so much in a lifetime? Not true, says Dr. Stanley. It’s possible to be a teacher, nurse, or someone working in a blue-collar trade, and still generate enough wealth to pass the threshold of six zeroes in their net worth.
 Most millionaires did not provide economic outpatient care (EOC). In other words, most millionaires did not receive money from their families after high school. Dr. Stanley explains that adults who rely on or wait for their parents to give them cash gifts or subsidize some of their living expenses are generally not very productive. Usually, this money gets allocated towards consumption and supports an inflated lifestyle that cannot be sustained should the EOC be withdrawn.
 Millionaires allocate their time, energy and money in ways that is conducive to wealth building. Millionaires do not care about spending time on negotiating to get a $1,000 discount when purchasing a depreciating asset, such as a car. They do, however, care about spending time and money on selecting knowledgeable financial and legal advisors, especially when it relates to handling their business affairs and growing other appreciating assets. Millionaires dedicate their resources to learning about areas of potential growth.
 Most millionaires do not flaunt their wealth or have expensive tastes. Surprisingly, most millionaires purchase American-made cars. Those, however, who choose to buy foreign-made cars predominantly purchase Toyotas and Hondas, and not Mercedes, BMWs, or Audis.
In terms of living arrangements, most millionaires do not live in upscale neighbourhoods, but rather live in nondescript communities where the cost of living is affordable. Dr. Stanley insists that one of the biggest destroyers of wealth is living in a high-cost area, in which you are living among households who earn substantially more than you. Instead, he urges, to live in an area where your household is among the highest earners. He explains that these neighbourhoods tend to be populated by small business owners, blue-collar workers and middle managers and/or executives, rather than lawyers, doctors and c-suite executives.
Millionaires, especially self-made ones, play great defence rather than offence, which means that they believe in maintaining a frugal lifestyle, receiving joy through non-material possessions and avoiding the trap of being ‘house rich and cash poor.’ Dr. Stanley insists that you would not recognize most millionaires when you meet them because they do not have expensive tastes.
 It’s entirely possible to become a millionaire in your lifetime. This is the biggest takeaway from Dr. Stanley’s book. If you refrain from frivolous spending, live within your means and invest early and consistently, you can become a millionaire without a six-figure salary.
The biggest misconception when it comes to millionaires is that you need a six-figure salary in order to accumulate a seven-figure net worth. I understand now that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I couldn’t be more grateful for Dr. Stanley writing The Millionaire Next Doorbecause it made me realize that the pursuit of money is not really the purpose of life (as it was evident from the millionaires featured in the book), but at the same time can be attainable if you just have the patience and persistence to play the long game.
If you enjoyed this story, you should check out www.jenonmoney.com where I write about personal finance, progressive economics, going against the grain, and tons more. — Jen
Napoleon Hill had some radical ideas in his time. One of the most controversial and even embarrassing for people to talk about is “Sex Transmutation.” Maybe it is because of all the movies late at night where Mutant Aliens ate the world, but I never warmed up to the term “transmutation”, even though Mr. Hill devoted a whole chapter to it. (Chapter 11 Sex Transmutation)
Because I am a writer, I suppose I am more curious than the average person, so I set up a lot of experiments in my life. I can thank Pam Grout for that. She wrote a whole book teaching how to set up Law of Attraction Experiments. E-Squared is fun and easy and for yours truly, was the backbone for a lot of very cool living over the last 4 years.
When I was invited on the first free cruise (that’s right, I said FIRST) it was like winning the lotto. I bought a car from a great younger guy who was very kind and respectful helping me to get all the paperwork taken care of.
Little did I know that same young man would contact me 18 months later and ask me to accompany his wonderful mom on a Caribbean Cruise, no kidding.
Pam Grout, author of E-Squared and Thank and Grow Rich, teaches that the more you stay open to what is going on around you instead of stretching ahead to get into frustration, the more you tend to be in the right place at the right time.
What does all of this have to do with sex? Simple. Napoleon Hill interviewed the most successful people he could find who maintained their wealth through the market crash in 1929.
Sex was an undeniable part of the equation. Highly successful people tend to have higher than average libidos. But it is more than that. Napoleon Hill hints at a deeper application of “Sex Energy” in Chapter 11 of the original version and chapter 8 in the 1967 version). That is the mystery of Sex Transmutation.
Summer of 2017, I re-read Think and Grow Rich and I realized that I always discounted the chapter on sex. I was uncomfortable and didn’t understand it. This time, I decided to ponder the idea. What in the world is transmutation? That’s when the ice cube idea came to me.
Take The Quiz: http://ResetSex.com
Ice Cubes, Water, and Steam are all made out of the same elements. What makes them different are the surroundings and the conditions. When the conditions change, the form changes, that is transmutation. The same elements rearranged and presenting as different forms. Aha!
Then, Sex Transmutation made sense to me. When I look at a very successful public figure like Oprah, Tom Hanks, Trevor Noah or Ellen, they overflow with self-confidence and charisma. What if, my curious mind inquired, what if self-confidence and charisma were transmuted sexual energy?
What if sexual pleasure and seduction are one form, self-confidence was another and the third of the trio was charisma. That is quite a package. Movie stars, TV personalities, and athletes all tend to be over the top in all three. The #MeToo campaign illustrates the power such people can wield on the job and in their relationships.
Learning to leverage sex energy is separate from your sex life (or lack of if that is the case). If you are painfully shy, consider yourself introverted or have experienced sexual harassment, you have special challenges.
Take The Quiz: http://ResetSex.com
What if your life experiences have frozen your sex energy into place? On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-confident do you feel? There are floods of confusion physical feelings and relationship ideas around sex between 13 and 23. If a part of you is “deer in the headlights” every time a cool person stands in front of you, there is a good chance you are stuck.
Deer in the headlights equals FROZEN, like Ice, right?
In order to transmute my own frozen charisma and self-confidence, I became an Energy Detective and found the conditions that were keeping them frozen. If you want to change ice into steam, it has to be melted. If you want to change ice to water, it has to be melted. In order to change your frozen money (I mean frozen sex energy) situation, SOMETHING just might need to be melted, like it was for me.
One thing I know for sure. The fire is hotter when there are lots of pieces of wood stacked up in just the right order. I love gathering a group of Money Breakthrough Warriors to blaze through old ideas holding abundance just out of reach. Napoleon Hill is famous for teaching that a Mastermind of individuals all focused on the same thing at the same thing make magic show up.
Before you go farther, take this quiz. See if you resonate with the idea of frozen sexual energy, if you are resonant with these old but super powerful principles, I would love to chat with you. Think and Grow Rich is still ranked book on business best seller lits in the United States and there is a chapter on sex in it, hmmmm:
Take The Quiz: http://ResetSex.com
You will receive more information as soon as you receive your quiz results. If your sex energy is frozen, I would love to have you join me and learn how to melt through the obstacles holding back your desires once and for all so you can get your wealth momentum moving.
I will tell you straight out that even though, I still don’t fully understand the idea of Sex Transmutation, the quality of my life is steadily accelerating since I set the intention to understand it. I love exploring the idea that charisma is transmuted sex energy. It turns me on to think that helping people find their charisma is what I am teaching next.
Curious? I hope so. Take the quiz and leave me a comment. Let me know how this idea of transmuting sex energy hits you!
Sex Transmutation Quiz
What does sex have to do with it? Could you leverage YOUR sexual energy for peak performance and success in love and…
Catherine Behan has a Masters Degree in Communication. If you seem to attract the exact opposite of what you are seeking in life, you might have under-developed communication skills holding you back. Catherine is creating delicious connections with LOAers from around the world and writing erotica from her cliffside home in Baja California. Life is good indeed.
You’re busy, we’re all busy. Being busy has become somewhat of an epidemic, especially in the United States. That being said, there are still many ways you can pinch pennies and earn $500 extra a month.
Well, we’ve covered a few ways, from freelancing to micro jobs. However, now I want to show you what you can do with the $500 a month, and how it can make a HUGE difference in your financial freedom.
Get a high return savings account.
If you can bring in $500 more per month and save it, over ten years you would have $79,084 in your bank account (assuming a 6% growth rate). Yes, you read that correctly. Almost $80k! Now, of course this is easier said than done, however, you know the famous saying: out of sight out of mind? I have found this works for savings accounts, too. Set up an automatic deposit into your savings account. Set the deposit to an amount that works for you. Perhaps you want it to be weekly, or maybe one lump sum works best for you. However, make sure the deposit is automatic, and keep your savings account in a place you are not constantly checking. If your savings account is separate from your checking, you are less likely to monitor it and justify a withdrawal.
If you could keep this up for 20 years, you will have accumulated $220,713. That would definitely help make retirement more comfortable, wouldn’t it?
Get ahead on credit card debt.
Perhaps you have a bit of a spending problem. Let’s say you owe $50,000 on a credit card with an interest rate of 23.99% (ouch). Paying an extra $500 a month on that bill would make you debt free in about five years. In addition to paying off your debt, you will be saving yourself an incredible amount in interest. After that 5-year span, you would be able to start putting that $500 into your savings account and watch it grow.
Pay off those student loans.
With $500 extra dollars a month, you can cut down on your student loan and its interest by $6,000 in one year. Once you are able pay down your student loans, you will have less debt and more financial freedom.
Plan for the future.
Putting 500 extra dollars into your 401k or 403b, you can significantly help your retirement cushion. With an extra $6,000 per year in your retirement account, your money can work for you. Depending on how diversified your portfolio is, you may be able to increase your investment as the market ebbs and flows. Check with a financial advisor for further insight into your portfolio.
Improve or save for your home.
Sometimes home improvements go to the bottom of our list, and often times millennials worry they will never be able to afford their first home. When you start chipping away at your debt and start focusing on your savings, you will see both home improvements and home purchases become a lot more feasible. With a goal in mind, your savings seems a lot more worthwhile. Think about your granite kitchen island, or your 2-bedroom condo as your savings piles up.
Have some fun.
You work, a lot. You have to. Especially if you’re looking to have an extra $500 a month. So, you need a vacation. Everyone does! As Americans, we tend to work ourselves to the bone without leaving much room for vacation. According to Moneysense.com the total cost for a 2-week European vacation for 2 is around $7,000. This means, after just a year of savings, you and your travel buddy can hop a plan to Europe for 2 weeks. Now, these costs can change depending on where your flying from (West Coast versus East Coast), or where you’re traveling to (Italy is more expensive than Portugal, for example). If you’re looking for a more tropical vacation, cruises can be between $500 and up to $3,000 per person. Don’t forget to take airfare into account, but also remember food is included.
Money. We never seem to have enough, but usually, that’s because we are not handling the money we have correctly. So, start planning, and start saving properly to make sure you’re making the most out of all the extra money you have coming in from your efforts.
Adapted from a story by The Washington Post’s Jena McGregor.
Lower pay. Being treated as less than competent. Small slights in office conversations.
On top of obvious forms of harassment, these are the inequities women face in the workplace, according to a new analysis released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
In a survey of 4,702 adults employed at least part-time, 42 percent of working women said they have faced one of eight types of discrimination on the job because of their gender. The biggest gap had to do with money:
Twenty-five percent of women said they’ve earned less than a man doing the same job, while just 5 percent of men said they’ve experienced that.
Twenty-three percent of women said they were treated as if they were not competent, compared with just 6 percent of men.
The survey was conducted this summer, before the Harvey Weinstein news broke and the #MeToo movement catapulted into the public conversation.
“What’s important about these findings is that while there’s been a lot of talk about sexual harassment at work, that is tied to a broader conversation Americans are having about equity in the workplace,” said Cary Funk, one of the report’s co-authors and the director of science and society research at the Pew Research Center. “And they remind us that discrimination at work can encompass a wide array of behaviors.”
Anita Hill and her 1991 congressional defenders to Joe Biden: You were part of the problem
Hill looks back at her testimony
Level of education
One of the most notable findings in Pew’s report was that the biggest demographic differences among women in the discrimination they faced had to do with their level of education.
Women with postgraduate degrees were more likely to report having experienced gender discrimination at work. They were also far more likely than their peers with less education to say:
They earned less than a man.
They were treated as incompetent.
They got less support from senior leaders than a man.
Twenty-nine percent of women with postgraduate degrees said they experienced repeated, small slights at work, compared with just 12 percent of women with some college or less.
A guide on how to negotiate higher pay
It’s common to choke during conversations about money. These tips will help you get the pay you deserve.
One reason women with higher levels of education may face more discrimination could be that they often work in industries or at levels in an organization that have traditionally been male-dominated, such as law, medicine or in the executive ranks of companies, said Brande Stellings, who leads advisory services for Catalyst, a research and consulting organization focused on women in leadership.
Stellings, who had not seen Pew’s research, said that in general, “a woman leader is still often seen as an exception. When you have that kind of power imbalance and if you’re also challenging the norms and traditions, that can be more threatening and more of a lightning rod.”
There is also more competition for such jobs, which could lead women to be seen as more of a threat to their male peers, leading to more discrimination.
Companies should disclose the number of sexual harassment claims settled — and the amounts paid
OPINION | Ending sexual harassment at public companies
In a separate question, Pew’s survey asked women how often they had been the target of sexual harassment at work. Three times as many women as men (22 percent vs. 7 percent) said they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. That number is less than the ones reported in some other recent surveys, which may be the result of timing — the Pew survey was fielded in the summer, before the recent deluge of allegations — or the wording of the question.
An ABC News/Washington Post survey conducted in mid-October, for instance, found that 54 percent of women said they were the recipient of unwanted sexual advances, but just 30 percent said this had happened to them at work, closer to Pew’s figure. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist pollconducted in mid-November, meanwhile, found that 35 percent of women said they had experienced sexual harassment or abuse at work.
A strong financial plan is always this perpetual work in progress…it’s never truly finished, just like art. Wherever we happen to be on our journey towards financial success, checking and re-checking our current position, in order to ensure it falls in line with where we as individuals, families and/or businesses want to be, is essential to maintain both current and future operational success. We should do it often.
Why do you think our American Military has multiple check-in points, within their process, for confirming that what they’re currently doing, is what’s necessary for successfully dominating their mission?
Is our Military successful more often than not? I believe so.
Do you feel confidence in their ability to keep you and me safe? I do.
Shouldn’t your finances give you the same feeling? Are you operating your finances with the same mentality? Is your current advisor regularly meeting with you, to ensure that you’re actually on pace to live the life you’ve been working so hard to live?
If not, isn’t it time to ‘re-assess’?
Before we move any further, let’s practice ‘re-assessing’…an article I wrote discussing how to build a firm financial foundation can be found here.
Building your foundation is your most important step. Without a strong foundation, failure is eminent whenever the storms of this life come. Without a strong foundation, you’ll work so hard building something that ultimately comes crashing down; blood, sweat and tears…all for nothing.
Okay, okay, enough doom and gloom…you get the point.
Once your foundation is built, it’s imperative to confirm that everything was done correctly before moving on…just as a building inspector checks off on each stage of a build, before allowing the contractor to move forward, so too should you. I, personally, try to do so monthly…figure out what feels best to you or seek advice and do that.
This doesn’t have to be arduous, it’s simply a matter of confirming that all you just accomplished was done with excellence, and is well-suited for your financial success moving forward.
Take a look at the financial pyramid our firm (Brittany Wealth) built for teaching financial security to our clients.
The Pyramids weren’t built in a day, neither should your financial plan for achieving business and/or personal success. It takes time, effort and serious commitment. Plan on making it a labor of love. Financial planning is complex, but doesn’t have to be complicated.
Image above simply explained:
PROTECT: Everything adverse that could happen in your pursuit of success, should be accounted and planned for first and foremost.
SAVE: Everything you have the legal opportunity to put money into (real estate, IRAs, 401(k)s, Brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds, ETFs, etc.), that can increase in value and add to your net worth.
SPEND: Everything you’ve worked so hard to create and build should be enjoyed. Don’t spend your whole life arduously building, and forget to re-assess at each stage of life (to ensure your risk-profile is matched with your risk-taking), only to watch your retirement savings disappear, should 2008 happen again when you’re at or nearing retirement age.
There is so much more involved in each stage (should you desire to obtain maximum efficiency in your financial plan), so I encourage you to seek help from a qualified individual and/or team…or me (ahem). Again, this is complex, but shouldn’t be complicated.
Moving back towards your 3 essential questions…
Here’s the foundation explained quickly first:
CASH: If you lose your job, you need cash on hand to foot the bills, pretty simple.
HEALTH INS.: If you get injured or sick, Health Insurance will pay the piper (hopefully).
LIFE INS.: If you pass away, your family and/or business still has financial needs, Life Insurance covers it.
DISABILITY INS.: If you can’t work tomorrow, but are still around, the bills don’t stop completely. Disability Insurance pays for this.
P&C: If you wreck the car or the house burns down, Property and Casualty Insurance will mostly take care of you.
Now that we have the simple explanations out of the way…
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started, a few years into your plan, or nearing the end of your financial plan…checking your foundation in order to ensure it’s strength, should be practiced at any & every stage of life.
If you’re just starting: Build up cash, buy the above insurances (based on guidelines below).
If you’re midway, at or nearing retirement: Maintain cash and maintain the right amount of insurances all along the way.
Do I have $3,000 — $10,000 in pure cash? (Question 1)
This is for quick fixes and daily needs.
Any more than these numbers, and you’re losing money against inflation. The bank will never give you more than a few pennies on cash, so having a large reserve in pure cash generally leads towards inefficiencies. Inefficiencies that are easily taken care of by having excess cash, or your ‘rainy day fund’, in a brokerage account that is conservatively managed. Which leads to:
Do I have my 3 months (at least) in living expenses, conservatively working for me? (ahem…in a brokerage account)? (Question 2)
Nothing sexy here, just shoot for 3–5% return on such money. This is not to be managed aggressively, you run the risk of losing your security blanket if too aggressive, or as I say, greedy.
Not all of your money needs to be full risk-on or full risk-off. It’s not either-or, but more of a blend. The best portfolios are diversified, like the image below:
Cash: Just that, should be able to access it at any ATM or via Debit Card, nothing fancy ($3,000 — $10,000 at most). Only times I see this being different is if you’re a business owner who has mass amounts of money flowing through your account daily or weekly. Then these numbers should be adjusted accordingly based on your money-flow.
Rainy Day Fund: 3 months at least in living expenses (no more than 6 months to a year — but again all situations deserve a customized plan), managed conservatively in a brokerage account. Invest it in things that could produce 3–5% return, without taking too much risk. Think about it like 1 to 3 (‘I’m willing to risk losing 1% in order to make 3%, etc.). This is your short-term money and you need to know the bulk of it is going to be there when you need it. Don’t be greedy.
Mid Term Money: This is money that you’ll likely use in 10–15 years for things like education funding, vacations, new home acquisitions, etc. The best plans I’ve seen and built achieve 7% average rate of return. This is your medium risk portion, you’ll need it at some point, but not immediately. Thus, you can afford to take a little bit more risk. If you’re unsure how to do this properly or unsure if you’re currently doing it properly, grab some time on my calendar, free of charge, HERE and I’ll gladly clue you in.
Long Term Money: This is money you can afford to take risk with, the younger you are, the more risky it is likely to be. As you age, it’s imperative to, what’s the word? Assess! your willingness to take the risk(s) you’ve become so accustomed to taking (assessment never stops in a healthy financial plan by the way). When you’re 55, it’s ridiculously imprudent to take the full risk that a 25 year old might take, that’s why so many people were hurting so much in 2008 who were at or nearing retirement…their risk-taking wasn’t matched with their risk-tolerance.
Again, connect with me here if you’d like a second opinion on any of the aforementioned breakdowns, or if you’re unsure if what you’re doing is actually matched to what you need to be doing, based on YOUR goals.
Are my insurance coverage’s sufficient, should one or all of the corresponding events (death, disability, accident) happen to me, my family and/or my business? (3rd and final Question)
This last checkpoint is relatively simple, just a matter of calculating what you’d need should the worst happen.
For Life Insurance: Add your debt(s), Income needs for your surviving spouse (yearly needs x 5, 10, 20 years whatever is adequate), and additional funding needs for certain goals like education funding or estate taxes to name two of the most popular.
If you’re debt is $250,000, your spouse needs $80,000/year for ten years, and education will cost $100,000. You need: $1,150,000 in total life insurance coverage (250k (debt)+ 800k (yearly income x 10)+ 100k (education)). And don’t be cheap on taking care of your surviving spouse, the difference between giving them 5 years and 10 years of income is minimally different in cost, especially if using term life insurance.
If you’re a business owner, you may consider buy/sell or key man life insurance: Explanation Video Here
For Disability Insurance: Look at your budget, (don’t have one? download our free budget here) and cut out what wouldn’t be absolutely necessary if you couldn’t work tomorrow. Then do what you can to cover the remaining amount, through some cash reserves and the funding of long-term disability insurance.
For example, if you’re used to living off of $10,000/month, but could make it on $7,500/month should you be unable to work, buy $7,500 worth of monthly disability income insurance, and save up 3 months of living expenses (because Long Term Disability Insurance usually doesn’t pay until the 91st day of disability).
Side note: Here’s a Video explaining your greatest asset. hint hint: Income.
Social Security, you say…trust me y’all, social security will go out of their way to not pay you on a disability claim, so don’t rely on this! Prepare yourself, your family and/or your business for the what-ifs. And don’t rely on your family taking care of you either, you’re a big boy/girl now, so act like one and take care of yourself.
Last thing, insurances like the two above usually cost the same whether someone like me is involved or not, so involve us or someone like us. We get paid (usually out of the insurance company’s profits) to do the grunt work for you. Fee-based planning firms (like Brittany Wealth) are advocates for getting you the best prices, because we don’t represent only one company, we represent many.
For Health & Property/Casualty Insurance, make sure you buy enough insurance to cover what you couldn’t cover comfortably on your own. For instance, I’ve typically bought high-deductible health insurance in the past because it’s much cheaper and I (knock on wood) hardly go to the doctor. I, personally, don’t need to pay 4x as much to cover something I don’t really use, make sense? “JMO” (just my opinion)
I’m not an expert on P&C so maybe you google a few firms that offer it in your area, and pick the guy/gal you feel like you can trust the most.
It’s going to be impossible to feel ‘true peace’ in building and/or maintaining the next (and largest) phase of your financial pyramid (“SAVE”, if referencing above…I usually call it the Wealth Accumulation stage), without first confirming that the foundation you just spent hours, months, years on-end building, is ready and able to withstand anything and everything that could happen. Take a minute and Reassess.
Something will happen, it’s only a matter of time. So, isn’t it worth just a bit of effort to confirm that you, your family and/or your business are properly prepared to face such challenges head on, with the confidence needed to overcome any calamity?
In most cases, we vacation with friends or family and that’s the best way to experience someplace new. It helps us appreciate it more to share the joy of the vacation with those we care about. Even so, there are advantages to traveling alone and taking time for oneself. Here are just a few reasons to consider hitting the open road by yourself.
Gaining a Fresh Outlook
Taking off by yourself may be intimidating at first, but it can also give you an opportunity to rediscover yourself. When you return home, you may even find you have a deeper appreciation for your loved ones.
You Will Save Money
Taking a vacation on your own helps you to eliminate unnecessary side trips and enjoy cheaper meals. By going it alone, you can better stick to your budget and save some cash for something you really want to do.
Your Vacation Will Take on a Life of its Own
When you’re a part of a group, or even a couple, you’re more likely to stick to an itinerary. Even if there’s an activity you really want to indulge in, your partner or friends may not be keen on the idea, so you forget about it. When you’re by yourself, you have more freedom to indulge your whims.
You Will Learn More
When you travel alone, you’re more likely to talk to strangers. Whether they’re other travelers or locals, you’ll get to learn more about other cultures. This will help you appreciate your own culture that much more.
It Will Excite Your Adventurous Spirit
Learning your way around a new city can be frightening, but, once you realize you can do it on your own, you begin to feel empowered. This will encourage you to follow your heart and explore this new location more fully.
You Can do What You Want
When you travel alone, you don’t have to wait on others. Sure, that can be lonely at times, but it also means you won’t miss dinner reservations or show times.
Freedom is a Nice Change of Pace
Getting away by yourself gives you a chance to pamper yourself without having to worry about anyone else. This is your time to relax and get away from compromises and sacrifice.
Choosing to take a solo vacation can be a frightening prospect at first, but, once you take the plunge, you’ll appreciate how rewarding it can be. It will give you an opportunity to make new friends and indulge your own passions. It may not be something you do often, but the occasional solo getaway can help you clear your mind and recharge your spirit.
What is are these indicators (click for more info):RSI, STOCH, STOCHRSI, MACD, ADX, Williams %R, CCI, ATR, Ultimate Oscillator, ROC, Bull/Bear Power
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Ethereum-Classic’s Basic Fundamentals
Ethereum-Classic’s Historical- & Investment stats
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