Rank #1: Why I Hate the FIRE Movement, says Suze Orman
#153: A few weeks ago, Suze Orman's team reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in chatting with Suze on my podcast.
"Um, duh," I replied.
Sure Orman is one of the most famous voices in the world of personal finance. From 2002 to 2015, she hosted The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. She's the author of 10 mega-bestselling books, she wrote a financial column for O, The Oprah Magazine, and she's made multiple appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.
I turned to Twitter and Facebook and asked this community, "What would you like me to ask Suze?"
One question stood out far ahead of all others in popularity: What does Suze Orman think about the FIRE movement?
I opened with that question. And Suze's response shocked me.
"I hate it," she replied. "I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. And let me tell you why."
That's a direct quote. (Really.)
She spent the next 30 minutes explaining why she thinks pursuing FIRE could be the biggest mistake of a person's life.
Why does Suze Orman hate the FIRE movement?
Find out in today's episode, and join the discussion and help spread the FIRE by sharing your thoughts on today's episode in the show notes, on Facebook, and on Instagram.
Oct 01 2018
Rank #2: Jen Sincero says she used to be a "grouchy broke person"
#75: In her early 40's, Jen lived in a converted garage, buried in credit card debt and scrounging for spare change. She was the type of person who'd join her friends at a restaurant for dinner , order nothing except tap water, and fill up on the complimentary bread basket. She used duct-tape to repair her shoes. Her "splurges" consisted of buying new windshield wipers. Despite her struggles, Jen believed that pursuing wealth was icky. She'd internalized negative social attitudes towards money, such as: Money isn't important. People are. Rich people are lucky / gross / shallow. You can't make money doing [insert your-dream-here]. You have to attend a good college to make money. Money is out of my reach. It's lonely at the top. Who has that kind of money? He/she is only about the money. Those negative attitudes, Jen says, were holding her back. So she created a more positive script -- such as "I'm good at making money," and "Money is a tool that helps me live my best life." This attitude shift made all the difference. In today's interview, Jen describes her journey from broke to badass, and she explains how everyone can become more of a maverick at making money. Enjoy! Resources mentioned in this episode can be found at http://affordanything.com/episode75
May 01 2017
Rank #3: How to Spend Less, Earn More and Grow the Gap
#91: Grow the gap between your income and your expenses: How to tackle the 4 biggest expenses in the average American household budget.
Also, I share non-obvious tips on how to trim back on these costs.
Paula For more details on this presentation, go to http://affordanything.com/episode91
Aug 21 2017
Rank #4: 26 Easy Moves to Improve Your Finances in 2020
#234: We review 26 quick, easy actions that improve your financial life, plus 10 new added bonus ideas that came directly from our community. We issue a challenge for you to tackle one action per week for the first 26 weeks (six months) of the year, so you’ll build stronger financial health by summertime.
Download the free book that accompanies this episode at http://affordanything.com/2020kickoff and join us in the 2020 One Tweak a Week challenge!
Jan 03 2020
Rank #5: The biggest study of everyday millionaires in 25 years - with Chris Hogan
#171: Chris Hogan surveyed 10,000 millionaires in the United States. Here's what he discovered:
- 89 percent of millionaires have a net worth between $1 million to $5 million dollars
- 62 percent graduated from public state schools
- 9 percent didn't graduate from college
- Close to 50 percent had a B average or less in school
- 55 percent give to charities and churches on a regular, monthly basis
- 73 percent never had a penny of credit card debt
- 18 percent are self-employed
- 62 percent earned a household income of less than $100,000 annually
- 80 percent exercise at least three times a week.
On average, their homes are 2,600 square feet, and they've lived there for an average of 17 years. Two-thirds have a paid-off mortgage. They paid off their home on average in 11 years.
Their net worth breaks down as one-third their home, and two-thirds their investments. They became millionaires at the average age of 49.
They spend, on average, $35 on a pair of jeans.
What can we learn from these everyday millionaires? Find out in today's episode! For more, visit https://affordanything.com/episode171
Jan 07 2019
Rank #6: Ask Paula: How to Invest for the Next Five Years
#225: Lauren is 26 and earns $48,000 per year after taxes.
She saves $12,000 annually in retirement accounts, and an additional $18,000 per year for a downpayment on a home.
She wants to buy a home in the next five years. Where should she keep her savings in the meantime?
Sawyer has a five-year financial independence plan. She owns two high-end condos in a NYC suburb. She lives in one unit and rents the other, but she’s bothered by the fact that she’s forgoing collecting rent on her home unit. Should she move?
Katie’s husband is going to grad school and they want to pull money out of a Vanguard account to fund his tuition. Should they do this?
Cassie is in the process of finalizing a divorce. She and her daughter will receive between $80,000 - $116,000. Should they use the funds to buy a home with a 20 percent down payment or pay off their $30,000 debt?
Andy is curious: should you re-adjust the 4 percent withdrawal rule if your investment portfolio grows?
Joe wants to become self-employed but is concerned about health insurance. What are some affordable options?
Laura is ready to retire. She’s also engaged, and her fiance wants to keep working. Should they file taxes jointly or separately?
Doug is interested in learning more about equity sharing programs. Are these safe investments?
Tania wants to know: can you open and fund a Roth IRA if your only source of income is alimony?
Brian took out a 401k loan to buy a car. He regrets his decision. Should he take out a personal loan to pay back the 401k loan?
Former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy and I answer these questions in today’s episode. Enjoy!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode225
Nov 11 2019
Rank #7: Ask Paula - How to Repay $50k in Student Loans on a $31k Income, What's the Deal with Bonds, and Do I Really Need Insurance
#74: Former financial planner and friend of the show, Joe Saul-Sehy from Stacking Benjamins, joins me to answer the following listener questions: Kicking off today's episode, Nicky asks: I'm young and healthy. My car is old and not-worth-much. And my personal property isn't exactly fancy-pants. Do I *really* need health, auto and property insurance? Or can I drop these insurances and save the money? _______ Next, Shelbi says: I'm 26, recently earned a graduate school diploma, and I'm taking the first steps into my career. I take home $2,600 in monthly income, and my cost-of-living is $1,900 per month. I maintain a $5,500 emergency fund and invest 20% of my income into a Vanguard Target Date Retirement account, with a Roth tax setup. I'll get an employer match after I've spent another year on the job. My employer also contributes $100 per month into my H.S.A. account, which is the only money that I'm putting into that fund. I hold $49,000 in student loans (yikes!!) at 6.8% interest. I pay $400/mo towards this debt, which is included in my $1,900 cost-of-living and is more than the minimum required. My goal is financial independence and early retirement. She asks these three questions: -- Should she lower the 20% she's putting into her 403b in order to max out her Roth IRA and HSA, instead? -- Should she prioritize repaying her student loan debt over retirement savings? -- Should she schedule a private coaching call with me? (Surprisingly, I said no. Tune into the episode to find out why.) _______ Next, Nicole asks: What types of investments can you hold inside a self-directed IRA? If I open one of these accounts, what custodian should I use? _______ Finally, our friend anonymous asks: What's the deal with bond investing? What's a coupon payment? A maturity date? WTF? Can you help me make sense of the world of bonds and bond funds? _______ Joe and I tackle these four questions ... plus reveal a top-secret recipe for the Best. Oreo. Cookie. Dessert. EVER. Like, *ever.* Enjoy! -- Paula
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode74
Apr 24 2017
Rank #8: Ask Paula - The Real Estate Edition
#69: So many Afford Anything listeners have great questions about real estate investing. That's why this episode of Ask Paula is dedicated to answering them. Our first question comes from Ade, who has $25,000 to invest in real estate and lives in the Bay Area. Understandably, he's thinking of investing out-of-state, and wants to know if Atlanta is still a good city to invest in. Where can the best deals be found? Krystina lives and has four rentals in Vermont, but she's sick of the cold. She's thinking of selling the properties and moving elsewhere. She asks: if you had to start over, where would you buy and what type of property would you buy? The next question comes from Kayla, who wants to know how to report rental income on your taxes when you also live in the property. Are there any tax implications to be aware of? Claire is relocating to California, and is curious to know if she's better off renting, or if she should max out her mortgage loan potential and buy a house that has a detached garage she can rent out to cover the increased mortgage. Our next question comes from a listener with a paid-off rental who also has an Airbnb on her property. Nice! But, she has a $160,000 mortgage on her own house. She has $30,000 in the bank and wants to know: should she put it toward her mortgage, or use it to buy another property? Our last question comes from Katie, who's eyeing a vacation rental in one of her favorite destinations. Does it sound like a good idea? And how can she estimate the cap rate (and her expenses) without a ton of information on the property? We dive into these topics - and more - in today's episode. Enjoy! To be included in Paula's Real Estate Course, click on the link in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode69
Mar 20 2017
Rank #9: Andrew Hallam: How I Became a Millionaire on a Teacher's Salary
#59: By his mid-30's, Andrew Hallam became a millionaire on a teacher's salary. He began by investing $100 a month upon advice given by a mechanic. Then he began saving nearly half his $28,000 teacher’s salary. Andrew rode a bicycle 35 miles to work, found ways to avoid paying rent, and regularly ate pasta and potatoes as well as clams he picked himself for added protein. In today's interview, Andrew shares that story. Find more comprehensive details at http://affordanything.com/episode59
Jan 09 2017
Rank #10: How to Make Money without a Job -- with Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation
#85: Like many people, Nick Loper used to work a full-time job that didn't excite him. Unlike most people, Loper decided to escape his uninspiring work life. First, he launched a shoe-comparison website that began collecting side income. Over time, this side project grew increasingly profitable, until -- finally -- he thought he could run this website full-time. Loper quit his job. That's when all hell broke loose. Within days, Loper's website lost 80 percent of its search traffic and advertising revenue. Loper found himself both unemployed and without a viable business. He spent several months correcting course, making his business solvent again. More importantly, he learned the importance of creating *multiple streams of income.* Loper launched multiple small side businesses in order to diversify his income. Some succeeded; others quietly fizzled out. He made enough 'small bets' that he wound up with a handful of winners. Today, his income comes from a cacophony of different sources. He's diversified. Loper joins us on this week's episode to explain how to develop a "side hustle," a small micro-business that provides a supplemental source of income. Here are some of his suggestions: #1: Tap the Sharing Economy We've heard about Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Instacart and TaskRabbit -- popular 'sharing economy' platforms that allow people to turn their car, home and/or time into extra cash. But beyond those obvious examples, there are plenty of sharing-economy websites that niche down into higher-paying specializations, such as: http://Turo.com -- A website in which you can rent your car; no driving required. You make money from the asset, not from your time. http://EatWith.com -- A dinner-party-hosting website ideal for people who are skilled cooks, chefs, or party hosts, but don't necessarily have the capital to start their own restaurant. "Each of these is a little mini-search-engine," Loper says. 2. Freelancing / Expertise-Based Businesses The stronger your expertise, the more money you can potentially earn. After all, you're not just selling your time; you're selling your *knowledge.* Websites that help people profit from their expertise include: http://TheExpertInstitute.com -- A website where attorneys look for expert witnesses. http://Thumbtack.com -- A website for service professionals, from CAD designers to nutritionists to CPR training. http://Wyzant.com -- A website for expert tutors in every subject from calculus to piano. http://Clarity.fm -- A website for on-demand coaching or consulting from experts. 3. E-Commerce Loper outlines two models for selling physical products online: - **The Retail Arbitrage Model:** Under this model, you find and flip items online. - **The Private Label Model:** Under this model, you design, manufacture, package and import your own product. Loper dives into details about all of these side hustle opportunities -- and also describes the biggest mistakes that he sees entrepreneurs and wantrapraneurs make -- in today's episode. Enjoy! ________________ Resources Mentioned: Side Hustle Nation http://www.sidehustlenation.com 200 Sharing Economy Platforms http://www.sidehustlenation.com/sharing-economy-make-extra-money Steve Chou episode of the Afford Anything Podcast http://podcast.affordanything.com/make-100000-year-online-steve-chou-wife-quit-job
Jul 10 2017
Rank #11: Suze Orman Says $2 Million is Nothing; You Need $10 Million to Retire Early. Internet Explodes
#154: Want to retire early? You'll need at least $5 million, more likely $10 million, says famous financial personality Suze Orman.
I should know. She said that to me, directly, on my podcast.
I asked Suze for her opinion about a frugal, flexible person who wants to retire early with a $2 million portfolio. She warned that retiring would be a massive mistake.
"Two million dollars is nothing," Suze said. "It's nothing. It's pennies in today's world, to tell you the truth."
"Listen," she said. "If you have $20 [million], $40 [million], $50 [million] or $100 million dollars, be like me, okay. If you have that kind of money ... and you want to retire, fine."
"But if you only have a few hundred thousand dollars, or a million, or $2 million, I'm here to tell you ... if a catastrophe happens ... what are you going to do? You are going to burn up alive."
But what's wrong with retiring early on $2 million? Assuming it's invested 50/50 in equities and bonds and harvested at a 4 percent withdrawal rate, a portfolio of $2 million could create annual investment income of $80,000. Surely that's enough, right? *Riiiight?*
Nope. Suze says that's not enough.
"I think that in the long run, $80,000, especially after taxes and as you get older, is not going to be enough. You may think it's going to be enough, but it's just not," she told me on the Afford Anything podcast.
"You can do it if you want to. I personally think it is the biggest mistake, financially speaking, you will ever, ever make in your lifetime."
I asked her if a $3 million portfolio at a more conservative 3 percent withdrawal rate would be okay for an early retirement. She said no.
"Think about it logically," she said. Supporting a disabled family member who needs full-time care could cost $250,000 per year, she said. Ordinary cost-of-living would cost another $100,000 per year. This means you'll need $350,000 per year after taxes to cover your costs, which is $500,000 per year before taxes, which at a 5 percent withdrawal rate means that you'd need a portfolio of $10 million.
If you don't have at least $5 million or $10 million, don't retire early, Suze said.
"Here's what the FIRE people, you are not thinking about, so I'm going to give it to you straight here now," she said.
She described the possibility of getting sideswiped by massive taxes and catastrophic emergencies. What if your home gets destroyed by an earthquake or flood and insurance denies your claim? What if you're in a tragic car accident and you need full-time care? What if the U.S. experiences 25 percent unemployment, which means you won't be able to find another job if you wanted one? What if your investment income gets consumed by massive future tax hikes?
"When you get older things happen," Suze said. "You're hit by a car, you fall down on the ice, you get sick, you get cancer. Things happen."
"Alright, you can do it if you want to," she said. "I'm just telling you, you will get burned if you play with fire."
For more, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode154
Oct 05 2018
Rank #12: PSA Thursday: How Is The Pandemic Affecting the Housing Market?
Before the pandemic, the U.S. housing market was strong. Home prices were at historic highs. Borrowers were more qualified than ever, with two-thirds of mortgage originations going to borrowers with excellent credit. As of January 2020, delinquencies (borrowers more than 30 days late on a payment) reached a 20-year low.
How has the pandemic affected the market? Are we due for another spate of foreclosures? What's going to happen to housing supply? What about demand? Are buyers still buying? Are sellers still selling? And if you're thinking about buying a home -- either as an owner-occupant or as a rental property investor -- what do you need to know about the new pandemic landscape?
We dig into depth in this short, researched-packed PSA Thursday episode.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/PSAThursday
May 07 2020
Rank #13: Ultimate Beginner Guide to Real Estate Investing
#4: Paula shares a confession. Then she redeems herself by sharing her gross monthly income.
(Yeah. Listen from the beginning).
Full show notes at http://TheMoneyShow.co/04
There are a variety of ways to invest in real estate:
- Flipping houses
- Tax liens
- Income-producing rental properties (commercial and residential)
Paula loves residential rental properties.
Ask yourself: Do you want capital appreciation or cash flow from rental income?
Paula puts a few guidelines in place to determine if a property is right for her.
First of all, the monthly rent needs to be at least 1% of the total acquisition price.
Example: A $100,000 home would need to rent for $1,000 a month. Why? Because roughly half of the rent is gobbled up by operating overhead:
Taxes, Insurance, property management, and repairs/maintenance
Paula offers much more valuable information in this episode and on her blog, AffordAnything.com.
Jan 28 2016
Rank #14: How Your Personality Affects Your Finances, with Dr. Sarah Stanley Fallaw
#255: When a crisis hits, do you stay calm and collected, or do you launch yourself down a rabbit hole of worry and worst-case scenarios?
When the stock market spirals downward, do you shrug and stay the course, or do warning bells explode in your brain?
When news of the pandemic hit, was your first instinct to form a calm and reasoned action plan, or rush to the store to buy months of supplies?
Your personality influences your reactions to these scenarios.
Today’s guest, Dr. Sarah Stanley Fallaw, has a Ph.D. in applied psychology and is the founder of DataPoints, a research firm based on the science of building wealth.
What links between personality and money management has research uncovered? We discuss this topic in today’s episode.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode255
May 04 2020
Rank #15: Thirteen Dumb Mistakes Smart People Make with Their Money - with CBS News analyst Jill Schlesinger
#182: Millions of smart, educated and successful people make dumb mistakes with their money ... and they don't realize it.
I'm not talking about obvious dumb mistakes, like spending 85 percent of your income on a fleet of Ultra-Luxe-Fancymobiles for your 16-car garage. That's clearly a bad idea.
Instead, I'm talking about hidden dumb mistakes that you may not realize until it's too late.
Perhaps you don't have enough insurance, or you hold the wrong types of policies for your age and life situation.
Maybe you don't have an estate plan, or you haven't updated your estate plan after your childbirth or divorce or remarriage.
What if you're taking financial advice from the wrong people, or buying products that you don't understand? Are you rushing to buy a home too soon? Did you take out too much debt for college?
Today's podcast guest, Emmy-nominated CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger, describes 13 dumb mistakes that smart people make with their money.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode182
Mar 11 2019
Rank #16: Andrew Hallam (Part Two): The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School
#60: Andrew Hallam grew a million-dollar investment portfolio on a schoolteacher's salary by his mid-30's.
In his bestselling book, Millionaire Teacher, he describes these nine lessons in detail.
He shares these nine rules on this podcast, and his ideas are so substantive that -- for the first time -- I decided to release his interview as a two-part series.
In last week's episode, Andrew shared the first three rules of building wealth. This week, Andrew dives into the final six rules that can turn middle-class people into millionaires.
Here's a sneak peek:
• #1: Learn how to think and spend like a millionaire. • #2: Start investing early. Time is your greatest investment ally. • #3: Choose low-cost index funds. Small fees pack big punches. • #4: Understand your inner psychology. Conquer the enemy in the mirror. • #5: Learn how to build a balanced, responsible portfolio. • #6: Create an indexed account, no matter where you live. • #7: Don't resign yourself to taking this journey alone. • #8: Inoculate yourself against slick sales rhetoric. • #9: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
These rules may sound simple, but our discussion took an advanced turn. Andrew and I dive deep into thorny topics like hedge funds, casinos, and human psychology.
Enjoy this two-part series, and don't forget to check out Andrew's excellent book, Millionaire Teacher.
Jan 16 2017
Rank #17: How We Retired at Age 38 and 41 -- with Tanja Hester & Mark Bunge
#111: Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge used to have demanding but fulfilling careers as political and social cause consultants.
While they loved the mission behind their work, they grew tired of the exhausting hours and grueling travel. Their home felt like a weekend crash pad. They had no time or energy to pursue outside passions like skiing, biking and volunteering.
Six years ago, they read a book that changed the course of their lives.
The book, How to Retire Early, set the couple on the path of financial independence. They moved from pricey Los Angeles to the more affordable North Lake Tahoe. They started automatically saving and investing huge chunks of their paycheck. They crafted detailed spreadsheets, plotting precisely how much they'd need to save before they could comfortably quit their jobs.
Today, Tanja and Mark are newly-retired ... at the ages of 38 and 41.
How did they progress towards early retirement so quickly? And what lessons would they share with anyone else who wants to escape the 9-to-5 grind?
Find out in today's episode.
For more information, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode111
Jan 08 2018
Rank #18: Habits We Rock to Kick Ass and Grow Wealth
#3: Paula and J. Money share the financial habits they use to grow wealth.
Full show notes can be found at http://themoneyshow.co/03
Listen as they share their favorites (and a couple neat tricks):
- Track Net Worth
- Maximize retirement savings accounts
- Pay bills at least 1 month in advance
- Set up bills on auto-pay
- Leave a buffer in your checking account
- Round up debt payments
- Double the principle payments of your mortgage
Enjoying the show? Please leave a comment or write a short review for the show in iTunes: http://themoneyshow.co/itunes
Jan 28 2016
Rank #19: Ask Paula: Should I Invest During the Pandemic?
Lydia earns income as both a 1099 contract worker and a part-time W2 employee. She filed for unemployment as a W2 worker, but can’t find information on how to file as a contractor. Is there a process contractors can follow to file for unemployment? Florina and her husband have $70,000 in cash to invest. Where should they put this money in light of the current market?
Ali and his wife saved eight months of living expenses in their emergency fund in case they get laid off during the pandemic. Is this too excessive?
Danielle wants to take advantage of pandemic stock prices - what should she invest in?
Anonymous in Real Estate wants to buy a multifamily property with the equity in their first rental as a downpayment. Their husband doesn’t want three mortgages. Should they accelerate mortgage pay-down and be one mortgage down in four years?
I answer these five questions in today’s episode. Enjoy!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode254
May 01 2020
Rank #20: What I’ve Learned from Interviewing 500 Millionaires -- with Jaime Masters of Eventual Millionaire
#200: Nine years ago, I had no idea that personal finance blogs existed.
Then, as I was flipping through an issue of Kiplinger magazine, I came across an article about a woman who paid off $70,000 in debt in 16 months.
Her name was Jaime, she lived in Maine, and she earned 3x her husband’s income. He made $30,000 per year; she made $100,000. They wanted to have a baby, and she wanted to stay at home for the first year, but their debt load made this impossible.
She aggressively went into debt-crushing-mode, working 70 hour weeks while 7 months pregnant in order to tackle their debt. She started a blog (and later a podcast), Eventual Millionaire, to track her journey and interview millionaires.
This article made me aware of the existence of personal finance blogs. I immediately thought, “I want one.”
The following year, I started my own site, Afford Anything. Like Eventual Millionaire, it later became a podcast, as well.
Today, we’re celebrating Episode 200 of the Afford Anything podcast. And so it feels fitting that the special guest for Episode 200 should be the woman whose story inspired the creation of this platform, Jaime Masters.
For more information, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode200
Jun 24 2019