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.
Rank #2: 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
Rank #3: 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
Rank #4: 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
Rank #5: 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.
Rank #6: 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
Rank #7: 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
Rank #8: The Seven Stages of Financial Independence, with Joshua Sheats
#39: It's tempting to think of "financial independence" as a finish line. You've either crossed the finish line, or you're still running the race. But financial independence is more nuanced, says today's guest, Joshua Sheats.
We experience seven stages of financial independence, Joshua says, and we should break down our Major Goal -- financial independence -- into a series of smaller steps.
Joshua, a financial planner and host of the hit podcast Radical Personal Finance, describes these seven stages in today's show, offering tips about how to reach each one.
Want a sneak peek at the seven stages? Check out https://affordanything.com/episode39
Rank #9: 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.
Rank #10: 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
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
Rank #12: The Simple Path to Wealth, with Jim Collins
#31: Jim Collins, also known as popular blogger JL Collins, has been financially independent since 1989. He achieved this in the simplest way possible: he saved half of his income and invested in index funds. Jim says the simplest possible approach is the best, if your goal is to build financial freedom. "The great irony of investing is the simpler of an approach you use, the more powerful of results you get." In this episode, he shares his ultra-simple approach to investing. He says that when you prioritize simplicity, above all else, you can ignore your investments and move on with your life: "Most people don't want to think about this stuff all the time. Most people want to get on with curing diseases and building bridges and writing peace treaties. But the smart ones know they have to have some kind of handle on their money." Check out Jim's ultra-simple path to wealth in this week's episode. http://podcast.affordanything.com
Rank #13: Random Smattering of Lessons on Money, Work and Life — plus A Call for Radical Authenticity
#103: On today’s show, I'm sharing this random smattering of lessons on money and life.⠀
1) Simplify everything.⠀
2) Risk = Probability x Magnitude.⠀
4) Never delay gratification.⠀
5) Know your net worth, relative to your lifetime earnings.⠀
6) Don't half-ass anything. (Whole-ass a few things.)⠀
7) When you're not at work, don't be at work.⠀
8) Yes, and.⠀
9) Money can't make you happy, but a lack of money can make you unhappy.⠀
10) Every conversation about money is really a conversation about values.⠀
11) The less you try, the better.⠀
12) Work with your nature, not against it. ⠀
13) The thing should be its own reward.⠀
14) Practice radical self-reliance.⠀
15) Achieve being through doing.⠀
16) What is stated, happens.⠀
I elaborate on each of these in today’s episode. In addition, I’m also sharing my mini-keynote from FinCon on the importance of authenticity and passion in online business.
You can subscribe to show updates at podcast.affordanything.com -- just throw your email address into that big box above-the-fold.
Rank #14: 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
Rank #15: From Debt to Financial Independence, with Get Rich Slowly Founder JD Roth
#20: The Money Boss, JD Roth, went from $35k in credit card debt to selling a personal finance blog for an undisclosed amount of money. Today he shares how financial independence affected him - and how having enough money to be financially independent forces us to face our problems.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode-20-debt-financial-independence-get-rich-slowly-jd-roth/
Rank #16: The Latte Factor, with author David Bach
#192: “Don’t buy lattes.”
This classic snippet of personal finance advice isn’t specifically anti-Starbucks. “Lattes” are a metaphor for the tiny expenses that leak money from our pockets, often without us realizing how much we’re spending.
Your “latte” could be a pile of subscriptions: HBONow, YouTube Red, Spotify Premium, Netflix, Hulu Plus, the CostCo membership that you haven’t used in two years, and -- for that matter -- the gym membership that you also haven’t used in two years. (Ahem.)
Your “latte” could be buying bottled water and snacks at the airport, or absentmindedly shopping online when you’re bored, or ordering restaurant take-out or delivery too often.
Your “latte” might be spending too much on trinkets and souvenirs during your vacations, when photographs would capture the memory.
David Bach is the New York Times bestselling author who created the phrase “don’t buy lattes.” He joins us on today’s podcast episode to discuss The Latte Factor.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode192
Rank #17: Ask Paula: How Does My Net Worth Compare to Others My Age?
#189: Julie, age 27, calculated her expected net worth based on the formula taught in the classic personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door. She’s concerned. Her current net worth is significantly lower than the number that the formula revealed. Is she on-track?
Anonymous wants to save for a downpayment on a home. Should she reduce her 401k contributions in order to amass these savings? Should she store some of that money in a Roth IRA?
Samantha is more than halfway finished with paying off her debt. In order to make this happen, she took on a second job. How much will she owe in taxes?
Maxime works at a job in which his 401k only offers expensive choices. Should he put his money in a taxable brokerage account, instead?
Leslie’s parents are going to retire in five years, but they’ve only saved $65,000. What should they do? How can she help?
Claire is creating an estate plan. What should she be thinking about?
Former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy and I answer these six questions in today’s episode.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode189
Rank #18: One Tweak a Week in 2019 -- Easy Improvements to Your Financial Life in 2019
#169: Happy New Years! To kickoff 2019, we've created a free book called One Tweak a Week, outlining 26 easy, actionable ways that you can improve your financial life.
Today's podcast episode covers these 26 tweaks, so you can listen in audio format, in addition to reading the book.
If you put these into action for the first six months of 2019, you'll be in a more stronger position in June than you started in January.
Each tweak takes less than one hour (some are as quick as five minutes), and taken together, these tweaks can accumulate into a serious impact.
Improve your money management and get closer to financial independence with our free book, One Tweak a Week. You can download it here: https://affordanything.com/2019
Rank #19: Ask Paula -- Get Ready for the Next Recession
#110: Happy New Years! We're kicking off this year on a bright and cheerful note -- with a conversation about the impending recession! Yay!
The U.S. stock market is at a peak, continuing its 9-year bull run. The markets have been rising since March 2009 without any major corrections or pullbacks.
We are living in one of the longest periods of economic expansion in our nation's market history.
Speculators with short memories are popping champagne corks thinking the good times will last forever, while those of us who are students of history know that what goes up must come down.
Trying to guess WHEN the next recession will happen is a waste of time. A more efficient use of time is to prepare ourselves such that when it does happen -- whenever that may be -- we are ready.
How can we prepare for a recession? That's one of the four topics I cover in today's episode.
Specifically, here's what we chat about in this first episode of 2018:
Thayne asks: 1) Broadly -- What are the best investments overall if you're going into a recession?
2) Specifically -- What's the most recession-proof type of real estate investment?
Aaron from Portland, Oregon asks: In Episode 96, you discussed the benefits of real estate investing -- but you didn't mention the use of leverage, nor did you mention that real estate is an inefficient market. Why not?
Anna from the San Francisco Bay Area asks: I've moved out of my condo, which I'm renting out. But the rent only covers the mortgage (PITI) and HOA. Should I sell the condo? If so, I could use $250,000 in equity for an alternate investment, such as buying rental properties out-of-state.
_____ Resources Mentioned: How to Calculate Cap Rate and Cash-on-Cash Return -- http://affordanything.com/2012/01/25/income-property
Rank #20: The Next Millionaire Next Door, with Dr. Sarah Stanley Fallaw
#190: More than 20 years ago, affluence researchers Dr. Thomas Stanley and Dr. William Danko surveyed a vast number of millionaire households in the United States.
What they discovered was groundbreaking at the time.
The average U.S. millionaire, they found, lives a frugal lifestyle. They are disproportionately clustered in modest, middle-class neighborhoods. They drive used cars. They don’t spend money on jewelry, watches, boats or other high-ticket items. They’re self-made, meaning they did not inherit their wealth; they’re first-generation millionaires.
In 1996, the researchers published their findings in a book called The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy. The book became a mega-bestseller and, to this day, remains a top personal finance classic.
Fast-forward to 2012.
Dr. Thomas Stanley’s daughter, Sarah, followed in her father’s footsteps. She’s grown up to become a researcher, earning a Ph.D. in applied psychology and exploring the world of behavioral finance. She became the Director of Research for the Affluent Market Institute, the research company her father founded, and she launched her own research firm, DataPoints.
In 2012, Dr. Sarah Stanley Fallaw and Dr. Thomas Stanley decided to update their research on millionaire households in anticipation of the 20th anniversary of the publication of The Millionaire Next Door. They wanted to see what attributes are different, 20 years later, and what qualities remain the same.
They crafted another large-scale survey of millionaires. Yet before they could complete the project, tragedy intervened.
In 2015, Dr. Thomas Stanley was killed in a car accident. He was hit by a drunk driver.
His daughter resolved to finish the research that the two of them started together. She sent out the survey they created, gathered and analyzed the results, and published a sequel, The Next Millionaire Next Door, co-authored with her late father.
The book is Dr. Thomas Stanley’s final, posthumously-published book. The book was released in October 2018, twenty-two years after the original.
On today’s podcast episode, Dr. Sarah Stanley Fallaw joins us to describe what’s different about millionaires, more than two decades later …
… and what’s remained the same.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode190