Extreme saver wants to skip retirement so she can give her money away – Fox Business

A TD Ameritrade survey finds that most people believe $1 million is enough to retire. FOX Business Lauren Simonetti with more.

Even though Shang Saavedra and her husband have been financially independent for about three years, Saavedra only recently stopped working so she could take a year-longmaternity leave for her first child.

The couple lives in Manhattan and are followers of the F.I.R.E. Movement -- which means Financial Independence, Retire Early. However, Saavedra and her husband have slightly different goals than the name suggests.

The approach that my husband and I have taken is, financial independence, retire optional, Saavedra, 34, told FOX Business. So its creating optionality and freedom.


One of those options is for Saavedra -- a strategy consultant and author of the blog Save My Cents -- to be able to take her maternity leave for a full year.

But we have much bigger goals in mind,including philanthropy and helping other people, which is really motivating us to not stop working and continue to grow our wealth for the benefit of others, she added.

Shang Saavedra, 34, and her husband became financially independent three years ago. (Courtesy of Shang Saavedra)

The couple started their extreme saving by living off just the lower of their two incomes, but it wasnt easy for Saavedra at first.

I spent a greater proportion of my income before coming into marriage than my husband did, she said. And its a sacrifice.


She eventually had a breakthrough, though, about a year after they started.

I realized that if I focused on what felt like deprivation, then this is not going to work, Saavedra said. And in grappling with the emotions of feeling like, 'Oh, Im missing out on life or Im missing a former life, I used to do all these things,' I realized, what if I turned all of that on its head and recognized everything that I was able to do.

She added that having a more positive mindset helped her recognize how much she used discretionary spending to fill a hole in her heart.

If Im able to self-soothe and say I get to or Im grateful for, then Ive psychologically solved the pain in my heart and then I no longer need to pursue consumerism to plug that hole, she explained. Once this happened, suddenly everything became so much easier.


By the time Saavedra was 31, she and her husband were financially independent. It was then that they realized they could set much bigger goals than just saving for themselves.

We were like, 'Wow -- now its no longer about ourselves, who else can benefit?' Saavedra said, adding: A huge part of our value system is dont just live for yourself.

Saavedra and her husband lived frugally so they could have more flexibility in their schedule, including taking parental leave for their children. (Courtesy of Shang Saavedra)

In part, the couples value system comes from their faith, which inspires them to tithe 10 percent of their income. However, they are also saving much more, which they may use to set up scholarships for higher education -- though theyre still deciding exactly how they want to give away their money.

Weve already been in the habit of giving our money away for a really long time and this is just challenging ourselves to do even more, Saavedra said.


That selfless motivation is what keeps Saavedra and her husband going, she said. Its also what makes following the F.I.R.E. Movement so fulfilling.

Even though Saavedra and her husband are financially independent, they have chosen to continue working so they can use their money for philanthropy. (Courtesy of Shang Saavedra)

Theres a misconception among a lot of people that being frugal is miserable, and I would say thats not true,"Saavedrasaid. "We do have some of our own creature comforts. We travel, we eat decent."

The bottom line for individuals wanting to achieve financial security is finding a balance between saving and spending that works in their unique situations, she said.

Everyone has different tolerances," Saavedra added. "Not everyone can save to the extent that we save. Not everyone wants to do what we do Take everything that you hear and come up with something that youre comfortable with, because personal finance is personal.

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Extreme saver wants to skip retirement so she can give her money away - Fox Business

The 5 Best Money and Retirement Podcasts You Haven’t Heard of Yet – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Want to retire early? Learn the difference between being frugal and being cheap? Get over embarrassing money matters, and apply practical money rules to your own life? I've got some off-the-beaten path podcasts for you.

Want to cue up a brand new podcast, but not sure where to start? Most best of lists for financial podcasts tend to feature the same well-known shows over and over again, which isnt all that helpful for those of us who want to branch out and discover something we never knew we needed.

This list is different, and features some of my favorite financial and retirement podcasts that can help you better plan, prepare and enjoy your money today and in the future.

Whether youre getting ready for retirement or are only about halfway there, each of these shows provides you with the kind of insight, wisdom, tools and strategies you can use to make your financial life better, your net worth bigger and your ideal vision for your future a reality.

Our common understanding of what retirement looks like, when it starts and how you experience it has changed dramatically over the last decade or so and the idea of retirement continues to evolve today.

Some of the changes are due to the fact that pensions are almost nonexistent, and most employees dont get much help beyond their own savings power during their careers to fund their life after work. But other changes to what it means to retire today have emerged as more and more people realize going from full-time work to full-time leisure isnt always a good thing, and some workers opt to take on second-act careers, part-time work or a new position in a different industry instead of fully retiring and kicking back to do nothing at all.

Regardless of what your ideal retirement looks like, Retirement Starts Today Radio can help you achieve it. Benjamin Brandt covers what any soon-to-be-retiree needs to understand, from the expected (including protecting yourself against Social Security scams) to the downright strange-yet-downright-entertaining (like Benjamins take on what a mullet hairdo can teach us about portfolio distribution).

Thinking about retirement and want to cut back on your expenses before you leave your job behind? Been feeling a little too spendy lately and want to understand how you can rein things in (without becoming a complete cheapskate)? The Frugal Friends Podcast might have a few ideas for you to try.

Even if you dont identify as someone who is (or likes being) frugal, co-host Jen points out that their show is not full of tips on reverting to your broke college kid days. Being frugal [is about] being a better steward of your time and resources.

Jen Smith, Jill Sirianni and their guests generally talk about not just spending less, but spending with more intention and purpose. From simple plans to hack your travel and reduce trip expenses to frank discussions on where the line between being frugal and just being cheap is, these friends know how to help you spend less, save more and actually enjoy doing it.

Most people dont love to talk about money. Its usually a taboo topic when youre trying to keep polite company, and even in spaces where were supposed to divulge the details of our finances (think, in the office of a financial planner, for example), it can be hard to have financial conversations.

Thats because personal finance is never just about numbers, and there are a lot of emotions and feelings that can stop us from understanding the right money moves to make or reaching out for help when we need it most.

Dropping in on the open and honest conversations that take place on Beyond The Dollar with Sarah Li Cain, however, can help you understand how to better navigate really tough topics. My favorite thing about this podcast is that the episodes help to normalize issues that might feel embarrassing, overwhelming or impossible to figure out if youre going through them.

Whether its knowing how to have the talk about money with your parents or getting real about how infertility can impact a familys finances, Beyond The Dollar helps listeners realize theyre not alone and that there are solutions to even the toughest money challenges that we might face in our lives.

Not interested in waiting until age 67 to retire? You might consider joining the growing crowd of financial independence/retire early devotees, or FIRE enthusiasts. Whether you just want to be financially independent at any age or want to commit hardcore to the idea of retiring as early as possible, youll need to know how to maximize your income, manage your investments and cut down on expenses to help you get there.

The FI Show can help you do all this and more, as they feature real people who have managed to retire early, become financially independent or both. Podcast hosts Cody Berman and Justin Taylor share the stories of people whose experiences run a wide spectrum, from those who chased financial independence on as little as $10.75 an hour to entrepreneurs with million-dollar businesses they started from scratch.

This podcast highlights the seemingly countless ways you can successfully achieve financial freedom or retire early regardless of where you are in your life right now.

OK, Ill admit: Im biased on this one, as I host this podcast with my wife, Kali. But I think that dynamic is part of the reason listeners have deeply resonated with the show, and why it deserves a turn on your favorite podcast app.

Beyond Finances aims to provide real-life context to the practical money rules and the theory of financial advice that youve probably heard before but just arent sure how to best apply in your own life. Common themes range from using your money as a tool to get more value from every dollar to learning how to zoom out and look at the big picture of your financial life to increase your odds of long-term financial success.

If youre interested in the intersection of self-awareness, personal development and financial success, Beyond Finances will help you make a meaningful impact on not just your finances, but your life in general.

Eric Roberge, CFP, is the founder of Beyond Your Hammock, a virtual financial planning firm that helps professionals in their 30s and 40s make mindful decisions with their money and strategically use their incomes to achieve financial freedom.

Eric is one of Investopedia's Top 100 most influential financial advisers and is a member of "Investment News' " exclusive 40 Under 40 class of 2016.

Comments are suppressed in compliance with industry guidelines. Click here to learn more and read more articles from the author.

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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The 5 Best Money and Retirement Podcasts You Haven't Heard of Yet - Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Fewer than one in four young adults are financially independent – Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

Financial independence is one of the many markers used to designate the crossover from childhood into young adulthood, and its a milestone most Americans (64%) think young adults should reach by the age of 22, according to a new Pew Research Center study. But thats not the reality for most young adults whove reached this age.

The share of young adults who could be considered financially independent from their parents by their early 20san assessment based on their annual incomehas gone down somewhat in recent decades. A new analysis of Census Bureau data finds that, in 2018, 24% of young adults were financially independent by age 22 or younger, compared with 32% in 1980.

Looking more broadly at young adults ages 18 to 29, the share who are financially independent has been largely stable in recent decades. Overall, young men are more likely than young women to be financially independent, but this gender gap has diminished significantly.

The surveys findings underscore the extent to which many young adults are financially reliant on their parents. Some 45% of adults ages 18 to 29 (with at least one living parent) say they have received a lot of or some financial help from their parents in the past 12 months.

According to parents of young adults, those shares may be even higher. About six-in-10 parents with children ages 18 to 29 (59%) say they have given their kids at least some financial help in the past year. The study is based on two nationally representative surveys.

A majority of young adults who have received financial help from their parents say at least some of it was for recurring expenses. Six-in-ten say the money went toward household expenses such as groceries or bills, and significant shares used it to pay their tuition, rent or mortgage.

Read the full report from Pew.

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Fewer than one in four young adults are financially independent - Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

The Hyper-Frugal FIRE Lifestyle Could Be More Pitiful Than It’s Worth – Above the Law

(Image via Getty)

A few weeks ago, I read the story about Daniel, a 36-year-old lawyer who was living a very, very frugal lifestyle. He eats only rice and beans, lives in a small apartment in New Jersey, and buys his clothes from thrift shops. His goal was to retire early and he has saved up a six-figure retirement account and $400,000 in cash.

Daniel is a believer in the FIRE philosophy which is short for Financial Independence Retire Early. This goes beyond the sensible basic financial advice of spending less than you earn. The idea is to work like crazy and save as much money as possible. FIRE also recommends diversifying income sources, generating passive income, and monetizing everything you do. Once you save enough money, you can then quit your job in your 30s or 40s. You can then spend the best years and the rest of your life living happily ever after doing whatever you want to do.

I can relate to Daniel in some ways as I prefer being a minimalist. When I am not with clients or friends, I dont like to spend a lot of money eating out. And when I do eat out, it usually coincides with a restaurants special discount promotions like Taco Tuesdays. I make my own coffee, which I concede tastes slightly better than sewage. At the moment, I have no desire to live in a McMansion. And I generally do not like having a lot of stuff which ends up gathering dust or gets thrown away unused.

But after learning more about the FIRE lifestyle, I dont think I am crazy or disciplined enough for it. There are drawbacks to the FIRE lifestyle that make me wonder whether it is worth the sacrifice. Now I understand people have different priorities in life so you can take my thoughts below with a grain of salt.

You will pay more taxes. Unfortunately, the tax laws do not give incentives to save. Before you can legitimately claim an income deduction or a tax credit, you have to spend money on certain things. So if you save, a big chunk of those savings will go to the government.

That early retirement savings cannot be touched for a long time. So you have a sizeable retirement account because you maxed out your IRA or 401K contributions for many years? Thats super. But you cannot withdraw from it until you reach the age of 59 1/2 or you will have to pay a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty and possibly income taxes on the withdrawn amount. The tax laws did not have FIRE in mind.

You will give up a lot of things. Many personal finance gurus advise delayed gratification where you hold off on enjoyment now in exchange for greater enjoyment later or avoiding unnecessary debt. But the FIRE lifestyle goes beyond simple fiscal discipline. They advocate making substantial and permanent lifestyle changes.

For example, it is not enough to buy a used car to save a few thousand dollars. Some FIRE blogs tell you to learn how to fix and maintain your car by yourself. If you buy a house or rent, you are encouraged to get roommates to save costs. A few even tell you what to eat and where to buy the ingredients in order to save on grocery costs.

I can rent rooms in my house but that means I am giving up privacy and I run the risk of having bad roommates. Todays cars have so many electrical and computer controlled components that it is nearly impossible to fix them on your own. And some of the foods recommended I just dont care for.

I appreciate what they are trying to do, but I personally cannot live a life that is so micromanaged and requires me to do so many things on my own.

Your family life could be a difficult one. You might embrace the hyper-frugal FIRE lifestyle but good luck finding a significant other who shares the same philosophy while you are together. Even if you do, at some point, you and your significant other might end up being frugal about different and incompatible things. Or one of you might get sick and tired of the FIRE lifestyle altogether.

And of course, it costs money to raise children properly. Especially for the unexpected expenses that comes with parenthood such as preschool, after school activities, weekend golf lessons, or in some cases, bail money.

From the stories I read, the FIRE lifestyle is best for single people since there is no one to argue with and no one to take care of.

I wont name any names but one of the most prominent voices of the FIRE movement recently got divorced. He stated that the FIRE lifestyle was not the cause and I want to believe him. But considering that most married couples split due to finances (or lack of it), I am inclined to believe that finances played at least a part in the separation.

You might not be able to deal with financial catastrophes or opportunities. Many of the FIRE supporters assume that once people retire at some obscenely young age, they will not have major financial problems in the future. Instead, they think that everyone will live happily ever after and they will have money to pay a doctor for a checkup.

Before you quit your day job, you will need to save a substantial amount of money for a major financial catastrophe. You or a family member could suffer from a serious medical condition. Or you might be sued.

Or it may not be catastrophe but instead a potentially lucrative but expensive investment opportunity that interests you.

And if you retire at young age, it can be more problematic because there will be more time for potential catastrophes. Especially if you plan to spend your free time pursuing hobbies such as parkour, rock climbing, or whatever these people are doing.

You might be unemployable. Finally, lets just say that at some point, the FIRE lifestyle does not work out and you want to (or need to) go back to work. Well, your absence from the job market could make that difficult. How are you going to spin your early retirement in an interview? It is very likely you wont be welcomed back to your old senior management position. Instead, you may end up starting in the bottom in a different field.

The FIRE lifestyle sounds very appealing, especially to the significant number of people who hate their current jobs. For some people, like Daniel above, if it means living like an ascetic monk for a few years, in exchange for freedom, then thats what he will do. But with the money he has saved so far, Daniel will not live lavishly. He will live a barely middle class lifestyle in a low cost-of-living area.

But I just dont see it working for me. It means I will have to live a lower quality of life during my prime years while a chuck of the money I save goes towards taxes. If I put the money into a tax-advantaged retirement account, I wont see that money for another 17 years. Not only that, I will have to save another nest egg for potential financial catastrophes or something else.

Whenever I hear testimonials about those who followed the FIRE lifestyle and achieved significant financial freedom, I think most of them are not telling us everything. Some of these people might have cashed out large stock options after leaving their firm. Or they may have a spouse who is still working. Or they have a secret golden goose that they wont share with others. Or they may live a life that is much poorer than what people think.

It is generally a good idea to spend less than you make if you want to save money to retire. But if you want to play with FIRE, be careful because you could get burned.

Steven Chung is a tax attorney in Los Angeles, California. He helps people with basic tax planning and resolve tax disputes. He is also sympathetic to people with large student loans. He can be reached via email at sachimalbe@excite.com. Or you can connect with him on Twitter (@stevenchung) and connect with him onLinkedIn.


The Hyper-Frugal FIRE Lifestyle Could Be More Pitiful Than It's Worth - Above the Law

Quit the Rat Race Now?! 10 Cities That Put Early Retirement in Reach – SFGate

Photo: IStock; Realtor.com

Quit the Rat Race Now?! 10 Cities That Put Early Retirement in Reach

Everyone dreams of retiring someday. But retire early, in your 30s or 40s? As far-fetched as this fantasy may seem, there's a name for this wish that could help make it happen: FIRE.

Short for Financial Independence, Retire Early, the FIRE movement finds its roots in the 1992 best-seller "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez (a Wall Street financial analyst whoyou guessed itretired at 31) and Vicki Robin (who turned a modest inheritance into an income stream that allowed her to quit work at 23).

Although the idea of FIRE has been around for 25-plus years, it's recently become the obsession du jour among a seemingly unlikely group: millennials. Say what you want about their adoration of avocado toast, but this group is gung-ho to quit the rat race ASAP. But how?

In a nutshell, the FIRE premise works like this: In your early working years, you adhere to a strict, even spartan, budget so you can sock away 40% to 70% of your income and wisely invest it.

FIRE requires some sacrifice: ditching or cutting way back on expensive/fun nights out on the town, exotic vacations, or even new clothes. (Hey, nobody said this would be easy.) But once this rapidly growing nest egg totals 30 times your yearly expenses, you've reached what's called the "crossover point" where you can retire and live off the interest it generates for as long as you're still alive and kicking. No job required!

While FIRE fans have a variety of strategies to reach these lofty goals, one key cornerstone to most FIRE plans involves buying a homea well-priced one, in a town where the job market will allow you to bank plenty of cash.

So to help point you in the right direction, the data team at realtor.com crunched the numbers and found where these FIRE-friendly enclaves are hiding, so you can embark on your own early path to retirement right now.

Owning a home helps you build equity, forces savingand, if you buy correctly, you'll have your home paid off quickly," says Ilyce Glink, founder and CEO of financial wellness platform BestMoneyMoves.com. At that point, you can either sell the place for a fat profit or rent it out, turning it into an income-producing asset.

Glink cautions that would-be FIRE followers need to be sure not to overly stretch their budget: Monthly housing costs should ideally fall well below 28% of gross monthly income (and well below the national median home price, which currently hovers around $305,000).

To find these areas that can help you get your FIRE mojo going, our data team scoped out your prospects in the nation's top 150 metropolitan areas (which include the main city and surrounding suburbs and smaller cities). We looked at the following factors*:

We also narrowed the list to include only one metro per state so that FIRE is achievable regardless of where you live.

And once you do reach this crossover point yourself? Learn Esperanto! Take up cave diving! Read Proust! Volunteer! And while the sky's the limit as to where you head next (check out our list of the fastest-growing cities for retirement if you're in need of ideas), these cities below could also be great places to stick around and grow old. Like, beyond 40.

Tony Frenzel

Average salary: $54,630**Percentage of high-paying jobs: 28.1%Median home sale price: $202,900


This Southern city is anything but sleepy, since it serves as home to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, the U.S. Armys Redstone Arsenal, and offices for Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Northrop Grumman. With such aerospace, defense, and tech heavyweights in the area, Huntsville is famed for its educated workforce and sky-high wages to go with it.

Paired with Huntsville's low home prices and a cost of living 3.3% lower than the national average, it's a FIRE-friendly combo at its bestand people are catching on.

"The market is going crazy," says local real estate agent Sid Pughof Re/Max Alliance. With three historic districts around the downtown area (Old Town, Twickenham, and Five Points), Huntsville has the largest collection of historic homes in the state of Alabama. Not up for a fixer-upper? More modern loft living abounds in the recently revitalized downtown area, including the recently renovated Terry Hutchens Building, or 200-unit Artisan Lofts.

And although prices are creeping higher to meet the demand,Matt Curtis of Matt Curtis Real Estate says deals can still be found.

Home prices here are still very affordable, with the average cost still in the low $200,000s, he says. In fact, homes for well under $200,000 exist in the communities of Ashbury, Georgetown Square, and Madison, where this three-bedroom house is priced at a mere $155,000.

Average salary:$45,130Percentage of high-paying jobs: 19.3%Median home sale price:$192,500


Knoxville has a lot going for it on the FIRE front. For starters, Tennessee has no state income tax and local property taxes are low, according to agent Laura Slymanof Slyman Real Estate.

As a result, Knoxville is an easy place to live, to raise a family, or to retire, she says.

This easy living is further enhanced by the area's strong job market, with the largest employers being the U.S. Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Most of the highest-paying gigs here are in sectors relating to science, government, or health services.

Meanwhile, with a plethora of five-star restaurants and nightlife combined with plenty of greenways and the scenic Smoky Mountains in the distance, Knoxville is often referred to as a "small big city" catering to urbanites and outdoorsy types alike, with a variety of affordable housing options.

North Knoxville is an up-and-coming neighborhood with historic properties that would make great investments. Check out this newly renovated cottage with a spacious back deck priced at $164,900.

Average salary:$50,100Percentage of high-paying jobs: 21.5%Median home sale price:$146,000


As hometown to the Wright brothers and, currently, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton is steeped in aviation history that's still present today. Aerospace and defense are some of Daytons top industries, along with manufacturing thanks to heavyweights Cargill and PepsiCo.

And these businesses have fueled not only this area's demand for high-paying jobs, but also the development of 20 city parks, more than 330 miles of biking trails, and a bike-share program. Meanwhile a revitalized downtown seeks to attract millennials by building everything from microbreweries to a new crop of green urban living environments like the Litehouse, which features a private, cobblestone interior street that oozes European charm.

The streets of Dayton are also lined with grand old fixer-uppers being remodeled and flipped for decent prices. For instance, this charming vintage-style home built in 1919 boasts a new bathroom, new flooring, even a new roof and water heater, all for a mere $79,900.

Average salary:$51,510Percentage of high-paying jobs: 21.7%Median home sale price: $135,000


The catchphrase "Will it play in Peoria?" has been around since Groucho Marx, and for good reason: This Midwestern city is the very model of mainstream America. As such, this river city has been used as a test market for everything from presidential campaigns to Metallica tours.

So if you're proud to be an American, this is your place! It's also a bustling manufacturing hub, serving as headquarters for equipment giant Caterpillar and Japanese equipment manufacturer Komatsu. The city boasts a higher employment-to-population ratio than most Northeastern, Western, or Sun Belt statesand a cost of living 20% below the national average.

And if you happen to be handy with a little construction yourself, Peoria is a prime place to snag run-down fixer-uppers for under $50,000, or even less. Don't believe us? In the neighborhood of Averyville, the median listing price hovers around $30,000, and bargains like this three-bedroom home can be had for a mere $12,500. There's nowhere to go but upparticularly since Komatsu has announced plans to raze run-down buildings along the river in this area to make way for a new park with dramatic river views.

Average salary:$49,380Percentage of high-paying jobs: 22.3%Median home sale price:$209,109

Sean Pavone/iStock

The hit HGTV show Good Bones" is set in Indianapolis, and for good reason: The city is filled with gorgeous old homes that just need a little TLCwhich makes 'em prime digs for FIRE enthusiasts who want to roll up their sleeves.

And those who settle here have a lot more than a nice house to look forward to. Crossroads of America is the official motto of this state capital, one of the busiest transportation hubs in the U.S. As such, many large employers like Amazon, Rolls-Royce, and Eli Lilly and Co. have offices here, while a budding tech scene reels in younger entrepreneurs.

Yet home pries still hover 20% below the national average, according to Josh Latham, director of sales at Re/Max Advanced Realty in Indianapolis. As such, he says, FIRE could easily be a growing theme for the city of Indianapolis and surrounding burbs."

As for which neighborhoods are up-and-coming but easy on the wallet, he points to Franklin Township, with its newly revitalized downtown and bountiful affordable housing options, including this adorable 1,632-square-foot, three bedroomfor $175,000.

Average salary:$49,150Percentage of high-paying jobs: 16.5%Median home sale price:$163,125


In 1901, a well under a Beaumont oil field called Spindletop struck black goldand gushed over 100,000 barrels a day for nine days, ushering in America's oil age. Today, Beaumont (along with nearby Gulf cities Port Arthur and Orange) makes up a major industrial area known as the Golden Triangle, where lucrative jobs from Exxon Mobil Corp., Total Petrochemicals, and other heavyweights are flowing.

As if that weren't enough to fuel your fantasies of retiring early, get this: Texas has no income tax, which means more of your paycheck can be funneled toward your yonder years. Furthermore, unlike its larger (and pricier) sister cities Dallas, Houston, and Austin, Beaumont is still a bargain where you can score deals on oil boomera mansions just begging for a makeover. For instance, this 2,452-square-foot, four-bedroom Colonial in the Oaks Historic District needs a little love, but at $119,000, it's a great investment, for residents or aspiring real estate investors alike.

Average salary:$45,850Percentage of high-paying jobs: 19.0%Median home sale price:$178,000


Let's start with the important stuff: Winston-Salem is home of the first Krispy Kreme doughnut shop, opened in 1937. Are we done here? No? Well, even if you're more interested in a lean, thrifty lifestyle than one filled with glazed crullers, this city has a whole lot going for it.

For one, Winston-Salem's downtown has received nearly $2 billion in business investments over the past several years, including the Wake Forest Innovation Quartera hub for research, biomedical science education and businesses, technology, digital media, and more. This joins many other large companies in the area, including the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (recognized for its cancer research), Hanesbrands, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., and BB&T bank.

All in all, this has turned this charming Southern city into one of the fastest-growing in the country. With a median home price of $178,000, you can get a lot of real estate for your money hereparticularly in the neighborhood of Konnoak, where the median list price comes in just shy of $100,000 and you can buy this three-bedroom brick house for a mere $132,000.

Average salary:$50,070Percentage of high-paying jobs: 23.2%Median home sale price:$175,900


Once famed for its steel mills that eventually shuttered their doors, Pittsburgh is a whole different place today, with tech heavyweights like Facebook, Uber, and Google moving in, and wages rising.

We attract a lot of the younger demographic because of the technology, says Brian Teyssier, a local real estate agent with Re/Max Advanced Realtors.

Plus, the city has sprouted a plethora of biking/walking paths that appeal to younger home buyers who are into the outdoors, as well as saving money on gas and auto bills.

Meanwhile home prices range from $160,000 to $180,000, Teyssier says. One neighborhood that's experiencing a renaissance is Brighton Heights and Brentwood, where this newly remodeled gemis listed for an affordable $139,500 just 15 minutes away from the city.

Average salary:$48,940Percentage of high-paying jobs: 23.2%Median home sale price:$220,000


Palm Bay was recently ranked in the top 10 "best places to buy a house" by Niche. The city, located on the states western coast, has many affordable homes with a suburban feel. And of course, the lack of state income tax doesn't hurt when it comes to savings.

Some of the top jobs here are in the health care, defense, and technology sectors with employers like John F. Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Oh yeah, Orlando and Disney World are just 50 miles away, if that's your thing.

For well below the $220,000 median home price, home buyers should check out the Bridgewater gated community in Bayside Lakes, where this 1,873-square-foot three-bedroom home is going for $195,000.

Average salary:$51,430Percentage of high-paying jobs: 22.5%Median home sale price:$315,000


Love winter sports, but hate the high cost of living in ski towns like Aspen, CO, or Park City, UT? Then head to Colorado Springs, with a host of primo, lower-key ski slopes nearby, like Monarch Mountain. The city also recently ranked No. 3 in the U.S. News and World Reports 2018 Best Places to Live list due to its low cost of living and unemployment rate, making it a perfect spot for FIRE fanatics.

This healthy job market mostly centers on the military and defense sectors, with plenty of tech and aerospace gigs available. Colorado Springs is home to Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Knob Hill, northeast of downtown Colorado Springs, is a great option for young professionals with its arts district, breweries, restaurants, and other attractions. In the Knob Hill area, this ranch-style home is well below the median home price at $274,999. For well-established neighborhoods, check out Cimarron and Briargate, which is near the Air Force Academy.

This nifty tool from our partners at MarketWatch can help you figure out the best places to retire based on your personal priorities.

* Data is from CoreLogic sales records, Consumer Price Index, The Tax Foundation, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau. (Highest salaries were determined by taking the top five highest-paying job categories nationally and determining what percentage of those jobs were available in that metro.)

** Median home sale prices are from May.

The post Quit the Rat Race Now?! 10 Cities That Put Early Retirement in Reach appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com.

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Quit the Rat Race Now?! 10 Cities That Put Early Retirement in Reach - SFGate

Rich Life: The Blue Zone of Financial Well-Being – Investment U

Financial Freedom

By Alexander Green

Originally posted November 4, 2019 on Liberty Through Wealth

In my last column, I discussed National Geographic Fellow Dan Buettners exciting new research on the Blue Zones, home to the worlds happiest and longest-living people.

And while money doesnt always lead to a longer and more satisfying life, it certainly doesnt hurt.

For example, in a Gallup-Sharecare study, nearly 90% of people who were managing their finances well said their relationship with their spouse or partner was strong.

Yet when finances were cited as a sore point in the household, the number of happy relationships plunged to just 60%.

Moreover, it didnt matter whether the couples were affluent or not. Money troubles create relationship troubles.

Ive seen plenty of couples, for instance, where one was an avid shopper and the other a dedicated saver. Thats a bad combo.

I knew another where one wanted to tap into retirement savings to get a new boat or remodel the kitchen and the other felt strongly otherwise.

Things went decidedly south from there.

Financial compatibility or at least peacemaking compromise seems to be a prerequisite for connubial bliss.

Arguing and worrying about money is toxic. It creates stress and conflict.

Yet when a households finances are managed smartly, relationships improve.

Studies show there is even an inverse relationship between wealth and obesity. Financial well-being, it turns out, even helps keep you slim.

(An important consideration since obesity is highly correlated with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, dementia and some forms of cancer.)

Yet in the 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey, the longest-running survey of its kind, only 23% of workers said they were very confident theyd have enough for a comfortable retirement.

(In fact, only 35% of current retirees are very confident they have enough.)

This isnt terribly surprising when you consider that 32% of Americans have no savings and 58% have less than $1,000 set aside.

This is a national tragedy, one that will have serious ramifications down the road when nonsavers petition their elected representatives to redistribute the incomes of those who have saved and invested.

Dont get me wrong. Some people are poor due to bad genes, bad luck or circumstances beyond their control.

But can this possibly describe the nearly two-thirds of Americans who havent saved for a rainy day much less up to three decades of retirement?

Especially when financial independence requires only three things:

Heres an example

Up until youre 25, your need for a home, transportation, healthcare and other expenses may take every penny you earn.

But starting at age 25, lets say you invest $190 a month in an S&P 500 index fund and earn nothing more or less than the markets long-term average annual return of 10%.

With dividends reinvested, that would turn into $1.02 million by age 65.

Thats right. Just $190 a month is all it takes to go from flat broke to millionaire status.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in this country in 2018 was $61,937.

So $190 requires the average household to save just 3.6% of its income or less than 5% post-tax to hit the seven-figure mark in 40 years.

Even if a household could save only $95 a month, it would still turn into a half-million dollars in 40 years.

(And if they bought a home and didnt pull out and spend the equity along the way that would likely get them the rest of the way to millionaire status.)

Saving. Investing. Compounding. Building equity.

Its so simple. Yet many Americans never get out of the starting blocks.


A major reason is too many people decide theyll start saving after all their wants and needs are met.

That doesnt work.

We live in a wonderful free market system where companies knock themselves out to bring us a constant array of exciting new products and services.

If you plan to start saving after all your familys desires are met well, good luck with that.

Heres the bottom line: Financial freedom doesnt just provide you with security and peace of mind.

As Dans research reveals, your health and happiness may depend on it as well.

Incidentally, Dan and I as well as several other nationally renowned business and investment experts will be speaking at The Oxford Clubs 22nd Annual Investment U Conference at the beautiful Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California, April 16-18, 2020.

This promises to be one of our very best conferences ever. For more information, click here.

Good investing,


An expert on momentum investing, value investing and investing based on insider activity, Alex worked as an investment advisor, research analyst and portfolio manager on Wall Street for 16 years. He now runs the wildly successful Oxford Communiqu, ranked as one of the top investment newsletters by Hulbert Digest for more than a decade. He is also the author of four national best-sellers: The Gone Fishin Portfolio, The Secret of Shelter Island, Beyond Wealth and An Embarrassment of Riches. He shares his wisdom in his free daily e-letter, Liberty Through Wealth.


Rich Life: The Blue Zone of Financial Well-Being - Investment U

Retirement: The benefits of being FIRE-ish – Chicago Tribune

It's easy to dismiss the super savers who embrace the FIRE movement as starry-eyed dreamers. Financial Independence, Retire Early followers -- many of whom are millennials who consider working 9 to 5 to be drudgery -- often save 50 percent to 70 percent of their annual income with the goal of retiring in 10 to 15 years. The aggressive "Lean FIRE" savers share tips online on how they manage on less than $40,000 a year -- for example, by Dumpster diving, living in a van, not having children or subsisting largely on a diet of rice and beans.But FIRE is much more than that. FIRE followers track their money, invest in low-cost funds, avoid high-interest debt and focus their spending on what's important to them, rather than buying things just because they can afford them. Adapting some of these FIRE principles to fit your less-austere lifestyle can go a long way toward helping you achieve your retirement goals. If you're not ready to go full-blown FIRE, here's how to be FIRE-ish:Boosting savings gives you more money to invest. But more important, "every time you increase your savings rate, you are decreasing your lifestyle," says Whitney Morrison, principal financial planner with LegalZoom. That means you won't need to accumulate as much to maintain your lifestyle in retirement. FIRE folks typically watch every penny. You don't have to be that precise, but you should have an idea of your cash flow so you can find extra dollars to put toward savings. Some expenses, such as a car loan or kids' extracurricular activities, disappear over time, freeing up money that you can redirect into investments, says Melissa Sotudeh, a certified financial planner in Rockville, Md. "If you're at the point that you've got the kids launched, that's a big pay raise there," she says.Or boost savings by cutting expenses. "There is a lot of low-hanging fruit that won't force you into depriving yourself," says Brad Barrett, cofounder of the ChooseFI website. You don't have to give up your lattes. Look to housing and transportation, the largest expenses for consumers. If the kids are grown and you no longer need a four-bedroom house, consider downsizing.

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Retirement: The benefits of being FIRE-ish - Chicago Tribune

Dress for Success Vancouver Raises $118,000 at 20th Anniversary Success Luncheon – Yahoo Finance

Over 20 years the registered charity has successfully helped over 35,000 women in the Lower Mainland transition into the professional workforce

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dress for Success Vancouver (DFSV), last week, celebrated 20 years of empowering women in the workforce with The Success Luncheon 2019 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The event brought together 400 business executives and senior leaders from some of BCs most profitable and influential sectors, and featured a keynote by CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, Joi Gordon. Through insightful presentations, discussions, and networking opportunities, attendees celebrated the impact the organization has had on Vancouvers changing workforce over the last 20 years.

The Dress for Success Vancouver team and I are honoured to be part of the driving force that advocates for the empowerment of women and their unmatched contributions to Vancouvers workforce, said Amy Robichaud, Executive Director of Dress for Success Vancouver. We are committed to making the necessary resources and services available to women who are entering the Canadian job market for the first time accounting for roughly 80 percent of our DFSV clients and ensuring their transition into the professional workforce, BC economy, and local community.

Having expanded well beyond its humble church basement beginnings 20 years ago, DFSV has helped guide more than 35,000 women in the Lower Mainland towards financial independence and economic inclusion through workforce development programs and services including offering interview-appropriate clothing for those seeking employment. With a strong focus on growing the female workforce, DFSV has had a significant impact on the local economy, successfully generating a potential economic engine of over $1 billion CAD.

Boughton Law is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of the Success Luncheon for a third consecutive year and to continue our ongoing partnership with Dress for Success Vancouver, said Luca Citton, Managing Director and Chair of the Community Action Committee at Boughton Law. As a society, it is our collective responsibility to empower women by equipping them with the tools they need to not only enter the workforce but thrive and succeed in it.

We are so pleased to have been involved in this years Success Luncheon, and to further the empowerment of women in our local economy, said DFSV partner Jacqui MacNeill, CEO and Founder of Escents Aromatherapy. Escents entire workforce is comprised of strong and highly-proficient women, and being part of this event could not have aligned more closely with our values and beliefs.

This year, the Success Luncheon 2019 raised $118,000 CAD, which will go towards furthering the mission of Dress for Success Vancouver and their commitment to empowering women as they enter the local job market. Sponsors of this years event included Presenting Sponsor Boughton Law; Platinum Sponsors David Yurman, Smart Savvy + Associates, and Aritzia; Gold Sponsors Grosvenor, Cargill, and EWOS; and more - with goodies provided by Escents for guests to take home.

About Dress For Success Vancouver

Dress for Success Vancouver (DFSV) is proud to celebrate 20 years in 2019, established in 1999 as the first International affiliate of Dress for Success Worldwide. The organization is an independent registered charity committed to empowering women into the workforce by providing professional attire, career development tools and a career advancement program. DFSV serves over 2000 clients per year and works with over 80 referral agencies: from Work BC and immigration services, to hospitals, colleges, and youth programs. For more info visithttps://www.dfsvancouver.org.

Media ContactSasha YeomansTalk Shop Media604 690 3509sasha@talkshopmedia.com

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Dress for Success Vancouver Raises $118,000 at 20th Anniversary Success Luncheon - Yahoo Finance

Separation of Church and State Inevitable – IcelandReview

The eventual separation of church and state is inevitable, writes Minister of Justice slaug Arna Sigurbjrnsdttir in an op-ed in Morgunblai this morning. The Church of Iceland is fully capable of executing its duties independent of the state.

Icelands 1874 constitution guarantees religious freedom, but also specifies that the Evangelical Lutheran Church is a national church and as such it is protected and supported by the State. This provision was retained in the constitution of the Republic of Iceland of 1944.

According to slaug, the demand for equality among religious organisations has become increasingly salient. An autonomous church independent of the government better accords with the ideals of freedom of religion and opinion, but the Church of Iceland (The Evangelical Lutheran Church) has enjoyed special status within Icelandic governance, she writes. According to slaug, more and more people are now convinced that the financing of religious organisations should not fall within the governments purview. Many will continue to follow the church, she writes, even if a complete separation of church and state becomes a reality.

A new agreement between the government and the Church of Iceland stipulates that the latter will no longer function as another state institution. Rather, the church will come to resemble an independent religious organisation, responsible for its own operations and finances. These changes are a significant improvement. Heading in the direction of full separation of church and state is inevitable. Until then and despite this agreement the Church of Iceland will, in accordance with the constitution, continue to enjoy the support and guardianship of the Icelandic government.

The above-mentioned agreement, signed in September, specifies the increased financial independence of the Church of Iceland. From January 1st onward, the Church of Iceland will process its own wages and manage its own books. Furthermore, a special law on Church-managed funds will be revoked.

According to slaug, the teachings of the Church continue to be significant and meaningful to the everyday lives of Icelandic citizens. If citizens continue to trust the church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church will continue to be Icelands national church, irrespective of its legal or governmental status.

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Separation of Church and State Inevitable - IcelandReview

Heres How This Nurse Paid Off $1M Of Debt In Just Over 2 Years – Forbes

When Naseema McElroy completed her Masters in nursing in her early 30s, she was set to make a good living in the Bay area, where nurse salaries can reach well into the six figures. She also expected her remaining balance of her $186,000 in student loans to be paid off in a decade, under a student loan forgiveness program.

Fast-forward three years to 2015, and she couldnt seem to get ahead. Something clicked, she said, it is this $1,900 a month [Im] paying to student loans.

She came to the realization that she would have to put her life on hold for the seven remaining years before the loan forgiveness program kicked in. Even then, it mostly would have just covered interest, based on the peak of her payback plan. The pay off didnt add up.

McElroy paid off nearly $1 million in debt in just over two years by figuring out what she could ... [+] live without.

This thought set her down a path to pay off all of her debt, which at the time reached nearly $1 million if you include her mortgage, in just over two years. Using a mix of her real estate, the flexibility with her job as a nurse and some tactical strategies to reduce her costs, she has managed to free herself from the debt.

With nearly 45 million Americans living in student loan debt and the average person having $38,000 in any kind of debt, excluding mortgages, the pull to rid oneself of the monthly payments is strong. But its more than that. In a survey, TIAA and the MIT Lab found that 73% of respondents said that the student loan impact has forced them to put off maximizing their retirement savings, while one-in-four arent saving at all due to the debt load.

For those that seek financial independence (FI) or want to retire early, the ability to get rid of the debt as fast as possible, in order to start funneling cash into savings is step number one. For McElroy, her debt strategy has allowed her to save nearly $200,000 in the two years since she became debt free. Heres how she did it.

Unloading Her Inconvenient Home

Living in the Bay area will naturally come with some large expenses. Among McElroys debt load, more than half came from the $575,000 she owed on her mortgage. Not many would be willing to give up the home in order to pay off the debt and it wasnt originally part of the plan, she said.

But then she started to evaluate her experience with the house. It wasnt in a convenient location, creating an almost hour commute. On top of that, it wasnt close to her family, making it difficult to see them on a regular basis. Not to mention, all the extra costs that come with keeping up a home. In the end, she felt it made more sense for her to list the house, use the proceeds to pay off the rest of the student loans, and then rent elsewhere.

After selling the house with about a $100,000 profit, she paid off the remaining student loan debt. Between selling her condo that she rented out in L.A. in 2015 and listing her home, she was able to reduce her real estate debt exposure by nearly $650,000 while earning about $200,000 in profit.

As for housing, she eventually settled in Oakland, renting a house. But she convinced her landlord to allow them to sublease the basement, cutting her rent by 36%.

The Pay-Down Plan

The student loans, however, were the last piece of her debt that McElroy paid off. She had taken out a 403b loan in order to afford the initial down payment on her house, along with a car, which she still owed about $25,000 on and some other personal debt.

McElroy paid off her smallest debts first, finally finishing off her student loan debt after the ... [+] sale of her home.

When she sold her condo, it was these payments she first paid off. She chose to go that route, before attacking the student loans, for two reasons. First, shes an acolyte of the snowball method to pay back debt, attacking the smallest one first. But she also struggled with the notion of the student loans, since she was part of the loan forgiveness program.

What changed her mind? In 2016 and 2017, her income kept growing higher, which meant her payments had to increase. I only saw the payment getting higher and it felt stifling, McElroy said.

With basic math, she realized her average payment would mean the program would only forgive the interest. She could avoid the interest by simply paying back the loan. From 2015 to 2017, every extra penny went to the loan. By the time she sold her house, she only had a little more than $19,000 left to repay on the student loans.

Nursing Provides Her FI Flexibility

Since paying off her debt, McElroy has launched a podcast, Nurses on FIRE, where she explains tricks and tactics that nurses can use to expedite their financial independence. Shes taken her own savings efforts to the next level, increasing her total savings to about 10% of her $2 million FI goal.

But she also explains that her career allows her a level of flexibility to increase or decrease how much she wants to work, depending on whats needed at the time.

There are so many ways to maximize my income, she said, by either increasing her shifts or adding another job, like filling in for nurses that have left on maternity leave.

Working three days a week, it also allows her ample time to grow what she hopes becomes bigger revenue streams with her blog, Financially Intentional, and podcast. But she doesnt worry about the retire early notion of FIRE.

Instead shes tackling ways that she can scale back, increase her hours, travel abroad or other tactics open to nurses.

Theyre strategies shes testing and pursuing, since she doesnt have to worry about a large payment accruing interest due at the end of each month.

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Heres How This Nurse Paid Off $1M Of Debt In Just Over 2 Years - Forbes

Playing Net Game With Serena Williams: Rapid Replies On Success, Investing And Business – Forbes

Randall Lane with Serena Williams at Forbes Under 30 Summit 2019.

In a time machine, where would historys greatest female athlete travel? I would go see what Jesus was up to or Moses part the Red Sea.

How many more years will Serena Williams compete at tennis? However much longer Roger Federer plans on playing.

If not tennis, what sport would she pursue? Golf. I can hit it really far; it just doesnt go in a straight line.

The same applies to Serena Williams career, as in recent years the 38-year-old, 23-time Grand Slam winner made career moves off the path that built her a $225 million fortune over the past two decades. Keynoting the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Detroit on October 28, Williams discussed the motivations and lessons behind her forays into fashion, investing and advocacyand indulged the young entrepreneurial audience in rapid Q&A, akin to rallying at the net.

Williams revealed a few of her favorite investments since she entered the venture capital game five years ago and has dropped money into 34 companies. Meal-prep subscription service Gobble and Alchemy 43, a Drybar-like destination for Botox and filler treatments, to name two, exhibit Serena Ventures focus on underfunded demographics: Only 2.3% of funding went to women-led startups in 2018, according to Pitchbook.

If Im the boss, Im going to give other people opportunities that normally wouldn't have had opportunities. Because I know what its like, she said. Or the narrative is never going to change.

The first athlete to make Forbes annual list of Richest Self-Made Women, Williams also discussed financial independence before a crowd of nearly 5,000 20- and 30-something professionals at Detroits Masonic Temple and a partnership aimed at reframing another narrative. A partnership with the Allstate Foundation, the Purple Purse initiative promotes financial empowerment as a rescue for victims of domestic violence. Research indicates that financial abuse occurs in 99% of domestic violence cases and is a primary reason victims stay in unsafe, unhealthy relationshipsperhaps one individual is preventing the other person from working or from accessing bank accounts.

We have to make those uncomfortable topics comfortable in order to make change, she said onstage with Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month draws to a close, an occasion for which Williams designed a handbag and a backpack for Purple Purse.

Serena Williams and Randall Lane in the at Forbes Under 30 Summit 2019, held in Detroit's Masonic ... [+] Temple.

Thats but one avenue where her professional portfolio beyond sport has ventured into fashion. Serena apparel line debuted in 2018 with affordable items ranging from dresses to denim to blazers, inspired by early sewing skills she and sister Venus learned from their mother in their Compton, California upbringing.

I think people definitely underestimate me, but thats what makes me most dangerous.

Originally posted here:

Playing Net Game With Serena Williams: Rapid Replies On Success, Investing And Business - Forbes

1 in 5 middle-class Singaporeans wont survive a month if they lose their jobs, survey finds – Business Insider

Half of all middle-class Singaporeans dont have enough savings to cover six months of expenses if they lose their job and onein five say they wont even last a month, according to a report by financial comparison site GoBear.

The report, published on Friday (Nov 1), surveyed1,028 middle-class Singaporeans aged between 18 and 65 on their attitudes toward personal finance. It did not define what middle-class meant.

The survey found that local respondents top three financial priorities weresaving money, achievingfinancial independence, and creating an emergency fund.

Read also:Half of Singapore is in the worlds richest 10% and 226,000 people are among the elite 1%

However, 45 per cent of respondents admitted they did not have enough savings to cover half a years worth of expenses, with 21 per cent adding they couldnt live beyond a month if they lost their main source of income.

Stashing away six months worth of salary in an emergency fund is a common piece of financial advice to guard against retrenchment or sudden expenses such as medical bills.

GoBear citedfinancial risk management expert Wong Kon How as saying this was because most Singaporeans assets were locked away inproperty and CPF accounts.

Wong added that this monthly expenditure could have been influenced by pressure to keep up appearances and becoming accustomed to a certain quality of life.

The report also found that found thatSingaporean respondents owned about nine financial products on average higher than respondents of similar surveys in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Respondents here also hadhigher levels of financial knowledge compared to their Asian counterparts.

Despite this, almost half the Singapore respondents werepessimistic about their financial future, and feltfinancially insecure.About 55 per cent of respondents said the rising cost of living in Singapore outpaced their earnings.

When asked about growing their wealth, one in three said they did not know how to do so.A quarter said they believed investing was risky, and one in five still keptcash at home in piggy banks.

Read also:


1 in 5 middle-class Singaporeans wont survive a month if they lose their jobs, survey finds - Business Insider

These Identical Twins Seek Financial Independence In Very Different Ways, Together – Forbes

When David and Stephen Baughier took on part-time jobs in high school, they remember their dad telling them to save 80% of the money they made, spending only 20% of it. At the time, they saved for big-ticket items, like buying or maintaining a car, but the concept stuck.

Since leaving the childhood home, the identical twins have gone down far different paths. David will reach 20 years of service in the Navy in early 2021, while Stephen worked as an accountant after his Naval service ended in 2002 (he also spent six years as an Air Force reservist). And their personalities differ as well David, the more Type-A one while Stephen more laid back. Yet, theyve both become acolytes and even voices within the FIRE (financial independence, retire early) movement. Despite their similarities, their strategies, tactics and goals for extreme early retirement were far different.

Identical twins, Stephen and David Baughier lean on each other when questions arise about navigating extreme early retirement.

Our spending habits are fueled both by our environment and genetics. Studies have found, for instance, that twins, even when raised in different homes, invest similarly. But as we move out into the world, were also greatly impacted by those around us. Researchers, using a real financial firm offering, found that if presented with the investment, there was a 42% signup rate. When social groups were told their friends invested, the success rate rose to nearly 93%.

Were motivated by those around us which is why having a social group thats pursuing the same purpose, whether youre seeking FIRE or just typical-aged retirement, helps in the quest since it takes years to achieve. The community allows for a safe place to ask questions while in the process of super-saving.

While you dont need an identical twin to find this advice, for David, founder of the FIRE education platform Fiology, and Stephen, founder of the retreat CampFI, having a brother pursuing the same end goal - financial independence - has provided them with someone to lean on when concerns or questions arise.

Stephen Escapes The 9-to-5 For Now

Working as an accountant within a defense contractor, Stephen understood what it looked like to make more money. Yet, he couldnt ever seem to get ahead in his own finances.

With two kids, a wife and a mortgage, much of his financial thoughts went into just figuring out how to pay the credit cards, he said. The debt always took a front seat to retirement planning. It took a divorce in 2014 for him to really hone in on why he couldnt get ahead.

Around that time, David had come across the notion of financial independence (FI). With two kids and a wife of his own, he began to engineer his own FIRE mark. Through regular conversations with his brother, David mentioned the FI concepts, and a light bulb went off for Stephen as well.

Soon after, Stephen moved into a smaller home, one that could still hold his two children but it wasnt nearly as expensive as his previous house. He also became much more aware of what he spent his extra funds on. His expenses plummeted to less than $20,000 a year and magically, money started piling up, he said.

After two years, he had saved enough to step away from the day-job, at least for a couple of years. He helped out with peoples taxes during the tax season that first year, but covers the majority of his expenses with a rental property and CampFI. Its not the independence that most people seek, but for him he wanted the freedom to spend time with his kids, since he had less time with them due to the divorce.

Yet, in three years of his mini-retirement, hes never struggled to pay the bills and couldnt imagine living life differently, even if his portfolio reached the millions.

David Realigns With Stephens Advice

Davids likely retirement looks much more traditional for service members that seek to give up a career. After he reaches 20 years of service, he will have the pension for part of his income, as well rental properties and a Roth IRA. The combined amount should give him a little more than $100,000 a year in retirement income.

But theres some nervousness around stepping away from the workforce in your early 40s, preparing for a potential 50-year retirement horizon. Because of that, David has struggled with the notion of whether to pay off all of the rental property debt before he steps away from the job or to continue to funnel money into his retirement funds.

After battling with the decision, he went to Stephen for advice. While Stephen understood Davids concerns, he also recognized that David didnt have much downside either way. Stephen essentially said, dont worry about it, do what you want to do, said David, depending on where you want to be on the tightwad-spectrum.

For David, whos the ultimate planner, he needed to hear that to realize he was overthinking it. He eventually decided to cut back some on the savings, so he could pay down more properties.

I call him and talk to him about stuff, said David, and it helps to realign why hes pursuing FI in the first place.

Developing Extra Income Streams

Stephen built CampFI, which now hosts a number of retreats a year to discuss FIRE.

Maybe highlighting the differences in how the two have reached their version of financial independence, more than anything else, is in the development of income streams. David began building a portfolio of rental properties in 2011, and now owns seven homes, providing about half of his soon-to-be retirement income.

While Stephen has the one rental property, his path to CampFI was far different. After he quit the day job, with the free time, he wanted a way to connect with others that live life in a similar vein to him. In 2016, he attended a Camp Mustache excursion and enjoyed it so much that he ran his own Camp Mustache in Florida. After that experience, he realized he could build something, and changed the name to CampFI. He will host seven such retreats across the country this year, with a higher-end goal of ten in 2020.

He never thought it would turn into a moneymaking enterprise, but now he recognizesit could be a meaningful business, Stephen said, one that pays the bills, potentially extending that mini-retirement further.

And just because they make money differently, doesnt mean they also cant help each other.

We understand the decisions to be made in the context of each other's life, said David. This makes us better able to support each other as we talk through the pros and cons of a potential course of action.

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These Identical Twins Seek Financial Independence In Very Different Ways, Together - Forbes

F.I.R.E. Movement: What to know about the extreme-savings trend – Fox Business

A TD Ameritrade survey finds that most people believe $1 million is enough to retire. FOX Business Lauren Simonetti with more.

Would you be willing to save 75 percent of your income in order to retire by the age of 30?

Thats the premise of the F.I.R.E. movement,which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early.

Participants in the movement save up huge percentages of their paychecks for several years in order to retire much earlier than the typical retirement age.

The trend has become particularly popular among millennials, who are fed up with demanding, high-stress jobs and want to devote their time to more fulfilling pursuits.

However, its not an easy trend to follow. According to Forbes, there are essentially three steps to pursuing F.I.R.E., which include significantly cutting down on expenses and saving 75%(ideally) of your income in investments.

The F.I.R.E. movement -- which stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early -- has become popular with millennials in recent years. (iStock)

The third step is to retire once youve saved 25 to 40 times your annual expenses -- depending on how old you are.

To find out more about the trend, here are five things to know about the F.I.R.E. movement:

Even though the F.I.R.E. movement has picked up steam in the last few years, one of the greatest inspirations for the F.I.R.E. Movement is the book Your Money or Your Life, by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, according to Money. The book was published in 1992 and Robin, who is now in her 70s, hasnt worked since she was in her 20s, the magazine reported.

The 1992 book "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez has greatly influenced the F.I.R.E. movement in recent years, according to Money. (Photo: Penguin Random House)

However, Robin didnt necessarily intend for her book to have the impact that it has.

Our aim was not just to have a whole bunch of people quit their jobs, Robin told The New York Times last year. Our aim was to lower consumption to save the planet. We attracted longtime simple-living people, religious people, environmentalists.


The 2010 book Early Retirement Extreme, by Jacob Lund Fisker also greatly inspired the movement, according to Forbes. Fisker also started a blog with the same name, on which he promises to give you the tools to become financially independent in 5 years.

The F.I.R.E. blog "Physician on FIRE"explains that there are two kinds of FIRE: leanF.I.R.E. and fatF.I.R.E.

If someone is following a leanF.I.R.E. lifestyle, theyre living extremely frugally. According to the blog, thats the approach that Fisker took to retire in just 5 years.

Meanwhile, someone whos following fatF.I.R.E. spends a bit more than a typical early retiree, the blog says.

Along with the difficulty in saving so much money, the F.I.R.E. movement can have a negative impact on participants social lives, according to The New York Post.

Friends and relatives can misunderstand the motivations of F.I.R.E., and significant others can struggle to conform.

One of the bigger issues with the F.I.R.E. movement is that it isnt available to people with small incomes, according to money management expert Dave Ramsey.

In order to gain financial independence and retire early, participants have to live radically frugally for many years before they can retire. However, they have to continue to live the frugal lifestyle they adopted in order to save. (iStock)


Many proponents of F.I.R.E. agree that no matter how much you cut down your lifestyle, its going to take a large income probably somewhere in the six-figure range to have the ability to save enough to retire before your 40th birthday. Keep in mind, youre trying to out-save a lot of inflation and non-working years the earlier you retire, Ramsey says on his blog.

After years of saving at extreme levels, young retirees still have to live frugally once theyve retired. According to The Times, many people who adhere to F.I.R.E. take out just 4% from their portfolio accounts. So if someone has saved $1 million for retirement, they should only take out about $40,000 a year, increasing it only by inflation.

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F.I.R.E. Movement: What to know about the extreme-savings trend - Fox Business

Retirement at 38 and 41: heres how this couple saved enough to retire early – Vox.com

Welcome to Money Talks, a new series in which we interview people about their relationships with money, their relationships with each other, and how those relationships inform one another.

Tanja Hester and Mark Bunge achieved financial independence and early retirement in 2017, when Tanja was 38 years old and Mark was 41. Prior to retirement, they were political and social cause consultants who went from entry-level salaries in the low five figures to six-figure salaries during their final earning years. They started saving for early retirement around 2011 and got really serious in 2013.

Theyve been chronicling their pre- and post-FIRE the movement focused on Financial Independence and Early Retirement journey at the popular Our Next Life blog, which includes plenty of tips and insights for people who want to follow a similar path. Tanjas book Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way, published earlier this year.

In this conversation, Tanja and Mark discuss how they learned how to talk about money, why they decided to retire early, how they achieved financial independence, and what its like to live a post-FIRE life of travel.

The following conversation is lightly condensed and edited for clarity.

Mark: We started talking finances pretty early.

Tanja: Mark asked me how much I earned on our very first date.

Mark: I dont remember if it was actually our first date, but it was pretty early on, and I probably initiated some finance conversations.

Tanja: We had a weekend-long date, and I was coming in thinking we were each paying our share. He was a couple years older and I was pretty close to entry-level, so at that point Mark earned about double what I did. So he was asking if he could pay, because he earned more than I did and I had debt. It was out of a spirit of trying to be more equitable based on our means.

In the early years, it was like a whole new world. I was used to eating at only cheap restaurants, and all of a sudden we were going to nicer places, and it was a very different cultural shift for me. I had only ever had friends who were broke, I never had friends who could afford to splurge on things. So we did that for a while until we decided to dial the splurges back and focus on some bigger goals.

Mark: By the time we got together I was willing to foot more of the living expenses so that Tanja could really be aggressive about paying down debt. But its not like I was dragging Tanja into these conversations. Most of the time were pretty much on the same page with financial goals.

Tanja: We were really lucky. I managed to find a way-below-market-price rent-controlled apartment in LA so our rent never exceeded $1,000. In LA, I think we should get an Olympic medal for that. We had one car, a little Honda Civic that we still have, so our base living expenses were very low relative to the market. We could splurge quite a bit and not be talking massive numbers, so we didnt run into trouble.

It was about having low fixed expenses and earning more than we needed, to tell you the truth. I dont want to act like we did this by being the most principled or the most virtuous with our money. We earned more than we needed and we didnt have kids, so that gives you a lot more freedom than other folks might have.

When we first got married, for a few years we used those how long do you think the allowances lasted? A year and a half, maybe?

Mark: A couple years. Not that long.

Tanja: We used our individual checking accounts and gave ourselves a monthly allowance because we each wanted to be able to spend without questions. We ultimately decided that wasnt necessary because we had enough trust in each other to say, Okay, I know that if youre going to splurge on something, its for a good reason. I may not always agree that Mark needs a new mountain bike and he might not always agree that I need a new pair of shoes for one presentation

Mark: Way to make those perfectly gendered, by the way.

Tanja: Theyre not always so gendered! But we respect that the other is not being capricious about those things, so it works out.

Mark: I think it gave us space to trust each other. Having his and her accounts gave us time to realize that we could trust each other without having to scrutinize each others spending. If we had been completely combined with no allowance from the beginning, maybe it wouldnt have worked.

Tanja: We both had careers that we got a lot out of and that were fulfilling in certain ways but they really just took such a big toll on us, on our health, on our happiness, and on our marriage. We were political consultants before, and its the kind of work that you do because you feel very invested in the cause, but its also just really relentless in terms of the pace and the pressure.

As we moved up the ranks, it was always more work, never less. It was always being more reachable, never less reachable. We started to get to a point where we couldnt even go out of cell range on our vacations. We felt like, Okay, we cant do this forever. If we have to do this for 30 more years, what will we even be when we get to the end of it?

That was our overall motivation for the two of us, and then for me in particular, I have a genetic health condition in my family that forced my dad to retire when he was 42 and I knew that could be in my future too. A lot of the stuff we like doing is outdoorsy stuff and travel, so I had a lot of motivation to hurry up and get to early retirement while I was still physically able to do all of the stuff that I wanted to do.

Mark: We were living in Los Angeles and spending as much free time as we could in the mountains. Then we moved to Tahoe and bought a house after the market crashed. We realized if we just shoved all the money that we had been spending in Los Angeles and just started saving and investing, we would have a lot of extra money. We jokingly started talking about a 10-year plan to retirement, but it wasnt a plan, it was just kind of a running joke. We hadnt put any numbers on paper. Then we did sit down and start making spreadsheets and realizing we could do it.

Tanja: Right before we got married, we fully combined all of our accounts. We have our own credit card accounts, which is really because we both had a lot of work travel when we were travelling, and we each have a separate checking account, but thats really where we park money to pay the separate credit card bills. We dont do anything separate otherwise. We have joint checking, joint savings, joint investment accounts, obviously legally your 401(k)s and IRAs have to be separate, but we have access to each others. Were fully combined in that sense and have always thought of the money as fully joint, not as we pay some share each.

When we first moved in together when we were first dating, I had some debt, almost $30,000. Considering that I was earning barely more than that, it felt huge. So we at that point decided that paying off my debt was the top priority, so Mark started paying for more stuff and I focused all of my money on the debt. By the time we started saving for early retirement, it didnt feel like a new thing. It just felt like the next progression in some habits that we had been building for a number of years. We were reaching for a bigger goal, but the process to get there was the same as it was for the other goals.

The truth is that I did have an extreme couponing phase, but that was short-lived, it was time-consuming and I dont recommend it. Really what we did [to save] was that we tried to get to a spending level that felt comfortable but not extravagant, and any new money we earned we automatically banked. New raises would go directly into savings, investments would come out of our checking account on payday so wed never see the money, it would come in and right away leave, and that was the strategy we used from my debt payoff all the way through saving for two places and retiring early.

As we earned more, we saved more, and we never really saw the money. It was all automated. It didnt take willpower, and I honestly think thats the most powerful way someone can save. Not every career path has the same ability to grow your earnings, but if youre in one where your pay can go up, if you just dont see raises as an excuse to spend more and you just spend the same and save it, that stuff really compounds quickly over time.

Tanja: Its kind of a new world. Were experimenting with giving ourselves more of what feels like a paycheck, a regular infusion into our checking account, but we havent totally figured out what feels right yet. Were still learning as we go.

Weve saved enough to not ever need to work again. To not need to write the book, to not need to have the blog though I dont make any money off the blog, I always want to be really clear about that but we did earn more in our first year than we expected because I did get a small book advance, Mark did a little client work that he felt really passionate about. So we spent more the first year since we earned a little more. Were calling it the gravy approach to budgeting. We have a fixed income floor, but if we earn a little extra, were allowed to spend that.

Mark: We did a lot more rigorous planning in terms of the saving and investing side and projecting the growth in our nest egg. When it comes to the spending side, our general approach has been a little less line-itemy

Tanja: A lot less line-itemy.

Mark: When we were working, we always did the pay-yourself-first approach, where we would put X amount [of your paychecks] in savings and X amount in investments and keep doing our 401(k) and the rest would go into our checking. We found that once we had been together for a while we naturally spent whatever was in our checking, so if we had a car repair, we would without discussing it just go out to eat less. Or if we went on a trip that month, we would not do XYZ when we got back home. We found a way to accidentally budget, but it wasnt like we would sit down and look at our spreadsheet this month and say, Whoops, we had this expense, so we cant do these other things wed planned. Im not advocating that method, its just what worked for us.

When we started making progress toward financial independence, we started ratcheting up our savings and tightening our spending. Wed still find ways without discussing to make it work.

Tanja: The bottom line is that we dont let money sit in our checking account that we are not allowed to spend. Now were experimenting with different accounts. We paid off our house so we dont have a mortgage payment, but if we hadnt we would set up an account for the mortgage payment and put the money there. Then whatevers in checking is discretionary, and we can spend it but if we spend a lot on groceries, we cant spend as much on everything else. As long as we dont run out by the end of the month, were fine. [Tanja and Mark have a life happens fund to cover any unexpected expenses that cant be funded through their checking account, and any money pulled from the life happens account is replenished in subsequent months.] Our tracking is really in our investments. How are our accounts doing and are we running through our money too quickly?

Mark: Now that were in this brave new world of fixed income, we might need to do a three-month analysis and actually scrutinize our spending a little bit. Be a little more deliberate about it than we have been.

Tanja: Were traveling so much that its hard to define what a normal month of spending looks like. It might be easier to define a normal year than a normal month.

We just got back from the UK, where we were for almost a month, and we did have a moment because Im laughing because we didnt throw money at a problem, but we did throw points at a problem. We had a bad hotel and we needed to find another, and I was able to quickly call Marriott and say, Hey, can I use some points to fix this? Its helped that we both travel a lot for work and stockpiled a lot of points during that time. Weve used credit cards for points for a number of years, so weve got a pretty good cushion there.

Mark: Thats one of the things, both when we were saving and ratcheting down our spending to save more, and now that were early retired and trying to spend on a modest budget, weve sort of had to get out of the mindset of throwing money at problems generally. So far weve been lucky and not really had to do that on travel. Were traveling at a pretty modest level these days, not staying in five-star hotels or anything like that. Were doing hostels and Airbnbs.

Tanja: This last trip I took was for my 40th birthday so I was pretty particular about what I wanted to do, but the other travel weve done has been pretty opportunistic. We went to France last fall for a month when we basically just put into Google Flight Search look at fares from San Francisco to Europe, or from San Francisco to Asia, we priced the whole world and found that France was the cheapest. That dictated that trip. Not being attached to a particular trip or a particular set of things also helps diffuse a lot of that stress.

Mark: After each trip we try to figure out when we were feeling stressed and what was it in the trip planning we could have changed. For example: not spending just one night in places. The quick turnaround doesnt give you time, you feel like youre rushed. We try to spend at least two nights in places, even small cities where theres not much to see.

I think when youre talking about money or life in general, most people think about where you want to go, and then life just starts happening. Your spending habits start getting engrained and you get a job and the career path often has a kind of inertia to it. For us, once we had this big and audacious goal of retiring early, it just got us thinking more deliberately about money, what its for, the life choices we were making and why. Realizing that you can do something different, to align with your goals, is the biggest thing.

If you have a compelling story about how money comes into play in one of your relationships whether with a partner, a friend, a sibling, a coworker, or what have you we want to hear about it! Email alanna.okun@vox.com and karen.turner@vox.com with a little about yourself.

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Retirement at 38 and 41: heres how this couple saved enough to retire early - Vox.com

This 24-year-old is earning $230,000 a yearhere are the 3 steps he’s taking to become a millionaire by 30 – CNBC

Alex Sanchez is on track to become a millionaire before he turns 30.

The 24-year-old is an overhead lineman in the Chicago area, works two side hustles and saves around $7,000 per month, not to mention the thousands more he invests into his 401(k) and brokerage account.

Growing up in what he describes as a lower-middle class household, Sanchez didn't know much about finances until he was around 20, and discovered personal finance videos and personalities on YouTube. After watching a few of these, he picked up books like "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki and "The Millionaire Real Estate Investor" by Jay Papasan. He's implemented the strategies outlined in these books, and others, in his day-to-day to earn and save as much money as he can.

Sanchez is a big fan of the FIRE movement Financial Independence, Retire Early but his goal isn't just to reach financial independence for himself. He also wants to help out his parents with their retirements.

"I have to give back to my parents, because they came here as immigrants to give us, their kids, a better life," Sanchez, a first generation American, tells CNBC Make It. "I know all the sacrifice and pain they went through, and I would stress it's my duty to give back to them."

When CNBC Make It interviewed Sanchez in August, he had a net worth of just over $203,000. Here's how he plans to hit $1 million in the next six years.

Sanchez is an overhead lineman for a utility company in Chicago, where he earns a base salary of $120,656. He didn't go to college his company paid for his job training and he pulls in plenty of overtime and an annual bonus.

Sanchez routinely works 60-hour weeks, sometimes only taking Sunday off to spend with his family and girlfriend. It's not a schedule everyone would want, but Sanchez doesn't mind the work.

"I never thought I would be doing this, but I fell in love with it," he says. This six-figure-salary was a big part of the appeal, but he also enjoys the physicality of the job. "I enjoy working outdoors, and there's no better feeling than turning the lights on when everyone's relying on you."

One of the main components of Sanchez's FIRE plan is building up his real estate side hustle. Sanchez owns three rental properties currently, which nets him around $1,600 per month. By 30, he'd like to own at least 20.

"I don't want to have to put in all the overtime, and I don't have to miss my kids' birthday parties or special events" in the future, he says. "I'm doing it all for the passive income so I can slowly buy my freedom back."

He says that this form of "passive" income will give him freedom should he ever want or need to leave his day job. That said, he wouldn't mind making more money for the time being.

"I don't think I'm comfortable, because I don't want to get complacent," he says. "I'm always trying to grow."

Sanchez still lives in the house he grew up in, with his mother and brother. The house is paid off, and Sanchez pays for utilities and upkeep. Though he has a long-term girlfriend he plans to marry, he says he's fine living at home for now: He's able to help out his mom, while padding his savings and investment accounts.

He brings his lunch to work every day, and tries to keep food expenses low: Chicken and rice is a common meal for him, and he limits the amount he goes out to restaurants and bars. In all, he spends around $400 per month on groceries and eating out, well below the $680 average for the Chicago area.

"I'm not really motivated by the material things," he says. "I'm more motivated [by] having the freedom to be able to do what I want, when I want."

Sanchez doesn't plan to live this way forever. It makes sense now, he says, to keep his expenses as low as possible while he puts his head down and saves as much as he can. But he plans to have a family of his own one day, with his own house and, ideally, family vacations.

"I want to be able to help people, and to be able to give back, especially to my parents," he says.

Don't miss: This 24-year-old first-generation American earns $230,000 per year working three jobs

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This 24-year-old is earning $230,000 a yearhere are the 3 steps he's taking to become a millionaire by 30 - CNBC

Easy Investing Secrets to an Early Retirement – October 16, 2019 – Nasdaq

Building sufficient financial resources to retire early may sound like a dream, but making that dream come true is not as hard as it may sound. The main thing is simply to save more money each month. No big deal, right? Well...

Typically, advisors peg 15% to 20% of total income saved each month as a goal - but if you want to retire earlier, you probably have to ratchet that number up to 40% or 50% of your income. Not a feat easily accomplished when you review your take into account that a good portion of your paycheck goes to essential, non-negotiable lifestyle items. However, if you are willing to make some serious lifestyle changes and sacrifices, it's possible.

A generally new development called Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) has been created around this "sacrifice and over-save now to retire early" idea. FIRE supporters create exacting savings plans (up to 75% of income) and make related compromises like living in small homes, walking to work every day, prohibitive weight control plans, etc. This way might be unreasonably prohibitive for many, yet the mentality offers a few takeaways that may merit consideration.

To start, stick with the essentials of long-term growth investing: Build a diversified portfolio of stocks with exposure to various styles, sizes, sectors, and regions.

You may be able to accelerate your potential retirement earnings by consciously seeking higher returns (and also accepting more risk) in your investment portfolio. But whatever your risk tolerance, your portfolio must be diversified to protect against extreme market movements that could jeopardize your early retirement objective. You can choose from a number of ways to allocate investments to diversify your portfolio, and these should be informed by your individual goals, growth and income needs, appetite for risk, and age.

After accelerating your savings and setting up an ongoing plan, invest your savings into your portfolio at the earliest opportunity. Try not to attempt to time the market. Stay put, and let the compounding characteristics of the markets do its work to help grow your retirement wealth exponentially over time.

You may want to look at growth stocks with attributes acceptable for retirement investing like low beta, strong earnings estimates, positive sales growth, and expected future growth.

The Zacks Rank routinely recognizes lower risk growth retirement portfolio picks, and here are a few that may be worth considering: Darden Restaurants (DRI), Brinker International (EAT) and EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM). These growth stocks have strong Zacks Ranks and a beta of 1 or lower, with earnings and sales growth of at least 5% over the past 5 years.

Do You Know the Top 9 Retirement Investing Mistakes?

Whether you're planning to retire early or not, don't let investing mistakes derail your plans.

If you have $500,000 or more to invest and want to learn more, click the link to download our free report, 9 Retirement Mistakes that will Ruin Your Retirement.

EQT Midstream Partners, LP (EQM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (DRI): Free Stock Analysis Report

Brinker International, Inc. (EAT): Free Stock Analysis Report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Easy Investing Secrets to an Early Retirement - October 16, 2019 - Nasdaq

What Can I Do if I Hate My Job? Here are 5 Things – Thrive Global

I hate my job! Have you ever said that? Chances are if youve held any position for any length of time at all, youve uttered the words I hate my job.It seems like a prevailing attitude these days.

Let me contrast hating your job from pursuing early retirement or financial freedom because you want to have more control over your time and your life. Though some have said they hate their jobs, most want to take more control of their lives and put together a plan to get there sooner rather than later.

Im talking about those of us who say I hate my job but feel like they cant do anything about it.

There are a lot of reasons for being unhappy with our jobs. Heres a shortlist too many meetings, bad bosses, not enough vacation time, long hours, not appreciated, too much stress, not fulfilling, or not what matches my education.

Can I be honest with you? As the saying goes, these are first world problems. Sometimes I think we forget how good we have it. Ill spare you the soapbox about how good we have it in this country relative to the rest of the world. And Im certainly not suggesting that anyone should stay in a job thats causing them stress that leads to health problems.

Heres the thing that bothers me. I think we have lost perspective on work. That scares me a bit. If everyone hated their jobs and decided to quit, where would that leave the economy? It would be a mess. Thankfully, not everyone quits their jobs.

But should they? What should we do if we find ourselves in an unbearable job situation? Should we tell our boss to shove it? Stick it out?

Thats what I want to talk about in this post.

Polls and studies tell us that the vast majority of people hate their jobs. A couple of years ago, in 2017, Gallup conducted a survey on workplace happiness. In reality, it was about workplace unhappiness. The title of the study, The Worlds Broken Workplace, says it all. The results show that a staggering 85% of the workers of the world say they hate their jobs. Im not making this up. Its not that they dont like their jobs. They say they hate them.

The reason they cite the most? They hate their boss. Heres a quote from the article:

According to Gallups World Poll, many people in the world hate their job and especially their bossEmployees everywhere dont necessarily hate the company or organization they work for as much as they do their boss. Employees

Wow! And there is more:

Only 15% of the worlds one billion full-time workers are engaged at work. It is significantly better in the U.S., at around 30% engaged, but this still means that roughly 70% of American workers arent engaged. It would change the world if we did better.

The Ladders wrote a review of the study and said the following:

The 2017Mind the Workplace report, released by the nonprofit groupMental Health America(MHA) andThe Faas Foundation,surveyedmore than 17,000 U.S. workers in 19 industries and found that 71% were either actively looking for new job opportunities or had the topic on their minds always, often or sometimes at work.Only 19% said they rarely or never think about getting another job.

Whichever study you choose to use, the evidence is clear. People are unhappy with their jobs!

I hesitate to put this first. But I understand the reality. Many of you cant see your way out of ever being happy with your current job situation. So, lets look at some ways you can find another job.

First, get that killer resume ready. The resume should be your best first impression. Spend time getting that together. Consult an expert if you think that will help. Have others look it over and make suggestions. Dont skimp on this step. Most get passed over. Yours needs to stand out. Make sure it does.

If youre in a job that pays $100k or more, start with The Ladders. Their specialty is finding high paying jobs. You can post your resume there, get into networking groups, and so much more. Even if youre not looking for a $100k plus job, its a great site to get educated on the process.

Indeed.com is another excellent place to look. Their site is much more broad-based. YOu can enter keywords into a search box describing the kinds of jobs you want. Uploading your resume is a simple process. They have profiles of numerous companies you can research. You can search by salary range, income, location, and many more.

LinkedIn is another great job search site. Go to the Jobs tab and search for the jobs you want. Here, you can leverage your connections, get introductions, and much more.

These three would be my top choices to start the job search.

With that out of the way, I would suggest this not be your first step. Ill tell you why when I cover the next few things to do.

Im probably stepping into some dangerous territory here with this one. But if we dont do some self-reflection when things arent going our way, we are more prone to bad decisions.

Have you noticed it? The blame game is alive and well. It seems like most of us dont want to take responsibility for our actions. Thats especially true when it comes to our mistakes. Its much easier to find fault in someone else. In reality, the responsibility may not be with anyones mistake. It may have everything to do with our mindset.

Carol Dweck, who wrote a great book on the topic of mindset,Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, says the following:

In one world, effort is a bad thing.It, like failure, means youre not smart or talented.If you were, you wouldnt need effort.In the other world, effort is what makes you smart or talented.

The latter description is the growth mindset. The former is a fixed mindset. If you have a fixed mindset in life, you will likely be miserable in your job. Heres how I described it in an article on the subject of mindset:

People with a fixed mindset believe their essential qualities,like talents and intelligence, are fixed traits.Rather than spending their time developing them, they spend time documenting their ability or knowledge.They believe their talent and intelligence are the keys to their success.Hard work has no bearing on it.Dr. Dweck says for those with a fixed mindset,its not enough just to succeed.You have to be flawless.Its the belief that says if youve got it, youve got it.If you dont, you dont.

Its a dangerous perfectionist mindset. Do you look at yourself as being flawless? If so, how do you think that impacts those around you at work? Be willing to examine yourself critically to look at your role in your unhappiness at work. People with a growth mindset are always looking for ways to learn and grow.

As yourself some of the following questions.

If youre one who says I hate my job, take a look at what it is you hate about it. Is it the area of the company? Do you hate your boss? Is the work boring? If you could do something else with the company, what would it be?

If, after self-reflection, you feel youve done everything you can, its time to talk to your boss. Before you do, though, get yourself in the right frame of mind. If you go in with an attitude, or with an accusing tone, it wont go well for you. If youre angry and cant get rid of that anger, dont have the conversation until youve settled down. Often, the root of the problems at the workplace comes down to communication.

Im not saying your boss isnt a jerk. He or she very well be a jerk. What I am saying is that it doesnt mean they arent willing to change. Think about what you want to say before setting up the meeting. Write down your thoughts. Talk to your spouse, partner, significant other, or a good friend. Vet it out with someone you trust. Be careful when you do that to look critically at both sides of the issue. There are always two sides to every story. As you contemplate the conversation, try to get a feel for your bosss side of the story. Look at things from their perspective.

Dont turn assumptions based on your feelings into facts. Facts are just that facts. Just because you think you know why someone does something, that doesnt make it a fact. Its an opinion. Look at the other possibilities outside of what you think.

Everyone is fighting a battle. Someone who is a jerk is likely an unhappy person. They have baggage you dont know about. You have baggage they dont know about. Understanding that aspect of the human condition is helpful when preparing to have tough conversations.

Lets say that, after answering the previous questions, you find there may be another place in the company thats a better fit. Do you have the skills or education to move into that position? If not, what would it take to get those skills?

Once you have the answer to that question, put together a plan to get that education. Most companies nowadays offer assistance to advance your knowledge. Most want to help those who wish to further their careers with their company. Pursue that education and make yourself a better employee.If it turns out that the job you want and the skills you need to get it is outside of your current company, put together a plan to get those skills or that education.

According to the Pew Research study referenced earlier, people in management are much more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. They are salaried employees with excellent benefits as part of the job. People in retail, manual operations have fewer benefits and lower job satisfaction. The survey shows that 59% of people earning $75,000 or more in salary say they are very satisfied with their current job.

Get the additional skills, degree, or certification you need to move into the higher-paying jobs. Work on your income by working on your education and skills.

Finding other sources of income may sound far-fetched if youre miserable in your current job and working long, stressful hours. For a refresher, go back to #2 and check on your mindset. Were going to assume you want to get better and improve your position. Finding financial independence brings options to your life. Having multiple sources of income is one of the best paths to get there.

Sides hustles for busy people are possible. There are numerous ways to make money that dont take a lot of time. Not sure where to start? I get it. If youre one of those people, who say I hate my job and you feel stuck, thinking about side hustles can be difficult. If that describes you, please dont give up hope. Whether youre an introvert, extrovert, or a combination of both (yes, thats possible), there are numerous ways to earn side income. Heres an article that offers the 19 best ways to generate passive income in 2019.

The most successful people who retire comfortably have more than one source of income. It may be from investments in real estate, dividend-paying stocks, businesses, or a simple part-time job. You would be surprised how little money and time it takes to get started in some of these side hustles or investments.

Dont think its impossible because you dont have the time or skills. You have plenty of both. Focusing on a plan to create additional income is a marathon, not a spring. It wont get you out of the job you hate tomorrow.

However, it might make it easier to put up with or feel better about it if you know you have a plan to move away.

I am keenly aware that anyone reading this whos in the I hate my job mindset, might find this oversimplified. Id go so far as to say it might even piss you off. I mean, no one wants to hear about the changes and steps they need to take to improve a difficult job situation. Its much easier to put the onus on another person. Perhaps you put it on the company, the culture, or all of these things.

Heres what I know. There is one and only one thing we can control in these kinds of situations. No, it isnt our boss. Nor is it the companys management (though they may be horrible). It isnt the work environment. It isnt any of those things. You know where Im going with this. The one thing we can control is us. We cant control our circumstances, only how we react and respond to them.

Its our choice. We can stay stuck in the mindset of trying to force change on others. Or we can take matters into our own hands and change the one thing we can control.

Make no mistake. Its easier said than done. I realize that. We will have a much better chance for success when the focus of the change and examination is on ourselves, rather than the one we think is the reason for our misery.

There is a lot more that we could say about this kind of situation. I like to keep things simple. The five items listed here are, at the very least, a starting point to help get you unstuck.

This post originally appeared on Money with a Purpose.

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What Can I Do if I Hate My Job? Here are 5 Things - Thrive Global

Reconsidering the Advice in 3 Popular Personal Finance Books – The New York Times

In times of economic stress, it is good to know the basics of personal finance.

Many people turn to books for help, so we decided to go back and review three of the most popular finance books of the last 15 years: Suze Ormans The Nine Steps to Financial Freedom (Currency, $16.99); Dave Ramseys The Total Money Makeover (Nelson Books, $26.99); and Robert T. Kiyosakis Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Plata Publishing, $8.99).

They all have something worthwhile to offer, but after rereading them, I found that all had a glaring omission: a lack of substantive advice on investing. You will have to go elsewhere for an in-depth discussion of how to set up a portfolio and choose among stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds or mutual funds.

What all three books do emphasize is the need to buttress your finances by doing such things as reducing debt and expenses. And they share a constant refrain: You are ultimately responsible for your own financial success.

The authors have different takes on how to succeed, though. Ms. Orman says trust your instincts. Mr. Ramsey says relentlessly eliminate every last shred of debt. And Mr. Kiyosaki says emulate the rich, who have figured out how to have money work for them.

Oddly, for books centered on bolstering wealth, all three advocate contributing to charity. They say this is the right thing to do in itself, but they also say its worth doing on a spiritual level: The more you share with the universe, they contend, the more the universe will share with you.

Why have the books been so popular? The spiritual content may account for some of it. But the powerful media presence of all three authors has certainly helped.

Ms. Orman had a show on CNBC for more than a decade and now makes corporate speeches on personal finance. Mr. Ramsey has a syndicated radio show, and Mr. Kiyosaki appears frequently on television and conducts seminars.

As for quality, Ms. Ormans book is the best of the three for standard financial issues, though each has an undeniable appeal.

The good things about Ms. Ormans book start with her ability to reduce financial planning to its basics, and with her sensible suggestions on how to reach your personal goals.

Unrealistic budget cuts, like unrealistic diets, never work, she writes. Pare back modestly here and there, she says, rather than try to make big trims. And Ms. Orman emphasizes often-overlooked aspects of adult life like writing a proper will and appointing someone who will be able make health care decisions for you, in case, at some point, you cant.

While she doesnt offer detailed financial advice here, Ms. Orman, a former stockbroker, does recommend that you own index funds and diversify your holdings.

Unfortunately, the book is a bit out of date. It was first published in 1997, hasnt been revised since 2012 and contains references to events like the Dow closing at 11,000. That last happened in 2010.

Her tone is supportive and intimate, and it frequently veers into the ethereal.

Most unconventional idea: Money is a living entity and it responds to energy exactly the same way you do. It is drawn to those who welcome it, those who respect it.

Questionable advice: Even if you own just one mutual fund, your money is still quite diversified, because you own a little of everything theyre invested in.

That depends on the fund you own. If your only holding is an actively managed small-cap mutual fund, all you own are parts of small-cap companies preferred by that fund manager. You are far from diversified.

Representative sentence: When it comes to money, freedom starts to happen when what you do, think and say are one.

Mr. Ramsey has one major theme, which he hammers home until you want to scream. To the exclusion of virtually everything, he says, eliminate debt.

The only possible exception he allows is a small mortgage that you can easily afford (even then he urges that you pay that off quickly).

If you have any debt, even if your employer will match the first 3 percent you put into your 401(k) annually, Mr. Ramsey says, you should not take advantage of the match. He says it is better to put that money toward what you owe.

Financially, that makes no sense, unless you are paying interest charges of greater than 100 percent on what you borrowed. If your employer is matching your retirement contribution, you are getting a 100 percent return on what you put in. Yet Mr. Ramsey says that while he understands the math, being debt-free is more important.

I dont agree. Advising people to forgo their companys retirement match is one of the many things I didnt like about the book, which was originally published in 2003 and has been updated several times since. The last revision was in 2013.

Mr. Ramsey seemed to have trouble finding enough to say. On the bottom of every page you will find this line: If you live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.

That epigram would be just fine, if stated once. But the constant repetition seems contrived to fill space, as does the unusually large type. (Yes, it was nice that I did not have to use my reading glasses, but still.) Even with those features, the book is barely over 200 pages, not counting 20 pages of worksheets and an index.

His tone is consistently stern and no-nonsense.

Most unconventional idea: Pay off your smallest debt first, even if the other money you owe has a higher interest rate. The quick wins will help you build momentum.

Questionable advice: You can withdraw 8 percent of your retirement savings annually and not outlive your money.

Most experts say a safe annual withdrawal rate is much lower, no more than about 4 percent or, using careful rules, perhaps 5 percent.

Representative sentence: I was given a calling: to show people the truth about debt and money and to give them the hope and tools necessary to set themselves free financially.

Mr. Kiyosaki reminds me of Ayn Rand. He says you should focus relentlessly on achieving total independence from the crowd financial independence, in Mr. Kiyosakis case.

He presents his financial tenets in a narrative structure that resembles a novel, contrasting what he learned from his biological father (get a secure job, work hard, play it safe) and his other dad, a rich entrepreneur who forged an independent financial path while living below his means.

The book was first published in 1997 and updated, most recently, in 2017. As it unwinds, you see Mr. Kiyosaki, who served in the military, shift from a job as a Xerox salesman to his vocation as an investor, ending up squarely on his rich dads path. He soon buys real estate to minimize his dependence on a paycheck and begins to shelter income and minimize taxes by setting up corporations.

Own things that generate wealth, he says. In addition to income-producing real estate, he says, that includes stocks, bonds and royalty-generating intellectual property (inventions, books and the like).

Despite the brisk narrative, the book has a ponderous tone: It reads like a lecture from an economics professor.

Most unconventional idea: Dont focus on your job or career. Think primarily about building personal wealth.

Questionable advice: With low interest rates, and an uncertain stock market, the old adages of saving and investing for the long term make no sense.

Saving and investing for the long term are exactly what most experts say you should do.

Representative sentence: The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, not the economy, the government or the rich.

While the lack of detail on investing is disappointing and the perspective is often quirky and sometimes questionable, all three books offer sprinklings of solid counsel: Eliminate debt. Live below your means. Look for ways to supplement your income.

Thats always good advice.

As is this, which came from my immigrant grandfather: Dig your well before youre thirsty.

What he meant was prepare for the inevitable while you have time.

These books are flawed, but if they teach people that much, they have real value.

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Reconsidering the Advice in 3 Popular Personal Finance Books - The New York Times