Debt Ceiling Debacle: Why Not Just Spend More Responsibly?

Not raising the debt ceiling could cause another sell-off in the stock market. If so, history has shown it is worth buying the dip as politicians eventually agree to raise the debt ceiling limit and curb some spending. However, have you ever wondered why the government doesn’t spend more responsibly? After all, we individuals are […]

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How I’d Invest One Million Dollars Today For A Better Tomorrow

We’ve gone through exercises on how I’d invest $100,000 and $250,000. Now let’s go through an exercise on how I’d invest a million dollars today. Investing a million dollars is slightly different from investing $100,000 and $250,000. You can more easily afford to lose $100,000 – $250,000. But if you lose $1,000,000, you might enter

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A Visit To Pity City Shows Your Boss Probably Doesn’t Care About You

Have you ever visited Pity City? You know, the place where you feel sorry for yourself and all your problems? I think we’ve all been there before. At Financial Samurai, we accept our situation and take action to make things better. Complaining why life isn’t fair is not the Financial Samurai way! We are all

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Median Income Earned By Ivy League Graduates: Unimpressive At First

One reason why you might want to attend an Ivy League college or similar college is to earn a higher income. As a parent, you hope your child attending an elite university will make them upwardly mobile. A better life is what every parent wants for their kids. However, the median income earned by Ivy

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Your Life Expectancy Depends Greatly On Wealth And Location

The older you get, the more you will value life because you have less of it. If you want to live longer, you should aim to grow richer and live in a more hospitable place. As you will see in this article, the correlation with life expectancy, wealth, and location is strong. In 2023, life

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Generational Wealth And The Angst Of The Not Rich Enough Class

Have you ever wondered why there is so much angst and anxiety from some high-income earning households that seem to have it all? Based on my years of research, the three main reasons are: 1) never-ending comparison, 2) a lack of generational wealth, and 3) having children. Generational wealth is next-level wealth. If you have

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Free Money! How To Game The College Financial Aid System

College is expensive and will only get more expensive over time. If you can get good college financial aid in terms of grants and scholarships (free money), as opposed to bad financial aid (loans), attending college will be much more affordable. We’ve already talked about the different ways for us to pay for college. Now

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The Different Ways To Pay For College: My Surprising Blind Spot

One of the main reasons why I read lots of books is to learn from people who’ve been there before. And after reading The Price You Pay For College, one of my biggest blind spots I realized is that I don’t have to save so much for college anymore! If you are a parent who’s

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The Ideal Number Of Banking Relationships To Feel Safe And Secure

After the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank, I decided to review our existing banking relationships and see if we are well positioned to weather another potential bank run. I also wanted to share with you the ideal number of banking relationships to have to feel safe and sound. When I first started Financial Samurai

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2023 Social Security COLA Is Huge: Traditional Retirees Rejoice!

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the 2023 Social Security COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) is a whopping 8.7%! This increase is both huge and head-scratching. The 2023 Social Security COLA is huge because inflation peaked in June 2022 at 8.9%. The latest January 2023 CPI came in at 6.4%. Therefore, traditional retirees will

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2023 Tax Brackets: The Best Income To Live A Great Life

Taxes are most likely our largest ongoing liability. Therefore, we should understand the latest tax brackets for 2023. I go through this exercise every year to guide how I will spend my time, my most valuable asset. Based on a thorough understanding of the 2023 tax brackets, we can then logically come up with the

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How One Man Negotiated A $40 Million Mass Severance Package

Although it’s a bummer to hear about more layoffs as the economy slows, I also feel a lot of hope and excitement for those who have lost their jobs for two reasons. First, there is the benefit of getting a severance package. Imagine getting a severance package worth six months of salary and then finding

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What If You Take A Leap Of Faith And Your Dreams Don’t Come True

Sometimes you take a leap of faith with and your dreams don’t come true. That’s OK because at least you won’t regret never trying! In this article, taking a leap of faith means trying your hand at entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship means leaving the comfort of a steady paycheck and benefits to make money from an idea.

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2023 Housing Price Forecasts: More Bears Than Bulls

2023 housing price forecasts from various institutions range from -22% to + 5.4%. There is no consensus as to which way house prices will go. However, the bias is towards the downside. There is also the issue of forecasting the national median home price and the price of your local housing market. While we care

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2023 Wall Street Forecasts For The S&P 500: Huge Dispersion

Below are the newest 2023 Wall Street S&P 500 forecasts. The S&P 500 price targets range from 3,675 to 4,500. This implies returns of between -4.6% and +16.8% from the Dec 16, 2022 close of 3,852. The key risks to the S&P 500’s performance include earnings cuts and valuation compression. If these two things were

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How To Become A Good-Enough Investor: Investing Lessons Since 1996

You don’t need to be a great investor to make lots of money. You just need to be a good-enough investor. Once you’re good enough you’ll be able to ride an almost constant tailwind toward financial independence. Further, you’ll learn to no longer blow yourself up and lose all your progress. One of my favorite

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How To Buy Treasury Bonds And Buying Strategies To Consider

With U.S. Treasury bond yields zooming higher, the interest in buying Treasury bonds has followed suit. Let me show you how to buy Treasury bonds online. I’ll then share some buying strategies to help maximize returns and liquidity. Treasury bonds are risk-free investments if you hold them until maturity. You don’t have to pay state

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Why I Wrote A New Personal Finance Book: Buy This, Not That

After two of brainstorming, writing, rewriting, and editing during the pandemic, my book, Buy This, Not That: How To Spend Your Way To Wealth And Freedom is now available! Let me share why I wrote a new personal finance book after writing about personal finance since 2009. Buy This Not That became an instant Wall

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10+ Years Of Fake Retirement Later: The Most Important Takeaways

In February 2012, I decided to negotiate a severance to break free from corporate life. By mid-June 2012, I had received a severance check and the last of my three months of WARN Act pay. More than ten years of fake retirement later, I want to share with you some of my biggest takeaways. Overall,

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Why Cash Flow Is More Important Than Net Worth: Focus On What’s Real

Whether you are a fake retiree, a traditional retiree living off Social Security, or someone with a day job, cash flow is more important than net worth, especially during an economic downturn. Net worth is often an illusion that only helps to boost your ego when times are good. When times are bad, calculating your

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Your Financial Independence Number Is Not Real If Nothing Changes

Your financial independence number is the amount of money you think you need in order to be free. Unfortunately, if nothing changes in your life after reaching your financial independence number, then the number simply is not real. You need to accumulate more capital. In this economic environment, some people continue to believe once they

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Why Invest In Private Funds Even Though They Charge Higher Fees

I decided to invest in two private funds: 1) Kleiner Perkins 20 (KP20), and 2) Kleiner Perkins Select2. Kleiner Perkins is a top venture capital shop which has made more recent home run investments in Figma and Ripple. This article will explain why I invest in private funds even though they charge higher fees. KP20

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How I Finally Got Affordable Life Insurance With No Medical Exam

At last! After more than three years of deliberating what to do about life insurance, I finally got myself an affordable life insurance policy with no medical exam with Policygenius! If you’re looking to get the same, here’s how I did it. Let me share a bit of background first. Back in January 2012, at

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A Roth IRA Conversion Is Probably A Waste Of Time And Money For Most

To contribute to a Roth IRA in 2023, single tax filers must have a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $153,000 or less, up from $144,000 in 2022. If you make $138,000 or less, you can contribute the full maximum to a Roth IRA. However, if married and filing jointly, your joint MAGI must be under

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Primary Residence Value As A Percentage Of Net Worth Guide

Given our primary residence is likely one of our largest assets, buying responsibly is prudent. At the same time, living a better lifestyle by owning a nicer home as we get wealthier is also something many people desire. Therefore, let’s try and figure out what our appropriate primary residence value should be as a percentage

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The Best Age To Get Life Insurance Based On Logic And Reasoning

There’s no one-size-fits-all best age to get life insurance. However, I believe the best age to get life insurance is around age 30. And the best life insurance term to get at around age 30 is a 30-year term life insurance policy. If you get life insurance at 30, you will likely get the best

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Focus On Trends: Why I’m Investing In The Heartland Of America

If you want to get rich, you should focus on trends. I believe one of the best long-term trends is investing in the heartland of America due to growth of technology and remote work. People want to live in a lower-cost area of the country that is less dense. Thanks to the pandemic, work-from-home is

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Fundrise Overview And The Future Of Real Estate

I’m bullish on real estate for the next several years. With multiple efficacious vaccines, high inflation, continued low and negative real mortgage rates, plenty of stimulus, work from home here to stay, and the desire to own income-producing assets, real estate has a bright future. Here is the latest Fundrise overview. Fundrise is a leading

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The Proper Safe Withdrawal Rate: 4 Percent Rule Is Outdated

For those of you without cushy pensions, I’m sorry folks. The 4 percent rule is outdated. The rule was popularized in the 1990s. It is now unwise to follow the 4 percent rule as a proper safe withdrawal rate in retirement, especially if you are part of the FIRE movement. Instead, I highly recommend lowering

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Your Chances Of Becoming A Millionaire By Race, Age, And Education

Everybody wants to become a millionaire. Unfortunately, not everybody’s chances of becoming a millionaire are the same, partially because the playing field is not even. This article looks at historical data on your chances of becoming a millionaire by race, age, and education. Getting to at least one million dollars in net worth is a

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How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye

How To Engineer Your Layoff is my bestselling ebook that will teach you how to negotiate a severance package. For those of you who want to walk away from your job with money in your pocket, my book is for you. By age 34, I was able to confidently leave my job in finance and

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Scraping By On $500,000 A Year: Why It’s So Hard To Escape The Rat Race

Can you imagine scraping by on $500,000 a year? Well, believe it. Thousands of households living in expensive cities are running on this never-ending treadmill. It’s only when you can lock down expenses, save and invest aggressively, will you ever escape the rat race. They’ve got big mortgages, private school tuition to pay, and fancy

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The Most Dangerous Early Retirement Strategy To Follow: Coast FIRE

In 2009, I established my first rule of FIRE: generate enough passive income to cover your basic living expenses. Once achieved, you attain financial independence and the freedom to pursue your desires. Since then, various permutations of FIRE have emerged, one of which is Coast FIRE. Coast FIRE involves front-loading your retirement savings and then

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Net Worth Serenity: When Feeling Bad Is No Longer Allowed

After receiving significant criticism for my post, Embrace Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck To One Day Be Free, I find myself contemplating the existence of a net worth level that brings about serenity and inner peace, prohibiting one from feeling troubled. Is there a financial threshold beyond which emotional turmoil becomes unacceptable? Despite my attempt to turn a

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Don’t Let Pride Get In The Way Of Taking Care Of Your Family

I once encountered an actor in Paris who had secured minor roles in significant films, courtesy of his friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio. Despite having the opportunity to continue with these smaller roles due to his connections, his pride led him to pursue larger roles. Regrettably, 10 years later, I haven’t seen him in a single

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Embrace Living Paycheck-To-Paycheck To One Day Be Free

Living paycheck-to-paycheck is an unpleasant financial experience. Not only does it mean needing to spend everything you have to make ends meet, it may also create an ongoing feeling of despair. You might even have to get into debt to pay your bills. And if you aren’t careful with debt usage, it may become a

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You Will Always Regret Sacrificing Love For Money

Money is great. Money provides freedom. But you will always regret sacrificing love for money. When you get older, you will realize how true this statement really is if you haven’t found someone. Life is simply not as fun if you don’t have someone to share it with. Further, finding “the one” might also want

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An Investment Thesis: The Key To Making More Money Long Term

In general, the longer you stay invested, the greater your chance of making money. To help you maintain a long-term investment approach, it’s imperative to develop an investment thesis. Drawing from my experience in investing since 1995, it’s sometimes easy to get shaken out of a particular investment. Or it’s easier for some people to

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Going To The Emergency Room Is Like Getting Two Kicks To The Groin

Our first visit to the emergency room unfolded three years ago when our daughter displayed signs of anaphylaxis due to a food allergy. Unsure of what steps to take, we dialed 911, which led to an ambulance arriving promptly to transport us 16 minutes to the nearest hospital. The paramedics administered epinephrine, then the ER

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The Excitement Of Living In A Big City Is Worth The Cost

A common suggestion people have made to help me regain my financial independence is to move to a cheaper area of the country or the world to save money. I’ve resisted relocating so far because I believe the excitement of living in a big city is worth the cost. I’ve lived in big cities all

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I’m Unwilling To Change The Rules Of FIRE To Win The Game

I’ve been documenting my journey in Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) since July 2009. I’m not aware of any other blogger who commenced their FIRE journey earlier, is still currently retired or unemployed, and has maintained a consistent writing presence like I have on Financial Samurai. When I began sharing my FIRE experiences, I was

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The Value Of A Second Language: How Much Money To Be Fluent?

During my time living abroad, about 90% of my friends were fluent in a second language besides English. This high percentage was expected, given that most of my classmates at the International School of Kuala Lumpur and Taipei American School were foreigners, where being bilingual or multilingual was the norm. Upon relocating to McLean, Virginia,

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