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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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Top 10 Financial Moves To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

I realized something important after writing about the best reason to retire early. Money doesn’t buy everlasting happiness. However, having more money can reduce stress and anxiety. The goal of achieving perpetual happiness is not realistic. Happiness ebbs and flows. It’s more exciting to be an 8 out of 10 on the happiness scale because …

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The Pandemic Was An Experience In Hedging Your Life

One of the main reasons why I retired at age 34 was to hedge against an early death. When I was nine, my grandfather died from cancer and I clearly remember seeing my mother distraught for months. Then when I was 13, my 15-year-old friend died in a car accident. Here today, gone tomorrow is …

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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. Sadly, life expectancy …

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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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Sadly Giving Up On Retirement And Going Back To Work

After doing a deep dive on the different ways to pay for college and how to get good financial aid, I realized the best thing for my family is for me to go back to work. Coming up with $1,500,000 for two kids’ college experience in 12-15 years is daunting. Going back to work feels …

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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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Shifting Retirement Assets From Tax-Deferred To Tax-Now By 2026

The tax-now Roth IRA will increase in popularity over the coming years. Let me explain why. When Congress passed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TJCA) of 2017, it inaugurated an eight-year period of the lowest tax rates in American history, which started on January 1, 2018. However, due to the sunset clause that was …

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The Best Life Hack For Americans: Taking Advantage Of Canada

Some Americans fear higher taxes so much they are willing to move. The capital gains tax rate might go up. The step-up basis might go away. And the top marginal income tax rate might go up too. Therefore, may I present the best life hack for Americans: taking advantage of Canada! I’m always looking for …

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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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Combatting Inflation Is Straightforward But Not Easy

Much has been said about inflation hurting society. As people’s buying power decreases, life gets more costly. Heck, the Fed seems hell-bent on causing another recession to contain inflation. However, as I look at the historical price changes of some of our most important consumer goods and services, I can’t help but think combatting inflation …

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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, 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 a new job two …

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The Best Reason To Retire Early: Years Of Greater Happiness

I’ve finally discovered the best reason to retire early. A longer steady-state period of happiness. It has taken me 10 years of fake retirement to come up with this epiphany because I had to experience the process myself. In the past, I’ve written that early retirement isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I went through plenty …

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Foreign Real Estate Investors Are Coming To Buy American Homes

Although COVID has been bad for many of us in so many ways, the pandemic did one good thing. The pandemic helped protect American homebuyers from a resurgence in foreign real estate investors. In a big way, the pandemic has throttled the demand from foreign real estate investors to buy American homes. Before the pandemic …

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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 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. Entrepreneurship …

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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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The Second Biggest Financial Mistake You Can Ever Make

The first rule of financial independence is to not lose money. If you lose lots of money, you are ultimately losing valuable time. Losing time is the biggest financial mistake you can make because time is the most valuable asset. Now let me introduce the second rule of financial independence: never expect your income to …

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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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Top 10 Biggest Life Insurance Myths Debunked

Deciding whether or not to have life insurance is an individual decision. Whatever you decide to do or not do, it’s important to make an informed decision that’s best suited to your family’s needs. To help you learn more about life insurance, let’s debunk some of the biggest life insurance myths. This post is brought …

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Private Real Estate Investing: Seven Takeaways After Five Plus Years

As someone who has been consistently invested in private real estate deals since late 2016, I’m now firmly in the window for receiving distributions. My investment thesis to invest in heartland real estate has turned out well, partially thanks to the bad luck of the pandemic. Although a couple of my investments in one fund …

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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! The book became an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller and can be purchased on Amazon, B&N, and in bookstores everywhere. Buy This, Not That also became …

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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. Ten years of fake retirement later, I want to share with you some of my biggest takeaways. Overall, it’s been …

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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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The Two Levels Of Rich: One Of Which Doesn’t Rely On Index Funds

It’s safe to assume the vast majority of you reading Financial Samurai want to be rich. I trust those of you who’ve been reading this site between 2009 and 2012, when I was writing heavily about investment strategies, have indeed become much richer. The compounding forces since then have been enormous. We are probably one …

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Reasons To Get Whole Life Insurance Even Though It’s More Expensive

So you’re wondering whether to get whole life insurance even though it costs much more than term life insurance. Our partner Policygenius shares the main reasons to get whole life insurance. You can get real insurance quotes all in one place with Policygenius. Whole life insurance is permanent coverage that lasts your entire life. If …

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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

Recently, 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. This article will explain why I invest in private funds even though they charge higher fees. KP20 is an $800 million venture fund focused on early-stage investments in …

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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 Much Savings Should I Have Accumulated By Age?

Savings is the foundation of good personal finance. This article will discuss how much savings to accumulate by age so you can achieve financial independence and retire comfortably. It’s important to have savings targets at every age to keep you on track. When it comes to building wealth, you don’t want to just wing it! …

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The Real Estate Investing Rule To Follow: Buy Utility, Rent Luxury

If you plan to invest in real estate, there’s a key real estate investing rule you should follow. It’s called Buy Utility, Rent Luxury or BURL for short. Using the BURL method, you increase your chances of making a higher return on your real estate investment while also maximizing your capital for a better lifestyle. …

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

Negotiating a severance was one of the best decisions I ever made. By age 34, I was able to confidently leave my job in finance and be free thanks to a multiple six-figure severance package. When you work at a startup, a large public company, or a government agency, I believe How To Engineer Your …

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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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Diverse Interests Create Diverse Income Streams

Having diverse income streams is vital for achieving financial independence. And if you have diverse interests, you will likely also have diverse income streams. The more interests you have, the happier you will be. Imagine if one of your hobbies is analyzing clouds, or cumulonimbuses for the scientifically savvy. You could step outside any time …

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