In pursuit of financial independence and personal fulfillment

Month: April 2018 (Page 1 of 2)

How a healthy college 529 account could cost you $10K in taxes – #FinHealthMatters

By the time my oldest stepson started going to college, we had almost two years of tuition socked away in a 529 account. The tax-advantaged education savings plan is a favorite of parents and grandparents alike, and many families start pumping money into them before a child’s first birthday.

Saving for an advanced education is a great idea, especially with the cost of college mirroring or even outpacing the outrageous cost of healthcare in the U.S. over the past two decades. But did you know that 529 plan could cost you money if you’re not careful?

Neither did I, until it was time to do the taxes after my son’s freshman year. Continue reading

Uncover your financial values with this simple exercise

People often think of money as the goal — what we’re all after that will make our lives easier or better. But money is just the concept by which we measure the value of something. It is only a proxy for something else.

What is that something else? Continue reading

So long anonymity — I’m featured on CNN Money today

Well, this is a birthday to remember! Not only is today my last day of work before I start my mini-retirement, but I’m also featured in a CNN Money story about it.

Being a source in a major media outlet requires taking off the mask of semi-anonymity I’ve been wearing since starting I Dream of FIRE in June. Since the main reason I went that route was to keep my blog separate from my work identity — and my mini-retirement makes that unnecessary — I guess that means I’m going public. Continue reading

My top tips for getting out of debt

I’ve started doing some pro bono calls to help people in debt understand their finances better and make a plan to put their debt behind them.

In just the few calls I’ve had, I’ve been surprised how many different ways there are to accrue debt that aren’t just the stereotypical splurging on consumer goods. Debt is a complex animal, and it burrows in, lunges out and breeds in unique ways for each family and situation.

There are, however, some universal suggestions to help anyone in debt move toward a better situation. Here are my top tips. Continue reading

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