Here are the best posts and podcasts I found this week, the ones that inspired me.
Nick True covers a lot of really important ground in this post. Financial freedom is something everyone can achieve, even if there are circumstances beyond their control that make their path more difficult than someone else’s. It’s about making choices to be proactive toward the goal you want. That carries over beyond personal finance, too, of course. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.” It’s a great post — well worth your time.
Do you think “You can’t get loans for retirement but your kids can get loans for college”? Wrong. – Chief Mom Officer
Liz digs into the financial facts behind the adage that urges parents to save for retirement ahead of college. There’s so much good information here that I’m not going to even try to sum it all up. I will point out though that one often overlooked aspect of who is paying for college is — you, the taxpayer! How much of that education is subsidized depends on the state (sorry, Illinois students). Now, about that adage. You still can’t get loans for retirement, so I think the spirit is still true even if the letter may be a bit less firm. You still need to save for retirement, pops.
If you haven’t noticed yet, I like “people” stories. There’s something powerful about using a memorable story to illustrate a general principle. Plus, they remind you that while on one level this whole personal finance thing is all a numbers game, at its core this is not about numbers but about how those numbers affect you and the people you care about most. That’s what this story reminds me. You don’t get your financial house in order just to have a nice house, you do it because it’s a much better place for your family.
I love this exercise. It sounds so simple: Write directions to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In reality, most people don’t stop to fill in the gaps to make accurate instructions. This is something I’ve used to help judge technical writing candidates. It helps figure out whether someone can really see (and write) about a full process such that a novice could understand it. This is something I need to remember to think about as a personal finance writer. I read so much about this stuff that sometimes I may not “fill in the gaps” for someone just coming to the concept. If they can’t understand it, that’s probably more my fault than theirs.
If you haven’t checked out the 99% Invisible podcast, you’re missing out big time. This isn’t a personal finance podcast, but there was something in this particular episode that sparked an idea for a future post — several actually. I most enjoy when I can synthesize an idea from one field with a concept from another, and that’s what happened here. Now I just have to get around to writing the post about it!