You can afford anything, but not everything. We make daily decisions about how to spend money, time, energy, focus and attention – and ultimately, our life. Every decision is a trade-off against another choice.
But how deeply do we contemplate these choices? Are we settling for the default mode? Or are we ruthlessly optimizing around a deliberate life?
Host Paula Pant interviews a diverse array of entrepreneurs, early retirees, millionaires, investors, artists, adventurers, scientists, psychologists, productivity experts, world travelers and regular people, exploring the tough work of living a truly excellent life.
Want to learn more? Download our free book, Escape, at http://affordanything.com/escape
How to Transition to Your Dream Career, with Ashley Stahl
#321: Have you dreamed of making a career transition, only to realize you have no idea where to start, who to talk to, or how to convey your skills to interviewers? Career expert Ashley Stahl has the information you need to take control of your career and pivot into something new.
Ashley struggled with this, too -- but in the process, she figured out a system for identifying someone’s core skills and core nature to find a career and company more aligned with both.
She also chats about the 10 core skill sets you can use to propel your career forward; the five root causes of burnout and what to do about them; and four sabotaging job hunting myths that can hold you back.
If you enjoyed our interview with Gorick Ng, you’ll like this one.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode321
Ask Paula: Thinking about Money from First Principles
#320: Rob is hoping to retire at age 60, but he has a pesky mortgage balance he wants to eliminate beforehand. He and his wife expect to inherit $300,000. Should they use this money to pay off their mortgage or should they bulk up their retirement accounts?
Another anonymous caller has two separate questions. One is about the tax efficiencies of ETFs vs. mutual funds, while the other is about Ginny Mae funds and whether there are bond funds that have an inverse relationship with equities.
Priya is looking for information on home equity loans: where can you get the best terms, and what are the disadvantages? Additionally, she’d like to know which city is best for rental investing: Atlanta, Dallas, or Raleigh?
My friend and former financial planner, Joe Saul-Sehy, joins me on the show to answer your questions. Let’s dive in!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode320
The Scout Mindset, with Julia Galef
#319: Julia Galef is an acclaimed expert on rational decision making. She’s hosted the Rationally Speaking podcast for the last decade, and she’s passionate about good reasoning. Her book, The Scout Mindset, highlights the importance of looking at situations objectively and honestly. This is something a lot of people struggle with -- humans are often irrational -- but Julia argues that this is a skill that we can develop with self-awareness.
In this interview, she shares the difference between what she calls a soldier mindset versus a scout mindset. She explains why we often default to the soldier mindset of defending ideas we desperately want to believe, and details several thought exercises that we can use to instead train our brains to scout for the truth.
Good decision making and ensuring you look for high quality sources of information can help when weighing trade-offs, and it can also save you from making costly investment mistakes. Julia and I also discuss specific examples of when having a scout mindset can prevent you from risk of ruin.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode319
Ask Paula: How to Think About Finances at the 30,000-Foot Level
#318: Joe is a new real estate agent and he’s looking for ways to save. Is opening a SEP IRA a good account when you’re no longer a W2 employee?
Grace has a similar concern: she’s a tutor, but she’s paid as a contractor. Should she forget about her Vanguard brokerage account and open a SEP IRA or Solo 401k?
Kim is newly divorced and celebrating the freedom to make her own financial decisions. She’s struggling to make a living -- also as a new realtor -- and wants to get started with real estate...but how can she do that on limited funds?
Kim also wants to know: should she move her funds from an actively managed Fidelity IRA to a Vanguard Roth IRA?
Chaz is 22 and has $2,100 - $2,500 left each month to put toward savings. Where should he keep this money if he’d like to move out-of-state in the near future?
Anonymous just got a raise, and while awesome, it might push her income to a level that prohibits her from making full Roth IRA contributions. Should she make a partial contribution this year, or start adding money to a Traditional IRA to do a backdoor conversion?
My friend and former financial planner, Joe Saul-Sehy, joins me to tackle these questions. Let’s dive in!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode318
How to Win at Work & Succeed at Life, with Michael Hyatt & Megan Hyatt Miller
#317: What if work and life can coexist together - without enormous trade-offs? What if all you have to do is ruthlessly prioritize within each area and manage the rest with automation and delegation?
If it sounds like a pipedream, it’s not.
Guests Michael Hyatt & Megan Hyatt Miller, authors of Win at Work & Succeed at Life, share how work/life balance is more achievable than you think. They also discuss how constraints increase productivity, why working over 40 hours a week can harm your mental and physical health, why rest is critical, and how self-care can give you an edge at work.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode317
Ask Paula: I Doubled My Investments During the Pandemic. What Should I Do Next?
#316: Pauly from Portland doubled the inheritance money he received from $50,000 to $100,000 during the pandemic. Now he’s wondering if it’s okay to use this $100,000 as a downpayment on a home in Portland. Is that a wise use of the money?
Preethi accidentally withdrew funds from her Roth IRA as an excess distribution, and she’s already filed her taxes. What should she know for tax time next year?
Michele wants to reach financial independence (FI), and her grandparents are leaving her their house. She already owns a home, and she’s torn between six potential options that will propel her toward FI. What should she do?
Casey is in the market for a second rental property and wants to know: would we recommend purchasing a rental in a complex where she already owns a condo? Or should she diversify into a different complex in a different, nearby, more stable town?
Fred doesn’t have access to a workplace retirement plan. Besides opening a Roth IRA, what else can Fred do to juice up his retirement savings?
My friend and former financial planner, Joe Saul-Sehy, joins me to answer these questions on today’s show. Enjoy!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode316
DO NOT LISTEN!
Word of warning: Paula’s high standards will ruin every other podcast you listen to. Nothing even comes close. Perfect audio quality, deep insightful questions, knowledgeable guests from diverse backgrounds are just some of the things that make this podcast incredible. It may all sound great, but know that once you get used to content of this level and quality, you’ll be pretty disappointed with pretty much every other podcast you come across. Excellence is a lonely place...
Paula does such a good job covering a variety of topics. The guests offer valuable insight as well. I would recommend this podcast to anyone looking to be inspired and informed!
Helped me learn how to think through choices
I started listening to Afford Anything last year and I’ve since been listening to every episode and have even started going back in time listening to earlier episodes. The information provided by Paula and Joe have been filling out my knowledge of personal finance, and listening to their answers has helped me learn how to approach and think through my choices. Highly recommend to anyone who wants to understand their personally finance.