380 episodes

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

Afford Anything Paula Pant

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 2.9K Ratings

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

    Ask Paula: How Much Should We Spend on a Wedding?

    Ask Paula: How Much Should We Spend on a Wedding?

    #350: Anonymous and her husband have set themselves on the path of saving for retirement. But an old mistake haunts them: a financial planner convinced them to buy a mix of whole and term life insurance, which costs them $700 per month. Do they need whole life insurance, and where else can they save their money?
    Mike has $60,000 in cash earning one percent interest. He has plans to buy a home and get married in three to five years. Where else can he put his cash to earn a little more? Is the stock market too risky for such a short time horizon?
    Anonymous and her future husband are wondering: what’s a realistic amount to spend on a wedding?
    My friend and former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy joins me to answer these questions on today’s episode. Enjoy!
    Do you have a question on business, money, trade-offs, financial independence strategies, travel, or investing? Leave it here and we’ll answer them in a future episode.
    To subscribe to the show notes, go to https://affordanything.com/shownotes

    • 1 hr 7 min
    A Candid Conversation with Mr. Money Mustache & Paula Pant

    A Candid Conversation with Mr. Money Mustache & Paula Pant

    #349: A frank and candid conversation about life, dead-lifting, and enjoying the hell out of doing meaningful work.
    For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode349

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Ask Paula: How Should We Invest to Retire By Our Mid-40’s?

    Ask Paula: How Should We Invest to Retire By Our Mid-40’s?

    #348: Aja’s mom is 75 and has to take required minimum distributions from her IRA. She doesn’t need the money. Where should she put it?
    Anonymous from MA is flummoxed by HSA-compatible health plans. His copay and deductible are awful, and even bronze plans seem better. Are HSA plans overrated, or does the math work out?
    Julia and her husband, both 27, want to retire by their early to mid-40s. Is there a point at which they should stop contributing to tax advantaged accounts and only contribute to taxable accounts?
    Ileana and her family like their home, but it needs to be bigger. A cash-out refi didn’t give them enough funds for their dream renovation. Should they put their money into the market in the hopes that it will grow large enough to fund a future renovation? Or should they move into a bigger house, rent out their house, and fix it up years down the road?
    Nick has a seasonal business. Can a sweep account help stabilize him?
    My friend and former financial planner, Joe Saul-Sehy, joins me to answer these questions on today’s show. Enjoy!
    Do you have a question on business, money, trade-offs, financial independence strategies, travel, or investing? Leave it here and we’ll answer them in a future episode.
    For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode348

    • 1 hr 15 min
    The Radical Invention of the Index Fund, with Robin Wigglesworth

    The Radical Invention of the Index Fund, with Robin Wigglesworth

    #347: Back in the 1960’s, Jack Bogle thought that actively-managed mutual funds performed better than a passive indexing strategy.
    He pseudonymously published a paper saying so.
    But academic data from the University of Chicago challenged his preconceived notions. He attended seminars that showed how the drag on returns that come from management fees and trading costs, coupled with the reality that the bulk of gains come from a hard-to-predict handful of equities (a concept known as “skew”), lead to index funds holding long-term outperformance.
    At the time, index funds were only available to major institutional investors. Regular folks couldn’t access these winners.
    And that might have continued for a long time …
    … except history turned on a dime.
    In the early 1970’s, Jack Bogle got fired. Rather than accept defeat, he turned into a renegade. He launched Vanguard and began offering index funds to ordinary individual investors.
    And the rest, as they say, is history.
    In today’s episode, we learn about the revolutionary ideas that paved the path to passive investing.
    We learn about the radical invention of the index fund.
    We discover the drama, the tenacity, the betrayal and redemption behind it.
    And we discover the lessons that the history of the index fund holds.
    Enjoy!
    For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode347

    • 57 min
    Ask Paula: How Can We Reach Financial Independence by 35?

    Ask Paula: How Can We Reach Financial Independence by 35?

    #346: Pensions make Chad uncomfortable, to the point of quitting his job to roll his $175,000 over to an IRA. Is the 12 percent match his employer offers good enough to beat the two percent growth of his pension? Or should he leave and never look back?
    Anonymous and his wife have $275,000 saved and a child on the way. They’re 27 and want to reach financial independence by 35. They want to buy a house, but with this crazy market, what’s the smartest way for them to use their savings?
    Anonymous and his wife are 30 and hope to reach financial independence in five years. They want to know: is a taxable brokerage account the best place for their leftover $1,000 after they max out their pre-tax 401k contributions?
    Norm wants to buy a house in cash and doesn’t want his name on public record. Is it possible for him to stay anonymous?
    Sharon called in on episode 336 and called back to clarify her question. Her husband purchased a below-market property which has a cap that limits how much they can sell it for. Should they keep the home, or sell it, even if they can’t get the full price for it?
    Joe Saul-Sehy, my friend and former financial planner, joins me to tackle these questions on today’s episode.
    Do you have a question on business, money, trade-offs, financial independence strategies, travel, or investing? Leave it here and we’ll answer them in a future episode.
    For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode346

    • 1 hr 6 min
    How to Understand Your Medical Bill, with Marshall Allen

    How to Understand Your Medical Bill, with Marshall Allen

    #345: Let’s talk about one of the biggest expenses you might ever encounter: health care costs.
    When you get a hospital bill, do you understand it? After all, it looks like it’s written in code (and sometimes it literally is).
    How do you know if the bill is accurate? Has everything been coded properly? Are you being charged for the services that you actually received?
    If you need to dispute an item, what’s the process?
    Pulitzer Prize finalist Marshall Allen joins us to shed light on the complex world of medical billing. He breaks down the “explanation of benefits,” describes a step-by-step process for obtaining your medical records, and explains an actionable plan for how to contest a bill.
    If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the complexity of your health care bills, you’ll learn a lot from this concise, informative episode.
    Enjoy!
    For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode345

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.9K Ratings

2.9K Ratings

Bagworth bilbo bottoms ,

Every Question Answered at least once

I love Afford Anything and the fact that there are so many wonderful topics covered throughout the ask me anything episodes as well as the normal interview episodes. Many times, questions I have are answered weekly through the podcast. And if you haven’t heard it come up, Paula will entertain questions from listeners. And most time even reply back to follow ups from listeners. It’s one of my favorite non politics podcasts. Very well done.

robin1042 ,

Thorough responses

This is one of many financial podcasts I listen to, and this one puts the most thought into their responses including walking us through her/their thought processes (guests included).

bhanes112358 ,

Well done and worth listening

I have listened to Paula's podcast for many years now. Although I am not a real estate investor and tend to skip the real estate focused episodes, her interviews and personal finance material are top notch. She does a good job of bringing on a variety of people with many different views and methods for being successful and asks insightful questions that helps focus the interviewee on giving insights helpful to the listener. I also enjoy the question-and-answer episodes.

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