91 episodes

As a lawyer / engineer / MBA, how can you achieve FIRE (financial independence, retire early) rapidly to quit the rat race, pursue your passions, and live life on your own terms? Andrew Chen – founder of the Hack Your Wealth Blog and lawyer, financial expert (CFA graduate), and tech industry veteran – shows you strategies and tactics to (1) earn, (2) save, (3) invest, and (4) protect as a high earner so that you can build massive wealth and create a portfolio that’s a FIRE machine. Through solo lessons, expert interviews, and side hustle profiles, you’ll learn about tax strategies, retirement account optimization, asset allocation & rebalancing, passive income (real estate investing, side hustling, online business, digital nomading), family finances (e.g., strategizing college education costs), travel hacking, estate planning, and career transitions. Andrew podcasts about the big picture concepts, then adds step-by-step implementation guides downloadable from the Hack Your Wealth website to help you FIRE strategically, methodically, and rapidly.

Hack Your Wealth Andrew Chen

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 55 Ratings

As a lawyer / engineer / MBA, how can you achieve FIRE (financial independence, retire early) rapidly to quit the rat race, pursue your passions, and live life on your own terms? Andrew Chen – founder of the Hack Your Wealth Blog and lawyer, financial expert (CFA graduate), and tech industry veteran – shows you strategies and tactics to (1) earn, (2) save, (3) invest, and (4) protect as a high earner so that you can build massive wealth and create a portfolio that’s a FIRE machine. Through solo lessons, expert interviews, and side hustle profiles, you’ll learn about tax strategies, retirement account optimization, asset allocation & rebalancing, passive income (real estate investing, side hustling, online business, digital nomading), family finances (e.g., strategizing college education costs), travel hacking, estate planning, and career transitions. Andrew podcasts about the big picture concepts, then adds step-by-step implementation guides downloadable from the Hack Your Wealth website to help you FIRE strategically, methodically, and rapidly.

    Financial independence in healthcare: how a dentist built a $7M nest egg

    Financial independence in healthcare: how a dentist built a $7M nest egg

    #91: It’s no secret that many healthcare professionals earn lots of money. So, you might think it’s relatively easy for them to achieve financial independence and retire early (or at least step back from demanding clinical hours).
    Aaaand….you’d be right about that!
    Sure, earning healthcare money is not a requirement for FIRE. But if you do, you certainly have more options…even if you also have large expenses (like kids).
    This week, I talk with Dr. G (anonymized, his request), a dentist with two kids in the midwest who built a $7 million nest egg before stepping back from clinical practice. He explains the actions he took to build his wealth…and what he’s doing now.
    We discuss:
    His career path as a dentistNet worth after finishing dental schoolAge when he broke even and when he reached FIHow much he earned right out of dental school, when he broke even, when he reached FI, plus how much he earns passively nowSpending level over the years, plus how much he spends post-FIAsset allocation breakdownMain actions he took that had the biggest impact on net worthHis thought process on stepping back from clinical work with two young kids still in towFIRE tips for people with kidsCheck it out here:
    https://hackyourwealth.com/dentist-financial-independence-retire-early
    What type of FIRE profiles (career path, earning level, family/kid status, etc) do you want to hear more about? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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    Related links:
    Schedule a private 1:1 consultation with meHYW private Facebook communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

    • 54 min
    How to pay for college

    How to pay for college

    #90: It’s back to school season, and that means it’s also the time of year for high school seniors to start agonizing over college applications.

    Applying to college is an anxiety-filled rite of passage for high school seniors, but it’s often just as anxiety-inducing for parents who bang their heads on how to pay for it.

    That’s because paying for college is, for many families, the biggest single expense they’ll have for their child. It’s also often the second biggest life expense a family will incur, right behind buying a home. Paying for college is like buying a Tesla Model Y and giving it away. Every year, for four years.

    So this week, I chat with my friend Ann Garcia about how to pay for college. She just wrote a new book on this topic, which we discuss in detail, along with important new updates to the federal financial aid process (FAFSA) + key things to know about 529 plan rules.

    We discuss:
    Why Ann decided to write this book now, what makes it differentThe mind-boggling cost of college today; forecasted cost in 15 yearsWhy college costs so much now, what’s driven up the cost in recent decadesGoals that colleges are trying to accomplish with their financial aid awardsThings parents should do to prepare their child and finances for the cost of college from birth to high schoolWhy it’s important for your child to do the official campus tour for colleges they’re interested inRecent key changes and updates to the FAFSA processDifference between 529 savings plans vs. pre-paid tuition plans vs. Private College 529Mechanics of 529s: roll-over-ability, qualified expenses, taxes & penalties for non-qualified expenses, how scholarships are handled, changing beneficiariesCheck it out here:

    https://hackyourwealth.com/how-to-pay-for-college


    Have you been through (or will soon go through) the college financial aid process? What’s been the most confusing or frustrating aspect? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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    If you liked this episode, would you please leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!

    Related links:
    Book: How to Pay for College: A complete financial plan for funding your child's educationOnline course: The College Financial Plan Masterclass - 20% discount exclusively for HYW subscribers (use code: HYW20)TheCollegeFinancialLady.com529 college savings plans: rules, tax benefits, & qualified expenses (HYW026)College financial aid tips and strategies, with Ann Garcia (HYW053)College student financial aid changes coming to the FAFSA application (HYW079)Schedule a private 1:1 consult with meHYW private FB communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Mus

    • 1 hr 15 min
    How to do real estate due diligence when buying a home

    How to do real estate due diligence when buying a home

    #89: Summer is fast approaching, and that’s traditionally when home-buying season ramps up.

    This week, I share insights on how to conduct due diligence when you’re looking to buy a home. Whether you’re buying a primary residence or investing in rental real estate, rigorous due diligence is critical to ensuring you get a good property at a reasonable price. In this episode, I explain my entire process for thoroughly analyzing a property before writing an offer.
    You learn:
    10 key things to look for when doing pre-tour due diligenceThe 4 big things to look for in disclosure packetsHow to evaluate the history of previous remodels, structural changes, or additions to the house done by prior ownersSpecial tips for buying a condo – how to analyze HOA records, financials, rules, and CC&RsMy 12-point checklist on what to look for when touring a home in personCheck it out here:
    https://hackyourwealth.com/real-estate-due-diligence


    If you’ve bought a home before, what are the most important due diligence items you look for? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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    Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyStitcherI need your help, please leave a listener review :)
    If you liked this episode, would you please leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!
    Related links:
    Battle-tested home remodeling tips for saving serious money and getting the most from your contractorsHow to find and vet good home remodeling contractors like a bossHow to write an offer to purchase a house (that stands out and wins)How to do a residential property inspection step by step: What smart real estate investors look forHow to research real estate markets: The single best resource you needAvoiding capital gains tax on real estate: how the home sale exclusion worksThe True Benefit of Homeownership (why buying has paid off over renting, even in a million dollar market)Schedule a private 1:1 consultation with meHYW private Facebook communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Mega Backdoor Roth

    Mega Backdoor Roth

    #88: Have you maxed out your backdoor + mega backdoor Roth conversions yet?
    For high earners, direct contributions to a Roth IRA, and tax-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, are limited by income thresholds.
    But ALL taxpayers – even high earners – can still invest money into a Roth via backdoor Roth conversion. And if your employer’s 401k has the right plan features, you can turbo-charge your Roth conversions another 7x by doing the “mega backdoor” Roth conversion.
    What the heck do these mean? And how exactly do you do them?
    This week, I share what these concepts are, tips for how to execute them successfully, and what you need to know about your employer 401k to turbo-charge your Roth conversions.
    I explain:
    The difference between a backdoor Roth vs. mega backdoor RothHow to execute each one + tips to ensure no tax liability when you convertWhat plan features your employer 401k must have to do a mega backdoor RothWorkaround if your employer 401k does NOT allow in-plan Roth conversions, but DOES allow after-tax contributions (yes, you can still move that money into Roth)How recent proposed legislative changes would curtail the backdoor Roth strategy, and whether you need to worry about itA note about doing mega backdoor Roth conversions via Solo 401k.Check it out here:
    https://hackyourwealth.com/mega-backdoor-roth

    Have you done a backdoor or mega backdoor Roth conversion before? If you’ve decided not to, what dissuaded you? Let me know by leaving a comment.
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    Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyStitcherI need your help, please leave a listener review :)
    If you liked this episode, would you please leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!
    Related links:
    Traditional vs. Roth? How to double-dip on the tax benefits of BOTHWhat is a Solo 401k? And Why It Beats All Other Retirement AccountsEverything you need to know about 401Ks (HYW003)IRAs, Roth IRAs, and how to get the tax benefits of BOTH (HYW004)Schedule a private 1:1 consultation with meHYW private Facebook communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

    • 37 min
    How the future of (remote) work is changing

    How the future of (remote) work is changing

    #87: Remote work and digital nomadism have always been of particular interest to folks in the FIRE community.
    After the pandemic, remote work was suddenly thrust upon the entire knowledge workforce. And after two long pandemic years, the possibility that remote work for many professions will persist and become long-term viable options is tantalizingly close.
    What is the state of remote work right now? Where is the future of remote work headed? What jobs are most in-demand for remote work, and how much can you get paid for them?
    This week, I deep dive on these questions with Sharon Koifman, founder of DistantJob, a remote-only recruiting agency that helps companies find full-time remote employees around the world.
    We discuss:
    How Sharon became an advocate for remote work and got into remote recruitingHow the pandemic changed norms around remote workWhat types of jobs are most in-demand for remote work right nowWhat types of jobs still have not embraced remote workSkills and qualities employers look for when hiring remote employees (profile of an ideal candidate)Compensation: what remote employees can earn for certain roles (including pay range - min and max)How companies adjust compensation for remote employeesHow companies can promote strong, healthy remote work culturesCheck it out here:
    https://hackyourwealth.com/future-of-remote-work
    And now, I’m super curious…. Are you a remote worker or digital nomad? Trying to be? Wish to be? If so, what type of work do you do?

    If you work remotely for a company, was your compensation adjusted when you switched to remote?

    What’s the biggest benefit vs. challenge you have experienced as a remote worker? How do you build (and keep) strong connections to people in your company/organization?

    Does being able to be remote change your FIRE plans, timeline, or philosophy at all?

    Let me know by leaving a comment!

    Don't miss an episode, hit that subscribe button...
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    Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyStitcherI need your help, please leave a listener review :)
    If you liked this episode, would you please leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!
    Related links:
    DistantJobSurviving Remote Work: How to Thrive as a Leader and Entrepreneur in the Remote AgeSchedule a private 1:1 consultation with meHYW private Facebook communityIntro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

    • 59 min
    Why the 4% rule doesn’t work anymore

    Why the 4% rule doesn’t work anymore

    #86: Pretty much everyone in the FIRE community has heard of the 4% rule.
    It is the starting safe withdrawal rate number for a 30-year retirement horizon that was proposed a few decades ago by retirement researchers.
    And it has attained near pop culture status in the FIRE community because it’s such a simple mental shortcut to answer the question: “how much can I safely withdraw from my portfolio each year in retirement and have high confidence that I’ll be financially secure for the rest of my life?”
    This is easily the most important question for ANY retiree, and especially early retirees. So, it’s no wonder this topic is so intensely discussed in the FIRE community.
    More than a few early retirees and FIRE bloggers swear by the 4% rule and have plunged into their own retirement using this withdrawal rate expecting that it will carry them through for the rest of their lives.
    But when you ask the quants – the economists with the PhDs – there is broad agreement that the 4% rule no longer works most of the time.
    But why not?
    This week, I invited the renowned retirement economist Wade Pfau, PhD/CFA, who is Co-Director of the American College Center for Retirement Income, to share insight on why the 4% rule no longer works in today’s environment. He suggests an alternate safe withdrawal rate number that may be better suited for today’s retirees.
    We discuss:
    Why Dr. Pfau thinks the 4% rule is flawed today + how the world has changed since the 4% rule was first proposedPfau’s recommended safe withdrawal rate number for the current environment (including assumed asset allocation)How Pfau thinks safe withdrawal rate planning will differ for early retireesPfau’s thoughts on asset allocation in the current environment of rising interest rates, high inflation, and high asset valuationsWhat Pfau personally projects as his assumed real rate of return on stocks for his own portfolioHow annuities can play a crucial role in your retirement portfolio depending on your investor risk profile and desired stock allocationPfau’s framework of 4 retirement styles + optimal asset allocation for eachCheck it out here:
    https://hackyourwealth.com/4-percent-rule

    What do you think your safe withdrawal rate number is? And what asset allocation do you assume for that? Let me know by leaving a comment.
    Don't miss an episode, hit that subscribe button...
    If you liked this episode,  subscribe so you don’t miss any upcoming episodes!
    Apple PodcastsOvercastI need your help, please leave a listener review :)
    If you liked this episode, would you leave a quick review on Apple Podcasts? It’d mean the world to me and your review also helps others find my podcast, too!
    Links mentioned in this episode:
    Wade PfauRetirement Planning GuidebookSafety-First Retirement Planning: An Integrated Approach for a Worry-Free RetirementHow Much Can I Spend in Retirement?Reverse Mortgages: How to Use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your RetirementSchedule a 1:1 consultation with meHYW private Facebook community Intro/Outro: Old Bossa by Twin Musicom.

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
55 Ratings

55 Ratings

mchoi7 ,

For those seeking financial independence…

Andrew provides specific and tangible advice along with his interviewees. Very different from other podcasts/blogs. Direct and engaging content. Go to his blog, he has very helpful material!

Minpinchipo ,

In the crowded FI world, this podcast offers a lot of great information

Stumbled on this podcast and I am really enjoying it. Andrew asks methodical, clear, and concise questions to the guests he hosts. The content is very relevant for what I am looking for - a way to use tax and investing strategies efficiently. For those of us who are disciplined savers and know how to do that already, this podcast provides the next level content of ways to optimize each dollar saved. Even for those of us who are late to the game and definitely won't reach FI early, access to this information is valuable. Thank you Andrew!

ifunfar ,

Always Interesting

Each show focuses on a topic that is relevant to my life goals. Andrew digs deep, not just scratching the surface. He is not afraid to get technical which I love.

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