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: 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
The Science of Behavioral Change, with Katy Milkman
#315: Do you ever grapple with the differences between your present self and your ideal self? Katy Milkman, host of the Choiceology podcast and the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, shares the science of getting from where you are now to where you want to be. Her new book, How to Change, is a “science-based blueprint for achieving your goals, once and for all.” In this discussion, Katy reveals 1) why your strategy is key to making lasting change, 2) how we can pick the right strategy for our circumstances, and 3) the handful of science-backed tactics that bridge the gap between our present selves and ideal selves. For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode315
Ask Paula: I’m Worried About My Parent’s Retirement. What Should I Do?
#314: Briale opened a Variable Annuity inside a 403b at work when she was 23. She has 17 years to go before retirement. As an elementary school teacher, her pension will be $6,000 per month. Should she stop contributing to the annuity and contribute to a Roth IRA instead?
Hunter put a credit freeze on his two children’s credit, which required sending each credit union documentation via mail. Experian and TransUnion confirmed the credit freeze, but Equifax didn’t. Upon calling, the representative gave Hunter a different mailing address for the documents. What should he do?
Debi has an extra $1,000 each month and isn’t sure where to save it. She also has $10,000 in a CD which will reach maturity in August 2021. Her goal is to buy a residence in the next five years. Should she save this all for a downpayment?
Anonymous is concerned about her parents retirement portfolio. Their advisor charges a fee of 1.5 percent assets under management. Her parents are frugal and they don’t realize how much they’re paying. Should she talk to them, or drop the issue?
Sarah isn’t sure whether she should put more of her savings towards a Roth 401k or a 529 fund for her future kids. Which option is best if she wants financial flexibility?
My friend and former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy joins me once again to tackle these questions. Enjoy!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode314
The Unspoken Rules that Could Cost You Thousands, with Gorick Ng
#313: Do you know the unspoken rules about how to get ahead in your workplace or industry (and as a result, how to earn more)?
Unspoken rules, and the corresponding social norms, create a major impact in how we’re perceived in the workplace -- and therefore how often we’re promoted.
But these rules are rarely taught.
Managers expect us to understand these implicit rules, but they never explain them to us.
How are we supposed to succeed?
Gorick Ng, a career advisor at Harvard who specializes in working with first-generation, low-income students, shares his wisdom on navigating the workforce at all stages of your career.
His advice can help you make more money, get promoted, and accelerate your ability to save and invest.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode313
Ask Paula: How Should I Invest $5,000 Per Month?
#312: After paying basic living expenses and maxing out their 401k’s and Roth IRAs, Caroline and her partner have $4,000 - $5,000 left each month. Where should they put this money if their goal is to simply have their money work harder for them?
Sanjay is torn between selling his townhome or renting it out. The rental numbers don’t work on his 15-year mortgage -- should he refinance to a 30-year mortgage instead?
Kyle wants to construct a portfolio with the highest Sharpe ratios and wants to know: would the risk parity model work? What are the downsides?
G is curious: does the stimulus check received for their children count as earned income for the kids? If so, can they put it toward the Roth IRAs they opened for their children?
Anonymous has two unrelated questions: what are our thoughts on the housing market in relation to the moratoriums on mortgage payments and emergency bans on evictions? What will happen when they go away? Additionally, what tools, questions, or resources do we recommend to have a productive financial conversation with your partner?
Finally, another anonymous caller wants to know: do they need to submit receipts for the HSA contributions they make?
My friend and former financial planner, Joe Saul-Sehy, joins me as usual to tackle these questions. Enjoy!
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode312
The Surprising Solution to Overthinking, with Jon Acuff
#311: Do you find yourself overthinking and getting stuck in unproductive thought loops?
According to a study commissioned by today’s guest, 99.5 percent of 10,000 people said they overthink. Chances are, you can relate.
That guest is Jon Acuff -- a New York Times bestselling author who loves to nerd out about goals. In this discussion, he shares 10 signs you're overthinking, explains the differences between overthinking and being prepared, and presents a framework called the three R’s (retire, replace, repeat) that can transform your destructive thought loops into healthy soundtracks.
For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode311
Learning how to learn
Great guests and thoughtful answers to help learn how to learn. Great work Paula, love the show.