Phase 8 – Pay Off Your Mortgage

Welcome to Phase 8.  Let’s talk about different ways that you can pay off your mortgage and what paying it off early can do for you.  As we talked about earlier, some people may choose to prioritize Phase 8 over Phase…

Phase 7: Save Outside of Retirement Accounts

Phase 7 is all about how to save outside of retirement accounts.  You’ll be making similar investments, but they won’t be locked away in an account that you can only access once you’re 59-1/2 years old.  This type of account is simply…

Phase 6: Bump Up Your 401(k) to 10%

If you’ve made it this far, you’re kicking some serious financial butt! Pause a moment to think about it. You created–and hopefully stuck to–a lean budget, began contributing enough to your 401(k) to get your employer’s full match, paid off…

Phase 5: Maxing Your Roth IRA

So who is this Roth guy and what is a Roth IRA? In 1997, the Taxpayer Relief Act established the Roth Individual Retirement Account. The legislative sponsor was none other than William Roth.  This arrangement is significant for one reason: taxes.…

Phase 4: Paying off debt

If you’re like many Americans, you’ll find that your money is already spent before it even clears your bank account on pay-day. And it’s spent on debt. Your house payment. Your car payment. Your credit card payment. Your student loans.…

Phase 3: 401(k) Match

Before we get started with what you should do with your 401(k), let’s conduct a brief overview of retirement savings accounts.  We’ll start at a high level and work our way down from there. Crash Course in Retirement Accounts Overall, there are…

Phase 2: Emergency Fund

If you successfully made it through Phase 1 by cutting your monthly spending by 20%, this step will be easy.  Why?  Even if you had been spending every cent of your paycheck and not saving at all, when you reduced your spending…

Phase 1: Your Lean Budget

The first step to a solid financial foundation is a lean budget. You’ll never be able to invest and achieve big-time wealth if your finances are tied up in housing costs, vehicle payments and drive-through cappuccinos . I’m going to try…

Phase 0: You Have a Choice

You’ve got a choice.  The proverbial red pill versus blue pill. Take the blue pill, skim through these posts, and continue life as you have–paycheck-to-paycheck, never ahead, and worried that you’re one layoff away from financial meltdown.  You’ll retire when…