The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Dilemma

The Roth IRA Conversion Ladder Dilemma

I’ve been a bit moody the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been focusing a lot on trying to pinpoint our exact retirement date and I’ve been struggling.  The problem all stems with the Roth IRA Conversion Ladder we plan to do. First off, if you’re on the path to FIRE (Financial Independence/Retire Early) and you’re not familiar with how a Roth IRA Conversion Ladder works, this could be important to you. It’s not the end-all-be-all solution, but the ladder is a method that many early retirees are able to use to make FIRE actually happen. You see, normally you don’t have access to your traditional 401(k) and other retirement accounts until 59½.  This is a problem for young whippersnappers trying

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

What to Do with Your Money Right Now

We’re in an interesting cycle of the economy right now.  Things are looking good, which helps boost the value of your money.  When it comes to investments, stock prices and property values are generally up. And if you’re selling, that’s a good thing.  Retirees and folks selling their houses or some of their stock investments are partying it up during these times. However, if you’re still in the wealth-building phase of your life, this isn’t as exciting.  Sure, it makes your portfolio look good, but if you don’t need the money right now, it’s taking its toll on your buying power. Using your money to buy new shares in the stock market is expensive right now.  Expensive is a subjective word,

Property Management Companies – Why I’m Firing Mine

Property Management Companies – Why I’m Firing Mine

Ah, property management companies – the answer to anyone wanting to get into real estate without the headaches, right? The thought makes sense.  Rental properties are a great way to help diversify your investment portfolio and earn a solid cash flow. The only problem… managing the properties. Now, some folks like the idea of running the operation and handling any repairs themselves.  The good news is that they tend to make more money on their properties every month since they’re doing all the work. However, not all of us want to do this.  The other side of the coin has the masses that just want the investment for the returns it can provide. These folks want someone else to handle

The 10 Commandments for Kids and Money

The 10 Commandments for Kids and Money

When it comes to kids and money, we all want to ensure that they’ve got the greatest chance to succeed in life. We can push our kids to be smart and learn in school.  We can teach them to be good to other kids and to share. We can help them to understand that they should respect others.  We can show them good manners and how to be polite. But what about the money side of the formula?  Isn’t that important? I spend a lot of my time staring at Quicken and Personal Capital trying to plan for financial independence and early retirement. I feel very blessed that we’re in a solid position to make this happen. However, another part

The 10 Best Financial Podcasts

The 10 Best Financial Podcasts

The 10 Best Financial Podcasts???  Aren’t podcasts for nerds?  Who in the heck would listen to people droning on and on for an hour talk show?! A couple years ago, that’s what I was thinking.  Then about a year ago, I canceled my Sirius XM radio subscription and learned something… local radio sucks.  Maybe that’s not the case for all areas, but where I live in Ohio, it’s horrendous. So I was stuck. Fine, I decided, I’ll give these “podcasts” a try. And guess what – I’m glad I did.  Now that’s all I listen to during my commute to and from work every day. But I don’t just listen to any podcasts – I listen, almost exclusively to personal

The HSA Benefits Just Keep Rolling In

The HSA Benefits Just Keep Rolling In

I’ve written about Health Savings Accounts (HSA) before and how they are one the best retirement plans you can get your hands on.  In fact, it might be THE best account out there.  I thought I knew all the HSA benefits I could get out of this account, but in this post, I’ll tell you about a new one I learned about. If you’re not familiar with an HSA, it’s a medical savings account that’s paired with a high-deductible medical plan.  Because you’re on a high-deductible plan, you usually pay less of a premium (the amount a lot of us see taken out of each of our paychecks). What usually gets people started in this is that they can then