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How to Find Estate Sale Deals (From a Beverly Hills Bargain-Hunter!)

August 3, 2020
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I can’t wait for this COVID thing to be all over … when everyone’s healthy and safe, I can resume one of my guilty pleasures — my Beverly Hills “shopping sprees!” I’m not talking about the name-brand stores on Rodeo Drive that sell $1,800 sunglasses or $12,000 handbags … The bargains I’m searching for lie within the suburb’s majestic mansions — at private garage sales […]

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How to Give Stock to Children With a UGMA Custodial Account

July 31, 2020
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When my wife was a baby, one of her Aunties created a gift account and put a few thousand dollars in it. This Aunt was pretty financially savvy and didn’t have any kids of her own. She put the money in a UGMA account (named for legislation called the Unifed Gifts to Minors Act) and invested it in a broad, low-cost mutual fund that would […]

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Investing With Family … the Good, the Bad, the Meh

July 27, 2020
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Are any of you guys investing with family members or co-owning any assets with siblings? Like partnering on rental properties, businesses, and joint estates or lending them money? I’m not talking about your spouse or significant other … I mean investing with siblings, aunties and uncles, your parents or kids. I’m curious to hear your experiences and if you recommend it as a good idea […]

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Yes, You Can Buy a Rental Property in Another State

July 25, 2020
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In 2015 my wife and I bought our first rental property together. We were living in Los Angeles at the time and couldn’t afford to buy anything locally, which prompted us to start looking at out-of-state investments. We ended up making a real estate investment in Texas! There’s a lot to share about our decision to buy a rental property — I’ll start with numbers […]

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How to Include Charity in Your Budget, and Other Ways to GIVE!

July 24, 2020
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There’s no right or wrong way to be generous. Charitable giving is a beautiful thing, no matter who it comes from or how big (or small) the dollar amount! Today, I’ll talk about some ways to include charity in your budget. As a kid, my parents taught me to tithe, giving 10% of all my earnings to our family church. It wasn’t much at the […]

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My Rollover IRA Account — The Backstory

July 20, 2020
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Last week I wrote about tracking one of my rental properties and comparing it to the growth of an index fund that’s currently worth about the same amount. Post here – Real Estate vs. Stocks I got a ton of feedback and questions, which I’ll delve into over time. For today I’ll start with some backstory on my IRA, my out-of-pocket contributions, and what the […]

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Think You’re Too Old for FIRE? Think Again!

July 17, 2020
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From the outside, the FIRE community appears to be full of young people — millennials and iGens — who are striving to reach financial independence and retire in their 30s and 40s. But when you spend more time *inside* the FIRE community, you realize how diverse it is! People from all walks of life, all ages and backgrounds, helping and supporting one another to live […]

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Tax Fun Facts! (But Are They True or False?)

July 13, 2020
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Happy Monday, everyone! :) Thought it’d be fun to share some tax trivia — some true facts 😇, and some false facts 😈 — since we’re nearing the end of a super-long filing season here in the U.S. (Public service announcement: Taxes for 2019 are due THIS WEDNESDAY! That’s July 15, 2020.) I’ve dug up (and made up) these weird tax facts for a little […]

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Real Estate vs Stocks: A Real-Life Look at Returns

July 10, 2020
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There will always be a hot conversation in the personal finance community about investing in real estate vs stocks. I do both, so today I’m gonna share details about two of my long-term retirement assets. Asset #1 is a Rollover IRA account. The balance is about $109k. Asset #2 is a buy-and-hold rental property I’ve owned for five years. Coincidentally, it’s also worth about $109k! […]

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Would You Rather Lose Your Phone, Wallet, or Car Keys?

July 6, 2020
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Hmmm. Interesting question. Back in the day, my wallet was the most important thing I carried around. I still remember my first wallet, one of those waterproof tri-fold velcro ones that carried my student ID and some train tickets. (Maybe also a few cut-out pictures in there from skateboard magazines — you know, the important stuff). But that was before everyone had cellphones. These days, […]

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How to Save Money on Air Conditioning … and Fun Tips to Stay Cool This Summer

July 3, 2020
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Summer is here! And we’re all looking for ways to stay cool, save money on air conditioning, and have some fun while doing it! If your home has air conditioning, we’ve got a few tips to reduce your summertime energy costs and maybe even increase the life of your AC unit. For those of you with no air conditioning, don’t fear … I’ve lived without […]

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2020 Money Goals: Mid-Year Review/Revise/Remove!

June 29, 2020
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Happy Monday, personal finance nerds! This week we cross over the halfway mark for the year 2020. Oh man, what a crazy year it’s been so far. When I sat down and wrote my 2020 money goals back in January, I had no clue about the poopstorm of events we were about to experience … One of the biggest stock market crashes in history Immediately […]

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How to Turn Your Side Hustle Into Passive Income

June 26, 2020
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[Welcome to Side Hustle #81, where Zach from Four Pillar Freedom stops by to share his experience — and tips — on how to “productize your knowledge.” We’ve covered tutoring as a side hustle before in different flavors (#14 & #74), but Zach’s approach goes beyond trading time for money … and turns his work into passive income, bringing in money while he sleeps! For […]

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!! Exclusive (Totally Made-Up) Interview With Prince Harry and Meghan About Financial Independence!!

June 22, 2020
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Hey, everyone! For a little light-hearted fun, today’s post is a 100% made-up interview/story. But there’s a kernel of truth to it! Harry and Megs have indeed announced that they are pursuing financial independence, and I’m a massive supporter of this decision. FIRE is ultimately about freedom, and I’m stoked that people with fame and all different income levels are figuring it out. If I […]

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