Is Being a Millionaire a Worthy Goal?

Is Being a Millionaire a Worthy Goal?

 

 

Since most people don’t have adequate education on how money works, they end of relying on Pop Culture Finance  as means of education. They read articles on the fly and attempt to get education along the way. The problem with that approach is Pop Culture Finance oftentimes sends incomplete information leaving the reader to rely on assumptions which are based on misleading, unclear points. In this latest article, they are writing about attaining the goal of being a millionaire by age 67. They rightly make the point that the earlier you start saving and investing the easier it will be. However, they leave out two very important points.

 

 

1)     Being a millionaire 30 years (as an example) from now is not like being a millionaire today

 

 

Say you are 37 years of age and your goal is to accomplish that goal by age 67. A million dollars is worth the equivalent of roughly $522,000 in today’s dollars given a 2% inflation rate. It is worth even less given a higher inflation average. At a 5% withdrawal rate, that produces a retirement income of $ 26,100 assuming that you survive future financial meltdowns. Can you live off of $26,100 and whatever is left of social security in 30 years?

 

 

2)     It probably takes more than being a millionaire to make retirement work

 

 

In the article, the writer states that a million dollars “is not an adequate goal for every saver.” Considering how much future income that million dollars produces I doubt it is adequate for the majority of future retirees.

 

 

Instead, go through the proper process of setting your goals and know what your number is that you need to accumulate in order to one day claim financial independence and retire the way you want. The last thing you want to do is set your sights on the wrong goal and find out in 30 years that being a millionaire is nothing more than being a “thousandairre”!

 

 

To go through an individualized process of goal setting and planing, email me at bob@prudentmoney.com

An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids About Investing

An Easy Way to Teach Your Kids About Investing

 

When I come across a great idea, I want to share it with you. I am always trying to think of new ways to educate my boys on how the stock market works. Really the best way to do it is by participation. It is tough to purchase with a kid’s allowance. However, with Stockpile’s revolutionary platform, it is as easy as buying a gift card and purchasing and owning a share or part of a share in a company such as Apple.

 

Here is how it works:

 

You can purchase a gift card to purchase stock at over 14,000 grocery and retail outlets. You can also purchase stock at www.stockpile.com or purchase an e-gift and send it to someone.

 

The beauty of this platform is that your child can (with the supervision of an adult) purchase a stock such as Apple, Amazon.com, Tesla, etc. for $25.00. If for example your child wanted to purchase McDonald’s and the stock was trading at $50.00 a share and your child had $25 to invest, you would purchase the stock and own 1/2 of a share. The platform allows you to purchase fractional shares.

 

This platform allows your child to buy stock at low dollar amounts and be a shareholder in a publicly traded company.  If the share price goes up, then the fractional shares will go up. Your child can go online to access the brokerage account and see the growth for themselves. You give them the decision-making authority to buy and to sell and they can learn in real time how the stock market works. It is a great way to have a conversation about how stocks grow.

Give the Gift for Stock for Graduation

 

Looking for a unique gift for graduation? Either send an e-gift or purchase a gift card to stockpile and gift the new graduate the ability to purchase stock of their choosing. I think it is a much better gift than the standard gift of money.

 

The bottom line is that we as parents need to educate our kids about how investments work and stockpile.com gives parents a perfect way to teach in real time.

 

For more information to go www.stockpile.com.

Should There Be Separation of Church and State?

Should There Be Separation of Church and State?

 

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at the Johnston Amendment. First, a little history on the Johnston Amendment. This bill was introduced and written by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson in 1954. The story goes that he was angry that a few non-profits ganged up on him in his race for the Senate by labeling him as a communist. The bill was designed to authorize the IRS to take away their tax-exempt status if a non-profit ever heavily participated in politics by making endorsements and or getting involved in campaigns. Thus, this separated church and state. Of course, churches were included because of their non-profit status.

 

As a side note and from the dark world of politics, it was a brilliant political move. Can you imagine if organized religion were heavily involved in politics? I doubt that there are too many politicians who openly want to give the church a voice.

 

Did Trump give the church a voice? Well, sort of and not really. He signed the executive order so that people were not penalized for their “protected religious beliefs.” In the executive order, he strongly discourages the IRS for going after churches for engaging in politics. However, it doesn’t change the law. President Trump can’t pull that off with the stroke of a pen.

 

Is the Johnston Amendment a good thing or a bad thing? I really don’t know the answer to that question. The list of positives includes completely free speech for everyone. The church banding together to throw support behind a candidate would be strong. Unfortunately, the cons of repealing the bill seems to be much worst then the good that would come of it.

 

After all, you are bringing the dark underbelly of politics to the church. Pastors, if not careful, could be bought and sold with money changing hands. How about a huge donation to the church? The worst-case scenario is involving the church in questionable political processes and activities. Obviously, not every Pastor would end up being seduced by the world of politics. Why create temptations for churches and Pastors?

 

Would the good outweigh the bad? Would this executive order be enough to motivate a Pastor to take a chance and endorse from the pulpit? What is your take?

Dallas Fort Worth #12 on the Cinco De Mayo Burrito Index

Dallas Fort Worth #12 on the CInco De MAyo Burrito Index

To spill the beans on America’s burrito-eating habits, Postmates [https://postmates.com/] (America’s most popular universal delivery app) partnered with the bean counters at NationalToday.com [https://nationaltoday.com/us/cinco-de-mayo/] to rank cities across the U.S. based on the total number of burrito deliveries, the frequency of these deliveries, and the overall preference for burritos over other foods.

*** POSTMATES CINCO DE MAYO BURRITO INDEX ***
(data analysis conducted by National Today Data Insights)

>> AMERICA’S TOP 30 BURRITO-LOVING U.S. CITIES:

#1: Los Angeles
#2: Chicago
#3: Bay Area
#4: New York City
#5: Phoenix
#6: Miami
#7: Las Vegas
#8: San Diego
#9: Washington, D.C.
#10: Seattle
#11: Atlanta
#12: Dallas / Ft. Worth
#13: Portland
#14: Sacramento
#15: Charlotte
#16: Kansas City
#17: Oklahoma City
#18: Nashville
#19: Denver
#20: Austin
#21: Columbus
#22: Houston
#23: San Antonio
#24: Pittsburgh
#25: St. Louis
#26: Boston
#27: Philadelphia
#28: Minneapolis
#29: Raleigh
#30: Tampa

To encourage even more Dallas-Fort Worth residents to go burrito-tally crazy, Postmates is rewarding a free burrito to the first 10,000 Dallas-Fort Worth dwellers who download Postmates and order on May 5.

1. Download the Postmates app by visiting:
>>  http://springboard.postmates.com/CINCODEMAYO

2. Add a burrito to your cart from your favorite local or chain restaurant

3. Use code CINCODEMAYO to get it for free

To get the full rankings and unwrap other insights from the Postmates Burrito Index, visit:

Top 10 Reasons Texans Should Consider Living in Panama…At Least Part-Time

Top 10 Reasons Texans Should Consider Living in Panama…At Least Part-Time
By Evie Brooks
 1.  Weather – Panama has consistent temperatures throughout the year, with highs between 80 and 90 degrees. It has a rainy and a dry season, with the dry season starting in December and ending in May. If you’re looking to escape winters up north, you can spend time in Panama during the best weather months of January, February, and March. In addition, Panama is outside the hurricane belt. 
2.  Cost of Living – Panama offers coastal living at a fraction of the cost of comparable coastal locations in North America and Europe. Panama City isn’t super cheap as an international business hub, but outside the city both daily costs of living and of real estate are very low. 
3.  Ease of Residency – Panama offers several residency options, including one of the best pensionado (retiree) visas in the world. You can obtain a retirement visa in Panama by showing as little as $1,000 a month income from a pension, government or private. In addition, Panama’s Friendly Nations visa program is easy and low-cost and can mean a work permit.
4.  Ease of Access – With many daily flights to the United States and Europe, Panama is easy to get to and from if you want to travel home regularly to visit the grand kids and other family. Plus, Panama offers easy regional travel for vacations and sightseeing. 
5.  Ease of Transition – Panama can be called a “halfway house” for expats. Thanks to the country’s standard of infrastructure (the best in Central America); Panama City, the most developed city by far in the region, with its U.S.-style malls, shopping, and restaurants; and large English-speaking population, moving to Panama doesn’t come with the same level of culture shock as moving to other countries can mean.
6.  Language – Part of the ease of transition in Panama is that a high percentage of Panamanians speak English. Add to that the large international community, both in Panama City and other areas of the country, and you don’t have an immediate need to learn much Spanish when you move to Panama. 
7.  Health Care – Panama has some of the best hospitals in the region. Johns Hopkins-affiliated and -managed Hospital Punta Pacifica gets most of the attention, but most all Panama City hospitals have state-of-the-art equipment, as do many of the regional hospitals in the interior of the country. Medical tourism is a booming business in this country, thanks to the quality of service and the excellent costs. 
8.  Diversity – Panama offers diversity of lifestyle, with attractive beach, mountain, and city (including PanamaCity) options. 
9.  Recreation – Panama has some of the best fishing and bird watching in the world. The best sport fishing on the entire Pacific coast of the Americas is said to be in and around Coiba National Marine Park, which is just a two-hour boat ride from Los Islotes. Panama is home to more species of birds than neighboring Costa Rica, and bird-watching tourism is expanding. And, because it’s out of the hurricane zone, Panama is a perfect place for owning a boat year-round. 
10.  Taxes – Panama is a tax haven, meaning retirees have little to no income tax exposure in this country
Evie Brooks is Access Panama Director for Live and Invest Overseas. She’s an international real estate investor with more than 23 years experience, a former Real Estate Investor Educator with the Rich Dad Poor Dad organization and a mentor advisor for professionals who want to learn the art of real estate investing.

10 Steps to Creating Financial Freedom

10 Steps to Creating Financial Freedom

Retirement is a thing of the past. Rarely do people retire. Instead, retirement ends up being a new season in life that is often busier than before retirement. I like to think of retirement as financial freedom.

Financial Freedom – The time in your life when earning an income is a choice rather than a necessity

I love the phrase financial freedom. To me, it is the point you come to in life where you are FREE to serve and give back. To get there, planning is extremely important. It puts the why behind saving and investing. I get a lot of question on what makes up the process. I compiled a list of 10 important steps so that you will have an idea.

1     What is your number? Build your spending plan for retirement by creating two numbers.  

In today’s dollars, what kind of monthly income would you need at financial independence. This is your opportunity to create a future spending plan. Have fun with it. Think of expenses you wouldn’t have then and expenses you would have then but not now. This number drives everything. In fact, the best way to do it is by creating two numbers. First create the ideal future income. Then create the minimum number. If you stay between those two numbers, you are in the ball park. Being in the ball park is ideal!

2     Figure out how much risk you really want to take with your investments and get an advisor to help. 

It is important to understand what you have to earn on your investments to achieve your goals. More importantly, your risk level has to match that growth rate. It has to be realistic and achievable. For example, I don’t think that I would want a plan that depends on a growth rate of 10% per year.

3     Based on that number figure out how much you have to save.

Once you have the above numbers, now you can see how much you have to save each year. If it ends up being a higher savings number than you would like, then you adjust your goals.

4     Make sure you realistically adjust for inflation.

Just because we haven’t had a problem with inflation as of late doesn’t mean it has been removed from the economy. Inflation is a real threat and should be considered in one’s plan.

5     Make sure your financial independence plan has a benchmarking system so that at the end of each year you know if you are on track or not.

It is important that your plan tells you at what level your retirement assets need to be. If you are above that number, you know you are ahead of your goals. If you are below your number, that might signal to you that you need to change something.

6     Don’t “overcount” on social security.

I looked it up and yes overcount is a word and don’t do it when it comes to social security benefits. I don’t believe that social security is going away. At the same time, I wouldn’t count on 100% of the benefit too heavily. If you aren’t within 5 to 10 years of taking it, I would consider using 65-75% of the number for your projections.

7     Have a plan for managing risk and a frequency of how many times a year you are going to look at your strategy.

The stock market doesn’t always go up. What are you going to do when we go through the next big bear market? That can ruin the best laid plans.

8     Hire a financial advisor to take you through the process in the event you can’t find a program that will give you all of these numbers.

I wouldn’t expect you to go through this process by yourself. Besides, I have yet to come across a do it yourself calculator that will create these plans. In fact, we had to create our own system because I didn’t like any of the software programs that I found. A financial advisor that is fee based and also possesses the skill set to create a plan is invaluable.

9     Be intentional about things.

This has to be a priority. You have to be intentional on following through, monitoring the plan, and knowing where you are with your numbers at all times.

10   Review your plan each year and know up-front that all numbers could change- flexibility is key.

This isn’t a plan you set and forget. At the end of each year, it is important to check your numbers and review to make sure you don’t need to adjust something. Flexibility is key when you are projecting out 15 to 30 years.

If you need help and want to build a Financial Freedom plan, email me at bob@prudentmoney.com and we can discuss the process!

 

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