October 2019 Best of the Web

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This month we have an excellent selection of articles and podcasts.

For those of you struggling with your finances I hope you’ll leave with both new information and inspiration. And for those of you firing on all cylinders financially, I have a challenge and call to action to pay it forward.

Articles will help you to better understand your investments and social security benefits. For those looking for an advisor to help you, we’ll look at challenges to finding good financial advice.

Articles address some half-truths and outright lies that you frequently hear in the personal finance space.

We also explore how we are using (and being used by) technology, empowering you to live a happier, healthier and more productive life.

Bogleheads on Investing (& Improving Financial Literacy) 

Earlier this month, I launched my book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. I wrote the book to share the solid F.I.R.E. principles that have transformed my life, while removing the perception that they require an extreme lifestyle that is not achievable for “normal” people.

I was honored when Rick Ferri invited me to discuss the book on the Boglehead on Investing podcast, allowing me to share some of the principles of FI with the Boglehead community that was instrumental in my education and turnaround with investing. 

Rick and I are hopeful that this will be a first step in bringing the FI and Boglehead communities together to work on our shared mission of improving financial literacy. To those ends, my partners on the book recently announced the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Choose FI Foundation.

I encourage readers to check out the foundation and the Bogleheads forums and to help increase financial literacy and spread the message of financial independence to others.

Piper on Social Security

Darrow and I regularly feature the work of Mike Piper. We’ve been promoting his free Open Source Social Security Calculator since he released it, and we’ve gotten tremendously positive feedback from users.

This month Piper answered the reader question: Can a Year of Low Earnings Reduce My Social Security Benefit?

Physicians on Investing

Jim Dahle, MD wrote Bond Investors Should Not Fear Rising Interest Rates.

The recently retired Physician on FIRE (retired from medicine, not the blog) Leif Dahleen wrote Top 5 Reasons to Exceed 25 Years of Expenses Before Retiring.

Finding Good Financial Advice

Since I’ve been writing about personal finance and investing, my stance that everyone should be a do-it-yourself investor has softened. I’ve realized that many people could use help. But it’s incredibly hard to find good help.

Certified Financial Planner Brent Sutherland explains Why Most Financial Advisors Won’t Tell You to Invest in Real Estate.  

Christine Benz challenges the financial industry to be better at protecting vulnerable consumers, writing Not OK–Why the financial-services industry needs to do better for the financially vulnerable among us.

Sarah O’Brien shares why you can’t necessarily rely on FINRA’s Broker Check database, writing Some brokers game the system to scrub complaints from their records.

Getting Honest

Allan Roth questions four money “truths” writing Take Control of Your Financial Future With These 4 New Rules.

Karsten “Big ERN” Jeske addresses lies bloggers tell about home ownership with How to “Lie” With Personal Finance – Part 2 (Homeownership Edition).

Technology, Happiness and Productivity

Another lie is spending more for new technology will make you happier. Author Cal Newport wrote To Upgrade Your Leisure, Downgrade Your Phone.

Tim Ferriss interviewed tech expert Tristan Harris about how big tech/business is trying to rob us of our attention and how we need to stay on guard when using technology.

Ferriss also talked with David Allen about the Art of Getting Things Done.

A Hand Up

Promoting the book this month gave me a chance to reconnect with the blogger J. Money who writes the blog Budgets are $exy. Don’t be fooled by the silly pseudonym or title of his blog, he is dead serious about helping other people live their best lives. 

I was extremely close to giving up on writing, only a couple of months after starting my original blog, when he featured one of my early articles on another site that he then owned, RockStar Finance. Shortly after, he also took time to sit down and coach me on some technical aspects of blogging. 

I have no doubt that without these acts of kindness and generosity from a then complete stranger, I would have quit writing a few months after starting my blog. This is something I will never forget. 

It is the reason that among the 10-12 articles in these monthly round-ups, I always try to pay it forward by sprinkling in at least one or two from bloggers who don’t have a big following and most of you have likely never heard of, but who are doing great work and sharing different perspectives that need to be heard.

So I’ll close with an inspiring guest post from J’s blog from one of those voices that needs to be heard, that of Deanna Broaddus. She wrote How Getting Sober Changed My Life — And My Money.

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[Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. After achieving financial independence, Chris began writing about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? He is also the primary author of the book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. Chris also does financial planning with individuals and couples at Abundo Wealth, a low-cost, advice-only financial planning firm with the mission of making quality financial advice available to populations for whom it was previously inaccessible. Chris has been featured on MarketWatch, Morningstar, U.S. News & World Report, and Business Insider. He has spoken at events including the Bogleheads and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants annual conferences. Blog inquiries can be sent to chris@caniretireyet.com. Financial planning inquiries can be sent to chris@abundowealth.com]

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