Some taxes are optional

Some taxes are optional

I awoke, much like I do every morning, and will hopefully, continue to do for the foreseeable future.  I put my feet on the floor, stood erect (inspiring envy from countless evolutionary ancestors), and traversed across the house using a bi-ped motion. I walked. What an exciting skill.  Using my feet I can easily move my whole body from one place to another.  I wondered if this worked outdoors?  I gingerly stepped outside, delightful; I thought, as I experimented with various surfaces, pavement, concrete, and grass.  Soon, I grew apprehensive…

Ask How?

Ask How?

Everyone has different goals and lifestyle expectations.  For me, achieving financial independence is high on the list. Not because I hate work, or because I’m manically trying to accumulate as much money as possible, but rather because I want to pursue my passions without concern to their monetary reward. Others may feel that my goals create a restrictive depressing life which eliminates all fun.  While some others may be fine living paycheck to paycheck and burning through cash like a sparkler on the fourth of July! I’m not here to…

Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball

Debt Avalanche vs. Debt Snowball

How my wife and I lowered our student loans by $40,000 in one year, on a teacher and physical therapist income. Suddenly, I keep hearing reports that interests rates may be headed higher, since economic forecasts are less reliable then your local weatherman, I’m not to worried, but it does make for a good time to analyze any debt payoff strategy. Personally, I have shifted focus away from my student loans and towards my mortgage, both have low interest rates, but by reducing / eliminating my mortgage, I could accelerate…

What is a dividend? How does it contribute to an IRA?

What is a dividend?  How does it contribute to an IRA?

I’d like to answer two questions I received after writing NO Limit IRA accounts – Here’s How.  In the article, I discussed how I’m using dividends to increase the amount I’m able to contribute annually towards my IRA accounts.  Currently, my wife and I are limited to $11,000 combined, but when dividends are included, I’m currently able to contribute over $14,000.  So, what is a dividend, and how am I using it to increase my contribution limits? A dividend is paid by some companies to anyone who owns shares in…

What’s stopping you – FEAR

What’s stopping you – FEAR

I’ve been trying to post every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, which means I try to at least have a draft typed the day before.  Yesterday, I didn’t get anything done, but luckily this article came to me last night when I was supposed to be sleeping.  I was / am a bit grumpy so this article may take on a bit of a rant form, but given today’s topic is fear, maybe that fits just fine. Fear, rational or otherwise tends to hold us back and prevent us from accomplishing things…

$1,500 Lost!

$1,500 Lost!

Creating content for Gentleman of Leisure has motivated me to keep better records, evaluate my savings, and monitor my investment progress.  I have recorded my dividend income for the past few years, which has proved to be revealing and motivating, as I’m able to watch these numbers grow each year. My real estate portfolio has been a bit of a financial wild west.  I have a separate bank account for my real estate LLC, and I’ve basically just checked to make sure the account has enough money to pay the…

Debt Demolition – Show me the money – Triathlon

Debt Demolition – Show me the money – Triathlon

If you haven’t already, read THIS first. The year was 2006, I was 2 years out of college, and searching for an athletic outlet. I had always been an athlete, participating in swimming, soccer, and basketball through high school and continuing my basketball career as a bench player in college.  Competition was a part of me, and at this stage of life, competition was missing.  Triathlon filled the void.  Quickly, I my time was consumed with swims, bike rides, and runs, my free time disappeared. I loved it. In August…

No Limit IRA accounts – Here’s How

No Limit IRA accounts – Here’s How

Each year the federal government sets limits determining the amount of money that can be contributed to an IRA account, this past year the limit was $5,500.  If you are married, you and your spouse could each have an account raising your family limit to $11,000. This number is still smaller then I would prefer, so I developed a method for contributing more. What? That’s impossible you say, and technically you would be correct. I didn’t open a 3rd account, but I did find a way to raise my contribution…

Marriage and Money

Marriage and Money

Whenever I needed cash, I just wrote myself a check, took it to the bank and cashed it.  I was in my mid 20’s and had never owned a debit card.  I addressed envelops, licked stamps, and wrote checks to pay my bills.  The year was not 1955, but rather 2009. My then girlfriend, now wife thought I was dimwitted. I didn’t own a computer, which is a prerequisite for online banking, thus my hands were tied (I hadn’t considered buying a computer).  I had a system that worked for…

Savings Rate vs. Rate of Return

Savings Rate vs. Rate of Return

Two trees grow in a forest, one is large and mighty, its trunk rising from the earth like a Greek column, its branches heavy, strain outward, holding up the sky.  The other tree, small and wispy, its trunk pushed this way and that on every waft of breeze while its branches sag under the weight of the clouds. The large tree shows no outward appearance of change from year to year, but its massive branches, covered in thousands of leaves soak up energy and add copious amounts of mass to…