The “best of” may be a misnomer, but it is based on statistics or my opinion! I decided to showcase a variety of articles that you may find worthwhile to read again or for the first time. Who knows, you may uncover a hidden gem that changes your life. I decided to do this because I am continuing to make some changes and thought you may like to read some of the best!
I decided to write a blog because I thought I had something to contribute to the conversation. I will let you judge if my contribution is worthwhile or not. I try to find things that I find interesting or provocative to stimulate conversation or better yet a dialog. Your comments are important because it creates a dialog. I always write about subjects I find interesting and hope you do too. I try to take a particular point of view that will allow the reader to draw their own conclusion. That does not mean I don’t try to persuade the reader of my viewpoint, but instead I try to highlight the issues.
Top Ten Articles Read in 2013
I will never Retire! – That’s right, I will never retire! Although I will retire from teaching in five (5) years, I know I will never just kick back and play golf, play cards or sit around. I saw firsthand how my mother worked part time into her mid eighties. She worked because she liked what she was doing! She retired from that job at eighty-six. What did she do? She made things and sold them at an open air market every Saturday.
Extreme Retirement Is Fool’s Gold! – The usual definition for extreme includes words like serious, hazardous, dangerous, highest degree, exceptional, severe, physical or mental risk or hardship. I realize that retirement as a goal may be worthwhile enough to take risks, but extreme may be too far. Fool’s gold is anything that turns out to be worthless! Have you gone to extremes for retirement savings? Is it working for you?
How to Become a Minimum Wage Millionaire – Can you earn minimum wage and still become a millionaire? The short answer is yes! I am sure you have heard of so called poor people becoming millionaires, although not overnight. I am not talking about professional athletes, entertainers or lottery winners. I am talking about everyday people earning very little money and over time become millionaires. Not just millionaires, but multi-millionaires!
Ten Things I can Live Without – 10 things I can live without and I am okay!! You make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, set goals or budget and you need to make choices. So it is a very relevant question! What will you give up to achieve your goals? It could range from dessert, sleep to exercise, dining out or entertainment. Here are ten (10) things I can live without!
Being Rich or Poor Is a Choice –Rich or poor is a choice! I realize that some of you may feel this is controversial, but give it some thought. You have control of yourself and you are not a victim. People who are rich, work hard. People who are poor generally make poor choices. It starts very young with education, role models and goals. Most rich people did not start out that way. They made a choice and you can too!
The Case Against Paying Off Your Mortgage! – Many personal finance experts suggest paying off your mortgage. I realize that interest rates are very low on savings, but mortgage rates are historically low too. If you itemize your income taxes, you can write off your mortgage interest and the government subsidizes your rate by giving you a tax deduction. The government is encouraging home ownership. Why would you want to give that up?
Rental Property Tips – I love rental property! Where else can you leverage your investment for thirty (30) years at a low interest rate and have someone else pay for it? Real estate and rental property are not risk-free; however it is one way to accumulate wealth! It starts with savings and how you invest your money. You can start out small by renting out your first home. What are you waiting for?
Some Things Get Better with Age! – Some things get better with age such as wine, cowboy boots, blue jeans, rib-eye steaks, balsamic vinegar and some human beings. Older people are not quietly go into the sunset and retiring. Successful entrepreneurs are getting older! The young entrepreneurs may get more press, but there are many older people becoming entrepreneurs. Are they more productive and creative?
Too Young to Retire! – Too young to retire and too old to get a job! There are many people in their forties and fifties that feel that way. They lost their jobs in the recession and cannot find another one. They already exhausted their unemployment and have given up. That’s right, they stopped looking! They do not have the savings they should have and they gave up. What should they do?
Xanatos Gambit – Have you ever heard of the Xanatos Gambit? “A Xanatos Gambit is a plan whose multiple foreseen outcomes all benefit its creator. It’s a win-win situation for whoever plots it. At its most basic, the Xanatos Gambit assumes two possible outcomes for the one manipulated — success or failure. The plan is designed in such a way that either outcome will ultimately further the plotter’s goals.” The planner always wins!
My Favorite Ten Articles of 2013
There Is Always Something! – There is always something that holds you back! Why do we always make excuses? An excuse is an unconscious defense mechanism to justify or explain a behavior or feelings in order to avoid a true explanation. If you are constantly rationalizing your behavior by making excuses, you won’t accomplish very much. A long time ago, you made an excuse and someone accepted it.
Budgets and Diets Are a Waste of Time! – Budgets and diets are a waste of time! Most, if not all personal finance (PF) bloggers are probably surprised I would say that. A budget or diet is not the answer for overspending or overeating. If these things worked for everyone, there would be no debt or overweight people. A budget or diet is intended to help us reach a financial or personal goal. Do budgets or diets even work?
Success Is What Is Accomplished! – So much has been written about success! How to be more effective, productive and successful usually starts with a list of ten (10), fifteen (15) or as many as twenty-five (25) traits, steps, or tips to become successful. With so many books, articles and stories, you would think there would be more successful people. What does it really take to accomplish your goals?
A Simple Retirement Plan for You! – Retirement can happen at any time! A typical definition of retirement is the act of leaving one’s job and ceasing work. In my parent’s generation, you kicked back and did not do much. It was a way of withdrawing or retreating from the work world. It may happen at a certain age or when you accumulate sufficient assets, money, investments or savings.
Do You Plan or Plan to Fail? – I plan because I do not plan to fail! If you have goals, you need a plan to make it happen. A budget is a form of a plan. Why budget? A budget is supposed to help you achieve your financial goals. More people spend more time planning a party than their lives! If you do not see the need for planning, you probably do not have goals, direction, focus, attribute luck for any results and not accountable for anything!
Gimme Shelter, Tax Shelter! – A home is more than a tax shelter! You may live in a condominium, cooperative, townhouse or a single family residence. Whatever the type of home, it is your primary residence. It may be your first tax shelter! A legal method of minimizing or decreasing an investor’s taxable income and, therefore, his or her tax liability. Buying a home decreases your taxes, but there is more!
Do You Make Mistakes? – If you do not make mistakes, you are not trying hard enough! If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes. (John Wooden) I recently saw an interview of Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx (a multi-million dollar undergarment company). She said her Dad asked her every day what mistakes she made. He celebrated her mistakes!
Everything Is Always on Sale! – Everything is always on sale seems like an exaggeration! If you are expecting to go to your local store and find absolutely everything on sale, you will be disappointed. Then again, you can find just about everything on sale somewhere. Online retailers are constantly discounting their products and there are always coupons for discounts and free shipping. I f you look, you can find everything on sale!
The Road to Prosperity – The road to prosperity is not really a road! In fact, it may not be much more than a path. It is not a location and it can only lead you to a goal. It is filled with many curves, dead ends, U-turns, attractions, amusements, distractions and pitfalls. Google or Yahoo maps will not help you get there! It starts with a goal and a plan. It is taking that dream you have and making it a reality!
Is There a Right Time to Buy Real Estate? – The real estate market is booming. Some prices are up to pre bubble prices. Is it too late to buy real estate? The short answer is no! My theory is prices are always higher than you like it. If you are one of those people who are looking to buy at the bottom, you missed your chance! Interest rates are the lowest in sixty (60) years. What are you waiting for?
For the second year, I want to thank Financial Samurai, for this great format, although I made some minor changes. Additionally, I would like to thank all my readers and the many who have left comments without you there is no krantcents. I want you all to know I enjoy the dialog generated by comments even if you do not agree with me. My goal is to start a conversation not persuade you of my viewpoint. Last, I hope this article recap may interest you to read something you missed or read it for the first time. Whether these are the best articles or not, I will let you decide!
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Whether these are the best articles or not, I will let you decide!
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