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Afford Anything

Author: Paula Pant

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You can afford anything, but not everything. We make daily decisions about how to spend money, time, energy, focus and attention – and ultimately, our life. Every decision is a trade-off against another choice.

But how deeply do we contemplate these choices? Are we settling for the default mode? Or are we ruthlessly optimizing around a deliberate life?

Host Paula Pant interviews a diverse array of entrepreneurs, early retirees, millionaires, investors, artists, adventurers, scientists, psychologists, productivity experts, world travelers and regular people, exploring the tough work of living a truly excellent life.

Want to learn more? Download our free book, Escape, at http://affordanything.com/escape
215 Episodes
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#215: We are really digging into the archives with today's episode. This originally aired back in 2016! Besides being another fun and fascinating interview, this is one of our most popular episodes. Which isn't surprising, given the topic we're exploring. :-) Financial independence means many things to many different people, which might be why we find it challenging to settle on a definition that everyone can agree on. Regardless of what your personal definition is, Joshua Sheats, a financial planner and host of the well-known Radical Personal Finance podcast, says that financial independence can be separated into seven stages. We explore these seven stages of FI in this episode, and we also talk about how to enjoy the journey no matter what stage you're at. Enjoy! For details, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/stages-financial-independence-joshua-sheats/
ChooseFI Interview

ChooseFI Interview

2019-09-0901:21:501

#214: It’s September! If you’ve been listening to the show for the past few months, then you know that I’m on what I’ve dubbed my September Sabbatical, in which I’m taking a break from podcast production and traveling the globe. In light of that, we’re digging through the archives and airing some of my favorite interviews on the show, in between airing interviews I’ve done on other podcasts. I’m super excited to share an interview I did with Brad and Jonathan of ChooseFI back in December 2018. It was fun to have the tables turned, and Brad and Jonathan left no stone unturned in their interview with me. If you ever wanted to know my origin story, including where my love for travel comes from, where my desire for freedom came from, and how I combined both, then give this interview a listen. We talk about everything from: How travel wasn’t a big part of my life until college How I prefer to travel Why the idea of mini-retirements is so important Making the transition from freelancing to having my own business and giving up that business in favor of focusing on Afford Anything Dealing with imposter syndrome Overcoming and working with a scarcity mindset What financial independence means to me The importance of self-care Brad and Jonathan are two of the most thorough interviewers I’ve ever recorded with, and this interview was a lot of fun. If you want to learn more about them, I returned the favor by interviewing them on this show on this episode https://www.choosefi.com/105-you-can-afford-anything-but-not-everything-paula-pant Thanks to Brad and Jonathan and ChooseFI for giving us permission to air this interview! P.S. - We’ll return to our regular podcast production schedule in October! For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode214
#213: It’s September! If you’ve been listening to the show for the past few months, then you know that I’m on what I’ve dubbed my September Sabbatical, in which I’m taking a break from podcast production and traveling the globe. In light of that, we’re digging through the archives and airing some of my favorite interviews on the show, in between airing interviews I’ve done on other podcasts. If you missed the last episode, you might want to listen to it before diving into this one, as Andrew and I go into the finer points of investing here. Seriously. This is one of the most in-the-weeds shows I’ve done to date. If you’re playing catch up: Andrew Hallam is a teacher who became a millionaire in his 30s and reached FIRE in his 40s. His starting salary was $28,000 - net. If you want to know how he did it, and what his first three rules of building wealth are, then listen to episode 212. Otherwise, tune into this episode, where we review his six other rules that can turn middle-class people into millionaires: Understand your inner psychology. Conquer the enemy in the mirror. Learn how to build a balanced, responsible portfolio. Create an indexed account, no matter where you live. Don’t resign yourself to taking this journey alone. Inoculate yourself against slick sales rhetoric. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.a While these rules sound simple on the surface, Andrew and I go way beyond that, talking about hedge funds, human psychology, and casinos. This was a favorite among listeners back in 2017 and it’s one of the most enjoyable interviews I did. I hope you enjoy! P.S. - We’ll return to our regular podcast production schedule in October! For more information, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode213 
#212: It’s September!! If you’ve been listening to the show for the past few months, then you know that I’m on what I’ve dubbed my September Sabbatical, in which I’m taking a break from podcast production and traveling the globe. In light of that, we’re digging through the archives and airing some of my favorite interviews on the show, in between airing interviews I’ve done on other podcasts. First up is a two-part interview with Andrew Hallam, a teacher who became a millionaire in his 30s and reached FI in his 40s. How? Beyond investing small sums (we’re talking less than $100 per month) throughout college, he also saved half of his starting salary of $28,000. This episode is for anyone who thinks it’s impossible to reach FIRE on a low salary. I originally interviewed Andrew in January 2017, and we could not stop talking. Which is why our three-hour interview was divided into two parts. In this first part, Andrew shares his story - how he became a millionaire, and why he wanted to achieve FIRE in the first place. He also shares three principles from his book, Millionaire Teacher: Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School: Rule 1: Spend like you want to grow rich. (Don’t waste money on junk.) Rule 2: Use the greatest financial ally you have. (Time.) Rule 3: Small percentages pack big punches. (Avoid high-fee funds.) As for the other six, they’re coming up in Part 2. :) Enjoy! P.S. - We’ll return to our regular podcast production schedule in October!   For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode212
#211: Hey there! I’m writing this from Croatia, where I’m beginning five weeks of travel that I’m calling my September Sabbatical. From now through September 23rd, I’ll be exploring the globe and enjoying a one-month break. Today, I’m kicking things off with a community-based episode. Here’s the backstory behind today’s show: There’s an event called CampFI, which is a 3-4 day gathering for people who are interested in financial independence. CampFI holds around half a dozen events per year in various locations; I spoke at one in Colorado Springs this past July. While I was there, two other podcasters and I decided to interview the participants to find out their “why of FI.” What motivates them to build financial independence? These interviews and stories from the community are today’s episode. Enjoy! For more information, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode211
#210: We live in a fascinating era: huge sections of society are more prosperous, advanced and safe than at any other point in human history, yet depression and anxiety are at record highs. It’s a paradox of progress: the richer the nation, the more likely its citizens are to suffer from mental health issues and report feeling crushing isolation and unhappiness. What gives? At the individual level, pursuing financial independence and early retirement (FIRE) often fills people with enthusiasm, purpose and meaning. Yet once people reach FIRE, they often report feeling purposeless or rudderless. It’s a paradox of hope: nothing kills a dream like achieving it. And in the absence of anything else for which to hope, a person becomes, by definition, hopeless. Ouch. When we’ve taken care of the bottom of the Maslow Pyramid, how do we find hope and meaning? How can we create purpose in a vast world? This week, I invited one of my favorite writers, megabestselling author Mark Manson, to join me on the Afford Anything podcast to discuss these critical issues. Mark Manson is the author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, which sold six million copies and became the #1 bestseller in 13 countries. His latest book, Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope, lays a framework for finding hope and happiness in a confusing world. For more information, visit the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode210
#209: Anonymous wants to retire early and often. They’re going overseas, where they’ll make their annual salary within six months. Where should they put their extra income? Anonymous also wants to know: how can they find a financial advisor they can actually trust? Another anonymous listener wants to know - is it possible to spend more while minimizing taxes in early retirement? JuanCarlos asks: is $20,000 too little to invest with a financial advisor? Angela is wondering how to create a Roth IRA account for a teenager. Rose is thinking about switching from mutual funds to index funds because it means encountering less fees, but her and her husband are in their 60s. Does this make sense? Ari has $700,000 to invest in a taxable brokerage account. He wants to know if a 90 percent total stock market index and 10 percent bonds is a good asset allocation. Dave and his wife want to use their defined benefit plans as their primary income stream in retirement, and supplement with Roth and 457 incomes. Where else should they be saving? Myself and former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy answer these questions on today’s episode. Enjoy! For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode209
#208: Well, this could get awkward. Your parents and grandparents are aging. (Duh.) You want to have a few important financial conversations with them. It’s time to get the answers to questions like: “So … are you ready for retirement?” “You’ve been retired for 10 years … how’s that going? How are your finances looking?” “Do you have a will or legal trust? What’s your estate plan situation?” “Do you have an advance health care directive?” “To whom have you given your power of attorney?” “What types of accounts do you have, and how can I -- or someone whom you designate --  access the passwords if and when the appropriate time comes?” These financial conversations are important, but awkward. Most people would rather discuss the news, the weather, or the Kardashians.  How do you introduce these conversations to your family? What specific topics should you cover? What documents and other information should you gather? How do you manage these conversations when siblings, half-siblings and step-siblings are involved? What about step-parents? What if your parent lives outside of the U.S. and the laws are different; how should you plan? In today’s podcast episode, award-winning personal finance journalist Cameron Huddleston discusses these critical issues.  Huddleston has spent nearly two decades writing about money for Kiplinger Personal Finance, the Chicago Tribune, Fortune, USA Today, MSN and more. She’s the author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances.  She joins us to discuss how to navigate these tricky family conversations. For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/208
#207: Matt and his fiance earn $7,500 per month combined. They save more than half of their income. He’d like to take a different job that will decrease his income by $2,000 per month, but improve his quality of life. Should he? Suja wants to take out a loan for business growth. What red flags should she watch for? Anonymous and her husband are thinking about buying half-million-dollar home, purchasing a second car, and having a baby. They’ve saved an emergency fund and a 20 percent downpayment. Are they ready? Trayci wants to quit her 9-to-5 and start working as a 1099 self-employed lifestyle. How should she manage this transition? Daria is curious about the economics of a podcast. What do the income and expenses look like? Jared wants to retire early and then sell off his rental properties, but he’s worried about the depreciation recapture tax rate. How should he plan? Ali wants to set up a long-term giving plan, but most of the advice out there is geared towards wealthy donors. How should middle-class workers set up their charitable giving? Financial planner Sophia Bera (hailed by Investment News as one of the Top 40 Under 40) joins me on today’s episode to answer these seven questions. For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode207 
#206: We live in a society that values career specialization. You’re not a “doctor” -- you’re a pediatrician, an anesthesiologist, an oncologist. You’re not a “lawyer” -- you practice family law, or bankruptcy, or criminal law. You’re not an “engineer” -- you’re an electrical engineer who specializes in solar technologies, or a civil engineer who specializes in the application of artificial intelligence in highway traffic design. Specialization is beneficial and necessary, but specializing too early in life or too narrowly can also have drawbacks. According to today’s podcast guest, New York Times bestselling author David Epstein, overspecialization can stifle innovation if we’re all digging in parallel trenches. Sampling a broad range of subjects prior to specializing (e.g. at the undergraduate level, or as a hobby) allows people to make connections between far-flung domains and ideas. If you’re an athlete, spend your childhood playing a variety of sports before you commit to the one you’d like to develop. If you’re a musician, try learning different instruments before you pick your primary focus. If you’re bound for a graduate degree in a STEM field, consider a multidisciplinary undergraduate that pulls from chemistry, physics, biology and perhaps even art. Specialization can come later. We hear stories of people who specialized early in life. Tiger Woods won his first golf competition at age two, beating everyone in the age-10-and-under category. Many world chess champions started training in early childhood. The notion is that early specialization provides a headstart; if you haven’t started training at chess or golf by age 12, it might be too late. But chess and golf are limited in their scope. They’re contained games with fixed, predictable rules. In the wider world, in which challenges and assumptions fluctuate and problems are ill-defined, being a generalist is a lifehack. For more information, visit the show notes at https://affordanything.com/episode206
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Comments (16)

Billie Archuleta

I really responded to this episode. My path is super similar to Evelyn's. Thank you for this episode.

Sep 15th
Reply

Charlie Hilsabeck

mk.i. m

Sep 10th
Reply

AMama Lala

what was the link to their manefesto site? episode 11

Jul 20th
Reply

The Queen Next Door

The takeaways are always golden. Paula breaks it down so perfectly.

Jul 5th
Reply

Jamie Hanks

this show is life changing! must listen to this advice!

May 8th
Reply

fitzroy harvey

love it! I get so pumped when I listen to you.

Apr 28th
Reply

Gerardo Crolla

Hi Paula! interesting question on which way to invest with funds and rentals. I have to say that in my opinion and journey to FIRE, if you are going to leverage your money then it's wise to invest in rentals first as this will compound vthe returns much better than unleveraged stocks!!

Mar 28th
Reply

Ajit Nafade

Thanks for a very very informative episode.

Feb 3rd
Reply

jinx

Amen to the echo chamber. Love your show.

Dec 17th
Reply

LucilleF

I enjoy Size Orman. I've noticed that when she's talking positively about investing she uses impossibly high interest rates (12%) but now that she's casting a negative light she's using just 4%.

Nov 24th
Reply

Maxwell Sharpe

I really enjoyed this episode it was very informative.

Oct 2nd
Reply

Christie Brown

On the subject of high deductibles- I completely agree with the idea that you will go to the doctor less. I triple guessed myself on doctors visits when my deductible was $50. I also had a mouth full of cavities that were going to cost me about 5000, I did not fix them for another 3 years when I became an intern and took a major salary cut that made me eligible for Medicare!

Aug 23rd
Reply

Joanna B

The Vicki Robin interview is one of favorite interviews of all time, full stop. So much wisdom packed in about personal growth, lifelong learning, and the second part of life. Thank you!

Apr 8th
Reply

Melissa

This podcast drives me to become financially free. Great podcast!

Dec 15th
Reply

David Johnson

I love this podcast and listened to it every day during my work commute until I heard them all! My life's focus and goals have adjusted for the better. Thanks Paula!

Oct 26th
Reply

NASIM BIN JASIM

Great episode

Sep 19th
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