Cause and Effect

I saw two interesting articles this week.  One, ‘Stop Keeping Up With The Joneses – They’re Broke is something I’ve known for quite some time.  The other, is from the Wall Street Journal. This one talks about the the increase in the number of people receiving Food Stamps.

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Happy Father’s Day / Graduation Time

I hope all the other Fathers out there have a wonderful Day!  If you happen to have a graduation going on the same weekend, Fantastic!  It’s like two presents in one!

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Dave Ramsey and Making a Name

Recently, a guy from Motley Fool, Brian Stoffel, wrote a blog post on Dave Ramsey’s advice for retirement savings. Essentially, Stoffel tried to poke holes in one of the assumptions in Ramsey’s model.  That of an assumed 12% average return on their investments. Stoffel tries to point out some differences in the how that number was derived and how the amount should actually be closer to 9%.

Ramsey did invite Stoffel on his program to discuss the differences (listen here).  It should surprise no one that I’m a fan of Ramsey’s but I did feel a little like Dave was using his radio program as a Bully Pulpit.   Ramsey did come across a little strong, but if you’ve listened to his show, that’s what he is. Opinionated, yes.  But he can also back up his talk with thousands, if not millions, of people being helped by his tactics (including yours truly).

Stoffel was clearly trying to make a name for himself and came to the game quite unprepared.  He hadn’t read any of Ramsey’s books, nor watched his DVD programs or attended any of his live events.  Instead basing his story on a tweet that Ramsey published a few weeks ago.  Bad move.

You might then say “But, aren’t you trying to make a name for yourself with this post?”  Not really.  While I’d love to have a little more publicity for this site, I’m looking to help my loyal reader(s) get another aspect of what smart retirement savings is all about.

Stoffel writes about how the difference between Ramsey’s #’s and his could cost ‘a hapless  investor’ $770,000.

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My response to this is you’re not paying attention to your investments for 30 years, you deserve to lose money.  I mean really?  This is the crux of Stoffel’s argument?  Some poor schlep who didn’t pay attention is going to lose money?  If this person really was paying attention and saw his investments not getting the expected returns, he’d make an adjustment.

So, make the budget, create the retirement plan and PAY ATTENTION!

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Can you say 500?

What a difference a few hours makes.  Just a little while ago, I crowed that ‘Goof Off to Goofy Marathoner‘  just broke the 1,000 sales rank mark on Amazon!

A few hours later I checked again (not that I’m obsessive) and saw I broke the 500 sales rank mark.

Sales rank at 479!

Sales rank at 479!

 

This means there are only 479 books that have been downloaded more than mine (in a 24 hour period).

 

Sorry if I’m over-posting, but this is pretty exciting stuff for us!

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Book Broke 1,000 in Sales Rank on Amazon

Pretty stoked here…

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My book ‘Goof Off to Goofy Marathoner’  just broke the 1,000 sales rank mark on Amazon!   This means there are only 997 books that have been downloaded more than mine (in a 24 hour period).

Granted, that’s a bit of a qualifier, but I’ll take it!

Thanks to all who downloaded.  In the spirit of this blog, all proceeds go towards my retirement fund 🙂

If you’re interested in the other books, check out my Amazon Author Page. Remember, it’s for a good cause!

 

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The 2012 Recession and Financial Planning

The Impact of the recession and how we save is a nice article from Forbes.

In it, the author discusses how the short and long-term savings have been impacted.  Based upon an 2009 survey of 25,000 Americans, the study shows changes over time.  As it relates to us, I think we’ve kept our focus on keeping the short-term (Emergency fund) lined up with our Longer term (Retirement).

Although, recently, we’ve had a change of heart on our Emergency Fund.  We’re not sitting at a 6 month cash reserve, and we do want to be better prepared for the eventual death of one (or both) of our paid-off automobiles.  With that in mind, we’ve shifted our focus over the next 6 months or so, to more aggressively build up our Cash Reserves.  We don’t anticipate any immediate need for gobs of cash, but we’d rather be prepared.  (No, I wasn’t a Boy Scout).

 

How about you?  Where do you sit in the Emergency Fund vs Retirement Savings?  

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Thank you for your service

To all Veteran’s and their families…

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Thank you for your service to our country!

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Free Books!

Starting Today, May 19 until June 2 each of my books will be Free on Amazon.

Download, read, enjoy and give a review on Amazon if you can. These free download help me out when the books go back to a paid status.  Why Free?  Each Free download helps a book in the Sales rankings.  Once the books goes back to ‘paid’ status, the sales rankings keep those free books.  Higher rankings means more eyeballs on the books when they’re in a pay state.

May 19-23                    Book 1: Genesis                   Goof_Off_to_Goofy_Marathoner

May 19-25                May 25-28             May 29-June 6

May 19 through May 23 – We Got Outta Debt

May 25 through May 28 – Kennedy’s Men: Genesis Book 1 (New Fiction Series)

May 29 through June 2 – Goof Off to Goofy Marathoner

You do not need a Kindle to read the book!  You can download Free Kindle Reading Apps and read from you PC, Mac, Android Tablet, iPad… etc..

 

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A Long Strange Journey

I went to a birthday party last night for some friends.  Great time and it was fun watching how silly a bunch of women can get when they get together.  Silly with or without alcohol involved. One of the people there was a Fraternity brother of mine I hadn’t seen in 4 or 5 years.  For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call him Mike.

Mike & I were Pledge Brothers.  (Pledge Brothers, for the non-Greek reader, are those guys who go through the process of ‘Pledging’ a Fraternity together.  For more details, please refer to the documentary “Animal House“)  Anyway, Mike & I went through this together and became pretty good friends.  Last night, we had the chance to sit down and have a real conversation about where we’ve been and what we’re doing and how we got there. Mike was on the 7 year College Plan.  Not intentionally, mind you. But just as a matter of how life happened.  He took some time off, was asked to take some time off, and just needed to find what worked for him.

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Tax Returns as ‘Forced Savings’

According to this post in Mint, many people take advantage of their tax return as the means to  savings.  While the ideas presented in my prior post are things I would do, I should point out that my assumption is based on people not tweaking their deductions so they pay as close to $0 to Uncle Sam as possible.

What makes the most sense, in my opinion, is that you should first take the time to tweak your deductions/exemptions.  THEN, use any savings to make sure you pay down debt.  Unfortunately, many workers use any extra money and put their focus toward adding expenses, rather than saving or reducing debt.

Take the time out and reap the rewards of either continually paying debt down faster or investing the extra money throughout the year.

 

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