M.O.N.E.Y.

M.O.N.E.Y.

United States

Real and uncensored. Hosts Paula Pant and J. Money dive into chasing the dream and creating financial independence. They rap about net worth, investing, real estate, killing debt, budgeting, business, entrepreneurship, saving money and how to be a hustler. Grab a beer, put your spreadsheets away, and get ready to retire early.

Episodes

#091: How to Spend Less, Earn More and Grow the Gap  

Grow the gap between your income and your expenses: How to tackle the 4 biggest expenses in the average American household budget.

Also, I share non-obvious tips on how to trim back on these costs.

Enjoy!

Paula For more details on this presentation, go to http://affordanything.com/episode91

#090: Ask Paula -- I'm Tired of Paying Rent. Should I Buy a House?  

Curious about real estate investing?

I'm rocking the microphone solo on today's episode, tackling the rental property questions that you -- the listeners -- have asked.

Rachel from the Ozarks asks: I'm inspired to start investing in real estate. I live in the Ozarks region, and the cap rates around here are fantastic. However, the online reviews for local property management companies are consistently terrible. What should I do if I can't find a good property manager?

Daan from Malaysia asks: I'm a Dutch national who plans to be a global nomad for the next 10-15 years. I live in Malaysia at the moment, and I plan to continually travel internationally for my work. Many people in Asia are investing in real estate; do you have any recommendations for choosing investments abroad?

A caller who wants to stay anonymous asks: I live in Denver and I'm tired of paying rent. I'd like to buy a house and eventually collect rental income from it, as well. But I'm having trouble saving enough money for a downpayment. Should I just give up? What should I do?

Tom asks: I own land free-and-clear. Should I build on that land? Or should I buy a property that already exists?

Finally, I tell the story of my most recent bout of lifestyle inflation. It involves sleeping in the back of my car. :-)

Enjoy! - Paula

For more information, visit the website at http://affordanything.com/episode90

#089: Imagine You Only Have 10 Years to Live ...  

Imagine you’re financially secure. You have enough money to support yourself, your family and pursue your dreams. You’ll need to continue working, but it’s fulfilling work with a reasonable schedule. What would you do with both your time and money?

Next, imagine you’re financially independent. You DON’T need to work anymore. Your investments create enough money to support yourself and your family. What would you do?

Okay, let's shake things up. Imagine you visit your doctor, who tells you that you only have 5-10 years to live. You’ll never feel sick, and you’ll have no advance notice of the moment of your death. Your financial position is the same as it is today. What would you do?

Now imagine the same scenario as before -- you have 5-10 years to live -- but in this scenario, you have unlimited funds. What would you do?

These are 4 of the 11 questions about money and life that I asked a crowd of 100+ people at the World Domination Summit. I share the rest of the questions on today's episode. Get Rich Slowly founder J.D. Roth also joins me on this episode to discuss building a fulfilling life.

For more, visit http://affordanything.com/episode89

#088: Ask Paula - When is Lifestyle Inflation a Smart Business Decision?  

Former financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy and I answer 4 questions from the Afford Anything community.

We chat about how to control lifestyle inflation, how to break up with a financial planner, how to invest your first $10,000, and whether or not sector-specific or theme-specific funds are a good idea.

#1: Laura is transitioning to a new job, and she's discovered that her new responsibilities require some lifestyle inflation. She needs work-appropriate clothing, for example; she can't wear leggings everyday anymore. She and her husband are going to need two cars, instead of one. And she's ordering restaurant delivery more often, because she doesn't have time to cook.

She recognizes that lifestyle inflation is unavoidable, and she's curious: what's legitimate and what's not? What's the difference between healthy lifestyle inflation vs. over-the-top upscaling?

#2: Nakia wants to "divorce" her financial planner. But she's not sure how to break the news gently. Her financial planner is a friend and neighbor; their kids are friends. What should she say?

#3: Megan and her husband both want to retire early. They have saved $10,000, which they'd like to invest in the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, Admiral Shares (VTSAX). This fund requires a minimum of $10,000 as an initial investment.

Should they put this money into a taxable brokerage account, so that they can access this in early retirement? Or should they save more and then each open an IRA?

#4: Nancy is a single mom with a five-year-old son. She recently transitioned into a lower-stress lifestyle, but as a result, her income dropped significantly.

She's a beginner investor without much money, and she's curious about Motif Investing, a platform that focuses on sector-specific and thematic investments. Would this platform be right for her?

Enjoy!

 - Paula



Resources Mentioned:

FINRA website -- Broker Check https://brokercheck.finra.org

MadFientist article on how to access retirement funds early
http://www.madfientist.com/how-to-access-retirement-funds-early

#087: Myths about Money - Are Your Ideas Holding You Back?  

A week and a half ago, I flew to Portland for the World Domination Summit -- a conference with an admittedly eyebrow-raising title.

The conference is hosted by Chris Guillebeau, the New York Times best-selling author of multiple books, including The Art of Non-Conformity. He was also a previous guest on this podcast.

I've wanted to check out WDS for years, so I was thrilled when Chris asked me to give a presentation there.

Then he mentioned that my presentation should be three hours long, which sounded terrifying. But that's all the more reason to say yes.

I choose my own eyebrow-raising topic, How to Afford Anything, and ... promptly procrastinated on planning for several months. Yeah, that definitely happened. #guilty

Then, at the beginning of July, I flew into a frenzy, called a few friends for advice, scanned over several books, watched multiple talks for inspiration, and isolated myself in a remote, empty house for several days. (Past guest Cal Newport would call this a "deep work retreat.") The result was a half-day workshop that synthesized many of the ideas about money that I've formed after six years of nonstop reading, writing, talking and thinking about this topic.

In today's episode, I share the first part of this presentation. Today's episode focuses on myths, assumptions and limiting beliefs that we hold around money, work and life.

This is the first of a three-part series. In episodes 89 and 91, I'll share the second and third parts of the talk.

You can catch the slides (and watch this as a video) on http://YouTube.com/affordanything

Enjoy!

#086: Ask Paula - Should I Keep My Properties in an LLC  

The real estate questions keep coming in, so today I’m answering questions from three Afford Anything listeners:

Heather is ready to buy her first rental property. She wants to acquire about one house per year, following a buy-and-hold strategy.

Salome and her husband are renting out an unused room in our house on Airbnb. We're interested in venturing into buying rental properties later.

Then Caren talks about coming across several real estate investing clubs, or memberships, in which the organization pulls together a list of various contractors and property managers. What are Paula’s thoughts and experiences with these types of things?

For a full list of show notes and resources, visit http://affordanything.com/episode86

#85: How to Make Money without a Job -- with Nick Loper from Side Hustle Nation  

Like many people, Nick Loper used to work a full-time job that didn't excite him.

Unlike most people, Loper decided to escape his uninspiring work life.

First, he launched a shoe-comparison website that began collecting side income. Over time, this side project grew increasingly profitable, until -- finally -- he thought he could run this website full-time.

Loper quit his job.

That's when all hell broke loose.

Within days, Loper's website lost 80 percent of its search traffic and advertising revenue. Loper found himself both unemployed and without a viable business.

He spent several months correcting course, making his business solvent again. More importantly, he learned the importance of creating *multiple streams of income.*

Loper launched multiple small side businesses in order to diversify his income. Some succeeded; others quietly fizzled out. He made enough 'small bets' that he wound up with a handful of winners.

Today, his income comes from a cacophony of different sources. He's diversified.

Loper joins us on this week's episode to explain how to develop a "side hustle," a small micro-business that provides a supplemental source of income.  
 
Here are some of his suggestions:

#1: Tap the Sharing Economy

We've heard about Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Instacart and TaskRabbit -- popular 'sharing economy' platforms that allow people to turn their car, home and/or time into extra cash.

But beyond those obvious examples, there are plenty of sharing-economy websites that niche down into higher-paying specializations, such as:

http://Turo.com -- A website in which you can rent your car; no driving required. You make money from the asset, not from your time.

http://EatWith.com -- A dinner-party-hosting website ideal for people who are skilled cooks, chefs, or party hosts, but don't necessarily have the capital to start their own restaurant.

"Each of these is a little mini-search-engine," Loper says.

2. Freelancing / Expertise-Based Businesses

The stronger your expertise, the more money you can potentially earn. After all, you're not just selling your time; you're selling your *knowledge.*

Websites that help people profit from their expertise include:

http://TheExpertInstitute.com -- A website where attorneys look for expert witnesses.

http://Thumbtack.com -- A website for service professionals, from CAD designers to nutritionists to CPR training.

http://Wyzant.com -- A website for expert tutors in every subject from calculus to piano.

http://Clarity.fm -- A website for on-demand coaching or consulting from experts.

3. E-Commerce

Loper outlines two models for selling physical products online:
    
- **The Retail Arbitrage Model:** Under this model, you find and flip items online.

- **The Private Label Model:** Under this model, you design, manufacture, package and import your own product.


Loper dives into details about all of these side hustle opportunities -- and also describes the biggest mistakes that he sees entrepreneurs and wantrapraneurs make -- in today's episode.

Enjoy!

________________


Resources Mentioned:

Side Hustle Nation http://www.sidehustlenation.com

200 Sharing Economy Platforms http://www.sidehustlenation.com/sharing-economy-make-extra-money

Steve Chou episode of the Afford Anything Podcast http://podcast.affordanything.com/make-100000-year-online-steve-chou-wife-quit-job

#084: Ask Paula: No, Really, I'm Asking for a Friend! -- How to Crush $500,000 in Debt  

This week, I tackle your questions with my good friend, recovering financial planner Joe Saul-Sehy. Here's what we answer:

1. I'm asking for a friend -- no, really, I'm asking for a friend!

My friends are married and buried. They're a married couple, buried in $500,000 of debt.

Some is federal student loans, some is private student loans, and some is credit card debt. They're paying the minimum on their student loans, with the hope that these loans will be forgiven after 25 years. They're also saving money in their retirement accounts.

Is this a terrible plan? Should they stop saving for retirement while they wipe out their student loans? If so, how can I convince them?

2. My husband and I are both 30 and live in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We don't plan on having children.

We know that long-term care insurance gets more expensive as you age. Should we buy this insurance now? Or can we self-insure for this through adequate retirement/investment funds?

3. I own my home free-and-clear, and I'm buying a second home. Should I take a cash-out refinance on my primary home? Get a conventional loan from the bank? Or something else?

4. My wife, 4 children and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have $5,000 in credit card debt, which we've paid down from $30,000 in the last two years. We owe $20,000 on a minivan and $18,000 on student loans, both of which have 2-3 percent interest rates. We have two IRA's, one Traditional and one Roth. I also have about $20,000 in my company's non-matching 401(k).

Should I focus my future investments on Traditional or Roth accounts? What accounts should I use when saving for my children's college funds?

5.  I'm curious about your own investments, Paula. What's under the hood?

__

Thank you to everyone who left a comment after last week's show. I'll talk more about these amazing responses at the end of Episode 85 (next week's episode.)

For now -- enjoy today's show!

Thanks!

Show notes can be found at http://affordanything.com/episode84

#083: This is The Toughest Episode I've Created So Far  

Have thoughts/concerns/suggestions regarding what I discussed in this episode? Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@affordanything), Instagram (@paulapant), or YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/affordanything). 

Also, note to new listeners: I HIGHLY suggest you don't start with this episode! There's way more valuable content in the interviews and Ask Paula episodes that I've previously published. You can check those past episodes out on iTunes, or on the site: http://podcast.affordanything.com/listen/

Thanks!

#082: Ask Paula - How Do You Pick a Rental Property?  

Welcome to another Ask Paula episode!

This week, I answer three real estate questions:

#1: What criteria do you use when you’re shopping for an investment property? What qualities make you say, “heck yeah I’m buying this!!” — and what qualities make you say, “No way!”

#2: I enjoy renting my personal home, but I still dream of investing in rental properties. Does it make sense to buy a rental property, even while I’m still a renter myself?

#3: I’m a 45-year-old actress, and my income probably won’t qualify me for conventional bank financing for an investment property. But I already own a property with a lot of equity. Should I tap that in order to buy another rental? Or look for a private loan?

Enjoy!

 

For more Ask Paula episodes, visit http://podcast.affordanything.com/tag/ask-paula

Want your question answered? Leave a message here: http://www.affordanything.com/voicemail 

#081: Get Me Out of This Crappy Job! - with Jenny Blake, author of Pivot  

Jenny Blake used to have an enviable job.

As a Career Development manager at Google, she enjoyed the perks of a Silicon Valley life, plus the satisfaction of helping people everyday. She co-founded Google's Career Guru Program, and helped countless Google employees find their right career "fit."

But, ironically, Blake sensed that her own career wasn't on the right track.

So she took a brave plunge that few would dare: Blake quit Google, packed her bags, and moved from California to New York in search of a new life. She launched her own business. She began publishing books.

Today, she joins us on this podcast to share the knowledge she's accumulated over many years about how *anyone* can pivot into a new career or direction.

If you're feeling stuck in your job, and you're thinking about making a major life change -- regardless of whether you'd like to try a new industry, retire early, or start your own business -- you might want to hear some of Blake's advice.

Enjoy!

http://podcast.affordanything.com/episode81

#080: Joe Says Life Insurance Won’t Make the Headline. But it Did.  

Chris, age 30, makes $200,000 per year and saves 50 percent of his income. What accounts should he use in order to maximize his tax benefits?

Dee, age 39, is getting tired of apartment living. She found a great neighborhood in which she'd like to own a home, and she's saving for a 20 percent downpayment. But she's nervous about the high cost of home maintenance. How can she deal with this?

Chelsea just moved into a new house with her husband. He purchased the house outright, in cash, and she wants to pay him so that she can share in the home's ownership and equity. But she also has student loan and credit card debt. Should she make progress towards all three of these goals (build equity, pay off  student loans, pay off credit cards) at the same time? Or should she prioritize one -- and if so, which one?

Charlene is curious: what's so great about Vanguard? Why do Joe and I like the Vanguard Target Date funds so much, as compared to funds from another brokerage? (Note: neither of us have any financial relationship with Vanguard, other than being an ordinary, run-of-the-mill customer.)

Alma is looking for a term life insurance policy that'll protect her if she passes away outside of the United States. Where and how can she find this?

My friend Joe Saul-Sehy, a former financial planner and host of the award-winning Stacking Benjamins podcast, joins me today while we tackle these 5 questions ... and somehow, also we go on a tangent about Burger King. It's a whopper of an episode. :-)

Enjoy!

More Ask Paula episodes can be found at http://podcast.affordanything.com/tag/ask-paula

#079: How I Bootstrapped a $4 Million Company, with Laura Roeder  

When Laura Roeder was 22, she quit her job to become a full-time freelancer.

She earned $30,000 in her first year as a freelancer; $60,000 in her second year.

Ten years later -- (Laura is now 32) -- her company earns $4 million in annual revenue.

(Can I repeat that? Did I bury the lede? *Laura went from making $30,000 per year to owning 100% of a company that earns $4 million per year.* And she did this within a decade. Oh, and she also had a baby.)

(Like, whoa.)

Laura is the founder and CEO of a software company called Edgar, which provides social media automation for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

In this interview, I ask Laura (sophisticated) questions such as "How the f**k did you make the leap from freelancer to multi-million-dollar company owner?"

Here are some of the insights that she shares:

#1: You have nothing to lose.

When Laura quit her job, she conquered her fears by reminding herself: "Hey, worst-case-scenario, I work an hourly retail job for awhile if I can't find any clients."

Sure, that might suck. But is the worst-case-scenario *so bad* that it's a deal-breaker?

When Laura realized that the worst-case-scenario was something that she could live with, she proceeded full-speed ahead.

#2: Cut the cord.

When Laura transitioned from freelancing to consulting (her intermediate step before starting Edgar), she knew that if she maintained her client base, she wouldn't be motivated to grow her consulting business.

So she cut the cord. She dropped all of her clients, including one extremely lucrative contract, in order to motivate herself.

#3: Look for what's next.

Laura's transition follows a sensible narrative arc: employee, freelancer, consultant, software company founder.

Each step led to the next opportunity. Freelancing turned into consulting, which turned into a kernel of an idea for a software  company.

She couldn't have predicted, at age 22, where she'd be in 10 years. She simply proceeded one step at a time.

____

Listen to Laura describe her story -- and share advice for people who want to start companies and/or work remotely -- in today's episode.

#078: Ask Paula (and Will) - How Technology is Changing the Future of Real Estate Investing  

Imagine that you're looking for a rental property. It's a warm Saturday afternoon, and you decide to cruise through a few open houses in the area.

Your autonomously-driving electric vehicle pulls into the driveway. Your wifi-enabled contact lenses automatically register the property's details: square footage, year of construction, sales history, tax assessment, price-to-rent ratio, average neighborhood occupancy rates, and multiple cap rate estimates. As you walk through the property, your contact lenses display the digital history of every item -- the furnace, dishwasher, windows -- keeping you up-to-date with the full installation and service history of every home component.

Welcome to the future of real estate investing.

What's looming on the horizon? How will technology -- including augmented reality and 3D printing -- affect the way we analyze and purchase rental properties?

I chat about this topic, and more, in today's podcast episode.

This week, I feature another Ask Paula episode, answering questions that this community has submitted. This week's theme is real estate, and I've invited Will to join me as we tackle your questions about rental investing.

Enjoy!

For more resources, visit the website at http://affordanything.com/episode78

#076: Ask Paula - How to Handle an Inheritance, Should I Invest in Properties or Start a Business, and More.  

This week, my buddy Joe Saul-Sehy joins me to answer another round of listener-submitted questions.

A listener from California asks:
My husband and I will be inheriting money, which we plan to invest in index funds. We believe that our inheritance will eventually make us financially independent. However, I feel guilt about the fact that this money is unearned. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Eric wants to know: Should he stick with a high-deductible health insurance plan if he's starting a family?
 
Hailey says:
I just graduated from college; I'm making $30,000 per year, but I only work 30 hours per week, so I have time to work on side projects. I'm working on two small businesses, and also interested in buying a rental property. Where should I focus my time and dollars?


Enjoy!



For links and information to the resources mentioned, like Glassdoor.com, Salary.com, and Paula's article: Should You Pay Cash for a Car? -- visit http://affordanything.com/episode76

#075: Jen Sincero says she used to be a "grouchy broke person”  

In her early 40's, Jen lived in a converted garage, buried in credit card debt and scrounging for spare change. She was the type of person who'd join her friends at a restaurant for dinner , order nothing except tap water, and fill up on the complimentary bread basket. She used duct-tape to repair her shoes. Her "splurges" consisted of buying new windshield wipers.  

Despite her struggles, Jen believed that pursuing wealth was icky. She'd internalized negative social attitudes towards money, such as:

Money isn't important. People are.

Rich people are lucky / gross / shallow.

You can't make money doing [insert your-dream-here].

You have to attend a good college to make money.

Money is out of my reach.

It's lonely at the top.

Who has that kind of money?

He/she is only about the money.

Those negative attitudes, Jen says, were holding her back. So she created a more positive script -- such as "I'm good at making money," and "Money is a tool that helps me live my best life."

This attitude shift made all the difference.

In today's interview, Jen describes her journey from broke to badass, and she explains how everyone can become more of a maverick at making money.

Enjoy!

Resources mentioned in this episode can be found at http://affordanything.com/episode75

 

#074: Ask Paula - How to Repay $50k in Student Loans on a $31k Income, What's the Deal with Bonds, and Do I Really Need Insurance  

Former financial planner and friend of the show, Joe Saul-Sehy from Stacking Benjamins, joins me to answer the following listener questions:

Kicking off today's episode, Nicky asks:

I'm young and healthy. My car is old and not-worth-much. And my personal property isn't exactly fancy-pants.

Do I *really* need health, auto and property insurance? Or can I drop these insurances and save the money?

_______

Next, Shelbi says:

I'm 26, recently earned a graduate school diploma, and I'm taking the first steps into my career.

I take home $2,600 in monthly income, and my cost-of-living is $1,900 per month.

I maintain a $5,500 emergency fund and invest 20% of my income into a Vanguard Target Date Retirement account, with a Roth tax setup. I'll get an employer match after I've spent another year on the job. My employer also contributes $100 per month into my H.S.A. account, which is the only money that I'm putting into that fund.

I hold $49,000 in student loans (yikes!!) at 6.8% interest. I pay $400/mo towards this debt, which is included in my $1,900 cost-of-living and is more than the minimum required.

My goal is financial independence and early retirement.

She asks these three questions:

-- Should she lower the 20% she's putting into her 403b in order to max out her Roth IRA and HSA, instead?

-- Should she prioritize repaying her student loan debt over retirement savings?

-- Should she schedule a private coaching call with me? (Surprisingly, I said no. Tune into the episode to find out why.)

_______

Next, Nicole asks:

What types of investments can you hold inside a self-directed IRA? If I open one of these accounts, what custodian should I use?

_______

Finally, our friend anonymous asks:

What's the deal with bond investing? What's a coupon payment? A maturity date? WTF? Can you help me make sense of the world of bonds and bond funds?

_______

Joe and I tackle these four questions ... plus reveal a top-secret recipe for the Best. Oreo. Cookie. Dessert. EVER.

Like, *ever.*

Enjoy!

-- Paula


_______



Resources Mentioned:


Interview with Andrew Hallam, the man who became a millionaire on a teacher's salary: Here's Part 1 and Part 2.


Want to hear your voice on an upcoming episode? Leave your question at http://affordanything.com/voicemail

 

Who are you? Please take this 7-question survey: http://affordanything.com/whoareyou

#073: What Chess Taught Me About Making Smarter Life Moves -- with Steve Gossett  

Last January, I went to a party at a trailer park that featured a huge bonfire, a few llamas, and a member of Public Enemy.

(I realize that sounds like the setup to a joke. Welcome to my life.)

While I was there, I met a former competitive chess player named Steve Gossett. Steve is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who creates Princess Rap Battle videos for a YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers.

But that's not why I invited Steve onto the show.

I asked him to join me on the podcast to discuss the lessons that chess taught him about money, work and life.

On this fascinating episode, Steve and I discuss:

 - Opening Theory: At the start of the game, you have a limited selection of moves. Yet you can quickly lose the game if you choose the wrong moves. Don't lose at the outset.

- Muddled Midgame: While the first few moves are (relatively) simple, even the experts don't quite understand the complexities of the mid-game.

- Gambit: Sometimes, you need to be willing to give up a piece on the board for the sake of getting another strategic win.

- Eliminate options: You'll fatigue yourself if you try to consider every move. Learn how to quickly eliminate options so that you can focus on choosing between a small handful of optimal moves.

- Think ahead: Don't just think about the consequences of the next move. Think many, many moves ahead on the board. Also, realize that every move carries an opportunity cost: once you move a piece on the board, it's not in that same position anymore -- for better or for worse.

- Study/practice/knowledge can reduce time pressure: Chess is a timed game with a ticking clock. You can make smarter, faster decisions through study and practice. Knowledge is your competitive advantage.


I hope you find this conversation as fascinating as I did. Enjoy!

 - Paula

Links to the Princess Rap Battle and Whitney Avalon's YouTube channel can be found in the show notes at http://affordanything.com/episode73

 

#072: Ask Paula -- Should I Loan Money to Friends? Stay Sane While Repaying Debt? ... and More  

Spaghetti is a major part of my life.

I eat it, of course, as many people do. I also spill it all over my pants, despite the fact that I’m 33 and should’ve learned the rules of gravity by now.

But most importantly, I use spaghetti as a metaphor for my business. If I’m not sure if something will work or not, but I want to experiment with an idea, I tell myself that I’m just “throwing spaghetti at the wall.” Maybe it’ll stick; maybe it won’t. Either way, I have permission to try, permission to fail, and permission to get pasta stains all over my drywall.

This week, I’m starting a new spaghetti-throwing-experiment on the podcast: I’m going to broadcast “Ask Paula” episodes every-other-week, followed by interviews with guests every-other-week. This allows me to handle the awesome volume of questions that are flowing in (which I LOVE), while still enjoying intriguing conversations with fascinating people.

This every-other-week thing is just an experiment; I’d love to hear what you think. Do you want more “Ask Paula” episodes? Or should I return that segment back to its original once-a-month placement? Or am I overthinking this and I should really just get on with the show notes for this week’s episode?

Assuming you’re like, “Option C, Paula — get on with the show notes!,” here they are.

___________

 
Our first question comes from David, who asks: Could you ever find yourself in a situation in which you could justify helping a friend by paying off their credit card, and in exchange, they pay you a modest but respectable interest rate?

Here’s his situation:

His friend holds $6,000 in credit card debt, with carries an interest rate ranging between 11 to 17 percent. This friend also holds $30,000 in student loans. Yikes!

David, however, is debt-free, maxes out his retirement accounts, and holds cash savings of $56,000. He’s thinking of loaning his friend around $3,000 of this money, which she could use to pay off the 17 percent loan. In exchange, David would get a decent-but-not-outrageous return, perhaps in the neighborhood of 7 percent-ish.

Should he do this? If so, how? Should he sit down with a lawyer?


Next, Amy asks:
We’re carrying debt, although fortunately it's low-interest. We're paying it off, and we're doing the best we can; this debt will be gone in a few years. How do you stay patient and calm, when progress is happening at a snail's pace?

Later, Alexa says:
I’ve realized that I haven’t followed my true passions, which are travel and dance. I’d like to save money for a few years, and then pursue these twin goals. What should I do with the money that I’m saving for travel? Should I keep it liquid or in stocks? Should I put it in a taxable account or a retirement account?

Lyra asks:
I have 5 goals: repay debt, save an emergency fund, help my son pay for college, save for retirement, and buy a rental property. How do I split my money between these five goals?

Next, Kim asks:
What are the pro's and con's of portfolio lending for an investment property? I keep getting hung up on the "balloon payment," in which you need to repay the full loan after a particular period of time. How would you qualify for a refinance, given that you need a portfolio loan in the first place?


Finally, Daan wants to know:
I’m a Dutch citizen who moves to a different country every 2-3 years. Is real estate a viable option for me?

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