Don’t Retire with a Mortgage. Life Lesson 38 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Don’t Retire with a Mortgage.

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Photo by Tierra Mallorca

This lesson is a short one, but that’s because it’s simple: Don’t retire with a mortgage.

Other financial advisors might disagree with me on this. They might tell you about the great interest rates, they might highlight the tax deduction benefits, yada, yada . . . but they’d be wrong.

As far as I’m concerned, the question of whether or not to retire until your home is paid off boils down to one simple fact: debt sucks! Why deal with the burden of a major monthly payment when you’re on a limited income?

I don’t care about the interest rate, the tax deduction, or any of the other “benefits” you’ll hear about; it’s just noise. Take my advice and don’t retire with a mortgage—period. Your future self will thank me for it.

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15 + 7 =

Pursuing Your Passions: Life Lesson 29 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Pursuing Your Passions

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Photo by Kal Visuals

If you’ve postponed pursuing your passions for the pursuit of money, don’t worry: there’s no shame in this, and you’re not alone. Over the years, I’ve found myself doing the same thing — but I’ve come to believe there’s a more fulfilling way to live.

There might have been something you enjoyed or loved doing when you were younger, but society, parents, or others in your life said you couldn’t make a living doing it. Their negativity ended up deterring you from pursuing your passions, and now you—and, sadly, many others—are just too tired from the daily grind to have the energy to spare for those passions. As a result, many people postpone the things they want the most until that magical future date called “retirement.”
 
Well, you know what? Retirement is, for many of you, in the future. This is now. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t make a living with your passions. People do it all the time! If you’ve got a calling, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t deserve to go for it. Money is great, and it’s important to plan for your retirement, but life is too short to spend it waiting for the future. Time is a precious gift, and it’s your responsibility to spend yours pursuing your passions so you can live a fulfilling life.

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9 + 4 =

Living Off Your Investments: The Transition to Mailbox Money: Life Lesson 28 of 50

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Living Off Your Investments: The Transition to Mailbox Money

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

Photo by Thomas Ashlock

Transitioning to living off mailbox money (living off your investments for the rest of your life) is an attractive idea, but retiring is not as simple as having enough money saved up and walking away. People on the verge of retirement are often afraid of moving away from the comfort of a paycheck every two weeks and living entirely off a set income.

It sounds easy in theory—after all, if you’ve been doing your financial planning homework, you know exactly how much money you need to retire. But even so, living off your investments can be a scary proposition. When it comes time to make the leap, feeling overwhelmed and uncertain is an understandable reaction. It’s true: living on a fixed income has its challenges. What’s more, when you make that transition, there is usually no going back. You have to get it right the first time.
That said, even the scariest of situations can be made a lot less daunting if we’re ready for them.
Here are a few ways you can prepare for the transition to living off your mailbox money:

  • Have your home paid off. Living off your mailbox money is a lot less scary when you don’t have a mortgage.
  • Practice your retirement budget. Stick to a retirement-income budget plan for six to twelve months. Can you actually live on what you think you can?
  • Practice a modified work schedule. Try taking more time away from work to get used to the idea of not working five days a week.
  • Retire in stages. Work on decreasing your hours in the office and your income from work over a year.

If you put in the steps to prepare for the transition, you’ll have the confidence to make the leap and start living off your investments full time.

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11 + 15 =

It’s not about how you much make, rather how much you keep. Life Lesson 8 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

It’s not about how you much make, rather how much you keep

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not too often I get surprised in my day to day life. I feel like at my young age I’ve lived a lifetime, but for others looking at my life, I haven’t seen anything. Being in this business, “money” is a daily topic in most conversations.

In our world, it not matter how much you make, rather it is how much you keep. It’s common that a good percentage of American don’t have any retirement savings. Zero savings. That’s not really the surprise.

We live in a world of consumption. It’s a world where we are judged our jobs, clothing, cars, home, etc. As a financial advisor, I find it refreshing when I meet a family of four making $100,000 and the have money in their savings/checking account, don’t live check to check and have $100,000+ in their retirement account. They made a choice about their spending, values, and desires to not keep up with the Joneses.

They want to keep more of their own money, are living their values and want to be a good steward of their money. They know it’s easy for money to go out the door and the effort that it takes to earn it.

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13 + 6 =

We got retirement all wrong. Life Lesson 4 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

We got retirement all wrong

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not surprising; it’s something I hear on a regular basis. Just change the dollar amount for how much your household makes. I bet most of us can relate especially when you have a couple of kids, mortgage, car payment, are saving for retirement, etc.

Over my vast experience in the financial services world, talking with hundreds if not over a thousand people, it’s generally not the mortgage or the car payment, but rather just everyday life that really gets us. It all adds up. $5 here, $50 there, $250 here- it all adds up to real money each month. It’s financial leakage. We all have it, yet, some of us are better than others at controlling it.

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6 + 14 =

5 Steps on how to travel for less

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

5 Steps on how to travel for less

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

I have a bucket list of travel; those go to places I want to get to before I die. We have a calendar outlining when we’d like to go to various places. When you are in your working years, you don’t always have time to get away and when you’re older you have the time but not always the ability. Travel when you can to explore and hopefully better understand our world. Here are 5 steps on how to travel for less.

Treat your vacation like your money.

  • Know the ins and out of where you are going. What tricks, money and time saving ideas you need to know BEFORE going. Invest in a good guidebook for $25. Skip the lines. Lines cost you time which is money. Especially in Europe, I don’t understand why people even stand in line hours waiting to purchase tickets.

Fly into one airport and out another.

  • We do this all the time to see explore areas we’d never see. Usually, the car rental companies will charge you an extra $50.00 to drop off at another location, but well worth it.

Find rooms on the fly and ask for deals.

  • There are so many cool travel apps that can help you accomplish this and you never know where you’ll end up.

Rediscover old friends, relatives and others in your network.

  • Why not stay with people you know, or even make new friends. I see this with working well throughout Europe. What a cool way to enhance your travel experience and get to know the culture even more.

Take or watch a travel class.

  • Rick Steves or Samatha Brown are two travelers that I follow. Rick’s advise is right on when it comes to traveling in Europe. He doesn’t like cruise ships but I found them enjoyable traveling from one destination to the next throughout Europe. Plus, they have great travel videos on their websites.

Bonus advice – Get a Global Entry Card.

  • This is so cool I don’t even want to tell others about. You get TSA pre-check and it allows for easy access when going through Customs for international travel. Some credit cards will even reimburse you $100.00 every four years if you have this card.

With Summer approaching fast, if you’d like a few travel destination ideas give me a shout. I can help with some great travel destinations.

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