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 + 2 =

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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15 + 13 =

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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6 + 14 =

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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4 + 8 =

Solving for Happiness – Lesson 5 of 50.

ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Solving for Happiness

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

That sounds easy doesn’t – “Solve for Happiness.” For many I suspect we’ve never really thought about truly solving for happiness. I’ve been guilty of focusing on day-to-day, or that new tech toy would be bring so much joy and fulfillment. It turns out for me and others, we need to seek and expect more to truly achieve happiness. Most people believe money will bring happiness.

Money seems to be at the hart for many and believing that it will solve or achieve their happiness. I wish it was that easy. Money and stuff can actually bring stress and problems along our journey of life. And maybe it’s about our expectations and views of what money and stuff can bring. Yet, the love of money is where I believe it’s easiest for us to get derailed.

“Solving for Happiness” starts with knowing ourselves. That sounds easy, but it actually takes time and soul searching to figure out what will truly bring us happiness. Most of us have postponed joy and happiness for the pursuit of money. It’s only natural based on today’s society and world.

Life is too short to truly not examine how we can achieve happiness today and into the future. It’s so easy for us to only see obstacles in the way of our achievement of happiness. It’s actually focusing on planning our lives. It’s not just placing our financial house in order, but about what’s meaningful to us and how can we be impactful within our families, communities or world. It’s thinking without boundaries we’ve placed on ourselves. It’s coloring outside the lines when we’ve gotten so used to coloring inside them.

Planning your life happens where your money and meaning connect. It connects in a meaningful way for most likes it has never connected up until this point. It starts with just a few basic, impactful questions that you’ve probably not thought about in a new light and with a new perspective.

Drop me a note if you’d like to schedule time to have a meaningful conversation about how to solve for happiness.

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9 + 1 =

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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