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Make smart choices about your money, time and productivity

Jul 31, 2017

#88: 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?


 - Paula

Resources Mentioned:

FINRA website -- Broker Check

MadFientist article on how to access retirement funds early