Should I max out my contributions to pre-tax retirement plans? Even if I want to retire early?

You have decided that you will grow a terminal beard because you want to be a supreme bad-ass. At the same time, you realize that every dollar you are able to save acts as a bad-ass multiplier, pushing you into the realm of the most bad-ass bearders of the world. You plan to multiply your bad-assness so much, that you realize that it would be very easy for you to retire in 10 years, by around your 45th birthday.

What if someone came by and told you that you could chop a couple of years off of your early retirement plan without having to save or earn one extra penny? By taking advantage of this one little idea, you could set your wealth generation on autopilot and protect your financial plan from that most devious foe: yourself. You could also stick it to the man by ensuring that you pay almost no taxes now, and even less when you retire. Sound good? If so, then all you have to do is pile every cent that you can into maxing out every pre-tax retirement vehicle you have available to you. Continue reading “Should I max out my contributions to pre-tax retirement plans? Even if I want to retire early?”

Should I max out my contributions to pre-tax retirement plans? Even if I want to retire early?

One neat trick to get a $2,392 per year raise without asking your boss

If you’re like me, the thought of asking your boss for a raise causes you to tense up, pop out a few extra gray whiskers, and run silently into the bathroom to throw up. I hate confrontation, and when you walk into the boss’s office to ask for a raise, you’re straight up telling them that they’re undervaluing you and you know better than they do about how much you should be compensated. That’s confrontation. So when financial bloggers tell me to get out there and negotiate for more pay as one strategy to bring in more money, I quickly start looking over the other strategies.

With that said, I’m going to let you in on some good news: just this past week I managed to get a $2,392 per year raise. That’s an extra 3% boost to my bottom line that didn’t exist last month. More importantly, that’s after taxes, which means I will get a reliable $199.33 extra in my monthly win column for a very, very long time. The best part of the whole deal is that I never once spoke to, emailed, or even thought about my boss. I’m not even in the same country as him right now. But when I check my bank balance, there it is: $199.33 more than last month. The one neat trick I used to get that raise is pretty much guaranteed to work for you, too. In fact, you might be able to score a significantly larger raise than I did, and you’ll never have to ask anyone for anything. Continue reading “One neat trick to get a $2,392 per year raise without asking your boss”

One neat trick to get a $2,392 per year raise without asking your boss

A mathematical model for early retirement

Earlier I wrote about a mathematical model for beard growth and awesomeness. In that discussion I briefly described a similar model for net worth growth. It turns out, though, that your actual net worth number is not a particularly useful measure for determining when you can retire. If early retirement is your goal, the only thing you need to concern yourself about is your savings rate. In this post, I’ll describe why your savings rate is the most important measure and how you can use it to calculate how many years it will take you to retire. If you want to retire in the next 10 years, as Mrs. Beard and I have planned, then you’ll also learn how to determine what your savings rate needs to be. Continue reading “A mathematical model for early retirement”

A mathematical model for early retirement

How to become a millionaire on a teacher’s salary in 10 years

The Glorious Beard family has a long-term goal of reaching a million dollar net worth within the next ten years. I’m going to be a millionaire on a teacher’s salary. If you are going to have such a big and crazy goal, then you really have to have one hell of a solid plan. How do you come up with a plan for something so ridiculous sounding? Your first step is to absolutely, positively, 100% believe in your mind that your crazy-ass goal is possible. If you start there, then your mind can start working on the problem in the background. Eventually, out pops a basic idea, and then you’re off to the races refining that idea until you have a plan to achieve your crazy goal.

My wife calls me “The Weasel” because of my incredible ability to “weasel” the things she and I want. As one example, she wanted to travel around Europe when we retired. I told her that idea was stupid, and that we needed to travel around Europe RIGHT NOW! So I put that goal in my mind without any idea how we would accomplish it. After a while, the idea formed, and then the plan, and then the execution of the plan, and now we are traveling around Europe for free and getting paid for the privilege.

The most recent goal I have been working on is the million dollar goal. How can we become millionaires by our mid-40s with a single teacher’s salary? I’m excited to tell you that we have a plan, and the math works. Continue reading “How to become a millionaire on a teacher’s salary in 10 years”

How to become a millionaire on a teacher’s salary in 10 years