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Catching Up Financially Is Pretty Easy

I’ve often lamented about getting a late start in the savings game. Unlike many of my peers that went into the workforce at 22 years old, I opted to head off to law school (and goofed off for a year before doing that). Choosing this path meant that I had to take out nearly six figures worth of student loans and made it so that I earned essentially no income for the majority of my twenties. By the time I started my first job, many of my friends had already been in the workforce for 4 or 5 years.

When it comes to late starts though, I don’t think anyone can beat my wife. She spent five years in college, another four years in dental school, did a one-year general practice hospital residency and is now currently in year two of a three-year specialty residency. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 8 years of post-college training! And unlike medical residencies, most dental residencies pay nothing or offer their residents a tiny stipend (usually a few thousand bucks a year – my wife made about $4,000 total in 2016). By the time Mrs. FP earns her first real paycheck, she’ll be 32 years old. Oh, and she’s also got a healthy six figures of student loan debt to boot. Quite a position to be in at 32 years old.

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How Much Did I Save In 2016?

For me, 2016 will go down as the first year I began aggressively saving for retirement. It sort of bums me out that I’m getting into the savings game so late. At 30 years old, I’m way behind my more financially literate peers, some of whom have already retired or established huge treasure troves of savings. See folks like Millennial Revolution, Money Wizard, and Fiery Millennials.

A part of it is a byproduct of me entering a profession that requires years of extra schooling and a ton of student loans. While most people start their first job at 22 years old, most lawyers won’t start their first job until they’re 26 or 27 years old.

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Fidelity Solo 401k: A Step By Step Guide To Setting Up Your Self-Employed Retirement Plan

One of the surprising things I learned when I started side hustling was that doing so gave me access to an extra retirement account. This was true even for sharing economy/gig economy side hustles like Uber or Postmates. Most people don’t realize it, but when you’re working in the sharing economy/gig economy, you’re technically a self-employed business owner. Your business is you and you’re the boss and sole employee. And as a benefit, when you’re self-employed, you get to contribute to self-employed retirement plans like a Solo 401k. Yes, even a lowly delivery person can put away money in the same manner as a successful solo entrepreneur.

Last year, I set up my Solo 401k with Fidelity and this past week, I made my first contribution to it. At first glance, the process seemed pretty intimidating, but it actually turned out to be much easier than I expected. This post walks you through the entire process of setting up and contributing to your Solo 401k.

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What’s The Most You Could Save In Tax Advantaged Accounts?

When you think about it, the government allows you to put a ton of money into tax advantaged accounts. You just wouldn’t know it at first glance. Technically, a traditional or Roth IRA is the only tax advantaged account that every working person in the US has access to. As of 2017, the max contribution per person to those accounts is $5,500 per year. It’s a start, but someone saving only $5,500 per year will be saving for a long, long time.

Luckily, there are a ton more ways to save in tax advantaged accounts beyond just the IRA. You just need to think about what you need to do in order to gain access to the additional tax advantaged space. Admittedly, it takes a lot of work and some unique working situations in order to put away a ridiculous amount of money in this manner. Still, most people with totally normal working situations should be able to save much more than they probably think. This article will take a look at just how much someone could potentially save into tax advantaged accounts.

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Why Does Anyone Invest In Expensive Funds?

One of the things I’ve always wondered is why anyone would invest in expensive funds (I typically define an expensive fund as one with an expense ratio of around 1% or more). Since there are options – like Vanguard – with expense ratios of 0.1% or less, it’s never made much sense to me why anyone would invest in anything else. Why pay ten times more to invest your money in what amounts to basically the same thing?

One problem I have is that, as a dude who’s really into personal finance, I fall into a sort of personal finance bubble. I take a lot of the stuff I know for granted and assume that everyone just knows this stuff too. In reality, the vast majority of people have no idea what anything I said even means.

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