Friday Financial Tidbit-Planning is more important than the plan itself

If you have have read, listened to, or watched any of material on the blog you know that I am a big believer that planning is an important piece of a healthy financial plan.

Because of that I write a lot about goal setting and planning what you want your life to look like 6 months, 3 years, 10 years, 25 years, etc down the road.

But if I’m being honest, looking back at it, the process of Lisa and I planning our spending has been a lot more important than the actual plan itself.

Friday Tidbit 07-29-2016 Planning more important then the plan

Our plans can change at a moment’s notice due to a sudden job less, illness, death or other event. Or our financial goals change over time. Lisa and I have different financial goals than we did when we first got married or even since the beginning of the year.

But that’s OK, because life is full of changes and surprises, it is what makes life fun! It’s just a reminder to just do your financial goals in pencil, not pen. If you set a financial goal for five years from now, and that goal isn’t as important to you three years from now, don’t fret just adjust your goals.

Planning though has helped us achieve a peace with our finances that wouldn’t have been possible if we had just winged it each month. It lets our mind focus on one or two specific tasks instead of trying to do a million different things simultaneously.

So planning is important but planning is more important than the plan. Just don’t get too attached to your original plan. It might change by your own doing or by life circumstances but it will change in the long run. But remember that the act of planning is what is really going to make your financial goals come true.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #115-A Review of Feex.com

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  • A Review of FeeX.com
  • Why Feex.com is a good way to learn about the fees you are paying on your investments
  • What Feex.com won’t do for your investing
  • How fees aren’t the only thing to look at when it comes to investing
  • Quote of the lesson from Geeta Iyencar

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_115

 

 

 

 

 

On the heels of last week’s lesson of the podcast with guest Greg Whitaker discussing the risk of 401(K)’s and how fees impact your return, I decided to do a review of website I discovered about two years ago called FeeX.com

Feex.com bills itself as the “Robin Hood of Fees”. It helps you in finding out how much in fees you are paying within your IRA and 401(K), tries to find alternatives, inside your 401(K) or outside, that have lower fees, and shows you how much those fees are impacting your balance over the long run.
I originally got an email from FeeX asking that I check out their service. I get these emails a lot in my line of work and I usually pass on them because they are for something I don’t personally agree with or recommend like credit cards, pay day loans, or debt consolidation. But I gave FeeX a try and I’m really glad I did as I believe their service can really help people in their investing and determine how to get mutual funds with lower fees.

Using the site is pretty simple. You start by logging in with your email. You then select your providers of any current or old 401(K)’s or any IRA products from a list of hosting companies. In the 18 months I have been using the site they keep adding new providers all the time. In addition you can also submit your companies 401(K) listing of accounts if your company’s aren’t already included.

After you add all of your accounts with FeeX it will then breakout the fees you are paying by account and then determine if there are other fees similar to the ones that you already own that have lower fees. For 401(K)’s that is usually just a fund or two. For IRA’s there are more since IRA can use thousands upon thousands of funds.

Overall I think FeeX is a very useful tool when it comes to retirement planning. The one thing you need to remember is that FeeX is only designed to look at fees inside your investments. It can’t tell you if your portfolio is well diverse, if you are contributing enough into your account each month, or if you are on pace to have enough to retire. It’s a site to help reducing the fees you pays.

With that being said I’d recommend checking it out. FeeX isn’t the only site that provides the service, but as of now it is 100% free and really is easy to use. In addition currently they can also help out with moving an old employer 401(K) to a IRA if you so desire which is a nice plus.

If you have used FeeX before, please let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Podbean.com

“Knowledge has a beginning, but no end.” ~ Geeta Iyencar

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #114-Why the 401(K)’s are not the safe investment we’ve been led to believe with Guest Greg Whitaker

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  • Guest Greg Whitaker joins us to share his take on 401(K)’s
  • Why fees cut into our retirement saving and what you can do to avoid paying them
  • What to do to learn about investing
  • How the inability to delay gratification is impacting our retirement
  • Quote of the lesson

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_114

Greg Whitaker from DebtSheperd.com joins us today to share why the 401(K)’s are not the safe investment that we have been led to believe.

Greg teaches financial freedom gained from 16 years in the mortgage business and 10 years of financial literacy training.

I love Greg’s passion for teaching and sharing financial wisdom. In short he believes the 401(K) isn’t a safe investment primarily due to the following primary reasons:

  • No way on insuring against loss
  • Fee structure
  • Individuals not knowing what they are investing in

One of the main ways we get in trouble with our 401(K) is that we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to investing. Rather we just pick a random fund or pick one at the advice of a co-worker who may or may not know what they are doing. Greg and I discuss what you can do to learn about investing, not just in a 401(K) if that is what you choose, but also investing in other areas such as a business, real estate, commodities, or anything else you feel comfortable putting your money.

The main point of this lesson is to basically pay attention to what you are investing in. Know the fees that you are paying for each fund. Know what you are investing in, know what the goal is of the investment, know why you are investing in it, and properly diverse.

For more financial information and opinions that you don’t hear in traditional financial media, please check out Greg’s podcast Debt Sheperd radio. In addition below are material Greg mentioned in the interview.

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Audible.com

“I didn’t sign up for my 401(K) at work, because there is no way I can run that far”

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #113-The result of 30 years of frugal living with guest John Pugliano

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  • Guest John Pugliano joins us to share the result of 30 years of frugal living has had on his finances
  • Simple rule that allow the Pugliano’s to become financially independent
  • The crucial element to building wealth
  • Why you need to focus on what is really important to build wealth
  • Quote of the lesson from Jon Acuff

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_113

John Pugliano from wealthsteading.com joins us today to share the impact that 30 years of frugal living has had on his family’s finances.

I heard John give an interview on my friend Steve Stewart’s old MoneyPlanSOS podcast over a year ago and I knew I wanted to have John on the show as his story is really inspiring.

Usually when I have guests on the show to share their story, it is a story of getting out of debt in the last two to three years. However today story is unique in that John is sharing his story of over 30 years of wise purchases. What I love about his story is that he stuck to a plan and it has paid off quite nicely for him.

John and his wife’s story is one from the Thomas Stanley classic, “The Millionaire Next Door”, in that their plan was nothing flashy. Instead is what just being consistent over and over. John and his wife had similar views on spending and saving which helped a lot. In addition they didn’t simply ever spend more than they made, outside of a mortgage only ever had one car payment, no student loan debt, and no credit card debt.

But it always wasn’t a smooth ride, there were ups and downs and bad decisions regarding career choices were made. In fact John didn’t really start to make progress on becoming financially independent until he was 35 years old. But it didn’t deter him and now John is a money manager and founder of Investable Wealth LLC.

To John there are three main wealth building principles to master:

  1. Learn to earn an income
  2. Develop the discipline to save
  3. Learn how to invest

For John there really isn’t one way to build wealth. You can do so via real estate, stock investing, commodities, or starting a small business. However being debt free was crucial to building wealth for John and his family.

I’m honored that John shared his story and I hope you find it encouraging in your journey towards improving YOUR economy.

To check out John’s podcast visit wealthsteding.com

Today’s quote of the lesson is brought to you by Podbean.

“Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”
Jon Acuff

Enjoyed this lesson? If so, please consider taking a few minutes to leave a review of the show either in Stitcher SmartRadio, or iTunes. For a step by step video of how that works, please watch this video on how to leave a review in iTunes.

You can subscribe to future podcasts through Stitcher SmartRadio or iTunes, or by downloading the iPhone app. Or you may listen to the podcast on the JW’s Financial Coaching Facebook Fan page.

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #112-How good old fashioned anger led to becoming 100% debt free with guest Phil Danley

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  • Guest Phil Danley joins us to how he and his wife paid off their debt, including the mortgage
  • What led Phil and his wife to dump debt and be done with it forever
  • The difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it
  • Life after debt and what Phil did that he could only do if we was debt free
  • Quote of the lesson from Helen Hayes

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_112

 

 

 

 

 

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #111-How to Pay Off $120K of debt in two years with Guest Monica Louie

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  • Guest Monica Louie joins us to talk about how her family paid off $120K in debt in two years
  • What motivated them to pay off so much debt
  • Why they sold their house to reach their financial goal
  • The power of having a common goal in your marriage
  • Quote of the lesson from Dave Ramsey

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_111

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #110-Taming the High Cost of College with Guest Brad Baldridge

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  • Guest Brad Baldridge joins us to talk about taming the high cost of college
  • When parents need to prepare for college
  • Common mistakes parents make when planning for school
  • What’s more important the name of the school or going to school you can afford?
  • Quote of the lesson from Satchel Paige

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #109-Ways to become a better giver

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  • If giving isn’t a priority, it isn’t going to happen
  • We won’t give unless we are first content with what we currently have
  • How to become a giver year round
  • Why giving works best when the money is set aside to do it
  • Quote of the lesson from Anne Frank

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Friday Financial Tidbit-Why 401(K) loans make me cringe

One of things I keep hearing and reading about more and more is the 401(K) loan. It seems like they are becoming more common in the past few years and that people are even recommending them to help with paying off other debt or buying a home.

Why 401(K) Loans make me cringeThere are a few reasons why I disagree with this advice and actually think that 401(K) loan can be quite harmful to your overall financial life. The reasons are:

  1. Risky downside
  2. Lost opportunity to grow money
  3. Not really paying off your debt

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JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast Lesson #108-Three things to do after you graduate college

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  • What recent college graduates can do to put themselves in position to succeed financially
  • How to know where you stand financially
  • Why developing a spending plan is a process, not an event
  • Why having a map when you are trying to get out of debt is extremely important
  • Quote of the lesson from Karl Pearson

The JW’s Financial Coaching Podcast_108

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