GF¢043: [Case Study] Can You Retire Early with Only 1 Million Dollars?


I want to retire early with 1 million dollars.

That statement has a nice ring to it, huh?

I don’t think I’ve worked with a client yet that didn’t want to retire early, or wouldn’t be ecstatic if they had a $1 million portfolio.

But as most of us already know, $1 million isn’t what it used to be.

retire 1 million dollars

This article from USA Today makes the bold claim that $1 million isn’t enough to retire nowadays.

Look, $1 million is A LOT of money, but to stretch that out for the rest of your retirement is tough. It’s even tougher with lower interest rates.

The article states, “10 to 12 years ago, when people earned a lot more on their investments, $1 million could generate $70,000 to $80,000 a year in retirement income. But with interest rates as low as they are, that’s not really feasible.”

Sure, there are ways to make the most of out your short-term investments, and there are intriguing options like Peer to Peer Lending that can yield decent returns, but they don’t magically guarantee an early retirement (Learn more about the top peer to peer lending network in our Lending Club Review and my review of Prosper).

So the question remains:  Can you really retire early with 1 million dollars?
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GF¢ 029: 7 Financial Advisors I Would Like to Punch in the Face


People who know me know I’m not a very violent guy.

I’ve never been in a fist fight in my entire life, I very seldom ever yell (except when the St. Louis Cardinals would blow a four run lead in the bottom of the ninth), and I cover my face with a pillow when there’s a confrontation on the TV (go ahead and laugh…my wife does).

In short, my personality type is one that is constantly smiling, and can be easily labeled as “Joe Cool”.

But, like any human being, there are some occurrences that get me really fired up.

One of the biggest things that gets me fired up? 

Financial advisors that lie, steal, and cheat.

7 Advisors I'd like to punch in the face
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The Prosper Vs. Lending Club Experiment

In late 2012 I made my contribution to my Solo 401(k).

As a business owner there is nothing sweeter than getting a nice big fat tax deduction.

After I deposited it into my account it sat there in cash for a considerable amount of time.

It sat there WAY too long….

The funny thing about being a financial advisor is that I spend 99.9% of the time managing my client’s money and about .01% of the time managing my own money.

Oh the irony….

As I sat there watching my cash grow at a snail’s pace the market continued to soar, and soar, and soar and soar.

Basically to the point where I felt that it hit a high. In hindsight it turns out 14,000 wasn’t even close.

To avoid buying at the high I thought, “You know what, I’m going to give peer to peer lending a real shot.”

Lending Club vs. Prosper
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100 Ways to Make $100 Fast

Free cash rocks!

Walking through a parking lot I one time stumbled upon a $20 bill.

Before I snatched it up I looked up around almost waiting for the hidden camera crew to jump out from the bushes to yell “Gotcha!”.

They didn’t and I was $20 richer. Score!

That is the only time that I’ve ever came across some quick cash.

Everyone needs some cash in a hurry from time-to-time.

Knowing that, I thought it would be fun to put together a post that outlined 100 ways you can make $100 fast.

100 ways to make money fast
Out of the 100, you should find at least a few that you can do any time you need extra cash.

Bookmark this page so you can refer to it anytime you need money!

InboxDollarsYou can earn free cash by changing your search engine to InboxDollars. You’ll get a free $5 bonus when you sign up! This will take a bit longer to get you to $100, but it’s still easy money by using their search engine, watching videos (seriously), printing coupons and a variety of other things. Plus, you get $5 just for signing up (just name and email address) by clicking here.

Another way you can earn free cash by doing what you’re already doing online with Swagbucks. With Swagbucks you can earn cash by doing surveys, answering polls, and playing games on their site.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – Selling your junk

One of the best and easiest ways to make money fast is by selling what you have – or that you can acquire on the cheap. It also has a secondary benefit in that it keeps the clutter in your life to a minimum.
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How to Break a Bad Habit in 21 Days (Reader Challenge)

Download The Bad Habit Destroyer worksheet to replace those bad habits with positive ones.

“Your net worth to the world is usually determined by what remains after your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones.” -Benjamin Franklin

Have you ever tried to break a bad habit?

What about start a good one?

Sometimes the good ones can be even tougher!

how to break bad habits

Some of the good habits that I’ve struggled with sticking to are: eating clean during the week (stupid late night cravings), waking up at 5am to workout (snooze button is way too tempting) and being distracted by social media (hold up…just thought of something funny I need to Tweet).

One of the worst habits I used to have was that I would always lose my keys after I got home from work.

I’m always in a rush when I get home and for the life of me can never remember where I put them.

My wife, tired of me asking her “Where did I put my keys“, attempted to break me of my bad habit by placing a small box on the counter top by our back door.

This box became the designated spot for my keys and my wedding ring.

Did I mention that I often misplace that, too? Shhhh….don’t tell the wife about that one. 😉 [Read more…]

Penny Stock Debacle: How I Lost $5,000 and You Can (and Better!) Avoid It

lose money penny stocksI get sick when I think about that day and the mistake that cost me $5,000.

I compare it to something in between smashing my thumb with a hammer to breaking your mother’s most beloved piece of China.

It is something that makes me sick just reliving it.

I actually just puked in my mouth a little bit. <ugh….>

I had been a financial advisor for almost four years so I should’ve known better.

But thanks to a lot of greed and even more ignorance, I got my rear handed to me on a silver platter.
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70 Super Easy and Practical Ways to Save Money

70 ways to save money

We’re all looking to keep a few extra greenbacks in our wallets.

But for many of us who have too much month at the end of our money, it can seem impossible to do more with the money we’re already making.

The truth is, there are always ways to pinch a penny, particularly if you’re willing to invest a little time.

Here are 70 ways you can save money in your four biggest budget categories: food, transportation, housing, and health.

InboxDollarsBut first, here’s a bonus money-making tip! Did you know you can make money just by using a different search engine? InboxDollars makes it easy. Plus, you can earn cash for all kinds of other online activities like taking surveys, playing online games, and more. Get a $5 bonus for signing up and click here to learn more!

Food Money-Saving Tips

According to a recent Gallup Poll, the average American family spends $151 per week on food, including restaurant eating. That adds up to a cool $7852 per year. Here are 20 ways you can keep more of that money in your pocket:

1. Make meal plans. One of the biggest food budget busters is when you have no answer to the question “What’s for dinner?” Rather than get in the habit of ordering pizza or going out for fast food when you’re stumped by the dinner question—which is infinitely more expensive than cooking at home—get used to planning out your meals for the week or month. Not only will this save you money on take out, but it will also put you in a good place to actually use all the food you buy at the grocery:
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Ready to Start Investing? Here’s the Best Online Brokers for Beginners

I can remember the first time I made my first stock trade.

I was an intern at the investment firm that eventually hired me.

It was right around when the tech bubble burst, and tech stocks were trading at extreme discounts.

I didn’t have a lot of money, actually I had really almost no money, yet I felt compelled that I needed to buy one of these tech stocks.

online brokers for new investors

The stock that I had in my sight was Lucent.

Lucent was a telecommunication company that once was trading in the $60 to $80 range but had significantly dropped well below $10.

If I recall correctly, I bought it within the $6 to $8 range.  I remember thinking that I landed a good buy.  Ha!

I opened my account, deposited my money, and made my first trade.

Reflecting back, I was such a beginner, it wasn’t funny.
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Dave Ramsey Might Think I’m Crazy. Here’s Why:

UntitledWhen I first read, Total Money Makeover, back in 2003, I was excited to find another personal finance expert that shared my recommendations regarding saving for retirement.

One of Dave’s core tips regarding investing is,

Get your free money first with your 401(k) match. After that, take advantage of the Roth IRA to get your tax-free money. Then go back to the 401(k) and max it out.

This is the same advice that I’ve been giving to individuals ever since I became a financial advisor.

But over the last year or so my opinion has changed. What I’ve realized is that the majority of people that save in their 401(k) s have no idea what they’re doing.

They’ve usually let their employer decide where to put their money and they never really have no clue in what they are investing into. 

Are you one of these people?


Because of this, I have changed what I believe.
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Why I Purchased a 2.5 Million Dollar Term Life Policy

There is nothing more invigorating than sitting around a dinner table with guests and talking about life insurance.

Okay, just kidding.

It might not be invigorating, but it is something that I wish people would talk about more.

Why is that?

Because far too many people still don’t have any life insurance at all, and if they do, they don’t nearly have enough.

buying 2 million life insurance policy

Often times, I see people that have $50,000 to $100,000 of term life insurance either through their employer or that they purchased themselves and they think that is enough.
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Best Places to Open a Roth IRA

Do you know what your income tax rate will be in the future?

The answer to that question is key to your retirement planning. If you think your tax rate will be lower in the future then it makes sense to avoid paying tax now through a tax-deferred investment vehicle like a Traditional IRA.

Best places to open roth ira

But with a mounting national debt, many people believe personal income tax rates will eventually be forced to increase.

Even if the national debt somehow gets taken care of, the government doesn’t tend to lower a tax once it is set.

If tax rates are going to go up the best retirement account for you to open if you qualify is a Roth IRA.

You will pay income tax today and never pay income tax on your nest egg again.

Where to Open a Roth IRA

Once you’ve made the decision to open a Roth IRA there are a number of companies that are happy to accept your contributions. The number of options you have can be overwhelming: do you go with a discount broker, a full-service broker, or direct to a mutual fund company?

We’re here to help you cut through the confusion to find the best company to open a Roth IRA with. (Just getting started investing? Check out our Best Online Brokers for Beginners.)
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