Categories Credit Cards Tags Cash Back, Credit Cards Leave a comment. Also, I’ve read somewhere that not all purchases count towards the $3,000 you must spend in the first three months. Since most Americans are idiots with money, credit card companies offer incredibly generous signup bonuses because they think you’ll rack up a big balance and will spend many years paying them a lot of interest. Still can’t get into the lab or download the spread sheet. Or, does the IRA look at the whole IRA pool for me and then I have to pay taxes on the portion that is sitting in the regular IRA accounts ? It is very simple to open an ordinary taxable investment account through Vanguard so just give them a call, tell them what you’re hoping to accomplish, and I’m sure they’ll guide you through the process. I’m clearly misunderstanding the purpose of this field. Success! Just wanted to let you know that it is very much appreciated and looking forward to using it for many years to come. Nevermind, I just read the previous answer, sorry about that. I’ve recently discovered your site,much to my delight!. I wanted to send you an email just to see if you could critique what I’m doing but I couldn’t find a link to your “contact us” page? I thought I understood what that means clearly enough, but the calculator’s math obviously reflects something else. has partnered with to provide you with credit card offers, reviews, and ratings. A vertical stack of three evenly spaced horizontal lines. On Mad Fientist, Brandon offers a free, ... (B4 and C4) aren't the same as the ones noted on the balances tab — that's because the credit card balances have been subtracted. Can I cancel the card after earning the $500 reward and before the first year ends without incurring any fees / penalties? While on sabbatical, should I keep putting money into a Roth and HSA? Great information and well presented, thanks in advance. Thanks again for all of your information. . I’m going solar :) Here are the particulars-, * I am considered “low income” on taxes because child support does not count as income and because of my low income status, I can do the MA solar loan (3.25% for 10 years) and they will pay 30% of my loan! web application for monitoring and managing your accounts and investments. I’ve been reading MF, jlcolllinsnh, and some of the other FIRE blogs for many months now. Credit Card Guides . Betterment’s Cash Reserve account has a competitive interest rate and is FDIC insured up to $1,000,000 so it’s a great place to park your spare cash. Email series that shares the strategy I used to accumulate over one million frequent flyer points! Hey PK, I don’t personally use anything that does what you described. I noticed that many of the resources and tips given to achieve FI are geared towards individuals in the United States which is totally understandable. Cheers. For example…Cash flow of 110K for 10yrs and 55K for 30yrs requires X amount of assets (savings/investments). Unlike certain beginner personal finance gurus, Mr. Money Mustache is a big fan of cash-back credit cards. They both were life changing, spend changing for me. on how to to put money on a card you would not normally spend? How else can I take advantage of having very low taxable income? When would you have really invested the $100k as price was dropping? I was informed that based on the value of my roll over IRA ($500,000), that a back door Roth was not allowed. Really interested in making a start on my own path but virtually all the sites for tracking and investing seem to be US based. On my own I am planning on looking at all the claims I had, and trying to calculate what I would have spend and gotten paid by my insurance company if I was under the other plan. Thanks. It is more based on “where your money WILL go” rather than ” where DID the money go”. We are planning on doing a sabatical, if it is cheaper than we think or the market does awesome it might turn into fire. They have a phone for $100 and you can get a plan with unlimited minutes and texts for $10 a month. This includes loans, mortgages, and credit card debt. It depends on your plans after you quit your job. I am asking because I am debating taking X amount of money out of my 401k or remortgaging for the same amount. My combined household income exceeds the limit to allow a contribution to my Roth IRA and my wife’s Roth IRA. Free online tool that automatically pulls your financial transactions from your banks and categorizes your spending. Wondering what option makes more financial sense. Wouldn’t the cost of a locked in 2 year commitment be greater than the occasional taxi/towncar trip? Can i do a back door Roth for just the $7000 contribution for 2019 and not pay any taxes ? So it’s even more risky. I understand that once I rollover an amount to my ROTH I will have to wait 5 years to tap it. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site including, for example, the order in which they appear. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program. and do not review or include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Hi Johnny, you should be able to do that so just give Barclay a call when your annual fee is close to being due. Now just check your email to confirm! I use most of the things on this list except for personal capital. Hello, could you direct me to any posts on how to choose correct savings plan for your kids? Brandon, also known as the Mad Fientist, used credit card rewards to travel the world. The word "Insider". We have taken on a rental and are paying a mortgage on it as renters pay us monthly rent. [PoF: Doing the math, I … Is there anything you can do to increase the number of pod cast you produce? The Fidelity Cash Management account reimburses all ATM fees and offers unlimited free checks so it’s a great account to have, if only for those two reasons. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. You can compare the out of pocket costs, including premium and get a ballpark of what the best path forward is for you. I’m well on my way to FI and am looking for a tool that allows complex variables for FI planning. Without insurance, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of $10,300 which is definitely not affordable. Did you not get it? Since I live in Canada many of the tax avoidance tips given are not applicable so my question is- would you happen to have any investment or supplemental income (besides creating a website) ideas for someone living in Canada using strictly Canadian investments or supplemental income ideas or know anyone in Canada who has followed a similar journey as yours but have used various Canadian instruments to gain FI, and if so if there is any way I can get in contact with them to pick there brain a bit? Yes, you can open a Traditional IRA at Vanguard (that’s where I have mine). I can’t wait to put some of your tactics into practice! I am getting ready to retire, I wanted to know which calculator to use. Since I’ll be in Edinburgh until May, please let me know if I can take you up on you and Jill’s offer on going out for a beer when in town. Some pharmacies will give you a quote with your insurance information, but they generally get cranky about doing it. Spending can fluctuate over time and there may be a few years with big expenses that will skew the average, but that spending may be a one off. According to the Mad Fientist, you need to know where you are in order to figure out where you’re going. If I get a card in my wifes name can I use those points for me to fly? I actually keep track of how much value I get out of each program so that I can see if I’d be better off getting cash rewards instead. So in the second year, call up the bank and ask them if you qualify for the sign-up bonus and if you do, UPGRADE back to the original card and DOWNGRADE your wife’s card. No sign-up bonus can overcome the interest that must be paid on cc balances. Please advise. I am a Danish university student, currently on exchange in Edinburgh. 33 votes, 25 comments. There are stocks and mutual funds, some will probably incur long term gains? Good one! How long will you have to wait with cash until that scenario happens? However all credit card information is presented without warranty. In retirement accounts. : Shop top fashion brands T-Shirts at FREE DELIVERY and Returns possible on eligible purchases Thanks. We are 63 and 59, and self employed. Essentially I just want to open a fund starting with $10,000, and keep adding 10,000 each year while getting some sort of return, or at the very least keeping up with inflation. No in service withdrawals allowed at my firm (without cause) so back door ROTH isn’t an option and I’ll be employed here for another 10-15 years at least (fingers crossed). We know how to avoid paying a lot of money in interest, achieve and maintain an excellent credit score, refinance debt to a lower interest rate, and avoid credit card debt. We have $13.5k remaining with 34 months left (originally 63 month term) at 3.49%. I have significant retirement and no retirement savings. Do you have any recommendations on how to invest wisely this money in the channel islands? I am wondering if you’ve ever thought about/encountered the following situation related to unused vacation: We have a nest egg of just over $500k with all the IRA’s, (both Roth and regular), 401k’s, 403b’s, a 457 and a joint investment account… (teacher and public service worker couple here). P.S. paying more tax, because of losing the kid deductions and college tuition credits. I had the same experience tonight and received several “Update your profile” emails that sent me nowhere, before I gave up. Success! Additionally, I have not yet found how you factor in health care expenses (both insurance) and unplanned expenses into your FI calculation. Once you have that number, you’ll need to subtract any debts you owe. On the Averages page, it uses “supplemental income” to calculate the discretionary and total coverage. this is a fantastic tool to track your budget but mainly to be intentionnal about your spending. Financial Independence Podcast by Mad Fientist "Brandon—aka the Mad Fientist—gets into the weeds of financial independence and early retirement with some fantastic guests," Loudenback said. There are many things I use that could be helpful to you on your journey to financial independence and this page describes those things! :). You are so good at all this tax avoidance! Don’t have any specific question, but I just wanted you to know that my fiance and I actively listen to your podcast and it’s really changed that way we look at our finances and how we live our lives. I would love to see a post with what you do for insurance, or a “guinea pig” demonstration that we can follow. Welcome to . Hey Star*Bucks, just go to the About page and you’ll find my contact information there. Brandon, also known as the Mad Fientist, used credit card rewards to travel the world. Not for borrowing, of course, but as a means of channeling through your standard spending and collecting … Best! If you sell your house and rent, your net worth will be higher but so will your expenses but if you stay in your house, the opposite. Just set up an account and plan on putting it to use this january. If you know anything about it, I would love to hear your take on this. The FI takes use of your average spending over time. I’m new and hooked… can you recommend any “current financial writers”? We have 2 children and one of them needs a specialized school setting. If I start doing Roth conversions, Should I continue with our SEP’s? If not, just use taxis because it doesn’t sound like it would be worth the hassle and additional expense. I’ll be retiring on a mix of military pension and index funds and have no idea how to figure out what I might be paying in different states. I’m planning on getting a few new credit cards next month and figure I might as well give someone a commission for it, just trying to figure out who that someone should be. And if they decide not to pay it, you really have no recourse to get money from them. I’ve got about 8 years before I turn 59 1/2 and I just want to get the five year rule on rollovers to a ROTH straight before I take the time to go to a CPA. Now my husband is going to open his Roth IRA, but I am not sure if I want to go through the financial advisor for that or not, or whether I want to stick with Prudential for his IRA or not (I’m basically opening the fund for him). Your email address will not be published. I was impressed and inspired to learn more. I opened a Roth IRA with Prudential through my financial advisor a couple of years ago. Which planning tool works best w/ Personal Capital. The Mad Fientist's powerful credit card search tool allows you to easily find the best credit cards for your specific travel needs! If you go to his tab at the top that says "credit cards" you can find a spreadsheet which shows which credit cards he thinks have the best bonuses at the moment and another that shows *all* current public offers along on with which the best offer on that card has been in recent history. There are 4 different planning tools, which one is the most basic? Thanks for all the effort you pour into it. Please advise. I assume one doesn’t just wake on the first day of retirement and update their portfolio from 100% stocks to 60/40. Was just curious, do you have recommendations of CPAs and/or law firms for those of us who’d like to get started in real estate? Brandon, aka the Mad Fientist, a former software developer who achieved early retirement and financial independence at age 34, shares how he spends his money in Edinburgh, Scotland. Should I sell appreciated stock up to the no capital gains tax limit and reinvest it? How’s that compare if youd just left the $100k growing until the drop? Thanks for your time. I currently have a roll over IRA from a previous employer and a Roth IRA, both at C Schwab. At the point where I am it benefits me to have a high-deductible plan. I am a qualified public safety employee, if i retire before age 50 when does the 10% penalty for early withdrawal expire? Thanks a lot for the comment. When I enter “100”, it says I am financially independent. Need advice! We have paid off the mortgage on our primary residence but do have about $8000 in annual property taxes. Also remember, if you use your HSA as an additional vehicle for investing (HealthEquity is really great for this), it currently behaves like an IRA at retirement age. Any thing you use to help in that decision? What financial steregies should I use to take advantage of a sabbatical. Could someone clarify please? Join over 100,000 others on the Mad Fientist email list to get access to exclusive content and software! Curious about how you approach net worth. How does one take this into account – both the uncertainty and the major expense on a frugal budget. This can be a slight pain when it comes to changing auto-payments, but the sign-up bonus definitely outweighs the inconvenience for me. However there is a 5% administrative fee on the amount that I deposit, and after 7 years that will add up to quite a lot of money, in my opinion. I have an article request, I didn’t see an email to send it to. If I don’t, that raises my income $16k, If I do a Roth Conversion that raises my income even further. Courtesy of the Mad Fientist This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. Any discusion to push me one way or the other would be helpful. Do you think it would be simple to open a mutual fund (or another fund) through the Vanguard website as well? I listened to your podcast on millenials, and that inspired me a lot – do you also have any good places to seek out information on FI for students? What pitfalls, like wash sales, must I watch out for? But what about after I’m 59 1/2. Once I get that whole number – Required HSA Contribution + Premium, the whole thing gets the tax savings added back to it (HSA Contribution + Premium + (HSA + Premium ) * Your effective Tax Rate [I use last years’ because my income doesn’t change very much year over year]) Right now everyone is covered under my plan offered by my employer. If something like rolling money for unused vacations to 401k exists, I would love to take advantage of that instead of getting cash (and bumping my tax bracket). First time visitor to your website and it is absolutely amazing, You are truly living the dream! Haha, I just now saw your follow-up comment so please ignore my reply :). Track your progress to financial independence in the Mad Fientist's FI Laboratory! It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification. Opinions? Is there a comments page regarding CC for travel discusion? No contract. Loan will probably begin in May 2016. I had never heard of the technique you described about rolling over your 401k into an IRA and then rolling over to a ROTH before. Lowering your withdrawal rate means you’ll have to build up a bigger balance to pay your bills so that will increase your time to FI. Thanks for the recommendation to read “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.” Great book with some very practical insights. A place to discuss credit cards to profit from sign-up offers. Now just check your email and start tracking! I am planning on changing back to the low deductible plan next year, but I want to make sure it will be the right move. We’re about 5 years from FIRE, but haven’t decided yet where to live. Has anyone else out there come across something like that? Credit card Hacking . The Clark Howard Show. He plans to achieve financial independence in his early 30s and then ‘slow travel’ around the world, with the help of miles and points! That is insane so yes, I’d suggest you go out on your own! When i click on it, i get the subscribe screen again. Hi, The web-hosting company that has been serving up the Mad Fientist since the very beginning! Required fields are marked *. The single best way to get points and miles as cheaply and quickly as possible is to sign up for credit card offers. FI Laboratory, FI spreadsheet. Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. Send me an email if you’re still having issues. When I enter 0 (will not withdraw during retirement), it says I can never retire. Do you have an iPod Touch or something you could use on wifi? – Is there a UK version of Mint or Personal Capital that you would recommend? I prefer Mint just personal preference. The only thing I’m unsure about is health insurance. Join over 100,000 others on the Mad Fientist email list and start tracking your progress in the FI Laboratory! Hi Mad Fientist! Some things, like prescriptions need to be estimated. I realize if I stay in the 12% bracket during conversion and then in 7-1/2 years when RMDs start, I could be in a higher bracket, either because of IRS tax law changes or income increases with SS, dividends and IRA withdrawals. It all comes down to credit cards. I know that you generally can’t “time the market”, but I can’t help but wonder if we can do some preparations for when the inevitable down-turn of the market arrives. @madflentist found you off a FI/RE movement article and I love what you listed here. From what I’ve read most early retirees have been happy with a catastrophic plan. Post navigation. We max out SEPs and an HSA. That is, I most likely won’t be accessing this savings for about 5-7 years, and I expect to be adding about $10,000 to it each year. We are not claiming any deduction for the IRA contribution as I have a 401K in my office and also my salary exceeds significantly the contribution limits for a deduction. Can you please advise? Thanks for any input/advice!! Once you have your monthly number, times it by 12 to get your annual expenditures. Don't forget expenses that don't come monthly, such as vacations or holidays. One that describes a typical execution of the 4 percent rule would be nice. I just have my paycheque. Thank you for all your genius work! I now there are others out there too, but that’s what I use. I have lots of ideas, but I think this subject it ripe for the graphs you are so good at. Will you sell your house and rent or will you keep living in that house? My questions are: My pleasure, Eric! A coworker shared that the mega back door Roth has different rules and because our employer allows in service distributions, I would be eligible to use this strategy. Please try again. I have an infant son and thinking of setting aside a fund for him. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. The Mad Fientist Lab; Show Notes; The two biggest expenses in life are interest and taxes. The airlines don’t care whose name is on the CC, but the points will have to come from the same account. I’m hesitant to set aside money in a college fund given the way education is transforming. The credit-card search tool I created to help travel hackers find the best card signup bonuses! Here, he explains how you can start, too. It is really easy to set up a new account but if you run into problems, you can give them a call and they’ll help you through the process. I was wondering if you have knowledge of any FI’ers outside of the US – most of the advice you and your co-bloggers give is specific to the US system – although a lot of the advice is still relevant across borders, some things are not applicable. I wander how your hypothesis and analysis of retiring young would change with kids and especially if you had a child with special needs. I can not even imagine what my son will need in the years ahead. I intend to hit the 401K max ($19K) for 2019 and we’ll also max out our ROTH IRAs. Thank you for your thoughts on both. Uber, however, requires a smart phone of certain types (won’t work with a Windows phone but Android, iPhone absolutely) which means a 2-year financial commitment into a plan, with monthly fees OR buying the phone outright (front load the cost) then shopping for a provider. I have enough cash to live off of for the next 8 years while waiting to turn 59 1/2 so my income will be 0. The Mad Fientist's powerful credit card search tool allows you to easily find the best credit cards for your specific travel needs! Join over 100,000 others on the Mad Fientist email list and get instant access to my FI Spreadsheet! The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. I am poking around looking for info on backdoor Roth contributions. If you instead decided to only withdraw 3% from your portfolio each year to fund those $30,000 worth of annual expenses, you’d have to wait until you had $1,000,000 before you could retire ($1,000,000 * 3% = $30,000). I am researching and translating a lot at the moment to seek out which oportunities I have as a Dane as we speak. For instance, if I roll over an IRA to a ROTH when I’m 58, will I have to wait till 63 to tap it or am I free to access it 59 1/2? I got the card first, and then a year later my wife gets the card and I DOWNGRADE mine to a no fee version. So I am thinking about not adding any more money to the account through her, and opening a new one on my own. All Rights Reserved. “The rate at which you will withdraw from your accounts during early retirement”. Hi MF! – Can I still invest with companies such as Vanguard & Betterment from the UK? Can I do that Vanguard? Please disregard my previous comment about how to obtain the FI spreadsheet. I use Republic Wireless. Courtesy of the Mad Fientist. btw i just joined early retirement extreme forums and I places a post showing my financials. FI Laboratory, Credit-Card Search Tool for Travel Hackers, FI Spreadsheet, etc.) Nothing happens when I click on them…. You are able to combine points within household so you and your wife will share the same points. There are a lot of smart phone companies out there now that have pretty cheap phones and plans. Rinse and repeat for both you and your wife. I’m not quite sure… Not arguing against – just thinking out loud. Brandon runs The Mad Fientist and writes about financial independence, the benefits of geographic arbitrage, and how travel can actually help you retire earlier. This book will teach you everything you need to know to become a successful investor! Then I came across an article that Brandon from the Mad Fientist wrote about how he traveled to 14 different countries for under $1,000. What I haven’t been able to see a clear picture of is how you transition from the building wealth stage to wealth preservation/retirement stage. Huge fan of the blog; concise and so well written! A small note, Mint is fairly ineffective these days (personal experience). That can make a big difference. Any help and guidance appreciated. Unfortunately, I am Canadian so a lot of these great US plans are absent here. It’s not terrible. I am interested to see if anyone has a good model or predictor for using an HSA vs a low-deductible plan. Thanks. I seem to be having trouble gaining access to the lab. When using the firecalc and and cfiresim, does home equity count when you enter your “portfolio” or “how much you have?” I’ve read a bit of the fine print and can’t determine if it counts. Thanks Mad Fientist and merry christmas to you. * I am getting approx $13,000 tax credit from federal and $1000 from state. I just reread the Roth vs traditional article as I did my taxes to make sure I was doing it right. The property taxes on the rental is over $15,000 per year. I’m having a tough time convincing myself that Roth Conversions are a good move for me. Can you recommend any tax planning sites or apps? How would you go about starting a traditional Ira? Then I find out what my yearly cost is for the HDHP – I’m biweekly, so I have to multiply the paycheck premium by 26. Take a look at your current credit card or checking account statement to get a true idea of what you are spending. Changing how much data is used has a huge impact on the Years to FI value. Every two years you will be eligible for the sign-up bonus. Thank you very much for unique and eye-opening posts, resources, and podcasts! Do you know, concerning the Barclay Arrival Card, if I don’t plan on spending my miles within the first year, can I downgrade to the no fee card and still hold on to my points for using later? Whereas if you’re lending to some guy who wants to get money to pay off his credit cards, that’s a non-collateralized loan. Hey I love your site! Camp Mustache – Q&A with Mr. Money Mustache, Afford Anything, & The Military Guide. The classic book on financial independence and early retirement! He has attended for 3 years now and the tuition has gone from a horrid $53,000 per year to $65,000 per year. If so, that email contains the links to both the spreadsheet and the FI lab. So when you say you built travelerplastic, does that mean you own it and get the commissions for it? It’s a little bit of work to figure out, but if you keep good records – like you should for an HSA, it’s not as big of an undertaking. It is this compensation that enables and to provide you services like access to free tools and information for consumers. We have both regular IRA and Roth contributions over the years and are now not getting any deduction for my IRA. I love the site. but I have an even bigger software project in mind that I’m hoping to start in 2019. The scales tip towards Personal Capital which is what I use nowadays. Thanks! Similiar to Fidelity. I have a homeowners insurance payment due in a couple months and was hoping to use the card for that. Just curious about a rule of thumb to keep the FI as realistic as possible. Specifically, I’m looking for something that will allow me to submit multiple different cash flow needs for a period of time to calculate total assets required for the entire retirement. Join the Mad Fientist, Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant from Afford Anything, and Doug Nordman from The Military Guide for a live Q&A from Camp Mustache! I think I should have had a lower-deductible plan. Another book that's helped me pursue my goals, especially after leaving my job. Has the FI Lab been useful to you so far? The biggest hurdle I have is with all the deductions I have, this has put me in a position Say I Convert $15k, that would add $31k to my income. Any suggestions? I keep wondering the same. Would like to start investing like him Collins says in his stock series? I just joined, and tried the “Time to FI calculator”: Just found this, I love your information. Whatever options you decide the most important thing is to make sure that whatever amounts you put on the credit card you can pay IN FULL when the balance is due.