Top 40 Personal Finance Resources

Top 40 Personal Finance Resources

For about 10 years, I’ve consumed A LOT of personal finance content. I have always been on the lookout for the top personal finance resources. My goal has been to learn as much as possible so I can one day reach financial independence.

But on Dec 13th, 2017, the day that I graduated from college, I decided to make a change. Instead of being a consumer of content, I was now going to become a producer of it.

I don’t consume nearly as much personal finance content or read books anymore. I put that time into creating my own content and increasing my skills with building an online business.

The only content I consume now is podcasts because of the passive nature of it. And I love podcasts! You can be productive and have a deeper connection with the podcast hosts. I get so much out of listening to podcasts.

Who knows, maybe one day I have my own podcast.

Today, I’m going to share my top 40 personal finance resources that I have gained the most value from.

This list includes blogs, podcasts, educational websites, speakers, and books. All of which I have learned a great deal from. I encourage you to check out as many as you can. Especially those that relate to your financial situation.

Personal Blogs

Mr. Money Mustache – Even though he doesn’t consider himself a “personal finance blogger”, Pete is a thirtysomething early retiree that writes about frugality and financial freedom. If you haven’t taken the time to read any of his content, you should. This is targeted to the ultra optimizers.

Millennial Money – An online community to learn how to make more money and accelerate your financial freedom. Targeted to millennials.

Budgets Are Sexy – J Money created a money blog trying to spice things up a bit! They rock out budget planning, retirement, credit cards, 401k, templates & becoming a millionaire. 

Millennial Money Man – Bobby Hoyt has created quite the community of millennials. His site is a resource for young people that covers debt-freedom, making more money, and building an online business.

Get Rich Slowly – One of the first blogs ever about money created by JD Roth back in the 2000s. This talks about common sense advice and money-saving tips on a wide range of topics.

Stefanie O’Connell – Focused on helping women, Stephanie writes about millennial money, making more, love and money and lifestyle. I’ve seen her in a number of news videos helping the younger generation master their finances. 

Educational Blogs

Investor Junkie – Larry Ludwig and his blog compare tools to help you make the best financial decisions. Targeted to investors with a ton of great resources.

The Penny Hoarder – Kyle Taylor started one of the largest personal finance websites in America. I receives millions of visitors each month looking to make and save extra money. I really enjoy their content! 

The College Investor – Robert’s website helps millennials get out of student loan debt to start investing, building passive income, and wealth. He’s been blogging for many years and has a ton of great content.

Student Loan Hero – Student Loan Hero is an unbiased solution to organize, manage, and repay your student loans. They also discuss a ton of other things like how to make more money.

Making Sense of Cents –  Michelle Schroeder talks about personal finance, paying off student loans, and how to reach financial independence. She also has a ton of information on how to create a successful blog and online business.

The Simple Dollar – An awesome resource for all things finance and a big inspiration for my blog. Learn about budgeting, investing, credit, and more to take control of your financial destiny. Also, I was featured on the Simple Dollar talking about Marie Kondo.

Modest Money – Provides insightful investment analysis from a diverse array of investment and financial minds. They also keep an updated list of top personal finance blogs.

Good Financial Cents – Jeff creates a lot of amazing content through his blog and YouTube videos. His whole purpose is to help you make cents of your money and create a life of financial freedom.

Young Adult Money – David Carlson created this young adult personal finance blog that I have learned a ton from!

Podcasts

ChooseFI – Join a global community of people that are pursuing Financial Independence through Investing, Real Estate, and Business creation. One of my favorite podcasts to listen to!

Radical Personal Finance – This podcast helps you understand a wide range of financial topics including insurance, budgeting, investing, entrepreneurship, and more. Joshua Sheats has the heart of a true teacher.

Mad Fientist – Advanced strategies for pursuing financial independence and early retirement.

Build A Bigger Life – The Build A Bigger Life podcast with Adam Carroll is a show about entrepreneurs, innovation, pursuing freedom, and creating a life of abundance and meaning.

Side Hustle Show – Nick Loper with The Side Hustle Show is a top-rated podcast about how to make money on the side.

The Minimalists – I first came across these guys watching the Minimalism documentary on Netflix. Joshua and Ryan are fun and easy to listen to. If you’re into minimalism like I am, here’s a great post talking about how money and minimalism are related.

Money For the Rest of Us – A personal finance show on money, how it works, how to invest it, and how to live without worrying about it. David Stein has been teaching individuals and institutions on how to invest and handle their finances in ways that are simple to understand.

Top 40 Personal Finance Resources | Simplifinances

Education Websites

Mint Life – The blog related to Mint.com that produces new and fresh content everyday to help you get more out of your money.

Acorns Grow – The educational website connected with the investing app Acorns. They produce high quality and millennial focused content on a daily basis. 

Dave Ramsey – You may or may not have heard of Dave Ramsey. He’s probably one of the biggest names in personal finance. I would encourage you to check out his website and his radio show if you’re trying to get out of debt. ​​

The Motley Fool – The Motley Fool provides leading insight and analysis about stocks, helping investors stay informed.​​

Yahoo Finance – At Yahoo Finance, you get free stock quotes, up-to-date news, portfolio management resources, international market data, social interaction and mortgage rates.​​

Kiplinger – Leader in personal finance news and business forecasting. Get trusted advice on investing, retirement, taxes, saving, real estate, cars, college, insurance.​​

Investopedia – Investopedia is the world’s leading source of financial content on the web, ranging from market news to retirement strategies, and investing education.​​

Bankrate – Use Bankrate.com’s free tools, expert analysis, and award-winning content to make smarter financial decisions.​​

Nerd Wallet – Millions of people turn to the Nerds to find the best credit cards, up their credit score, land the perfect mortgage and so much more.​​

GOBankingRates – Personal finance resource designed to share articles and advice on saving, managing, and making money.

Speakers

David Bach – David Bach is one of America’s most trusted financial experts and has written nine consecutive New York Times best sellers with 7 million + books in print. I had the opportunity to meet David Bach when he came and spoke at my university and his book Automatic Millionaire was awesome! 

Adam Carroll – Helping Students and Young Professionals Succeed Faster. When I met Adam Carroll he gave an awesome speech on Winning the Money Game. He also has a book called Winning the Money Game. Definitely check it out! 

Anthony O’Neal – Anthony is encouraging students across the nation to take their decisions with life and money more seriously. I met Anthony this year and his presentation and his book “The Graduate Survival Guide: 5 Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make In College,” were awesome! 

Phil Town – Phil Town, one of the top investors in the world, teaches you how to invest and achieve financial independence. I also met Phil Town who is the author of one of the best books on investing, Rule #1 Investing.

Rachel Cruze – Best-selling author and speaker with a heart to help others win with money. I didn’t get a chance to snag a picture with Rachel Cruze at FinCon but, her presentation was excellent! ​​

Classic Books

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – This was one of the first financial books I’ve read. And quite honestly, it set the foundation for the rest of my life. The money management system that I have been teaching people for years comes from this book. If there is one book that you have to read to analyze your money blueprint and find out what it is you need to do or change to become a millionaire, this is the book!

The Simple Path to Wealth – Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life. JL Collins compiled this book after writing a number of letters to his daughter about money and investing. This book is very one-sided. Meaning JL Collins was tired of all of the crappy financial advice out there and decided to share what really works. I LOVE this book. The investing strategies I learned in this book have set a foundation for how I will invest for the rest of my life.

Total Money Makeover – This was also one of the first books that I read in high school. I literally remember learning the difference between an asset and a liability in this book because, at the time, I didn’t know what they meant. I told my mom the difference between an asset and a liability and she was so proud of me. Anyone looking to change their finances needs to read this book.

Rich Dad Poor Dad – In this book, I learned that I never wanted to work for someone else. I wanted to become a business owner. I learned the power of investing in yourself and in real estate to eventually reach financial freedom. This is one of the most popular personal finance books in the world. This book is a classic!

Newer Books

Your Money or Your Life – For more than twenty-five years, Your Money or Your Life has been considered the go-to book for taking back your life by changing your relationship with money. Hundreds of thousands of people have followed this nine-step program, learning to live more deliberately and meaningfully with Vicki Robin’s guidance.

Money – Master the Game – In his first book in two decades, Anthony Robbins turns to the topic that vexes us all: How to secure financial freedom for ourselves and for our families. “If there were a Pulitzer Prize for investment books, this one would win, hands down” (Forbes.com).

A Random Walk Down Wall Street – The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing. Updated with a new chapter that draws on behavioral finance, the field that studies the psychology of investment decisions, here is the best-selling, authoritative, and gimmick-free guide to investing. This book is very advanced and if you’re not a big investments geek like I am, I wouldn’t recommend it.

[BIG NEWS!] I Decided to Join the Qube Money Team!

[BIG NEWS!] I Decided to Join the Qube Money Team!

I mentioned two weeks ago that I quit my job as a financial planner. I had a bunch of people reach out and ask me what was happening!

I’m excited to share the new chapter of our lives with you!

The new opportunity is with a fin-tech start-up company based out of Utah called Qube Money (formerly ProActive Budget).

Qube is rebranding and relaunching in spring 2020. I’ve been watching this company since meeting them at FinCon 2018 in Orlando. This past FinCon 2019, I learned they were relaunching and adding new features. So I wanted to find a way to be a part of it!

Why I Made The Switch

“85% of people who need help financially can’t afford it.”

This is a quote from Alan Moore of the XY Planning Network at a conference in San Diego two years ago. This has driven me crazy and is one reason why I became a financial counselor.

“Many of the people who most need financial planning services and investment advice can’t afford to pay for either. To be in a position to hire someone to advise you on how to build wealth, you first have to build some wealth,” says Rick Kahler of Brightscope

Seeds of doubt have been planted in my mind for many years. Things like, you can’t make money helping people that don’t have money. But I’ve wanted to find a way to help as many everyday individuals and families with their finances as I can. One of the reasons I started a financial coaching business and this blog.

I’ve worked in academia and helped people in their 20’s. I’ve worked as a financial planner helping clients with their investments. And, I started a financial coaching practice and helped clients pay off debt and start saving. These have all been great opportunities. But it kept coming back to one problem that was hard to solve. Cash flow management.

This is one of the biggest things keeping people from reaching their financial goals and becoming financially independent. I’ve taught people the jar’s money management system with success but it was missing something.

Why This Aligns With My Purpose

I’ve been interested in the new financial apps that have released over the years like RobinhoodAcornsSimple, and Varo. They’ve all experienced rapid growth addressing needs for younger people and lowering fees. I’ve thought it would be cool to work for a new company like one of these.

Most would require us to move to San Francisco if I went that route. But this won’t require us to do that. Utah is experiencing insane growth and it’s largely driven by financial service and fin-tech companies.

What’s been done in the past to help people is moving online and I don’t think that will change anytime soon.

More About Qube Money

Qube first launched as ProActive Budget two years ago and did well. They experienced issues with their processor and shut down operations. They’re now with a better processor and rebranding. When you google proactive budget you could probably guess what kept showing in up the search results. Skincare. Which is a big-budget item for a lot of women, apparently!

This video explains what it is:

Qube money requires you to be intentional with your spending. Most people have heard of the cash envelope system because it’s powerful and it helps with spending behavior. The problem is cash is a hassle and writing down each transaction sucks.

Qube is like digital cash envelopes. If you don’t have money in your qube for a certain purchase it will decline the transaction.

No other financial app makes you think before you buy, changes behavior and is effective long-term.

I believe this has the potential to impact millions and help them live healthier financial lives.

I can’t share everything yet but a lot is happening behind the scenes that make this super exciting!

What’s Going to Happen to Simplifinances?

Don’t worry, Simplifinances isn’t going anywhere. I’m still trying to figure out what my plan is for 2020. I will most likely scale back on how much I write. For two years, I’ve published one article a week and at times that can be a lot. Especially on top of a full-time job, school, family, church, etc. I may write once or twice a month or whenever I feel like I have something to share.

I’m excited about the new opportunity and feel grateful to be a part of it! This is something I would have never had the opportunity for if I wouldn’t have decided to start Simplifinances.

I don’t write a ton about blogging and growing an online business because that was never my intent from the beginning. But this week I’m going to share a course with you if blogging has been something you’ve wanted to try. I am an affiliate for the course and I think it will give you a great starting point.

Make sure you join my mailing list and look out for an email in the next couple of days.

If you’d like to learn more about Qube and be a part of the launch join the waiting list at www.qubemoney.io.

I Just Quit My Job

I Just Quit My Job

Today’s blog post will be short and sweet.

For the past year and a half, I’ve been working for a Registered Investment Advisor as a Financial Planner in Texas.

Today, I’m announcing that I recently just quit my job. It wasn’t an easy decision to quit because I’ve put a lot of time and energy into the company I’ve been working for.

The firm I’ve been working for is a great company and I’ve created some solid relationships and learned a ton in the meantime!

As many of you know I’m still in the process of completing my master’s degree. I started my Master’s in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University in the Fall of 2018. I will still complete it this spring.

Perhaps you’re wondering why I quit my job and what my plan is.

I’ll give you two hints: 1) It’s not financial planning and 2) it doesn’t require me to stay in Texas.

Let’s just say that I’m super excited and will be filling y’all in soon.

Stay tuned! :]

ChooseFI Book Review: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

ChooseFI Book Review: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence

I remember the first time I learned the difference between an asset and a liability. Sitting on the couch as a young teenager, I wanted to share my new-found knowledge with my mother. I explained to her the difference between the two knowing that she would be proud of me. She wanted me to make good financial decisions so I didn’t make the same mistakes as her.

My mom introduced me to personal finance at a young age. She wanted me to free myself from the poverty cycle we were in. And I couldn’t do that without making solid financial decisions.

She went through two divorces, bankruptcy, and many other financial challenges that could turn anyone into a victim. My father walked out and later committed suicide for a number of reasons (one being financial obligations). But my mom never became a victim and she found a way to improve her situation. We went from being homeless and broke to living a fulfilled and rich life.

I knew what it was like growing up with nothing, I became obsessed with learning how to equip myself with the right tools to one day become financially free. I read books like the Total Money Makeover, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and Secrets of the Millionaire Mind which all helped build a foundation and are all great books.

However, after reading many books, I felt like I was learning all there was to know about personal finance. How much is there out there on the topic?

I Was Missing Something

I was missing two things: (1) a community of like-minded people and (2) a way to optimize what I knew. Every book kept telling me that if I just save and invest a small percentage I would be financially free. But financial freedom felt so arbitrary and it didn’t feel like I would ever obtain it.

Then one day, in December of 2017, I was just finishing up college, I came across a podcast of a guy that had just quit his job as a pharmacist. I just joined the Millennial Money Man Facebook group and it was around the time he was on the ChooseFI podcast.

I realized there was a living and breathing community of people interested in the exact same things as me. Two podcast episodes later and decided to start from the very beginning on the ChooseFI podcast. I’m glad that I did because my life will never be the same.

I Found My Tribe

Along with a ChooseFI book review, this post is an inside look and review of the FI community.

I’ve since had the chance to meet Brad and Jonathan a few times at FinCon as well as get to know Chris Mamula very well who is a fellow Utahn. (Utah is home even though we currently live in Texas).

I was excited to read the new book they were putting together that gives a great overview of this new movement and what a superpower financial independence can be. This stuff is life-changing.

Before I get into sharing what I love about the ChooseFI book, it’s worth noting that soon after I found the FI community, my mom decided to jump on the bus with me. We’re now currently on this path to financial independence together. She introduced me to personal finance, and I introduced her to financial independence.

Here’s What I Love About the ChooseFI Book

The ChooseFI book gives you a clear framework on how to live a financially independent life. It begins with the “Stages of FI.” These can be compared to the Dave Ramsey “Baby Steps.”

Except these are far from baby steps. These are big boy steps. In my opinion, they’re way more difficult. It’s not simply a matter of becoming debt-free, it’s becoming debt-free and getting to the point where working is optional. Once you reach financial independence, you’ll never have to work another day in your life if you decide not to.

This is what was missing from the idea of becoming financially free. To me, that meant crushing it and buying an island which is something almost no one can achieve.

After telling one of my friends about this online community of people working toward the same goal, he told me was how he liked the idea because it’s something anyone can do.

Reaching financial independence is driven by what your annual expenses are. It forces you to be frugal. What they mention in the book a “Valuist,” which is someone who spends money on what they value and cuts back ruthlessly on the things they don’t.

Minimalism and Simple Living

I appreciate how these guys discuss minimalism and simple living at great length. For me, life was never about making as much money as possible, it was about living a meaningful and intentional life. For years I was promised all of these opportunities to make a bunch of money and was sold this lavish lifestyle that never really appealed to me. My desire was to one day live a life of simplicity and independence like Henry David Thoreau.

One of the biggest advantages of reading this book is the fact that they don’t shy away from the nitty-gritty details. Something most financial books, podcasts, and financial planners stay away from because it doesn’t relate to the masses or they want to hold on to the information themselves.

Advanced Personal Finance Topics

I couldn’t believe the education I was getting from reading and listening to the podcast was free. I was learning more practical and applicable information than in business school or a master’s program in personal financial planning. Things like tax optimization, mega backdoor Roth, sequence of return risk, and different investment strategies. They go into a lot of advanced strategies. But at the same time, they keep it simple and easy for anyone to understand. Plus they talk about ways to increase your income.

I couldn’t get enough of it because it was all geared toward helping me make more money, spend less and enjoy the journey. My wife and I were on a date one night (she was sick of me talking about this), and I told her “I found my tribe, these people get it.”

“I found my tribe, these people get it.”

Even though I’m still getting started in my career and I have faced a lot of challenges in my younger years, I can honestly say I feel very grateful to have learned these things at such a young age because I know what kind of impact it will have on me and my family. These are all principles I want to instill in my son, Everett. Which will hopefully one day become 3rd generation FI.

Get Your Blueprint to Financial Independence Today

ChooseFI Book Review: Your Blueprint For Financial Independence | Simplifinances

If the ChooseFI book is a book you already know you want to purchase, you can go ahead and get it on Amazon by clicking the link below! It makes a great gift for someone you think could benefit from it as well.

Purchase the ChooseFI Book

Here’s What Happened at FinCon 2019

Here’s What Happened at FinCon 2019

FinCon 2019 is where money and media meet. This was the second year I attended the conference. They’ve been bringing together personal finance content creators for the past decade — bloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, financial planners and financial coaches all come together each year to learn strategies on ways to create better content, engage with their audiences, and increase their reach. 

This isn’t a typical financial services conference where most of what is said is boring and dry. I like to think of the conference as a marketing conference because many of the keynotes and breakout sessions discuss things like blogging, how to create better YouTube videos, how to grow your Instagram, and how to grow a financial coaching practice, etc. These are all just a few of the things that were mentioned in many of the breakout sessions.

FinCon 2019 was held in Washington DC and I had a chance to tour the city before the actual conference started last week. I saw the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. It’s an incredible city and reading about the history of the city really opened my eyes and made me feel grateful for what the founding fathers did.

The Lincoln Memorial at FinCon 2019 | Simplifinances

Towards the end of the conference, they announced that FinCon 2020 will be held in Long Beach, California and I’ve already booked my tickets for it. 

What happened at FinCon 2019?

Tuesday

I arrived in Washington DC late Tuesday night and stayed at a cheap hotel the first night called the Baron Hotel. 

Wednesday

On Wednesday morning, I woke up early and decided to go on a run. I hardly ever go running but it felt great running through the city and seeing all of the sites. I ended up walking about 20,000 steps and my feet were killing me. 

After all the sightseeing I made it back to the hotel to check my email and was asked if I would be available to do an interview with Grow which is a partnership between Acorns and CNBC. They wanted to interview an Accredited Financial Counselor about college tuition and helping parents prepare their children for college. I did this interview just after we had a meet up with many Accredited Financial Counselors. 

After the interview, I attended breakout sessions and caught up with people that I had met last year. I walked around to the different exhibits where many big and small companies across the country and even in different parts of the world came to FinCon 2019 to set up a booth and to share their products and services. There are many influencers in the community and many companies like to team up with them through affiliate programs and sponsorships.

Robinhood Came to FinCon 2019

Wednesday night, the opening party was sponsored by Robinhood. They put on a great party at the Smithsonian Native American Museum in downtown Washington DC. They had a live band and a donut wall where you could walk up and grab a donut off the wall and eat it.

I was surprised to see Robinhood at FinCon 2019 because if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time I have talked about how much I like Robinhood. This was their first time that they’ve come to FinCon and they came in storming by having a great party to start the conference off.

I stayed with a group of financial coaches at an Airbnb about a 10-minute walk from the Hilton Hotel. I stayed with Kelsa and Michael Dickey and Jill Emanuel from Fiscal Fitness, Holly Morphew from Financial Impact and Nick Elkins from Teach My Kids Money. It’s a great group of financial coaches and super fun to be around.

Thursday

On Thursday morning, first thing in the morning we had a keynote speaker and it was none other than Ramit Sethi, the author of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich.” He gave an excellent talk about having an abundance mentality. It’s easy for many of the people in the audience to have a scarcity mindset and always be concerned about saving but he said you can only cut back so far but there’s no ceiling on how much money you can make. So if there’s something that you just love to spend money on, imagine what it would feel like to quadruple the amount of spending on that thing. It made me realize that I need to focus more on spending money on the things that I love and relentlessly cutting back on the things that I don’t value.

I made it to a few sessions on How to Launch and Grow Your YouTube channel on a budget by Yanely Espinal from Miss Be Helpful. She did a great job on explaining strategies and things that she has done to grow her reach and her audience on YouTube.

After lunch, I attended another Workshop by Denis Trufin of TruFinancials on how he was able to take YouTube full time with an audience of about 13,000 subscribers.

Thursday night we had a meet up with a bunch of financial coaches put together by Kelsa, Michael and Jill who I was staying with. It was great to see so many financial coaches come out and interact. The number was definitely bigger than what we saw the year before. 

I left the meetup a little early because I was dying to see the new documentary Playing With Fire that I mentioned in my article last year when I attended FinCon.

Playing With Fire

The documentary was great and did a good job shedding some light on the struggles people go through when they start pursuing Financial Independence but at the same time how it liberates you and helps you focus your time and energy on things that truly matter.

Friday

Friday morning I ended up sleeping in really late because I was going to bed at like 1:00 am or 2:00 am in the morning each of the previous nights. I missed everything that was going on Friday morning but did make it to a few more sessions on how to grow your Instagram from Apple Crider. He’s been able to grow his Instagram audience to over 13,000 within the past year doing a few simple things but that require a lot of work.

There was also a great panel put together to discuss how to crack the YouTube game. Jordan Paige from FunCheapOrFree, Jeff Rose from Good Financial CentsRyan Scribner, and Graham Stephan all talked about what they do to grow their influence through YouTube. 

I went to another great session by Tim Schmoyer from Video Creators about how to rank your videos on YouTube and things to look out for in the algorithm. He uploaded his first video in March of 2006 — a few months after YouTube launched. He told us not to focus on the algorithm but to focus on real people.

Friday night, after all the sessions, I attended the Freelancers Marketplace which is a place where companies and brands that need content connect with freelance writers who are looking for opportunities to write and be featured. I went to dinner with my friend Ashley and then headed to the 10th Annual Plutus Awards which celebrates the nominations for best blog, best podcast, etc, from the past year.

Saturday

Saturday morning came around quick and I made it to a session on how to get a book deal, write the book, and crush your launch. I don’t have any plans of coming out with the book anytime soon but it was great to see what goes into it.

I then attended a second session on how to grow your Instagram by Allison Baggerly from The Inspired Budget who gave some more great tips on how she’s been able to grow her audience on Instagram to 85,000 followers.

For lunch on Saturday, I got to sit down with The Budget Mom and pick her brain on how she’s been able to grow such a loyal following and build such a successful business. She shared some things that she’s working on that I’m not going to share with you but let’s just say they’re big. Really big!

The Budget Mom & Simplifinances - FinCon 2019

Saturday afternoon was filled with moments of taking it easy, relaxing and chatting with some friends. We had our closing keynote speakers close out the conference and then to top it all off we finished the conference with an after-party with a DJ, lights and dancing which is always one of my favorite parts. 

Why did I go?

To be honest, the first time I attended FinCon last year I wasn’t quite sure why I was going. I first learned of FinCon at the end of 2017 when the conference was in Dallas, Texas. I thought it might be a good idea to go to the next one which was in Orlando, Florida.

I’m really glad I decided to make the sacrifice to go. Often many first-timers apply for a scholarship and many of them get the conference fee waived their first time. I didn’t get a scholarship my first year because I didn’t apply in time for it. So each time I’ve paid my own conference fee, flights, travel, lodging and food. It’s not cheap or easy to take work off to make it to this conference but it’s definitely been worth it for me because the conference has more than paid for itself through the relationships that I’ve built and the opportunities that have come from it so far.

This has been my review of FinCon 2019 and I’m excited for what’s to come!

How the FaceApp Could Help You Save For Retirement

How the FaceApp Could Help You Save For Retirement

If you took a picture of your face with the FaceApp, the Russians now basically own you. Let’s just say you made a big mistake. But it’s over now and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now that that’s out of the way… Let’s discuss the positive impact the FaceApp can have on helping you save for retirement.

I’m sure you’ve seen the wave of people posting their faces on social media as old people. The first time I saw myself, it made my heart sink. I’m pretty sure that’s what I will actually look like.

Honestly, it was kind of depressing.

I couldn’t help but think what the next 50 years of my life will look like. What sort of impact will I have on the world and what will I be like when I’m 80! The reality is, we’re all going to get old and die.

Countless studies have shown when people become familiar with their future selves, their willingness to save goes up. ForbesCNBC, and US News have written articles about this in the past few years.

It’s hard to think that far into the future. But when we do, we accept the fact that we’re going to get old. Our thinking shifts from short-term thinking to long-term thinking.

How can the FaceApp help motivate you to save for retirement?

How the FaceApp could help you save more for retirment

FaceApp is an app developed by the Russian company Wireless Lab which uses artificial intelligence to generate highly realistic transformations of faces in photographs.

When people see themselves in a highly realistic picture of their old selves it can have a dramatic impact on their current behavior, such as increasing contributions to retirement accounts.

One answer to getting people to save more for retirement is introducing them to their future selves.

“The issue for many is we often get caught up in getting by today, at the expense of our future goals. But the more we can connect ourselves to our future self and goals, the more we will act in alignment with these goals.” Said Jamie Hopkins, Director of Retirement Research at Carson Group.

Research was conducted at UCLA by Professor Hal Hershfield on the healthy upside of thinking about an older you. His main finding was consciously imagining our older self can spur us to take better care of ourselves now. In one experiment, college-age students that were shown aged photos of themselves committed to saving more for retirement.

Some people who experienced this digital interaction basically doubled what they were willing to set aside for retirement as compared to those who did not. But it is not just seeing a future version of yourself that triggers this response, it’s getting connected to that person.

It starts by increasing your connection with the future you, so you are more willing to act on behalf of future goals.

How to become more connected to your future self

How writing a letter to your future self could help you save for retirement

Here’s an exercise for the day. I don’t want you to just read without taking some sort of action.

I’m challenging you to write a letter to your future self. Find 15 minutes of your time to sit down and write a letter yourself. You can choose to have it emailed to you in 1, 3, or even 5 years from now.

This was an exercise I did a few years ago and I’ve had some clients do as well.

I wrote myself a future letter on the day I graduated from the University of Utah. It was delivered to me one year later on May 4th, 2019.

A letter from May 4th, 2018

I graduated from the University of Utah today and I anticipate being in Texas by this time next year working on my Master’s degree. I don’t have a job lined up and I don’t know if I will be able to find one.

Here are my top 2 financial goals I hope to have achieved by this time next year:

1. Save up a $10,000 down payment by May 2019 and buy a house in Texas. ✓

2. Pay off our car loan of $13,000 by this time next year. (Still working on this one).

This letter came at such a surprise because I totally forgot I had written it. I promise you will 100% forget that you wrote this letter.

After you get your letter at some point in the future, I hope that you will let me know!

Conclusion

Get to know your future self. Write a letter to yourself. Look a digitally aged photo of yourself. Then think about how you get from where you are today to where you want to be.

You might get to know your future self and be more likely to save for retirement since that future you might no longer be a stranger.

Have a great week old pal!

If you would like to read more about saving for retirement you can read check out this article.

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