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Beyond Finances

Eric Roberge, CFP & Beyond Your Hammock

20 episodes

Nov 6, 2020

Do You Need a Budget If You're Financially Successful? 

45: You earn good income, have enough money to pay pills and contribute to savings, and feel like you made it. Do you REALLY need to keep up with a budget once you're financially secure?

Uh, yeah. Because budgeting isn't a bad word. It's a mindfulness exercise for your finances.

Although it might feel like budgeting is basic personal finance 101, or that it's only something you do when money is tight and you need to carefully manage every last penny, a budget is always a useful tool for your cash flow.

In fact, the more money you earn and need to manage, the important it is to pay close attention. A budget can help you do just that as you spend more time handling your increasingly complex financial life.

Without a budget, you may miss opportunities to optimize and maximize the dollars you have. It also leaves you without critical data that you need to make fully informed spending and saving decisions.

In this episode, we explore why budgeting is not a basic financial function -- and why the more successful you become and the more money you earn, the bigger the role a great budget can play in your continued prosperity.

We also share how we personally budget, the money meetings we have each quarter, some of the complexities of our own cash flow, and we provide a few tips on employing the same bucketing strategy that we use to ensure we save and invest appropriately so we can spend freely and without guilt.

Jun 26, 2020

So You Want to Make a Speculative Investment 

41: A broad-based, globally diversified portfolio is hands-down the right answer when it comes to growing wealth for the long term. But that doesn't mean other, more speculative and risky investments are always a bad move...

They're just not a great idea most of the time.

Today, we're looking at some alternative ways to invest outside of a globally diversified portfolio, including stock-picking, placing sector bets, private equity and private placement investments, and more.

Generally speaking, these kinds of vehicles are big no-nos for most people. Although it's easy to get swept up into the allure of hitting a home run and scoring an outsized return, the reality is most people swing and miss with investments like this.

In fact, speculative bets are just that: bets in the market, and your odds of winning big are usually not in your favor.

That doesn't mean you can't ever explore investing outside of your trusty diversified portfolio designed to build wealth over the long run, but you must understand all the caveats, pitfalls, and risks you take when you reach out from that core strategy.

In this episode, we explain:

  • Why most people can't afford to take on speculative investments, even if they promise the potential for a big return
  • What you must consider the next time you hear about a "too good to be true" investment opportunity (hint: it sounds too good to be true because it's too good to be true)
  • The questions to ask yourself before you walk out on a limb and take a big risk with an alternative investment
  • The checklist you should be able to complete before you even think about putting your money into high-risk vehicles, as well as helpful rules and guidelines to follow if you want to explore these risky options

If you're curious about investments beyond your globally diversified stock market portfolio, this episode will help you better understand the options that are out there... and why there is no easy way to wealth when it comes to building it yourself.

Jun 12, 2020

Understanding Insurance: What You Need and What You Don't 

In the wake of the pandemic, many people have scrambled to take out insurance policies. But before you buy, make sure you understand the real purpose of a policy so you can choose the best option for your needs.

Insurance is, as Kali puts it, something that can make you go "eurrrgh." It's a product you buy hoping you'll never have to use, which is frustrating enough... but combine it with the fact it forces us to have some really emotional conversations, and it can be tough to think logically about the decision to get a policy.

Today, we're giving you an overview of what to think about as you start protection planning. Specifically, we're taking a look at disability and life insurance, and explaining:

  • The purpose of this insurance, and what it's designed to protect
  • How disability insurance works (and why you may not need short-term, but long-term disability can be critical)
  • Things to consider before buying your disability policy, including elimination periods and riders
  • Who needs life insurance and why
  • What to think through when determining how much life insurance coverage is adequate
  • The kinds of life insurance that are probably most suitable for you (and what's not necessary)
  • What to watch out for when doing financial planning or buying life insurance (here's a hint: if someone offers you "free" financial planning, run!)

We also talk through the policies we have personally, and our thought process on why they were important to put in place — and we make a movie reference or two along the way.

Ready to educate yourself so you can feel empowered to make strategic, sound decisions around the insurance you need (and the coverage you don't)? Tune in now.

May 29, 2020

We Bought a House (in a Pandemic). AMA. 

39: Buying a house is an intensive (and stressful) process in the best of times. Throw in a crashing economy and global pandemicand the fact we don't do anything the "normal" way — and our recent experience got pretty interesting.

Okay, to be fair, the pandemic didn't dramatically change much about the process of buying our first home, mainly because we were already in the middle of trying to close on it (so we had already looked for and found the property that we put an offer on and the sellers accepted).

But that's kind of the bigger point: we believe in our planning so much that not even a global pandemic made us change our minds about the long-term decisions that we were making.

In today's episode, we invite you to learn about all the unique, outside-the-box thinking and actions we took to buy our first home together. In this conversation, we'll cover:

  • Our thought process on getting the most bang for our buck when we decided to purchase real estate
  • What we prioritized before we agreed we could buy a property and why we still see massive value in renting even now that we're officially home owners
  • Why we didn't buy in Boston (or anywhere near where we currently live and still rent)
  • The difference between real estate as an investment, and real estate as a utility — and which one this house is for us
  • The distinction between luck and skill/smart planning, and what will get the credit if the house ends up being a great investment in 30 years
  • The financial criteria we had to meet before buying a house was feasible and worked for our financial plan

Finally, we leave you with the biggest lesson we hope you can learn from our experience with the process of buying a house. Curious about what it is? You'll have to tune in to find out.

May 1, 2020

5 Ways to Elevate and Optimize Your Finances 

37: Let's go beyond the basics to look at how you can optimize your savings, get strategic with debt, and level up how you invest to grow wealth.

There’s no shortage of podcasts or blogs that cover simple pieces of advice and the same basic money moves to make: pay down debt, save up cash, invest for the future, and so on.

So today, we want to kick it up a notch and help you see how you can go from good money move, to BETTER move, to best, most optimized strategy to use in your financial plan.

We're going to look at 5 good pieces of financial advice… and then tell you how to optimize each aspect of your financial life. We'll cover:

  • How to pay off debt in the most efficient way and what you should know before you refinance — and when you might want to leverage debt to grow wealth instead.
  • The steps to take with your retirement accounts (beyond just saving enough to get the employer match) and how to create a big pool of money in your retirement plan that won't be taxed when you withdraw your funds.
  • Why you need to balance the temporal weight of your tax liability across present and future.
  • What you can do to make sure you're truly diversified when you invest, and how to make your investments more tax-efficient (so you keep more of your return in your pocket).
  • The specific actions you need to take to optimize your investment portfolio.
  • Things to think through when it comes to maximizing how much money you can earn, through a corporate job or on your own in self-employment.

Ready to optimize your finances and do more with your money?

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