The Personal Finance Podcast

How to Pay No Taxes in Early Retirement, Debunking the Mortgage Fee Fiasco, and More! With Katie Gatti (From Money With Katie!)

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we’re gonna talk to Katie Gaddy about how to pay no taxes in early retirement.

In this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk to Katie Gaddy about how to pay no taxes in early retirement.

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On this episode of the Personal Finance Podcast, we're gonna talk to Katie Gaddy about how to pay no taxes in early retirement.

What's up everybody, and welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. I'm your host Andrew, founder of Master money.co. And today on the Personal Finance podcast, we're gonna talk to Katie Gaddy about how to pay no taxes in early. For retirement. If you guys have any questions, make sure to hit us up on Instagram, TikTok at Master Money Co.

And follow us on Spotify, apple Podcast or whatever podcast player you love listening to this podcast on. And if you want to help out the show, leave a five star rating and review on Apple Podcast. Or Spotify or whatever podcast player you love listening to this podcast on as well. Today we are talking to Katie about how to pay no taxes in early retirement, and I am really, really excited for this episode.

If you don't know who Katie is, she is also the host of the Money with Katie Show, and she does an amazing job at doing deep dives when it comes to personal finance. But in addition, she's also really relatable on how she started to build wealth and how she started to build her generational wealth. And how she started to build generational wealth, and we're gonna get into some of that today.

In addition, we're gonna go through the process of how to set up your accounts in early retirement so that you can pay no taxes and some of the pros and cons of having brokerage accounts. We're gonna talk about 401ks, IRAs, all those different things. In addition, we're gonna break down the mortgage fi fiasco, and if you haven't, Seen this, or you didn't see me posting on Instagram, TikTok, or some of the other places.

We've been talking about this. Inside of that mortgage fee issue, there has been an image circulating around the internet that we're gonna dive into that basically states that people with higher credit scores may have to pay more fees when they go and get a mortgage. And we're gonna talk about why this is not true, and we're gonna dive deep into that.

And then lastly, we're gonna talk about Ramit Safety's new Netflix episode, how To Get Rich and why that's so important for a personal finance show to be trending on Netflix. So I am really excited for you guys to hear. This episode, I don't wanna take any more of your time. So without further ado, let's welcome Katie to the Personal Finance podcast.

So Katie, welcome to the Personal Finance Podcast. Thanks for having me, Andrew. I'm really happy to be here. We are really excited to have you here cuz we actually pulled our audience probably at the beginning of the year and they asked which guest do you actually want us to have on this podcast? And you were one of the top requested guests to come on really.

So I'm sure our audience is gonna be really excited too, but this is gonna be really, really fun. So, oh my gosh, that's so sweet. Exactly, and I'm so excited to kind of talk through some of this stuff cuz I think you're a really deep thinker when it comes to personal finance and that is something that I truly, truly have come to appreciate and I think it's very, very cool some of the stuff that you're putting out too.

So we're gonna talk about some of that today. But first, before we dive in, can you tell us a little bit about what you do and the backstory with money with Katie, I. Yeah, absolutely. Well, I have a feeling it's probably similar to your own backstory, but I think for me, money with Katie started because I was trying to solve my own problem, which was I now have this corporate job, I have this income that as someone that had formerly only ever made $12 an hour, felt like, oh my God, I'm a Kardashian.

I was making $52,000, and it's like, wow, I'm gonna be able to save money so effortlessly. This is gonna be fantastic. Stick and w w a few months pass, and I'm like, oh, uh, yeah, the whole not having a proactive strategy thing. Not working out for me, so I didn't really know where to start. But fortunately, there is such a wealth of information about personal finance online and I kind of just started asking around, getting some recommendations from friends.

I started listening to choose fi, so my introduction to personal finance was very hardcore. Not that Brad and Jonathan are hardcore, but just that fire financial independence, retire early, is a very extreme version of personal finance. So I kind of. I always like to joke that it's like I wanted to take up rock climbing and then I was like, and then I hired Alex Honnold to teach me.

Exactly. It's like you just go straight into the deep end. So then I kind of have over the years adapted that philosophy to more fit my own personality and beliefs and what works for me. But I, after the course of learning about it for a few years, just really recognized the power of financial information.

And it became super clear to me that if you can master this stuff early in life, you will truly change the trajectory of your entire life and the quality of life that you're able to live night and day. And it was just amazing because a lot of the changes were not that extreme. You didn't have to make six figures, you didn't have to.

Only eat rice and beans. I mean, they were small tweaks in a lot of cases and just little optimizations here and there that had disproportionate parabolic effects. And I really wanted to share that with people and particularly I. Other young women because it felt to me that there were a lot of other young people and young women that I was friends with that were kind of in the same boat.

They were making enough money to make progress, but they didn't really know what step to take next. And that's really how money with Katie came to be. And that's an amazing story cuz I think going along those lines, mine's very similar in the same way where I kind of started it. I'm a little older than you, so I started with Mr.

Money Mustache and kind of grew into choose that file. Oh. So which absolutely amazing. Which is kind of like the same path where you just go all in at the very beginning there. Mm-hmm. And then develop mine kind of over that same timeframe. But I think what you are doing is you really dive deep into some of this stuff and you really go deep, which is really, really amazing for a lot of people.

They want to go deeper into some of this. And I think that's what you really are doing well right now, which is absolutely amazing. And one big thing that you talk about is you have an episode called How to Pay No Taxes in Early Retirement. I think this is a fantastic episode. I think everybody who is listening to this podcast needs to go listen to that after they hear this.

And you kind of go through how you can actually reduce the amount of money that you're paying in taxes in retirement. And as we go through this, the first thing we kind of have to structure is figure out how, what accounts we need to utilize in order to do this. And you talk about having the taxable brokerage account, which for people listening who don't know what.

That is a taxable brokerage account is just when you open up your account anywhere, fidelity, Vanguard, or wherever else it is. That's just the standard brokerage account that you can open. Then we have our Roth accounts, which obviously grow tax free, and then we have our pre-tax accounts, IRAs, 401ks is how we can kind of set this up and think through this a little bit.

So can you kind of talk through how we can set these accounts up before we kind of dive into how this is going to work? Yeah, totally. So I feel like it is req a required preface here, or a disclaimer that this is in my mind, kind of like the super mega nerd, you wanna be as optimized as possible, never pay a cent in taxes in retirement version of events, but, If you're like, I'm not trying to get it, you know, perfectly fine tuned and locked in.

I just kind of wanna have some tips and tricks along the way. You can kind of take this as far as you want, so if someone's already overwhelmed by the sounds of this, just know you don't have to execute it perfectly to see the benefit. So yes, you've hit on the major high points, which are, we need a taxable account, we need Roth accounts, and we need pre-tax accounts.

The reason we need all three tax statuses is because it gives us maximum flexibility when we are performing a drawdown later in life. So, The funny thing about the way the US tax system works that I'm not sure how familiar your listeners are. They're probably pretty dang familiar with the US tax system by this point, but the US tax code taxes, different types of income differently, and there are different thresholds over which you're gonna start to see the taxes go up.

And so when you have taxable money, Roth money or tax-free money and tax deferred or pre-tax money, you can. Kind of combine them in a strategic way such that you are avoiding crossing over any of the thresholds that would then trigger taxes to begin or to rise. So that's kind of the overarching thought process that goes into this, but it is an amazing structure for someone that does not have earned income from other sources.

So, Typically this is gonna be early retirees or I think real estate would still, if you had real estate income, it would still work. Cause I know some real estate income you don't have to pay taxes on. But I'm not as clear on real estate income tax. So I think this is like if you are just someone that is only living off of investments, this should work well.

Exactly, and I think that is one of the big keys to this, and you hit the nail on the head, is the word flexibility. Because when it comes to personal finance, we talk about this all the time on this podcast, you want to be as flexible as you possibly can with some of this stuff so that you have all the options available to you.

And that's kind of what having these three buckets allows you to do between these three accounts. And we're gonna talk about why it's important to have all these three accounts here in a second. So it kind of will come full circle for people, but at the same time, you nailed it. It's that flexibility that you really want to have.

So in order to achieve this, and we've talked about this on this podcast once before, but we're gonna kind of dive even deeper on this, is you wanna do something called a Roth conversion Ladder. Mm-hmm. So can you explain how the Roth Conversion Ladder works and then maybe some of the tips that we can kind of use to utilize this?

Yeah, definitely. So a Roth conversion ladder is, A fancy technique and we'll break down each component of this. So there's two pieces. There's the Roth conversion and then there's the ladder component. We're gonna set the ladder on the back burner. We're just gonna focus on the Roth conversion, the Roth conversion.

Is how you take pre-tax, tax-deferred money, a k A, the money that you've been contributing to your traditional 401k and how you turn it into Roth money. Now, if I were to do this today in my current tax bracket with my earned income, my husband and I both work, right? We are in our peak earning years. So if I were to take money in that traditional 401k and try to convert it to Roth right now, I would pay a really heavy tax burden on that conversion because, It basically just gets stacked on top of all your other income and hits that top marginal tax rate.

Not ideal. However, we know that if you are already early retired, well, you don't have any earned income, and not only do you not have any earned income, you still get your standard deduction. So, For singles in 2023, your standard deduction is $13,850 per year, and for married filing jointly, it's $27,700.

This is a very powerful tool that we're going to utilize for our Roth conversion In this hypothetical, Because that standard deduction effectively just wipes that income off the top of your income. So it helps when you're earning money, right? But it really helps when you're trying to do Roth conversions and you have no other earned income.

So let's say my husband and I this year, you know, Jan won. We have quit our jobs. We have no earned income this year. What we would do is we would take that $27,700 amount out of a traditional account. And we would convert it to Roth. Now, by doing so, we have effectively used our standard deduction in a year where we have no other earned income to get a free Roth conversion.

We're taking money that went into an account tax free, grew tax free, and now we're converting it to tax free withdrawal eligibility. By using the standard deduction for free, which is pretty powerful. And I think one of the coolest little loopholes that still exists out there for normal people to be able to leverage most tax loopholes, only work for super rich people.

So like the fact that your normal person can take advantage of this is great. And so once we've got that standard deduction, you know, Roth conversion completed. We just have to wait for it to settle. So this is kind of the second half of the equation where, all right, we've made the conversion, we've paid no taxes on it.

We now have this chunk of Roth money, but we have to wait five years to access that money. It's just baked into the rule that you have to let Roth conversion settle for five years before you can touch them. But the magic here is that I'm 28, right? So someone might be thinking, how are you gonna do this in a four You're 28, you're not 59 and a half.

Well, we know that any money that is considered the cost basis in a Roth I r A, the money that you put into the Roth I r A, you can take that out whenever that's chill, right? Because you've already paid taxes on it. The IRS is like, cool. You want to touch that? Do your thing. Wouldn't recommend touching it early, but you could if you wanted to.

In the process of completing a Roth conversion, we have now turned that standard deduction size chunk of our 401k into the cost basis in a Roth ira. So after those five years, when it settles, now that money is yours to have. You can withdraw it, you can use it, you can let it sit there and grow. It doesn't matter.

But now you've kind of subverted the age limit situation or the age minimum situation by completing the Roth conversion. So the Roth conversion does a lot of things for us as early. Retirees. Now, I know that's a lot to kind of close the loop here. The latter aspect just refers to the fact that you're gonna do this every year.

So every single year you're gonna convert your standard deduction size chunk, and over time that 401K or I R A, the traditional account is gonna get smaller and smaller and smaller. Your Roth, you know, So stockpile is gonna get higher and higher and higher, and theoretically you are paying little to no taxes on any of those conversions starting in year six.

You can use your first conversion from year one, so on and so forth. And this is just such a beautiful strategy for people who are interested in financial independence annual retirement, because you can utilize that standard reduction as your guideline and then convert that money over and do this Roth conversion ladder.

Now, the key here is a lot of people are asking this question, when we did this episode the first time, this was the biggest question that we got back was, mm-hmm. If you're. Gonna wait that five year period because you have to wait five years. Obviously when you put that money into the Roth ira. It's just the IRS rules.

It's what you have to do. You have to let that money cool off is an easy way to say it. Then when you have that period there within those first five years of retirement, yeah. How do you actually live on some of your investments? Do you look at other accounts or how do you actually work through that is one of the biggest things.

And how does the taxable brokerage account kind of factor into this? Totally. So I think this is where we get into the world of you can be as optimized as possible and really stay super closely to this no taxes thing, which is one thing that we'll talk about. Or you could have part-time income from somewhere, and still the total of like your part-time income on this conversion added together is still probably gonna be a lot smaller of a tax burden than.

What you're probably earning right now working full-time and like really trying to ascend to get your income as high as possible because in early retirement you're just trying to make enough that you can support your lifestyle. You're not trying to save additional money, which obviously is gonna make it a little bit easier.

So like we said, there's a spectrum here of flexibility and optimization. You can really take it wherever you want, but. I think if you're really trying to go hardcore, this is where the tax bill brokerage account comes in and our long-term capital gains tax brackets. So I consider this a bit of an art and a science because the science is very clear that these tax advantaged accounts are gonna give you the biggest bang for your buck.

But where the art comes in is that, like you said, Andrew, we really value flexibility. We need flexibility, particularly in years one through five, when we can't touch the tax advantage stuff yet. So this is where your taxable brokerage account comes into play and why it is still important to fund one when you are in that accumulation phase.

Why you want a healthy taxable brokerage account? So when you are leveraging your standard deduction, well, it's kind of for all of the entire time you're converting that 4 0 1 , but especially in years one through five, you're gonna be using that. 13,008 50 if you're single or 27, 7 if you're married for the conversion.

But you get to stack the long-term capital gains tax brackets on top of that. So we know that if you are drawing down capital gains, you're gonna pay 0% on the first, I think 42 k if you're single. And I wanna say it's like up to. 89 or 90 K. Now if you're married, I don't know the exact numbers, but it's a lot.

Like most people can probably, as long as it's just you or you and a spouse and you're not supporting a brute of children, most people can probably live on $90,000 of capital gains per year. Right. And so we can back into the type of. Math that we would need to tell us how large a taxable brokerage account would have to be to spin off those types of gains every year.

But the important thing is that it doesn't have to be able to support that kind of spending forever. It just has to get you to bridge the gap basically until the Roth conversions and your original Roth IRA from when you were working and contributing can kind of take over. And the longer it can support you, the better because that gives those Roth dollars more and more time to compound tax free.

But really it's kind of a numbers game at that point of how old are you, when are you retiring, and then when do you turn 59 and a half, and when are you really gonna probably start looking at other things like your original Roth IRA to support you? But I would say it's, you definitely want enough in that tax bill brokerage account to support years one through five and then any supplemental spending beyond that.

Uh, which really I guess is just the difference between the Roth conversion amount and what you're spending on an annual basis. So the less you spend, the easier it is. But I know that that's not everybody has like lean fire aspirations. I personally have fat fire aspirations. Same here. And that mine kind of developed over time, where I was lean fire very early on and then it just kind of went straight to fat fire, which is a very interesting thing, which for most people, if the goalpost moves, that's okay.

It happens. It's one of the things that you kind of have to think through. So this is a beautiful, beautiful thing because that taxable brokerage, if you can utilize those long-term capital gains, you really have a lot of money that you can play with here. Mm-hmm. In this situation. And in addition, if you need to work, or you can do something like barista fire where you do something you enjoy, maybe you love yoga or you teach yoga for that timeframe.

Mm-hmm. Or you can do something that you love. And at the. Same time still be able to kind of reap the rewards of financial freedom while doing something you love. And if you are someone who is kind of getting close to this timeframe and you're thinking through, Hey, I did not really save enough into my taxable brokerage account to bridge this five years, well, if you have something like an HSA and you have some qualified medical expenses that you can utilize, yeah, that's a third option that you have available to you where you can kind of withdraw that money if you've saved those qualified medical expenses.

A lot of people in their younger years don't have a ton of qualified medical expenses, but if you do, that's another option that you have available to you to kind of bridge this gap. If you don't wanna grow that HSA long term. So that's a third option. Yeah. That you can also have available to. I would also add one other thing too, is that even if you're not using all of the money, that even if the top of the 0% capital gains tax bracket, like maybe you can withdraw 90 K cuz you're married, you only need 50 k.

Still withdraw all of 90 K, get your full 0% capital gains and then reinvest what you're not using. Cuz it'll just raise the cost basis on those investments. So there's another little hack there. Absolutely. That's a great ad as well. I would definitely do that if you are kind of in this situation, that is a perfect thing to add in there.

So one piece that I wanna talk about here too is if you're like me, you know, I have accounts all over the place and I have way too many accounts. Yeah. I test out accounts for people to kind of talk through some of 'em and, and kind of go through that whole thing. But when we're in fire, financial independence, we wanna kind of simple.

Simplify our lives a little bit more. Mm-hmm. So we can have more flexibility, obviously, at the same time. So is there something that you recommend when it comes to kind of simplifying here? Like do you wanna just have one Roth, one ira, or how do you kind of think through that? That's a really good question.

I am similar in that I also, because I'm always like, Ooh, I wanna try out this brokerage, or I wanna see what this brokerage's signup processes like. So I'm gonna open this account with them. But I tend to think about it like, especially when I. Kind of project these fantasies onto my future. I'm like, all right, what I'm probably gonna try to do is for both my husband and I have those three standard buckets where we're gonna have, we'll probably each have a rollover ira, because obviously once you're leaving work, he has a T S P, cuz he's in the military.

I have a 401k cause I'm in the private sector. But you'll roll over those accounts into IRAs that you were managing. So having one kind of pre-tax bucket and. Hopefully you will be able to consolidate if you've got several IRAs laying around or several pre-tax buckets from previous jobs that are kind of sitting there, solo 401k, step IRAs.

It's helpful to kind of get it all in one place. Just for simplicity's sake, like you said. I would say the one exception is that you probably want two Roth IRAs because you want a Roth bucket that represents the money that you had been contributing throughout your entire career. That is effectively not Roth conversions, but just straight up Roth contributions from the jump, because that's the account that you're probably gonna use last in your life, like once you've exhausted everything else, or maybe.

When you turn 65, I'm making this up, you decide, Hey, I've had that Roth IRA compounding for decades. It is a gargantuan and I wanna buy a new dream home and I need 300 grand for a down payment. Well, you don't wanna declare $300,000 in income in a single year, so you're probably not gonna wanna sell that out of a 401K or a taxable account, but, If you have a Roth IRA that's worth a million dollars, that's a pretty good place to then take a $300,000 one-time distribution cuz you're not gonna pay taxes on that.

So I would kind of think about setting that Roth IRA aside and then opening a new Roth I rra for those conversions. Once you start doing them, cuz then that's just gonna be a little bit easier to. Track them cuz they'll be separate in one account and you'll not have that kind of like mingled money situation happening.

But yes, ideally, I think to simplify them where you can group accounts together or combine them by their tax status, the easier time you're gonna have managing your overall asset allocation too. And obviously that's gonna be. You know, per person, so you can't have a joint i r a. Yeah, you can't have a joint.

I r a. So both people in the couple, assuming they both worked or were contributing, are probably gonna have their own. I would say that's four accounts total. Right? If you were to do as much consolidating as possible for each, and then eight between you. Absolutely. I completely agree in that situation too, to have those two Ross, just to compartmentalize what you're doing.

One's kind of for that wealth building portion there. And then one is just to draw down just to make it way, way easier. Otherwise you're gonna have to figure out and do a bunch of math and spreadsheets and stuff like that. And for most people, they don't wanna do that at all. So to kind of bring all this together, if anybody is listening to this and they're like, well, I would love to have an example available to this Katie's episode on this has an example.

She does a great example there. So if you wanna go listen to that, we'll link it up down the show notes below so that you can check that out as well. And you can kind of go through that example, cuz I think that's a great. Eight way to kind of illustrate and bring all of this together so that people can kind of see how this works.

So Katie, I wanna shift gears here because you did a great deep dive on the Mortgage Fi fiasco. And we did a question on, uh, TikTok and Instagram kind of talking about this. And a lot of people started to freak out and say, I'm gonna thank my credit score. Here's all these different things than scenarios that they were kind of thinking through.

So I kind of wanna lay this out for people and it's not actually what it looks like and that's kind of the key to, to know about this. So I'm gonna kind of describe this image if anybody hasn't seen it yet. And then we can kind of dive in on some of the specifics here for it. So there's an image that came out.

It looks like it's from Fox News, and it's a new mortgage fee structure and it says six 20 FCO score gets a 1.75% fee discount, and a seven 40 FCO score pays a 1% fee. So obviously if you look at this at the surface, you're thinking mm-hmm. To yourself, well, why do I even. Work hard to build up this credit score and have good credit and all this available.

Yeah. But obviously this cannot be true. This is not one of those things where it's actually not what it looks like on the surface. So can you kind of dive into some of the specifics on this and why it may not be true? Yeah, man, this was crazy because I remember when I first saw the screen grab, I was like, what in the hell is this?

I was like, there is no way, because just to kind of set the stage, I mean credit scores as a mechanism for determining how expensive it is for you to borrow money that's in place to protect the lender, right? The lender is not going to extend capital more cheaply to someone that it deems a riskier borrower.

That doesn't make any sense. So right away, you know, something is not quite right. But I think the reason this freaks so many people out is because when you buy a home and you. Particularly when you take out money to buy a home, as most of us do, you have to take out a mortgage. That is one of the most complex financial transactions that is considered super commonplace and super normal, but it's very complicated and.

I think when people see percentages, they immediately start going to, oh, this is my interest rate. So if I'm taking this at face value, that means people with a lower credit score are getting a discount on their interest rate. That's 1.75% and I have a higher credit score, so I'm gonna pay 1% more. Well, how much sense does that make?

Absolutely none. Right? But it's referring to the loan level price adjustment fees. So this is something that kind of came out of 2008, which as we all know, Very risky lending environment. The origins of the Ninja Loan, where really anyone with a pulse could walk in and be like, I want a house. They'd be like, here, have a million dollars.

So that was the environment in which these fees were born that basically adjusts the interest rate that you're gonna pay. By, I don't know, between 25 and 250 basis points we'll say. So it's not insignificant, but it's also nowhere near the most impactful part of your loan and the interest rate that you're gonna get.

So anyway, all of that background out of the way. What happened was, Sally Mae basically has a chart that you can look up that it's, you know, the rows going across are credit score ranges, and then the columns going down. These are the fees that you are gonna pay in addition to the interest rate that you're gonna get from this lender based on how much you are putting down.

So, If you look at that top row for seven 80 and above, they have by far the lowest fees. If you are a seven 80 or above borrower under these new rules and you put 20% down, your fee went down, you're gonna pay less now than you were before. If you're putting 25% down, you're gonna pay zero in these new fees.

So that group seven 80 and above, generally benefited. If you look at the very bottom row, which I wanna say is like 6 39 and below, they are paying by far the highest fees, in some cases fees that are 10 times as high as their high credit friends. And then everyone in the middle. It kind of is this graduated system where the lower you're scored, the more you're gonna pay.

The higher you're scored, the less you're gonna pay what got everyone riled up. And the reason why it became this thing of like, oh, higher scores now have higher fees is because for. Like one subset, I think it's probably like high 600 s to low 700 s. Their fee. Little add-on incrementally went up by like 25 basis points, and then the fees for some of the lower credit borrowers incrementally went down.

But the absolute fees are still much, much higher for the lower credit. Borrowers. So the kind of conclusions and the jokes that people were drawing about, well, shit, I'm not gonna pay off any of my cards. I'm not gonna, I mean I'm gonna tank my credit score cause I'm gonna pay a lower fee. Not the case.

You are still very much incentivized to have at least a seven 80 and to put more down than less. However, I see why people are frustrated because if you are a, we'll, say maybe you're 25 and you've been saving for a long time, you're gonna put 10% down on your first house and you have a 700 credit score, your fee incrementally went up.

So that doesn't feel good, and I completely understand why people are upset about that. But at the end of the day, these are fees around the margins. They're not. Going to, in my mind, meaningfully impact affordability for anyone, even the people that this is intended to help. And I think in a perfect world, the question that I'm asking when I'm looking at this is like, Hey, let's make sure that we're not losing the forest for the trees here because.

We know the lending environment that these fees were introduced in, and we're not in it anymore. If we're really trying to meaningfully impact affordability. Is it time to revisit these fees in the first place? Like should there still be low level price adjustment fees for first time homeowners that have scores above 700?

Like maybe not, but. It's been an interesting dynamic to watch play out, that's for sure. Exactly. And that's kind of what it bakes down to is it's just a marginal difference and for most people that don't even follow into that category and that marginal difference mm-hmm. Just really is not a big deal for a lot of people.

And the fees overall are kind of what the big deal actually is. And I think they probably need to reevaluate how that's gonna happen, how long that'll take. We don't know, but mm-hmm. That's one of those things, if they really want that affordability to be available, then you gotta make that adjustment on some of those fees.

So not everybody shares passion about personal finance like you and I do. I deep dive into Warren Buffet's, you know, let. Errors every single year for funsies. Oh. Um, so like it's one of those things that, you know, you and I probably, you know, we love doing this kind of stuff. Yeah. But for everybody else who doesn't love this stuff, if you go read through those mortgage documents, I mean, it's not really that fun of a read for most people.

So, and you know, you took the time to kind of dry. It is. It really is. But you know, you took the time to dive in there. I read through 'em all as well. And it's one of those things that if people aren't interested in the topic, how can they kind of navigate between some of this stuff so that they can avoid some of these mistakes, like tanking their credit score because they saw one graphic image online.

Totally. That's a great question. My husband says this all the time, and I think he's absolutely right that the news in general, it doesn't just tell you how to think about certain things, but it tells you what to think about. It tells you what's important and. I think it's important to be skeptical of that and to remember the incentive structure at play with popular media on both sides of the aisle, right?

Eyeballs, clicks, outrage. I think they've done studies that like news that makes you angry is the best for their business. So anything that could be construed as negative or unfair or unjust is always going to be a headline. And I think in cases like this, common sense goes a really, really long way. Now, in this case, there was a kernel of truth that certain fees were gonna be relatively lowered and certain fees were gonna be relatively higher.

But having the common sense and the kind of the distance from it to step back and go, now wait a minute though. Does that really make sense that my high credit score is going to get me a worse interest rate than someone that has a low credit? Well, no, probably not. So whether or not that means you are gonna sit down and like read through the documentation and see how it's actually gonna affect you, or that means you're gonna say, you know what, I'm gonna cross this bridge when and if I get to it.

You know, if you already have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage, this doesn't impact you. At all and like Exactly. You shouldn't lose sleep over it if you're taking out a loan next week. Yeah. You might wanna look up the chart and be like, all right, how is this gonna impact my particular situation? Is this going to impact affordability for me at all?

But I do think it's always helpful to come at things with a bit of a cynical lens. I feel like there's been a lot of instances like this recently from both sides where I remember there was another thing where it was like, ah, millennials are all living at home cause they're buying luxury handbags. And I was like, bro, that does not pass the sniff test.

There has got to be more to that story than what is running in all these major newspapers. And sure enough, you look into the data and it's like, oh no, not at all the. Subset of millennials who are living at home and the subset of very, very wealthy millennials that are buying all these luxury handbags.

This is, this Venn diagram is two completely separate circles. Like these are not the same group, but again, anything that's gonna spark outrage, feel unfair, kind of. So dissemination like those are the things that drive clicks. And so just generally, I don't wanna say general dis. Trust, cuz that's kind of overly cynical and harsh.

But I think just like a healthy level of skepticism and well, hey, let me like look into that a little bit deeper if I think it's gonna impact me. That goes a really long way. It truly does. And I agree with you to kind of look at it from a, a sinful lens in terms of most situations, especially when it comes to the news, like on TV and stuff like that.

Yeah. Where, uh, you really just wanna focus on the things that you can control and what truly impacts you. And outside of that, like you said, it just doesn't really matter if it doesn't impact you directly at this point in time. If it comes up. Later in the future, then you can kinda look into it and kind of see what's going on there.

But at the same time, you just really wanna look at it from a, a different lens and make sure that you're actually kind of doing some of the due diligence there. And I mean, like that's not to say, I think it's extremely important that the American citizens hold politicians feet to the fire and that we have these conversations and that we're politically engaged and.

That we care about systemic issues and try to change them, absolutely. But when it comes to the psychological impacts of self-efficacy and feelings that you have control over your own life, individual solutions can be very, very powerful. And I think like if a friend came to you and said, Hey man, I'm really having a hard time.

I'm in a rut. I'm struggling. Like, would you say, well, you know, the election's not for three more years, so hang in. No, of course not. Like you're not gonna tell him to wait until you're gonna say, well, hey, like, are you sleeping enough? How are you eating? Are you exercising? Are you getting enough sunlight?

How's work going? Have you tried to talk to somebody? You're gonna immediately start trying to help them find things that can individually help them. And I think that that's the same attitude that we kind of have to take with these types of things. Where immediately when I'm looking at this chart, the takeaway that I have is, all right, I gotta keep it above seven 80.

If I'm gonna borrow money and I gotta put at least 20% down and then this doesn't impact me at all. It's not negative for me at all. That's the arena of control that I can exert over the situation. I'm not taking out a mortgage anytime soon, cuz Have you seen the interest rates? Exactly. That's not happening, but like, In this particular instance, if that is your situation, I think we overlook sometimes just how much psychologically simpler it is to be like, what can I control and how can I make those changes?

And then just move on and focus on more important things. Exactly, and I think that's the key. I like that term arena of control. Mm-hmm. I think that's kind of the key there when you're kind of looking through this as well, is just what kind of impacts you directly, but also kind of diving deeper and if it doesn't pass the smell test when you're looking at it, if it just doesn't make sense for some reason.

Mm-hmm. That's kind of an indication. Maybe you should dive a little deeper and kind of look into it as you go forward there. So another thing that you did recently is you went to Ramit's How To Get Rich Premier Party. Oh yeah. This is a really cool thing that you got to do because Ramit has a major impact on my financial philosophies now.

He was one, obviously. If you look at someone who's kind of questioned some of the things that we were just talking about here, uh, Ramit's a major factor in something like that, hate this conversation. He would be like, don't worry about all the taxes. What are you talking about? This is crazy. Like he would be, he would think this is.

Such overkill. He, he definitely would. He's not about optimization on this kind of stuff at all whatsoever. Which is funny. So when we're looking at some of this stuff, he had a major impact on me. And I know for you, you said, I've heard you talk about, you found Choose Fi and then you read how to or Ramit's book.

Yeah. Um, a little bit later on. That was a major impact on me too, was his book and just the systems that he puts into place and how he kind of simplifies all of this stuff. And really the psychology behind it. The psychology that he kinda leads with, with his dream life and all that other. Or with your rich life and all that other stuff, um, that he kind of goes into is really, really powerful.

And so one cool thing about this though is that he has this Netflix documentary that's really trending online and it started with, you know, get good with money. If you look at Tiffany Aliche and, and Paula and all them, yeah, they had their Netflix documentary and now Ramit is doing really, really well.

So, Talk about kind of meeting someone who had a big impact on your career first, and then we'll kind of get into some other stuff on this. Yeah. It's so cool to watch him really skyrocket now to the top of the mountaintop in a more mainstream way, because I think amongst the personal finance community, he's already kind of a rockstar and considered like the tippy top.

And you see his philosophy in so many of the new guard yourself. Me, I think about all the people that are kind of leading the charge in this generation. The younger millennials, I'll say, are those a little bit younger than Ramit? Who? You really can just feel how much they've been impacted by him because we all say very similar things, that he was kind of the first to introduce this, like, you know, focus on the $30,000 questions, not the $3 questions that one comes to mind.

And same with this idea of the amount of money you have in the bank is highly uncorrelated to your feelings about money. There are so many things that he has introduced that have really, they've had a lot of staying power, so, It was pretty surreal to meet him in person. But more than that, it's just been really cool to watch now that he's 20 years into his career, how far he's really taken it and just the consistency that it takes.

But like, look at him now, it's the number six show on Netflix. It's positively impacting, I'm sure millions of people that have probably never thought about personal finance that critically before that are now. Thinking about their money in a new way, and I think it says a lot about the cultural moment that we're in too.

That money is something that can have a hit TV show on Netflix and it's really exciting. I think it's cool that this is happening for him and I'm just so happy to see. See someone that I think is very deserving and it really just has their messaging and their philosophy so incredibly locked in To watch that come to fruition at scale is amazing.

Exactly. It's one of the things where people listening, if you've never heard Ramer, if you've never read his book or anything like that, he was the original person who kind of thought through, Hey, Why don't we start spending our money on our values instead of spending it, you know, just kind of cutting back and spending, cutting out coffees and lattes and all that other kind of stuff where he would kind of challenge those conventional wisdom types of things that were in play back then.

I mean, he's been doing it now for over 20 years, which is amazing. It feels like it's been flying by, but he just got all those original philosophies. You can see it kind of oozing. Through, like you said, the millennial generation, a lot of people that are up and coming now. Mm-hmm. Because of his original philosophies that he had there.

So obviously this show is now trending on Netflix. It is, you know, in the top 10. It's been there for a while now. So why is it so important, in your opinion, for a personal finance show to be trending on Netflix? Yeah. Well, because I think that's how most people who don't have an innate curiosity about these things, that's how they find information.

Like I remember I've seen things on Netflix that otherwise, if it had not caught my eye and hadn't been packaged in such an entertaining way, I would've never learned about it. Things like. Health and fitness and diet. I've seen some really fascinating documentaries on Netflix about those things. Those are not things that I would typically just think to go research on my own, cuz I don't care that much.

But when they were positioned that way, it's like, oh wow. It's almost like a Trojan horse for the information or history. I'm not gonna sit there and go Google. The aftermath of nine 11 and what the US government did. But now I know a ton about it cuz I've seen amazing documentaries on Netflix about it.

So I think it's super important because for all my blind spots, personal finance might not be one of them. That might be the area where I'm curious enough to go look it up myself, but it's an incredibly important thing that is a blind spot for a lot of people. And so if it is the Trojan horse that kind of introduces it to you and gets you interested and gets you thinking about these things so that you feel comfortable enough to go deeper.

I think it's gonna have a really lasting impact. Absolutely. And I think it is so important. One of the cool things about this is that you get to see real people's finances. Yeah. And you and I get to see this probably all day long. We get dms all the time from people, you know, asking specific questions.

Mm-hmm. And they talk about their finances in those dms. But at the same time, it is so fascinating to see it kind of play out in their faces and how it kind of works through that. Yeah. When you kind of watch the documentary, so. That is one thing that I think a lot of people came back to me and said, I cannot believe how little some of these people know about personal finance.

And at the same time, there are so many people in that same boat, they're trying to learn how this stuff works. Mm-hmm. And that's why you and I do what we do to try to teach as many people as possible. And so we can bring as much value to their lives as possible to reduce their stress and anxiety around money, all those different things.

So why is it so important for other people to see this as well? I think regardless of how much you know or don't know, like a lot of the topics that were covered were very remedial. I mean are rudimentary rather, but I think what was really powerful as someone that does think about this stuff all the time is watching.

How Ramit is able to get people to come to their own conclusions. He's not ramming these things down anyone's throat. He's not giving them the answer. He's just really good at asking questions in a way that gets people to arrive at the conclusions he wants 'em to, so that they feel and they are making the decisions and feeling and believing them, those things themselves.

And I think that even if you, yourself, are amazing with money and you already know everything you need to know, chances are there are people in your life who are not, and maybe you've tried to help them in the past. And as, as anyone has ever known who's ever tried to help someone with money, a lot of the time it's like, Nope.

Don't wanna hear it. Don't care. Don't wanna know. Like, this is not, I'm gonna maintain willful ignorance because it is too scary to think about. I think there's a lot to be gained from just watching his communication style, very non-judgmental, watching the way he is patient and the way that he's able to form these questions so they don't feel accusatory, but just to bring people along very gently.

And I think that there's a lot to be gained from that too. So whether you know nothing about money and you're trying to, you're gonna get something out of it. If you know a lot about money, but you're trying to help people in your life, you're gonna get something out of it. That is so true. And I remember even in college when we, uh, I would talk to my friends about money all the time and they had no interest in it whatsoever.

I'd be talking to 'em at a party about index funds or something along those lines, and they would absolutely hate it. And now they're obviously, they you're super fun at parties. Yeah. Yeah. I'm super fun. It's, it's the best. Uh, and now my favorite party trick is to get my four year old to tell people what an asset and a liability is every single day.

Oh my God. But, um, but that, that's kinda one of the things where a lot of people don't wanna hear, but when you put it into this context, if you put it into this situation in this. Style. I think it's actually really fun to kind of watch all this stuff play out. Yeah. And the beautiful thing, like you mentioned, is that he almost puts psychology first.

So he's obviously, I think he has a degree in psychology, and so he utilizes that to kind of ask the right questions and he's so incredibly patient to wait until they kind of give the answer and kind of find that answer themselves. Mm-hmm. Cause I think it really does help people when you ask those questions in that way.

So it's a really, really powerful way to kind of go through this process. And I think if anybody hasn't seen that documentary yet, it's definitely worth a watch for sure. It's called How to Get Rich on Net. Netflix, it's an awesome documentary, and kind of going through and kind of seeing some of these people's lives is really, really entertaining.

Mm-hmm. So that's another piece of that as well. So, Katie, I wanna shift gears here. These are some questions that we like to ask a lot of our guests, and they go a little deeper than some of the stuff that we were just asking now, obviously. Okay. But this is gonna be a fun one. So what part of your worker life makes you come alive?

Ooh, writing. I love writing. So when I get an idea, whether it's from listening to someone else's show or reading a book or, I mean, I get ideas from everywhere, but when I feel like I have a really good idea and then I just get in the zone and I go total flow state and the time just like disappears. It really does come out in your newsletter.

If you guys aren't subscribed to, to Katie's newsletter, it is a fantastic read every single week. It comes out once a week, right? Yes. Every Wednesday. Yeah. Perfect. So we'll link that up in the show notes down below too, so you guys can check that out. What is your biggest fear when it comes to money? Huh?

Okay, if I'm being honest, I have two. One is behavioral and one is economic. So behaviorally as I've made more money, I have spent more like lifestyle creep has been a very real thing in my life. And in some ways I think that that's okay. Like I think you should reward yourself for working really hard and when your hard work comes to fruition.

Absolutely. I mean, life is short. You don't get to take the biggest pile of money with you when you die, right? So I think that. It is okay within reason, but sometimes I do worry that, okay, I gotta be really, really careful that I don't allow my lifestyle to expand, to fit my new income, such that my ability to reach financial freedom is delayed.

Or that, okay, now I need so much more money to support this in retirement because I allowed things to scale up. Because that hedonic treadmill, you're never gonna win. So I think. That worries me a little bit because my own, I can see my own human nature and my wheels turning of like, oh, well I'm gonna get a new car.

Well, I could afford this nice car now, so shouldn't I get it? And it's like, oh God, I can, like, you gotta beat down that impulse, right? So that's one thing that scares me about myself. And then the external thing that scares me, I think is just that all of the. Projections that we have about the stock market are based on really the last a hundred years.

And the last a hundred years have been a time of US hegemonic dominance. Things have gone really well for the United States on a global scale in the last a hundred years. And so I think when we make these projections moving forward, It worries me that if the next a hundred years look different, that we could get underwhelming returns and that a lot of these things that we bank on as being kind of a sure thing might not come to pass.

And that really scares me cause I have no control over that. So like we talked about individual solutions and exerting control in your arena of influence, what I've done to kind of make myself feel better about that. Is diversified far beyond just the s and p 500. So I do invest in other companies in the US like small cap value and mid-cap.

I invest in emerging markets. I invest in developed markets. I try to find like, okay, how can I make sure that really no matter what happens, as long as some economy somewhere does well, I own some of it. And that has helped me a lot with being able to sleep at night and that, you know, I'm not overexposed.

Or putting all my eggs in the US basket. But I do think that at the end of the day, the US markets are very strong. They're huge, they're well regulated. The US economy, I think is one to bet on. I'm not sure if it'll be the exact same as the last a hundred years, but I think, um, it's still one of the safest bets that I feel comfortable making.

But I'd say that is probably my biggest fear is that what if everything kind of goes sideways for the rest of my life? You just never know. Those are both two very valid fears and those are things that I think about a lot, especially when it comes and the lifestyle. Creep one is a big one for me. I've had y A for like 10 or 12 years and that's kind of the budgeting tool that I've used for a very long time.

You look back on those early years and you're like, oh, how did I do that? Like so far, if I wanna get depressed, I go back and look at what I had originally, which is like the worst thing in the world. But it's just one of those things where I think about that all the time. I probably have 10 Amazon boxes at my front door right now that I'll probably spend too much on.

So like it's one of those things where like I always am trying to think about that and kind of consciously go through that. So that's a big one for me too. Mm-hmm. Is just kind of controlling those am. Impulses cuz it's one of those things where obviously you wanna enjoy your money and put it towards what you value, but at the same time I wanna make sure that I actually value it.

So it's kind of one of those as I think through that. The next one is, how do you plan on leveling up your finances this year? Man, so for me, the cheat code has been earning more, and I know that that sounds so dumb, but I think there's like a. Diminishing, uh, return on, like tweaking the system. You know, you can, oh, I'm gonna, you know, tweak my asset allocation this much.

You're like, ah, I'm gonna open a new high yield savings account that gets 4% instead of 3%. Like, those things are going to help. Make no mistake, you're gonna get some marginal utility out of those decisions. But I kind of found that once I got my system locked in, where it was like, all right, load up the pre-tax accounts.

First hit the Roth accounts, everything overflow goes in the taxable. And then, Spend under this much per month and you know, just try to make that the upper limits, that the save rate is somewhere in the 75% range. Like once you get to that point, I found that it was like, all right, the one high leverage thing I can do now, the biggest ROI that I can now make with my energy is finding ways to increase my income and.

Expanding my luck surface area, if you will, of how can I expose myself to more opportunities and make sure that I'm working on the highest leverage things that are gonna have the highest payoffs, both psychologically, emotionally, the things I'm really interested in, but also financially. The beautiful thing is that often those two things are the same.

Like if you are really engaged, it's probably going to end up. Having a lucrative outcome for you, I've found, at least in business, but I think that focusing on how can we just keep turning up that dial and keep putting more money into this system that's working well, that's kind of been my play. And for a while I thought I was gonna start investing in real estate, but this is just not historically a great time.

Like I cannot get the numbers to work, and I think that that's something that I'll do in the future, but for this point in time, And the business that I have now and the opportunities and some of the people I'm meeting like yourself, it's just, it's become obvious to me that this is the arena of life that like makes the most sense to really pour the energy into.

Absolutely. And you're speaking my language right now because what we talk about in this podcast all the time is kind of get your system together, automate that system. Mm-hmm. And then focus on increasing that income cuz the income. Portion of that whole equation is the thing that's gonna solve a lot of your problems when it comes to money.

Yes. Especially when you really, really need to grow that income and once as your income grows, you could just kind of add more fuel to the fire every time you do this. Mm-hmm. And I agree with you on the real estate side too. I've been re investing in real estate since 2016 or 17. I have been able to get the numbers to work.

For like three years. Wow. So it's, wow. It's one of those things where it's really difficult, especially in my area, unless I want to go to like Toledo, Ohio or something like that, and invest out of state. That's one of those things where it's kind of thinking through this stuff and kind of trying to get those numbers to work.

I may go out state eventually. Mm-hmm. But we'll kind of see there too. I think you're right, right now that that's kind of the best thing to kind of focus on, um, as you go through this process. Yeah. So the next one is, what is the best money advice you've ever received? Oh, that's a good question. The best money, I think I'm gonna throw it back to the Ramit quote, which is, the amount of money you have in the bank is highly uncorrelated with how you feel about money.

When I got my first starting salary, I felt richer than God. I was like, I have so much money, and now I have. Way more money and make way more money than I did back then, and I worry about it more than I did back then, because back then I was just ignorant and I didn't know any better. So I think that that is a very important reminder that I, I truly tell myself every single day they surveyed people with, I wanna say it was like 500,000, a million, 2 million, 3 million, 4 million, 5 million.

They said, how much money does it take to feel free? Every single group said double whatever they had. So like if you had a million, you said, oh, I need 2 million people that had 2 million. Said, oh, you need four people that had three says you needed six. Like, and it was true across every level. So I think defining what is enough for you.

And getting really honest with yourself upfront. Because I think when I started and I was lean five like yourself, my FI number was 750 K. Well, that's in the rear view now, right? And it's nowhere Now I'm like, no, now I need 3 million. So I think that there's a balance there of you wanna make sure that when you're calculating those numbers, you are really confident that the lifestyle that that's gonna enable you to live is the lifestyle that you could live forever.

Yeah. I could make. 750 K work when I was spending $2,000 a month as a single 24 year old. But like, that's not the lifestyle I have anymore. That's not the life I want to live. And if I were honest with myself back then, I probably would've known that back then too. So I think, uh, your money can do a lot of things for you.

It cannot. Make you psychologically impervious to things that are bigger than money, like fear and purpose and happiness. You can't ask money to do those things for you. It can do a lot, but it can't do that. Exactly. And like you're saying it like as life develops, the goalposts kind of moves. For me, when it really started to move was when I started to have kids and my wife and I were kind of going through that process.

Once I kids, I haven't had kids. Exactly. That's kind of like another moment where it happened for me. Yeah. So it was kind of like I had that lean ambition and then all of a sudden it kind of moved over to, to fat fire. Cause there's just a lot more things I wanna do when that happens. And now there's, you know, there's, I wanna give a lot more too.

So that was another factor that kind of increased that amount as we went through the process. Yeah. But that go post moves and it's kind of natural for that to happen. But really kind of nailing down the range where you want to be is very, very important just because you gotta be able to have that goal in place.

Otherwise you could start to fall and trickle behind if you don't have that goalpost in the right spot. So the last one is my favorite question, and it is one that, uh, we've asked every guest in this podcast whether they're a personal finance person or they're not, and then we get some interesting answers on this.

So, what does wealth mean to you? What does wealth mean to me? I feel like the most common answer you probably get is freedom or like time freedom. I think wealth. To me is security, and I think that if I were to be really honest about why I have fallen so deeply down this rabbit hole, it's because it represents to me the ability to never be stuck.

And the security, that within reason, you're gonna be okay and that you're gonna be able to fix most of the problems that come your way. Because most things in life are money responsive. So someone who is very wealthy and someone who is not, if both of them received the same. Health diagnosis, I can tell you which person has a better shot.

Because we have a system in this country where the amount of money you have determines the kind of healthcare you can receive, which again, all of this kind of comes back to like, it's figuring out where the system is broken and acknowledging that, and then also figuring out, okay, but this is the system I have to live in and this is what I have to work with, so what can I control?

Right. So I think for me it's security and just. Knowing that I'm giving myself the best shot at living a good life and living a dignified life, and hopefully to your point about giving, helping other people to live a dignified life too. I mean, I would love to see the wealth gap close before I die. I hate that there is a gender or.

Race wealth gap. I think that that's absurd. I think that we can close that. We should close it. I would love to see things like universal healthcare happen before I die. I think it's insane that like if you're poor and you get cancer, it's kind of game over for you cuz you're not gonna be able to do anything about it.

Those are all things that like I would love to see. Changed and improved. And I think when you have a platform and you have money, you have a lot of influence over those things. More influence than you probably realize. And so on the personal level, it's security. But for myself, and I think at the platform level, it's security for other people.

I love that answer cuz I think for a lot of people, one of their biggest stresses in life and one of their biggest causes of anxiety is their money. Mm-hmm. And if you can kind of figure out that problem, it's obviously one of the, the leading causes of divorce and all these other things. Yeah. If you can figure out that problem, it's gonna reduce your stress and anxiety in that area.

Obviously there's gonna be stress in other areas, but when it comes to money, if you can reduce that, it obviously increases happiness overall. Mm-hmm. Um, because you can reduce some of those stresses and some of the anxiety and I love that. Yeah. Cause I think originally, One thing that when we started this podcast, one thing that I thought about as we did that was just thinking about somebody finding this who is in a really poor environment and they just found this podcast randomly in some way, shape, or form.

My goal was to kind of teach that person from point A to point Z, how they could actually build wealth and kind of change their family's financial tree. And so that's the cool thing that you and I get to do now is kind of have that platform to be able to kind of teach people how this stuff actually works.

So it's a very, very cool way to kind of go forward with that as well. So, Katie, this was absolutely amazing. It was a wonderful conversation. I know everybody's gonna love this one. So, Tell us where people can find more about you and what you have going on. The Money with Katie's show and everything else.

Yeah, this was a pleasure. Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation, even though I got to do most of the talking, so sorry, Andrew, but you can find me at Money with Katie on Instagram and Twitter. You can find me at the Money with Katie's show wherever you get your podcasts. And on YouTube, particularly if you're a podcast person, I think you're gonna like it.

And Money with katie.com. That's where we post all of our blogs, where we have all of our free resources, A lot of our content lives there and our little email series that you can sign up for, majority of it is free. And you can sign up for our weekly newsletter there as well, like Andrew alluded to.

Amazing. Well thank you so much for coming on. We're gonna link all of those down the show notes below, so if you guys wanna check those out, make sure you do cuz it is absolutely amazing. I love everything that Katie puts out. So we will, uh, link all those down the show notes below so that you can access some of those as well.

Katie, thank you so much again. Thank you.

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Never Too Late, And Here’s Why!

Andrew is positive, engaging, and straightforward. As someone who saw little light at the end of the tunnel, due to poor saving/spending habits, I believed I would be entirely too dependent on Social Security. Andrew shows how it’s possible to secure financial freedom, even if you’ve wasted the opportunities presented in your youth. Listened daily on drives too and from work and got through 93 episodes in theee weeks.

Bradley DH
Just What I Have Been Searching For!

This podcast has been exactly what I have been looking for. Not only does it solidify some of my current practices but helps me to understand the why and the ins-and-outs to what does work and what doesn’t work! Easy to listen to and Andrew does a great job and putting everything in context that is applicable to everyone.

M. Marlene
Simply Excellent!!!

Excellent content, practical, straight to the point, easy to follow and easy to apply! Andrew takes the confusion, complexity and fear as a result (often the biggest deterrent for most folks) out of investing and overall money matters in general, and provides valuable advice that anyone can follow and put into practice. Exactly what I’ve been looking for for quite some time and so happy that I came across this podcast. Thank you, Andrew!

Great Information In An Understandable Way

Absolutely a must listen for anyone at any age. A+ work.

Wealth Building Magician

Absolutely love listening to this guy! He has taken all of my thoughts and questions I’ve ever had about budgeting, investing, and wealth building and slapped onto this podcast! Can’t thank him enough for what I’ve learned!

Fun Financial Literacy Experience

I discovered your podcast a few weeks ago and wanted I am learning SO MUCH! Finance is an area of my life that I’ve always overlooked and this year I am determined to make progress! I am so grateful for this podcast and wish there was something like this 18 years ago! Andrew’s work is life changing and he makes the topic fun!


The StairwayTo Wealth

Master Your Money with The Stairway to Wealth

Learn to Invest and Master your Money

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The Stairway To WEALTH

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