Why you should choose a cheap place to live


While visiting Raleigh earlier this month, I spent a morning with my pal Justin (from the excellent Root of Good blog) and his wife. As we sipped our coffee and nibbled our bagels, the conversation turned to cost of living. (Money nerds will be money nerds, after all.)

“Things are cheaper here in North Carolina than they are in Portland,” I said. “Food is cheaper. Beer is cheaper. Hotel rooms are cheaper. Your homes are cheaper too. Last night, as I was walking through the neighborhood next to my hotel, I pulled up the housing prices. I was shocked at how low they are!”

“Yeah, housing costs are lower here than in many parts of the country,” Justin said.

“Take our house, for instance. We bought it in 2003 for $108,000. Zillow says it’s worth around $198,000 right now. But I’ll bet that’s a lot less than you’d pay for a similar place in Portland.”

He’s right. Justin and his wife own an 1800-square-foot home on 0.3 acres of land. Their place has four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. There’s only one place for sale in Portland right now that matches these stats and it’s going for $430,000 — more than twice the price the same home would fetch in Raleigh.

Housing prices in Raleigh, NC

Housing is by far the largest slice of the average American budget, representing one-third of typical household spending. Because of this, the best way to cut your costs (and, therefor, boost your “profit margin”) is to reduce how much you spend to keep a roof over your head.

One obvious way to cut costs on housing is to choose a cheaper home or apartment. But if you truly want to slash your spending, consider moving to a new neighborhood. Or city. Or state. If you’re willing to change locations, you can supercharge your purchasing power and accelerate your saving rate.

Cost of living is one of those factors that people seldom consider, but which can have a huge impact on the family budget — sometimes in unexpected ways. According to The Millionaire Next Door:

Living in less costly areas can enable you to spend less and to invest more of your income. You will pay less for your home and correspondingly less for your property taxes. Your neighbors will be less likely to drive expensive motor vehicles. You will find it easier to keep up, even ahead, of the Joneses and still accumulate wealth.

It’s one thing to talk about the effects of high cost of living, but another to actually experience it.

Cost of Living in Real Life

On our fifteen-month road trip across the United States, Kim and I made a point of watching how prices varied from city to city and region to region.

While stranded for ten days in rural Plankinton, South Dakota, for example, I paid $10.60 for a fancy men’s haircut. At home in Portland, I pay $28 for the same fancy haircut. In Fort Collins, Colorado, I paid $30 for a haircut. In Santa Barbara, California, I paid $50 or $60 for the same fancy cut.

Gas was cheaper in South Dakota too. So was food. So was beer and whisky. So were movies. So was just about everything, including housing. Housing prices followed a similar pattern to the haircut prices I mentioned above. A $280,000 home in Portland might go for $300,000 in Fort Collins and $500k to $600k in Santa Barbara. In South Dakota, that same home would cost about $106,000.

A couple of years ago, I exchanged email with a reader who had first-hand experience struggling with the high cost of living. She gave me permission to share her story:

I had been saving about 40% of my relatively modest salary for eight years. I had built up an emergency fund as well as a good sized savings…and then we had kids.

We lost our rent-stabilized apartment right after our children were born. We live in New York City, and while I maintain that there are many things about the city that are actually very budget-friendly (public transit and free entertainment top my list), the cost of rent and daycare in NYC are over the top.

In one year, the cost of a market-rate apartment in our neighborhood plus two kids in daycare ate into my hard-earned savings. By the end of the year, the pot of money that I had worked so hard to save was down by almost $50,000.

Luckily, my husband and I have never carried any kind of debt and had already been living well below our means before the kids came along. But that also meant there was very little fat left to trim in our budget other than rent and daycare expenses. (We’d already dropped the landline, never had cable, cooked almost all of our meals at home, and cut out our modest “allowance” of $50/month for splurges.)

We are the very definition of penny wise and pound foolish!

Eventually, we moved into a cheaper apartment. Although we haven’t had to dip into savings since we moved, we’re still essentially living month to month because of daycare and rent. The neighborhood is cheaper for a reason.

Real Life will force us to make another move in the spring. One of our jobs is going away, so it will force a decision one way or another since we can’t stay in New York on one salary. Change is definitely coming.

This reader and her husband are already frugal-minded — that’s how she built her buffer of savings to start with — so there isn’t much more the family can cut. This is an example where the only real solution is to seek a city with a lower cost of living.

Saving in Savannah

Which places are cheapest to live? Which are most expensive? This map from Governing magazine shows how far the average paycheck goes in 191 U.S. metro areas.

[Cost of Living map]

Dark green (blue?) dots indicate cities where your wages buy more after adjusting for cost of living. Dark brown dots are places where you have to work harder to get what you want. (Click through to play with an interactive version of the map.)

As you can see, large coastal cities tend to be more expensive than smaller towns in the center of the country. If you have a fixed budget, you’ll get more bang for your buck by buying a home in Oklahoma City or Sioux Falls than by living in San Francisco or Washington D.C.

It’s not just coastal cities, though. There are spendy pockets throughout the U.S. from Flagstaff, Arizona to Hot Springs, Arkansas. And some coastal cities — Boston, Houston, Seattle, Tampa — are relatively inexpensive. (In Boston and Seattle, though, that’s because wages are high, not because things are cheap.)

In the middle of our road trip, Kim and I decided to stay the winter in Savannah, Georgia. During our six months in Savannah, we spent much less than we would have for the same lifestyle here in Portland. According to the CNN cost-of-living calculator, Portland is 44% more expensive than in Savannah. (And housing costs nearly three times as much here as it does in Georgia!)

[Cost of Living calculator]

In larger cities, there are often cost-of-living differences between neighborhoods. When deciding where to live in Savannah, for instance, we had a choice:

  • We could rent a small apartment in the downtown historic district for $1750 per month. The place would have been a lot of fun because it was surrounded by shops and restaurants, and it was close to anything we might want to do.
  • We could opt instead for a modest-sized condo on the outskirts of town at $1325 per month. This location was next to nothing. We could walk to the grocery store, but we’d have to drive into the city if we wanted to indulge ourselves.

After considering financial and lifestyle factors, we chose to rent the condo in the middle of the marshlands. On the surface, this decision saved us $425 per month. In reality, it saved us much more than that.

If we had lived downtown, we would have had to pay to park the Mini Cooper ($95/month). We would have been constantly tempted to eat out or go for drinks. It would have been too easy for window shopping to become actual shopping. Instead, we enjoyed one Date Night each week. We spent the rest of our time working and exercising.

I believe that opting for the less glamorous location saved us a minimum of $5000 over our six month stay — and the real savings are probably far greater.

Pinching Pennies in Portland

This same concept — certain neighborhoods costing less than others — was a driving factor in our decision last year to sell our condo and move to “the country”. We loved where we lived, but the costs were crazy.

  • First, there were the maintenance costs for a place that we ostensibly owned outright. Even without a mortgage, we were paying nearly $1200 per month for HOA fees, utilities, insurance, and more. (In our new place, we spend half that.)
  • Plus, there was the sneaky cost of lifestyle inflation. Our condo was in a fun neighborhood filled with restaurants and bars. It was all too easy after a long day to simply walk up the street to one of our favorite spots, where we’d drop $50 or $100 on food and drinks. Moving to our new place cut our restaurant spending in half.
  • Lastly, the cost of goods in our new neighborhood is lower than in our old. In Sellwood, our grocery options were limited. And expensive. The nearest markets were both high-end organic-only affairs, the kind of places you might see on an episode of Portlandia. Yes, the quality was outstanding. But since we’ve moved, we’re spending about 25% less on groceries each month.

Moving helped us save big on some cost-of-living items. But it also brought with it a few increases in spending. Because we’re more rural now, we drive more often. Kim, especially, is spending more on gas. Our “new” home also has greater maintenance costs than the condo. We’ve poured a ton of money into this place since moving in. (I guess that’s not actually a cost-of-living issue so much as a homeownership issue, though.)

My point is that even within a city, there are cost-of-living differences you can leverage to your advantage — especially if you’re willing to live in a rougher part of town.

The Bottom Line

Obviously there’s more to picking a place to live than pure price.

When you choose a city (or neighborhood) to call home, you do so because of the climate, the politics, and the people. You want to live close to friends and family. You want a nice school district. You want people who think and act the same way you do. For those reasons (and others), Omaha might not be a good choice for you. (Savannah isn’t a good choice for me long-term, but it was fine for a few months.)

Here’s the bottom line: Where you choose to live has a greater effect on your long-term financial success than almost any other factor. How much you earn is sometimes more important (not always), in which case cost of living is a close second.

Cost of living can wreak havoc on your pursuit of financial freedom. Or it can help you achieve your goals sooner than you thought possible. The choice is yours.

Other ways to make the most of your housing budget? Consider renting. Live close to where you work so that you can walk, bike, or take the bus. Purchase a house that fits your lifestyle and needs rather than the commonly cited “buy as much home as you can afford”. The latter is self-serving advice from real-estate agents and mortgage brokers. You don’t need a big house; you just need someplace comfortable.



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Che cosa ha in mente Elon Musk per Space X



Elon Musk sta per lanciare un nuovo round di finanziamenti per Space X che potrebbe valere fino a 24 miliardi di dollari. Dobbiamo presto attenderci un debutto in Borsa? Articolo di Giusy Caretto

Grandi notizie per Space X? Lla società di Elon Musk potrebbe presto valere circa 24 miliardi di dollari, perché potrebbe presto entrare nuovo e fresco denaro per sostenere la sua attività. Mentre Tesla dunque fatica ad entrare nella produzione di massa e a ricevere nuovi finanziamenti, Space X si gode il successo e va a caccia di nuova liquidità.

NUOVI ROUND DI FINANZIAMENTO

La società guidata da Elon Musk, secondo un documento siglato a Delaware, proverà a raccogliere circa 507 milioni di dollari, attraverso l’emissione di 3 milioni di azioni. Ogni azione sarà scambiata a circa 169$ l’una. Se tutto andrà come i piani, SpaceX raggiungerà ad un valore complessivo di 23,7 miliardi di dollari, secondo i calcoli di Lagniappe Labs, il team che gestisce il portale Prime Unicorn Index.

IL PRECEDENTE DI MARZO

Sempre nel 2018, Space X ha lanciato un altro round di finanziamenti: a marzo ha raccolto altri 500 milioni di dollari.

A COSA SERVIRANNO QUESTI SOLDI?

Il denaro servirà a finanziare i prossimi progetti della società e in particolare, il razzo BFR, un razzo dalle grandissimi dimensioni: misurerà 106 mt in altezza e 9 mt in diametro. Sarà più potente del Falcon Heavy e grazie a 37 motori Raptor potrà caricare un massimo di 150.000 Kg durante un volo nell’orbita terrestre bassa (LEO). Si tratta di un peso due volte e mezzo il carico utile del Falcon Heavy (63.800 kg).

SPACE X OTTIENE PERMESSO PER STARLINK

Non solo BRF. Tra i progetti che Space X dovrà finanziare anche Starrlink. Proprio qualche giorno fa, la Federal Communication Commission (FCC), ovvero l’agenzia governativa statunitense che regolamenta le telecomunicazioni, ha accordato a SpaceX la possibilità di costruire e gestire un’enorme rete di piccoli satelliti per fornire connessioni a Internet senza fili ad alta velocità.

Il progetto è denominato appunto Starlink: Space X dovrebbe portare in orbita fino a 12mila piccoli satelliti (una quantità senza precedenti), attraverso numerosi lanci dei suoi razzi.

Inizialmente, la società guidata da Elon Musk si impegnerà per il trasporto e l’attivazione di circa 4.400 satelliti, la cui metà, secondo richieste della FCC, dovrà essere attiva entro i prossimi sei anni. SpaceX ha già lanciato un paio di suoi satelliti per sperimentarne le capacità, ma solo dal prossimo anno Space X entrerà nel vivo del progetto.

SPACE X PRONTA AL DEBUTTO IN BORSA?

Non è chiaro, però, se il nuovo round di finanziamenti vuole essere un trampolino di lancio per un debutto in Borsa, come scrive Recode, offrendo così agli investitori un modo per guadagnare dall’aumento di valore della società.

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What You Can Learn from This 19-Year-Old Bitcoin Investor


 

Crypto still makes me nervous. Maybe it’s the fact I was coming of age between 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. I graduated from college during the aftermath of that crisis.

And then I see the people who are already rich because of cryptocurrency investments and I wonder if my feelings are wrong. Besides, I’m no Luke Skywalker here. I can’t really trust my feelings can I?

There is one bitcoin investor out there who is already a millionaire after seven years and he’s saying everybody should ignore their “feelings” about bitcoin and invest. His name is Erik Finman and he’s only 19.

1. The Kid Who Invested His Birthday Money

Most kids will spend their birthday money on a new video game or toy. And if they get $1,000 dollars for their birthday, then they buy a computer or a virtual reality headset. But not Erik Finman.

Finman bought Bitcoin with his birthday money.

Let’s set aside the fact most kids wouldn’t get even $500 for their 12th birthday (I can’t help but see Erik as a privileged brat, albeit a smart one), but kids like Erik are pretty rare. Finman was a failing student in school. His GPA was an incredible 2.1 and he claims a teacher told him to just drop out and work at McD’s.

He didn’t want to go to college. He even made a bet with his rich parents that if he became a millionaire by the time he turned 18 he could skip college. They agreed and Erik got to skip college.

He took the 1k Euros his grandmother had given him to invest in college and bought bitcoins in 2011. Bitcoins were only 10 Euros a piece at the time. But those 100 $10 Bitcoins he bought turned into 401 $8,512 Bitcoins.

Erik Continued to Invest

Some people might sit on their wealth like a dragon and his treasure. Erik did no such thing.  

Once his investments hit $100,000, he sold them and started a company called Botangle. After growing his company, he sold it for 300 bitcoins.

His interests are varied as he’s invested in Nasa recently. He’s helping them launch research satellites into space.

The kid is busy. He speaks at various conferences and he manages his family’s bitcoin investments.

This should be a lesson to any teacher who has given up on a student. We’re talking about a kid who had a 2.1 GPA and dropped out of high school here.

Crypto is the Future

Erik Finman believes cryptocurrency is the future. Fiat currency is still the norm right now, but he believes it’s not different than bitcoin and other crypto. It’s just numbers and make-believe money the same as government-backed money.

Some people have claimed that crypto is nothing more than Monopoly money. A plaything for people who like to make bets. But people like Erik believe it’s going to supplant other currencies one day.

It’s the libertarian dream. A currency that’s unregulated and free of any one government. And it’s an extremely cyberpunk version of our future.

But he does admit that cryptocurrency technology will have to change.  Right now, to mine bitcoin 343 megawatts or the equivalent of 285,833 U.S. homes (average) is what it takes. That’s a conservative estimate.

In the U.S. we’ve moved to more environmentally friendly energy production methods. But most crypto-miners are in China where the country relies heavily on coal-produced energy. Thus, crypto is destructive to the environment as it stands.

The crypto-mining business has inflated the price of PC’s as well. Four years ago, you could be a powerful PC for under $1000. No longer.

Gaming machines use GPUs or graphics cards for rendering images on a screen. Crypto mining machines use them to mine cryptocurrencies. When demand goes up so does price.

Gamers are up in arms about it, but perhaps they should invest in cryptocurrencies so they can afford their gaming hobby.

Finman Tells Millennials (and Founders) to Invest

Some people think Finman is an idiot teenager. But he’s one of the leaders of the next generation of investors. And if he can convince two whole generations to invest in crypto, his cyberpunk dreams might just become a reality.

What does Finman suggest young people do to get enough money to invest in Bitcoin? Find something they love doing. Start a YouTube channel, start a brand, do something and turn a profit from it.

He also believes you should invest ten percent of your income in Bitcoin. The general concensus is that you should invest 20% of your income in retirement for comparison.

He does give a warning. Only invest money you are willing to lose.

This is why many Wall Street gurus say it’s a bad idea. Crypto is extremely risky according to traditional financial wisdom. It’s already taken one huge tumble and it’s entirely possible it will completely tank one day.

It’s Your Fault If You’re Not a Millionaire in 10 Years

This sounds like a something a kid would say. But you’ve got to remember the kid who said it is actually a millionaire.

Now, not all of us get $1000 as birthday money. But many people in the Millennial generation have at least that much in savings. What would happen if they all invested in crypto?

Now that’s a thought to chew on. If you want more investment and entrepreneurial news, check out the rest of Shoemoney.com.

 



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The perfect is the enemy of the good ~ Get Rich Slowly


I’m home! Over the past two weeks, I drove 1625 miles across across seven southeastern states. I had a blast hanging out with readers, friends, and colleagues. Plus, it was fun to explore some parts of the country that Kim and I skipped during our RV trip a few years ago. Most fun of all, though, was talking to dozens of different people about money.

After two weeks of money talk, I have a lot to think about. I was struck, for instance, by how many people are paralyzed by the need to make perfect decisions. They’re afraid of making mistakes with their money, so instead of moving forward, they freeze — like a deer in headlights.

It might seem strange to claim that the pursuit of perfection prevents people from achieving their financial aims, but it’s true. Long-time readers know that this is a key part of my financial philosophy: The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Here, for instance, is a typical reader email:

Thirty-plus years ago I was making much less money than when I retired so my tax rate was lower. I sometimes wonder now if it would have been better to pay the taxes at the time I earned the money and invest and pay taxes all along rather than deferring the taxes. You can make yourself crazy thinking about stuff like that!

Yes, you can make yourself crazy thinking about stuff like that. This reader retired early and has zero debt. They’re in great financial shape. Yet they’re fretting over the fact that tax-deferred investments might not have been the optimal choice back in 1986.

Regret is one of the perils of perfectionism. There are others. Let’s look at why so many smart people find themselves fighting the urge to be perfect.

Maximizers and Satisficers

For a long time, I was a perfectionist. When I had to make a decision, I only wanted to choose the best. At the same time, I was a deeply unhappy man who never got anything done. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the pursuit of perfection was the root of my problems.

In 2005, I read The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. This fascinating book explores how a culture of abundance actually robs us of satisfaction. We believe more options will make us happier, but the increased choice actually has the opposite effect. Especially for perfectionists.

Schwartz divides the world into two types of people: maximizers and satisficers. Here’s how he describes the difference:

Choosing wisely begins with developing a clear understanding of your goals. And the first choice you must make is between the goal of choosing the absolute best and choosing something that is good enough. If you seek and accept only the best, you are a maximizer…Maximizers need to be assured that every purchase or decision was the best that could be made.

In other words, maximizers are perfectionists.

“The alternative to maximizing is to be a satisficer,” writes Schwartz. “To satisfice is to settle for something that is good enough and not worry about the possibility that there might be something better.

To maximizers, this sounds like heresy. Settle for good enough? “Good enough seldom is!” proclaims the perfectionist. To her, the satisficer seems to lack standards. But that’s not true.

A satisficer does have standards, and they’re often clearly defined. The difference is that a satisficer is content with excellent while a maximizer is on a quest for perfect.

And here’s the interesting thing: All of this maximizing in pursuit of perfection actually leads to less satisfaction and happiness, not more. Here’s what Schwartz says about his research:

People with high maximization [tendencies] experienced less satisfaction with life, were less optimistic, and were more depressed than people with low maximization [tendencies]…Maximizers are much more susceptible than satisficers to all forms of regret.

Schwartz is careful to note that being a maximizer is correlated with unhappiness; there’s no evidence of a causal relationship. Still, it seems safe to assume that there is a connection.

I’ve seen it in my own life.

Maximizing in Real Life

The Paradox of ChoiceFor a long, long time, I was a maximizer. When I had to make any sort of decision, I researched the hell out of it. I wanted to buy and do and have only the best. But you know what? No matter how much time I put into picking the perfect product, it always fell short of my expectations. That’s because there’s no such thing as a perfect product.

In the olden days, for instance, if I needed to buy a dishwasher, I would make an elaborate spreadsheet to collate all of my options. I’d then consult the latest Consumer Reports buying guide, check Amazon reviews, and search for other resources to help guide my decision. I’d enter all of the data into my spreadsheet, then try to find the best option.

The trouble? There was rarely one best option for any choice I was trying to make. One dishwasher might use less energy while another produced cleaner dishes. This dishwasher might have special wine holders while that had the highest reliability scores. How was I supposed to find the perfect machine? Why couldn’t one manufacturer combine everything into one Super Dishwasher?

It was an impossible quest, and I know that now.

Nowadays, I’m mostly able to ignore my maximizing tendencies. I’ve taught myself to be a satisficer. When I had to replace my dead dishwasher three years ago, I didn’t aim for perfection. Instead, I made a plan and stuck to it.

  • First, I set a budget. Because it would cost about $700 to repair our old dishwasher, I allowed myself that much for a new appliance.
  • Next, I picked one store and shopped from its universe of available dishwashers.
  • After that, I limited myself to only a handful of brands, the ones whose quality I trusted most.
  • Finally, I gave myself a time limit. Instead of spending days trying to find the Best Dishwasher Ever, I allocated a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon to find an acceptable model.

Armed with my Consumer Reports buying guide (and my phone so that I could look stuff up online), I marched into the local Sears outlet center. In less than an hour, I had narrowed my options from thirty dishwashers to three. With Kim’s help, I picked a winner.

The process was quick and easy. The dishwasher has served us well for the past three years, and I’ve had zero buyer’s remorse.

A Trivial Example
At Camp FI in January, one of the attendees explained that he’s found freedom through letting go of trivial decisions. For things that won’t have a lasting impact on his life, he doesn’t belabor his options. Instead, he makes a quick decision and moves on.

In restaurants, for instance, he doesn’t look at every item on the menu. He doesn’t try to optimize his order. Instead, he makes a quick pass through the list, then picks the first thing that catches his eye. “It sounds silly,” he told me, “but doing this makes a huge difference to my happiness.”

For the past four months, I’ve been trying this technique. You know what? It works! I now make menu choices in seconds rather than minutes, and my dining experience is better because of it. This is a trivial example, I know, but it’s also illustrative of the point I’m trying to make.

Perfect Procrastinators

Studies have shown that perfectionists are more likely to have physical and mental problems than those who are open-minded and flexible. There’s another drawback to the pursuit of perfect: It costs time — and lots of it. To find the best option, whether it’s the top dishwasher or the ideal index fund, can take days or weeks or months. (And sometimes it’s an impossible mission.)

The pursuit of perfection is an exercise in diminishing returns:

  • A bit of initial research is usually enough to glean the basics needed to make a smart decision.
  • A little additional research is enough to help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
  • A moderate amount of time brings you to the point where you can make an informed decision and obtain quality results.
  • Theoretically, if you had unlimited time, you might find the perfect option.

The more time you spend on research, the better your results are likely to be. But each unit of time you spend in search of higher quality offers less reward than the unit of time before.

Quality vs. Time

Quality is important. You should absolutely take time to research your investment and buying decisions. But remember that perfect is a moving target, one that’s almost impossible to hit. It’s usually better to shoot for “good enough” today than to aim for a perfect decision next week.

Procrastination is one common consequence of pursuing perfection: You can come up with all sorts of reasons to put off establishing an emergency fund, to put off cutting up your credit cards, to put off starting a retirement account. But most of the time, your best choice is to start now.

Who cares if you don’t find the best interest rate? Who cares if you don’t find the best mutual fund? You’ve found some good ones, right? Pick one. Get in the game. Just start. Starting plays a greater role in your success than any other factor. There will always be time to optimize in the future.

When you spend so much time looking for the “best” choice that you never actually do anything, you’re sabotaging yourself. The perfect is the enemy of the good.

Final Thoughts

If your quest for the best is making you unhappy, then it’s hurting rather than helping. If your desire to get things exactly right is preventing you from taking any sort of positive action, then you’re better off settling for “good enough”. If you experience regret because you didn’t make an optimal choice in the past, force yourself to look at the sunny side of your decision.

  • Train yourself to be a satisficer. Ask yourself what “good enough” would mean each time you’re faced with a decision. What would it mean to accept that instead of perfection?
  • If you must pursue perfection, focus on the big stuff first. I get a lot of email from readers who fall into the optimization trap. They spend too much time and energy perfecting small, unimportant things — newspaper subscriptions, online savings accounts, etc. — instead of the things that matter most, such as housing and transportation costs. Fix the broken things first, then optimize the big stuff. After all of that is done, then it makes sense to get the small things perfect.
  • Practice refinement. Start with “good enough”, then make incremental improvements over time. Say you’re looking for a new credit card. Instead of spending hours searching for the best option, find a good option and go with it. Then, in the months and years ahead, keep an eye out for better cards. When you find one you like, make the switch. Make perfection a long-term project.
  • Don’t dwell on the past. If you’ve made mistakes, learn from them and move on. If you’ve made good but imperfect decisions — such as the Money Boss reader who wishes they hadn’t saved so much in tax-deferred accounts — celebrate what you did right instead of dwelling on the minor flaws in the results.
  • Embrace the imperfection. Everyone makes mistakes — even billionaires like Warren Buffett. Don’t let one slip-up drag you down. One key difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to recover from a setback and keep marching toward a goal. Use failures to learn what not to do next time.

I don’t think perfection is a bad thing. It’s a noble goal. It’s not wrong to want the best for yourself and your family. But I think it’s important to recognize when the pursuit of perfection stands in your way rather than helps you build a better life.



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LOS 10 MEJORES LUGARES DEL MUNDO PARA JUBILAR Y RETIRARSE

Hoy, retirarse al extranjero una vez jubilado ya no es una fantasía de bohemios.

Iniciar una nueva vida en un nuevo país, comenzando en algún lugar soleado y exótico con playas de arena blanca o la cultura del Viejo Mundo es más fácil que nunca: el mundo está súper conectado y los servicios están globalizados.

Pero lo verdaderamente difícil de retirarse a vivir en el extranjero es decidir dónde. Como sobre gustos no hay nada escrito, ¿cómo saber cuál es la opción adecuada para usted? Apelamos a las consultoras que se han encargado de encuestar a expatriados en foros de internet, suscriptores de revistas especializadas en turismo, periodistas y corresponsales en el extranjero.

Como los países son bastante vastos, y alguno puede ser muy bonito en el norte, pero con un viento insufrible en el sur, optamos por clasificar por lugar y no por país.

 

ALGARVE, PORTUGAL


Esta ciudad ha estado subiendo en el ranking de los 10 mejores lugares para jubilarse desde hace varios años, y es el lugar más mencionado en casi todas las encuestas.

Las razones: gracias a su bajo costo de vida, bajo costo de bienes raíces, excelente clima, comunidad de expatriados establecida, un programa de residencia fácil de acceder, y un sinfín de opciones culturales sobre cómo llenar significativamente sus días y noches.

Hay cerca de 100.000 jubilados extranjeros en Algarve, y tanto el inglés como el español y portugués se hablan en todos lados. La increíblemente hermosa costa del Algarve es uno de los lugares más seguros de la tierra en este momento.

La ciudad tiene 3300 horas de sol al año, más que en ninguna otra parte en Europa, hay 42 campos de golf en la zona y la ciudad es reconocida como un destino importante en todos los circuitos de ese deporte. El costo de vida es tan bajo que una pareja podría vivir cómodamente con 1500 dólares al mes.

LA VALETA, ISLA DE MALTA


La capital de este pequeño país – isla al sur de Sicilia y al norte de la costa africana parece ser otro paraíso para los jubilados.

El inglés es el segundo idioma oficial del país (el primero es el maltés) así que prácticamente nunca es necesario decir una palabra que no sea en inglés.

Teniendo en cuanta que se trata de nada menos que vivir en una isla en el Mediterráneo, el costo de vida es llamativamente bajo: se puede alquilar un departamento de 2 habitaciones por 700 dólares y una pareja puede vivir muy bien con 2200 dólares.

Los planes de salud privados son mucho más baratos que en el resto de los países, así como el costo de los medicamentos.

Pero lo que realmente destaca de La Valeta es que es imposible aburrirse en esta ciudad. Gracias a la preservación de sus atractivos que datan de 7000 años, hay muchos lugares para visitar. Además, se puede nadar, navegar y bucear durante todo el año.

MAZATLAN, MEXICO


Muy conocido por la comunidad de expatriados norteamericanos, esta ciudad también llamada la “Perla del Pacífico” tiene un poco de todo: 30 kilómetros de playas, pesca de primer nivel, atracciones históricas, deliciosa comida callejera y un aeropuerto internacional.

¿Clima? Tropical, por supuesto, con una estación húmeda y una estación seca. El costo de vida es bajo en todo México, cerca de 2400 dólares por mes para una pareja y tiene la ventaja de que el inglés y el español se hablan casi por igual.

ABRUZZO, ITALIA


Si se está buscando un sitio tranquilo, este es el mejor lugar del mundo para vivir jubilado. Además, tiene muchos lugares interesantes para visitar, se puede ir a la playa dependiendo de la estación y, sobre todo, está en Europa, cerca de todo.

Abruzzo está localizada en el centro de Italia y el costo de vida es un 40% más bajo que otros lugares turísticos del país, como Toscana.  Una pareja de jubilados puede vivir con 1600 dólares al mes. Incluso se puede esquiar en invierno.

VIÑA DEL MAR, CHILE


Viña del Mar se encuentra se encuentra en la costa central del Pacífico y es conocida por sus tranquilosresorts; cuidados bulevares con palmeras; playas; y hermosos parques, incluyendo Jardín Botánico Nacional, un jardín de casi 400 hectáreas que alberga más de 3,000 especies de plantas.

Los jubilados pueden disfrutar de las playas de Viña del Mar, parques con jardines y fuentes de agua, varios museos y galerías, y el Festival Internacional de Cine de Viña del Mar, considerado el festival de cine más importante de Chile y América Latina.

El costo de vida (2800 dólares para una pareja de jubilados) es más alto que los anteriores, sobre todo debido al precio de los alquileres, pero se gana en el altísimo nivel de seguridad, de infraestructura y el ambiente muy amigable para los extranjeros.

KUALA LUMPUR, MALASIA


En ninguna lista falta un lugar exótico, y en esta el puesto le corresponde a Malasia. En este país hay más de 800 islas con impresionantes playas y selvas vírgenes. La gente tiene origen malayo, indio, chino y europeo, lo que resulta en una cultura única, y la actitud más amigable de Asia para los occidentales.

De todas las ciudades, Kuala Lumpur es la mejor ciudad para vivir como jubilado, ya que su transporte público no tiene rival, la ciudad es limpísima, cafés y restaurantes de primer nivel, centros comerciales asombrosos y una arquitectura que quita el aliento.

No solamente el seguro médico es muy barato, un alquiler está alrededor de 600 dólares. Así que Kuala Lumpur parece ser uno de los lugares más asequibles, exóticos y, a la vez, totalmente equipados y cómodos para jubilarse.

SAINT-CHINIAN, FRANCIA


Situado en la región de Languedoc, al sur de Francia, Saint-Chinian es mejor conocido por sus vinos tintos, blancos y rosados. Las encuestas dicen que una pareja puede vivir cómodamente ya jubilados por $2400 dólares. Francia es reconocida por la OMS por tener el mejor servicio de salud del mundo, así que, si no se puede pagar París, bien vale Saint-Chinian.

LISBOA, PORTUGAL

El segundo de los dos lugares portugueses en la lista de los 10 mejores lugares para jubilarse en el extranjero, Lisboa, ofrece muchas de las atracciones de capitales europeas más costosas.

Además: ¡playas! Es un viaje fácil en avión desde los Estados Unidos; Hay vuelos diarios regulares desde Nueva York y Miami. Costo de vida mensual por pareja de jubilados: 1800 dólares.

BUDAPEST, HUNGRIA


El único lugar de Europa del Este en el Top 10 de los mejores lugares para jubilarse en el extranjero es la bulliciosa Budapest, que se está poniendo de moda para los jubilados.

Es una de las ciudades más grandes de Europa. Los editores también llaman a Budapest uno de los mejores destinos para disfrutar de una vida llena de entretenimiento. Costo de vida por pareja de jubilados: 2000 dólares.

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE, MÉXICO


Probablemente porque en todas las listas hay una gran cantidad de encuestados que son norteamericanos, y a los que México les queda cerca, esta es la segunda ciudad del país en el ranking.

Este valle semidesértico en el centro de México está en el puesto 10 en parte debido a su gran y acogedora comunidad de expatriados.

Una pareja puede vivir y jubilarse aquí por unos 1800 dólares al mes.

Otros beneficios son: clima templado, gente local acogedora, tradiciones culturales locales encantadoras y una actividad artística destacada.

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10 Billionaires Who Started with Nothing


When people imagine a billionaire, they typically think of the Donald Trumps of the world. Come from money and continued in wealth and fame. But for some people with wealth, this isn’t the case.

I recently wrote about Barbara Corcoran. She grew up in a two bedroom apartment with ten siblings. Today she is worth millions as both a business person and a TV personality.

There are plenty of other examples, so let’s dig in and find out who of the 2,208 billionaires in the world grew up poor and ended up sitting on top of a pile of money.

1. Ralph Lauren

You know the man from his clothing line. But did you know that he grew up in the Bronx and dropped out of college to join the army?

He was the son of two immigrants from Belarus and the youngest of four. His parents were artists and house painters.

Ralph began his career as a tie salesman for a tie company. He then began the Ralph Lauren Corporation and sold ties under his own name. Lauren was 28 years old.

His “store” was a single drawer in a showroom in the Empire Stae Building. He delivered the ties himself.

A year later, his tie line got picked up by the Manhattan Bloomingdales. He then went on to launch a line of tailored shirts for women and open a store in Beverly Hills, CA.

2. Oprah Winfrey

We all know Oprah from her television fame and her acting career. We’ve also heard she might run for president of the United States.

While she is worth over two billion dollars now, she began her life in Mississippi under the roof of a poor family. She worked hard and won a scholarship to Tennessee State University.

At age 19, Oprah became the first African American TV correspondent in the state of Tennessee.

It’s not well known, but the Oprah Winfrey Show began as a Chicago AM talk radio show. She would later move the show to television and launch an incredible journey to stardom.

3. George Soros

George Soros is worth over 8 billion dollars. And yet, one of the most powerful and rich men in the world had to pose as someone else in his teens to stay safe from the Nazis in Hungary.

In 47, he went to the London School of Economics. He paid for it with money he made as a railway porter and a waiter.

But he didn’t make money for a while. He got a job as a souvenir shop clerk. And then he worked as a banker in New York City. It wasn’t until 1992 that he made a billion dollars betting against the British pound.

4. John Paul DeJoria

If you love Patron Tequila, you might know who John Paul DeJoria is. His iconic profile shows up on magazine covers every once in a while.

An investor, John Paul started his salesmanship as a 10-year-old selling Christmas cards and newspapers. This money went to help support his immigrant family.

He ended up living in a foster home, spent several years as part of a gang, and then joined the military. He later started the John Paul Mitchel Systems company and sold shampoo. He did this with a $700 credit loan.

He is now worth almost $3 billion dollars and owns one of the most popular tequila companies in the world.

5. Li Ka-shing

Hong Kong has an uncomfortable kinship with China. They aren’t communist like the rest of the country and many times in the history between the two strife was the norm.

Ka-shing found rescue in Hong Kong in the forties with his family. His father died soon after when he was 15 and the man was suddenly in charge of his family as a teenager.

The man is now worth $35 billion dollars. He started his own company in his 20s that manufactured plastics and later went into real estate.

6. Leonardo Del Vecchio

Many of these billionaires seem to have a Charles Dickens writing their life story. Del Vecchio’s life is no different. His widowed mother sent him to live at an orphanage because she couldn’t care for him and his five siblings.

He began his working life in a factory making molds for auto parts and eyeglasses. He used the knowledge he gained working there to build the world’s largest sunglass and prescription glasses company.

7. Sheldon Adelson

Sometimes you hear of college dropouts becoming famous or rich. This proves you don’t need an expensive education to become either. And Sheldon Adelson, the owner of a $41 billion fortune, dropped out of the City College of New York.

How did he make his billions? He began by running vending machines, selling new ads, learning how to help businesses go public, hosting trade shows, etc. He basically became a “jack-of-all-trades.”

Like some investors, he’s lost some and won some. But now he runs one of the largest casino companies in the world.

8. Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshimi Mittal is CEO at the largest steel company in the world. He was born to a poor family in India. He worked as a steelworker and pushed his way up until he began selling steel.

He’s worth over $18 billion.

9. Roman Abramovich

Anyone who pulled themselves out of poverty during the Cold War deserves an accolade. Roman Abramovich is one such person. He was born in southern Russia and was an orphan from the age of two.

His uncle raised him in Northern Russia. During college, he began a small company that produced plastic toys. He used the money he made there to begin an oil business.

In 2005, he sold his company for $13 billion.

He now owns both the Chelsea Football Club and the world’s largest yacht.

10. The Richest Man in the World: Larry Ellison

Yep. The richest man in the world gets to tell a rags to riches tale. Larry Ellison was born in Brooklyn to a single mother. His aunt and uncle raised him in Chicago.

Ellison dropped out of college and worked odd jobs in California for eight years. In the late seventies, he founded Oracle and it’s now one of the largest tech companies in the world.

How much is he worth? $64.1 billion dollars.

You Don’t Need to Be From Money to Make Money

That’s the essential lesson here. We often whine and feel sorry for ourselves if we’re not rolling in money. But the question is, have you actually put your nose to the grindstone?

People like those on my list did not take what life handed them and do nothing with it. They sucked the marrow out of life and came up rich.

You can either be like them or you can feel sorry for yourself? Make your choice.

If you liked this, check out more celebrity entrepreneur news on Shoemoney.com.



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Free retirement planning guide ~ Get Rich Slowly


Vanguard, the mutual fund company, recently published a free retirement planning guide for folks like me who aren’t interested in hiring a professional financial advisor. Vanguard’s Roadmap to Financial Security is a 32-page document intended to provide DIY investors with a framework for decision-making in retirement.

Free retirement planning guide

Here’s an excerpt from the intro to this retirement planning guide:

Retirement is complex. In the face of often competing goals and numerous risks, the choices can be overwhelming, leaving many retirees unsure of where to begin. To help balance the many decisions to be made, we have constructed a retirement planning framework that allows retirees to capture their unique priorities and use their financial resources in a way that best aligns with achieving their goals and mitigating their risks.

Like me, Vanguard believes that retirement planning starts by setting goals. What do you want to get out of life? In the case of retirement, how much do you want to spend on basic living expenses? How much do you want to have set aside for “contingencies”? How much do you want to spend on fun? How much do you want to leave after you die?

Next, Vanguard’s retirement planning guide spends six pages exploring the risks of retirement and how to mitigate them. According to Vanguard, there are five primary risks in retirement:

  • Market risk, the possibility of losing purchasing power due to movements in the financial markets.
  • Health risk, a combination of your physical condition and your ability to pay for needed care.
  • Longevity and mortality risk, which are two sides of the same coin: living longer than expected, or dying sooner than anticipated.
  • Event risk, those unexpected occurrences that cost big bucks.
  • Tax and policy risk, the odds that governmental and economic forces will have an impact on your retirement planning.

The next stop on Vanguard’s retirement planning roadmap is assessing your financial resources. How much have you saved? Do you have access to private pensions or annuities? What kind of insurance do you have? What’s your asset allocation? How will you spend your money in retirement? Will you work during retirement? (There are those who would argue that if you’re working, you’re not retired. I disagree. As we discussed a few weeks ago, there’s no single definition of retirement, and only one definition involves not working.)

The Vanguard retirement planning guide spends some time talking about home equity and how it relates to wealth. This is a fascinating subject, something GRS readers often discuss in the comments, and something that comes up all of the time at various early retirement events I attend. Most retirees hold a high percentage of their wealth in home equity. Should this value be considered when evaluating your net worth? When making plans for retirement spending? It’s an interesting question that we’ll have to explore further in the future.

The final stop on Vanguard’s retirement roadmap is developing a plan. After you’ve set goals, evaluated risks, and assessed your assets, it’s time to pull all of this info together to create a financial strategy.

“There’s no universal formula for building the optimal retirement plan,” Vanguard writes. “The right mix of resources should be tailored to each household or individual. It should take into account the relative importance of competing goals and the risks that a retiree may be susceptible or sensitive to.”

The ultimate aim, says this retirement planning guide, is to obtain financial security, to know financial peace during your golden years.

Vanguard’s Roadmap to Financial Security isn’t complex and it’s not earth-shattering. It’s a simple and useful framework for retirement planning. If, like me, you do most of your own financial planning, I suspect you’ll find it thought-provoking.

[via The Oblivious Investor]



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Elon Musk’s Boring Company raises $113M for tunnels, with Musk investing the most



  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk led a $113 million investment in another venture he co-founded, The Boring Company.
  • The venture arms of Samsung and BMW are backing Mapillary, an independent provider of street-level imagery and map data.

Here’s a roundup of the most important deals in venture capital from the past week. 

 

Elon Musk’s Boring Company raised $113 million in new venture funding. Founded in 2012, The Boring Company digs tunnels for mass transit and freight transport. It is currently seeking to develop four regional projects including plans for the East and West coasts, a loop connecting D.C. and Baltimore, and a loop between downtown Chicago and the O’Hare airport. Co-founder Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, provided $100 million of the round.

 

An online reviews site for plastic surgeons and cosmetic treatments, RealSelf, raised $40 million from Elephant VC. Earlier, the Seattle-based company was backed by Expedia and Zillow founder Rich Barton, and early Amazon investor Nick Hanauer. RealSelf features more than 2 million patient-generated, anonymous reviews, the company said in a statement.

Singapore-based Zimplistic, a start-up that makes smart kitchen appliances, has raised $30 million in new funding from Credence Partners and a start-up fund that is part of Singapore’s Economic Development Board. The company told Tech In Asia it plans to use the capital, in part, to popularize its Rotimatic, an appliance which makes fresh Indian flatbreads at home.

BMW iVentures, Samsung Catalyst Fund and other investors are pouring $15 million into Mapillary, an independent provider of street-level imagery and map data to cities, transportation and mobility businesses.

A peer-to-peer car-rental company called Turo (previously known as RelayRides) raised $12 million in series D funding from American Express and Sumitomo. The funding brings the company’s total capital raised to $205 million. Turo is best known for connecting renters to luxury and sports cars and even some rare vehicles for daily rentals.

 

XPert Sea raised $10 million CAD (about $8 million USD) in a round led by Obvious Ventures and Aqua-Spark, joined by Real Ventures. The company’s bucket-like device, computer vision and machine learning software is used by shrimp and fish farms or hatcheries to count organisms, and gather data about their health and growth.

 

An enterprise health tech company, PokitDok, raised $4 million in new funding, according to an SEC filing on Friday. The San Mateo, California-based start-up uses APIs and blockchains to enable a secure flow of data between different health-care businesses facing stringent regulations.

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Un vero “Iron Man” rompe il Guinness World Record per la massima velocità con un motore a turbina controllato dal corpo.

Raggiunse una velocità di 51.02 Km/h all’ora prima di fare una virata e cadere nel lago

Un inventore che ha costruito una tuta Iron Man reale in modo di poter volare in aria come Tony Stark si è guadagnato un record mondiale.

In una giornata drammatica al Lagoona Park, Reading, l’imprenditore britannico Richard Browning ha raggiunto una velocità di 51.53 km / h al suo terzo tentativo cronometrato, prima di sbagliare una svolta e cadere nel lago.
È stato premiato con il titolo di Guinness World Records per la massima velocità in un completo a motore a propulsione controllata dal corpo, un nuovo titolo creato appositamente per lui.

L’abito di Browning, noto come Daedalus, consiste in un esoscheletro appositamente progettato, quattro motori a turbina a gas montati su braccio e due motori a turbina a gas montati sull’anca.

Egli afferma che Dedalo alla fine sarà in grado di volare a diverse centinaia di miglia all’ora ed a migliaia di metri di altezza.
“Ho questa visione: sembra audace ma la realizzerò lo stesso”, ha detto Browning durante un discorso presso “Ted” all’inizio di quest’anno.
“Un giorno forse potremo alzarci sopra una spiaggia, volare su e giù per la costa, salire un po ‘più in alto, con alcuni dei kit di sicurezza su cui stiamo lavorando per renderlo realizzabile.

La società di Browning, Gravity, si è già assicurata l’interesse di molti investitori per sviluppare Daedalus e recentemente ha raccolto una serie di finanziamenti raccogliendo oltre 650.000€.

Essendo la prima azienda a creare un costume di questo tipo destinato all’uso commerciale, Gravity sta sviluppando protocolli in linea con l’Autorità per l’aviazione civile.

La tuta include un Heads-Up Display avanzato che mette in evidenza le principali informazioni sulla sicurezza e le prestazioni, compresi i livelli di carburante e il funzionamento del motore, e sono stati installati rilevatori per avvisare il pilota se il carburante sta per esaurirsi.

La tuta è anche abilitata per Wi-Fi, che consente lo streaming di dati live dalla tuta per il monitoraggio a terra e il sistema HUD.

“Non penso che nessuno ci andrà al supermercato o lo userà per porterà i bambini a scuola, almeno per il momento. Il team di Gravity sta costruendo una tecnologia eccezionale che renderà queste possibilità alla portata di tutti”, ha detto Browning.

“Stiamo lavorando su alcune cose che cercheranno di portare questa insolita esperienza di volo ad un pubblico più ampio, al di là degli eventi e degli spettacoli che stiamo facendo”.

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Perché Bill Gates non vuole tenersi per sé 90 miliardi di dollari

Bill Gates e la sua fondazione hanno l’obiettivo di donare metà dell’immenso patrimonio del fondatore di Microsoft.

Al giorno d’oggi, già è difficile pensare a cosa si potrebbe fare con 1 milione di dollari tra le mani. Figurarsi se il patrimonio in questione è pari a 90 miliardi di dollari. Una cifra abnorme, che da sola sarebbe sufficiente a far risollevare le sorti di milioni di famiglie sparse per il mondo. Questa cifra appartiene a Bill Gates, che di recente è stato protagonista di un nostro articolo, in cui decantavamo le sue abilità profetiche (le profezie contenute nel libro del 1999 “Business alla velocità del pensiero” sono diventate già storia). Ebbene, uno degli uomini più ricchi della Terra, dietro soltanto a Jeff Bezos, non è interessato a mantenere per sé un patrimonio da urlo. Perché?

Tutta “colpa” della filantropia

Tutto va riunito sotto un unico concetto: filantropia. Bill Gates, insieme alla moglie Melinda, da oltre 15 anni è impegnato nella Gates Foundation, con cui ogni anno dona gran parte dei suoi soldi alla ricerca e ai Paesi più poveri della Terra, aiutando famiglie in difficoltà e la ricerca scientifica. Lo fa perché ha sposato il detto cristiano “lascia un mondo migliore di quello che hai trovato”, con la fede cattolica che rappresenta un tratto in comune con la moglie Melinda, anche lei fortemente ispirata ai valori cattolici.

Insieme a Warren Buffett, l’altro uomo più ricco del pianeta grazie alle sue incredibili abilità nella finanza (la scuola di pensiero Value Investing continua a conquistare nuovi adepti ogni giorno, con risultati più o meno felici) Bill e Melinda Gates hanno fatto una promessa: cedere metà del loro patrimonio in beneficenza, durante la loro vita oppure dopo la loro morte. In questi 17 anni Gates e Melinda non hanno mai smesso di guardare al prossimo e di restituirgli la ricchezza extra accumulata in tutti questi anni dal colosso di Redmond, Microsoft.

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