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Author: Jason

Jason is a professor, academic writer, and a personal finance newbie. Although he comes late to the game of becoming financial independent he is passionate about helping others learn from his mistakes, manage their finances, and living a fulfilling life.
Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

Let’s Talk About Target Date Mutual Funds

The wonderful bloggers over at Millennial Revolution had an excellent post last week they entitled “Is Too Much Freedom Bad For You?” Personally, I think the answer to that question depends on the person. Politicians constantly promote the idea of freedom. More choices will drive down the market. The amount of choices we have on the internet is fantastic. The amount of television shows makes this a great time to be a fan of TV. That maybe true in the…

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Would You Live/Retire Abroad?

Would You Live/Retire Abroad?

I fully admit that I do a lot of daydreaming and fantasizing about the future. Probably too much. I mean one of my biggest issues is being more present instead of thinking and primarily worrying about the future. However, I really do like thinking about my potential financial dreams. This is also the time of year, summer, when things slow down for me. While I am still working, my schedule is a lot less structured. I am teaching, doing research,…

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Should I Invest in Real Estate?

Should I Invest in Real Estate?

*This post is updated from its original posting about six months ago. I have been thinking about buying real estate to add to my portfolio. I thought a multi-family home next door to us would come on the market as a foreclosure, but that isn’t going to happen. So I have been thinking about how else, if at all, do I get into real estate. So while this was a thought experiment 3 years ago I still think about it…

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So You Want to Take Online Courses?

So You Want to Take Online Courses?

Over the past few years I have moved about one half of my pedagogy online. Unlike an in-class experience where I feel like I know what I am doing I am constantly doubting myself about my online teaching. I think I do a pretty good job in-class, but translating that into a good experience for students online is more difficult. In fact, that is the biggest “problem” that faculty who teach online tend to have: how do they translate the…

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Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

Our House Is My Debt Piggybank

I have written a number of posts about home ownership. Generally, I think owning a home is a good thing. However, there are a variety of costs that can make it more costly than renting depending on the situation. In fact, I have argued that if you can’t save or have trouble saving that you could view your home as “forced” savings. In other words, paying down the mortgage and the home value going up gives you the ability to…

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How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

How to Evaluate Mutual Funds

Last week I talked about strategies I try to use to conquer the fear of missing out. Part of that post was focusing on staying the economic course. Part of my course is a focus on buying cheap, index funds. In fact, many personal finance bloggers (it might be most, but not all) also adhere to this rule. Warren Buffett has even argued his financial advice to people would be to stick their money in a low-cost index fund. I…

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Conquering the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Conquering the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

The people who know me know that I am not a technologically gifted person. I fully admit that Mrs. ROB is head and shoulders ahead of me in this realm. Hell, I didn’t even get a smart phone until October of 2016. The fact that I was able to follow directions and create this blog is somewhat of a minor miracle. One of the great modern wonders of technology is our connection to social media. Here, I am also somewhat…

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Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

Earmark Extra Income Ahead of Time

One of the favorite things my dad would always tell me was that when I had money it was “burning a hole in my pocket.” And in some respects that was/is true. I remember using my allowance to buy toys, food, and games or other items. I don’t remember saving a lot of my money as a kid. I mean I had a savings account, but when I went to college I had enough money for spending money, but that…

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Planning Your Legacy

Planning Your Legacy

Guest Post: Today we have a guest post from Samuel Murdoff, an attorney who specializes in real estate, business law, and estate planning. Full disclosure Sam is my cousin. However, Sam is also one of the most ethical people I have ever met. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he spent 2 years doing mission work in Europe and he graduated with a J.D. and MBA from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. I think his advice…

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Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

Rules of Thumb for Buying a House

A few days ago CNBC had an analysis where they put out what salary you needed in order to afford a home in 20 cities. Their basic criteria is how big of a salary you needed if you put down 10% or 20%, 4% 30 year mortgage with a 45% debt to income ratio. For example, to afford a median priced home in San Antonio (140k) with 10% down you need a salary of 23k and 20% down you would…

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