Saturday, April 21, 2018

Financial Education: Series Introduction

I’m writing this series of articles because I’ve learned a lot and made a lot of progress in my life the last few years, and I want to share that with others. In particular, I’ve seen several people who are new to the personal financial management game and have a lot they could learn. Put another way, if you graduate with an engineering degree and get an engineering job, there is no reason the average engineer cannot become a millionaire before age 50. Or another way, you can save up a little cushion of money in just a year or two, to survive six months or even more of unforeseen unemployment or a major uninsured loss. Yet another way, you can climb Mt. Everest.

In the last week I’ve had three conversations that are a little difficult to have. One was a conversation with a person about to enter the professional ranks for the first time, and no retirement savings, yet over age 30. Another was with an engineer that was in the process of being reassigned due to a reorganization, and was very stressed out about the future, and the unspoken possibility of missing a few weeks of pay, or a few months of strait upward career mobility. The third was an engineer who suggested that no one can retire until their 60s or even 70s. In all of these conversations there was some feeling of powerlessness, a feeling of not having agency, or control (although we usually don’t have that much control of the situation), even any influence over the circumstance. I recognize the feeling very well as I often feel no agency on bad days.

What I hope to convey in the next 5000 words is a path, not necessarily to freedom, but to having more influence over your life. What follows is a path that creates opportunities.

Here are the topics I will cover:
101: Create a $1,000 Emergency Fund
102: Pay Down Your Debts 
201: Look at Your Spending
202: Get any “free” money
301: Hedges and Insurance
302: Retirement Savings
401: Work Toward Financial Independence

402: Make the World a Better Place

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