Work Optional – Your Money or Your Life for the Modern Pragmatist

If you write, read, or even dip your toe into the financial independence space, then you’ve read Our Next Life. In only a few years of existence, Tanja Hester’s blog has rocketed from a brand-new site to Rockstar Finance mainstay to 2018 Blog of the Year. Tanja has become a major community builder in the personal finance space and has launched a podcast (with plans for another) and hosted her own conference.

On top of all that, she has a new book coming out today! The book is Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way. I’ve read it, and I wanted to share a few thoughts.

As a note: Tanja is a friend, I’ve been reading her work for a long time, and she sent me a copy of the book. I make no claims of being unbiased. 🙂 That said, I fully believe and stand by everything set forth below.

Continue reading “Work Optional – Your Money or Your Life for the Modern Pragmatist”

Advocating for Women Has Helped My Career

I recently talked to Tanja from Our Next Life about feminism and being a male ally for the Fairer Cents podcast. The episode will go live on Wednesday (2/6/19) and you will be able to download it from the Fairer Cents feed on your favorite podcast platform. (But then, why aren’t you already subscribed?)

One of the questions that Tanja asked was about the negative consequences for men that speak up on behalf of women. This is a fair question and there are certainly negative consequences and risks to putting yourself out on a limb.

But today I want to put a bit of a different spin on that. Today I want to talk about the positive consequences of speaking out. Continue reading “Advocating for Women Has Helped My Career”

Just Give Everyone Money

We’re spending the month of October around these parts diving into politics and policy and how they affect our lives.

One policy idea that I’ve found intriguing in recent years is the Universal Basic Income. It’s a concept that has been laughed off as utopian in many circles but has gotten more and more traction among policy wonks lately.

I decided that an article on UBI would be an interesting and thought-provoking piece for the personal finance community. As I was doing my research, however, I came across a major problem.

A thorough look at UBI would require far more information than I could reasonably put into one article.

And so this article today will start a mini-series exploring the ins and outs of Universal Basic Income. Today we’ll cover the basics and the competing visions for UBI. The next few articles will dive deeper into the pros and cons, addressing concerns, and figuring out how to pay for it.

I’ve gone back and forth over the years with whether I support the idea. Over the next few articles I intend to give you all the pros and cons so that you can come to your own decision.

Whichever side you fall on, however, it’s time we start taking the idea of a Universal Basic Income seriously. Continue reading “Just Give Everyone Money”

Why We Need to Talk About Politics

We’re spending 2018 around here learning how to live a better life.

Each month, we’re diving into a different theme to learn as much as we can about how to improve ourselves in that area and use what we learn to live a happier, wealthier, and more productive life.

So far, we have focused mainly on happiness and finances, with a side of health and productivity.

This month I want to go into an area that most people view as entirely separate from self-improvement: politics.

Before diving into anything specific, though, I think I should first explain why politics and policy matters, why we should talk about it more, and how it impacts our lives. Continue reading “Why We Need to Talk About Politics”

Will Kids Make You Happier?

I’m a new father this year and when I decided to explore the intersection between relationships and happiness I knew I wanted to see what the research found on how children affect our happiness.

I’ve read a lot of research on children this year, but pretty much all of it had to do with best practices in raising them. Now I wanted to see the impact that children have on adults.

Do kids make us happier?

I could wax poetic about my own experience, but if you’ve been here before you know I’d rather dive into the data. We’re all biased when it comes to our own experiences, but aggregated data is less biased.

So what does the data say? Do kids make us happier?

Well…It depends on how you define happy.

And where you live. Continue reading “Will Kids Make You Happier?”

The Decline of Work

Last week we opened our exploration of investing and the economy by learning why we need to be investing.

We discussed the loss of pensions and the threats to social security. We learned about how inflation eats into our savings to rob us of our spending power. We explored the power of compound interest.

These are all important reasons to invest. But there are others, as well.

We are in a new economy that treats us much differently than it treated our parents. The rules of the game are changing.

Investments are becoming more valuable, while work is becoming less so. Continue reading “The Decline of Work”

The Meaning of Life

We’ve spent the month of April around here exploring the science of happiness.

We’ve covered a lot of ground in a short period of time. (A Tuesday/Thursday schedule only produces eight articles in April!)

To close out the month, I’d like to touch on a light and simple topic: the meaning of life.

Okay, maybe not THE meaning of life. I don’t think I’m quite qualified to definitively comment on that. But the importance of having SOME meaning in your life. Continue reading “The Meaning of Life”

How Work Makes Us Happier (Seriously!)

When we look at ways to be happier, we usually don’t look to work.

Instead, we tend to see work as a necessary source of unhappiness. We work because we need money.

One of the premises of the financial independence movement is that we’ll be happier once we don’t have to go to our jobs anymore.

If you’re discounting work as a source of happiness, however, you’re missing out on quite a bit.

Not only do we tend to be happier than we think at work, there is much more happiness to be mined in this arena. Continue reading “How Work Makes Us Happier (Seriously!)”

How to Earn More Money

Everybody is always looking for ways to make more money.

The Internet abounds with articles about side hustles and negotiating raises. There are entire television channels devoted to following stock market investments. Being a co-host of a show about angel investing can help catapult you into consideration to be a vice presidential candidate.

But from what I’ve seen and read, it looks like most people are taking a scattershot approach to making more money.

People try a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They jump into a side hustle and then when that doesn’t work they try another.

Like most other things that I talk about, I think it makes sense to look at earning money in a more systematic way. If we really want to make more money, we should understand the landscape. Continue reading “How to Earn More Money”