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Enjoying freedom and opportunity

Mark Levitt
By Mark Levitt

This article appeared originally in the December 2015 Levitt Letter.

Rob Bennett’s approach to money management at his PassionSaving.com website focuses more on enjoying freedom and opportunity than on planning for retirement. Bennett has college degrees in political science, law, and taxation and is an accomplished writer who retired in his early 40s. Below I’ve selected and truncated my favorites of his many money myths. — Mark

Myth #1. Mortgages are always worthwhile
Some believe it’s always good to have a mortgage, even if you’re able to pay it off; that you are wiser to invest in stocks. Why would a bank lend you money for less than it can earn from stocks?
Myth #2. Stocks Are Always Best.
There is no one asset class that is always best for the long run, because an investment’s long-term appeal depends on its popularity. Were an asset class to become widely regarded as the best, then it soon would become overpriced. Stocks really are best for the long run only when most investors do not view them as being such.
Myth #3. Everyone Should Aim to Save 10% of Income.
Some individuals with varying goals and circumstances should save zero or even go into debt for a time (to attend school, for example). There is no one, ideal saving percentage for all of us.
Myth #4. To Retire, You Need 80% of Your Pre-Retirement Income.
Maybe you would need an income stream of 80% of your pre-retirement spending (since you won’t have jobrelated expenses during retirement). The more you save, the lower the percentage of your pre-retirement income you will need to replace in retirement.
Myth #5. We Need Houses Twice the Size of Those We Grew Up In.
Most of today’s families are smaller, and most of today’s houses are bigger. A large house gives you a place to store too much stuff. More people would be financially free today if they hadn’t bought too big a house.
Myth #6. It’s Not Possible for Those Going Through Hard Times to Save.
“Just about anyone can save something.” Most of us need to rethink our justifications not to save. Imagine the feeling of empowerment from saving even a little when it seems impossible.
Myth #7. Budgets Are Boring.
Rather than a document that says “No” to what you want to do with your life, a budget can guide you to achieve a “Yes.”

You probably will agree, Dear Reader, that the concepts above embody Yeshua’s Matt.10:16 advisory: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” So do the 7 Survival Principles you can read at levitt.com. — Mark

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