{ MASTERPOST } Everything You Need to Know about Investing for Beginners

Long after the Cataclysm, when the Reavers stalked the Land and life in the Before Times was but a distant memory, there were those who sought to understand the past. They sifted through the rubble of long-forgotten cities, searching for clues to the life of prosperity and ease their ancestors had enjoyed.

Ticker tape was found, and a dusty DVD of The Wolf of Wall Street. These artifacts were carefully preserved and venerated, mystics and scholars studying them to unravel the Deep Mysteries. There was a ritual known as “investing,” which took place in a temple called “the stock market” and bestowed upon the masses “dividends.” Could this be the key to the prosperity and opulence of their ancestors?

Only time would tell.

But there were some who remembered the Wysdom of Thee Bitches. You could hear these cultists crying out in the darkness, amidst their nightly rituals, “It’s about time IN the market! Not timING the market!” as they cackled and danced.

It’s been said you can’t save your way to financial independence—you have to invest your way there. But investing in the stock market seems like a complicated, daunting practice reserved for rich people and the bebuttsticked class. In the articles below, we attempt to demystify investing into something everyone can—and should—do.

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How to Painlessly Run the Gauntlet of a 401k Rollover

If we’ve taught you nothing else here at Bitches Get Riches, it’s that you should:

  1. sign up for your employer’s retirement plan and
  2. job hop your way to a nice fat salary.

Yet these two bits of career advice might seem to conflict with one another. After all, if you’re job-hopping your way up the salary food-chain, you might be leaving a trail of old retirement plans behind you to languish. What do you do with your old 401k when you move on to a new employer, or even embrace self-employment?

Enter the 401k rollover: the most hateful, obnoxious, and needlessly complicated bureaucratic process known to man.

Today we’re not only going to demystify the process of how to roll over an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401k—we’re going to make it beautifully, sinfully painless. It’s going to be so much fun you guys!!!!!

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Ask the Bitches: "Do Women Need Different Financial Advice Than Men?"

Ask the Bitches: “Do Women Need Different Financial Advice Than Men?”

Today on Ask the Bitches, we’ve got a GREAT question about whether women need different financial advice than men. And it was asked by… A MAN?!

(Cue: crashing thunder, rain SFX, opening cords of “It’s Raining Men.”)

That’s right, doubters and haters. Despite our joyless misandrist ways, we’ve got male readers. We’ve even got male readers who are so into what we talk about they’re willing to pay us for our work by becoming Patreon donors!

Our male fans be like...

One such donor asked us a thought-provoking question about gender and money that initially kinda stumped me. In short: do women need different financial advice than men?

I had a knee-jerk reaction to say “no” and leave it at that. (Helpful!) But as I thought about it, I realized there are some significant biological and cultural differences worth discussing. Let’s start by reading the particulars of Patron Mat’s excellent question.

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The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

The Resignation Checklist: 25 Sneaky Ways To Bleed Your Employer Dry Before Quitting

I awoke last night in a cold sweat, gripped with the sudden realization that I have an incredibly comprehensive resignation checklist… and I’ve been selfishly sitting on it, to the detriment of the millions of Americans who’ve walked away from their jobs in recent months.

I recognize that this constitutes a top ten anime betrayal.

許してくれ。

I'm so sorry I didn't write this resignation checklist sooner!!

The thing is… I’ve been daydreaming about leaving my job for years. These plans have been a part of me for so long that I kinda forgot they were plans at all. Like, I don’t necessarily notice my own breathing, stretching, or constructing elaborate fantasies about leaving corporate America forever.

Planning to quit ahead of time is a great advantage, and not everyone gets it. In most states, people can be fired suddenly, for no reason. Other people need to leave their job abruptly because of absolutely untenable issues like workplace safety or harassment. Those people do not have the luxury of planning a soft landing for themselves. 

But if you’re planning to quit voluntarily, you can do what they cannot. You can be strategic. Y’know, like Light Yagami eating potato chips! And in doing so, you can extract a ton of value back from your employer and/or your government before you go.

I’m down to just one month at my job, and I’m systematically going through this list. It will save me thousands of dollars. It will also prevent a lot of logistical headaches for my future self. Because I wanna set her up with a low stress post-job lifestyle. Listening to the hold music for the COBRA continuation assistance hotline is not on my retirement vision board!

Here’s my ultimate resignation checklist…

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Your Girl is Officially Retiring at 35 Years Old

Your Girl Is Officially Retiring at 35 Years Old

Earlier this month at the EconoMe Conference, I gave a speech where I revealed I was planning on retiring at 35 years old.

I practiced the speech many times, mostly in the sacred privacy of my shower. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with it! When I tried to talk about how and why I was going for such an early retirement age, I faltered, rambled, and went on weird tangents that had too many 1990s anime references (or not enough, depending on your perspective).

My youthful days as a theatre kid had imbued me with an unshakable certainty that there was no point in worrying about it. The show would go on. I would get up on the stage and say something, and people would clap politely when I was done. Because they always do that, even when you suck! Ah, the beauty of social contracts!

Surprisingly, the words flowed easiest when I was standing on a stage in front of a few hundred people. I could kinda see the faces of my audience through the haze of the UFO tractor beam lighting. I had the world’s best business partner on stage next to me; the front row was packed with wise and supportive personal finance industry mentors; and past them, a sea of faces belonging to people who intimately understood what I was there to say about financial freedom. Before the most welcoming and encouraging audience imaginable, my words came out effortlessly.

“Work sucks, and I hate it, so I’m not gonna do it anymore.”

I should’ve just said that and trusted this audience to fill my remaining 28 minutes with a standing ovation. Maybe wrap with some local jokes? “Thanks for attending my TedTalk. Go Cincinnati, um, Owlbears? No, no, that’s definitely a D&D monster, hold on… [checks notes] Bearcats! Go Bearcats!”

It’s true. If all goes as planned, I’m retiring at 35 years old this coming spring.

Here’s my story.

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Bitchtastic Book Review: Tanja Hester on Early Retirement, Privilege, and Her Book, Work Optional

Bitchtastic Book Review: Tanja Hester on Early Retirement, Privilege, and Her Book, Work Optional

Dear readers, we’ve been holding out on you. For there is something beyond the basic financial literacy we strive to teach you here at Bitches Get Riches. Something that comes after you level up as far as you go with your money.

It’s called FIRE, or “financial independence, retire early.” And it’s something a lot of our esteemed colleagues in the money-writin’ biz are fighting tooth and nail to achieve.

One of the beacons of light in the conversation about financial independence and early retirement is Tanja Hester, author of the brand new book Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way.

Tanja is awesome. Her book is awesome. Her advice is awesome.

She’s like the result of a long, fulfilling, romantic relationship between a timelessly wise Amazon warrior and your favorite cool aunt, the one who both comforted you about the mean kids at school and bought you your first box of condoms. I’d trust her both to carry my body to Valhalla from the field of battle and to give me sound financial advice, is what I’m saying.

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Investing Deathmatch: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Investing Deathmatch: Traditional IRA vs. Roth IRA

Two methods of investing in the stock market enter the ring.

Only one will leave victorious.

Welcome back to another installment of… INVESTING DEATHMATCH!!!!!!!!!

If you’re one of our Patreon supporters, there are four things I know for sure about you. One: you’re beautiful on the inside and out. Two: you’re powerful, also on the inside and out (like, you are spiritually intimidating and also extremely muscular). Three: You have excellent taste in blogs run by women who are emotionally in their mid-seventies but physically in their early thirties.

The fourth and most important thing I know about our Patreon supporters: Once a month, they get to choose a topic for an upcoming blog post. And this month they selected a battle royale between traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

So if you enjoy this week’s post, you have our gorgeous, strong, good-taste-having, democratically empowered Patreon supporters to thank for it. Please consider becoming one, or continue to aspire to grow up to be one.

So real.

Now let’s get down to the EXTREMELY ANALYTICAL CARNAGE.

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How To Save for Retirement When You Make Less Than $30,000 a Year

Retirement is a difficult concept for young people to wrap their heads around. It’s hard enough figuring out how to be An Adult, let alone An Old.

We’ll be talking more broadly in the near future about the general concept of retirement. (Spoiler alert: it’s as outdated as an avocado-colored refrigerator.) But today I’d like to talk directly about the concept of saving for retirement while pretty legit poor.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to define that as someone making $30,000 a year or less. Obviously there are lots of factors that can stretch this figure. A mom of three with a high school education in Washington, D.C. is going to have a much harder time than a single, highly-educated person making the same amount in Woodstock, Alabama. And actually, that number is still more than double the official so-called “poverty line,” which is just under $13,000.

But Piggy and I feel strongly that there isn’t enough realistic, valuable advice for people in this general bracket. So we’d like to talk to them.

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Dafuq Is a Retirement Plan and Why Do You Need One?

For young’uns like us, old age and retirement couldn’t seem farther away. And yet the thing about retirement is it goes way smoother if you prep for it in advance. Which is why all of us—yes, even you fresh-faced recent graduates—need a retirement plan.

The term “retirement plan” itself is a bit misleading. It suggests there’s a singular, one-size-fits-all tool for preparing to live out your sunset years in the lap of luxury. In reality, not only is there no one single retirement savings tool that works for everyone. But most people use multiple “retirement plans.”

Join me, dear readers, as I guide you through an entirely-too-detailed tour of the most common forms of retirement plans. Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times and please don’t feed the wildlife.

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