My favorite posts from 2018

It’s the last day of the first full year of There are some great things in the works for 2019, but before we close the books on the year that was I want to take a look back at a few of my favorite blog posts from 2018:

The W-2 income trap: what freelancers lose by becoming employees

2017’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act changed many of the rules that affect how freelancers pay income taxes. One of the more-overlooked changes happens when employers change their workers’ status from independent (or 1099) contractors to W-2 employees. This post is about the differences between the two types of employee status and what freelancers should know when they move from one to the other.

2008: a reflection

2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of not only the stock market crash that heralded the Great Recession but also the beginning of my shift from professional musician to financial planner. This is the story of the events of that year from my own perspective, and how they expanded my worldview, changed my attitude about who’s to blame for bad financial decisions, and kicked off an enduring obsession with financial behavior that planted the seeds for what I do today.

Act like a millionaire: Six behaviors of wealthy people that can help freelancers achieve financial security

Speaking of financial behavior, here’s an article on that topic that turned out to be one of my most popular posts of the year. The book The Millionaire Next Door blew up common misconceptions about the behaviors of people who are likely to become wealthy: Owning boring cars and bargain hunting are better predictors of wealth than having flashy possessions like yachts and mansions. Even if becoming a millionaire isn’t your goal, comparing these behaviors with your own might give you some insight on how to get beyond surviving on your freelance income and achieve financial security.

How (and why) freelancers should start saving for retirement

People my age hear a lot about saving for retirement – from parents, teachers, and most overwhelmingly, from the industry that profits when you hand them your hard-earned savings. The common perception of retirement – think sunshine, beaches, and golf – is largely a creation of the postwar advertising industry, but to make saving for retirement a meaningful (or even thrilling) experience you first need to have a vision of the future that really matters to you.

Home-buying fever? Better check your temperature first.

This summer may have been the peak of the post-2008 housing market, and for many people looking to buy a home there was enormous pressure to sign first and ask questions later. The decision to buy affects almost every aspect of your life, but in the rush to get an offer through it’s easy to stray from your goals – something I experienced, then wrote about, so you don’t have to.

30 years

In the wake of the U.N.’s stunning report on climate change, it’s clear that the effects of global warming will be disastrous and irreversible within my generation’s lifetime – unless my generation takes control of the decision-making that will affect our ability to have a future worth living in.

The freelancer’s guide to health insurance

To prepare for this year’s open enrollment for health insurance coverage through the ACA exchanges, I wrote a series of posts to help guide freelancers through the decision of choosing a healthcare plan. Even though open enrollment has ended in most states, these posts are still valuable if you want to better understand the plan you have by cutting through the jargon and focusing on what really matters.