40 Yr Mortgages, Accidental Inventions & A Tree Fell On My House! 😩

April 18, 2023

Good morning, lovely people!

One day in 1943, a clumsy Navy engineer was building a power meter, but he kept dropping metal springs on the ground… And that’s how Richard James accidentally invented the slinky!

One night in 1894, two brothers were making bread when they forgot about a pot of boiling grain on the stove. The grain dried out and some parts became hard and crunchy… And that’s how the Kellogg brothers accidentally invented Corn Flakes!

One day an engineer was researching radars using a vacuum tube. He thought it was a complete failure because every time he did an experiment the candy bars in his pocket would start melting. And that’s how Percy Spencer accidentally invented the microwave!

All of these mistakes, failures, and accidents —> turned into awesome cool inventions.

Just something to think about next time you make a mistake… Maybe it was meant to happen? Maybe your errors are bringing you closer to something cool and exciting in your life?

Embrace thy errors. You are learning and improving faster than you might think 😉

OK, onto the money stuff!! 👇👇👇


Ask for a Discount Somewhere 🏷️

Your challenge this week: Try asking for a discount somewhere.

I know, it’s scary putting yourself out there. And 9 times out of 10 you might hear a “no”… But, even getting a discount at only 10% of the places you shop is a huge win!

Try it. Advocate for yourself (and your wallet) by learning the art of asking for a discount 💪


When Disaster Strikes ⚡️

Believe it or not, this is a picture of Joel’s house taken 2 weeks ago!!! 👇👇👇

When the Georgia storms ripped through his neighborhood, lightning struck a tree on his property and sent a massive pitch-fork shaped branch into the roof.

The biggest branch not only pierced through the roof, but also the ceiling, sofa, and even punched a beach-ball sized hole in the floor! Crazy, right?!

Luckily, Joel and his fam were out vacationing in California that week. They just woke up one morning to a bunch of phone calls from the neighbors back home wondering if they were OK. Seriously, we’re so thankful nobody was hurt 🙏

Joel is still in early phases of the clean-up, insurance claim, and rebuild of the house. (and we’ll share more about all this on future episodes). But here’s a couple notes and things we wanted to share with y’all:

  1. Double check your insurance policies! Inflation has impacted everything, and the cost to rebuild and renovate has gone up substantially. Because of that, you might be underinsured. Yes, your premiums might increase but proper insurance is money well spent to make sure you aren’t left holding the bag in the event of a major catastrophe.
  2. We’re all about investing, but keeping a fully funded emergency fund allows you to raise deductibles on car and home insurance in order to save big bucks on premiums. And although when the accident occurs (like a tree getting struck by lightning and falling through your roof 😬), it’s not fun to fork over a chunk of your savings- that’s also what it’s there for!
  3. It’s crucial to get multiple quotes from insurance providers so that you can crunch the numbers and assess potential savings. You might be able to save the equivalent of that increased deductible in just two or three years.
  4. Even if it takes longer to get things done, be sure to hire reputable companies to do work at your house. After the accident, your insurance company will likely recommend its ‘preferred contractors.’ Nothing wrong with that. But wouldn’t it be better to use a company that you have personal experience with, or one that get great ratings and reviews from your neighbors and community?!

More Resources:


Automated (and free!) Net Worth Tracking

A few years back, Empower Retirement purchased Personal Capital, our favorite net worth tracking tool! The good news is all that changed was the name, not any of the free features or management tools.

While they do offer portfolio management and stuff for high net worth clients, the easy to use dashboard and expense tracking is the best part. All you need to do is connect your bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerages. Then sit back as the software organizes your financial life into neat little summaries.

If you don’t track your net worth or are looking for a more automated approach, check out Empower! 💪


Would You Choose a 40 Year Mortgage?

You may have heard that the FHA is expanding it’s loan term options, going into effect May 8th. This will include options to modify into a 40 year mortgage! The goal is to make monthly payments a bit more affordable for those who are facing financial hardship, but at the same time it’s important to highlight they’re not a great deal.

Here’s a comparison of 30 year vs. 40 year mortgage loans, using the same original loan amount of $500,000 and a mortgage rate of 6.5%…

A few notes:

  • Although the monthly payments work out lower, everything else is worse about 40 year mortgages. More interest, total overall cost, and payoff time.
  • Even though 40 year mortgages have lower monthly payments, it’s not that much lower… You only save $230 per month!
  • In the above comparison we’re using the same rate and fixed term for both options. But in reality, 40 year mortgages might have an even higher interest rate than 30 years, or interest only introductory periods. In these situations, total interest and amount paid could be even worse!

Anyway, we understand there’s probably a place for longer loan terms and they may work out better for some folks. Just be careful out there — if you’re buying a home, compare ALL the available products and fetch as many quotes as you can for different options.

Related stuff:


Latest and greatest money news…

Flight Prices 🥳
Google Flights just dropped an AWESOME new feature — it’s a “price guarantee” option that will refund you money if your plane ticket drops to a cheaper price buying it. You need to be logged into your Google account, be based in the US, and book the flights through Google to be eligible for the price guarantee.

Financial Health 👎
CNBC’s latest survey reveals that 58% of Americans now identify as “living paycheck to paycheck”, including 30% of those making over $100k. Actually there’s some really interesting answers and responses in the full survey data, all available here.

Libraries FTW! 🏆
Pretty cool article here that takes a deeper dive into the ever-expanding services that some libraries offer. Some example services mentioned: career advice, instrument rentals, free seeds for your garden, language learning software, and museum tickets. You can even join libraries in other cities/states. Some are free for non-residents, others have a small annual fee (but still could be worth it!)

Tipping Etiquette 🗺️
Here’s a map, via Visual Capitalist, that shows how much you should tip in each country. While 10% seems the norm in over a third of the world, the US standard is 20% (not surprising given that tips are a large portion of a typical server’s income!)

Inflation 📉
Latest CPI data came out last week and inflation has reduced down to 5% year-over-year. This is the lowest rate since early 2021, which is cool news 🙂


Jordan Grumet, MD.

Jordan (aka Doc G) is an absolute legend — one of those people you feel lucky to be in the same room as, and even luckier when you get to have a conversation with him!

Jordan used to be a hospice doctor, which means he’s worked with thousands of sick and dying people. He had many chats with those patients and learned a lot about life regrets, deep reflection, and perspective about what’s truly important in life. (hint: it’s *not* money)

We chatted with Jordan back on Episode 541 about the finitude of life. He also hosts his own podcast and wrote a book about what he learned as a hospice doctor.

Cheers for reading! Have an awesome week ahead, making silly mistakes and focusing on the silver linings 😉

Best friends out 🍻

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