Hi! I’m Blaine Thiederman. I’m the money nerd who started Progress Wealth Management to try and change the way that the financial sector serves it’s clients.
This page is a road map for new readers. Some who discover Progress Wealth Management are trying to figure out how to better their lives and achieve financial freedom. Others are independently wealthy and need advice how to manage their finances and live a quiet, wealthy life. Everyone starts in a different place. Wherever you happen to be, I hope that my website and my company can help steer you in the right direction.
Ready to get started on your journey to financial freedom?
Scroll down until you find where you are on the road to financial freedom, then dive into the articles! Thanks for visiting.
Your lifestyle depends on others for financial support.
It can feel incredibly frustrating to wake up after years of hard-work and struggle and realize you’re not where you want to be financially and have no idea what you’re doing wrong. Don’t be discouraged, and don’t compare yourself others. Start where you are.
Every one of us has some sort of financial plan, whether or not it’s written-down or formal. It’s important to be honest with yourself and know when to say “enough is enough” and admit when you need to pivot lest you’ll never live the life you dream of. The fact of the matter is, if your personal financial plan is faulty, you have to make changes. If you can’t admit when you need help, you’ll likely have trouble reaching your goals and eventually will end up stagnating and never truly feeling financial free.
You are the boss of you and nobody cares more about your money than you do and only you and your dependents will suffer if you fail, so the quality of your plan is your responsibility. If you haven’t hired on a personal CFO, you are the CFO of your financial life. Treat your finances like a business.
The difference between what you earn and what you spend is referred to as your free cash flow or retained earnings and is absolutely the most important things to consider in financial planning. Our “retained earnings” are what most financial planners aim to maximize every month and then figure out the most profitable move for what you should do next with them.
There’s an old saying that there are those who get good lives go get them. My challenge to you is to go get life.
You can meet your financial commitments without outside help.
The best way to create a life that you really want to experience is to start by first understanding what that life should really look like. This might be continuing on to live the life you already are but it also could be pursuing a new one. Whatever it is, you need to write down not just what kind of life you want but why that life is the one you want to live and what mistakes you aim to avoid by pursuing it.
Like it or not, if you want to get rich, you need a budget. I get it, I hate budgets too. I’ve linked an article on a few more effective ways to budget, here.
As soon as you’ve created a budget and you’re earning more than you’re spending; the next step is to make an efficient use of your retained earnings.
Having low-fixed expenses and learning to live a simple life is the cornerstone of all strong financial plans. If Warren Buffet lives a simple life, you can, too.
You can afford your lifestyle so it’s time to start building
Once you’ve mastered spending less than you earn, you may have reached the “fork in the road” on your journey to financial freedom; spend even less or earn more. If you’d like to explore ideas on how to grow your income faster, you may want to read my article on How to Earn More, Faster here. Remember, contrary to common knowledge… if you can’t earn more, it’s because of your choices in life. Choice of profession, where you live or your willingness to pursue additional education and a more profitable skillset.
Sometimes those choices that hold you back are:
- You chose the wrong profession.
- You get too comfortable at work.
- You stop caring if you’re paid what you’re worth.
By reading our article on negotiating your compensation, you could earn over a half million more throughout your career.
Once you’ve decided to pursue saving more or earning more, the next step is to Build a Strong Emergency Fund. The journey to financial freedom can have avalanches at any step that can ruin your trip. Without a sufficiently large emergency fund, overcoming these obstacles can feel impossible.
Creating your own, personal survival guide for personal finance can make or break your ability to reach your goals. What going through this exercise can do for you is, you’ll be better prepared for what will happen by expecting it.
What do you want out of life? Go get it.
Now that you’ve got your spending and earning on lockdown and you’re prepared for the biggest risks in life, the next step is to start building and preparing to afford the future you hope for. This doesn’t mean you should stop monitoring your spending and earning but it does mean you should now start thinking about what happens next.
Questions you should be trying to answer include:
- What should I do with my extra money each month?
- How much should I save for short term goals?
- How can I build a financial plan to afford to buy a home?
- When to hire on help and when to DIY different parts of your life?
Read our articles on each of the topics above before moving onto our next section.
Your investment income covers your basic needs.
The path to financial freedom can make you feel exhausted and occasionally hopeless. Know that you’re not alone. Everyone struggles and sometimes falters. Read our guide on how to stay disciplined as you go through life, here.
The most basic needs we can all have in life are:
Your investment income supports your current standard of living and you feel good about your financial situation.
As you continue to grow and build your nest egg, most people start to think more seriously about retiring but what does it really mean to be retired?
Retirement isn’t the same for any two people; it’s not the end of your story. In all it is in reality is a new chapter in the same book that is your life. There are various ways to approach it. I believe that there are three main different ways to approach experiencing and enjoying retirement.
Once you’ve gathered enough assets to afford to retire, the next big question is to understand how to manage the funds once you’re retired, how to withdraw them in a tax efficient way and how to avoid any unnecessary risks. Really, there are lots of mistakes people make in preparing for retirement. Our article on the biggest mistakes retirees make in the new millennia included here lists a few of them.
If you’ve reached this stage, you’ve reached true financial freedom and have no worries about money anymore.
You’ve finally gotten there. After all your hard work, you no longer have to worry about money at all. What next?
I’ve worked in financial planning for over a decade with some of the wealthiest Americans, all of which are financially independent. One thing I’ve noticed is that every single early retiree I’ve met has a different point of view on what defines a happy retirement but they all have a few commonalities. Read this article here on the most common points of view on How to Enjoy Retirement.
Once you’re there and you’re fully financially independent, many start to feel like money isn’t everything and oftentimes they long for the times when things were simpler. Depression, anxiety and a lack of purpose are all common ways that the financially independent describe their lives. It’s important that once you arrive, you learn how to be happy and lead a meaningful life in retirement.