Table of Contents. Building Wealth for Freelancers

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2 Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. What Are Your Objectives? 3. Become a Corporation for Fun and Profit 4. Invoices: Where Money Comes From 5. It's A Business, So Treat It That Way 6. Take Care of Your Best Employee 7. Get Out Of Debt Yesterday 8. Save for Rainy Days 9. Shelter From Taxes 10. Investing Made Simple 11. How Much Wealth Is Enough 12. Insure Yourself 13. Conclusion 14. Resources 2

3 Building Wealth for Freelancers It's scary to live in America right now. With fewer and fewer companies offering pension plans and with Social Security on the brink of insolvency, the "three-legged stool" of retirement income sources is just about falling over. The median retirement account balance in a typical American household dropped to a meager $2,500 in As freelancers, the retirement problem is even more dire. Being left to conduct all of our own accounting and planning, we don't have the luxury of automatic company 401(k) deductions or company-sponsored health insurance. I want to help you navigate the myriad options, terminology, and products you'll encounter on your journey to building wealth as a freelancer, and help you come up with a plan for the future that ensures your continued prosperity. I can see your eyes glazing over the moment I say "4-0-1-K". It's true: Personal finance and accounting are really boring. But I promise by the time you finish reading this book and see what building wealth can do for your business and your lifestyle, you'll think 401(k)'s and retirement are downright sexy. This book is your guide to implementing processes within your business that will increase your net worth over time. This book will not get you rich quick; after all, there's no such thing To help you find your way, I've ordered things in the order I would personally do them if I were starting a new freelance business. Your mileage may vary depending on your circumstance. A word to my international readers: I'm sorry, but I've written this for a U.S. audience. Unfortunately the investment vehicles, tax laws, and insurance organizations are vastly different in other countries. But you'll likely find the practices and philosophies are similar in your country. If you're making a living freelancing, you're obviously a talented programmer, writer, designer, or other professional. Now I want to help you apply that talent to build financial security for tomorrow. I hope you use this book to amass a nest egg and retire with dignity doing what you love. Introduction 3

4 If you've implemented what you read, I'd love to hear about it. Teejay Disclaimer This book is designed to provide information only. This information is provided and sold with the knowledge that the publisher and author do not offer any legal or other professional advice. In the case of a need for any such expertise consult with the appropriate professional. This book does not contain all information available on the subject. This book has not been created to be specific to any individual s or organizations situation or needs. Every effort has been made to make this book as accurate as possible. However, there may be typographical and or content errors. Therefore, this book should serve only as a general guide and not as the ultimate source of subject information. This book contains information that might be dated and is intended only to educate and entertain. The author and publisher shall have no liability or responsibility to any person or entity regarding any loss or damage incurred, or alleged to have incurred, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this book. Introduction 4

5 Before We Begin, What Are Your Objectives? "Building wealth" means different things to different people. When you think of a wealthy person, what image comes to mind? Most people might imagine someone with fancy clothes, a fancy car, and a big house. But that's not wealth; it's just the appearance of wealth. When you think about it, the fancy car and Vegas getaway are what wealth can buy but once it's bought the wealth is gone. The dictionary's first definition for wealth is "an abundance of valuable possessions or money." The second definition is "the state of being rich; material prosperity." On the surface these definitions might be true, but I think there's something missing: Why do we want wealth in the first place? This was something I struggled to understand until recently. Our culture idolizes people who live a luxurious lifestyle and equate that with being rich. But material possessions don't provide us deep human connection or lasting happiness. So why build wealth at all? There's a deeper reason. Wealth is Freedom From Material Worry When you have money in the bank, you're less likely to take work from a client that treats you poorly and you're more likely to attract clients who otherwise would have smelled your desperation. You won't allow your rates to falter because you'll be able to walk away from clients who might lowball you. And when tax time comes, you'll have the money to pay the IRS. In your personal life, building wealth has similar existential benefits: You'll no longer worry about whether you can pay your bills on time. You'll feel a new sense of control over your time because you won't be stuck on a debt treadmill. Personal Finance is Personal The truth is, no one can tell you what level of wealth and saving is right for you. Pundits use benchmarks like "save 15% of your income for retirement" but no one can tell you what's right for you. I know people with my income who own expensive luxury cars and I What Are Your Objectives? 5

6 know people with my income who own no car at all (he's me!). Some people value taking extended international vacations and some people want to save for a down payment on a house. There's no right answer except one: Spend less than you earn. Ask yourself the following questions: 1. Do I want to stop working someday? For most of us, the answer to this question is "yes!" For all of us, a better question to ask is "Is it possible I'll be unable to work someday?", to which the answer is a resounding "YES!". 2. How much of my income can I afford to save for tomorrow without making today uncomfortable? Building wealth is all about deferring pleasure. How much pleasure are you willing to sacrifice now so you're sure you'll be secure later? 3. If I didn't have to work, what would I do instead? This is the question most people aiming at retirement can't answer, and when they get there they find you can't drink margaritas on the beach every single day. If tomorrow you didn't have to work anymore, what would you do instead? And how much money does that require? Two Extremes of Personal Finance To better illustrate the tradeoffs in personal finance and wealth building, imagine two freelancers named Penny Pincher and Sandy Spenditall. Penny grosses, on average, $6,000 per month. She has no debt. Her monthly expenses are as follows: Apartment rent: $1,200 Utilities: $100 Groceries: $300 Bus Fare: $100 Entertainment: $100 Penny's total monthly expenses are $1,800. Each month, Penny pays herself a salary of $4,000 (more on this in Take Care of Your Best Employee. She saves and invests the difference in a tax-advantaged account. Day-to-day, Penny lives very frugally. Her friends get confused when she declines going What Are Your Objectives? 6

7 out on Friday nights despite always talking about how good business has been. She shops at secondhand stores and rarely goes out to eat. Some day she wants to open a gallery cafe, but only after she's financially independent and can finance it with cash. Penny's neighbor, Sally, also grosses $6,000 per month on average. She leases a current-year Mercedes-Benz and has five credit cards, each carrying a balance. Her monthly expenses are as follows: Loft apartment rent: $2,400 Car lease payment: $500 Credit card minimum payments: $600 Groceries: $100 (Sally doesn't cook) Entertainment: $3,000 Sally's monthly outlay is $6,600 more than she makes in an average month. She finances her lifestyle using credit cards. She knows she should be saving for retirement but figures she'll do it when she's older. Her response to whether she's saving for retirement is "I'll just make more money." Are you a Penny or a Sally? It's likely you fall somewhere between these two extremes, and only you can decide how much risk you're comfortable with, the lifestyle you want for yourself, and the hours and years you want to work. Later in the book, I'll show you how to come up with a savings rate that balances immediate wants with future needs so both Present You and Future You are happier together. But we're going to have to cover some boring stuff first. It won't be too bad. I promise. That's all for now! I wrote this sample chapter in one evening drinking wine. It hasn't been edited and I'm sure there are ugly cliches littered throughout. My goal in releasing this sample is to excite you about restructuring your business so you become wealthy. Have questions you'd like to see answered in the book? Just want to ask a question about your situation? Send me an at What Are Your Objectives? 7

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